28 February 2013

Pear and Pecan Cake with Embellishment

Remember these pears? I blogged about them here .... but they have come back to haunt this kitchen in a new manifestation ...

26 February 2013

The Summer Kitchen ... in Winter

I went for a ride yesterday and then parked and walked in the woods for a bit ... before the roar of snowmobiles let me know that I was about to be engulfed by engines and exhaust and the spinning of metal belts and flinging of mud and snow. Then, I retreated back down the path and on further down the road.

There was a yeasted whole wheat crust rising at the house, so I was on a bit of a time table for walking, but it sure was a pretty day for a quick jaunt.

I found this summer kitchen sitting next to an old house down the road ... what colors next to the whites and greys of winter woods!  The light in the woods was really wonderful because of the cloud cover ...

23 February 2013

Chocolate-Ginger Sandwiches with Apple-Ginger Cream Filling

Let's get this right out of the way straight up! I would never have thought to play around with the amounts of ginger and chocolate that I have today, had I not become drawn into the monthly chocolate extravaganza called 'We Should Cocoa'. This month, Jen over at Blue Kitchen Bakes is hosting and she likes the ginger/ chocolate connection! Who knew that putzing about with a favorite recipe and digging about on the Internet would make for such a happy accident as these little sandwich cookies?

20 February 2013

Tea ... As An Ingredient

I have heard and read so much about using various teas as ingredients in everything from baked goods to sauces for braising, but I have never tried the technique ... until today. I must admit that I chose a safe recipe to attempt this first time out of the gate. I had some dried dates that needed to soak before going into a date nut bread recipe. I'd been thinking that I wanted to add some orange peel and star anise to the boiling water that the dates would soak in and then I had a brilliant idea ... why not use a Celestial Seasonings Mandarin Orange Spice tea bag to provide the hint of orange and added spice to the beginnings of the date nut bread batter?

18 February 2013

Two Words ... Meatless Monday

To-may-toe ... To-mah-toe

Po-tay-toe ... Po-tah-toe

Green Herbs

Thyme Sprigs

Meatless Monday

Vegetable Tart

Tomato and Potato Tart with Aged Gouda
a slightly adapted Yankee Magazine recipe

Tart Shell Ingredients:

1 ¼ c. all-purpose flour
½ tsp. Kosher salt
½ c. (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into tablespoon chunks
¼ c. ice water

Filling Ingredients:

3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled
2 medium ripe tomatoes … or 6 to 8 smaller tomatoes, ¼ inch slices
1 ½ c. aged Gouda cheese, shredded
¼ c. fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
¾ c. milk or half & half
3 large eggs
Two generous pinches cayenne pepper
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 generous pinches fresh Parmesan cheese, grated
2 pretty thyme sprigs

Making the Tart:

  1. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade and whiz it to combine.
  2. Add the cold butter a tablespoon at a time, whizzing in between. The resulting mixture should resemble a coarse meal.
  3. Add the ice water a bit at a time, whizzing until the dough comes away from the bowl’s sides to form a raggedy dough
  4. Turn the pie dough onto a piece of plastic wrap and quickly gather it into a ball.
  5. Wrap snuggly and flatten it to a disk and refrigerate it for about half an hour while you prepare the tart filling.
  6. Whisk the eggs, milk, and cayenne pepper together in a small bowl and set it aside.
  7. Place the scrubbed potatoes (whole) in a saucepan of water and cook them gently until they are almost completely softened (knife tender). Then, drain and let them cool so you can handle them.
  8. Chop the parsley, grate the cheeses (but keep them separate), slice the tomatoes, and then slice the potatoes in ¼ inch slices.
  9. Preheat the oven to 425° F and place the rack in the center of the oven.
  10. Roll the dough out and fit it into a 10-inch spring form pan. Fold the dough edges back down on itself to form a deep dish tart form. The crust should come up the sides of the pan about 1 ½ inches. Crimp it prettily, line the shell with foil and pie weights and bake it for ten minutes.
  11. After ten minutes, decrease the oven temperature to 400°, remove the foil and pie weights and continue to bake the crust for another ten minutes – until the crust is golden.
  12. Remove the tart shell and let it cool, slightly.
  13. Place layers of potato, tomato, parsley and thyme leaves, Gouda cheese, potato, tomato, herbs, cheese … you should get two layers of each.
  14. Pour the egg and milk mixture over all, drizzling over the top to wet everything .
  15. Finish the cheese layer by sprinkling the Parmesan cheese over all and laying the thyme sprigs in the center of the tart.
  16. Bake for 40 minutes at 400° F. Let te finished tart set for five to ten minutes to ‘set up’ before slicing.

    Almost Gone

14 February 2013

Maple Season! Maple Glazed Spareribs and Winter Slaw

... maple glazed spare ribs with winter slaw ...

13 February 2013

An Ode to the Creamsicle ... Candied Citrus Cookies with White Chocolate

So ... I promise not to crab about my February Funk again ... I'm coming along nicely toward a full recovery. Thank you for asking. These sunny little cookies have been providing a bit of therapy.

11 February 2013

Random Recipe - Stohrer's Cake aux Olives et Jambon

I recently ordered a few used cook books through alibris.com and thinking about Dom's 'do it your way' option for this month's Random Recipe, I decided that I would make the first recipe in whichever book arrived first. Well, today's morning mail offered up Linda Dannenberg's Paris Boulangerie et Pâtisserie .

10 February 2013

It's the Simple Things ... Cider Roasted Pears with Sultanas and Pine Nuts

I was intent on making a pear tart when I took these perfect Anjou's from the fridge, but the snow was falling and the fire needed tending, more wood needed to be brought in from the woodshed, and a simpler approach appealed to me the more I thought about it.

09 February 2013

Two Words ... Short Ribs

Storm Clouds

Short Ribs
Portabellas ... Onions

06 February 2013

Avgolemono - Greek Lemon and Rice Soup with Lemon Pepper and Garlic Bread Sticks

Over the weekend, I made a friend a big pot of chicken noodle soup ... the kind that reminds us of our childhood lunches. It had plenty of carrot bits, was loaded with celery and onion, nice bite-sized bits of juicy chicken thighs, plenty of super thin egg noodles, and a softly salty chicken broth with bits of bright green parsley floating through it all. That's not the soup I am going to share with you today, though.

04 February 2013

Hot and Spicy Crabmeat Dip

Like millions of other American football fans, SB and I gathered with friends around the television set to watch Super Bowl XLVII. Before all the action on the field began, though, the cooks brought out the tailgate dinner ... my contribution was a hot crabmeat dip. Easy, spicy, and full of crabmeat!
It was served with gluten-free almond crackers.

02 February 2013

Ugh ... The February Funk ...

Bring on the chocolate, folks. It's February and in the little grey cottage, I am settling into the traditional February Funk. This always seems the cruelest time of the year. The sun begins to increase in intensity a bit, but the weather is so changeable. One day it's balmy and gives hope of Spring and the next a bitterly cold wind sweeps in from The North and dashes that hope AND the crust of ice on the driveway puddle. Wind chill makes everything seem even worse. So ... I retreat. I ignore my usual 'about town errands' and computer routines, don't go to church on Sunday morning, rattle the soup pots, put a sweater on over the turtle neck and big shirt, shirk as many responsibilities as possible, re-prioritize my Netflix queue, grab a good book or two, and let the library due dates expire.