Thursday, September 24, 2020

Monday, August 17, 2020

Summer Tomato Pie

 Right now in the middle of summer I expect we all are getting some delicious tomatoes. Every time my husband visits our local farmers market he brings home so many tomatoes but all is good because we both love tomatoes. With one exception, I have never cared for a tomato sandwich. That is such a Southern thing but I admit to NEVER caring for them.

I do, however, LOVE a good Tomato Pie and I find my recipe particularly tasty.

Tomato Pie

One 9-inch deep dish pie crust, prebaked according to package drictions

3 to 4 juicy tomatoes, sliced about 1/4" thick

8 to 10 fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/3 cup green onion, chopped, white and green parts

Salt and pepper to taste

2 cups Mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup mayonnaise

Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Layer tomato slices, basil, and onion in a pre-baked pie shell. Add salt and pepper. Mix together grated cheese and mayonnaise and spread on top of the tomatoes. Sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes or until to desired browning. Let cool for about 10 minutes before slicing pie.

This is such an easy pie to prepare and it is soooooooo tasty. I am of the opinion that you can't have too much Parmesan cheese on anything.

This is exactly why I did not put an amount in the recipe. Use as much or as little as you want. It will also make a beautifully browned pie.

 Many people do a mixture of half mozzarella and half cheddar. I have made it with the cheddar but I personally prefer using just a good mozzarella. Some people use just cheddar and I love a good cheddar but using the mozzarella just seems to go better with these particular ingredients, in my opinion.

This is an easy Sunday night dinner and pares well with a fresh fruit salad. Add an excellent glass of wine and you have the perfect Sunday night fare.

I hope you'll try this recipe, it's not only a great way to use up those lucious tomatoes but it is addictive as well.

I hope you all have a wonderful and productive week.


Friday, July 31, 2020

Garden Fleurs

I admit to hydrangeas being one of my favorite flowers and in my garden I have an abundance of them at the moment. One of the many joys of summer. There is nothing more delightful than cutting blooms from the garden to brighten the indoors.
 Of course, the blue hydrangeas go in any room in my home.

This is a view from my back door and I am of the opinion that back door guests are best so what could be more welcoming than a wee bouquet of flowers. I don't quite understand why but the pink hydrangea was cut from the same bush as the blue one although it does have a pinkish tone. Difference in the soil but I didn't amend the soil to make pink blooms.
I love this vignette, the lamp is probably the oldest and most valuable lamp in my home. I have had many dealers try to buy it from me when I have taken it into a lamp shop to replace the shade but it has special significance to me. At least 40 years ago I bought it at an antique show that I went to with my mother whom we lost long ago. I could never part with this lamp it conjures up very happy memories.
I think these hydrangeas are particularly beautiful. The container had a candle in it when I first bought it and I rarely throw out interesting containers. They too have a usefulness from time to time.

Garden flower bouquets I believe are the loveliest of bouquets in my opinion. Here in our living room I cut some agapanthus. I love the tall stems and of course, again blue.

My garden is a fulfilling JOY to me almost year round especially when I can cut blooms to bring indoors. I hope you can do the same but if not there are so many ways to bring nature indoors. It will brighten your surroundings.

Enjoy the remainder of your day, Carolyn

Friday, June 5, 2020

Roasted Vegetable Soup

I could eat soup for lunch or dinner year round. If I'm sitting in an air conditioned setting, I'm good because I dearly love a good soup. This one I am about to share is so very simple and one of my favorites.

When I have an abundance of veggies and I often do, mainly because my husband likes to visit the local farmers' markets and he generally gets carried away. Not a problem because I love fresh and locally grown veggies. One of my favorite ways to prepare them is in the oven roasted. It's quick, easy and I think brings out the best flavors of each vegetable. Some time ago we had an excellent cheese shop in our area and the owner got me hooked on French Raclette cheese. He told me that the French often grate this cheese and sprinkle it over the top of their roasted veggies. I bought some and I was hooked. It is probably one of the stinkiest cheeses but grated and on top of roasted veggies, pure heaven. The cheese shop has since closed and some grocery stores carry a Raclette but if it's made in the USA it is an entirely different taste difference. I have since found that our local Fresh Market carries one from France so all is well.

When I roast veggies I most always do quite a few and I will share why.
Leftover roasted veggies make the most incredible soup. My veggie mixture most always includes a few potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, red onion, red bell pepper, and carrots. I always generously salt and pepper them before placing in the oven along with a generous amount of a very good olive oil. I roast them in a preheated oven to about 400* F for about 25 to 30 minutes. I turn them with a spatula a couple of times while in the oven and they roast until just tender. The smell becomes heavenly.
Since there is just the two of us, extras in my fridge is truly a "good thing".
For my soup I place the leftover veggies in a blender with a little chicken stock, whirr them up to my desired consistency and I then add in a little more chicken stock. This by the way is the only chicken stock I use if I don't have homemade. I believe this to be the most flavorful on the market and I have tried them all. Then you simply place the mixture in a sauce pan and warm it up. I most always have to add more chicken stock to thin the mixture to a desired consistency.
The combination of these veggies is an amazing combination. It becomes my lunch for several days and oh so healthy. I always check for seasonings. Even though they were seasoned before going in the oven you may find they need a little more.
If you have never tried this before I promise you won't be disappointed. It is an excellent use of leftover roasted veggies with great health benefits and what could be easier?
I enjoy a little drizzle of black truffle oil to just put it right over the top but you can also add a little grated Parmesan cheese or even some French Raclette cheese if you should come across it. Whatever you top it with it will be amazing. Try it you'll love it.

I hope you enjoy the remainder of your day and thank goodness it's Friday.


Wednesday, May 27, 2020

A Delicious Summer Salad

In June of 2018 I hosted my Cookbook Book Club and as the hostess I chose the book from which we all cooked. Everyone prepares their dish and we all get to try the dishes at our monthly luncheon. This was probably the simplest of dishes but frankly my favorite. It was a Caprese Salad but instead of using tomatoes it used fresh peaches. Now here in the South our peaches are just coming in so I thought how appropriate to share this wonderful recipe. It was a refreshing summer salad and I thought it was terrific.

Peach Caprese Salad
1/2 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 white peaches, chilled
2 yellow peaches, chilled
Two 4-ounce fresh mozzarella balls, preferably water-packed
10 fresh basil leaves, torn
1 teaspoon flakey salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In an 8-ounce screw-top jar, combine the vinegar and oil. Screw on the lid and shake well. Refrigerate until well chilled. The dressing can be made ahead and stored in the jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. 

Remove the pits from the peaches and cut them into 1/2-inch-thick slices or wedges. Drain the mozzarella if necessary and pat it dry. Use a sharp knife to cut it into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

On a serving platter, decoratively arrange slices of the white peaches, yellow peaches, and mozzarella. Scatter the basil leaves on top, drizzle over the dressing, an sprinkle the flaky salt and pepper on top. Serve at once.

Makes 4 servings

Such a simple change but it was my favorite dish on the menu that day at our luncheon. Light, refreshing, and a lovely presentation. When you find fresh peaches at your local vegetable market you should consider trying it. The combination of flavors were amazing.

This recipe was adapted from Joanna Gaines first cookbook "Magnolia Table". I was somewhat apprehensive about this book but it did not disappoint. Each and every dish that was brought to our luncheon was excellent. As the hostess I prepared the entrée which was the Dedication Casserole which was a chicken and wild rice dish with so many added flavors. I would definitely make this again. Other dishes brought were Dutch Oven Cabbage and Bacon, Creamy Squash Casserole, Stuffed Broccoli Casserole, Three Cheese Quiche, Blueberry Buttermilk Puff, and a very unusual Banana Pudding. A good time was had by all and we all walk away having had an excellent luncheon.
I hope you'll try this Peach Caprese Salad, it was outstanding.
Enjoy the remainder of the week, Carolyn

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, April 13, 2020

Blueberry Buttermilk Pie

I do believe I have done a post on this pie before probably last summer when we have a plethora of blueberries from our farm in South Georgia. I just made it recently again since I had some fresh blueberries and buttermilk that I needed to use up during this quarantine period. I saw something recently that rings so very true. During this quarantine we are either going to become better cooks or have a drinking problem. I'm hoping for the first one but in all honesty I do believe I may be tittering on the second one. OOOPS

Now back to the pie, Buttermilk Pie is a Southern staple. Quick and easy, we usually have all of the ingredients on hand in our refrigerator's or pantry's but this is just a little different twist on an ole Southern favorite.

What could be more delicious I ask you? The sweetness and tartness of buttermilk with a bunch of fresh blueberries thrown into the mix. Add a dollop of freshly whipped cream and you have pure heaven.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pie

1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
1 (9-inch)store bought pie crust or your own pie crust
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup whole buttermilk
3 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place blueberries in the bottom of the piecrust. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat butter, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla at medium-low speed with an electric mixer until butter is in nickel-sized pieces, approximately 1 minute.

In a small bowl, stir together sugar, flour, and salt; stir into egg mixture. Pour into piecrust.

Bake until set, 60 to 65 minutes. (Cover with aluminum foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary.) Let cool before serving.

 Top slices with freshly whipped cream, if desired.

Note: The blueberries rise to the top as a pecan pie would. I used a Pillsbury pie crust and whipped the heavy cream with a little added superfine sugar.
This is a quick and so very simple pie but yet so delicious. In the past I have used blueberries that I have picked from our farm in South Georgia and frozen them but had fresh ones so used those. It's good to know though that frozen ones will work just as well.
If you try this pie you won't be disappointed and I would love to hear if you enjoyed it. I hope you will enjoy it. It also keeps very well for several days in the refrigerator but I recommend bringing it to room temperature before serving again.

Have a wonderful day and stay well during this time of quarantine.


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Monday, October 14, 2019

Spinach Bacon Quiche with Tomatoes

I love a good quiche served anytime of the day. I came across this recipe originally posted by friend Sharon who is the author of the blog, Grits and Pinecones. Sharon and I have been friends since high school and she is an extremely accomplished cook and food blogger. She also has a weekly column in our local food section of our newspaper. I knew when I first read this recipe that it was definitely a keeper. I also knew that even Mr. Picky Eater would love it as well and that is often a real challenge.
I began by gathering my ingredients. I sliced the tomatoes, sprinkled a little salt on them, and set them on a doubled paper towel so some of the juices could be absorbed in the paper toweling. Just to ensure that there won't be any excess liquid.
In a separate container I whisked together all of my liquid ingredients with the salt and nutmeg.

In my opinion, the key to an excellent quiche is the cheese you use and if you want a tasty quiche don't skimp on the gruyere. Know the gruyere you are using, it can make
all the difference in the world for a tasty quiche. There are so many different levels of gruyere and the one I used was a little bit of a softer gruyere. It gave a creamier consistency to the quiche than any I had used before. Another thing I loved about this recipe was the use of the bacon. Oh my, who can argue with that, it just put it over the top for me.
Spinach Bacon Quiche with Tomatoes

1 pie crust, pre-baked deep dish (9-inch)
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 cups Gruyere, shredded
1 cup fresh baby spinach, stems removed and chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
4 large eggs
1 3/4 cups half-and-half
1/4 teaspoons nutmeg, freshly ground
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Blind bake the pie crust for 10 minutes using a parchment round in the bottom and add pie weights.  Cool completely and turn oven down to 375 degrees.

Combine the eggs, half-and-half, nutmeg, and salt in a medium size bowl and whisk with a wire whisk and set aside.

Place the chopped spinach and shredded cheese in the pie crust. Spread out evenly and sprinkle the sliced tomatoes over the top. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach, cheese and tomatoes. Top with the crumbled bacon and place the quiche on a rimmed baking sheet covered with aluminum foil and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until the filling is puffed and set.

Set baked quiche on a wire rack and cool briefly.

This quiche was amazingly delicious and pared well with a mixed green salad for a quick and easy dinner. I loved the use of the fresh baby spinach with the cherry tomatoes.
Try this, you won't be disappointed and you can click HERE to access other fabulous recipes shared at Grits and Pinecones.
This is a recipe that I will use over and over again and I am so glad to have it in my own repertoire. Thanks Sharon for sharing this wonderful recipe.
 Enjoy your afternoon to all, Carolyn