The weather in Buenos Aires is getting unbearably hot.
Not just any kind of hot, but specifically 35 deg Celsius hot (Read: Yellow-Alert Hot). Overnight, Buenos Aires has transformed into a 24-hour oven, with a dense, humid air blanketing everyone in sight. No one is spared, and the rush of heat that gushes in your face the moment you step out of the air-conditioning is a frustratingly warm, slow torture.
Plus, did I tell you about the mosquitoes that also come together with Spring?
It seems that these huge-ass mosquitoes have also arrived in style, announcing their grand entrance with a red carpet made of my blood. I have no idea why they like feasting on me, but they are making me itch all over and have left a couple of souvenir marks that I’d very much prefer to do without.
That’s what I’ve been going through the past few days, and while there are many more important topics going on, such as Obama winning the US Presidential elections and the looming fiscal cliff that will come with his victory, my mind has been cooped up with thinking about how I should best escape the heat and these dreadful, bloody mosquitoes.
Should I stay indoors the entire time? Avoid sitting in the patio and not be able to enjoy an alfresco meal? How can I wear my short, pretty spring dresses without being mosquito food? What strategies can I come up with so I can travel in the Subway without touching the sweaty arm of the guy next to me? And how do I not pass out in the Subway from all the terrible body odor of the entire cabin-full of passengers, exacerbated by the dreadful heat?
I know, I know. These are unpleasant thoughts, so I try to trick my mind and distract my thoughts..
I try to shift my concentration from the heat and blood-sucking mosquitoes, resolving instead to focus on more interesting and more important things like creating new foods and experimenting with fun recipes, or simply different ways of making the same things.
A couple of days ago I was inspired by Bite by Michelle’s recipe for Radish, Cucumber and Herbed Boursin Hearts.
Now while that seems like a whole mouthful of words, I found the concept of creating shapes from plain bread so ingenious (yeah, why didn’t I think of that before??).
I prefer my bread toasted, so I thought, why not make interestingly-shaped toasts that you can serve up as an appetizer, or as a in-between conversation filler at cocktail parties? And… how about adding a sprinkle of dried oregano on top to add some sparkle and taste?
This gets us Oregano Party Toasts!
The best part of this recipe, was that I finally got to use my new cookie cutters – which come in every imaginable shape possible – stars, flowers, butterflies, apples, airplanes, Christmas trees, bells, dolphins, boats, etc. I decided to save the more festive shapes for the Christmas season, but I wasn’t going to pass by the opportunity to make butterfly-shaped toasts! Or dolphin-shaped toasts! Or flower-shaped or star-shaped toasts!! (See how I managed to trick my mind from thinking about the incredulously humid weather and icky mosquitoes?)
I succeeded in distracting myself… and the toasts came out oh-so- cute!
(Thank you Michelle for the inspiration!)
OREGANO PARTY TOASTS (Serves 3- 4)
1) 8-10 slices of bread
2) 1 small bowl of vegetable cooking oil
3) 1 small bowl of dried oregano
1) Using the cookie cutters, cut the bread into any shape you like
2) Spread vegetable cooking oil over both sides of the shaped bread pieces, and arrange them on a greased baking tray (make sure the pieces do not overlap)
3) Sprinkle dried oregano evenly over the bread pieces
4) Toast in pre-heated oven at 180 deg cel for 8 – 10 minutes (or until golden brown and crispy)
5) Serve alone or with a dip such as the Spring Onion & Leek Cream Cheese Dip
Pretty cookie cutters:
Use cookie cutters to cut bread:
Spread vegetable cooking oil over both sides of the shaped bread pieces, and arrange them on a greased baking tray:
Sprinkle dried oregano evenly over the bread pieces:
Fresh out of the oven!
Pretty Oregano Party Toasts!
A great way to jazz up your dinner table!