7 Minutes in Heaven

I never played that game because I was home schooled.

This post pertains to my favorite thing- eggs! It’s no big secret I love them. I even have eggs listed on my top 6 things I can’t live without on OkCupid! At some point last year I learned I have been hard/soft cooking them wrong my whole life! My grandma always stressed 20 minutes for boiling so I wouldn’t get salmonella. The end result was always a rubbery white and dry chalky yolk. My grandma would tell me the yolks were full moons so I would eat them. A much later teenage obsession with all things Austen and Brit Lit led me to discover 5 minute eggs. You know, the ones that get their own holder that looks like a candlestick and special little spoon. It kind of grossed me out, so i just continued to think British people ate weird things.

One fateful day last October, during my first Whole30, I was seriously stalking HomeSweetHomestead’s blog. This babe is living my dream, basically. She has chickens! (More on that later!) When you own chickens you eat a whole lot of eggs. After what seemed like a continuous scroll of photos of 7 minute eggs, I knew I had found my magic number. Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

7 Minute Eggs

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil.
  2. Lower eggs in with a spoon.
  3. Cover pot. Lower heat to medium. Cook for 7 minutes.
  4. Remove from pot and run under cool water.
  5. Peel. Salt. Dill. Enjoy!

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I am a fan of eggs cooked all ways, but this may be my favorite. For the sake of time and because my name is not Sheila. Sheila makes the best scrambled eggs on the planet. During the Whole30 these guys were my go to breakfast, paired with sliced apples and almond butter or lightly roasted asparagus. And coffee, always coffee. I put these eggs on a pedestal. Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

If you like a runnier yolk, may I suggest less on the timer. If you prefer the opposite, aim for 8-10 minutes. I will stick with 7 for now.

Side note: I have really been thinking about getting chickens. Currently trying to figure out how that would work with cats.

Stupid Simple & Vegan

Way back in the day I used to flip-flop between being a carnivore and a vegetarian. I even dabbled in veganism for about a month. It was actually during my first month of grad school. I’d amble around Denton with my nose in the air because I was smart, didn’t eat animal products, and rode a bike. Then one morning I woke up to yet another eggless breakfast and realized it was a life I did not want to live.

Fast forward four years and I am doing yet another Whole30. This means no dairy, among other things. Eggs are okay. But this post will actually focus on potatoes. Of the mashed variety. The vegan mashed variety! Processed with VSCOcam with e8 preset

Vegan Mashed Potatoes

12 small, organic red potatoes cut into quarters

2 tsp coconut oil

1 cup unsweetened coconut milk

1 tbs garlic powder

s & p to taste

  1. Rinse and quarter your red potatoes. Boil in a pot of salted water until soft- about 20 minutes.
  2. After draining the potatoes, place in a bowl or the original pot. Add the coconut oil, coconut milk, and garlic powder. Mash away.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Blogging a recipe that is this simple is actually really weird for me. It’s like posting about how to put on socks and then calling myself a fashion blogger…

BUT

Some people don’t know how to make mashed potatoes? Or maybe they don’t know coconut oil easily replaces butter? Whatever. I quickly added these vegan mashed potatoes to a very non-vegan fried egg and even later, I topped my stuffed peppers with ’em to make shepherd’s pie. Potatoes are pretty damn versatile and my go-to comfort food while on a Whole30. And, when paired with eggs, they make up 1/2 of the breakfast power couple! (Even when they are mashed!)

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The End.

Alotta Frittata

There is one food if which I had to live without I would probably die. Breakfast and brunch would have no soul, veganism would be the easiest triumph, and the souffle would cease to exist. This food is the incredible, edible egg.

Ah, the egg is alive and well in my refrigerator, and since my birthday cast iron purchases, it has played a frequent supporting role in my life. With frequent trips to the farmers market, frittatas and green smoothies have become necessary. This post is dedicated to the better of the two. Processed with VSCOcam with m4 preset

I jokingly started the hashtag #52weeksoffrittata on Instagram, mainly for the alliteration’s sake. All jokes aside, my weekly frittatas have been rather consistent. You too can eat delicious frittatas on a weekly basis without owning a chicken farm! For the very low quantity of 4 eggs a week + whatever produce/cheese/extras you have on hand! Get creative!

Here are the varieties I’ve had so far:

Week 1: sweet & spicy peppers + feta

Week 2: Greek Style (spinach+tomatoes+feta)

Week 3: London Pub Style (wild mushrooms+onions in malt vinegar)

Week 4: Fall Yall! (spicy sage+potatoes+fig&honey goat cheese)

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I’m not going to post a recipe for each frittata individually because if you have a brain and can saute vegetables, you can surely do this without detailed instructions. I use 4 eggs for each one. That’s really all you need to know!

I can’t wait to carry on this new weekly love affair!

Do y’all have any frittata favorites?

 

XOXO

Smoothie Tuesday!

Some days of the week I am just so tired after working that I don’t feel like cooking. I really just want to drink my dinner…………but want to save the harder stuff for later in the week. My sister and I started Smoothie Tuesday last week as a means to accomplish this. The Blumers do Salad Mondays, and I think having a certain night of the week with a themed dinner takes away the stress of menu planning- thanks for the inspo, SheShe!

 

5 ingredients and less than 5 minutes make for a faster and healthier meal than some gross microwave dinner! This week’s red and green dinner reminded me a little bit of Christmas. I can’t wait to get more creative as we flip through the calendar!

Smoothie Tuesday #1

2 frozen bananas

1 pint strawberries, sliced

1-2 cups baby spinach

1 cup Greek yogurt

1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

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Now to make myself watch HIMYM. Cheers to a great beginning of April and hopefully lasting Spring weather! ImageImage

 

Farmer’s Market Frittata

As some of you may know, I recently joined a local CSA. Every weekend my friend Elizabeth make it an event to take our dogs to the farmer’s market to pick up our share. Besides a large bag/box of fresh, local, organic, AND seasonal produce, I usually also manage to purchase a few dozen farm fresh eggs and homemade dog treats for Gypsy. I feel like I am saving a bunch of money by not buying from grocery chains. Actually the only things I pick up from the store now are dog food, toilet paper, and maybe a few things I am craving or need specifically for a recipe.

As produce begins to collect on my counter top and in the refrigerator and the freshness clock ticks away, I have to come up with ways to use everything up. Good thing I love dishes that tend to call for large amounts of fruits and veggies: soup, stir fry, salads, pies, and my new favorite- the frittata! I made my first ever frittata over the weekend, using up a large portion of produce from previous CSA hauls.

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Don’t be fooled by that cute sounding Italian name! Frittatas are super easy! Think if an omelette and a quiche had a baby…..or maybe this could be their 3rd cousin once removed. You don’t even need a whole bunch of vegetables to make one of these, but I wanted color! Red, green, yellow, purple, and white made up the spectrum. This frittata also had depth! That was probably my favorite aspect.

Ingredients 

8 garlic cloves, minced

6 sage leaves

2 small serrano peppers, sliced

1/2 sweet yellow onion, chopped

5 small purple potatoes, sliced

2 small sweet peppers, chopped

4 large kale leaves, chopped

4 heirloom cherry tomatoes

2 1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chipotle powder

2 tsp freshly ground sea salt

fresh black pepper to taste

6 eggs

2-3 oz goat cheese

2 tbs buttermilk (optional)

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As I said earlier, you do not to have all of any of the above listed veggies. Anything would do, really! I bet you could even be adventurous and use berries! Though if that be your case, a sweeter cheese like mascarpone or ricotta may be needed. Now that I think of it, that does sound kind of good! This frittata is your oyster! (I do not recommend oysters as an addition.)

The Process

1. Rinse and chop, slice, and dice all of your vegetables. ImageImageImageSuch beautiful colors! Throw everything EXCEPT for the kale and tomatoes into a cast iron skillet with olive oil. Why you ask? I wanted the potatoes to cook and the onions to brown. I didn’t want to overcook the kale during the process. You shouldn’t really saute tomatoes in an iron skillet either. They already have a lot of iron, and the contact with the metal alters the taste in my opinion.

2. Saute on medium heat until the potatoes are tender, seasoning as you go. This should take about 15 minutes. ImageImage 3. Next, toss in the kale. Stir around for about 3-5 minutes.

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4. Time to get cracking with your eggs! Whisk together in a large bowl with your buttermilk. The buttermilk make the final product a bit more fluffy. I also think it tastes better with the goat cheese. The two are both sour and tangy!

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5. Slowly pour your eggs into the cast iron skillet. Give everything a good mix around and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 3 minutes until the edge begin to firm up.

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6. Top with goat cheese and heirloom tomatoes and pop into a pre-heated oven. Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. The finished product should not be runny. ImageImage

When the frittata is finished baking, slice and serve! For the perfect little brunch, serve alongside a small salad and mimosas!

I am so glad I made this! I think I may have discovered my Sunday morning go-to recipe.

XOXOXO

Tahdig. Ya dig?!

Growing up, the closest I ever got to anything Persian was a cat. And that being said, Poncho would not let you get very close…unless you wanted to get bit. There were 6 reasons under the age of 12 why he ran away after only living at our house for a week. Don’t worry though, he made himself super comfortable at the house down the street. (Until he got hit by a car many years later. Sad but true story.)

Persians don’t play around! Literally. The cats do not like to play. You could most definitely say the same about their rice! Take everything you know about cooking rice, 2 cups of water per 1 cup of rice, and throw it out the window. Yeah, they do things much differently. The end result is amazing! 

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I bought a year supply of rice over the weekend during my first time ever visit to a Persian grocer. I mainly just wanted the burlap bag so I could make a purse later on. After telling my favorite co-worker about my food shopping adventure she gave me some saffron, homemade yogurt, and a link to a recipe for Persian rice- tahdig! I’d had this once before at a birthday party in high school. Up until a few days ago, I had referred to tahdig as crunchy rice. 

For the most part I followed this recipe. Somehow I messed up on the easiest part, measuring. I blame all the coffee I’ve been drinking. If you plan to make tahdig, plan ahead! It is recommended that you soak the rice overnight.

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Ingredients

2 cups Basmati rice (I wasn’t paying attention and did 4…)

a pinch of saffron

a pinch of sugar

plain yogurt (if I didn’t have homemade I’d of used Greek)

vegetable oil

sea salt

butter

lots of fresh dill

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The Process

1. In a large bowl, rinse your rice until the water in the bowl is almost clear. Soak over night. Image2. In a large pot, preferably nonstick and non-stainless steel, bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Salt your water and pour the rice into the pot. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring often. Image

3. Meanwhile, pour 1 tbs of the boiling water into a small bowl over the saffron and sugar. Just watch as the water turns a nice yellow shade.

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4. Mix the saffron water with about 3 tbs of yogurt. You will later mix this with a few scoops of the cooked rice to give the bottom a nice golden color once finished.

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5. When the 10 minutes is up, drain and rinse your rice with cold water. Scoop about 1/2 cups worth into the bowl with the yogurt and saffron and mix well.

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6. Fill your original pot with just enough water that the entire bottom is covered, roughly about 1/2 inch high. Add about 2 tbs of vegetable oil, and swirl around so that they kind of mix. (Oil and water don’t mix. It’s science.) 

7. Next, pour the yogurt rice into the pot so that it covers the bottom of your pan. This will be the good, crunchy part later!

8. Pour the drained rice on top. The original recipe says to make a pyramid. I did not have enough room so it really just became the top layer of rice.

9. Poke holes in the rice with the end of a spoon. Be sure to not poke all the way down! This is for steaming purposes. 

Image10. Cover the pot with a lid and cook on high heat for no longer than 10 minutes.

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11. After the 10 minutes is up, wrap the lid in a towel and cover the pot. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for one hour. Image

12. When finished, dump the pot over a large plate, as you would a cake. The top layer of rice should easily come out. The bottom and best part might need a little extra help. Image

Break up the bottom layer so other people can enjoy it. Serve with butter, sea salt, fresh dill, and yogurt!

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Now if only I had some kebabs! I have lived off of this rice for the last 2 days, mainly topping with dill, yogurt, and a fried egg.

I read somewhere that cooking rice Persian style is almost an art form. I got egg poaching down on the first try…. Maybe I am a natural?

So excited to try my next Persian recipe, whatever that may be!

Spicy Cucumber Salad

Fortunately for me, I get to live out one of my lifelong dream once a month each month as my department’s event planner. I love planning parties, and not to brag or anything, I am actually really good at it! This may be because I love a good theme, but most likely attributed to my control freak ways. I love being in charge and telling people what to do and when and how to do it! Kind of strange for my part-time introvert personality, but oh well. Today I executed our August birthday party. I thought I was going to be the only person making something, but boy was I wrong! we ended up with not one, not two, but THREE types of banana bread! Shit was ba-na-nasssssssssss!

Themes. I was not feeling very creative when planning this party. My sole inspiration at first was a picture of a dog I found on the internet. He was wearing sunglasses and hanging by a pool. This dog was too cool for school & a day job! Then it hit me how I was not by a pool in sunglasses. Hmmmm. It’s hot outside, why not plan a cool themed party!

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Check out those awesome Paint skills…

You know what else is really cool? Cucumbers! People put them on their eyes to reduce puffiness. Cucumber infused water is a diuretic. And they are the hipster stage of pickles! I decided to combine my affinity for pico de gallo and the coolness of cucumbers to create a refreshing yet equally spicy cucumber salad!

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Ingredients

3 cucumbers

2 jalapenos, diced

1/2 purple onion, diced

1 bunch cilantro, chopped

1 can sweet yellow corn, drained and rinsed

the juice of 1-2 large limes

8 oz queso fresco

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chipotle powder

1 tbs garlic powder

sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste

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The Process

1. Wash all of your veggies to make sure they are clean! Some of the produce I used came from the community market here in Denton. Local and organic, yay!

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2. Peel and halve your cucumbers lengthwise, then slice the halves. Also known as quartering!ImageImage

3. Chop and dice your onion, cilantro, and jalapenos. I prefer to work with the jalapenos last, that way my hands do not burn as much at the end of the process. I also added all seeds to the salad for spice factor.

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4. Douse all of your chopped veggies with spices and lime Juice and stir together with the corn in a large bowl.

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5. Queso freso is the cherry on top of any tex-mex dish, in my opinion. It’s alright to be generous! ImageImage

This salad is filling without leaving you feeling weighed down. The most unhealthy parts, corn and cheese, make it! They really add some sweetness to counterbalance the chipotle and jalapenos.

I highly recommend this recipe for a summer party! If you chop fast, you can really throw it together in 10-15 minutes! Oooo, now if only I had a margarita to go with!

XOXOXO

Roasted Carrot & Ginger Soup

If you read my blog you know as a fact that I am a soup lover. For those of you who are just tuning in, I am, as a fact, a soup lover! I don’t discriminate against hot or cold during the alternating seasons. Yeah, I think soup is good anytime, year round.

In preparation for a juice cleanse I would like to do (need to buy a juicer) and as a “detox” from all the deliciously horrible things I ate in Nola, I have been trying to stick to a raw foods diet…or eating clean…or whatever.  Ha. I don’t think that Taverna brunch could be considered raw… I will, however, classify wine and mimosas as juice!  Back on topic. Eating clean. God I hate that term. Looking over my cousin’s meal plans from her juice cleanse, one caught my eye- a roasted carrot soup! Honestly, I only like carrots raw, in stir fry, carrot cake, and carrot souffle. The word roasted changes matters. I don’t think I had ever had roasted carrots before. This recipe is a little bit more on the dirty side of eating!

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Ingredients 

4 large carrots, chopped

5-10 garlic cloves, the more the better in my opinion!

1/2 large sweet potato, chopped

2 tbs fresh ginger

the juice of 1/2 lemon

1 1/3 cups skim milk

1/2 cup chicken or vegetable broth

2 tbs flour

2 tsp chipotle powder

sea salt and fresh pepper to taste

1/2 tsp ground mustard

3 tbs coconut oil

(optional) garnish: 1 jalapeno and 1/2 white onion sauteed in 1 tbs butter

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The Process

1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.

2. Peel garlic cloves and chop your carrots and sweet potato. I like to leave the skin on my sweet potatoes for that extra fiber! Carefully peel and chop your ginger. Watch out for those fingers! For some reason it’s always a close call when fresh ginger is involved!

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3. Toss your garlic and chopped veggies in coconut oil and lemon juice. Season with mustard, chipotle, and salt and pepper. I think the chipotle and mustard together do an adequate job of contrasting the carrot’s sweetness and complimenting the earthiness of the sweet potato.

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4. Roast your vegetables in the oven for about 50 minutes, tossing intermittently. Your kitchen should smell like Thanksgiving! Yum!

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5. Whisk together you flour, chicken or vegetable broth, and 1/3 cup skim milk.

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6. If you want to add something extra, thinly slice and saute a jalapeno and onion half. You’ll be glad you did!

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7. When the vegetables are finished, transfer to a blender with the flour, milk, and broth mixture. Blend, slowly add in the remaining milk, season with salt and pepper, and blend some more. Transfer to bowls and serve!

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I made some flat bread to go with because I was a carb fiend last week! Well, I crave carbs a majority of the time. I’d say this soup is guilt free for the most part! The ginger gives it a bit of an Asian flair! I ate my leftovers cold the next day. Carrot and ginger gazpacho!

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So tell me, are y’all soup time all the time fans? Or do you prefer winter|hot & summer|cold?

Hope your week is getting off to a great start!

Black and Blue Banana Bread Bunt

Whooooa, talk about alliteration! I think my I will credit my baking/cooking inspiration over the next week to my upcoming move. I want to quickly but surely get rid of a lot of the items in my freezer, fridge, and pantry. I hate wasting food, so expect some creativity with my upcoming recipes! Kamikaze pastas dishes, probably a few more tarts, and quinoa salads/stuffed peppers galore! Oh yeah, and more than likely a tilapia overload.

Today’s post is brought to you by all the fruit I had stashed in my freezer! If I know something is going to go bad, I normally stick it in the freezer as a last change of saving grace. I had a plethora of blue and blackberries as well as a few bananas, and wanted to try subbing coconut oil for butter.

By now you should know I am a fan of subbing things. In this particular instance, I subbed butter with coconut oil and buttermilk with Greek yogurt (that one was a given). This batter. Oh my Lawwwwwwwd! I could have eaten this batter straight up in a mug. If it were not for the raw eggs, there may not have been enough for my bunt pan.

Black and blue normally makes me think of bruises, not berries. I added these little pops of color for the sole purpose of getting rid of them. Turns out they added to the sweetness and alliteration!

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Ingredients

2 eggs

1/2 coconut oil, slightly melted

1 tbs 2% milk

1/3 cup Greek yogurt

1 1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tbs vanilla

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp nutmeg

a dash of cinnamon

a pinch of salt

4 rip bananas, mashed (I used frozen)

1 cup frozen black and blueberries (totally optional, nuts would also be a nice sub)

1 tbs large sugar sprinkles (optional)

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The Process

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together your eggs, coconut oil, milk,  Greek yogurt, sugars, and vanilla. ImageImageImage
  3. In a separate bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt. Incorporate your dry ingredients into your batter. Be sure to not beat the two together. Incorporating evenly distributes all ingredients and will make the final product lighter and less tough. ImageImage
  4. Stir in your mashed bananas and your frozen fruit. ImageImageImage
  5. As a final touch, I stirred in about 1 tbs of large sugar sprinkle. Just something extra! Image
  6. Pour your finished batter into a greased pan. I used a bunt. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour at 350 degrees until an inserted toothpick or butter knife comes out mostly clean. ImageImageImageImage
  7. Once finished baking, let your bread cool for about 20 minutes before flipping out of your bunt pan. Image See ya on the flipside! Image

I think I can honestly say this is the best banana bread I have ever made, Is credit due to using coconut oil instead? Or do I owe it all to using Greek yogurt in everything? Who knows! This was some damn good bread! I can’t wait to enjoy it for breakfast tomorrow!

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Ah, the joy of baking. Hope you all had a lovely Monday!

A Thursday Tart: Changing Things Up!

I think I bought too much produce at the grocery store yesterday. I keep forgetting that I will be moving out of my house in less than 2 weeks. After buying a tub of fresh basil and an even bigger tub of baby spinach, I figured I’d better put all that green to use. I also may or may not have gone off the deep end when it comes to puff pastry dough. Is there a Grey Gardens for the culinary type? Send me away! It would probably be much more interesting than cooking school.

I really like tarts now, probs because they are so easy. (Can I still make that joke?) (Haha?) I normally end up making them on Tuesdays for the sole sake of alliteration. Today also starts with a T so I figured I’d change up the game.

Anyway, back to basil. Omg, i bought so much! Right off the bat I knew I wanted to include Goat cheese, mushrooms, and basil in this tart. My love of garlic and olive oil led me to pesto. You can totally make pesto without those pesky and EXPENSIVE pine nuts! P.S. I am also obsessed with goat cheese.

And so it happened, I created a mushroom & goat cheese tart with a simple spinach basil pesto. That was a mouthful. And a tasty one at that!

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Ingredients

2 cups baby spinach

4 cloves garlic, peeled

about 8-10 basil leaves

the juice of 1 small lemon

1/3 cup olive oil

2 tbs feta cheese

1/3 cup goat cheese

salt & pepper to taste

1/4th tsp paprika for some zing!

1/2 yellow onion, thinly sliced

about 1 cup ~7 brown mushrooms , thinly sliced

1 sheet puff pastry dough thawed

1 beaten egg for brushing dough

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The Process

  1. Add feta, baby spinach, basil leaves, garlic cloves, spices, and olive oil to a blender and pulse until smooth! Who said you you need nuts to make a pesto! Green & smooth!Image
  2. Beat egg in a small cup and brush around the corners of your defrosted pastry dough. Add pesto to the center, like you are spreading sauce on a pizza! ImageImage
  3. Thinly slice your mushrooms and onions. Begin to layer them all on top of your pesto.              ImageImage
  4. Fold over the corners of your pastry dough and brush with your egg. Image
  5. Crumble or chop up your goat cheese and sprinkle on top. This week I used a different brand of goat cheese. It was so much better than the last brand yet cheaper? I feel like that is not how it normally goes… Still, goat cheese. Yum!
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  7. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until golden and flakey.
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Perfecto! I will probably make tarts a few more time between now and TxSC because I have tons of produce and puff pastry to be devoured.

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Sorry if this post is kind of rambly. I took a 3 hour break between typing for some wine and girl talk. So glad tomorrow is finally Friday!

XOXOXO