Friday, September 30, 2011

Make This!

I made the caramelized onion, fig & goat cheese tart again today. Only this time, I made smaller tarts (appetizer size) & left the chevre off until I removed them from the oven. Wow! Even more amazing than last time. This will be my new go-to appetizer anytime I need one. Not only does it come together quickly, but it tastes out of this world!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Make This!

Caramelized onion, fig & goat cheese tart.

Omid found a 2 lb. package of fresh figs at Costco the other day. We could only eat so much. I thought about baking some Fig Newtons (my absolute favorite cookie), but decided to make a savory dish instead. The California Fig Advisory website had several good recipes, & I decided to try their goat cheese tart.

Not so fun fact: I noticed a little too late that the website I was looking at was for 'dried' figs, not fresh figs. So....I have been trying to 'dry' out my figs in the oven to get them ready for the tart. The great thing about figs:they are delicious fresh or dried.

Step one to caramelizing onions: saute in olive oil until soft.

This particular recipe called for basalmic vinegar. We purchase our BV from Navidi's Oils
in downtown Camas. So many wonderful selections of EVOO & BV.
One of my favorite stores downtown. ☺

I used black cherry BV to add to the onions.

Onions, butter, brown sugar & black cherry BV.
I sauteed this mixture for 20-30 minutes until I had a 'jam.'
Fresh figs.
I halved the figs & placed them in a 170* oven for 30 minutes.
170* wasn't hot enough, so I quartered the figs & upped the temperature to 300*.
That got things moving & shaking.
30 more minutes @ 300* did the trick!
I cut a sheet of puff pastry into quarters & added the onion jam.

Next I added the quartered figs & goat cheese.
I baked the tarts in a 375* oven for 20-25 minutes.

These were absolutely-positively delicious! The only thing
I would do differently is add a bit more chevre.

Caramelized Onion, Fig and Goat Cheese Tartlets from the California Fig Advisory Board
From Chef Lia Fallon

• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 2 cups thinly sliced onion
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 2 tablespoons brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
• 4 frozen prepared 4-inch puff pastry tart shells
• 8 fresh California figs, sliced
• 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

In heavy skillet over low heat, heat oil and sauté onions, cooking gently for 10 minutes or until very soft. Add butter, brown sugar and balsamic vinegar; continue to cook over low heat, stirring frequently, for 20 to 30 minutes until onions are very soft, caramelized and jam-like. Cool.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Divide onion mixture among pastry shells; top with sliced figs and crumbled goat cheese. Crimp edges of each tart in about 8 places to make free form; arrange on baking sheet. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or as directed on package, until golden and crisp.

Serves: 4

Make This!

Thank you Joy the Baker for this recipe!

Oh my goodness: if you thought making doughnuts was time consuming & too much work, you were wrong! That's exactly what I used to think. These little doughnuts came together in no time & were very easy to make.

Perfect cake doughnut batter (almost like biscuit dough) with just a hint of nutmeg.

Waiting for the oil to heat to 360* took the most time.

Fry for one minute on each side.

This recipe made 20 doughnuts. There are only 19 in this photo.
I had to do a taste test to make sure they were 'okay.'

The chocolate glaze wasn't bad. I do prefer the chocolate glaze most grocery stores
put on their doughnuts. I am going to ask my bakery contact if it's possible to purchase
a small amount for the next time I make these.

The verdict: better than good!!

Old Fashioned Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze from Joy the Baker
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
pinch of salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
1 large egg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
vegetable oil for frying
In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and sugar.

In a separate small bowl, whisk together yogurt (or sour cream), egg, and melted butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and fold together until well incorporated. The dough will take some smooshing to gather into a dish. It will be like a slightly more moist biscuit dough. Wrap bowl in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to rest for 15 minutes.

Place a candy/fry thermometer in a medium saucepan. Pour oil into the pan until it is about 2-inches deep. Heat oil over medium-low heat.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll dough to a 1/2-inch thickness. Cut doughnuts with a 2 1/2-inch round cutter, and cut a hole with a smaller circle cutter.

When oil reaches 360 degrees F, fry 2 or 3 doughnuts at a time for about 1 minute on each side. Doughnuts will be golden brown. Carefully pull out, drain, and let rest on towel paper.
Chocolate Glaze
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
3 tablespoons milk or water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract.

In a medium bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Slowly stir in milk and vanilla extract. Whisk until silky and smooth. If you need a touch more milk to make this a dippable glaze, add a bit more.

Dip doughnuts in chocolate glaze and let rest to harden slightly.

Doughnuts are best served the day they’re made. They also freeze just fine!

Buy This!

My new obsession: beverage dispensers. I really want one and feel we would use it a lot. I just can't decide on which one to purchase. Costo has one in their warehouse I have been eyeing for a while. I just don't like that the base & spigot are plastic (covered with chrome colored paint). But...the plastic spigot seems to be what most of the dispensers come with.

I like the idea of three different containers. Z Gallerie.

Also from Z Gallerie

Pottery Barn (my favorite so far).

Elegant Tabletop's beehive dispenser.

This is a cute style, but I really like the clear dispensers so guests can see what's inside.
Sur la Table sells little 'content' signs both chalkboard & porcelain style. Very cute!

I like the ginger jar style of this dispenser; but wish it was clear glass.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Make This!!

Rustic Pear Galette!

I found this recipe in today's Oregonian newspaper. I love Tuesdays as that is when FOODday is published. Many of my favorite dishes have been found in FOODday. ☺ Today, FOODday featured pears: one of my favorite fruits. Lucky for us, Omid's parents just delivered a Costco-sized box of pears yesterday. I knew early this morning, that the minute I left work, I was going to bake this galette.

I substituted toasted nuts (hazelnuts in this case) as I didn't have any almond paste. I think I will bake this again with the almond paste next time (I LOVE almond paste!).

Look at the butter pieces in the dough. Butter = ♥

Pears, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt & brown sugar

Dough, pear mixture & toasted hazelnuts.

I love that this dough is just folded & pleated.
No special crimping required on the edges.

Ready for the oven with an a pat of butter, egg wash & raw sugar.

I love the look of raw sugar (even on butter!).

Want more? Click here to see a galette tutorial by David Liebovitz.

Netflix This!!

We watched the movie Inside Job last night. Have you see it? Absolutely disgusting how the CEO's of Lehman Bros., Goldman Sachs, Merryl Lynch behaved several years ago & received no punishment whatsoever yet are rewarded with $400 million dollar (plus) bonuses (which they never had to repay), jobs at prestigious universities & our very own presidential administration.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Get Crafty!

Another fun craft project! I found this one on Craft Gawker. LOVE THIS SITE!!! So many ideas I can use.
The Crafty CPA has a tutorial for these darling typewriter key ABC magnets. So easy & fun for a rainy day.

Photo by The Crafty CPA

Get Crafty!!

Photo by Meg Duerksen

I found this FUN crayon project on Katie Brown's blog. I so want to try this!!!

The step by step instructions (with fun, colorful pics!) are here on Meg Duerksen's blog.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Free Art!

I found this site through A Subtle Revelry.  Feed Your Soul offer's FREE art! 100% of the pictures are adorable! I just have to decide which ones to print. I like the idea A Subtle Revelry had to use the paper as gift wrap. ☺

For now, I will print my favorites & hang them up somewhere (with some inexpensive IKEA frames). Here are my favorites:

Happy Monster

Friendly Swamp Thing


Do Something


Sweet Moon & Stars


Everyone wins

Singing Birds




Buy This!!

I WANT to buy one of these custom pet nose necklaces, but since I only work part time & have a kid in college; I don't have much spare change lying around. But...if I did....I would SO order one!!!

Just look at that kissable nose!♥

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cookbook Club

I found this link on Not Martha today regarding 'cookbook clubs.' Such a fun idea!

Make This!!

I made orange breakfast scones again today. These are so easy!  Make them!!!
I took the pictures with my new camera app for my iPhone.
It's called Pixlromatic & it's free!
Love how Remy got in the shot!
 I also baked two loaves of banana bread. If I don't bake something several times a week, I go nuts!
I love to sprinkle raw sugar on my banana bread (makes for a crunchy crust). ☺
Here is my favorite banana bread recipe. It's my mom's & she got it from McCall's Magazine in the late 60's. Enjoy!

Banana Bread
2.5 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1/4 c butter (melted)
1 egg
3 mashed bananas
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp nutmeg *Not in the original recipe. I added that myself.

Mash bananas & add baking powder, mix well. Next add salt, nutmeg, butter, egg & vanilla. Alternate flour & milk. Pour into a well greased loaf pan. Bake at 350* for one hour. *For a crunchy crust, sprinkle raw sugar on top before baking.

Power of Prayer

ImageChef Word Mosaic -

In February, my friend Sarah give me this tip regarding prayer requests:

"Write a list of huge requests you have for God - things so large that if they came to fruition, you would know they did so only because God intervened. Spend time praying through the list."

I used her advice again this past week and have personally seen results. God is good!!