Posts made in August, 2012

Great Tart, Smart Crust

Posted by on Aug 31, 2012 in Asian and Vegetarian | 0 comments

Great Tart, Smart Crust

An article from Cooking Light caught my eye last month.

Admittedly, creating a fantastic make-ahead crust for a savory tart which is fail-safe seemed elusive.

The Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette crust replaces butter with olive oil.

Simply, it was crazy easy.








Flour, salt and baking powder.








Combine water with olive oil.








With the machine running, add the oil and water to the flour.








Quickly it turns to a crumbly dough.  Don't over process.







It came together into a disc beautifully, without a struggle.

Chill at least 30 minutes.








Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables and








combine the filling.

I had only full fat ricotta--so I reduced the Parmesan to 1 ounce.

It assuaged my guilt.








Roll the dough into a 14-inch circle.  I drew on parchment to make sure...

There was no  breakage or patching!








Spread the ricotta filling on the crust leaving a border to fold over the squash.








Place the squash in concentric circles on top of the filling.








Fold the edge over the tart which creates the rustic style galette.

Brush the pastry with egg white and water mixture.








Bake the galette for about 40 minutes and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.

It was delicious at room temperature--








Garnish with torn basil.








The galette crust was surprisingly flaky and truly wrapped the subtle flavors of the light and cheesy vegetables into a savory supper package.

Being as impressed as I am with this pastry, I have already fashioned a tailored tart suited up with roasted tomatoes, soft garlicky goat's cheese and a bow tie of slightly sweet basil Balsamic vinaigrette...

and then a whole wheat pastry?

Summer Squash and Ricotta Galette


  • 7.25 oz all purpose flour (about 1 2/3 cups)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 1 large yellow squash, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 oz grated fresh parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 large egg white


  1. Weigh or lightly spoon the flour into dry measuring cups. Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder in a food processor and pulse to combine. Combine 1/4 cup olive oil and the water in a small bowl. Drizzle it into the food processor while the machine is still running and process until the dough is crumbly.
  2. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead for 1 minute, adding additional flour to prevent sticking, if necessary. Press the dough into a 5-inch disc, cover in saran wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400.
  4. Combine the remaining 1 tbsp oil, zucchini, yellow squash and garlic in a large bowl. Toss to combine.
  5. In a separate bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan cheese, fresh thyme, lemon zest, lemon juice, black pepper, and egg. Stir until well mixed.
  6. Unwrap the dough and roll it out into a 14-inch circle on a lightly floured surface or a sheet of parchment paper. Place it onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  7. Spread the ricotta mix over the dough, leaving a 2-inch border. Arrange the zucchini and squash in concentric circles over the ricotta, slightly overlapping the pieces. Sprinkle with salt. Fold the edges of the dough toward the center, pressing gently to seal.
  8. In a small bowl whisk together 1 tsp water and the egg white. Brush the dough edges with the egg white mixture. Bake at 400 for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool ten minutes before serving.
  9. --Cooking Light Sidney Fry, MS, RD

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Failure Notice

Posted by on Aug 30, 2012 in New | 0 comments

This morning my Inbox was flooded with failure notices.  I was bewildered.  School has merely begun!

If you subscribe to my blog and have a yahoo account (there may have been others... too many to count) you were denied my post on August 29th.

If you receive this today--all is well.  It may have been a glitch.

I am overwhelmed by your numbers and stand encouraged.  Thank you!

On my doorstep this morning was a new box of fresh vegetables.


heirloom tomatoes

red cabbage

giant yellow onion

small potatoes

Hass avacodos


green bell peppers

green beans




Giant Green leaf Lettuce


Any ideas?


























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Recipe Please :)

Posted by on Aug 29, 2012 in Salad | 2 comments



Once in awhile I take a picture of what I have concocted for our dinner and share it on Facebook.

MP patiently waits for me to get my shot so we can eat--

I have been known to spend hours posing cupcakes. Whew!

Yesterday, I composed a hearty salad for dinner to make use of what was left from the farmers' market and the garden.

MP has planted more vegetables hoping for an Indian summer harvest.

After dinner, I began photographing the sunset.















Meanwhile, requests for the recipe with smileys appeared on my timeline!


I am not sure I could recreate this.  I almost did not photograph dinner last night.


Beginning the thought process …it went something like this.

It was 83 degrees in the kitchen.

I had about a pound of summer squash, bell peppers, tomatoes, a mango, and fresh herbs.

There is a challenge when meat is not included.  Because plant protein lacks complete protein (amino acids) getting it into the meal can be tricky.

Enter quinoa and beans into the thought process.  These are pantry staples.

1.  Large ribbons of zucchini and summer squash blanched and patted dry.

2.  ½ cup Quinoa cooked in vegetable stock and fluffed.

3.  1 can of cannellini beans drained and rinsed.

4.  2 tomatoes, cubed.

5.  1/2 Turkish cucumber, cubed.

6.  1 Green pepper, chopped

7.  Maybe 10 Kalamata olives halved.

8.  Mango chunks.

9.  Fresh parsley and basil chiffonade--a handful of each.

10. Crumbles of  Feta.

11. 1/4 cup toasted Pine nuts.

1/2 recipe of Fresh Lemon Vinaigrette (below)

Use it all if you want to.  It is your salad after all.

Eat it immediately!

I almost didn’t put the mango in the salad.  Happily I did.  The mango elevated the entire dish to a divine sweet and savory realm.

The textures, fresh crunch and creamy layers of flavor were toothsome and summery--quite right for a warm and tranquil evening.

I would be so happy to hear back from you-- make sure you taste it and add more seasonings if needed.

Lemon Vinaigrette


  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh herbs (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper (to taste)


  1. Whisk together the first five of the ingredients in a small bowl, making certain the honey is dissolved. Slowly whisk in the oil in a steady stream until emulsified. Adjust the seasonings to taste.
  2. Let sit for an hour or so, and then whisk again before serving.
  3. © Copyright 2012 Peggy Barrett Lunde
  4. All Rights Reserved




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The Last Summer Sleepover

Posted by on Aug 27, 2012 in Pasta | 0 comments

The Last Summer Sleepover

Labor Day is approaching and the first day of the new school year is taking its place on the September calendar.

While Madelynne sets the sun at beach parties, Julianna and Isabella are wrapping up summer vacation with back to back sleepovers.

MP and I got the Saturday slot.

We ate fresh peaches from the Farmers' Market.

We made lip balm...

and decorated the little pots.

After tasting chive blossoms

we harvested summers-end tomatoes warm from the vine.

Permanent teeth are sliding into place.

Early on Saturday I made 60 small individual desserts for an event.

–by dinnertime all of us yearned for a comfort food to savor on the patio.

Julianna volunteered to make a salad and dressing.

I put together Ina's Midnight Pasta

What do you make when you are too tired to cook?

Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.

Psalm 119:18

Spaghetti Aglio e Olio


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb dried spaghetti (Ina recommends: DeCecco)
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 8 large garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the package. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water before you drain the pasta.


  1. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a pot large enough to hold the pasta, such as a 12-inch saute pan or a large, shallow pot. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, until it just begins to turn golden on the edges – don’t overcook it! Add the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds more. Carefully add the reserved pasta-cooking water to the garlic and oil and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, add 1 teaspoon of salt and simmer for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is reduced by about a third.
  2. Add the drained pasta to the garlic sauce and toss. Off the heat, add the parsley and Parmesan cheese and toss well. Allow the pasta to rest off the heat for 5 minutes for the sauce to be absorbed. Taste for seasoning and serve warm with extra Parmesan on the side.
  3. source: Ina Garten, How Easy Is That?

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The Coolest Girl at the Lake

Posted by on Aug 23, 2012 in New | 3 comments

The Coolest Girl at the Lake

In late August for nearly a decade our friends have been opening their home and lush grassy ranch grounds to celebrate their lifestyle.



Jeff and Coco, Bill and Quinn in  their office...












The summer soiree begins on the long graveled driveway near the lily pond swimming with fancy fish.


Guests arrive with a “bring and share dish”.  The starters remain there with friends and drinks.  My job (while MP grills up 60 pounds of Tri-tip) is to snatch up sides and desserts to stow for dinner which begins promptly at 7pm on the deck.















The timing is based on years of predicting thunderstorms, heat, arrivals, and prayers for a clear night.








As the sun sets, chairs turn and the band sets sail through a seemingly endless songbook of stories and sweet tunes… ballads that capture the cowboy way in early California and Montana.








Mike Beck








and the Bohemian Saints

Lights dim, stars fall from the Carson Valley sky and hover over the last notes.








I'm with the band...

Lake Tahoe.

Huey Lewis and the News~ Joe Cocker



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