Us kids are bringing the food and that's always fun because we have three very different cooking styles.
My brother is very prone to experimentation - he travels a lot so he often brings home exotic ingredients to cook with, like the BEST smoked paprika in the world he brought us from Spain. He made a really awesome fruity paella with it once.
My sister and I are what I'd call seasonal cooks - we like to cook with what is currently either in our gardens, or in season in our local farms. She never makes the same thing twice or writes her recipes down (Taurus, middle child) and while I rarely START with recipe, I always document what I'm doing and I END with a very precise recipe (Virgo, youngest child).
So we usually end up with very fun, very eclectic meals.
Such will be the case today, I'm sure. My contribution is two goat cheese tarts. This is a recent favorite of mine and very easy to make and customize to whatever fresh ingredients you have. This is about the 4th variation I've made and they are all delicious. Today's features local asparagus as well as leeks and yard eggs from a neighbor. Here's the recipe:
- Your favorite pie crust, at room temperature
- 1 Tbs. butter
- 24 green onions, cut into 1/2-inch lengths (Sub two leeks, sliced, soaked and cleaned, then carmelized in butter and/or a bunch of asparagus, skinned and broiled with olive oil salt and balsamic)
- 1/4 cup veggie broth, chicken broth or water
- 1/4 lb. fresh goat cheese (chèvre)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, plus thyme sprigs for garnish
- Chopped bacon, fried crisp (optional)
- Fresh chives for garnish, snipped tiny (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Bring the eggs, sour cream and goat cheese to room temperature. Preheat an oven to 400°F. Press pie crust into glass pie plate or a tart pan.
Line the pastry with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights (for me - pinto beans). Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the weights and foil and reduce the temperature to 375°F. Continue to bake until lightly golden, 15 to 20 minutes more.
While the tart shell is baking, make the filling: In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the green onions or leeks, and the broth and stir well. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the green onions are soft, about 15 minutes. The broth is really optional - I didn't use it with the leeks.
If adding asparagus, I clean and peel the stalks, roll them in olive oil, sprinkle them with white balsamic and cook on parchment paper at 400 until browned. Then cool and chop.
Remove the pastry shell from the oven and set aside. Position the rack in the upper part of the oven. Leave the oven set at 375°F.
In a bowl, mash together the goat cheese and sour cream with a fork until soft and well mixed. Add the eggs and chopped thyme and mix well.
Uncover the green onions/leeks and raise the heat to high. Cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes. Stir the green onions into the cheese mixture with bacon and asparagus if desired, then season with salt and pepper. Pour the cheese mixture into the prebaked pastry shell.
Bake on the top rack of the oven until a knife inserted into the center of the tart comes out clean, 25ish minutes. Remove from the oven and garnish with thyme sprigs. Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with more chopped crispy bacon and chives.
This reheats very well!
So then I filmed a great video using Cottage Greetings and the MISTI - I demonstrated perfect alignment tips and coloring with Zig Clean Color markers.
Andddddddddddddddddddd the file is corrupted. (sad trombone here)
Oh well. Here's the card. Imagine an awesome video to go with it. Maybe the universe was telling me to get out from in front of the computer for what's left of the weekend.
We are really missing the sun here in Texas. It just will NOT stop raining and I'm so tired of it. My poor retreat people witnessed our suffering in a dramatic way - at one point it was raining so hard we couldn't hear each other talk inside the retreat center. And, in case you weren't aware of this - WE ARE NOT QUIET PEOPLE.
So I wanted to make a very bright card that looked like it had little spots of light on it.
I just made very loose circles of color with the Zig markers and just blended them roughly - I wasn't aiming for precision. This would work great with alcohol markers too - or whatever you have.
I love the clean, sweet, precise lines of this stamp set and I wanted to have the color be exactly the opposite.
I paired it with my fave paper ever from the neutrals patterns pack - a nice crisp change from my blurry flowers. The center of the flowers have little dots from my white gel pen.
Is there a better sentiment in the world than this?
I do wish everyone ridiculous amounts of happiness. Anything less is just underachieving :)