Friday, October 19, 2007

End of the Season Tomato Tart

I'd include a photo, but we ate it before I thought of taking one. It was so luscious that Richard ate several pieces AND took a piece for lunch today. I even thought about getting up in the night to sneak a piece.

This recipe took root when I was attempting some canning with the last of our incredibly plentiful tomato crop. With 12 quarts of salsa sitting in the cold room, we didn't need more (even if it IS an excellent salsa), and space in our teenie freezer is limited, so I was trying to think of something different to do with those last few dozen tomatoes, particularly the Roman Candles (sweet yellow Romas). I decided in the end to slow roast them, which is essentially a fancy name for slicing them in half, placing them on a cookie sheet generously oiled with olive oil, and roasting them in a 350ºF oven until the skins start to brown. When they'd cooled I poured them into a large bowl and taste tested them for a few hours (ahem) until Richard came home, whereupon we both picked at them. A roasted tomato bathed in warm olive oil is an amazing experience.

At that point it was close to Dinner Hour, which in our house involves me making dinners for two adults and three kids, all of whom have differing ideas as to what exactly constitutes a Really Brilliant Dinner. After nixing the kids' ideas (macaroni, hamburgers, pizza), I hauled out some defrosted puff pastry, rolled it out, dotted it with cream cheese, an Italian sausage, some thyme, and those wonderful, wonderful roasted tomatoes. Then I cracked some coarse salt over the entire thing and popped it into a 400ºF oven. Eldest child ate it, middle child picked out the tomatoes and reminded me anew that she doesn't like "things like this," and youngest child ate it in about 25 seconds flat, but only because he'd been promised a black bottom cupcake for dessert. Richard and I, however, ate it and savoured every bite, banal as that sounds, because it was THAT good.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Cakes I Have Known 3

This was a Buche de Noel from last Christmas. Oh, and those shavings you see? Scharffenberger's best. Yes, go ahead, drool. You know you want to.

Cakes I Have Known 2

Another of Max's birthday cakes. I liked this one, first of all because it was a model of a BC Ferry (Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay route), which is a particularly scenic ferry ride, and second, because it was one of the first 3D cakes I'd ever made.

Cakes I Have Known

This was Max's birthday cake last year. Sheet cake, nothing special, but I like the Lego Train picture. Fortunately Max did too.

Did Someone Say Cardamon Muffins?

These muffins are a serious hit in our house, and whenever I make them people ask for the recipe (she says oh-so-modestly). So, with the spirit of recipe sharing foremost in my mind, here it is:

4 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking soda
1.5 cups sugar (you can adjust this)
2-4 Tbsp ground cardamon (I use 4 Tbsp but that might be too much for you)

2 cups milk with a generous splash of lemon juice or vinegar to curdle it
1 egg
2/3 cup of oil 

1 big, fat, peeled, grated, sweet potato

Mix together as you usually do with muffins, then bake in a 375ºF oven until done.