WHO:        PBJ on Rye, her boyfriend, and their two wonderful friends, B and T
WHAT:      Dinner on Oscar Night, 2009
WHERE:    Chilly Chicago
WHY:         Because we love to eat, especially with B and T
WHEN :     February 2009
HOW:        By B and T’s culinary brilliance

Our hosts and good friends B and T didn’t hold back during our Oscar party dinner a few months back.  Yes, yes, I know this post is long overdue but remember, I took a “hiatus” from blogging.  In any case, this one’s worth bragging about:  our menu consisted of homemade naan, delicious Moroccan stew that was just perfect for the cold, snowy day, and a colorful caprese salad.  I think the photographs speak for themselves!

Moroccon Stew


The following recipe for the roasted tomato caprese salad comes from the barefoot contessa’s back to basics cookbook.  I think our hosts did a beautiful job worthy of an Academy Award of their own.


Roasted Caprese Salad (by Ina Garten)


12 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeds but not cores, removed

1/4 cup good olive oil, plus more for drizzling

1 and 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 large garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons sugar

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

16 ounces fresh salted mozzarella

12 fresh basil leaves, julienned



1.  Preheat oven to 275 degrees F

2.  Arrange the tomatoes on a baking pan, cut sides up, in a single layer.

3.  Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle with the garlic, sugar and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.

4.  Roast for 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to carmelize.  Allow the tomatoes to cool to room temperature.

5.  Cut the mozzarella into slices slightly less than 1/2 inch thick.  Layer the tomatoes alternately with the mozzarella on a platter and scatter the basil on top.  Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and drizzle lighlty with olive oil.

Serve at room temperature