Rustic Blue Cheese Apple Tart

Rustic Blue Cheese Apple Tart.jpg

I can’t recall the day I decided that I actually like blue cheese.  For years I considered it a disgusting, smelly hunk of mold, hardly classifiable as food.  Then one day, it was like someone flipped a switch and now, I crave the stuff!

This delicate recipe is a little twist on a blue cheese pizza that was prepared during a cheese class at my favorite local produce store, Chuck’s Produce.  Their resident “Cheese Whiz,” Andrew, allowed us to taste several varieties of blue cheese in various different ways.  One of the cheeses he sprinkled over his apple pizza and topped with agave syrup.  It was delicious!  For my version, I replaced the pizza dough with the lighter puff pastry, which I think lends itself better for a breakfast item, and used organic clover honey as the drizzle.

Aside from the incredible sweet & savory combination, you’ll love this recipe because it uses minimal, common ingredients and it is really quick and easy to prepare, while still being impressive in both flavor and presentation.

Are you a blue cheese lover?  If not, maybe this recipe will change your mind.  If you already love it, enjoy!

Ingredients:

1 sheet puff pastry
1-2 fresh apples, sliced (Honey Crisp or Pink Ladies taste great!)
½ cup blue cheese crumbles
Honey (enough to drizzle)

Ingredients.jpg

Directions:

Follow thawing directions on the puff pastry box.  Lay pastry sheet out flat on a baking sheet.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for approx 15 minutes, or until golden brown.  Pastry will puff up…a lot!  It’s okay, it,s puff pastry, that’s what it’s supposed to do!  Once golden, remove from oven.  Puff.jpg

Slice and core apples and arrange evenly on the cooked pastry.  Top with blue cheese crumbles and drizzle with honey.4 pix.jpg

Bake for about 15 minutes or until blue cheese is golden and apples are soft.

Serve warm.Picture2.jpg

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Strawberry Shortcake Scones

These scones were a very happy accident. Fresh strawberries are in abundance this fall and I wanted to use them in a simple recipe that really elevated the strawberry flavor without adding a ton of sugar.  I remembered the basic scone recipe that my friend Dani game me and, hence, these babies were born.  They only take about 30 minutes from start to finish, so not only are they delicious, they’re easy!


Ingredients:

2 Cups Flour
2 Tbs Sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp baking soda
5 Tbs butter, cold and cubed
1 egg, separated
8 oz plain greek yogurt
2 Cups chopped strawberries (sweetened slightly with 1 tsp sugar, if desired)
3 oz cream cheese, cubed and frozen (or VERY firm)
1 Tbs raw sugar

Glaze (optional):
5 Tbs powdered sugar
½ tsp milk
⅛ tsp vanilla
*This amount only makes a TINY amount of glaze…just a few “stripes” for each scone.  If you want a heavier glaze, just double the recipe.

Directions:

Put all dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk to combine.  Add cold butter in chunks and stir into the flour mixture.  Add egg yolk and greek yogurt and cut it into the flour mixture using a pastry blender.  Dough will be crumbly.  Add strawberries and cream cheese and gently fold them into the dough.Lightly flour your counter top and form the dough into a flat disk.  If the dough seems moist, due to the juicy strawberries, press a little extra flour into the top and sides of the disk.  Cut into 10 even triangles. 

Place the triangles on a sprayed baking sheet, about 1 inch apart.  Brush with the egg whites and sprinkle with raw sugar, if desired.  I use Sugar in the Raw.Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes.  Tops should be golden brown.  Drizzle a small amount of glaze over each scone.  Serve immediately.

*Due to the short shelf life of strawberries, these scones need to be eaten within a day of baking…if they last that long.

Cheddar Rosemary Savory Scones

Recently, I’ve become a little obsessed with fresh scones. My friend Danielle shared her recipe with me, and since then I’ve made several delicious variations using her basic recipe. In this particular creation, I’ve made a savory scone with rosemary, sharp cheddar and red onion. This recipe is quick and simple…only half hour to delicious homemade scones! I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

Ingredients:

2 cups flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt, + a pinch
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon dried rosemary
5 tablespoons butter
1 egg, separated
8 oz plain greek yogurt
½ cup finely chopped red onion
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400.
Mix all dry ingredients together (including rosemary). Add butter in chunks.

Add egg yolk, yogurt, and onions. Combine all ingredients thoroughly using a pastry blender. Stir in shredded cheddar.

Flour your countertop and form the dough into a long rectangle. Cut dough into 10 even triangles, then brush with egg white and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Arrange scone triangles on a baking stone. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Allow to cool directly on the stone. Enjoy!

Thyme for Frittata

As Janna mentioned in her Easy Cheesy recipe, our sweet friend, Caty, asked for ideas for some throw together meals. Since Janna went the pasta route, I decided to go a different direction and make a Frittata.

Frittata is a very simple but elegant dish. The only thing you absolutely need is eggs, and a little imagination. For this dish, I used what I had on hand, but also highlighted some substitutes that would go equally well. After making it, the only thing I would change about this dish is the addition of some feta cheese. That would have brought it all together, but I didn’t have any in the fridge. It was delicious, none the less.
~Joanie

Ingredients:
1 lb +/- of sausage (Subs: diced ham, chopped bacon, chicken, or meat of choice. You can also completely omit meat from this dish and it’s just as good!)
2 Cups Asparagus, chopped into 1 in. pieces (Subs: broccoli, spinach)
1 Cup sliced mushrooms (Subs: chilies, jalepenos)
3-4 Cloves of Garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
1 TBS butter
6 eggs
2 Cups shredded hashbrown style potatoes (Subs: diced potato, sweet potato)
1/2 Cup shredded sharp white cheddar (Subs: any cheddar variety, parmesan, feta, or none at all)
1 Shallot, chopped (Subs: 1/4 cup any onion variety)
1 tsp fresh thyme or 1/3 tsp ground thyme (Subs: Parsley, cilantro, basil)
1/2 tsp salt

Directions:
In a large skillet, brown meat (skip this step if you’re using pre-cooked meat). Drain excess grease. Add garlic, veggies, and butter to the meat skillet and saute until veggies are heated through but still crisp (this will vary depending on the veggies you use, 5-10 minutes).

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, potatoes, cheese, shallots and spices. Set aside.

Spray and oven-safe dish with non-stick spray and transfer meat and veggies into it (skip this step if using an oven safe skillet or cast iron pan).
Pour egg mixture over the meat mixture. Use a spatula to help the egg soak into the dish. The goal is for the egg to bind all the other ingredients together.

Place dish in a 450 degree oven on the middle rack for 15 minutes. If the top is not golden, you can broil it for a bit at the end, but watch it very carefully! Let it sit a minute or two, then cut and serve! Serves about 8.