Desserts


Gaye’s choice for this week was DESSERT!  We haven’t made dessert with Ellie in a while and that’s a shame because her’s are tasty AND healthy!!

I chose to make the Rustic Pear Tart.   Mainly because it’s easy but also because The Man does love pears. 

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This tart is super easy because you make the whole wheat crust and just fill it and fold it up around the pears.  No pie plate.  No trimming.  No patching.

Ellie suggested 3 medium pears but I had some canned pears from the orchard and chose to use those instead.  I had canned them with very little sugar but I cut down on the brown sugar from 3 Tbl to 2 Tbl just in case.  I had also canned some pears with cinnamon but figured I would use the plain instead.  The filling also has cinnamon, cornstarch, brown sugar and lemon juice. I forgot the lemon juice, but….ah, well!!  The tart is brushed with a mix of honey and water after baking to give it a nice sweet taste.

The recipe is from Ellie’s Comfort Food Fix  {page 284} but you can also find it HERE!

Check out more desserts on Divine Desserts at Eating with Ellie.

Curry, any kind of curry, is comfort food to me.  And even though it is 87 degrees out today {UGH!} this was just too good to pass up.

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I did make a couple of changes to the recipe:

  • The recipe calls for Spanish Pardina lentils, I only had brown {YUCK!} in the pantry.   I will use yellow next time.
  • I used two heaping teaspoons of Curry powder rather than the 1 teaspoon Keller called for.  I LIKE the flavor strong!
  • I made mine more of a stew and only used 4 cups chicken stock rather than 8.

You can find the recipe on page 121 of ad hoc at home, but I also found it HERE.

Of course, because I was making this soup/stew I also had to make the curry powder itself.  A foodie friend sent me a jar of curry powder and then sent me the recipe, which I subsequently lost. I never knew where it the recipe came from until…..

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…I found it again – in ad hoc. {page 336}  I was so happy. Now I have a jar in the pantry ready to use.  There are 20 different spices in this mix,

  • allspice, anise, bay leaf, brown mustard seeds, cardamom, cinnamon stick, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, nutmeg, mace, black peppercorns, ginger, star anise, yellow mustard seeds, turmeric, paprika, flaky sea salt. {The only thing I didn’t have in the pantry was mace but since it is very similar to nutmeg in flavor, only stronger, I subbed in 1/2 nutmeg and 1/2 ground allspice.}

some whole some already ground,  and worth all the trouble to make it.  It is much more fragrant and tastier than what you can buy and the recipe makes about 1 cup of powder.

Okay,that ‘s the last recipe from ad hoc at home.  This has been fun this month cooking with Thomas Keller.  Next month I will be gone mostly so I’ll be back in June with……?

“I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

I don’t bake nearly as much as I used to.  It used to be once-a-week.  Now, it’s about…well, it’s once in a while.  And when I do I try to use less sugar.  We aren’t getting any younger and it is harder and harder to ‘work off’ the sweet treats.

But every once in a while we really want something sweet.  Last week we really wanted something so I made Keller’s Cheesecake – using Splenda and Stevia.  This week it is chocolate as in…

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BROWNIES!

Keller says brownies remind him of family, comfort, and childhood.  I feel the same way.  Mom used to make brownies.  They were always a treat.  ALWAYS!

I made these using Splenda and Stevia as well.  Instead of 1 3/4 cup sugar I used an equal amount of Splenda and ADDED about 1/4 tsp of bulk Stevia.  INTENSE chocolate flavor (1 cup cocoa), just sweet enough, and very little guilt. Well, as little as you can have with 3 STICKS BUTTER!!.

The recipe is from Keller’s ad hoc at home. {page 303} Also found it on Pretty Simple Sweet.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

The other day I visited with Heather.  It was her fault that I just sat down because she did just invite me to “Join us, Pull up a Chair“. And since she was my ‘assignment’ for SRC I knew she wouldn’t mind a long visit.  Because it was.  It took a while to find the recipes I wanted to make.  Not because I couldn’t find anything but because I found lots of things to chose from.  But I had to narrow it down – a lot – from the 15 recipes I Pinned.

But I did!

I started with dessert.  I mean, why not?

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Oatmeal Cream Pies.

With a maple cream filling.  No need to make any changes here.  Except when I went to pull out my treasured jug of REAL GOOD Maple syrup, it wasn’t there!  Bother!  So I added some coconut to the cream filling.   Still tasty!  The Man ate all of them.

After enjoying a sweet treat we moved on to a tasty supper.

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I do love pizza.  With lots of cheese.  The more melty the better.  I don’t love crust, not because I don’t love bread, but I don’t need the carbs.  So when I saw Heather’s LOW CARB PIZZA CASSEROLE I knew I had to try it.  All the joys of pizza WITHOUT the crust.  Altho’ I did kinda miss the crust to sop up the juicy goodness in the bottom.  What we have here is mushrooms, Italian seasoning, Mozzarella, and sausage baked in a lovely tomato sauce.  The only change I made was to leave off the turkey pepperoni.  Not a fan.  Definitely a repeat for lunch!

I have two MAJOR fave foods.  A good steak.  Anything with Shrimp. And I also like easy dishes.  This one is basically made in one skillet.  Just one.  Not lots of pots and pans to clean up with this one.  That’s a good thing with these long days and late cooking. So for dinner:

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Shrimp Orzo Skillet

…which is just as good as it sounds.  I have two MAJOR fave foods.  A good steak.  Anything with Shrimp. And I also like easy dishes.  This one is basically made in one skillet.  Just one.  Not lots of pots and pans to clean up with this one.  That’s a good thing with these long days and late cooking.  The only change I made – instead of just salt and pepper mixed with the sugar to cook the shrimp I added some Creole seasoning to add some heat!  YUM!!

I’m definitely coming back for Heather’s Upside Down Sausage and ‘hroom Pizza, her Quinoa Mac & Cheese, and her Mad Hatter Salad when I have more than two people to feed.  And THEN after I had my choices and was writing she goes and adds  Slow Cooker Au Gratin Potatoes.  **SIGH** so add those to the list as well.  {She may have a longer visit than she anticipated. :) } And…. the Baked Zucchini Fries just might be on the menu tonight!  And maybe the Apple Pie Empanadas  for dessert?

For more Secret Recipe Treats check out       !

Hard to believe it is already March 18th.  I am constantly astounded at how quickly time goes by.  Seems like just yesterday I received my ‘assignment’ for The Secret Recipe Club and now it already time to post about it.  This month I cooked with Sarah.  She is the cook/baker and mother of three adorable kitties who blogs over at The Pajama Chef.  Lucky for her husband she  loves to try out new dishes and he becomes her sous chef.

As usual I found more recipes than I had time to make.  For some reason I gravitated toward sides and sweets this month so that is what I went with.

First the veggies:  How about Baked Cauli-Tots Two Ways

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Cauliflower is one of my favorite veggies.  As a child I only ate three – cauliflower, broccoli, and corn. And the only way I would eat the cauliflower was with cheese.  Times haven’t changed much except this time the recipe is different.  Shredded cauliflower baked with herbs and cheese.  Good Stuff!!  I made mine in mini cupcake tins and they were perfect bites.

And then two sweets.  The Man has been asking for something to eat with lunch.  Just a little bite of something sweet.

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How about Peanut Butter Sandwich Cookies and not just any filling but dulce de leche – Caramel!  Yep, made from Sweetened Condensed milk.  Cooked until it is thick and super sweet.  Fortunately I keep several cans in the pantry already to use.  While she empties the can into a double boiler and cooks it until it is very thick I have always just cooked 3 – 4 cans in boiling water so I always have some.  These are very sweet and one or two are all you need to satisfy that sweet tooth.  I don’t think I will make just plain cookies again.

One night I needed something just for the two of us.  Something that would be gone in one night.  Sarah’s Twice Baked Apple Crisps were just the thing.  They were good, but the crisp just would not cooperate for me.  So we had Baked Apples in Sauce.  :(.

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I don’t know what happened here.  But it was still good, especially with a little whipped cream.  Sarah suggested ice cream and that would have been so much better.

Next on my list:

Butternut squash and quinoa salad

Stovetop Mac and Cheese with Broccoli

Sausage Pepper Penne”

Amish Cheeseburger Soup

and lots more….. I’ll be going back to visit Sarah because I know I will want to make more of her dishes. Too good to pass up.

Please visit the rest of Group C and see what they cooked up this month.

If you want to join in the fun visit The Secret Recipe Club to find out how.

Thank goodness for leap year 2016!  It means one more day of February and one more day to add another recipe from Perelman’s Smitten Kitchen cookbook.  I knew I wanted to make one more dish but I was going to be gone all weekend.  As luck would have it I came home a little early and in time to cook again with Deb.

While I was out of town I visited my fave Vietnamese grocery and found a huge, HUGE, bag of fresh oyster mushrooms.  I always love browsing in  Vinh Phat Market.  So many wonderful flavors and spices and noodles and other foods that I cannot find in Podunk, USA.

While I had planned to make the eggplant and three cheese calzone these ‘shrooms swayed me toward the tart instead.

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For the crust:

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold and cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 large egg
For the filling:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, thinly sliced {I used 1/4 of a medium yellow onion.}
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound assorted wild mushrooms (such as shiitake or oyster), torn into small pieces*
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup freshly grated Provolone cheese  {Gruyere would be good here, too.}
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Crust:  Put  the flour, cornmeal and salt to the bowl of a food processor. Add in the butter. Pulse until the butter is the size of tiny peas. Add the egg and process until the dough starts to clump together (it will look like wet sand). Dump the dough onto a floured surface and use your hands to bring it together. Roll out the dough to a 12-inch circle Transfer the dough to a 9-inch tart pan and press the dough against the bottom and sides. Remove the excess dough from the top. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet and put in the freezer until firm, about 30 minutes.  By doing this you don’t need to prebake and the crust will not be soggy.

Filling:  set a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and butter. When the butter is melted, add the shallots. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 to 3 minutes, until soft. Add in the garlic and thyme and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Increase the heat to medium high and add in the mushrooms (if the mushrooms won’t all fit in your skillet, add as many as you can and as they cook down you’ll be able to add more to the pan). Cook for about 9 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and the liquid has evaporated. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt and pepper (to taste). Transfer to a plate to cool.

In a medium bowl, add the mascarpone. Slowly pour in the milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the eggs. Add in the Provolone and Parmesan and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Add in the cooled mushrooms and mix to combine.

Carefully pour the mixture into the tart shell. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until slightly puffed and lightly golden brown on the top (if you insert the tip of a small knife into the center, it should not release any wet custard). Let the tart cool for at least 10 minutes before removing from the pan to serve. Serve warm or at room temperature.  (Better at room temp rather than just out of the oven.)

I made two changes.  After coming home from the store I realized I had forgotten the Mascarpone.  I didn’t really want to drive to the store again so I found a substitute recipe for it (especially since I only needed 1/4 cup).  It worked surprisingly well. I also couldn’t find grated Provolone so I simply lined the tart crust with slices of Provolone.  Still lots of flavor in each bite. And there was melted cheese on the bottom.

This was SOOO good.  Lots of flavor in the filling.  I think when I make it again I will add some Parmesan to the crust as well.  Or maybe some Asiago.  Or some Romano.  The crust was kind of bland.  But I liked the extra texture the cornmeal added.  I think adding some cheese would simply enhance the flavor of the overall tart.  If you love ‘shrooms you really need to make this!

I made the whole amount of the recipe and had enough for the rectangular tart and a 4″ mini.

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Thanks to Cook Book Countdown I have made 4 more of Deb’s recipes.  Now, about the other 15….

The recipe is from Smitten Kitchen by deb Perelman  (page 95).  I also found the recipe on line at cook nourish bliss.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2) Foray.

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Phyllo Dough is NOT my friend.  Really NOT my friend! It’s not the phyllo’s fault.  I just have had trouble working with it.  I think it’s because my phyllo had been in my freezer too long.  Some of it was dried out, some of it was doughy.  I think I just need to work with some fresh phyllo.  That being said I won’t hesitate to use it whenever it makes a good dessert better.  Flakier.  Lighter.  Like these turnovers from Ellie.

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Apples, cranberries, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg.  All cooked together.  Making my house smell sooooo good.  And so were the turnovers.

The only change I made was to use some pears I canned this summer instead of the apples. The Man does love pears and since I was making these for him….. Served warm with some vanilla ice cream, YES PLEASE!!

And… AND… only 200 calories each!!

The recipe is on page 294 of Ellie’s The Food You Crave and I found it on the FoodNetwork as well.

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