Friday, May 29, 2009

Fiesta Friday

Trader Joe's is one of my favorite places, hands down. Today I stopped in to pick up some cheese including Brie (for making tasty tarts) and Fontina. I can always count on TJ's to give me an excellent price for these specialty items. Trouble is, on my way to check out my compulsive curiosity often takes control! There are just too many unusual items. By the time I got out the door I had some extra things in my reusable bag including: figs, agave nectar, hearty brown rice blends, and sweet corn salsa (BEST CHOICE EVER :) - this ended up being the perfect complement to my black bean veggie burgers piled high with shredded white sharp cheddar and crisp lettuce on whole wheat buns. Fresh garden salads, rice-n-beans, and cold beers made the meal complete. TGIF!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Strawberry Rhubarb + Nutella Raviolli + More Yummy GoOdNEss

It's been a WHILE since my last post. Here's a bit of what I've been up to lately: 

After seeing fresh rhubarb at the grocer I made my first Strawberry Rhubarb Pie adapted from Kate's recipe @ Good Things Catered. I loved how the cinnamon and orange flavors added depth to the cooked strawberries. Sadly I didn't get any photos of my beautiful lattice work before the pie was devoured. Chris and I are house sitting for his parents and my camera was accidentally left at home. 

For Mother's Day Chris and I made a fresh, delicious Lemon Piccata main dish pared with some tasty sides followed by a Smore extravaganza (Chocolate Bark WOnDers!) and Orange Cream Cake

This week...

After picking up some won-ton wrappers at the grocer I'm hoping to make Nutella Ravioli ASAP! :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bon Voyage My Jo

Jo is taking a break from school and headed back to Ohio. We met up for a photo excursion/latte date on Tuesday morning. We *heart* Cafe Ole in Old City! They make a great lattes (foam art included) + they have super tasty sandwiches, and soups, and hummus - oh my!! Their European Grilled Panini is an awesome mix of feta, munster, spinache, and kalamata olives.

Wild Mushroom, Caramelized Onion, Bacon and Herb Tart

Chris and I devoured this last night. I served it with steamed asparagus and baked potato. The complexity of the spices in the tart were well paired with the simplicity of the sides. Next time I may make a smooth potato soup to pair. This recipe came from I made some adaptations including the use of brie instead of Camembert, turkey bacon, and I had only a 4 oz. package of wild mushrooms but this seemed plenty to me.

Enjoy! :)

Wild Mushroom, Caramelized Onion, Bacon and Herb Tart

1/2 recipe pie dough (Pre-made works well in a pinch.)
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
8 oz. wild mushrooms, sliced (I had a 4 oz. container which was plenty for us.)
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
6 strips cooked bacon (I love bacon, used 8 strips of turkey bacon instead)
1 garlic clove
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp herbs de Provence
3 oz. Camembert, diced small (Brie is a great sub if you're not into stinky cheese:)
1 Tbsp beaten egg

-In medium saucepan, over medium low heat, add butter to melt.
-When pan is heated and butter is melted, add onions and stir to combine.
-Cook onions down, stirring occasionally, until beginning to turn golden brown, about 15 minutes.
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line baking sheet with parchment.
-Add mushrooms to onions and cook until browned but not burned, an additional 10 minutes.
-Add balsamic vinegar and stir to combine well.
-Add bacon, garlic, salt, pepper and herbs and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes.
-Remove from heat and set aside.
-Roll out dough to a rough 12" round.
-Place onion mixture in center of dough and spread out evenly, about 1.5" from the edges.
-Scatter Camembert around edges of onion mixture and fold dough edges into tart, pleating for presentation and leaving the center open.
-Brush edges of dough with beaten egg and place in oven to bake.
-Bake tart until edges are golden brown and tart is heated through, about 25-30 minutes.
-Remove from oven and let cool to just warm before cutting and serving.

P.S. Sorry no pics! We keep gobbling things up before I think to take a photo.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


More feathery whimsy at...

Macaroon Goodness

Between Chris and my coworkers these heavenly macaroons were gobbled up at lightning speed!

5 Ingredients :) LOVE IT!

Coconut Macaroons
(From Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Family Style Cookbook :)

Makes about 20 cookies
Time: 35 Minutes

14 oz. sweetened shredded coconut
14 oz. sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 extra-large egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 tsp. kosher salt (or sea salt)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Combine coconut, condensed milk, and vanilla in a large bowl. Whip the egg whites and salt on high speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment until they make medium-firm peaks. Carefully fold in the egg whites into the coconut mixture.

Drop the batter onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper using either a 1 3/4 in. diameter ice cream scoop, or two teaspoons. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. Cool and serve.

These cookies will stay fresh for a few days if they're wrapped well and left at room temperature.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Goodbye Black Cat

One of my absolute favorite West Philly shops is closing, the Black Cat gift shop. So sad! After a tasty dinner at the White Dog Cafe stepping into the Black Cat has always been one of my favorite things. I've found so many exciting quirky gifts there, it will be missed.