I know that 52's greatest plus, imo, is that it inspires us in so many ways. It touches our creative spots. And I am convinced that being creative makes us happy.One of the things I have discovered lately is that my creative expression doesn't have to correlate directly with the thing that is inspiring it, i.e. last night I was reading through the Dried Fruit Contest entries and today, I created something new and exciting that has nothing to do with dried fruit!
So, my new thing is a riff on a Trader Joe's product. Scratch cooking is not always on the docket for me, especially if I have just come off a long run of it for various 52 contests. Today my freezer said to me- eat this TrJ Tarte d'Alsace (onion, gruyere,ham), that's been in here for ages. So I performed my usual riff of beefing it up : I spread it with sour cream, sprinkled it with cayenne, and topped that with julienned canadian bacon and lastly,i was going to add shredded gruyere. But THEN....But THEN...
i did something totally new. Over the sour cream, cayenne and canadian bacon, I topped it with frozen edamame on one side and frozen sliced okra on the other side, with gruyere topping the whole thing(so it would melt and hold everything together.) BINGO!! Big flavor hit with some healthy green in the mix now! (I'm not kidding myself into thinking this is low-fat or anything, but at least it's healthier than it was before.) BTW, this tarte cooks at ~500 degreesF, so the frozen veggies basically roast on top.
The only other TrJ riff I do is adding okra and/or leftover beef to their steak burrito halfway through nuking to defrost it and then toaster oven to bake/crisp it. (I slit the top and push the additions down in to heat.)