Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bacon-Wrapped Apricots with Almonds and Brazil Nuts

...adapted from Southern Living.
Last year, one of Kelly's friends brought bacon-wrapped apricots with sage to her Christmas party.  I was hoping to copy her recipe to bring to Amanda's house last night, but used Google instead to come up with this one, involving almonds.  Being a huge Brazil-nut fan, I had to throw in Brazil nuts as well.
These were delicious- as addicting as potato chips- and SO easy to make.  I wasn't sure how the sauce would go over, but it added a lot to the flavor and I would definitely include it again.

Bacon-Wrapped Apricots


20 apricots
10 slices of bacon, cut lengthwise in half
a mixture of 20 nuts (Brazil and almods work well)
1/4 c plum jelly (pineapple, apple, and apricot are options too)
2 tbsp soy sauce


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Stuff each apricot with 1 nut.
Wrap each stuffed apricot with 1/2 strip of bacon, secure with a toothpick.
Place on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake for 25 minutes or until bacon is crisp, turning once.
In small saucepan, mix jelly with soy sauce.  Heat until warm and smooth, stirring occasionally.
Remove apricots from oven and onto paper towels to drain.
Serve with sauce for dipping.

French Tomato Tart

You'll see David Lebovitz listed as one of the blogs that I follow.  I've not attempted any of his recipes until yesterday, when I used his blog as my go-to for a tart recipe to take to Amanda's house for Halloween horror-movie watching.  I wanted to bake something involving cheese, and figured it was about time to get my tart pan out of storage, considering I've only used it once for a Godiva chocolate-peanut butter tart for a company bake-off.
I was This Close to making his Swiss Chard Tart (next on my list), but chose to go with the French Tomato as November means it's pretty much time to throw tomato recipes out the window until next summer.  I scavenged through Hennings' cheese selection until settling on Chevre fresh goat cheese with honey (and eliminated the honey called for in the recipe).  I also substituted Pillsbury pie crust dough for the homemade dough recipe David suggests- my time was limited and this was a HUGE time-saver.
This tart was okay.  Two complaints: I could have used more herbs (I went with tarragon and thyme), and the crust on the bottom was soggy- which could be due to the amount of olive oil called for in the recipe.  I could have probably thrown in more mustard to add to the flavor- but after tasting the mustard before spreading onto the crust, I decided the strength of the flavor could take away from the rest of the tart, and was careful not to go overboard.  I had some trouble with the goat cheese being too soft- I should have left it in the fridge until I needed it- so it was more patchy and not quite as nice-looking as the tart made by Lebovitz.
I would make this again, with the addition of honey, additional herbs, and a bit more mustard.  It will make a good staple to pair with wine and a salad during the summer.

French Tomato Tart


Pillsbury refridgerated pie crust dough
Dijon or whole-grain mustard
2 large ripe tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs- such as thyme, chives, chervil, tarragon, basil, oregano
8 oz fresh or slightly aged goat cheese, sliced into rounds
Optional: 1 1/2 tbsp flavorful honey (white truffle would be good)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Unroll pie crust dough and transfer to tart pan, trimming edges so dough does not flow over the sides.
(I used my extra dough to wrap around apricots and plum jam leftover from my Bacon-Wrapped Apricots)
Spread an even layer of mustard over the bottom of the tart dough, let sit a few minutes to dry out.
Slice the tomatoes (about 1/2" thick) and arrange evenly over the mustard in a single layer.  Drizzle the olive oil over the top.
Sprinkle with about half of the herbs, then arrange the slices of goat cheese on top.  Add the remaing herbs, and drizzle with honey (if using).
Bake for 30 minutes until dough is cooked, tomatoes are tender, and the cheese is nicely browned.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


had to post this guy - my Number One- I woke up to this face last weekend :) :)

Libby's Great Pumpkin Cookie Recipe

I had to include this yearly favorite. We've been making these forever- pretty much a staple in my household growing up. I've made so many variations- raisinets in place of chocolate chips, extra pumpkin to give a more cakey consistency, m&m eyes and icing mouths, cream cheese icing....the list goes on. These are easy, fun and oh-so-yummy. Storage can be a bit of a headache- they're super-soft, so can be sticky if kept in a cookie tin. They keep best when stored on a flat surface and in the fridge.

I used organic pumpkin (not on purpose, but because it was all that we had in our shore house this weekend) and chopped dark chocolate bliss bars in addition to chocolate chips, because we were short about 1/2 cup. They were fine, but I'll stick to the original recipe next time-- nothing quite beats the taste of these when they're made how they're meant to be.

Libby's Great Pumpkin Cookie Recipe


4 c. all-purpose flour

2 c. Quaker quick oats

1 1/2 c. butter, softened

2 c. dark brown sugar- firmly packed

1 can (16 oz.) Libby's pumpkin puree

1 c. semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1 c. granulated sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp baking soda

1 egg

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine flour, oats, soda, cinnamon and salt. In separate bowl, cream butter. Gradually add sugars until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla, mix well.

Alternate additions of dry ingredients and pumpkin, mixing well after each addition. Stir in morsels.

For each cookie, drop 1/4 cup dough onto lightly greased cookie sheet.

Bake 20-25 minutes. Makes about 32 cookies.

Pumpkin Pie Cake

After an afternoon of making applesauce and rifling through apple cake recipes with Carol, we settled on a recipe using a different fall ingredient- PUMPKIN. Carol's friend had given her a recipe for Pumpkin Pie Cake, not sure where this originated- but we decided to attempt it and forego the apple idea. Jewish Apple Cake is still on my list, mind you.

Anyway, this was the easiest and most surprisingly delicious dessert that I've made this year- Comfort-Food City. Thick and rich, with a crumbly sweet topping....practically screaming for a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This recipe did not disappoint!

Pumpkin Pie Cake

1 29-oz can pumpkin puree
1 12-fl oz can evaporated milk
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp pumpkin pie spice (we used 1 tsp ginger, 2 tsp cinnamon, and 1 tsp nutmeg)
1 18.25-oz box yellow cake mix
3/4 c butter- melted
1 c chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9x13" metal pan
In large bowl, combine pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, salt and spices. Mix well. Pour batter into prepared pan.
Sprinkle dry cake mix evenly over pumpkin mixture. Drizzle butter over the cake mix. Sprinkle with walnuts.
Bake for 55-60 minutes until set.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Back to it...

I'm starting up this blogging thing again.....tempted back into it by yearly applesauce-making this weekend. Big plans for Grandgirl's Fresh Apple Cake from Paula Deen.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

winter blues

OHH emm geee...must blog soon. 4 followers and no posts since October. I suck at this :(
I promise to bake something this weekend. AND High Hopes for December= 5 desserts for Christmas Eve/Christmas Day with the fam. Sorting through recipes this week...
I've decided on 2 definites (both from past Pillsbury Bake-off contestants):

White Chocolate-Cinnamon Triangles

OK, I THINK this one's a definite...


Greek Walnut Pie

This one reminds me of an amazing dessert that I had a few times while in Greece...similar to baklava but MUCH richer
Also-Making baked brie for Friday...mustard&apricot glazed or the norm w/ raspberry jam. Still deciding.

This is my PROMISE to myself that I will bake&blog again before Sunday