Friday, August 18, 2017

Grape and Pear Galette

Pies are my favorite.  Easy pies are even more my favorite. And this rustic grape pear galette is EASY. I love coming up with a new pie recipe but I have been out of pie creating commission for a year. Just a little over a year ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer and frankly I have had very limited energy to think up a new recipe much less even bake. For about 6 months all food tasted weird or not at all as I went through chemo. I am in remission now but suffering from some back issues. So, when I picked up these pretty little green grapes from the farmer's market and they along with my pears started to be a little ripe -- as in the grapes may have started to smell like a winery -- I decided I would make an easy galette for Sunday dessert. 

So this little galette is a HUGE milestone for me. I haven't touched my blog forever. But I am on my way back to normal and that means coming up with a new pie/tart/galette recipe. 

I didn't try to make it pretty. Hence the rustic. But it looks kind of beautiful to me and there are only 5 ingredients because I used a puff pastry. The ingredients are not measured exactly. 

It turned out absolutely delicious. I couldn't even get a pic before we ate half the galette. 


1 puff pastry slightly rolled out 
1 1/2 Cups green grapes sliced in half
2 anjou pears thinly sliced
1/4 cup apricot jam
2 TBS water
egg beaten -- optional


Preheat oven to 425.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper and place puff pastry on parchment paper. 
Mix apricot jam and water till fully combined. 
Place pears and grapes in a bowl with jam mixture and gently coat pear and grapes.
Mound pears and grapes in center of puff pastry with about a two inch space around the edges.
Fold pastry up over edges of fruit. 
Brush with mixed egg if desired. 
Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. 
Serve warm. 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Baked Lemon Swai Fish

It has been a long long time since I posted. Let's just leave it at that and move onto this delicious light summer dish.

Several months ago I discovered Swai fish in my freezer section. I love fish. But I live in landlocked Utah and fresh, affordable fish is a little outside my budget. But this fish makes a regular appearance on my table. My family loves it. My pocketbook loves it and I want to share some recipes for this very buttery tasting white fish that I have been proselytizing to every one I know.

I need to have a recipe or two that I can share with my converts or soon to be converts. I purchase this fish in a bag of 4 fillets. ( I buy two bags for one meal). Each fillet is individually shrink wrapped and so this makes a perfect purchase for those cooking for one or two. The bag costs me around $4. The fillets are small. Seriously so cheap for fish and it is full of flavor no matter how you cook it up.

Now, to be fair, Swai is at the center of a global fish war dubbed "The Catfish Wars." I know fish is such a controversial subject so, here is a great article on Swai as well as "The Catfish Wars." I will let you judge for yourself. There are plenty of additional resources at the bottom of the article.

I for one feel that any bad press may be merely propaganda in an all out trade war.There is plenty of evidence to prove that Swai is safe and comes from well vetted sources if you are buying from a trusted supplier. There is also plenty of evidence that points towards the U.S. catfish industry using scare tactics to protect its interests. For now I am going to keep eating this delicious fish. It is simple to cook and brings a healthy alternative to red meat to my table.

Here is one version of Swai.
This recipe can easily be altered per serving. (That is why I love it).

8 thawed Swai fillets
Olive Oil ( I used an herb infused olive oil)
Seasoning mix. I used Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute (that stuff is amazing on everything)
1/2 lemon thinly sliced.
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.

Lay frozen fillets on parchment lined cookie sheet.
Drizzle with olive oil.
Sprinkle with seasoning mix. (I left the seasoning mix off a couple of fillets for my daughter who is allergic to cayenne pepper which is in the seasoning mix I use. It still tastes great.
Sprinkle with Asiago cheese.
Lay lemon slices on top of each fillet.

Bake 14 to 18 minutes. Fish will be done when it's opaque and flakes easily with a fork.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Peach Frosty Lemonade

My husband says I go through weird addictions. He may be right.
This peach frosty lemonade is my latest craze. It is the best nonfat summer treat. I have been making some every night. Plus, it is easy. It is kind of a cheater gourmet lemonade, which is important because I tried making some for just myself but pretty soon I was making  1.5 quarts each night. I felt guilty not sharing.

My secret weapon: An immersion blender. I love that thing. Everyone needs one. You can use a blender but I like the immersion blender because I can mix it up right in my cup or my pitcher.

1.5 Quart  Peach Frosty Lemonade

Put ingredients  in this order into 2 quart pitcher.

2 cups crushed ice.
Pink Country Time lemonade mix (enough measured for 2 quarts)
1\2 Cup frozen peaches
3 TB Torani peach syrup
2 Cups cold water

Use immersion blender or blender to mix until frothy on top and all peach chunks are gone.

Sip outside in the hammock( or on  the DIY pallet bed) and watch the sun set. 

Sunday, May 18, 2014

French Apple Tart

This may be my favorite thing I have made all year. 
My husband's office has an international dinner twice a year. I paid tribute to my French heritage and my love for pies and tarts with an international delicacy layered in flavor.  It is ridiculous how many pie and tart pans I have. They need to be filled with French apple tarts or French apple pear tarts once a week. Delicious.

Every good tart has its secrets. Mine happens to be my hubby who can perfectly slice apples the same thickness. Nice and thin every time. I have issues with consistency. 
He has patience for this kind of thing.

But that is just one of the secrets. I made my own variation for this classic French dessert. I traded out brandy for Torani peach syrup ( the syrup you use to make Italian sodas.). I also made a second tart with alternating layers of anjou pear and granny smith apples. 

Apple Tart or Tarte de Pommes
1 puff pastry sheet, thawed
2 TB butter or dairy fee option, melted
2TB honey
1 TB Torani peach syrup
4 granny smith apples, peeled and thinly sized 1/8 To 1/4 inch thick or half Apple and pear
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp sugar
2 TB apricot jam
1 TB water

1. Preheat oven to 425℉
2. Roll out thawed pastry dough Slightly until about 10 inches in diameter.
3. Place in greased tart pan or from a more rustic tart cut into a 10 inch circle and place on parchment paper on a cookie sheet. Remove excess pastry.
4. Poke pastry sheet with fork.
5. Layer apple slices in slightly overlapping circles.
6. Brush Apple's with melted butter.
7. Combine honey, vanilla and peach syrup. Brush on apples.
8. Sprinkle tart with sugar.
9. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes then reduce heat tho 400 and bake for about 30 minutes until browned.
10. Combine water and apricot jam to make glaze. Brush glaze onto finished tart.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lemon Garlic Asparagus Shrimp Skillet

It has been a while.
I have been MIA.
For six months in fact.

I got a full time job and on top of another part time job, family and 3 big nonprofit events I have not had time to blog. In fact, I have barely had time to cook (or breathe). I am learning to breathe and cook again. But my meals have to be fast and easy. We are already eating at 8 pm a lot of nights.

Life has been a huge adjustment over the past 6 months. HUGE! But I am ready to blog a little again. And it took spring time and my favorite veggie to get me back to my food blog. I am feeling especially inspired by asparagus.

So here is a little something fast -- 15 minutes of fast delicious and almost from scratch -- featuring my fave veggie right now.

This was so delicious. I wish there were leftovers. I served it over some couscous that was flavored with garlic and olive oil.

One little side note: I will cut the asparagus into smaller pieces next time.

Lemon Garlic Asparagus Shrimp

1 LB precooked frozen shrimp (This makes it even faster and easier
1 TB of coconut oil (or olive oil)
2 minced cloves of garlic
1 TB of lemon juice
1/2 Cup of mushrooms cut into chunks
1 bundle of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-3 inch pieces.
Kosher salt to taste. I used at least a 1/2 tsp.
Shredded parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat coconut oil in skillet over medium high heat.
Saute garlic for 30 seconds in skillet.
Add asaparagus, mushrooms, salt and lemon juice.. Stir to coat. Cook covered for 5 minutes.
Add frozen shrimp and cook for another 3-5 minutes or until asparagus is desired tenderness and shrimp is heated through.

Top with parmesan cheese if desired. Serve over couscous.

Simple, elegant, fast. Right up my alley. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Cranberry Almond Granola

So good, gone in less than a day. 
In an effort to be an awesome mom that makes after school snacks for her kids every once in a while, I decided to make a delish Pecan Peanut Butter Granola found at Chocolate, Chocolate and More. 

Simple ingredients that came straight from my pantry -- it is an amazing recipe. Fast and addicting.  I decided I wanted another version of this tasty recipe and I definitely wanted MORE. I doubled her recipe and changed it up a little. Check out her original Pecan Peanut Butter Granola and then make a batch of this tasty Cranberry Almond Granola version. Half of my family liked the Pecan Peanut Butter better, while the other half liked the Cranberry Almond. Luckily, it is easy to make this recipe and so it was easy to make two versions for the kiddos that literally ate up all of both granola versions by the next day. 

Awesome mom for the day goal achieved. 
Cranberry Almond Granola
Feel free to double (I wish I had made more)
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 Cup slivered or chopped almonds ( I don't suggest the sliced almonds)
  • 1/2 Cup of dried cranberries. 
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine peanut butter and honey in a  bowl and microwave about 20 seconds, until peanut butter melts. Stir to combine.
  3. Stir in cinnamon and vanilla. 
  4. Add oats and dried cranberries and almonds and stir until completely coated with peanut butter mixture.
  5. Spread out on prepared cookie sheet. Bake for 10-15 minutes until granola starts to brown.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool completely to allow to harden. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Cranberry Chocolate Pie and the Humble Pie Cookbook

Happy Dance! Happy Dance!

Photo by Ali Eisenach of Lemon Poppy Inc.

My sweet friend Ali Eisenach, who happens to be an amazing photographer and cookbook author just told me today she is going to use my recipe for Chocolate Cranberry Pie in her upcoming cookbook Humble Pie coming out this October. I am beyond giddy at the photo she took (see it above) that is thousands of times better than my original photo. Plus, I already have a copy of the cookbook reserved. I reserved it during her kickstarter campaign that ended up funding. I am just happy that she was able to find cranberries at this time of year so she could taste test and photograph this pie recipe I came up with last year. I love to create a new pie recipe each year. What shall I do this year?

For all of you Utah readers, Ali is a regular contributor on Studio 5. She and her fun pie party idea she had this summer are also featured in the fall issue of Elan magazine available on shelves or available to download online today. There may be a few sneak peaks of pie recipes in this article (I know because I wrote the article). Go love Ali's Lemon Poppy facebook page here

I made the original recipe as mini pies but the recipe works just as well for a full pie.

Cranberry Chocolate Mini Pies

Cranberry Chocolate Mini Pies
Makes 12 mini pies or one 9 inch pie 

12 mini graham cracker pie crusts or 1 graham cracker crust (I actually bought the pre-made crusts that come 6 to a pack. But you can make your own as well.)

1 Bag Fresh Cranberries
1 1/2 Cups of Sugar
1/4 Cup flour
zest from 1 orange
1 1/2 TB of cocoa powder

Nutella (about 12 Tsp)

Streusel Topping
1/2 Cup chopped pecans
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1/4 Cup flour
1 tsp shortening

Create streusel by mixing finely chopped pecans with brown sugar and flour. Cut in shortening with a fork.

Pie Directions:
Heat oven to 375 degrees. 

Chop cranberries ( I used a food processor) and add sugar, flour, zest and cocoa. Pulse in food processor to mix together.

Spread a tsp of Nutella into each graham crust or slather it on to a full pie crust. Top with about 1/4 cup of cranberry filling for mini pies or fill just to rim on a full pie. Top each pie with streusel. 

Place pies on foil lined baking sheet and bake 20-30 minutes or until topping is golden brown and filling is cooked. 

Let cool. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Slow Cooker Fresh Tomato Soup

It is true, I consider myself simpatico with all things tomato. I love fresh tomatoes straight from the garden and I love things made with fresh tomatoes. However, I have never loved tomato soup. Ever! Until this week, that is.

My poor husband loves tomato soup but I never make it since my kids and I have never been fans. I decided I had deprived the poor guy long enough and so I promised to make up some tomato soup and freeze the leftovers for him for late night snacks and sick days. I thought there would be lots of leftovers because I have never liked tomato soup.

Turns out I can change. At least when the recipe calls for fresh tomatoes. I loved this soup and it was so easy to make. Double tomato soup bonus points. I came up with this recipe by combining bits and pieces of several other recipes.

And that is how a new recipe is born. There were fewer leftovers than planned.

Slow Cooker Tomato Soup

 6 -8 servings

7 to 8 fresh garden tomatoes (I used a combination of San Marzano paste tomatoes and other slicing tomatoes.)

1 medium white onion chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1 carrot chopped
1 celery rib chopped
1 TB brown sugar
1 Tsp dried basil
1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp paprika
2 TB tomato paste
1 1/2 cans or appx. 2 cups of chicken stock.

shredded Parmesan cheese

Chop and quarter tomatoes. I also removed most of the seeds.
Add all ingredients except milk  and Parmesan cheese to slow cooker.
Cook on low for 4 hours.
After done cooking, use an immersion blender or blender to blend tomato mixture until smooth and frothy.
To create a creamier soup add about 2 TB of milk to each bowl of soup and top with shredded Parmesan cheese.


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