Posts tagged tart

some food lately

I haven’t been cooking like I used to mainly because I find myself falling back on what I know during these busy times. But I have still found a few new recipes that are worth posting about.

We are all about banana bread in my house. Mostly because I keep buying bananas and they turn brown. In the name of frugality, we make banana bread. Lots of banana bread. Enter Double Chocolate Banana Bread which is really more like cake. With very little taste of banana.

I recently hosted my book club and got to make a bunch of really yummy items (because really, book club is about enjoying each other’s company and eating good food as much as it’s about talking about that month’s book). Most of the recipes, I’ve shared here before, but one worth adding to the list is this Asparagus Tart with Gruyere. So very easy, but satisfyingly pretty AND tasty. Wins all around.

And y’all. If you are the bread-baking type, you must bake this bread. So freaking delicious. It’s like dessert that is not dessert. This Buttermilk Honey Bread is my perfect sweet white bread. I can’t stop eating it and my whole family enjoys it as well. Seriously, make it.

This pizza was another large success. It’s fairly time consuming but the end result was very worth it. And really, the ingredients speak for themselves: Camelized Onion, Spinach and Bacon Pizza. There’s no marina but an amazing white wine béchamel. Worth it if you have the time.

Anything you’re making that I should be making?

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the food around here lately

I bet you guys were thinking we haven’t been eating much interesting stuff around here lately, huh? Since I had a couple people mention they miss me posting about food, I decided to give it a go once more. We have been eating some yummy and crazy stuff! Although, I must say, I’m not near as vigilant about getting pictures of everything we’re eating these days, so you’ll have to settle with just the links.

We had a vegetarian friend over for lunch one day so I made these Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Fig and Honey. They were really more like dessert but so yummy. And perfect with curried carrot soup.

And for you gluten free folks, these are some of the easiest gluten free cookies I’ve made and they are SO yummy: Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies. Mine were about half almond butter too. Very crumbly, but it didn’t matter because they tasted so good.

Chocolate peanut butter cookies

A surprise hit were these Quinoa ‘Burgers’, which really aren’t burgers at all – more like pancakes but more filling. And they freeze well too. Sadly, I am not sure what to do about quinoa since it’s come to light that Bolivians aren’t getting to eat as much of their staple food source because of the rising global prices of quinoa. But the farmers are getting paid more . . . It’s quite the conundrum.

Quinoa 'Burgers'

Just in case we were starting to be suspected of being vegetarians, I made Balsamic and Whiskey Steak which then lead to the leftovers becoming Steak and Eggs for breakfast, complete with crispy hash potatoes. Naturally.

Steak and Eggs

And to ward of all the vampires we have in Austin, I gave the Vampire Steak a try. Nice and garlicky.

And another surprise hit? Balsamic Roast Beef. I strained off the cooking liquid after it crock potted all day and put it in the fridge to remove the layer of fat and then cooked it down to make a thick sauce and reintroduced it to the shredded pot roast. Much more flavorful than your standard pot roast.

And seriously, if you don’t think you like cauliflower, try roasting it. I could eat a whole head of cauliflower like popcorn when it’s prepared this way. I’ve been eating it several times a week. (And really, isn’t every vegetable better when it’s roasted?)

And finally, a little something Jude and I whipped up (literally) for dessert at a friend’s house, a Cannoli Tart. It was surprisingly similar to a true Cannoli and not very sweet at all.

Cannoli Tart

How about you? Any good recipes to share?

 

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Happy (Belated) Thanksgiving Y’all

Hope y’all had a happy turkey day last Thursday! We got the opportunity to stay home and cook which was so wonderful! It’s definitely the thing I miss the most when we travel. Jude got in on a lot of the cooking action which was so fun (and sometimes frustrating) because I want him to have memories of cooking in the kitchen with me! Here he is enjoying one of the privileges of helping in the kitchen, licking the beaters of the dough from the brown butter apple tart.

Side note. If you choose to make a brown butter apple tart, make sure to put the tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet so the butter won’t bubble over to the bottom of your oven and start a fire on Thanksgiving. . . causing the firefighters to show up just so you can tell them everything is fine because you have a fire extinguisher that took care of the problem. Butter is flammable y’all. Sorry firefighters. Thanks for being so good natured about it all!

Jude licking the beaters

Major milestone – learning how to grill/roast/smoke a turkey. Turns out it was really easy and our weather is so lovely right now that it was great to be outside! First the turkey took a three day bath in a brine, then oiled up with lots of butter, then onto the grill. I used my roasting pan because our grill didn’t let me put the aluminum pan underneath to catch drippings. And I thought it would be a whole lot easier to rotate the turkey through roasting. All you have to do it monitor the temperature and do you best to keep it at 350 (or near). I now feel confident lighting charcoal and using wood chips to add a smokey flavor. I feel like I need a ‘female griller award’ or something. The turkey was awesome, although a little undercooked due to a malfunctioning meat thermometer that decided to only read ‘HI’ at the crucial moment. My brother sliced it and we threw it in the oven to finish it off. Still delicious.

Grill/Smoking the Turkey

It was so wonderful to have my parents and brother in town for the holiday. We had a ton of fun even with the memorable mishaps! And seriously y’all, one last recipe plug, make these rolls sometime. Even though I had the wrong pan and they burned on the bottom (yeah, haha one last mishap too), they were AMAZING.

Family Thanksgiving

Hope your Thanksgiving was as memorable as ours (with less hiccups!) and that you enjoyed the people in your life that you are most thankful for.

 

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Book Club Treats

I had the pleasure of hosting book club last month and made some fun treats that were gobbled up. My goal was to make simple/quick items that had very few ingredients but still packed a lot of punch in the flavor department. Oh, and I had a very small budget, so the ingredients had to be fairly inexpensive.

I started with a recipe that I had tried at a wine tasting party I had attended earlier this year: Parmesan Stuffed, Bacon Wrapped Dates. I could not get enough of these when I was at the party, and the same went for book club. I will admit, they aren’t the prettiest to look at, but with only three ingredients (parmesan, bacon and dates), they were so worth making. The flavors are complex and addicting – smoky, sweet and salty. Perfect!

Parmesan Stuffed, Bacon Wrapped Dates

Still on the savory side of things, I decided to make a dip, but one that was a little less expected than normal. I am a big fan of stinky cheese, especially all different varieties of blue cheese so I was won over by this Blue Cheese and Caramelized Shallot Dip. Again, few ingredients with big payoff. I served them with black pepper kettle chips and a mix of sliced veggies.

Blue Cheese Shallot Dip

I was looking for a reason to make this Strawberry Almond Cream Tart and book club was the perfect excuse. Such a beautiful presentation for such little work. I love making desserts like this! I was completely addicted to this tart – I could have eaten the whole thing by myself! 🙂 Perfect for entertaining.

Strawberry Almond Cream Tart

I made a few other little snacks – tea sandwiches, spiced popcorn, (and Ellie brought mini chocolate pudding pies), but I would say that these items were the stars of the evening!

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Strawberry Mascarpone Tart with Port Glaze

Not to make you jealous or anything (ok, maybe trying to make you a little jealous), but Ellie and I whipped this little dessert beauty up last weekend to enjoy with our husbands . . . and then we ate it for breakfast the next morning. 🙂 Hey, I’m pregnant (hopefully not for much longer though, c’mon Baby Jude!). I can eat dessert for breakfast if I want to.

Anyways – this was super simple to make and as Ellie said, it tastes restaurant worthy! I would NOT recommend using a silicon tart pan (it’s all I had) as it burned the tart crust a little bit. Not enough for us to complain about, but hey . . . just passing on the knowledge! Definitely an impressive dessert for the little effort it took to put it together. The crust tastes like a butter cookie, and the filling is lightly lemon scented, thick, creamy, and just delicious. You could fold in a little whipped cream to the mascarpone mixture if you wanted to lighten up the consistency a bit, but I liked it thick. . . now I just need to figure out what to do with the rest of the bottle of ruby port that I have left over from making this. . . I think I hear a pork tenderloin and some cherries crying out to me to be used with the port. . . Stay tuned. . .

Recipe for Strawberry Mascarpone Tart with Port Glaze

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Wild Mushroom and Gruyere Tart

Quick side note for all you living in Austin right now: the new recycling program has begun! Woo hoo! There is no longer a need to sort your recyclables, you can recycle plastics #1-7 (it used to be only #1-2), AND you can recycle cereal boxes! Finally, Austin is stepping up to the plate on their push for Zero Waste. Oh, and while we’re off subject, I ran last night and Wednesday night. It really seems like it’s getting harder and not easier. . . granted I’m pushing myself to run just a bit further each time. I have been keeping up with running 3 times a week since I started running. . . that’s a pretty impressive record for me. Usually I quit the second week in!

Anyways, back to the subject of the post. This was the fate that the homemade ricotta came to on Tuesday night. A delicious fate if I do say so myself. I have to say, I LOVE puff pastry – it makes everything so fancy with so little work. I really liked the way this recipe created the puffed edges – it was simpler and more effective than other methods I’ve tried. Once you’ve rolled out the dough and placed it on the cookie sheet, you just use a knife to draw in the border you want (cut halfway through the dough) and then just fill the tart to the border! I know I’ll be making a tart like this again, but the filling possibilities are endless. 🙂

Recipe for Wild Mushroom and Gruyere Tart

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Heirloom Tomato Tart

So this recipe was the favorite of a recent Whole Foods lunch time express cooking class. I knew that I had to make it before the ingredients went out of season so I made it as an appetizer last night for a little dinner party that we had. It tastes so fresh and summery – heirloom tomatoes and basil are incredible right now! I think this could be a whole vegetarian dinner if you cut yourself a large piece of tart with a bunch of salad. Enjoy!

Heirloom Tomato Tart
Serves 6 to 8

Thawing the frozen puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight will help prevent cracking while unfolding it. If you prefer to do some advanced preparation, the tart shell can be pre-baked through step 1, cooled to room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, and kept at room temperature for up to two days before being topped and baked with the mozzarella and tomatoes.

  • Unbleached all purposed flour for work surface
  • 1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted in fridge overnight
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 heirloom plum tomatoes, cored and cut crosswise into ¼ inch slices
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ c fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
  • Arugula
  • Balsamic vinegar

Adjust over rack to lower-middle position and head over to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Dust work surface with flour and unfold puff pastry onto work surface. Roll out the puff pastry to a 12×15 inch rectangle. From it, cut one 9 by 15 inch rectangle and three 1 by 15 inch strips (cutting one of those strips into two 1 by 7-inch strips). Place the rectangle on the prepared baking sheet and prick all over with a fork. Brush all the pastry strips with the egg wash and lay strips on the edges to form a border. (Elizabeth Note: I just folded up the sides to make a more rustic tart instead of cutting the strips.) Sprinkle parmesan evenly over shell. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees continue to baking until gold brown and crisp, 13 to 15 minutes longer. Transfer to wire rack increase oven temperature to 425 degrees.

While shell bakes, place tomato slices in single layer on double layer paper towels and sprinkle evenly with ½ teaspoon salt; let stand 30 minutes. Place second double layer paper towels on top of tomatoes and press firmly to dry tomatoes. (Elizabeth Note: I did not do this and it turned out fine.) Combine garlic, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper in small bowl; set aside.

Sprinkle mozzarella evenly over warm (or cool, if made ahead) baked shell. Shingle tomato sliced widthwise on top of cheese (about 4 slices per row); brush tomatoes with garlic oil. Bake until shell is deep golden brown and cheese is melted, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool on wire rack 5 minutes, sprinkle with basil, slide onto cutting board or serving platter, cut into pieces and serve on top of bed of arugula tossed with balsamic vinegar.

Recipe Courtesy of Whole Foods Lunch Express Class 8/6/08

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