Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Brooks, beasts and birthday lunch...Oh My!

My new saddle with all it's packaging. 
This morning Sean gave me my birthday gift and it's...a Brooks saddle! If you don't realize how awesome this is, you don't realize how big a nerd I am about these saddles. These things are LEGIT. Brooks has been making saddles since 1866, back when John Boultbee Brooks' horse died and he had to start commuting to work on a bicycle. The discomfort of his saddle inspired him to find a solution. That said, these leather saddles are still crafted today in a tradition passed down over centuries. When I opened the box and saw it today, it was like receiving something out of a time machine. It doesn't feel like most things that are made today; it's sturdy and made with outstanding craftsmanship. It almost feels like something you'd buy in Diagon Alley were you heading back to Hogwarts. Even the packaging of the item speaks to the tradition of quality. It exudes a quite confidence that says, "this is the best saddle you could ever have for your bike." I'm so excited to get it up and running on my LHT.

After that I was lucky enough to be graced by the presence of my friend Annie. As I had spent the morning watching The Next Iron Chef on food network (go chef Samuelsson!), I was feeling ambitious in the way of the kitchen and made some mini pizza tortes.
that recipe and more after the jump!

top: pesto/fontina/tomato tortes.
bottom: prosciutto/pear/cranberry tortes with a
touch of gorgonzola sprinkled on top.
These were made simply by cutting circles of pizza dough, laying them in a muffin tin, filling them with all sorts of cheesy goodness, then topping them with another dough circle and sealing up the edges. Allow to bake about 8 minutes at 400°F and presto! Delicious handheld pizza tortes. For the first batch I layered fresh mozzarella with pears, cranberry sauce, gorgonzola, and prosciutto. I also used the same ingredients minus the cranberries to make Sean a grilled cheese for lunch. Yum! For the second batch, again with the fresh mozz, a fresh tomato slice, Fontina cheese, and basil pesto. Overall, they were a pretty easy treat. I improvised them using an idea from a recipe I found last year on how to make pizza pockets using a meatball, marinara, and mozzarella as filling.

ah! the cutest birthday gift there ever was.
Also, Annie gave me this adorable little beast! He's a tiny elephant-shaped creamer. How cute! The last time we had friends over who wanted cream in their coffee, we had to awkwardly plunk down a whole carton in the middle of our tiny table. No more! The elephant will serve you now! Ok, I gotta go because Sean's surprising me with some sort of birthday dinner. It's been a great, relaxing birthday. -hil


  1. Those little tortes photograph beautifully! :)

  2. Looks like you had a great day and great gifts!

    Myers Maison

  3. i love this.. and you. Wish I could torte it up with you in that kitchen!

  4. that is an amazing gift... hope you're having a great weekend!

  5. I would be proud to partake of your pecan pie.