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Roasted Carrot, Golden Beet And Goat Cheese Tart With Dukkah



Recently while browsing in the neighborhood bookstore I broke down and bought “Plenty More” a brilliant and beautiful cookbook which really is an homage to vegetables by the amazing Yotam Ottolenghi. Everything in the book looks wonderful and I want to make it but the recipe that stuck out is the roasted carrots. Now it’s odd that this recipe attracted me since I really dislike cooked or roasted carrots, I only eat them raw.  There is something about this simple dish that I find so appealing.  The carrots are glazed with honey, olive oil, crushed toasted coriander and cumin and salt and pepper. They are then roasted in a hot oven until tender. I had some golden beets that I needed to use so I peeled and quartered them, slathered them with the same glaze and roasted them as well. The carrots were quite delicate and slim so I started with the beets roasting for 15 minutes then placed the carrots on the same pan and continued roasting for another 20 minutes.

The vegetables are wonderful on their own but I decided to make a savory tart filled with goat cheese and topped with the roasted vegetables. To add a little crunch and make the tart more interesting I made dukkah from nuts, seeds and spice and sprinkled on top. My photo’s are horrible so disregard,  it poured rain all day, and there was no sunlight. It makes it very difficult to get a decent photo in bad weather,

I used the rest of my saffron pastry dough that I had left over from the lamb pot pies.  I think it made the tart even more interesting . The carrots and beets are only slightly sweet from the honey and nicely spiced,  it goes perfectly with the tangy goat cheese and flaky pastry, the dukkah has the same spice as the carrots along with seeds and nuts. It’s a great combination, easy to put together and makes a lovely presentation. If you are a fan of roasted carrots, beets, goat cheese and Ottolenghi I think you will really enjoy this tart.

I am bringing this tart to Fiesta Friday #108. Angie is such a great hostess and this week the co hosts are me, yep I am co hosting and the lovely Zeba@Food For The Soul

Join in, you are all invited, bring something delicious, see you at the party!!

Roasted Carrot, Golden Beet, Goat Cheese Tart With Dukkah

Makes one 9 inch rectangular or round tart

Roasted Carrots and beets

8 carrots peeled and cleaned and left whole (I used rainbow)

3 small golden beets peeled, cleaned and quartered

3 tbs honey

2 tbs olive oil

2 tsp toasted coriander seeds crushed (use mortar and pestle)

2 tsp toasted cumin seeds crushed

1 tsp salt

several grinds of pepper

3 or 4 sprigs fresh thyme

Pre heat oven to 425 degree’s. Line baking sheet with parchment. Toss the vegetables in the glaze. Place the beets on the baking sheet first with a sprig or two of thyme and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, turn the beets over place carrots and remaining thyme sprigs on the pan and roast for another 30 minutes gently turning them at least once while they are roasting. Set the vegetables aside.

Blind bake the pastry in a 400 degree oven weighted with pie weights until golden brown approximately 25-30 minutes.

Goat Cheese Filling

10.5 oz soft goat cheese softened and at room temperature

2-4 tbs whole fat buttermilk or créme fraîche

Mix the softened goat cheese with buttermilk or créme fraîche a tbs at a time until you reach a spreadable consistency. I used the full 4 tbs.


1 tbs coriander seeds

1 tbs cumin seeds

1 tbs white sesame seeds

1/4 cup toasted pistachio’s

sea salt and pepper to taste.

Toast the spices and  seeds, first the coriander and cummin and then the sesame. I like to use a fry pan. Toast until you can smell them shaking the pan frequently. I used toasted pistachio’s if yours are not toast in the oven for about 15 minutes.

Add the spices, seeds and nuts to a spice grinder and pulse until broken up but not completely pulverized, alternately you can use a mortar and pestle. You want it to have some texture. Season with salt and pepper.


Serving the tart

Spread the goat cheese in the baked pie shell, arrange the vegetables on top, brush with some of the leftover glaze and sprinkle with dukkah.



New Kitchen Toy And Percy Update

From Williams Sonoma Site

From Williams Sonoma Site

In an effort to cut carbs and eat more healthfully I invested in a spiralizer attachment for my Kitchen Aid. I totally love it, it’s easy to use and you actually can sort of fool yourself into thinking you are eating pasta (well sort of) anyway it is wonderful and must say I love zucchini pasta. Broke in my new gadget tonight with a zucchini and made this:

zucchini pasta

zucchini pasta with roasted tomatoes and parmigiana

Now for Mr. Percy, he is doing fantastic. He really seems to be happy here, I have totally spoiled him (as it should be). He will only rarely eat dog food now because I cook for him, he sleeps on the bed with me at night. He has made friends with my neighbors and their dogs, he adores the cats that I feed in the backyard and last Saturday I took him to Ft Greene Park, quite a long walk for the little guy at almost 11 years young so we brought Nando’s stroller if he got tired. He made it all the way to the park, had a glorious time playing with other dogs and getting lots of love from strangers,  but he got a ride most of the way back home. He is a love, so sweet, so well behaved and a real joy.

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Exciting News- Meet Percy My Valentine



IMG_0685I have adopted a dog!!

A few weeks ago,  I got an email from my good friend Emily, she and I have known each other for quite some time now, we met on Food52 where I have met and am friends with some amazing people. Well, Emily lives in DC with her husband T and two children, their cat Nutmeg and pug Percy, I follow her blog Em-i-lis, reading it every day it’s part of my morning routine. She is an amazing writer, a great cook and the sweetest person. In the email Em asked me if I would consider adopting her pug Percy, he is 10 years old and a real sweetheart but she just can’t give him the attention he needs with her busy life. I said yes, of course I would. After losing Izzy first and then Nando shortly after I was grief stricken but at the same time I needed some time to recover from the trauma of their deaths, I had always said that although I was not looking for another dog, at least not now, I thought that if the situation presents itself I will do it. So it did, and yesterday, Saturday February 13, they brought Percy to live with me in Brooklyn. There is once again a pug in my kitchen and I couldn’t be happier. I am grateful to Em for giving me this sweet gift and I know she will miss Percy but she can be certain that he has a good and loving home.

Got his green

Got his greenie

Out for a walk

Out for a walk

Made himself right at home

Made himself right at home

Fast asleep

Fast asleep


Cupcakes For Valentines Day And Fiesta Friday #106


IMG_0551Chocolate cupcakes with a cream cheese buttercream filling and covered with ganache, I saw these in an email or instagram or something from Williams Sonoma only they used a strawberry cream cheese filling which sounds delicious,  but I opted for a vanilla cream cheese filling instead. The cupcakes are adorable and mimic the famous Hostess Cupcake with the white squiggle on top of the icing, Instead of the squiggle you write a valentine message or pipe some hearts. I thought they were too cute (and delicious) not to make. My writing/piping skills are not that great and I think I should have followed a recipe for the icing used to write because it ran a bit, no it’s not your eyes that are blurry it’s the runny icing. Despite the less than perfect appearance they are quite delicious. Because I was having a hard time with the writing I decided to do half of the cupcakes with the vanilla cream cheese icing.

For our very special Valentines Day party I thought a nice dose of chocolate would be in order, so for Fiesta Friday #106 I am bringing these cupcakes.  This week the co hosts are  Steffi @ Ginger & Bread and Andrea @ Cooking With a Wallflower 

Happy Valentines Day Everyone!!


Hershey’s Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 24 cupcakes or two 9 inch round layers

1 3/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cups cocoa (I use hershey’s) the recipe doesn’t specify whether or not to use dutch or natural cocoa since its a hersheys recipe I use what they say to use.
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup vegetable oil (If you want to substitute melted butter for the oil its fine)
1 cup whole milk at room temperature
2 large eggs at room temperature and lightly beaten
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
2 teaspoons instant espresso coffee (Optional but recommended)
soft butter and flour to prep baking pans or you can use cooking spray
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two 9″ round baking pans, butter the bottom add a parchment round then butter bottom and sides and flour the pan or you can use cocoa powder instead of flour. If you are making cupcakes place liners in two 12 cup muffin tins. In large mixing bowl add your dry ingredients, flour, cocoa, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder and whisk to combine. Now add the wet ingredients milk, oil,eggs and vanilla do not add the boiling water yet. With hand held mixer beat for 2 minutes. Now add the boiling water with optional espresso powder, beat just until combined. Pour into your prepared pans (the batter is quite thin) and bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cream cheese buttercream filling

4 oz unsalted butter softened at room temperature

4 oz cream cheese at room temperature

1 3/4-2 cups powdered sugar

1 tbs milk (plus more if needed)

Beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy and soft. Add powdered sugar and 1 tbs milk. The frosting should be soft and fluffy.


4 oz milk chocolate

4 oz dark chocolate

1 cup heavy cream

Heat the cream to scalding, chop the chocolate and place in mixing bowl, pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let sit for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. Let the ganache come to room temperature stirring frequently.

To make the filled cupcakes, refrigerate the cupcakes so they are cold, with a paring knive cut a small hole in the center of the cupcake (you can eat that little tidbit) pipe the filling into the center, smooth the top and refrigerate for several hours. Pour the room temperature ganache on top and refrigerate again. If you want to try your hand at piping the squiggle either get the pre packaged stuff or make your own with confectioners sugar and water. I don’t really have a recipe for that but it should be easy enough to locate. Won’t give you mine since it ran.


I am receiving a very special Valentines gift today which I am so excited about. I’ll let everyone know about it later. Have a great day and lots of Love!


Guest Post- Three Little Halves Meyer Lemon, Cornmeal And Olive Oil Cake With Rosemary Glaze

I am honored to know and call Aleksandra a friend, she is the author of the gorgeous blog Three Little Halves. I met her several years ago on Food52 and was immediately mesmerized by her delicious recipes and then I saw her blog and was literally blown away with the beauty and artistry of her photographs and illustrations, her writing is lyrical and engaging and speaks of family and history and travel and her recipes are delicious and creative and literally make you want to make them immediately. Read a little about her accomplishments, she is a James Beard Foundation nominee, her blog was a finalist for Savueur Magazines Blog awards, her blog is named as one of the top 100 for 2015  by Inspired. She has also won many contests on Food52 and has numerous Wildcard Wins and Community Picks. Oh, yes, I also should add that she is a brilliant Scientist by avocation. This uber talented and accomplished woman is one of the nicest people you will ever meet, and before I introduce Aleksandra, Queen Sashy, I  want to thank her for being so kind and I am humbled and grateful for her friendship and support. I also want to thank her for making this cake, a nod to my recipe, which she made her own and took to another level with her wonderful additions and photographs.

Everyone meet Aleksandra..

meyer lemon cake

It gives me a great pleasure to contribute this post to Suzanne’s blog…

Four years ago, I stumbled upon a gorgeous photo of plum and mozzarella salad on Pinterest, or maybe it was on Facebook, I do not quite remember anymore. It took me to a place called Food52 – an awesome little corner of the Internet where home cooks got together to exchange recipes, chit-chat, ask questions, debate and learn. And compete — that’s the part they all liked a lot! I joined and Food52 became my virtual playground, a kitchen family so to speak. As it happens most of the time in the world of the World Wide Web, one does not get to see one’s cyberspace buddies, just their avatars — oftentimes their pets or plants they like to grow — and one gets to know them by their semi-real names (meet emilyC and drbabs), the causes they champion (hello healthierkitchen and Greenstuff), their favorite foods (nice to meet you Brussels Sprouts for Breakfast, sexyLAMBCHOPx and gingeroot), or what they excel at (yup, that’s boulangere). I often catch myself trying to imagine how my kitchen comrades look, wondering who they are in real life, what they do, or what kind of person they might be. Sometimes, their comments and answers on the hotline add a trickle of information. Some folks are chatty, some are serious and to the point. There are the funny ones, the polite ones and the fact checkers. Those who like to brag a little, and those who know what they are talking about. The opinionated, the passionate, the informed… And the ones with a big heart. That’s about the first thing that comes to mind when you meet sdebrango on Food52. The ones with a really, really, really BIG heart. That’s about the first thing that comes to mind when you meet Suzanne in real life.

Suzanne does not brag and it might take a thing or two — a glimpse at her profile, a walk through her recipes, a tour of her blog — to realize what an extraordinary cook she is. She is the kind of cook you trust, the kind of cook you would like to have cooking for you every single day. Suzanne’s recipes are about honoring good food and good ingredients, and about feeling good. I had the privilege to cook for Suzanne when she organized Food52 potlucks in her Brooklyn home — it’s a privilege and responsibility, because you know you are cooking for a mighty good cook. Writing a guest post for Suzanne’s blog kind of makes you feel the same, and when she asked me to contribute, I caught myself wondering. What to cook? Which recipe to share? One of my favorite Food52 recipes is Suzanne’s citrus and semolina olive oil cake; it’s a poor man’s dessert one might find somewhere on the Mediterranean coast, a simple thing, yet a slice of it feels like a piece of sunshine on the plate. I made the cake many times, citruses and olive oil are a combination I love, so perhaps, I thought, a tiny tribute to it, an homage so to say, would be a way to give back and honor a great recipe, a magnificent cook, and most of all, a wonderful person.

meyer lemon cornmeal and rosemary cake-3-2

meyer lemon cornmeal and rosemary cake-3-4

Meyer Lemon, Cornmeal and Olive Oil Cake with Rosemary Glaze

This cake will really benefit from a good olive oil and Meyer lemons. Needles to say, when Meyers are not in season, you can always use plain good old lemons. I also like to play with different combinations of citruses and herbs, such as grapefruit and mint, lime and lemon thyme, and orange and lemon verbena.

for the cake

* 1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
* 1/2 cup stone ground cornmeal flour (I used Bob Red Mills)
* 1 tsp baking powder
* 1/2 tsp baking soda
* 1 tsp kosher salt

* 3 large eggs
* 1 cup full fat Greek yogurt
* 3/4 cup fruity extra virgin olive oil
* 3/4 cup granulated sugar
* zest of two Meyer lemons
* 3/4 cup lemon juice (juice of two Meyer lemons)

* a little bit of butter and extra flour for greasing and flouring the pan

for the glaze

* 1 cup granulated sugar
* 1 cup water
* 3-4 sprigs of rosemary


* 9 x 5 inch loaf pan

Heat the oven to 325F convection (350F regular).

In a bowl mix together all purpose flour, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a small bowl, whisk the eggs gently.

In a large bowl mix yogurt, olive oil, sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add the eggs to the yogurt mixture and stir until combined. Add the dry ingredients into the mixture, and stir gently, until fully combined. Be careful not to overwork the batter.

Grease and flour the pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 50 minutes, until cake is golden and toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Leave the cake in the pan for about 15 minutes, and then take it out and place on a serving plate.

While the cake is in the oven, make the glaze. Combine water, sugar and rosemary in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and boil until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove the saucepan from the heat, and let it stand, covered, for about 30 minutes to an hour.

While the cake is still warm, pour the glaze all over it. Wait for a while until the cake absorbs the syrup and repeat once more. (You will have some extra syrup left.) Serve the cake warm, at room temperature or cold, with the remaining syrup on the side.


meyer lemon cornmeal and rosemary cake-3

Lamb Pot Pie With Saffron Pastry

IMG_0388 Read more

Rustic Italian Rolls For Fiesta Friday #105


This is not exactly conducive to dieting, I have been baking bread, a lot of bread lately. the good news is I give away some and freeze some. One recipe of The Solitary Cooks rustic Italian bread makes 3 medium size loaves, boules or batards. With this batch I made 2 boule and 8 sandwich size rolls. Just a hint, once I make the dough and it proves at room temp I put it in the refrigerator for 48-72 hours, believe me,  this is a good thing, the bread develops incredible character and flavor. I also stagger the making of the bread. I made the 2 boule yesterday and the rolls today. I have never gone more than 72 hours in the refrigerator but I can’t imagine it would be bad to even give it an extra day. Building character is a good thing.

2 Boule

2 Boule

The rolls are perfect sandwich size, or would be a generous dinner roll. Because they are portable and delicious and who doesn’t like bread I thought I would bring them with me to Fiesta Friday #105. This week Angie’s co hosts are Lily @ Little Sweet Baker andJulianna @ Foodie On Board. Hope to see some (or all) of you there and bring a dish, it will be fun. Guaranteed!!

I am giving the link to the recipe which I have done many times, Cynthia, The Solitary Cook gives amazing, explicit instructions on how to make this bread also including a link to her instructions on making the preferement or biga and I want you to go to her site and read it. She is amazing.

gorgeous rolls

gorgeous rolls


Whole Grain Waffles

Handsome waffle maker

Handsome Breville waffle maker photo from Williams Sonoma website

I procrastinate, a lot. I have been wanting to get a new waffle maker for about a year or more but thought I would wait for old one to die, it didn’t but was producing some pretty sorry waffles. I threw caution to the wind and took the plunge. I bought the Breville Smart Waffle maker, and I am really glad I did. It’s wonderful and I have been making waffles for a couple of days now and having a lot of fun experimenting with different recipes. I love how nice and thick the waffles are, uniformly cooked and crisp on the outside, very tender on the inside. This is not a sponsored post by the way, I bought and paid for it this is entirely my opinion and I was not coeerced.

Today I made some whole grain waffles using spelt, oat and almond flour primarily. The waffles are really good, very light and flavorful and I feel pretty good about eating one. A little fresh fruit and drizzle of honey or maple syrup, some butter and you have a nutritious start to the day. I adapted the recipe for Classic Waffles that came in the instruction book.


Whole Grain Waffles

Made 9 waffles

1 cup spelt flour

1/2 cup oat flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/3 cup almond flour

1 tbs baking powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1/4 cup organic sugar (can adjust more or less or use honey or coconut sugar)

1 3/4 cup milk (almond milk would be nice also)

3 large eggs

5 oz butter melted

1 tsp vanilla

Add the flours, baking powder, salt and sugar to medium size mixing bowl. Whisk to combine and make a well in the center. In another bowl beat the eggs with a whisk, add the milk, melted butter and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the center, whisking while p0uring. Don’t over mix, there may be a few small lumps, thats ok. Let the batter rest while your waffle maker heats. Follow manufacturers cooking instructions. Enjoy!!

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