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Tuesday Recipe Club: Tomato-Basil Bread Pudding, Sweet Basil Cheesecake

August 5th, 2014

Oh, yum. Thank you, Giada. Again.

Tomato-Basil Bread Pudding

Ingredients

Filling:
Butter, for greasing the baking dish
1/2 (8 ounces) multi-grain loaf, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large or 2 small shallots, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
12 ounces cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 packed cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) shredded Parmesan

Custard:
6 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Directions

Filling: Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 by 2-inch glass baking dish. Add the bread cubes and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the basil. Pour the tomato mixture and Parmesan cheese over the bread cubes and combine well.

Custard: In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper together until smooth. Pour the custard over the bread mixture and gently toss to coat. Bake until slightly puffed and golden, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the pudding from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

Sweet Basil Cheesecake

Ingredients:

Butter, for greasing the pan
1/2 cup (4 ounces) ricotta cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup (3 ounces) goat cheese, at room temperature
1 tablespoon sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
Pinch fine sea salt
1/2 packed cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for serving
Serving suggestion: assorted crackers
Special equipment: 4 1/2-inch diameter springform pan, about 2 1/2 inches tall

Directions:

Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 4 1/2-inch diameter springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with a piece of parchment paper. Wrap the outside of the pan with a piece of heavy-duty foil.

Place the ricotta cheese, cream cheese, and goat cheese in a food processor. Pulse

until mixed. Add the sugar, egg, egg yolk, and salt and blend until smooth. Add the basil and pulse until incorporated. Pour the cheese mixture into the prepared pan. Place the pan in an 8-inch by 8-inch square baking dish. Pour enough hot water in the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake until the cheesecake is golden at the edges and the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken (the cheesecake will become firm when chilled), about 50 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool in the oven for 1 hour. Remove the springform pan from the baking dish and remove the foil. Cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 3 hours and up to 2 days. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan. Allow the cheesecake to come to room temperature before serving, about 30 minutes.

Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the cheesecake with extra-virgin olive oil and serve with assorted crackers.

Monday Recipe Club: Rose Hip Freezer Jam

July 7th, 2014

(Photos by Steve Rawley)

Saw these wild roses and hips on our walk to the beach, growing by the side of the road. Maybe I’ll have to pick some…

This one is from Cazuela, one of our friends at allrecipes:

“The rose hips in this jam are uncooked so the jam tastes fresh and sweet; it retains its bright rosy-orange color. The hardest part is seeding the hips which can be sticky, but so worth it! Use wild or cultivated rugosa roses that haven’t been sprayed with pesticide; pick them in the fall when they are bright red. I adapted my recipe from one in a Euell Gibbons field guide.”

Ingredients:

1 cup trimmed and seeded rose hips
3/4 cup water
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cups sugar
1 (1.75 ounce) package powdered fruit
pectin
3/4 cup water

Directions:
1. Put the prepared rose hips, water, and lemon juice in a blender; blend until smooth, about 15 seconds. Small bits of rose hips skin are okay. Gradually add the sugar while blender is running. Blend until sugar is dissolved, about 30 seconds or so.
2. Stir the pectin into 3/4 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil hard for about 1 minute. Slowly pour into the rose hip mixture; blend for about 30 seconds.
3. Pour into small containers with lids. Store in the refrigerator. Jam that is not used within a few weeks can be stored in the freezer for up to a year.

Hope you’re having a great summer. Bon appetit!

wm

Taking a deep breath…

July 2nd, 2014

…and getting brave :)

Not crazy about heights, and my daughter isn’t either, but we braved this one because my husband and son thought it would be really, really cool.

It was.

(Photos by Steve Rawley)

“Everyone”

June 17th, 2014

i (heart) the ocean + Tuesday Recipe Club: Grilled Corn, Avocado & Tomato Salad with Honey Lime Dressing + QOTD

May 20th, 2014

(Photos by Steve Rawley)

And, a random Tuesday Recipe Club, from out of left field, thank you, Ms. Kenya:

Grilled Corn, Avocado & Tomato Salad with Honey Lime Dressing

1 pint grape tomatoes
1 ripe avocado
2 ears of fresh sweet corn
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Honey Lime Dressing
Juice of 1 lime
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp honey
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, minced
Dash of cayenne pepper

DIRECTIONS

Remove husks from corn and grill over medium heat for 10 minutes. The corn should have some brown spots and be tender and not mushy. Cut the corn off the cob then scrape the cob with the back of your knife to get the juices. Set aside and let cool. Slice the tomatoes in half. Dice the avocado and chop the cilantro.

Honey Lime Dressing
1) Add all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside.
2) Combine the sliced tomatoes, avocado, cilantro and grilled corn and honey lime dressing and mix gently so everything is evenly coated. Be careful not to mash the avocados. Let the salad sit for 10-15 minutes to let flavors mingle

Now, how about a quote of the day?
“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.” – Albert Einstein

Bon appetit, babies!

– wm

qotd

May 11th, 2014

“Words are loaded pistols.” — Jean-Paul Sartre, writer and philosopher (1905-1980)

and a little humor for the day, too…

Jean-Paul Sartre, for Dodge Dartre: “In my journey to the end of night, I must rely not only on dialectical paths of reason. I must have a good solid automobile, one that eschews the futile trappings of worldly ennui and asks only for basic maintenance. My Dodge Dartre offers me this elemental solace, and as interior parts fall off I am struck by the realization of their pointlessness. I might not know if the window is up or down. It is of no consequence.”

hello, peeps

April 21st, 2014

Happy Spring to you.

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

Nine years of blogging…

March 29th, 2014

That’s right. I’ve been blogging here for 9 years now, and last month I missed my blog’s birthday. So Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day, blog, and happy damn birthday. I didn’t get you anything.

xoxoxooxoxooxoxx

wm

“…put your toothbrush/on your mouth/put your toothbrush/on your mouth…”

poem + art

March 23rd, 2014


(Photo by Steve Rawley)

“The Sunlight on the Garden”
Louis MacNeice

“The sunlight on the garden
Hardens and grows cold,
We cannot cage the minute
Within its nets of gold,
When all is told
We cannot beg for pardon.

Our freedom as free lances
Advances towards its end;
The earth compels, upon it
Sonnets and birds descend;
And soon, my friend,
We shall have no time for dances.

The sky was good for flying
Defying the church bells
And every evil iron
Siren and what it tells:
The earth compels,
We are dying, Egypt, dying

And not expecting pardon,
Hardened in heart anew,
But glad to have sat under
Thunder and rain with you,
And grateful too
For sunlight on the garden.”

my kitty at the beach

February 25th, 2014

(Photo by Steve Rawley)

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