Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Most Saturday mornings in summer, you'll find me at our local farmer's market. Yes, Manhattan has farmer's markets and quite a few, in fact. The big, amazing, awesome, I wish I lived across the street one is at Union Square. Four times a week, farmers, growers, bread bakers and cheese makers drive down from the Hudson River Valley to set up their stalls. While I used to have the pleasure of working only two blocks away, it's quite a treck from my upper east side apartment. Fortunately, there's a smaller version of the market just a few blocks from home.
I knew immediately that I'd combine these sweet lovelies with some sharp Gorgonzola cheese and bake them into a simple tart. Alongside a fresh salad, it was an ideal summer evening dinner. Enjoy!
1 Cup all purpose flour
1 Stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1" pieces
1/2 Teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Cup ice water
3 Tomatoes, sliced thin
1 Cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 Cup ricotta cheese
1 - 2 Tablespoons milk, if needed
Salt & pepper to taste
To make the filling, combine the Gorgonzola and ricotta cheeses in a bowl and mix together, by hand or with a mixer, until mostly smooth. Add the milk if needed and season with salt and pepper. Spread the cheese mixture evenly into the tart shell and top with the tomatoes. Sprinkle a little salt over the top and bake in a pre-heated 375 degree oven for 35 - 45 minutes or until the crust is a light golden brown. Makes approximately 8 servings.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
It's no secret that I love summer fruit and I always have a nice selection on hand. But I have to admit that the little kiwifruit is not usually one of them. Oh, I like the taste and always enjoy them when they're served to me on a fruit platter somewhere, but the idea of peeling those furry skins just doesn't appeal to me. So, did you know that you can just scoop out the flesh without peeling them? Neither did I.
|Image Courtesy of Zespri|
I also had my first taste of the new SunGold Kiwifruit which is a cross between the green and gold varieties. Rather than the typical hairy skin, the SunGold has a smooth skin that is technically edible...although I think I'll just scoop this one, too. It has even more vitamin C than the green kiwi and is wonderfully sweet. I enjoyed a martini made with it and that flavor is still on my mind so I'm pretty sure I know what I'll be drinking next weekend.
1 Small banana, peeled and frozen
1 Kiwi fruit
1/2 Cup low fat Greek yogurt
1/2 Cup low fat milk
1 Teaspoon honey
Pinch of salt
Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree until blended. Note that kiwi fruit contains an enzyme that can break down dairy products so this smoothie is best consumed when it's first made.
For more information about Zespri, their growing practices, the varieties of kiwifruit and plenty of kiwi recipes, please visit their web site and their Facebook page.
I was compensated for writing this post but the recipe and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the products I love and use regularly in my kitchen.
Monday, July 21, 2014
Today I have the pleasure of kicking off my first article for Hoosier Homemade. I was in a serious mood for pie and couldn't pass up some beautiful ripe blueberries. But I also decided to borrow from one of my favorite quick breads and add cornmeal and lemon zest and thyme. And goat cheese. Yes, goat cheese and blueberries are a happy couple. The result was definitely a winner and one that I'll be making again and again.
Head on over to Hoosier Homemade to see the recipe!
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Summer brings out my burger craving in a big way! Sure, there's that whole outdoor grilling thing but, actually, I love mine made in burning hot cast iron pan in my own kitchen. However they're made, though, I've been wanting them non-stop. As it happens, my friend, Kita, from Girl Carnivore is hosting a burger month - 31 days, 31 burger recipes by 31 amazing bloggers. And there are cool giveaways, too, so be sure to enter the raffle at the bottom of this post.
1/4 - 1/2 lb. Ground beef
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 Teaspoon dried oregano
1 - 2 Slices fresh tomato
1/4 Cup fresh spinach leaves
2 Tablespoons tzatziki sauce (recipe below)
2 Tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
3/4 Cup Greek style yogurt
1 Clove garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 Cucumber, diced
1 Teaspoon chopped dill
Salt & pepper to taste
Combine all the ingredients for the tzatziki sauce in a bowl and mix.
When your burger is cooked the way you like it, spread a tablespoon of the sauce on the bottom of a toasted roll, add the burger, tomato slices, spinach and remaining sauce. Sprinkle on the feta cheese.
A huge thanks to all of the fun bloggers who were just as inspired by a month of burgers as I was and the awesome companies that have donated prizes to #burgermonth , El Diablo Hot & Spicy Mustard, FireWire Grilling Skewers, Hamilton Beach, KitchenIQ, The Spice House, and Wisconsin Cheese
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Monday, July 14, 2014
Cold ice cream, hot summer day - you don't need convincing, right? So only two questions remain. What flavor and do we make it or buy it? I'm guessing that, those of you with ice cream makers, choose to make it while those who don't (that would be me) opt to purchase. What's that you say? You can make ice cream without a machine? Thanks, I think I will!
OXO sent me some of their tools to try. Tools that are just right for ice cream making. Oh, all right!
In hindsight, of course, I don't know what took me so long since it's quite easy to make. And the flavor choice was obviously easy. The cheesecake version I'd had was plain but, being the one making it also means being able to customize it. As it happens, my friend Jo-Anne was over for a visit recently and brought me a cheesecake. I froze the leftover cake but decided to chop a bit of it up into the ice cream for a little texture. I also especially love blueberry cheesecake because the fruit gives a nice tang to cut the richness. Hmm. I quite like this customizing business. Enjoy!
2 Cups blueberries
3 Tablespoons sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
8 oz. Cream cheese
14 oz. Sweetened condensed milk
2 Cups heavy cream
1 Teaspoon cheesecake extract (vanilla is fine, too)
Pinch of salt
2 Slices baked cheesecake, roughly chopped into 1/2" pieces (optional)
Add the cream cheese and condensed milk to a large bowl and, using a stand or hand mixer, blend until smooth. Add the extract, salt and heavy cream and continue beating for about 5 minutes or until soft peaks form. Fold in the cheesecake pieces, if using. Pour half the mixture into a freezer safe container with a tight fitting lid (I used this one), add the blueberry spread and top with the remaining ice cream base. Using a butter knife, gently swirl the mixture. Cover and freeze for at least 6 hours. Allow to soften slightly before serving. Makes approximately 12 half cup servings.
OXO provided me with the tools to help make the ice cream but the recipe and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands and products I love and regularly use in my kitchen.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
If you've recently noticed fewer salad greens in your local market, it may very well be my fault. The way I've been buying massive quantities of all sorts of lettuces could have contributed to a nationwide shortage. What's my sudden passion for romaine and butterhead? To scoop us this dressing, of course, and shovel it into my mouth. The next option would be a spoon.
Magnolia Days blog. She posted a recipe for a tomato vinaigrette and my life hasn't been the same since. I tried her original recipe first and instantly knew that tomato dressing was going to be a regular thing in my house. But I do like to tinker and on one of my many shopping trips for tomatoes and lettuce, I spotted these yellow heirloom beauties. Roasted for extra flavor, creamy, because I like creamy dressings, slightly sweet, slightly tangy and I had that perfect oomph to create a lettuce panic among farmers.
I will warn you about one thing. As you make this, do not, whatever you do, taste the roasted tomatoes when you take them out of the oven. Um...you already did, didn't you? And you ate them all standing right there and now you don't have any left for the dressing, right? I'll wait here while you go get some more tomatoes. Maybe get a few extra because you will be making this again and again. Enjoy!
2 Large yellow tomatoes (red is also delicious, just a slightly stronger flavor)
3 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
1/4 Cup milk
1/4 Teaspoon sugar
1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 Large clove garlic, peeled
1 Tablespoon chopped chives
Salt & pepper to taste
Place the garlic in a food processor and pulse until it's chopped finely. Add the roasted tomatoes, remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, mayonnaise, milk, sugar and red wine vinegar. Puree until smooth then season with salt and pepper to taste. Add a bit more milk if you like a runnier consistency. This recipe probably makes 4 servings but, around here, it doesn't!
Monday, July 7, 2014
Today my fellow holiday food bloggers group members and I are celebrating the upcoming Bastille Day. So what is that, exactly, other than an excuse to eat French food? In short, it's the French National Day that commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on July 14th 1790. And we're all about helping the French celebrate this occasion. Here in New York there are actually quite a few celebrations and fairs on Bastille Day so...bring on the French food!
I still remember the first time I had it in a restaurant, many years ago, and it was like nothing I'd ever tasted before. Fruit, caramelized in butter and sugar on top of a moist cake. So good. And what better time than this holiday to finally make it myself and to happily discover that it's not very complicated at all. Enjoy!
1 Stick unsalted butter
1 Cup sugar
1 Pinch salt
2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and sliced
2/3 Cup sugar
6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1/3 Cup sour cream
Zest of 1 lemon
1 Cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 Teaspoon baking powder
1/2 Teaspoon salt
Butter a 9" glass pie pan and arrange the apple slices on the bottom. Pour the butter and sugar mixture over the apples.
In a large bowl, cream together the eggs and 2/3 cup of sugar with a stand or hand mixer. Beat in the 6 tablespoons of butter, sour cream, vanilla and lemon zest. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and slowly incorporate into the wet mixture. Pour the batter evenly over the apples and bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Allow to cool for at least half an hour then place a large plate over the top and invert. If a piece of apple sticks, just ease it out of the pan and place on top. Makes approximately 8 servings.
Check out the other French goodies from my fellow bloggers!
- Apple Tarte Tatin from Hungry Couple
- Chaussons aux Pêches from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Dark Chocolate Lavender Sables from gotta get baked
- Chocolate Cherry Brioche from The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Gougères (Herbed Cheese Puffs) from Crumb
- Mendiant from Cravings of a Lunatic
- Lemon Raspberry Madeleines from Kelly Bakes
- Chocolate Orange Torte from What Smells So Good?
- Cherry Clafoutis from Pineapple and Coconut
- Meyer Lemon Fingerling Potato Salad from Magnolia Days
Thursday, July 3, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
With the July 4th holiday weekend coming up and plenty of summer outdoor entertaining in general, I've been thinking a lot about what desserts to serve. After a meal of grilled meat and starchy sides there's not usually much room left for a heavy cake. And the hot weather begs for something cool. So I find myself scooping out dishes of ice cream but wanting to somehow make it more special.
Häagen-Dazs and, as I kept dipping my spoon into each flavor over and over, I was thinking that I should serve them all and let everybody choose which one they wanted. And that's when the light bulb went on over my head.
I'm obsessed with the combination of salty and sweet so why not make a salty and sweet crust as a base for the gelato. And then I thought I should even go one better and add some salty and sweet crunch right into the gelato. I couldn't wait to try out my idea and it turned out even better than I'd hoped. I used half sized spring-form pans so that I could create a "cake" for each flavor of gelato. They can be made ahead and kept in the freezer until the party and guests can choose a large slice of one flavor or smaller slices of all flavors. Or large slices of all flavors! Whatever works... Enjoy!
1/2 Cup crushed graham crackers
1/2 Cup crushed salty pretzels
1/2 Stick unsalted butter, melted
1 Pint Häagen-Dazs Gelato (your choice of flavor)
Press the crumbs into the bottom and halfway up the sides of a 4" spring-form pan. You should have a couple of tablespoons left over. Spread the leftover mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and place the filled pan next to it. Bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
Remove gelato from the freezer and allow to sit at room temperature for 5 - 10 minutes until slightly softened. Scoop into a bowl and gently fold in the loose baked crumbs. Add the mixed gelato to the baked crust, top with a few more crumbs and freeze for a few hours or overnight. When ready to unmold, run a sharp knife under very hot water for a few minutes and gently run it along the sides of the spring-form pan. Repeat until you've loosened the whole thing and then open the mold. The cake should pop right out. Return to the freezer until ready to serve. Note that I doubled the recipe and made two cakes at the same time but you could also triple or quadruple it to make them all.
New Häagen-Dazs gelato flavors are Caramelized Banana Chip, Pistachio, Tiramisu and Pomegranate Swirl.
Disclosure: I was compensated for creating this recipe but my opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the products I love and use in my kitchen.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Excuse me but where did June go? I mean, didn't it just get here yesterday? I'm sure that each of the bitterly cold winter months lasted at least 8 or 9 weeks so I'm sorry to see how quickly the first of the summer months disappeared. But, the lovely outdoor weather hasn't gone to waste and I'm taking every opportunity to be outside. OK, I spend some time in my kitchen and then go outside. And that has resulted in some pretty amazing new recipes. Before we head back outside, though, let's take a look back at the good eats and drinks of June. Enjoy!
Friday, June 27, 2014
This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Lipton, but all my opinions are my own. #bemoretea #pmedia http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
When I think of cooling, refreshing summer drinks I think of iced tea and lemonade. OK, I also think of frozen daiquiris but we'll discuss that another time. Rum aside, there are usually beverage pitchers in my refrigerator, in various stages of steeping and cooling, so that I can have my favorite drinks handy. As for the Keurig brewer, I've never paid it much attention since I'm not the coffee drinker in this house. That is, until I recently discovered that Lipton makes K-Cups of iced tea for the Keurig. Um...what?
Lipton makes a variety of iced tea flavors including my beloved lemonade. Yup. Perfectly tart and sweet and it can be brewed right over ice for my immediate enjoyment.
Lipton Iced Tea Lemonade K-Cup
Handful of blueberries
Slices of lemon
A few sprigs of fresh mint
You can find Lipton K-Cups in stores and online at nationwide retailers in flavors such as Iced Tea Lemonade,
Classic Unsweetened and Refresh Sweet Tea
For more information on Lipton® Iced Tea K-Cup® packs visit http://www.liptonT.com, http://facebook.com/LiptonUS or http://twitter.com/Lipton
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
This treat actually came about through circumstance and accident. Over the weekend I met an old friend for brunch and stopped into a large gourmet market near the restaurant on my way home. I'd already noticed that the local fruit vendors had figs for sale but they were too soft and wilted. This market, however, had firm and perfectly ripe figs for sale and I couldn't resist buying them. But now that I had them, I wasn't sure what to do with them.
I've been meaning to try yogurt in a cake for a long time but hadn't gotten to it yet. So maybe having the full fat stuff was a sign I should finally bake a yogurt cake. The question of what kind of cake answered itself pretty quickly with a glance at the fresh figs and this became a very delicious accident and circumstance. And my verdict on baking with yogurt? Moist, tender...I may never bake without it ever again. Enjoy!
1 Cup sugar
1 Stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 Container (approx. 7 oz.) Greek style yogurt
Zest of 1 lemon
2 Cups all purpose flour
2 Teaspoons baking powder
1 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of ground ginger
3 Fresh figs, quartered
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, ginger and cinnamon. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet until all the flour is incorporated. Butter and flour a loaf pan (add parchment paper for easy removal) and pour in the batter.
Place the quartered figs along the top of the batter and press in slightly until only the tops are showing. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for approximately 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Dust with powdered sugar before serving. Makes 10 servings.