Thursday, October 7, 2010

Caprese Puff Pastry Torte Love

How could one not go gaga over the simple purity of Caprese Salad ingredients at the peak of in-season goodness...all wrapped up in puff pastry??? Then again, I like pretty much anything wrapped in puff pastry.
After seeing a similar idea my darlin' niece made & posted on Facebook,
I sent my husband out to get some tomatoes from our local farm stand & then over to my sister's to raid her herb garden.
I defrosted a sheet of frozen puff pastry dough (Pepperidge Farm) & spread it with a mixture I concocted with a few tablespoons of mayonnaise (I only use regular Hellmans), mixed with some grated Asiago cheese, a little garlic powder & a few dashes of dried thyme, kosher salt & pepper. I put a very thin layer of this on the center of the dough, leaving an unadorned border roughly 3" wide. After slicing the tomatoes for the torte, I pushed out all the seeds & juicy center parts & blot them with paper towels to keep the tart from being too watery. I then layered in the sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil over the mayo mixture. Pull the plain edges of dough up over the filling & pinch slightly together to form a nice free-form tart.
Bake it at 400 degrees until the tart is golden..somewhere around 20 minutes, but watch carefully near the end so as not to over-brown it.
Allow it to cool slightly before digging in or it'll run all over the place.
Drizzle with some of your favorite Extra Virgin Olive Oil & sprinkle with a little more crunchy kosher salt to serve...and prepare to go gagaaaa.

I must add that I'd like you to take note of the very lovely serving utensil used here. It's one that my husband Phil upcycled using a piece of fallen branch from our replace a drab & ordinary handle. We sell similar items in our new Etsy shop. Check it out at!

We're listening to Sonya Kitchell today. Do ya know her? This 21 year old singer-songwriter from Northampton, Mass. is a favorite of mine. Her gutsy breathy soulful vocals sound like someone much older than her years. She's hard to pin down to one specific genre ~ Blues, Rock, Folk, Jazz, Soul...she runs the gamut. Check out her album "This Storm". I'm lovin' the track "Who Knows After All".

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Country Fair ~ Feast for the Senses

I hadn't been to a real country fair in years & felt as if I'd taken a step back in time. If nothing else, a country fair is a real feast for the senses. The aroma of fried dough and bushels of apples, combined with the scents of farm animals & trampled hay brought back memories in a rush, for this was the fair I grew up going to as a kid.

Every where I turned was a treat for the eyes. The people watching alone was worth the visit. Yes, there were plenty of campy trinkets and over-priced foods. But the special place these scenes hold in my memory raise them up to a place that bring smiles and satisfaction to a beautiful end of summer day.

The song for today is Keb Mo's cover of "Family Affair" from his album "Big Wide Grin".

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Rainy August Sunday

A rainy August Sunday is as good a day as any to birth a blog. I have no regrets over not being outside enjoying the dwindling summer days. I can sit here tapping at the keys or sit and string multitudes of beads to knit into yet another bracelet; all the while relishing the luscious aroma of a HUGE pot of homemade spaghetti sauce and meatballs bubbling away on the stove. I can't take credit today for the sauce pot. That goes to a husband who loves to cook as much as I do. How great is that? Life's simple pleasures...working with the hands to make something beautiful, music, food and family all in one place on a rainy afternoon. These are the things that provide contentment & satisfaction.

Music is a fundamental component of a day such as this. Mark Knopfler's "The Ragpicker's Dream" is playing as I type (check out the song "The Place Where We Used To Live").