A parmesan crisp topped with shredded romaine, caesar dressing & crisp bacon produce a very quick & simple appetizer bite for your next gathering.
Inspiration comes from all sources. A turning point can occur at any moment. In my case, it has been an opportunity to immerse myself in a weekend of learning. I spent the last 72+ hours fully submerged in all things related to this semi-private hobby of mine. Photography. Food Styling. Writing. Storytelling. Authenticity. And no more than halfway through the weekend I was able to clearly identify a theme. The key not only to my future success, but my recent stall. In some sessions, it earned its own slide, and in others, it was subtle whispers. But no matter what insanely talented artist stood before me, I couldn’t help but take away the key to success in each discipline….
It started in the food photography & styling workshop. It ended in the art of storytelling & vulnerability. The key to bringing food to life through words & pictures was movement. The swirl of the spoon, the wake of the whisk. When food had movement, it had life. It is so true. People – you, me – aren’t just interested in the flavour of the dish. We are intrigued by the evolution of it and the story behind it. How simple ingredients can be transformed – moved – into something that triggers feelings and emotions. The crackle of the bacon. The grinding of the pepper mill. The flakes of the salt falling like snow. The aroma when the turkey has cooked just enough to invite itself throughout the home. Even how the movement of the sun can take a dish from a light and airy midday snack, to a dark and moody evening bite. Movement.
Over the past four months (at least), I have lost my movement. Emotionally, intellectually & physically. I have stopped. And I have only myself to blame. A very routine illness in the late spring seems to be the catalyst. It mushroomed into ailment after ailment and for reasons I cannot explain, I did not have the inner strength or will to stand up to it. To fight though it. I let it consume me. Physically, in my personal health and mentally, in my creativity.
Today, I praised my Little for conquering a fear (heights) by pushing through. He asked me what I meant by ‘pushing through’. I told him it was when he knew to ask for help but also knew when he could do it on his own. My physical health has deteriorated. My mental health has dulled. My emotional spirit has dimmed. I needed to ask for help and this weekend, I got it. In over flowing bucket loads. Not just by being surrounded by people who were truly themselves – talented, passionate, vulnerable & real – but by those cherished loved ones that made it possible for me to take the time and space to be there. I feel recharged and reenergized. I am committed to bringing movement back into my life – physically and mentally. As I tiptoe quietly into my 40th year (shhhhh), I am determined to make this one count.
These ‘Little Caesars’ were the perfect aperitif to this weekend of inspiration. They came together in less than 15 minutes (including bringing the oven to temp!) with ingredients I always have in my fridge. Keep it simple and keep moving. They are now a staple on the “friends are coming to dinner and I need an appy” list. Cheese. Bacon. A few greens. The drizzle of a garlic-spiked aioli Pretty much covers all the major food groups in my house. Maybe not a traditional Caesar dressing, but I cannot remember the last time I bought salad dressing in a bottle and (let’s be real) anchovy paste just isn’t a staple in our pantry.
I am excited to document and share this next year of Movement with you as told through the stories of food. I hope warms your soul and your belly. In the meantime, I am so grateful for this space to play and share. And (of course) eat.
- 2 slices of bacon
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 1 tsp dijon (or grainy) mustard
- ¼ cup mayonnaise (organic canola based)
- 2 cups finely grated parmesan
- 1 cup shredded romaine lettuce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Pre-heat a frying pan over medium/high heat. Add two slices of bacon and cook till crispy, flipping once.
- In a small bowl, add lemon, garlic, mustard and mayonnaise. Whisk to combine & set aside.
- Grate parmesan (with a microplane works best). Divide into 9 small mounds on a parchment lined baking sheet leaving about an inch or two between each mound. Place in oven and bake for 3 to 5 minutes until brown on the edges. Remove from oven and let cool.
- Top cooled parmesan crisps with lettuce, bacon and a drizzle of Caesar dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve immediately and enjoy!