Archive - Food RSS Feed

Brown Sugar Banana Tarlets

These  banana tarts are so simple to make. They are also versatile because you can use as many or as little banana slices as you want, and you can adjust the spices. I used pumpkin spice for these, but you can use nutmeg, cinnamon, or even a package of vanilla pudding mix.

I didn’t dress these up. In fact I had to quickly snap this shot en route to its waiting customer, there was no time for embellishments. But you could drizzle chocolate, or add a dollop of whipped cream.

This recipe is adapted from a class I took on Friday night at Le Gourmet Depot in Snohomish, WA. It was delicious, and the best part is that I had all of the ingredients waiting for me when I got home. Here you go!



~6 Tb. unsalted butter (or cooking spray, which is what I used)

~6 Tb. brown sugar (add your own spices to it and mix)

~4-5 bananas (depending on how much you like bananas)

~6 puff pastry shells, rolled out slightly

* You’ll need 6 ramekins (or you can use one oven safe skillet)


~Preheat your oven to 400 degrees

~Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet and add cooking spray or butter on sides and bottom

~Sprinkle sugar inside each ramekin to prevent the tartlets from sticking

~Next add the brown sugar. Add more or less depending on how gooey you want these

~Add the sliced bananas in an overlapping pattern

~Next add the puff pastry shell, and tuck in around the bananas

~Brush with milk or egg wash or water for a nice golden brown crust

~Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Invert onto plates, add embellishments and serve

These tartlets would be a perfect “night before Thanksgiving” treat for your family. Enjoy!

Cooking is Fun!

Here is a look at a short video of some favorite dishes. I’m going to start adding video for recipes just because it’s more fun…stay tuned and enjoy the vide0!

A Little Inspiration

Going into a 3-day weekend, some of us need a little inspiration. Hope this helps…

Beef Stew for a stormy day…

Crepes for a sweet snack…

Roasted Veggies…

and a sweet treat…

Holiday Brittle

Over the weekend I was watching the Cooking Channel and Giada was making a super easy Brittle. I decided to make one myself, and added Cranberries and White Chocolate for a holiday look. I call these Harvest or Holiday Brittle.

I have to say that they are SUPER sweet, and my kids have requested that next time I take out the White Chocolate Chips. So what I’m doing with this batch is decorating with them. They last forever, and look so pretty in an antique bowl, cup, or as a centerpiece. It’s really more art than food. Let me know what you put in your brittle, and I would love for you to upload a photo on my Facebook Page!


Spray a half size sheet pan with cooking spray so the brittle won’t stick.

  • 1/2 cup toasted slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup diced apricot
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Splash of vanilla extract


Mix the water, sugar and vanilla extract together in a pot, and set over medium heat.

Hint* Once the sugar and water are thoroughly mixed, do not keep stirring or else the mixture will not caramelize.

Using a pastry brush and a dish of water, dip the brush in the water and scrape down the sides of the pot so the sugar crystals that form can slide down and continue to blend with the mixture. Otherwise you will get large chunks of sugar when you pour the mixture over the ingredients.

Now mix together the almonds, chocolate chips apricots and cranberries. Dump everything out onto the sheet pan and spread everything out.

The sugar and water mixture will take about 15 minutes to caramelize. Keep a watchful eye on it after 10 minutes, because it will start to turn golden brown fairly quickly and you don’t want the brittle to taste burned.

Pour the sugar mixture right onto the sheet pan over all of the other ingredients, and let it sit for 2 hours. Break it up when you are done and taste. The pieces are fun to play with. It’s a great kid craft too.

Mini Lemon Curd Tarts {Recipe}

For weeks I have been making Lemon Curd Tarts for different events with friends. My “go to” recipe is care of the one and only Barefoot Contessa. I’ve adapted this recipe for mini tarts, because I thought these would be more fun to eat, and less messy.

I was excited when these mini tarts arrived from Amazon (click on the image of the mini tarts in the sidebar for more details.) They were smaller than I was expecting, but they worked out perfect for both the mini lemon curd tarts, and the flourless chocolate cake recipe (which I’ll post later this week).

This set comes with 36 tins, and this recipe will make double that. Plus, you can make the lemon curd a few days ahead of time, and just spoon it out onto the tarts when they finish baking.

I will say, that this was a tedious project, and by the time you finish pressing the dough into each of the tins, you’ll be tired of doing it. I suggest grabbing a chair and a friend so you can work and chat.


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • pinch of Kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Mix butter and sugar until combined
  • Then add vanilla
  • In a separate bowl, sift the flour and salt
  • Add sifted ingredients to the butter, sugar, vanilla mixture
  • After everything has been mixed and incorporated, you will have a nice, smooth ball of dough
  • Place dough on a floured surface, and roll to 1/8″. Just eyeball this, you will need to press them into the tins anyway
  • Take a knife, or pastry wheel, and cut flattened dough into 1″ wide strips


  • Place the tins onto a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray to prevent tarts from sticking
  • Take a tin and, depending on the size, cut a piece of dough from your 1″ strips.
  • Take your piece of dough, and lay it inside the tin, and start pressing. The idea is to leave a hollow space for the lemon curd.
  • Once you have all of your tins pressed with dough, put the baking sheet in the oven for about 12-14 minutes. I had to test this with my oven to make sure I didn’t undercook or overcook them. I think it turned out to be around 14 minutes for me.
  • Let them cool for 5 minutes, or until you can handle them without burning your fingers, and gently pop the tarts out of the tins. I used a toothpick to do this, and once I got the hang of it, they popped out just fine.

At this point, you can place your mini tarts in a container and leave overnight, or until you are ready to fill them with the lemon curd.


  • 4 lemons at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  • Zest all 4 lemons with your Microplane, this way the zest stays small
  • Squeeze the lemons to make 1/2 cup of lemon juice, set aside in a measuring cup
  • Mix the sugar and lemon zest together until you can see small flecks of lemon throughout
  • Then add butter
  • Then add eggs one at a time, and only after each is incorporated
  • Then add lemon juice
  • Then add salt
  • Pour this mixture into a pot over low heat. Stir constantly for about 10 minutes, or until thickened.


  • You’ll want to find a serving tray with edges if you want to transport these little goodies anywhere. That way the lemon curd won’t stick to the plastic wrap.
  • Also, once these are assembled you shouldn’t ever refrigerate them. They’ll be fine for a day or two if they last that long!
  • Take a mini tart and fill it with a dollop of lemon curd
  • Once you’ve done this for all 72 tarts…you may want to celebrate
  • Sprinkle powdered sugar over the top of these just before serving
  • Pop one in your mouth
  • Repeat!

I’m sorry that I didn’t get any pictures of these tarts! It turned out to be a busy event and I didn’t have time. I will be making them again soon and will update with more photos. This recipe seems complicated with a lot of steps, but you will be glad you made them, and once you do it the next batch will be easier, plus it is a perfect do-ahead dessert!

Pickled Baby Veggies Crudite

I’m having an event next week, and I’m going to serve these beautiful pickled veggies via Martha Stewart Weddings. Super easy to do!

Mango Fig Clafouti {Recipe}

This is such a easy dessert to prepare and bake, I’m not sure why I don’t do it more often. You can add whatever you have on hand, or whatever is in season.

For this recipe, I chose to combine Mangos and Figs. Figs are one of those beautiful foods I’m trying to get to know, like a new friendship or first date. I’m slightly obsessed with manipulating them into something my family will eat, and enjoy, not just tolerate. I have to confess that this dessert didn’t do the trick, but I enjoyed combining these two flavors, and will probably do it again in a different way: Roasted Figs wrapped in Prosciutto with Mango Chutney. I haven’t made this yet, but it is on queue.

Mango Fig Clafouti (respectfully adapted from Barefoot Contessa’s Pear Clafouti in Barefoot in Paris Pg. 186)

  • 1 Tb. unsalted room-temperature butter
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tb. granulated sugar
  • 3 large room-temperature eggs
  • 6 Tb. flour
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tb. Grand Marnier
  • 1 large mango (cut into slices or chunks) or 2 medium
  • 6 large or 12 small black mission figs

Alert* Make sure to plan ahead. You will have to roast the figs first

Method for Figs

Take each fig and slice in half lengthwise, making sure to cut off the stem. Roast for 20 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Set aside.

Preparing the Dish

If you have a round pie dish, use that. I just used my basic round dish, but it didn’t have the fancy rim, which I like for entertaining. Butter the bottom and sides with the 1 Tb. of butter, then sprinkle with the extra 1 Tb. of sugar to ensure that the clafouti doesn’t stick.

Method for Fruit

Peel and process the mango to your liking. Traditionally, you are supposed to arrange the fruit in a fan-like design at the bottom of the prepared dish, but I think you can do bite size pieces if you want to. Take each fig, cut side down, and make thin slices (probably in thirds), arrange them in the bottom of the dish randomly around the mango. Set aside.

Method for the Batter

In a blender, mix eggs and 1/3 cup sugar together until well incorporated. Then add the rest of the ingredients, and blend until smooth. Set aside for 10 minutes just to let it rest.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Pour the batter over the prepared fruit in the baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes.

You can sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve heated!

Try: Pear, Cherry, Apple

Ginger Turkey Chili {Recipe}

Here is a Turkey Chili with the addition of Ginger to help fight the cold that is making its way around our house. I hope you enjoy!


  • 1 lb. Ground Turkey
  • 1 Tb. Tomato Paste (in the tube)
  • 1 Tb. Cumin
  • 1 tsp. All-purpose Curry Powder (made from a recipe in Spice Bible)
  • 1 tsp. Paprika
  • ~Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 Celery Ribs
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Leek
  • 1 1/8″ Piece of Peeled Ginger
  • 1 Clove Garlic
  • 1 Can Kidney Beans
  • 1 Can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1-2 Cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 Tb. Brown Sugar
  • 1 Bunch Parsley


Brown the Turkey, then add Spices and Tomato Paste. Splash in a bit of Stock just to get the paste and spices going. Once it’s all incorporated, take the meat out and set it aside. Add the chopped Celery, Carrot and Leek to the pot and saute until soft, but not brown. Now, add the meat back in to the pot with the veggies, and add the Beans and Diced Tomato. Grab the Garlic and Ginger and add it to the pot with your Microplane (The microplane minces better than a knife, and eliminates little pieces that might be too strong.) Add the Chicken Stock to your liking (depending on how wet you like your chili), and add the Brown Sugar. Let this simmer over low heat  for about 30 minutes.

Garnish with chopped Parsley and Cheese if you want. Simple and Fast!

Cinnamon Crunch Chicken

Today’s French Fridays with Dorie was one of my favorites. Forget 30-minute meals, this one took half as much time. It was also easy and allowed me to do the two things I try to do each week: 1) Do one small thing (make myself lunch) 2) Try something new (combine Chicken with Creme Fraiche).

Creme Fraiche

It’s a French cultured cream with a consistency like sour cream or yogurt with a better flavor and the ability to be heated without curdling. You can use it to thicken soup, put atop Potatoes with a dollop of Caviar, flavor Beef Stroganoff, and mix with Cinnamon flavored cookies and Chicken like I did for this week’s recipe.

The Recipe

I wish I could give you the recipe, but as part of the French Fridays with Dorie online cooking group, I can only encourage you to join by registering here Please do, it will be so fun to do together.

What I Will Do Differently Next Time

~I will use Butter instead of oil, and measure the porportion of Butter to Chicken to make a better sauce

~ I will use a smaller non-stick pan if I’m only going to 1 breast like I did for my lunch

~ Instead of strips I will probably cut them into chunks

I paired this recipe with the recommended Lemon Steamed Spinach for a tasty lunch. And the Cinnamon cookies added an unexpected flavor profile to the Chicken. I might try to bake it next time. Can’t wait.

Picky Palate Blondies (Brownies)

I can’t take credit for your desire to have a brownie right now. I followed a recipe from one of my favorite food blogs called Picky Palate.

The Picky Palate has a blog filled with original recipes she has developed for her family. Her step by step instructions made it easy to try a new recipe. I’m always trying to find something fun my kids will snack on, and when I saw the original recipe for these blondies (brownies), I couldn’t resist.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the Biscoff called for in the recipe. I’m going to order it though, and try the recipe the right way. I also had the wrong color chips…that is, brown instead of white, hence mine being called brownies instead of blondies.

I substituted Nutella (we are mildly obsessed in our house) for the Biscoff, and chocolate chips for the white.

What I want to note is the method. I love when a method for cooking a recipe is right on. Even though I had to make substitutions, these brownies came out delicious. They were quick to prepare, and the clean-up was something I did during baking time, while sipping a cup of coffee.

You can try these blondies or brownies for yourself by clicking the link above to Picky Palate. You will not be disappointed. I would save one for yourself though, hidden where only you can find it, because these will go fast.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Page 4 of 12« First...«23456»...Last »