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Category “recipes”

Baked Brie en Croûte

I sort of made this one up, so bear with me. This should make 2 with some leftover marmalade for slathering on everything else (for which, by the way, you are welcome!)

1 batch Shallot Cassis Marmalade
2 rounds of cheap and cheerful brie
All-butter puff pastry (would you believe, Trader Joe’s has sublime puff pastry in the freezer case during the holiday season!)
1 egg

Defrost the puff pastry. When it’s pliable, beat the egg in a small bowl and reserve. Roll out a sheet of dough, into a square-ish shape.

Place brie round in the center of the square and top with a very healthy serving of marmalade (as much as the top will hold without spilling over!) and then brush the egg wash onto the pastry all around the brie.

At each corner of the square, cut a triangle of the pastry away with the smaller end pointing toward the brie in the center. This will do two things: keep your Brie en Croûte from being too ‘doughy’ and also give you some leftover pastry for decoration. Draw all the points of dough up and overlap them slightly at the top to seal the pastry and marmalade safely inside.

Finally, slice the triangles into whatever shapes you fancy and stick them to the top and sides to make a pretty pattern (be sure that there’s plenty of egg wash on these as well so that they’ll stick!). I simply cut them into strips and overlapped them for a criss-cross pattern.

Bake at 350° until puffed and golden, approximately 25 minutes.

Alice’s Cranberry & White Chocolate Chip Cookies, from Heather

Three White Chocolate Chip and Cranberry cookies on a green plate.
Three will not be enough. Trust me!

This recipe comes from Alice, my fella’s mother via Heather, his sister. They’re my favorite cookie and being a family recipe makes them extra special!

1 c butter
½ c brown sugar, lightly packed
¼ c white sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1½ cups flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
¼ cup boiling water
2 cups rolled oats
1 c dried cranberries
1 c white chocolate chips

In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Mix in vanilla just until combined.

Stir together flour and salt in another bowl then add to wet ingredients and mix well.

Dissolve baking soda in boiling water, add to butter and flour mixture and mix well.

Stir in rolled oats, cranberries and white chocolate chips. Drop by teaspoonful (for small cookies) or tablespoonful (for large cookies) 2 inches apart on baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat.

Bake at 350°; 7-10 min for small cookies and 10-15 for large cookies (you’ll want them just a little underdone in the center). Rest on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Try not to devour the whole batch before anyone else gets a taste… 😉

Burst Cherry Tomato Pasta

Loads of tomatoes and a few other ingredients make a delicious and speedy dinner!

When you (if you’re me!) buy a pound or two too many organic heirloom cherry tomatoes for the crudité platter at your next shindig, this is a LOVELY way to use them up!

½ c extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
5 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
3 pints cherry tomatoes
½ tsp red pepper flakes (more to taste if you like it spicy!
6 stems fresh thyme sprigs, whole
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp kosher salt (plus more to taste if needed)
1 lb linguine (or whatever pasta shape makes your heart sing)
pasta water as needed for sauce
½ c grated parmesan, plus more for serving

For sauce
Heat ½ cup oil in a large heavy pot over low (I used a 14″ skillet so there would be plenty of room to add the pasta to the sauce at the end). Add garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Increase heat to medium and add tomatoes, red pepper flakes, thyme sprigs, and 1 tsp salt. Cook, stirring to coat, until tomatoes begin to burst. As the tomatoes continue to break down, mash most of them with the back of a wooden spoon to release their juices and begin creating a sauce. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce becomes chunky and thickened and most of the tomatoes are completely broken down and just a few remain in tact (these will look really pretty on top of the pasta when serving!). This process took about 20-25 minutes for me. Pluck out and discard thyme sprigs.

For pasta
Put water on to boil pasta and season heavily so it tastes of the sea. When sauce is close to being done, boil pasta until it is just under al dente, as it will finish cooking in the sauce.

To finish
When the pasta is a couple of minutes from ‘done,’ scoop out a ladle or two of the pasta water and swirl it into the sauce, along with the chopped fresh thyme, chopped parsley and parmesan. Grab the pasta with tongs and transfer into the sauce pan and toss all together, adding more pasta water as needed (I used another couple of ladles full). You’ll want the sauce to coat the pasta nicely and to have a loose (but not watery!) consistency.

To serve
Grab a tongful of pasta and twirl it prettily on a plate or in a wide, low bowl (the nice folks at The Kitchn have a primer here if you’re in the mood for reading that sort of thing). Add a few of the whole tomatoes to the top, drizzle with a bit more olive oil, sprinkle with more parmesan, put a little sprig of parsley on the top for good measure…and dig in!!

Based loosely on this delightful recipe from the fine folks at Bon Appétit!