Thanks, I hope the recipe works for you! Let me know how it goes, I’d love to hear feedback :)
The word ‘tapenade’ always sounded a little bourgeois to me, but DAMN do I enjoy a good tapenade.
I don’t know why I’ve never tried to make this in the past, but I’ll definitely be bringing this somewhere with a nice bottle of wine.
Mediterranean Goat Cheese Tapenade
What You’ll Need:
3 oz plain goat cheese
20 Kalamata olives, pitted
5 pieces (halves) sun-dried tomatoes
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 cup basil leaves (or 1 tbsp pesto)
1 french baguette
The rough estimates I give above are based on a ‘medium’ sized serving. I imagine that this could feed about 6-10 people. I made a smaller portion for myself, but the proportions should be about the same.
First I put the kalamata olives and garlic in the food processor and pulse until well chopped.
Add in the sun dried tomatoes and basil and blend until the mixture resembles a paste.
I like to add a little touch of olive oil before adding in the goat cheese. There are a lot of strong flavors in this recipe so it’s best to add a little of the goat cheese at a time until the flavor is just right.
I brushed some olive oil on pieces of french bread and placed in the oven at 425 for 10 minutes. When the bread is lightly toasted, remove from the oven and spread a thin layer of the tapenade on the toast. YUMMMM.
The flavor is very strong, but it is absolutely delicious. You can use the tapenade for a variety of things, the spread on a sandwich, a topping for pasta (when combined with olive oil), on crackers, on toast. It’s very versatile.
I love the mediterranean flavors, but blended together it’s not the most beautiful thing in the world. Garnished with a couple of cherry tomatoes and a few leaves a basil can solve that prolbem.
I learned a frosting technique meant to look sort of like a hydrangea. There’s still room for improvement, but this is a really cool textured frosting.
More often than not I act like a senior citizen, but my recent love for flax seed and The Golden Girls has kind of pushed me over the edge. My birthday is in a couple of weeks and I’m starting to feel like I’ll be 23 going on 53.
For some reason I’ve been on a pancake kick for the past few weeks and decided to beef up my usual pancake recipe. I added some flax seed and oatmeal to my usual recipe to give these pancakes a little bit more texture and flavor. Senior citizen approved.
Old People Pancakes
What You’ll Need:
3/4 cup milk
3 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp white sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup oatmeal
4 tbsp flax seed
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
I never seem to have buttermilk in the house, so I almost always combine milk and vinegar as a substitute. I think it is a healthier option as well. Combine the milk and vinegar and set aside for it to curdle (yuck).
Mix the egg, brown sugar, white sugar, salt, and cinnamon together. When the milk is ready (I usually let it stand for at least 5 minutes), whisk this into the mixture. Add in the flax seed, oatmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and finally, flour to finish it off. Whisk this together well.
I find that it’s best to let the mixture sit for a few minutes before I actually cook the pancakes. Vinegar is a strange substance, the batter will change consistency the longer it sits. I usually put away everything that I used and load up my dishwasher—that’s a perfect amount of time to wait.
Heat up a large skillet and cook your pancakes. Because the flax seed and the oatmeal make the batter a bit thicker, they take slightly longer than usual to cook.
I like to eat mine with bananas or strawberries and just a small amount of syrup. Trader Joe’s makes the best syrup EVER. It sort of tastes like restaurant syrup, and it’s equally as bad for you. The sweet flavor makes it very easy to only use a small amount, so that’s the saving grace.
YUM. I guess you could call these healthy? Maybe ‘hearty’ is the right word. In any case it fills me up for hours, so it’s got to be sort of good.
In case you were curious: This recipe makes 6 pancakes, each 119 calories and 3 grams of fat.
I haven’t posted pictures of my cat in a long time, so here’s a plethora :) He loves the sunshine and he’s been basking in it as much as possible. We also got a new couch where he has claimed many spots as his own.
In any case he’s fun :) Had a check up yesterday and fortunately all was well.
Awwwww he’s so cute
I was asked to make a cake for a bridal shower a few weeks ago. I have to say..not too shabby!!
So, I’m a bit of a Starbucks fiend which I’m not exactly sure if I’m proud to say or sad to say…all I know is that I have an app to pay for it on my phone and may or may not need a twelve step program to get me to move away from my caramel macchiato.
One of my favorite seasonal treats that they have in the pastry window (or Drooler’s Row, as I like to call it) is the Chocolate Cinnamon Bread. They have it mostly during the winter time, but I’m pretty sure it’s not definitively a holiday food. In any case, I get happy when it pops back up—so naturally, I decided to look up the recipe.
Starbucks is delightful and posts many of their recipes on their website, so I gave this one a shot.
Starbucks Chocolate Cinnamon Bread (via Starbucks.com)
What You’ll Need:
1 1/2 cups butter
3 cups sugar (plus extra for topping)
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cups cocoa
1 tbsp cinnamon (plus extra for topping)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
This recipe makes a LOT of bread, in my opinion. I used a pan from Wilton that holds four mini loaves of batter and when I make this full recipe it makes about 6 or 7 breads. It’s great if you need to make a lot for a party, want to eat your feelings, or you always have the option of freezing some (this is usually what I do…when I’m not eating my feelings).
Using an electric mixer I beat the butter, sugar, and eggs until fluffy. Add in the buttermilk (slowly, keep mixing), vanilla, cocoa powder, and salt. The mixture may seem kind of thin, with the cocoa powder not necessarily mixing as nicely as you’d like, but by adding the flour this will thicken it and allow you make sure that the cocoa is mixed nicely.
Preheat the oven for 350 degrees, grease and flour the bread pans and pour the batter in. I like to mix together about an extra 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2 tbsp cinnamon to sprinkle on top of the batter.
Be fairly generous with the topping, it makes for sort of a nice ‘crust’.
Bake for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. I love this bread because it has this great fudge-y texture, but it can make it trickier to determine if the breads are done. The toothpick is always the fail-proof method, though.
SUPER yummy, and hell of a lot cheaper than buying a slice from Starbucks, but it’s just about as good.
I’ve never been a huge fan of warmer weather. I mean, the freezing cold and gloom does get old by March, but if it never got any warmer than 60 degrees I’d be a happy camper.
One thing that spring does welcome is fruity desserts. When you’re wrapped up in two sweaters and some slipper socks, a lemon tart doesn’t seem like the dessert that will just hit the spot. Fortunately, we’ve all started shedding our layers and I’ve pulled out my tart pans. Dig in.
Lemon Curd Tart
What You’ll Need:
For the crust:
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
4 lemons (juice & zest)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/8 tsp salt
This is yet another recipe where I rely on my food processor to do half of the work for me. It’s magical. I start by adding the cold butter into the food processor, cut into about 1/2 tablespoon wedges. After that I add the sugar and flour and grind the ingredients just long enough that the butter is roughly mixed in. Finally, add in the vanilla, salt, egg and mix until the dough starts to sort of form into a ball.
Tart crust is tricky, much trickier than pie crust—as it is a much stickier dough. So you’re not going to have the easiest time forming it and rolling it out. Have a little patience, and it’s definitely do-able.
After you’ve rolled out the crust place it in a tart pan, forming it and cutting off any excess dough on the edges. In a perfect world I would have pie weights, but a piece of tin foil with a generous amount of beans placed on top will do the trick. This lets the crust cook without having it bubble or raise too much in the middle. Cook at 350 degrees until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Aft this is complete, set it aside to cool and begin working on the curd.
(I’m not a fan of the word ‘curd’. It sounds very gross unless the word ‘cheese’ is in front of it. All the same, lemon curd is delicious).
Use the zest of four lemons prior to juicing them. This should collect quite a bit of lemon juice, so if you’re running into smaller lemons feel free to increase the quantity. After I’ve taken care of the lemons I add the sugar, butter, and salt. At this point, whisking in the eggs will complete the mixture.
It doesn’t look very pretty, but after you heat it on the stove top for about 15 minutes on medium, it will thicken and tastes delicious.
Pour over the pie crust and let it set for 30-45 minutes. I find that I prefer lemon tarts slightly on the cold side, so I choose to refrigerate it briefly.
A lemon tart is great as is, but I always prefer a berry with lemon. I chose to grind up some blackberries with about 1/4 cup sugar to sweeten it. If you’re feeling extra ambitious it would be worth cooking the pureed berry mixture and de-seeding by passing the mixture through a sieve.
However, I was feeling far too lazy.
Not to toot my own horn, but when I first tasted this tart I almost cried because it tasted exactly like a tart that I ate in Paris. I think I even posted about it when I was abroad, I was so happy with that tart. Needless to say, I was fairly pleased with how this recipe turned out.
I just saw your recipe for blue velvet cake and I cannot wait to try it! :) Looks awesome!