Pear And Roquefort Tart. New Music From Josh Warren.

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I didn’t want to believe that my husband, a road worker, was stealing things from his job. But when I got home, all the signs were there.

Sorry. Looks like I am really scraping the bottom of the joke barrel!

I’ll make up for it with a nifty tart.

Pears and Roquefort are a perfect match. Throw in some bacon and bake it up in a mascarpone based custard and you have one delicious dish.

I found the pastry a bit crumbly to work with given the amount of flour. For an easier but less rustic crust, this one is a winner.

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Pear And Roquefort Tart

Ingredients:

Pastry Crust (recipe follows)
3 ripe pears, quartered and cored
2 tsp olive oil
100g smoked bacon, chopped
150g mascarpone
2 eggs, beaten
50ml whole milk
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme, plus extra sprigs to garnish
150g Roquefort cheese, crumbled

Directions:

1. Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F.

2. Blind bake the pastry case for 20 minutes, then remove the paper and beans and bake for 10 minutes more until the pastry begins to turn golden. Remove from the oven, brush the pastry with beaten egg yolk, then return to the oven for 5 minutes.

3. Arrange the pears in neat circles to cover the bottom of the pastry. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the pears begin to soften.

4. Heat the oil in a skillet and fry the bacon until golden, then set aside.

5. Decrease oven to 180°C/350°F.

6. Beat the mascarpone with the eggs and milk until smooth and combined. Season with black pepper then stir in the chopped thyme.

7. Scatter the bacon and the Roquefort over the softened pears then pour over the mascarpone mixture. Sprinkle with a few small thyme sprigs.

8. Bake for 25 minutes or until the filling is set and golden. Once cooked, leave to cool in tin before removing.

9. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Serves 8

Pastry Crust

Ingredients:

225g (1 3/4 cups) flour, plus extra for dusting
110g chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus extra for greasing
1 egg yolk, plus an extra yolk, beaten, to seal
2-3 tbsp chilled water

Directions:

1. Put the flour and a pinch of salt in a bowl. Add butter and rub in, using your fingers, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg yolk, then gradually add just enough chilled water to bring the mixture together into a firm dough (Alternatively, pulse the flour, salt and butter in a food processor until it resembles fine breadcrumbs, then add the egg yolk and the water. Pulse to bring the dough together.)

2. Roll out the dough into a circle on a lightly floured surface. Loosely roll the pastry around the rolling pin. Unroll it over a lightly greased 23cm/9 inch fluted tart tin with a removable base. Press the pastry into the tin. Roll the rolling pin over the top to trim the edges. Prick the base all over with a fork, line the case with baking paper and fill with baking beans or beads. Chill for 30 minutes.

Recipes from Delicious Magazine
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This is new and very beautiful. It’s from the debut EP by Arizona-based Josh Warren.

“Oh, do you know
How much I’ll care about you when I’m gone?”

Check out Josh Warren on his Website. You can buy the music on Bandcamp.

Cheers!

Posted in Tart | Tagged | Leave a comment

Grilled Italian Burgers With Balsamic Grilled Zucchini

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How does a cat even jump like that!

Ok. Moving along.

Grill time in no time!

Grilled Italian Burgers couldn’t be easier and are a fun stand in for your usual hamburgs. Grilled zucchini, also flavored Italian-style are a light and yummy side.

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Grilled Italian Burgers

Ingredients:

4 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 pound ground beef
Marinara sauce, warmed

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 of the cheese and seasonings. Add beef and mix gently to combine. Shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties.

2. Grill burgers, covered, over medium heat 4-5 minutes on each side.

3. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and grill, covered, 1-2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Serve with marinara sauce.

Serves 4

Recipe from Simple & Delicious Magazine
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Balsamic Grilled Zucchini

Ingredients:

2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder or crushed garlic
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp salt
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Black pepper, to serve

Directions:

1. Preheat grill for medium-low heat and lightly oil the grate.

2. Place zucchini in a plastic bag with the olive oil, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, and salt. Toss to coat the zucchini.

3. Grill zucchini until beginning to brown, 3-4 minutes per side. Remove the zucchini from grill to a serving platter. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with black pepper.

Serves 4

Recipe slightly adapted from Allrecipes.com
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‘Tears In The Sun’, by Wisconsin-based band Double Ewes, is such a cool blend of synth and mournful folk. I love the singer’s voice and that drum kit beat.

“Should of. I could of. Could of walked away.
The root of, fruit of, truth of. Inviting me to stay.
They invited me the stay. I can take it. Just be honest.”

Check out Double Ewes on Bandcamp, where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Beef, Main Courses, Vegetable | Tagged | Leave a comment

Honey-Walnut Caramel Bars. Listening To Gdansk.

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I almost didn’t make this recipe.

I saw the recipe in a magazine and thought it sounded a bit ordinary. The photo looked okay, but there are sooooo many things I want to try and I wasn’t sure this was one of them.

But honey and caramel kind of sounded really good. And two kinds of salt were called for. Doubled salted caramel!

BEST bars I have made in Forever.

The honey gives the caramel an over-the-top smooth, sweetness that is perfectly cut by the salt. The buttery shortbread and crunchy walnuts star in their supporting roles.

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Honey-Walnut Caramel Bars

Shortbread Crust (recipe follows)
6 oz unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup walnut halves plus 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1. Prepare the shortbread crust.

2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Whisk in the honey, both sugars and salts and the vanilla.

3. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the caramel reaches 220°F on a candy thermometer, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Carefully add the cream (the caramel mixture will bubble up) and cook until the mixture reaches 238°F, 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Stir in all of the walnuts and cook until fragrant and slightly thickened, about 3 minutes longer.

6. Pour the walnut caramel over the shortbread and let cool completely.

7. Using the parchment paper, lift onto a cutting board. Cut into bars and serve. The bars can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Makes about 24 bars

Shortbread Crust

Ingredients:

6 oz cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with parchment paper, allowing 1 inch overhang on the long sides.

2. 
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the butter with the flour, sugar and salt at medium speed until 
a crumbly dough forms, about 6 minutes. (It only took about 4 minutes in my very warm July kitchen)

3. Press the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan in an even layer. Refrigerate for 20 minutes.

4. Bake the shortbread for 25 minutes, until golden brown; rotate the pan from front to back halfway through baking.

5. Transfer to a rack and let 
cool completely.

Recipes from Food & Wine Magazine
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You’ll want some soothing, mellow music playing as you enjoy your sugar coma. ‘Atlas’ fills that bill.

Check out Gdansk on the band’s Website where you can link to buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Dessert | Tagged | Leave a comment

Crunchy Cauliflower, Apple And Blue Cheese Salad. Listening To Tales Of Olde.

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Holy freakin’ annoying bird. He is one lucky little pest.

This is one treat of a salad. The contrast of flavors and textures makes every bite exciting. Apple and Stilton have a natural affinity and the cauliflower makes it all different and fun.

The cauliflower I used came fresh out of the garden. I loved its interesting purple hue.
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Crunchy Cauliflower, Apple And Blue Cheese Salad

Ingredients:

5 Tbs cider vinegar
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
Drizzle of honey
3 apples, cored and thinly sliced
1 small cauliflower, chopped
Handful of alfalfa sprouts
200g Stilton
2 Tbs mint, chopped
50g sunflower seeds, toasted

Directions:

1. Make the dressing by whisking together the vinegar, olive oil and honey. Season to taste.

2. Place the sliced apple in a large bowl and pour dressing over. Stir in the cauliflower, alfalfa sprouts and cheese.

3. Sprinkle the mint and toasted seeds over salad before serving.

Serves 4 to 6

Recipe from BBC Good Food Magazine
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This lovely little tune comes from Boston-based band Tales Of Olde.

“Bird come back to me
Miss you can’t you see”

Check out Tales Of Olde on Facebook and Bandcamp, where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

Posted in Salad | Tagged | Leave a comment

Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese And Balsamic Roasted Vegetables. New Music From Steve Van Tine.

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I was having dinner guests and wanted to make something quite special, but easy enough to keep me out of the kitchen. This menu of Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese And Balsamic Roasted Vegetables was just perfect.

The Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese is a total revelation. Four cheeses come together in a creamy sauce laced with white wine. This coats the pasta and pieces of rich, tender lobster, while a crisp panko topping seals it all in.

Balsamic Roasted Vegetables are perfect alongside the mac cheese. The acidity of the vinegar is a good counter to the ultra rich pasta and the colorful array of veggies look so pretty on the plate.

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Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese

Ingredients:

3 uncooked lobster tails, fresh or thawed if frozen
1 1/2 lbs macaroni or other pasta shape (I used Campanelle)
2 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded Gruyère cheese
1 1/4 cups shredded Parmesan cheese
2 cups heavy cream
4 oz cream cheese
3/4 cup white wine, divided
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 chopped shallot
3 minced garlic cloves
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350℉.

2. Shell, clean, and coarsely chop lobster meat. Set aside.

2. Add 2 cups of heavy cream to a double boiler along with the cream cheese. Add a small amount of the shredded cheese to the double boiler, mixing with a whisk until smooth. Continue this way to add the rest of the cheese. If cheese mixture is too thick, whisk in up to 1/2 cup of white wine, in 1/4 cup increments.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.

4. Add olive oil and butter to a skillet over medium-high. Add shallot, garlic and lobster meat and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until meat becomes opaque. Add 1/4 cup of the white wine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes then set aside off heat.

5. In a 13 x 9-inch baking dish, mix together cooked pasta, lobster mixture and cheese sauce. Sprinkle with Panko.

6. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy.

Serves 8

Recipe from How Sweet It Is
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Balsamic Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients:

4 oz broccoli florets
7 oz cauliflower florets
8 oz yellow Summer squash, chopped
8 oz zucchini, chopped
7 oz carrots, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar
Salt, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 425℉. Lightly grease a large baking sheet.

2. In a large bowl, combine all of the vegetables. Drizzle the olive oil and vinegar over the vegetables and season with salt. Toss to coat.

3. Pour vegetables onto the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 25 minutes or until caramelized.

Serves 6

Recipe from Emily Bites
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It’s Just A Song, but this new tune from Steve Van Tine is something special.

Check out Steve Van Tine on Bandcamp, where you can buy his music.

Cheers!

Posted in Pasta, Seafood, Vegetable | Tagged | Leave a comment

Short And Sweet. Pecan Toffee Fudge.

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Satisfy your chocolate craving with this rich fudge packed with nuts and toffee. The cream cheese gives it a fresh, tangy taste which nicely cuts the sweetness.

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Pecan Toffee Fudge

Ingredients:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
3-3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
Dash salt
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 (1.4 oz) toffee bars, such as Skor, chopped

Directions:

1. Line a 9-inch square pan with non-stick foil (or grease regular foil with butter or cooking spray) and set aside.

2. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar. Beat in the melted chocolate and salt. Stir in pecans and toffee.

3. Spread fudge into prepared pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight or until firm.

4. Using foil, lift fudge out of pan. Gently peel off foil and cut fudge into small squares. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Makes 2-1/2 pounds

Recipe slightly adapted from Simple & Delicious Magazine
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Short song time. Kind of sinister sounding.

And this very sweet song. Love those ohs.

“Oh oh oh oh oh
I love you every day and
Oh oh oh oh oh
Much more than you could ever
Know oh oh oh oh
In oh so many different ways
I love you every day”

Check out Dralms on the band’s Website. You can buy the music and learn of upcoming shows in Europe on Bandcamp.

Learn more about The Sparrow And The Fall on Bandcamp, where you can buy their music.

Cheers!

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Mediterranean Vegetable Pitas And Couscous With Toasted Pine Nuts. New Music From The Foreign Films.

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Colorful, crunchy and bursting with fresh garden flavor, these Mediterranean Vegetable Pitas make a terrific light meal. Couscous packed with pine nuts and parsley is a tasty accompaniment.

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Mediterranean Vegetable Pitas

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tomato, chopped
1 cup chopped seeded cucumber
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 can (2-1/4 ounces) sliced olives, drained
2 cups torn romaine lettuce
8 whole wheat pita pocket halves
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

Directions:

1. In a large bowl, whisk the first seven ingredients until blended. Add tomato, cucumber, onion and olives. Toss to coat. Refrigerate until serving.

2. To serve, add lettuce to vegetables and toss to combine. Spoon into pita halves and sprinkle with cheese.

Serves 4

Recipe from Taste of Home Magazine
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Couscous With Toasted Pine Nuts

Ingredients:

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 onions, chopped
3 cups chicken stock
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups couscous
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add onions and cook over medium-low heat for 3 minutes, until translucent.

2. Add chicken stock and pepper and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. Stir in the couscous, cover the pan, and set aside for 10 minutes.

3. Add the pine nuts and parsley. Fluff with a fork to combine

Serves 4 to 6

Recipe from Barefoot Contessa How Easy Is That? by Ina Garten
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The Foreign Films have released a few songs from their upcoming double album ‘The Record Collector (Side Three)’.

I love the groovy, old school pop sound of “Northern Love Song”.

“Darling darling darling
Where did our Love Song go?”

Check out The Foreign Films on Bandcamp where you can buy the music.

Cheers!

Posted in Sandwiches, Side Dish | Tagged | Leave a comment