Gruyere, Mushroom & Caramelized Onion Puff Pastry Tart

3 12 2016

puff-pastry-bitesThis year for Thanksgiving, I delegated more than usual. Typically I love to do most of the cooking but that said, we had two households of grandparents joining us and they all like to contribute too.

I smoked a turkey breast outside, blue cheese mashed potatoes and pretty much that was going to be it. Feeling restless that that was all I was going to do, I needed to find an appetizer, something interesting that I hadn’t done before but also, something that wasn’t going to take a ton of time or space in the oven.

Through searching around, I found something very similar to this puff pastry tart. It was super easy, the prep being able to be done the day before (important in holiday cooking land) and only take a total of about 25 minutes the next day.

Hope you enjoy my version. I can see this being adapted a thousand different ways so this might just be my master recipe that I’ll alter just about every time I make them from now on. Read the rest of this entry »





Bloody Mary Mix From Scratch

5 11 2016

20161105_110841This summer was a strange one in our garden. The early spring was really wet so it was hard to get outside and get the garden boxes cleaned out. Then later when the weather was good, we were busy every weekend (yeah big surprise there). Finally, Fathers Day weekend, we finally got around to planting a few things. Tomatoes, poblano peppers, etc.

That’s super late to expect an epic harvest but the plants really took off so I was hopeful. Fruit set, the annual volunteer cherry tomatoes started feeding us all (yeah the dogs have learned to pick the low ones and munch away), the San Marzano and Russian Pink heirloom plants looked good and I thought maybe, just maybe, I’d still be able to make some tomato sauce to can.

Fast forward to October, a ton of green tomatoes, some ripe and weather of the wet and cold variety was on it’s way. I gathered the family up and got help picking every last tomato. Certainly not enough to make sauce, too many to eat fresh before they turn. What is a boy to do?

Bloody Mary mix of course. I’d be wanting to do this forever but never took the time. Today was the day. Here’s the process I took. I canned mine in a water bath but you could also refrigerate it and use it within a few weeks.

20161001_123124The first step was to make tomato juice. This is easy enough. I put them all in a large sauce pan, added just a little water, put the stove on medium and put the lid on. I came back in about 20 minutes and they had started to break down. I gave it another 15 minutes or so then brought out the food mill to remove the seeds and skins and there we had it, tomato juice. If you want to skip this step completely and buy tomato juice you certainly can but you know that garden fresh stuff is the best.

The recipe below is scaled for each three cups of tomato juice you have, multiply as needed (do the math before you drink too much). Read the rest of this entry »





Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs – Electric Pressure Cooker

24 04 2016

Hard-Boiled-EggsOne thing I haven’t typically done on this blog is to post really basic things but today I can’t help myself. There are a thousand “tips” out there for making perfect hard boiled eggs. Some kinda work, others don’t. Some say don’t use farm fresh eggs, others say you can. Here’s the one thing I know now, the pressure cooker makes PERFECT hard boiled eggs, easiest to peel that I’ve ever made and in no time at all.

I’m going to be posting several recipes in the coming weeks using the new electric pressure cooker toy but for now, here’s a perfect egg for your enjoyment. Read the rest of this entry »





Thai Red Curry and Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

17 01 2016

Thai Butternut Squash SoupOn Saturday mornings, I’m a bit of a creature of habit. Get that first cup of coffee poured and go sit down for a little quiet time in front of the computer. Might be Facebook or Pinterest, catching up on sports or recipe blogs, etc.

Yesterday I looked to my right and was reminded that we have quite a few butternut squash left from last summers garden. I popped up Pinterest and started looking around. I don’t know how many of you like that site but one of my favorite features is once you’re looking at a pin that interests you, there are magically related pins listed under it. The subjects meander around a bit but it tends to be where I find inspiration. That’s just what happened. I was looking around for a variation on the ginger-curry soup that I like to make with our butternut squash and one of those related posts was for a very traditional Thai red curry. It had nothing to do with squash, just a soup recipe. I read that and thought that I could come up with a good fusion of the two. Here’s what I came up with last night. I only used 6 ingredients but I think it might be one of my best creations so far. Read the rest of this entry »





Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta

1 01 2016

20151011_180732This one is a little different. I’m all about butternut roasted in salads or made in to a great curry soup, even as a filling in a ravioli but I’ve never seen the squash BE the sauce. To give credit where credit is due, Katie found this recipe. I think I actually made it the same day she sent it to me. We grow butternut in the garden every year and this year was a VERY good year for that particular plant, in fact we still have 8-9 of them wintering right now to use throughout the cold months. Alright, enough yammering, on to the recipe. Read the rest of this entry »





My Personal Roasted Tomato Sauce

19 09 2015

20150829_154721Late summer, it’s all about tomatoes. To see how many you can eat, how many ways you can use them, how many can you save for the chilly parts of the year when they are horrible in the store. Once you finish off the big slicers for BLT’s, the cherry tomatoes for snacking and salads (or you could be adventurous and pickle those, click here to check that out), it’s time for all those paste tomatoes to get ripe, sauce time! Here’s the thing, there are 100 ways to make sauce, for pizza, pasta, salsa…it can go on and on and on. I make one basic sauce, it’s much easier to adjust seasonings at the time of use than to make separate batches.

Here’s the rest of the short list of ingredients. Read the rest of this entry »





The Best Garlic Dill Pickles – Adventures in Pickling Vol. 5

23 05 2015

Dill Pickles

Dill pickles. So basic, so easy, so addictive. So almost gone, at least the batches I made last summer. I have one jar left from my inaugural year of adventures in pickling and I’m not ready. It’ll months before I’ll be able to duplicate those super hot days in the kitchen in late summer, with batch after batch going in to the water bath canner.

Matt, one of my best friends in the world, has said several times now that he thinks I’m close to beating his favorite purchased dill pickles. I’d say that I’m ahead as these ones are free to him but whatever. Gotta keep trying to beat back the corporate giant and make the perfect pickle.

There really isn’t much in the way of ingredients or process here but this is the recipe that I use. Enjoy. Read the rest of this entry »








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