We are coming to the end of asparagus season, but you may be able to get one more use in - and I recommend this one. An asparagus flavored custard with goat cheese and Gruyere, tucked inside a flaky puff pastry shell? Yes, please!
This Martha Stewart recipe uses the stalks and tips separately. The stalks get pureed into the custard, and the tips decorate the top of the tart.
The custard is made with asparagus, eggs, cream, and flour (I altered the recipe based on comments - adding more flour to help it set up).
The custard goes into a pre-baked shell, then the cheeses are sprinkled on top, followed by the asparagus tips.
The texture is gorgeous and the asparagus is definitely the star of the show. Yum, yum, yum - get out there and grab the last of the asparagus!
I have been dying to make this pie ever since I discovered the recipe last summer, sadly too late for strawberry season. I love the combination of sour cream and fruit - really, REALLY love it. One of my favorite pies ever is this creme fraiche and peach pie that you know I will be making as soon as peaches are in season.
The filling is so easy it's almost silly, but before we get to that I want to talk about this crust. This crust! First of all, can we acknowledge that that is the prettiest crust I have ever made? She's improving, ladies and gentlemen! Part of that is due to how easy this crust is to work with. I had thought I discovered the secret to good crust two years ago with Martha Stewart's half butter, half shortening pate brisee - BUT, then I discovered this recipe with butter and lard. Lard, folks, is the bomb. Why have I never used it before?! After all, shortening is just pretending to be lard - so why not go with the real stuff? The texture, the taste, the ease of rolling it out even when it's cold - *sigh*. Please tell me you will make this. Seriously, go make it right now.
About a month ago I got really excited about juicing after watching a documentary called "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead." The man in the film goes on a 2 month long juice fast, which I was definitely not prepared to do. I wasn't even prepared to do the more standard 7-10 day juice fast. But I did like the idea of using juices to consume large quantities of raw vegetables in a more palatable manner. So I bought a ton of veggies and went to work.
I started with a recipe from the doc's website and added a little to it, using carrots, bell pepper, apple, ginger, golden beet, fennel, and mango.
Gorgeous color! I used too much ginger, though, it had quite a kick.
My junior year of college I studied abroad in Galway, Ireland. Well - not so much studied as occasionally stopped by classes. It was an amazing semester and really cemented my love of everything Irish - culture, music, food, beer. So even though St Paddy's isn't as big a deal in Ireland as it is here, I wanted to celebrate it in honor of the time I spent there. And how do I celebrate holidays? Dinner party! So I loaded up a playlist with Flogging Molly, Young Dubliners, and The Corrs, and prepared to have some good craic.
For the main course - Corned Beef with Colcannon (mashed potatoes with cabbage). The great thing about this is that you can throw all the veg into the pot with the beef and let it all cook together - easy! So I started by putting carrots, celery, potatoes, and an onion into the bottom of the pot.
Mmm - veggies. They can be rough chopped in big pieces because they will be discarded (except for the potatoes). Since I was having people over I ended up doing two briskets - one in the slow cooker and one in a cast iron Dutch oven. Same process, different cooking times.
I laid the corned beef on top of the veggies, pickling spices included. You should be able to find corned beef vacuum packed with pickling spices in your grocery store, especially around St Paddy's. I cut the cabbage into wedges and put them on top/to the side of the beef. That is half of a head in the picture, the other half went into the Dutch oven with the other brisket.
We are finally getting into some Spring weather here but I am way behind on my posts, so I'm sorry if the cold weather stuff drags on a bit! I actually made this Pumpkin Cream Cheese Loaf all the way back in October - yikes! Put it uses canned pumpkin, so you can make it whenever that is available. I found this recipe through Pinterest which advertized only 500 calories for a WHOLE LOAF!(!!!) Oh-em-gee! Can it be true? Delicious and healthy? The unicorn of pumpkin loafs?!
Okay, I wouldn't really call it healthy. It's low calorie and low fat due to the use of low-fat cream cheese, egg whites vs whole eggs, and applesauce vs oil. And it uses half fake sugar and half real sugar, but I'd still call that a sugary snack.
As for deliciousness? I'd call it okay. You can definitely taste the fake sugar and it isn't as dense and luxurious as the real thing, but it's a pretty good substitute. So all-in-all I'm going to call this decent but not amazeballs.
My friend Keerin was coming over to watch Game of Thrones (I'm pretty much obsessed) and I wanted to make some food for us. She is vegan and I do not cook vegan food that much so I was trying to think of what I could make. I knew that I had a bunch of fresh and frozen vegetables, but I didn't want to make something boring. That's when it hit me - we could play with my mini pie machine!
What the heck is a mini pie machine, you ask? It's a fun little electrical device, kind like a panini press - except that it makes adorable personal sized pies! The machine comes with a cutter to cut the perfect size circles for the base and top. You use puff pastry for the tops and you can either use puff pastry or pie dough for the bottom. I am not a big fan of store bought-refrigerated pie dough is general, but it works great for this because it is a bit tougher. All you do is press a circle of dough into the bottom of one of the four wells using a tool that is included, spoon in the filling, lay a circle of dough on top, and close the lid. The pies cook in about 8 minutes - so fast! Because the cooking time is so short, the filling needs to be precooked.
Fear not if you do not have this machine, though (and I assume most people don't because it is silly and extravagant) - You can just fold circles of dough over filling into half moon hand pies and bake them in the oven.
So, because the pies are personal sized and because they cook so quickly - I knew that each of us could play around with filling combinations. I had frozen peas, corn, green beans, spinach, and butternut squash - so I microwaved those to pre-cook them (I cut the green beans into bite-sized pieces). I cut up some carrots and parsnips and microwaved those, and then I drained a can of chick peas (gotta have protein!). I also had some fake beef crumbles and Keerin brought some fake cheese.
I hosted this month at Food 'n Flix and chose Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory for my inspiration (see the announcement post here). One of my favorite childhood movies, Willy Wonka is full of fun, wonder, and tasty looking creations (the snozberries taste like snozberries!) - and what better time for a sugar fest than the holidays?!
I wanted to do a big Christmas dinner, but I didn't want to be in the kitchen all Christmas Day. I also wanted to try something different than the usual rib roast and Yorkshire pudding. So I decided to do dinner on Christmas Eve and to do some easy, low-prep dishes for Brunch on Christmas Day.
I ordered a half fresh ham through Whole Foods to try cooking a Christmas ham for the first time, but I made a few mistakes. I wanted to cook it in the slow cooker with brown sugar and cider to make a glaze, but I didn't realize that "fresh ham" is not really what we consider ham - without the curing or smoke, it is more like a pork roast - so I didn't really get the flavor that I wanted. I also couldn't get the whole thing to fit in my (very large) slow cooker insert, so I had to chop a chunk off - which actually ended up being a good thing because I roasted that piece and it came out better.
In my ever-continuing quest to find healthier foods, I stumbled across this recipe. Cupcakes, that are diet-friendly, in my favorite tropical flavor combo, made with only 5 ingredients! Yeah - these are awesome.
For the cake part, you only need 2 ingredients (only 2!) - cake mix and canned crushed pineapple. That's it! The pineapple takes the place of the eggs and oil making these super low-fat.
When I made ricotta to use for the squash galette, I made a lot of it. I had a whole series of ricotta recipes lined up to try out, and these muffins were one of them. Using up that last batch of summer berries, these muffins are creamy and dense and delicious.