Monday, August 25, 2008

What to do with all these Tomatoes

One of my oldest friends Elizabeth has a lovely little garden, and in that lovely little garden, she has lots and lots of tomatoes. Just about all summer she has been graciously offering me tomatoes and other home grown vegetables. And it just so happened to take me until nearly the end of summer to take her up on that offer. The other day I was feeding my addiction on TasteSpotting and come across this blog that had a fantastic and beautiful recipe for a tomato and goat cheese tart. So without a moment's hesitation, I had made plans with Elizabeth to make this lovely tart. 

Tomato and Goat Cheese Tart
adapted from Nami-Nami blog

1 sheet of puff pastry
5 ounces soft and creamy goat cheese
4 teaspoons fresh basil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-4 ripe tomatoes
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Roll out puff pastry dough and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Carefully score a line about 1/2 inch from the edge around the entire pastry, be sure not to cute all the way through! This will help the edges to puff up and keep the filling inside.
Mix the cheese, garlic, chopped basil and salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Spread the mixture evenly over the puff pastry, staying inside the scored lines.
Slice the tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and neatly place them over top the cheese mixture, being sure to stay inside the lines.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
Bake for 35-40 minutes, until pastry is golden and the tomatoes have dried up a bit.
Let sit for about 10 minutes then cut into squares and enjoy!

This was so much fun to make! I'm sure a great deal of it had to do with the fact that I was making this with a close friend, but either way. The ingredients were so simple and fresh, it was hard not to be excited about the outcome. It was such an easy recipe that took very little time to prepare, yet the final product was so elegant. And as for the was wonderful!! Elizabeth and I ended up eating most of it...we just kept going back and cutting off more. I highly, highly recommend trying this recipe.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Just Peachy

Well, as promised, I am still here and just so happened to have an abundance of peaches that desperately needed to be used, and were pretty much begging me to bake them into a pie. But I didn't stop there, not only did I use me some peaches, I also used me some blackberries. And can I just tell you how lovely the marriage between peaches and blackberries is? I'm not sure I really have to, but just in case there are those out there that are slightly unsure...peaches and blackberries were meant to be together. I find peach pie by itself to be slightly on the unexciting side, so tossing in some blackberries really got the party started. 

Using my trusty Joy Of Cooking I found the recipe titled "Any Fruit Pie." Now that's just the best recipe title, because the possibilities are endless!!! I use it quite often.  

Peach Blackberry Pie
Adapted from the Joy Of Cooking

Recipe for a two crust pie dough
3 cups peaches, pealed and sliced (fresh or frozen)
2 cups blackberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2-3/4 cup sugar depending on the sweetness of the fruit
3 tablespoons corn starch
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

Prepare pie dough of choice, let chill.
Combine all ingredients except butter in a large bowl and let sit for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Pour pie filling into rolled out bottom crust and dot pieces of butter all over the top of the filling.
Using your finger or a pastry brush, brush the edge of the pie dough all the way around the dish, to create a sticky surface for the two crusts to attach.
Top with top crust, seal all around and crimp together.
Cut steam vents in the top and bake at 425 degrees for 30 minutes.
After 30 min. reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbly, about 30 minutes more.
Let cool for 2-3 hours before serving to allow the juices in the filling to set.

The above picture is what was left. Need I say more? 

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I'm still here!!

To the few that may still possibly read my blog, have no fear, I am indeed still here. I just got back a few days ago from Montana where my brother lives. I've just been enjoying the last few lazy days of summer before the evilness of school takes over.

This is a picture of the sunset (obviously) on the last day of our stay on this beautiful lake. This is a view from the dock. While this has nothing to do with food, I think it's a wonderful place and seeing this picture just makes you feel good. Food posts to hopefully come soon.