More times than not, time is not on our side. We are pulled in so many different directions that our head spins, and we are hanging on to our sanity by our fingertips. As a culturally Jewish woman, and lover of cooking, you would think I would have made chicken soup, a.k.a Jewish Penicillin, my whole life. But no, I’ve avoided making my own chicken soup or stock until the last couple of years since it always felt like such a large undertaking, messy and time consuming. And most days, I simply don’t have the time or energy for that kind of nonsense.Continue reading
Waste Not Want Not; My mother has ingrained that in me. It’s taken a while to stick, but now that I’m older and hopefully wiser, I realize the importance of this saying as it can really pertain to anything but especially to food.
After my Easter brunch for twenty-seven on Sunday, I ended up with an entire extra package of Hawaiian Rolls. They went on to my office to make their encore performance with the leftover ham, but to no avail, those twelve persistent rolls came back to me unscathed.Continue reading
If life gives you lemons, I say pucker up sister. Skip the lemonade, and just figure out how to live with a little tartness. In my case, life gave me grapefruits and oranges from a friend’s neighbor’s tree. Yes, life in sunny (HA!) So Cal often bestows citrus-y delights. Another reason to love California.
Parsnips in CAKE?! Did I catch you pondering this title and shaking your head? Parsnips happen to be glorious in cake silly reader, and they are in season and pair amazingly well with fresh ginger and cinnamon so your shock and dismay are inappropriate at best.
Pretend you are playing the TV game show, $100,000 Pyramid. What is the category of the following items?
—“Snoring dog at my feet, drooling dog begging at my lap, the sneeze of my office mate three offices to my right and footsteps in a house full of sleeping people.”
The road to he!! is paved with good intentions. That’s what my grandmother used to tell me now and then. Perhaps it was a hint. Basically, it means that individuals may do bad things even though they intend the results to be good. I look back and think, maybe I was a little bit of a wild card then. I sure hope so. I really haven’t sowed any wild oats in the last 30 years or so—unless you count this Irish Whiskey Bread Pudding.
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Is it just too dang cold to go outside wherever you are? Me too.
I won’t tell you where I am because then you would know that I am a big baby. I’ve seen the news; I know that many of you have been snowed in something terrible. It’s been horrible out there in so many places, and I think the best thing you could do for yourself at this point is make soup. Continue reading
I have thrown my Santa Hat into the ring and have entered the LA Times Cookies Bake Off! My original recipe, Orange and Rosemary Dark Chocolate Chip Cookies need your votes so please go to the LA Times Contest and vote for them. Let me know in the comments section here that you’ve voted, and I’ll choose one RANDOM voter to ship my cookies to on December 4 after the voting has ended. I will faithfully put all voters into the said Santa Hat and draw a name. I’ll contact you via email to get your shipping address. Happy Baking to All and to All a Good Week! 🙂 —-Geni
Gluten-Free Orange and Rosemary Infused Chocolate Chip Cookies
This a Sweet and Crumby original recipe.
Makes about 24 cookies.
2 c. Gluten-Free flour blend (mine is in my GF tab)
1 t. baking soda
1 t. xanthan or guar gum if it is not already included in your GF flour blend
3/4 t. salt
3/4 c. or 1 and 1/2 sticks of just barely softened butter
1 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 c. light brown sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
1 t. orange extract
1 T. orange zest, grated
1 T. rosemary, finely chopped
1 c. dark chocolate chips
To make the cookies: Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, xanthan or guar gum and salt. In a separate bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat on medium speed and cream together butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla, orange zest, orange extract and rosemary. Add flour mixture to butter mixture, and beat on medium speed. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine. Drop onto prepared pan using a small ice cream scoop, separating them by two inches. Spray a little nonstick coating on your hand and lightly press down on each ball of dough.
Bake sheets one at a time for 15 minutes or until the edges are golden but centers are still soft. Let cool 10 minutes if you can wait that long! Enjoy!
My heirloom tomato tart and I have sort of a love hate relationship going on. It is delicious, ridiculously simple to make and looks like a million bucks…see?
It is a truly dependable and spectacular tasting tart so why the animosity you may wonder. Well…I am getting very suspicious that the invitations I am receiving to various dinners and parties are actually an invitation for that little tart of a tart you see there.
When someone invites me over for dinner or any social occasion, usually, the first thing that pops out of my mouth is, “What can I bring?” It’s the way I was brought up, and if you must know the truth, I am a bit of a show-off when it comes to my food. I like to put on that humble appearance of, “You do like that?! Thank you! I just threw it together.” When in reality, I am thinking, “JACKPOT…that was the perfect dish to bring here…Nailed it!!!”
In the good old days, I used to have to toil over what I should bring. Will it be a decadent chocolate cake or a savory dish? But now-a-days, the inviter usually politely and slyly adds,” Would you mind bringing your fantastic tomato tart with you?” See how that clever person first compliments me? She knows me well I’m thinking. Flattery gets you EVERYWHERE around here! And just as she suspects, I answer, “Of course!”
At first, I was the tart’s biggest fan. I was introduced to it at a lovely cooking school in La Canada, CA called Chez Cherie. Cherie, herself, the lively instructor and energetic entrepreneur, demonstrated it and then proceeded to let us taste it fresh out of the oven. As it baked, we were taunted by the heavenly aroma permeating her store. It was love at first bite if you must know the truth. The slightly sharp Gruyere, coupled with the bright and summery sweet tomatoes, all tucked into a flaky crust was almost too much. I could have eaten the whole pie myself if I were there alone, but I wasn’t so we had to share.
Later that night, recipes in tow, I was thinking of how soon I could get myself to the nearest Trader Joe’s where Cherie had mentioned they had a lovely box of reasonably priced heirlooms awaiting me. My book club was coming over that weekend and I was dying to make this tart for them. I went to my local Joes the very next day and to my dismay….yes dismay…I almost teared up…there were no heirlooms to be found. I called around to three more Joes and finally found myself driving back to La Canada to their Trader Joe’s where indeed they were awaiting me.
Purple, orange, red and yellow…all beauties. They were prettier than any box of gems or bunch of flowers if you ask me. I raced home and made my tart. It was everything I had dreamed of all night.
Well it has been almost two years since I first came upon this tomato tart, and I have made it dozens of times by now. Its dance card has been filled up, then started anew and then filled up again. The tart, unlike me, always comes to the party dressed to the nines, in perfect form and gets compliments lavished upon it where ever it goes. Yes, the ugly green monster has taken over—I am jealous of my tart as it so appropriately is named. I guess I am OK for now since it can’t leave the house without me as its chauffeur. I hope you can reign in your tomato tart better than I have!
Heirloom Tomato Tart
Taken directly from Chez Cherie Cooking School in La Canada CA
Pie Dough for a 9″ tart , store bought or homemade works fine (click the link to my Lemon Meringue Pie which includes the plain and perfect pie crust recipe and how-to).
2 t. Dijon mustard
1 c. grated Gruyere cheese
2-3 heirloom tomatoes, sliced (I used 5 small ones)
sprinkle of salt and pepper
2 t. dried herbes de provence(or equal parts dried oregano and thyme and a pinch of rosemary, basil and sage mixed together in a small bowl and then sprinkled over the tomatoes)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll the pie dough out large enough to fit the tart pan (or pie pan if that’s what you have), and line the pan with the dough. Poke the dough all over the bottom and sides with the tines of a fork, gently please…don’t take out your aggressions on this lovely tart dough. Cover the dough with parchment paper or aluminum foil and place pie weights, raw beans or raw rice inside (to weight the pastry down). Place the tart pan in the oven and bake 12 minutes. Carefully remove the parchment and weights and return the tart pan to the oven for 8 minutes.
Remove from the oven and spread the mustard over the cooked crust. Scatter the grated cheese over the pastry, and arrange the tomato slices on top. Season with salt, pepper and the herbs de provence or herb mixture and return to the oven for 15 minutes, until tomatoes are “relaxed” and tart smells fabulous. Let cool for five minutes and then remove from the pan. Slice in wedges to serve. It’s totally irresistible warm.
You WILL love me for this post. I guarantee it. But, will you also hate me? That I am not sure but I certainly hope not. The problem is that this tomato jam and these cheddar biscuits are glorious and once you make them, you may crave them every day for a very long time.