Tax Day Comforts

All over town for several weeks now, I've seen Taco del Mar's billboards--"Get a free taco on tax day!"  That's generous of them, I guess, but I've got a better idea.  Pour yourself a cup of coffee and read this.

Since Yancey and I were both self-employed last year, tax day means paying the accountant, writing a big old check, and standing in line at the post office to send it certified mail.  This day has the potential to be Depression Central, but I'm learning to view it differently.  When I write out that check and deplete our savings account, I think of all the things my taxes are going for--Wyatt's wonderful public school (I still can't get over the fact that it's free to us), the stoplight down the street that allows children to cross safely, the first responders that will come to my house should I call 911.  It's far too easy to complain on April 15, so I'm learning to be grateful when I sign those papers.  A little snack and a latte help, too. I'm getting to that part.

I went to PFI today again (more on that later) and whenever I'm there, I always pick up a bag of Greek pita.  They keep it in the freezer, and I usually do, too.  I don't know why this particular brand isn't more widely available.  They sell it at the Greek gyros place at Pike Place Market and a few grocery stores, but I can never count on finding it.  You can, of course, use it for actual gyros or falafel sandwiches, and I do that sometimes.  More often, though, I use it as flatbread or pizza crust.  For the kids, I'll put pizza sauce and mozzarella on it.  For me and Yancey....where do I start?

By now, if I were to ask you, "What are two things in Sarah's fridge?" you would probably answer, "Spinach and mint."  I'm sorry--they are not gone yet.  I am serious about this leftovers thing.  The good news is that you can make these little treats with a limitless variety of toppings.  This week just happens to be the Spinach and Mint Festival.

I made this little Tax Day Comfort for myself while Milo and Loretta were slurping Top Ramen behind me.  I can get a lot done with Top Ramen as my helper.  I read recently that someone named Top Ramen as one of the 8 foods that is worst for you.  Don't call CPS on me.

The feta that I used is Bulgarian sheep's milk feta, only $4.95/lb. at PFI.  It's very soft and ultra tangy.  If you use domestic cow's milk feta, it's quite a bit more dry and you can drizzle more olive oil on top if you want.

Other combos I've been known to make for snacks or family dinners:

  • Refried beans, cheddar, pickled jalapenos, red onions, cilantro

  • Blue cheese, pecans, caramelized onions

  • Pesto, spinach, mozzarella, parmesan

  • Ajvar (roasted red pepper spread from PFI) or roasted red peppers, pine nuts, fontina

  • Marinara, sausage, goat cheese, thyme

  • Etc. etc.

I have been getting so much feedback about this blog--some in the form of comments, others in phone calls or emails.  I am tickled that so many of you are enjoying it, cooking from it, or passing it on to your friends.  I just couldn't be happier about that.  Thank you.

Feta Mint Flatbread

Preheat oven to 400.  Brush olive oil onto a round of pita bread.  Make the base with a handful of roughly chopped fresh spinach and a handful of crumbled feta.  Sprinkle some pumpkin seeds (or chopped pecans or walnuts) and a bit of lemon zest over the top.  (I made mine with some diced preserved lemon, but I always have that around.  I'll post a recipe for it someday.)  Drizzle a bit more olive oil over the top and cook for 6-8 minutes, or until crust is a little brown around the edges and feta has melted a bit.  The idea isn't to get this super hot, but just to meld the flavors.  Since the pita is already cooked, you don't need to keep it in as long as you would a real pizza.  When it's done, sprinkle some chopped fresh mint over the top and cut into four wedges.  I also put red pepper flakes on mine, but by now, you could probably just assume that.
Happy Tax Day.