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Pop Goes the Bottle in the Park

June 9, 2009

After our vacation, we commemorated the first Pops in the Park of the season with a bottle of the Poema Brut Cava from the Penedes region in Espana. You know how my love for all things sparkling goes – rocks, water, wine, cars, vodka tonics, the list goes on. Spanish sparkling wine was the perfect selection for the occasion.

I made Tomato Capr-Evie, I put the Chic in Chickpea Salad and Do You Want Some Fruit with your Cream. Enjoy said recipes below.  

Even if you’re not one for the symphony, Pops in the Park should warrant every Charlottean’s time for Sundays in June. The picnic gear accompanying the attendees is a site in itself. No, it is not the people-watching you will revel in at a Journey concert or NASCAR race. It is more like “let’s see which yuppie can out-yuppie-ify the other.” Between the Vineyard Vines whale shorts, Lilly Pulitzer dresses, Pottery Barn picnic blankets, and monogrammed this and that, I was like a sorority girl at an everything-must-go Tiffany’s sale. EEK! Preppy overload.   

My favorite trinket was a wine glass holder that sticks into the ground. If your picnic spot is on the slightest incline, fear not, your wine won’t waste to spillage on the ground. It even comes with a thingamabob for the wine bottle, too. Genius! I already purchased five.  

In all seriousness, go to Pops in the Park, support our local symphony and enjoy a few bottles of the Poema Cava while you’re at it. I’ll see ya there!

Heavy Evie Eats – Part Deux

Tomato Capr-Evie
My mom started making this dish after our first family trip to Italy. We basically just tried to duplicate what the restaurants and hot Italian beefcakes served up. Plus, you’ve got to be dumber than a brick in a brickyard if you can’t make this dish.

Roma Tomatoes
Fresh Mozzarella Cheese (Tame the manorexia and go for the whole fat cheese with this one. I’ve tried part-skim before and it just doesn’t do the trick.)
Fresh Basil (If you are broker than a joke, use dried basil. However, the fresh basil really puts the fry in this French fry, the Lisa in this Turtle, the “O” in Oprah.)
Garlic Vinaigrette (equal parts EVOO and balsamic vinegar with a teaspoon of minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste)

Slice the tomatoes the sandwich way. Slice the mozzarella into the same size pieces as the tomato. Put the cheese on top of tomato. Chop up some fresh basil and sprinkle it on. Drizzle the garlic vinaigrette over the goodness and serve.

I Put the Chic in Chickpea Salad
This salad originated from my mom’s Greek pasta salad. In lieu of pasta, I use chickpeas. I also omitted the cherry tomatoes and added cilantro for extra flava flav. Fresh basil would work as well.

Can of Chickpeas (Chickpea alias: Garbonzo beans)
Handful of kalamata olives
Quarter of a chopped onion
Quarter of a chopped red pepper
Feta cheese
Handful of chopped cilantro
Greek vinaigrette (Kraft Greek dressing bought in the salad dressing aisle)

After chopping, throw into a bowl and toss. It’s easier than Kelly Taylor in the early years.

Note: Add cooked colorful rotini pasta and the cherry tomatoes, and you’ll have the Mama Put the Greek in Pasta Salad.

Do You Want Some Fruit with Your Cream
Chop up strawberries. Add blueberries. Tip the ReddiWhip container and press the nozzle. Keep pressing. Can you see the fruit? Keep pressing. Just keep, pressing. When in doubt, press. Press until a mountain of whipped cream is upon your plate. Eat a spoonful and press in your mouth as you wish. I usually gargle it around like mouthwash. Mmm … mmm … good.  

This dish takes the cake in the easy category. I’ll give it a Valerie Malon over Kelly Taylor any old day!

Note: Purchase a pre-made pound cake and make this your topping on each slice.

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