Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love by Cristina Ferrare and GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!!!

I don’t want to make you jealous but. . . .

Recently, I’ve had two very impressive brushes with fame.

First, I went to the NCAA All-Star Game and practically got to sit on Greg Gumbel’s lap.

You’re probably not jealous yet.

Okay, let me try again.

This week, I read a book called Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love, by none other than Cristina Ferrare.

She knows Oprah. 
Knows her like they have shared meals together.
She and Oprah are real tried and true friends.
Cristina has cooked for her.
Maybe even the very recipes in her book. Where she shares family stories, and over 150 delightfully simple recipes.

So now it’s like I know Cristina.  With her cute family tales and insights into her everyday life that she adds to every recipe.

And by default I know Oprah. It’s almost like we’re friends.

I know, I’m one lucky girl.

Lucky to know Cristina. Kind of.
Lucky to know Oprah. Sort of.
And lucky to have this really great cookbook on my shelf, full of gorgeous full color pictures of all the fabulous and healthful recipes Cristina makes in her BIG BOWL OF LOVE.

Fabulous recipes with a unique Mediterranean/American vibe. All, quick, healthy, tasty and fresh.  With so many of the recipes originating from Greece and Italy, the reader gets a taste of cooking the natural, fun, no fuss way.  My favorite section of the book was Appetizers, including things like Creamy Guacamole, White Bean Puree on Grilled sliced Baguette, and a lovely how-to on creating a killer Antipasto Platter. I’m sure I’ll  come back to this boook time and time again because I’m always looking for GREAT yet simple things to make when friends drop by, or I have to bring a WOWZER appetizer to a party.  Cristina has a lot of great ideas on everything from soups, salads, suppers, and tantalizing desserts for the everyday and special occasions.

But, Cristina isn’t the only one with great ideas.

I have them too. That’s probably because, I know her, and she knows Oprah.  The circle of life thing, you know.

My latest great idea is. . . . .

To GIVEAWAY one copy of Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love.

I told you it was great.

TO ENTER:

Just answer the following question in the Comments section of this post:

“What was your last brush with fame? ”

(And if you can’t think of one, just tell me which famous person you’d like to meet one day.)
THE RULES

One entry per person, please. Mother Oprah is always watching. We wouldn’t want to upset her.

 The Cristina Ferrare Big Bowl of Love GIVEAWAY will end April  14th, 2011 at midnight CST. Winners will be announced on Friday, April 15th, 2011. Entrants limited to US and Canada. They will be chosen randomly using http://www.random.org/

Good Luck!

Update: 4/15/11

And the Winner is. . . . . .

Ellie -
My last brush with fame was when I found out ♥John Travolta♥ was living in a town near me. I got in my car and drove down his street RIGHT PAST his gated community!!!Contact nickiwoo.thehomeguru@gmail.com  to claim your prize.

So close yet so far.

(Note: If the winner doesn’t claim their prize within 48 hours, I’ll select a replacement and contact them.)

- – – – – — – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

And one more thing.  Because I love you so. . . .

A recipe to try out for yourself from Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love.  Try it out.

GYROS
Reprinted from Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love © 2011 by Cristina Ferrare. Permission from Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.  Photography by Todd Porter and Diane Cu
4 servings.

Ingredients:
1 cup Greek Salsa (page 267) OR 8 paper-thin slices of red onion and 8(1/4 inch) slices of tomato
1 pound ground lamb
1/2 medium onion, minced
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 cup Italian parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
1/2 cup panko (Japanese -style bread crumbs)
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons canola oil
4 pieces of Greek Pita Bread, or 4 pita pockets
2 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
2 cups tzatziki spread (page 33)
4 (9 inch by 9 inch) squares of aluminum foil, set aside

Make the Greek Salsa first, and set aside.  You will have some left over.

In a bowl, combine the lamb, onion, scallion, parsley, mint, mayonnaise, bread crumbs, salt, and cayenne pepper.  Using your hands, mix all the ingredients together well. Form 7 to 8 cylinders (about the size of a sausage), 4 inches long and 1 inch wide.

Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet on high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of canola oil and heat until it starts to smoke.  Add the lamb, and turn the heat down to medium.  Saute, turning every minute, for about 12 minutes. Remove from the skillet and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Brush the pita bread lightly on both sides wit the remainder of the oil.  To heat the bread, using tongs, hold each piece over a gas burner set to low, and move it back and forth for 20 seconds on each side, until heated through.  Be careful not to burn it.  Place the bread on a plate, and cover to keep warm.

To assemble the gyros, slice the lamb into long, 1/4 inch thick slices. Place 2 to 3 tablespoons of tzatziki spread over each piece of warm  pita bread. Add a handful of lettuce and 1/4 cup of Greek Salsa. Place the sliced lamb on top.

Lay a square of foil in front of you on a cutting board with one of the corners at the bottom (so the square looks like a diamond shape.) Fold the top half over 3 inches. Place a folded gyro on the foil, leaving 2 inches of the foil over the bottom of the gyro. Fold the sides over the gyro, first the left, then the right. You now have a leak resistant pouch, just like the ones you get from street vendors in New York. Enjoy!

Update: 4/15/11

And the Winner is. . . . . .

Ellie -

My last brush with fame was when I found out ♥John Travolta♥ was living in a town near me. I got in my car and drove down his street RIGHT PAST his gated community!!!Contact nickiwoo.thehomeguru@gmail.com to claim your prize.
(Note: If the winner doesn’t claim their prize within 48 hours, I’ll select a replacement and contact them.)

So close yet so far.

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