endive stuffed with goat cheese, blood orange, and walnuts

Endive Stuffed with Goat Cheese, Blood Orange, and Walnuts

I was first introduced to this light and refreshing appetizer about ten years ago (thanks, Auntie R), and I have been making it ever since. The stuffed endives look elegant, and they are a breeze to make. They’re perfect to serve at dinner parties since all the components may be prepped ahead of time and then quickly assembled right before guests arrive.

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mushroom and sun-dried tomato bruschetta

We Americans often think that bruschetta is the mixture of tomatoes, garlic, and basil on a slice of toasted bread. Bruschetta, from the Italian word bruscare, meaning to toast or burn, actually refers to the thick slices of grilled bread. Often served as a snack or appetizer, bruschetta is traditionally prepared by rubbing the bread with garlic and drizzling it with olive oil before toasting it over hot coals.  Then the bread is topped with a simple mixture of tomatoes and fresh herbs.  It is an easy way to showcase the excellent quality of freshly-pressed olive oil as well as a way to preserve bread that is beginning to get stale.

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french-style zucchini olive cake

I was looking for a new recipe to try using the last of my homegrown zucchini, and I found this from one of my favorite food blogs, The Kitchn.  It is actually a recipe for a cake salé, the French term for a savory cake, using kalamata olives, grated zucchini, and tangy goat cheese.  Many French households have their favorite variation which is often served at picnics, potlucks, and parties, where it is usually served as an appetizer with a glass of wine or Champagne. Continue reading

gougères with goat cheese and chives

Chives are one of the easiest herbs to grow, and are a staple in my herb garden. They are hardy perennial plants from the same family as onions, leeks, and garlic. They grow in clumps with narrow, hollow leaves that reach about 6 to 12 inches in height.  In the spring, they produce a mass of beautiful, globe-shaped violet blossoms which, I learned recently, are also edible. I planted a couple of small plants about three years ago, and, since then, I’ve been spoiled with an abundant supply of chives all year round.

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meyer lemons: pasta with lemon, olive oil, and goat cheese

The meyer lemon is a key ingredient in this easy, yet delicious pasta dish. In less than 30 minutes and with only a few ingredients, you can make this totally satisfying meal.  It is another versatile dish that can be served simply as is with a side salad or a piece of bread, or dressed up with some chicken breast, grilled shrimp or salmon.  Lemon thyme, parsley, or basil would also make great additions to this pasta, not only for added flavor, but for color, as well.  The meyer lemon, less acidic and sweeter than regular lemons, shines through and brightens the flavor of this no-cook sauce and the goat cheese adds a tanginess as well as creaminess.  This recipe is a good one for me to have in my repertoire of quick and easy meals since it’s a good one to make especially after a long day at work and what feels like an even longer commute home.  It really can’t get any easier that this to prepare a home-cooked meal.

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goat cheese polenta with caramelized onions, bacon and honey

Goat Cheese Polenta with Caramelized Onions, Bacon, and HoneyI was very excited to make this recipe when I found it on Food 52.  It was named the runner-up polenta recipe in last year ‘s Your Best Polenta Recipe Contest! on the Food 52 website.  The recipe remains very popular today with over 17,000 views. In the comments section, there are many posts from readers who had actually made the dish and raved about it.  With all that build-up and anticipation, I was very disappointed to be underwhelmed by this dish.  The sum of all the delicious individual parts should have been much greater than what it actually was. Maybe I did something wrong?  I’m not sure.  How could so many people give this high praise when I thought the dish as a whole was just so-so.   Continue reading

polenta tart with goat cheese and slow roasted tomatoes

polenta tart with goat cheese and slow roasted tomatoes | daisysworld.net
One of the things I really like about blogging is interacting with people who share my interest in and passion for food.  I follow many food blogs to gain inspiration and to learn from other cooks and bakers.  For example, the idea of combining polenta and tomatoes came from a fellow blogger, Lizzy, who shared with me her recipe for soft polenta and tomatoes.  I would have never thought of that pairing on my own. Polenta, which is made from ground corn, is a very versatile ingredient. It can be served soft, like a porridge, or firm, usually cut into slices. Polenta can be served plain or with added ingredients like herbs and cheeses. I recently discovered that it could also be used to make crusts for tarts.  I ran across this recipe for polenta tart with goat cheese and tomatoes from the Whole Foods Market website and I knew that this would be perfect with slow roasted tomatoes. Continue reading

zucchini blossoms

I love it when things work out!

Last weekend, Chris went camping and I was home alone.  I was too lazy to go to the grocery store, so I decided that I would make do all weekend with whatever food was already in the house. So for dinner that Friday, I had bacon, eggs and rice.  I love breakfast for dinner.  I sat in front of the television all night, watching the two Sex and the City movies.  FUN!!!  Not so fun was what happened on Saturday morning.  I turned on my computer and after a couple of seconds, the flashing folder with a question mark appeared.  Hhhhmm!  I’m home alone and no internet.  Bummer!!!  I’m still too lazy to go to the store so I’m determined to eat whatever is in the fridge or pantry.  I moped around for a bit and then went outside to check on my garden.  Lo and behold…overnight, the little zucchini plants have produced a whole bunch of blossoms.

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