Artwork by Jacob

Artwork by Jacob

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tart

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs
This tart caught my eye when I was watching Ina's show Barefoot Contessa. I was looking for an occasion to make it but I ended up making half a recipe for myself for two lunches. My version looks a bit more rustic than Ina's polished one but still tastes good.

Tart dough was easy enough and needs to chill for at least 30 minutes. Goat cheese is mixed with fresh thyme and lemon zest. I used my food processor to slice my zucchini. I had twice as much zucchini as I needed so I would use less next time. The sliced zucchini is tossed with olive oil then put on the tart. I thought there was enough olive oil on my zucchini so I skipped the additional topping before it goes in the oven. Don't do that, my zucchini dried out during cooking but still edible. I enjoyed this recipe and would make it again.

Recipe available on Barefoot Contessa or Food Network.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Chocolate Creme Caramel

Tuesdays with Dorie
Baking Chez Moi

Chocolate Creme Caramel started our Valentine's week off right. Made with few ingredients to dramatic effect. I had eight inch round ramekins so I ended up with flat creme caramels. I used milk chocolate because that is what I had available. I made one mistake, I forgot to press the cling wrap on the creme so I ended up with a skin which was off putting. To see what others thought head over to Tuesdays with Dorie.

Chocolate Creme Caramel page 362.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Provencal Vegetable Soup (Soupe Au Pistou)

This week at I Heart Cooking Clubs we are making one pot meals. I have been looking forward to making soup and I found a good one.

Ina's recipes are big so I halved the recipe and got four servings. This soup is filled with vegetable goodness; onions, leeks, potatoes, carrots and green beans. They all tasted fresh and crisp. The base is chicken stock and I did not make homemade. The pistou was a great addition and I would not skip it. Made with garlic, tomato paste, basil, Parmesan and olive oil. My pistou was more red than green due to the small basil leaves I used but it still tasted good. This soup reheated well so it is good for leftovers. My husband did not like the spaghetti pieces and would have preferred a different pasta that fit on the spoon better but I didn't mind. I am sure any pasta would work.

Provencal Vegetable Soup (Soupe Au Pistou) page 82 or from FoodNetwork.

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Sebastian’s Remarkably Wonderful Brownies

Tuesdays with Dorie
Dorie's Cookies

I knew these brownies would be a hit in my house because there were no "funny" ingredients added. My family are purest and do not like any nuts or add-ins in their brownies. And of course there is only one way to eat a brownie...

Sebastian’s Remarkably Wonderful Brownies page 30.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Lemon Meringue Tart

How Good Does That Look! This being our theme of the week at I Heart Cooking Clubs. I decided to make this Lemon Meringue Tart from Barefoot In Paris. I had motivation besides the look of this tart. The last time I made a lemon tart the filling did not set up, I wanted to redeem myself.

This tart has three components: the tart shell, lemon filling and meringue. For ease of preparation I made the tart dough and lemon filling the day before.

My first reaction was to make the tart dough I am familiar with but in the spirit of the challenge I made Ina's dough. This dough has water in it which reminds me of pie dough. The dough remained soft even after refrigeration over night. I rolled the dough out between two sheets of parchment paper, my usual method, but this did not work the dough stuck to the paper. I managed to get it off but it was not pretty. I froze the dough prior to baking as that is also my usual method. I baked the shell a total of 30 minutes but I kept the pie weights on longer than Ina's recipe in hope of preventing the dough from falling. It did not work the dough shrank in both directions.

The lemon filling was a snap and came together perfectly. I love recipes that use thermometers. I cooked until the recommended temperature 175 degrees and it was perfectly set.

For the meringue, I should have used pasteurized eggs as I don't think browning them cooks them enough. Ina puts the tart in a 425 degree oven for 3-5 minutes. This loosened up the lemon filling and even when it cooled the filling was still runny. I should have used a blow torch which would have not heated the filling.

The reviews. It tasted great despite all my missteps. I would make it again with my go-to tart dough and using a blow torch for the meringue.
Lemon Meringue Tart page 183 and Food Network.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Orange Almond Tart

Tuesdays with Dorie
Around My French Table

This tart seemed well received by my fellow bakers and bloggers from the now completed French Fridays with Dorie. I joined the group year 3 of 4 so I missed most of the dessert recipes. With an extra Tuesday this month I embarked on completing one of my unfinished recipes. 

Since I was making this tart for family and friends, I decided to complete most of the components the night before; the tart dough, the almond cream and orange segments. All this made for an easy assembly the day of, as Dorie suggest to eat it the same day. Of all the recommendations drying out the oranges over night seemed the best. The dry oranges stayed perfectly on top of the almond cream and did not sink or move while baking.

This tart won rave reviews from my guests. Restaurant worthy was one of the comments. I loved this and thought it was great. I highly recommend this dessert if you have not made it.
Orange Almond Tart page 460.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Crunchy Granola

Tuesdays with Dorie
Baking Chez Moi

My second turn at making granola this month and this time I was more successful. Dorie's detailed and easy to follow recipe made for a great batch of granola. The key for me was adding the sweetened coconut at the end of baking, I added it at the last 10 minutes and it was perfect. This dark brown, crunchy goodness had the perfect balance of oatmeal to nut/seed ratio. It has just the right amount of  sweetness with honey and brown sugar and flavored with vanilla. 

Crunchy Granola page 408.