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Puff Pastry Pizza & A Giveaway

For this giveaway, I’m working with the website Big Kitchen. With my crazy schedule and my propensity to take on way to much, most of my shopping is done online at the end of the day. Big Kitchen has just been added to my list of sites to browse in the free moments that I do have. Along with the wide array of items that you would expect from an online kitchen store, they also have a good selection of items made from recycled and sustainable materials.

And I’m sort of in love with these bowls  and I want this because it reminds me of The Wizard Of Oz, and how have I lived my entire life without one of these?

You see how it goes.

The lovely people over at Big Kitchen sent me a set of Alligator Dicers to play with, that I have since started to refer to as my "Food Chompers." AND they are also going to send a set, one small and one big, to one of you! SO nice.

If you are the lucky winner, here is what you will get:

One Large Alligator Dicer, and one mini dicer.

I used my iPhone for a scale reference to get a more accurate idea of size.

There is a mushroom, cut in half and place on the chomper plate to show you the size difference.

To use the chomper, just place the food on the plate, and press down, the food that is diced goes into a collection bin that is attached.

The Mini dicer is above, and the large dicer is below.

Here are the two collection bins side by side.

As you can see, with a half of a mushroom (or if you used a whole mushroom for that matter, you don’t really get a dice as much as "strips." I like this cut for the Quinoa salads I seem to make 5 times a week.

I also Chomped a bell pepper, and asparagus spears and those gave me a really great, consistent dice.

The best use for the Alligator Dicers is garlic and onions. I tend to need minced garlic and chopped onions on a near daily basis, and these dicers do a fast and efficient job.

I use the small one for the garlic

and the large one for the onions

This is especially helpful for those recipes that call for 6 cloves of garlic, minced and 2 onions, chopped. Not only a huge time saver but all of the pieces are the same size, which is important to insure that they cook evenly.

For the below recipe, I chopped: red bell pepper, asparagus, zucchini, garlic, onions, and mushrooms.

The dicers cleaned up easily with a hand washing and are small enough to store just about anywhere. While I do really love having these, I will probably still just use a knife if I have only a few vegetables to chop. When it comes to those recipes that call for a large amount of diced vegetables, these dicers are great to have around.

To enter the giveaway, just leave a comment on this post. Unfortunately, we are only able to ship to US addresses. Giveaway closes at 3-27-12, at 5:00 PM, PST. 

This is an easy, weeknight meal that you can throw together in just a few minutes. I used the vegetables I chopped with the Alligator Dicer as toppings. 

Puff Pastry Pizza

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed

2/3 cup red pizza sauce

1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

5 spears asparagus, trimmed and chopped

5 mushrooms, diced 

1 clove of garlic

1/4 of a whole white onion chopped

1/2 one large zucchini, chopped

1/2 1 red bell pepper, chopped

2 oz goat cheese

Preheat oven to 400. 

Place a sheet of parchment paper on the counter with one end hanging off the counter in front of you. Place the puff pastry on the parchment paper. Press your body against the parchment paper to keep it from sliding around and roll the puff pastry in both directions 4-5 times each way to make the puff pastry thiner, wider and longer. Transfer puff pastry on the parchment paper to a pizza stone of baking sheet. Roll the edges inward slightly

Bake for 10 minutes or until the puff pastry has turned a light golden brown. 

Remove from the oven and top with sauce, then mozzarella cheese, then all of the chopped vegetables and then dot with goat cheese. 

Bake for an additional 5 minutes or until cheese has melted. 

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The Giveaway is closed.

Congratulations to Kate!

Number 31, you can now dice to your hearts content with your brand new Food Chompers! 

Chipotle Hummus & Bone Marrow Donation

The night after I joined the Bone Marrow Donor registry I had a dream that I was a Bone Marrow match for a little boy who was dying of Leukemia. But in my dream, I had joined the registry one month after he died of the disease. I had the lifesaving cure just walking around in my body and I had no idea until it was too late.  

Horrible, I know. But It happens, I’m sure. This morning, when I woke up, I got an email for the registry, and whenever that happens I have a flicker of hope that I am one of those people who has the opportunity to donate. I want to. I want to use the marrow I grow so easily in my bones to save the life of someones else’s Tater, because I would want you to do that for me, if she is ever in need. Of course, if I ever am a match, I’m sure the news won’t come via email so as you have probably suspected the email was just an update about the progress being made by the Be The Match foundation

Now that I have this platform, I want to use it to reach out. To help save the life of someones baby. What if it is you. What if you are the one who holds the key to a cure inside your bones.

Are you in the Bone Marrow Donor database?

Here was how simple it was for me to get on the list:

Go to a donation center, give blood, sign a form.

It can be even easier for you. You can click here, fill out a form online and order your cheek swap kit through the mail. It’s so easy. 

It took about twenty minutes. Although it did cost me about $50 at the time, I can now put my mind at ease that I am doing what I can. $50 is a lot, more to some people than to others, but it was worth it for me know that I wasn’t the reason that someone was dying.  That I wasn’t caring the lifesaving cure inside of me while someone was dying, over a mater of $50. 

Click here to find out how you can get on the list of Bone Marrow Donors. 

Here are some simple facts about Bone Marrow Donation and how and why to get on the list:

Q: If I join the Be The Match Registry, how likely is it that I will donate to someone? 
A: On average, one in every 540 members of Be The Match Registry in the United States will go on to donate bone marrow or peripheral blood stem cells to a patient. We cannot predict the likelihood that an individual member will donate because there is so much diversity in the population. However, if you are between the ages of 18 and 44, you are 10 times more likely to be called as a marrow donor than other members of the Be The Match Registry. That’s because research shows cells from younger donors lead to more successful transplants.

Every person who joins the registry gives patients hope, and new patient searches begin every day. You may never be identified as a match for someone, or you might be one of a number of potential matches. But you may also be the only one on the registry who can save a particular patient’s life.

Q: How do I become a bone marrow donor? 
A: The first step to become a bone marrow donor is to join the Be The Match Registry. Doctors around the world search our registry to find a match for their patients. If a doctor selects you as a match for a patient, you may be asked to donate bone marrow or cells from circulating blood (called PBSC donation).

Q. Does bone marrow donations involve surgery?

A: The majority of donations do not involve surgery. Today, the patient’s doctor most often requests a peripheral blood stem cell (PBSC) donation, which is non-surgical.

Q. Is Donating painful or involve a long recovery?

A: There can be uncomfortable but short-lived side effects of donating PBSC. Due to taking a drug called filgrastim for five days leading up to donation, PBSC donors may have headaches, joint or muscle aches, or fatigue. PBSC donors are typically back to their normal routine in one to two days.

Q. Is donating  dangerous or weaken the donor?

A: There are rarely any long-term side effects. Be The Match® carefully prescreens all donors to ensure they are healthy and the procedure is safe for them. We also provide support and information every step of the way.

Q. Once you have been chosen as a match do donors have to pay to donate?

A: Donors never pay to donate. We reimburse travel costs and may reimburse other costs on a case-by-case basis.

Q: Does race or ethnicity affect matching?
A: Racial and ethnic heritage are very important factors. Patients are most likely to match someone of their own race or ethnicity. Today, there simply aren’t enough registry members of diverse racial and ethnic heritage. Adding more diverse members increases the likelihood that all patients will find a life-saving match.

Members of these backgrounds are especially needed:

  • Black or African American
  • American Indian or Alaska Native
  • Asian, including South Asian
  • Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander
  • Hispanic or Latino
  • Multiple race
This in no way relates to Chipotle Hummus. Except that maybe those lazy summer days, hanging out with friends, enjoying a spicy dip, are gifts that you maybe able to give another person, if you are a match. And if you get on the registry, and get to donate marrow and save someones life: I will be really jealous. 

Chipotle Hummus

15 ounces garbanzo beans

1/4 cup tahini

3 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cumin

2 tbs olive oil

1/4 cup lemon juice

1-3 tbs water

salt and pepper to taste

Crudites for serving

In a food processor, add the garbonzo beans, tahini, chilies, garlic, cumin, olive oil, lemon juice and process until smooth. Add the water until you reach the consistency that you prefer, more water will equal a creamier hummus. Salt and pepper to taste.

I find that this dip tastes best with the cool crunch of fresh vegetables such as cucumber slices, sliced peppers and carrot sticks.

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Olive and Goat Cheese Tartlets & The Blogger vs Pinterest Controversy

I’m officially on Pinterest. It’s such a brilliant and simple idea. A big digital pin board that you can share with friends. 

If you aren’t a blogger, you probably have no idea how many arguments and debates go on in blog land about this social networking site. The petitions, the disagreements, the loathing. If you are a non-blogger, you are probably a bit confused. What could anyone possibly have against pinterest?! It really comes down to respecting the originator of the idea you pin as well as the sanity of your pin followers. Here is a little list so that we can all pin in peace and harmony. 

1. Pin to the original post. This is the biggest irritation of pin followers. You see a pin and think, "I LOVE those shoes. I will buy them right now." you click and then pin goes to the google homepage or someones email account or even the pinterst homepage. You’re a disappointed buyer and the seller of those shoes just lost a sale to a Ghost Pin. Check the URL of re-pins so that you don’t perpetuate this. I’ve had my own photos lead to everything from the Foodgawker homepage to the Facebook homepage to, for some inexplicable reason: Even if you found the recipe on Foodgawker, or you found those shoes on a fashion tumblr, click through to the original website or blog and pin directly to that, for the sake of your pin followers.

2. Don’t cut and paste the recipe into the pin description. It doesn’t bother me so much, but it is the biggest frustration and the source of most animosity between pinterest and bloggers. Bloggers feel like they will lose traffic if people can get the recipe from pinterest, and traffic is all we have people! It validates what we do. It comes down to respecting the content of the person who has created it. 

3. Follow your favorite bloggers. Pinterest generates an amazing amount of traffic for us and we are SO thrilled with that. If you have a favorite blogger, follow them on pinterst and re-pin their posts. It’s the easiest way to know that you are pinning or re-pinning correctly. If you have any questions, just ask. 

4.Bloggers need to relax a bit. If pinners break these rules, it isn’t out of malice. People either didn’t realize their mistake or are just trying to make things easy for their friends. Just sigh and let it go, there is no need to get upset about possibly loosing a little traffic when most people will probably click through to your recipe (or seek it out) if they want to make it. My general philosophy is that it is better to lose traffic than lose readers. 

5. Pin comments. We have covered that fact that bloggers don’t so much like it when they see their entire recipes posted in pin comments, which has been largely eliminated due to the enforcement of a character limit. And most pinners don’t like the long comments because it ruins the aesthetic of the overall board. But I personally love to see a quick review of the recipe written in the pin. For instance: "Made this for Thanksgiving! Loved it!" or "I didn’t make the frosting but the cake was great all on it’s own!" or even constructive comments: "I liked this but it needed more salt. I also added parmesan and it was a hit!" But don’t bash us. There is a pretty good possibility that we will see it and it hurts our feelings. We are real life humans with hearts and brains and feelings. Be nice, or at least helpful and tactful. 

And please, if you have more to add to this conversation, do so in the comments section! And please, pin away!

Here is my pinterest, a little bare at the moment but I’m working on it!

Olive and Goat Cheese Tartlets


1 sheet puff pastry

1 6 oz can of Large Black Olives

4 oz goat cheese

8 oz cream cheese, softened

½ cup chopped tomato

1 tbs chopped fresh tarragon or basil


Preheat oven to 350.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry with the rolling pin three to four times in each direction, making the pastry thinner, longer and wider. Using a 3.5 inch biscuit cutter cut out 12-16 circles.

Place the pastry circles on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper.

In a food processer, add the olives, goat cheese and cream cheese. Pulse until well combined.

Top the pastry rounds with 1-2 tbs of the olive mixture.

Bake until the edges of the puff pastry turn a light golden brown, about 15-18 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and top with tomato and fresh herb.

BLT Caprese Sliders With Puff Pastry Buns

Small food is for the commitment phobic. 

Or maybe just for those of us that want to experience everything. 

I don’t want to have to decide between a pull pork sandwich, bree grilled cheese and a burger. I want them all. Which is why I will always owe a debt of gratitude to Spain and the brilliance of Tapas. 

Some people want to hunker down with a bowl of their favorite food and call it a day. I fancy myself more of a food gypsy. I want a bite of everything. I’m the girl at the Thanksgiving dessert table that takes a sliver of each piece of pie, brownie, and cake onto one plate because the idea of not knowing what each type of pie, plus the cherry brownie, plum tart and the pumpkin turtle cheesecake all taste like is unthinkable. While other people can just take a slice of apple pie and watch the game. Lucky bastards. 

BLT Caprese Sliders With Puff Pastry Buns

2 sheets  Puff Pastry

3 tbs butter, melted

1/2 tsp course Kosher salt

5-6 Roma Tomatoes

2 tbs Pesto Sauce

20 spinach leaves

4 balls Fresh Mozzarella, Bocconcini size

10 slices of bacon, cooked and cut in half

Preheat oven to 350.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out one sheet of puff pastry to approximately 14.5 inches by 16.5 inches. Using a 3 inch biscuit cutter, cut out 20 circles. Repeat for the second puff pastry sheet.

Brush each puff pastry round with melted butter and sprinkle lightly with salt.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer the circles to the baking sheet(s), butter side up.

Bake for 16-19 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

While those are baking, prepare your ingredients.

Cut each Mozzarella ball into 5 slices, set side.

Cut the off the stem end of the tomato, as well as the opposite, pointed end of the tomato. Cut the remaining tomato into ¼ inch slices. You will need 20 slices.

Once the puff pastry has cooled, assemble to sliders:

Take one puff pastry round, spread with about ¼ tsp of pesto sauce. Top with a tomato slice, then a spinach leave, then mozzarella slice, then slice of bacon and top the entire thing with another puff pastry round. Secure with a 3.5 inch skewer, if desired.

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Prosciutto Wrapped Olives Stuffed with Goat Cheese

Last week, I mentioned how bloggers rarely make the same recipe more than once. We are in constant pursuit of the Next Big Thing. That exciting recipe that will be pinned, and shared and trafficked like crazy. Our poor spouses wondering why we rarely make their favorites anymore.

Over the weekend I had some readers ask me which recipes I DO make all the time, so here is a list for you.

Ten recipes I make on a regular basis:

1. I made these breakfast muffins last night, as a quick on-the-go breakfast for this week. Less than 200 calories and keep me full until lunch. 

2. In one form or another, I make this salad several times a week. It’s my go-to lunch. 

3. This is the pie crust I always make. 

4. I always make this vegetable gratin for holidays, it was one of my first posts so forgive the photos.  

5. When I make layer cakes, this vanilla pastry cream is what I usually use as a filling.

6. This Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake is an easy dessert that I tend to make again and again. And once you make the whipped cream from scratch, you’ll never buy store bought again.

7. I roast a chicken at least once a month. You should too. It is cheap (about $5 and feeds 4), easy and you can make delicious broth from the scraps.

8. Eggs Benedict is a fav of my husbands and I make it at least once a month. This Italian Eggs Benedict with Pesto Hollandaise is a one of my favorites.

9. I’ve also started to make my own tortillas. Not just because they are so much better, but they are also a way to use up that bacon fat I store in the fridge and they only cost a couple of cents to make yourself.  

10. And for number ten, I’m including this recipe below. It was so easy, quick and with only 3 ingredients I can’t imagine never making it again. Oh, and super addictive if you love goat cheese and prosciutto as much as I do.

Prosciutto Wrapped Olives Stuffed with Goat Cheese


24 large (or colossal)  Black Olives

6 thin slices of prosciutto

2 oz goat cheese


Cut each slice of prosciutto in half, length wise, and then again width wise forming a “T” cut. This will leave 4 sections of prosciutto, about 4 inches by 1 inch for each slice of prosciutto.

Stuff all of the olives with goat cheese.

Wrap each olive with a small slice of prosciutto and secure with a toothpick.

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Homemade Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Dip Plus How To: Roast Garlic & How To: Caramelize Onions

One big food blogger secret is that we rarely make recipes more than once. It’s true. And sad. It’s this constant race to provide new, fun, exciting, creative content for you that leaves us little time to revisit those recipes that we love. Of course, there are always those few recipes that we will make all the time, for the rest of our lives even if it means missing an opportunity to create a new post. This is one of those recipes for me. All I want to do now is make it all over again and add bacon and parmesean cheese. 

So addictive, creamy and delicious. 

It’s a simple recipe with only a few ingredients. It isn’t hard to make but it does take time to develop the flavors, time that is well worth it. I’m moving myself and my family away from process’s foods as much as I can, a little at a time and this is my way of having that onion dip that everyone’s mom used to make with the instant soup mix packet, but with loads more flavor and no mysterious chemicals. 

Also, I’m going to show you the right way to cut an onion. 

And how to roast garlic. 

Two skills that I hope stick with you for the rest of your life. My kitchen would be a much different place without onions and roasted garlic. 

Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Dip

1 whole white onion (I used a Walla Walla Sweet onion)

1/4 cup olive oil, plus 1 tbs, divided

1 large head of garlic

8 oz cream cheese (softened)

1/4 cup sour cream

salt and pepper to taste

How to cut an onion:

Cut the onion in quarters. 

With the tip of the knife close to the center, make vertical cuts all the across the onion, about 1/4 inch apart.

Then cut the onion in the other direction, cutting across the cuts you just made. 

In a large pot or dutch oven, heat 1/4 cup olive oil. The key to caramelizing onions, and not BROWNING them, is: low and slow. Heat the olive oil over medium heat until shimmery, then reduce the heat to low and add the onions and a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally until the onions are soft and have turned an amber color. You want them to have that amber color or the sugars in the onion haven’t been caramelized yet and the flavors are not developed. This will take between 30 and 40 minutes, but you only have to stir occasionally so it isn’t a lot of work.

 How to roast garlic:

This is very easy and gives you the most incredible tasting stuff. If you haven’t roasted a head of garlic yet, you should. 

Preheat the oven to 400.

Cut the top off of the head of garlic. 

Place on a sheet of aluminum foil and drizzle with 1 tbs olive oil. 

Fold the foil up over the garlic into a tight packet. Place in a baking dish (I use a muffin tin) and place in the oven. 

Bake at 400 for 30 minutes, or until garlic is soft and starting to turn an amber color.

Once you have brought out those incredible flavors in your garlic and your onions, break out the food processor. 

Add the softened cream cheese, sour cream, onions and squeeze the garlic head until the soft cloves pop out and add them to the food processor as well. 

Process until smooth and creamy. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

So simple, so good. 

Next time, I’m gonna try it with bacon and Parmesan cheese. I’ll let you know how it goes. 

Printable: Roasted Garlic and Caramelized Onion Dip

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Homemade Ricotta and Prosciutto Wrapped Mangos on Toast

I’ve been re-reading Plate to Pixel this week. An attempt to push myself forward off this photography plateau I’ve been stuck on. I struggle, at times, with the balancing act that is being a mom, working full time, and maintain a blog. When my photos suck, and I know it, I see them as the crack that will bring down the wall and a panic begins to rise within me.

I know that when it comes to the blog trifecta: "Recipes-Photos-writing" I have a long way to go in all areas. The pursuit of goals isn’t about being perfect, or even about raw talent, as much as it is about struggle. Continue to fight, learn, seek objective feedback, challenge yourself, and don’t give up. 

The best thing about this recipe, is how easy it was to make homemade ricotta. Cheese making has been on my To Do list for a while and ricotta was a great intro, so easy and fast. 

Durring my research, I used three posts as guides and made two batches, all of which I consumes over the weekend. 

I used posts from these three blogs:

Fat Girl Trapped in a Skinny Body

Smitten Kitchen

The Italian Dish 

I used the milk I had on hand, and this is what I came up with:

Homemade Ricotta and Prosciutto Wrapped Mango on Toast

2 cups of whole milk

1 cup of cream

1/2 tsp salt

3 tbs lemon juice

8-10 large slices of sour dough bread

1 large mango

4-6 slices of prosciutto, sliced in half down the center to make 8-12 long skinny strips

salt and pepper to taste

To Make the Ricotta:

Put the milk, cream and salt into a sauce pan. Attach a thermometer (either candy or deep-fry is fine) to the side of the pot, making sure that the tip of the thermometer does not touch the bottom of the pan but is still submerged in the milk.  Heat over medium/high heat until it reaches 190 degrees, about 6-8 minutes. You will know it has reached this temperature because it will foam up really fiercely. 

Remove from heat and add the lemon juice, stir only once. you want it to distribute, but you don’t want to disrupt the curds that will be forming. Leave it alone for about 5 minutes. Don’t touch it. 

Place a mesh strainer over a large bowl, line the strainer with 3-4 layers of cheese cloth. 

It will still be pretty thin, this surprised me. I was expecting something that looked like cottage cheese, and it looked more like thick milk. Thats fine. Pour it into the strainer that you have lined with cheese cloth. 

Allow it to drain for about 20 minutes to 2 hours. The longer you allow it to drain, the thicker and stiffer it will be. Remember that once you chill it, it will continue to thicken, so place it to chill when it is a bit softer than you want the final product to be. 

I liked Julia’s tip about tying the cheese cloth to the kitchen faucet in order to speed the draining process up a bit. Worked like a charm. 

Scrape the cheese into a a container with an air tight lid. Chill for at least 20 minutes prior to use. 

Ricotta should keep in the fridge for about 5 days. 

To make the toast:

Using a biscuit cutter, cut 3 to 4 inch circles out of the bread. Place under the broiler until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. 

Peel and slice the mango, wrap with prosciutto. 

Spread each toast circle with ricotta, top with a prosciutto wrapped mango, sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

I also made these with apples slices, and that was equally as amazing. 

Homemade Buffalo Wing Sauce

There are food and activity parings that strongly associate in our minds, food that will always be linked to a specific occasion. Crab cakes remind me of weddings, Ritz Crackers and Cheddar Cheese squares are paired with trips to the river, Chicken Salad Sandwiches are for bridal/baby showers and Buffalo sauce is for sports watchin'. Can you even hear that word and not want to put on a team jersey?

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Blackberry Cabernet Wontons

I know that you can all tell how much I love party food, I’ve been making a lot of it these days. Food to serve to other people. Every country in the world will tell you how important food is to their culture, how community happens around a table, how love grows between mouthfuls of hand made food. It’s too bad that hasn’t become ingrained in Americans. We have "fast" food, as if we just need to get through the meal as quickly as possible to move on to better things like…reality TV? Whats the rush? Why don’t more people savor meal times, enjoy it as a journey and view food as too sacred to be "Fast"? Or take time to make food for as well as WITH their loved ones? 

Blackberry Cabernet Wontons 

3 cups of blackberries (fresh or frozen)

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, (plus 1/4 cup for dusting, divided)

1/2 cup Cabernet Sauvignon

1/2 tsp salt

14-16 wonton wrappers

In a pot over medium heat, add the blackberries, 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, wine and salt. allow to cook and reduce until the liquid becomes very thick, with tracks left behind when you drag a spoon through the pan, about 10-15 minutes. Frozen berries have a higher water content, so those will take longer than fresh.

Allow to cool.

Place the wonton wrappers on a flat surface. Brush all of the edges with water.

Place about 1 to 2 tsp of blackberries in the center of the wonton paper.

Fold the wonton paper in half to form a triangle, press the edges together until very well sealed.

Brush the bottom of the triangle with water and fold the corners into the center and press into shape.

Heat 1/4 to 1/2 cup of oil (enough to form about 1/2 inch of oil in the bottom of your pan) in a pan over medium-high heat.

Cook the wontons, about 6 at a time, on each side until golden brown. About 3 minutes per side.

Remove from pan and allow to dry on a stack of paper towels. 

Sprinkle with powdered sugar. 

Jalapeno Popper Filled Potato Bites

Everyone has guilty pleasure foods. No matter how "foodie" you think you are, there is a food that you love, but would never want to be eating if Thomas Keller decided to peek in your kitchen window. 

For me, that’s good ole American bar food. Nachos, potato skins, jalapeno poppers, onion rings. Love it. Plus, it just brings up good memories. Do you have any BAD memories of eating chicken wings and drinking a beer? 

Here are two of my great guilt pleasure loves, in one bite. The love child of Jalapeno Poppers and Potato Skins. 

Jalapeno Popper Filled Potato Bites

12 baby red potatoes

3 tbs butter

1/2 cup chopped red onion

4 cloves of garlic, minced

4 medium sized fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped

8 oz cream cheese

1/2 cup parmesan cheese 

4 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped (you can leave this out if you are vegetarian)

1/2 tsp Kosher or sea salt

1/2 tsp pepper

In a large pot of lightly salted water, boil the potatoes until fork tender, about 18-22 minutes. You want the potatoes to be soft enough to bite into, but firm enough to hold their shape as mini cups. 

Remove from water and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Cut each potato in half, down the middle. You want to cut the potatoes in a way that will allow them to lay as flat as possible. The best may to do this is to just place them on a flat surface and see how they naturally want to lay and cut parallel to the surface they are sitting on. If you cut them according to what looks nice, they may roll all over once they are filled. 

Once they are cut, remove most of the inside with a mellon baller, leaving enough of the walls and bottom intact to hold the filling. 

Make sure and save that potato middles you just scooped out, you will add them to the filling. 

In a pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and cook until opaque. Add the jalapenos and stir, cooking until Jalapenos are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir. Add the cream cheese and stir until melted. Remove from heat and add the potato middles and mash with a potato masher until combined. Return to heat and add the bacon, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper and stir until cheese is melted. Allow to cool, then fill the potatoes. Serve warm. 

Printable: Jalpeno Popper Potato Bites

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Superbowl Snack: Chocolate Covered Strawberry Footballs

There are so many great things about living in Los Angeles. In my 20’s I got to partake in a lot of them. My husband is a musician and we ran around with a very Music Industry crowd. Late nights, parties, back stage passes, Rock Stars, watching our friends become famous, blah, blah.

The best thing about California? The produce.

Seriously. If you ever visit LA, skip Hollywood Blvd (don’t worry, it sucks) and head for a farmers market. We have them nearly every single day of the year, with the exception of a few major holidays.

Tuesday in October? Head to Culver City or Silverlake. Thursday in February? There is a great one in Hollywood called Yamashiro.

And Strawberries are in season nearly all year. Did you know that California grows 50% of the produce for the entire United States? It also grows 75% of the produce for the Western side of Canada.

And, California has the best strawberries in the world. If you ever make it to California, put: "Eat a real California Strawberry" on your to do list. California grows 85% of the strawberries in the US. 

I do realize that there is a chance that when that little ball game rolls around in a few weeks, (what’s it called again? The Super Bowl?) you might not live in a place as lucky as Strawberry-afornia or have access to these beauties year round. That’s OK, just tuck this idea away in your head and make them for a sports themed birthday party sometime over the summer.


Chocolate Strawberry Footballs
1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips
12-14 large strawberries
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
you will also need:
2 Coffee mugs
piping bag
#2 tip 
Parchment paper
In a microwave safe coffee mug add the dark chocolate chips. I’ve found this to be the best vessel for strawberry dipping. If the bowl you use is too wide then the melted chocolate is too shallow, and it’s hard to get the strawberries dipped. 
Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir and repeat until melted. Don’t over heat or your chocolate will seize and there is really no coming back from that. 
Grab the strawberry by the leaves (make sure strawberries are completely dry or the chocolate won’t stick).
Dip in the chocolate and swirl around carefully until coated. 
Hold above the coffee mug for a few seconds to allow the excess to drip off.
Place on a sheet of parchment paper to dry. 
Push forward slightly to avoid a pool of dried chocolate forming in the front of your berry. 

Allow to dry for about 15 minutes. 
In a separate coffee mug (or really, any microwave safe bowl will work for this), add the white chocolate. Microwave on high for 20 seconds and stir, repeat until melted. You have to be even more careful with white chocolate, it tends to seize quicker. It isn’t actually chocolate, its cocoa butter solids so it behaves differently. If it does seize, you can try and add a few drops of canola oil, but you might just need to toss it out and start over. 

Pour the white chocolate into your piping bag. Pipe on a stripe at the top and one at the bottom of your strawberries. 

Then pipe a line down the middle of the berry. 
Then pipe 5 or 6 lines across the middle line. 
-Let the white chocolate cool a bit, but not harden, before piping. If it’s too hot, it’ll be really runny. 
-When piping the lines, double back a bit to avoid the "strings" of white chocolate from dripping down the sides. 
-Serve chilled
-Don’t make more that 24 hours in advance, strawberries tend to shrink a bit as they age. 

Pizzetta With Bacon Fat Tortilla Crust

I’ve had a few people ask me about Wine Week. Specifically, if Don Sebastiani & Son's paid me for these post. Nope. I really do love these wines. Some are even under $10.

They didn’t even ask me to post about the wine. Just sent me an email and asked if they could send me a shipment of wine, with recipes that are perfectly paired to each bottle.

Here is some advice: If someone asks if they can send you wine, asking nothing in return, Say Yes.

I felt so flattered that I was asked, and so excited to have this project to work on. They even included information and advice about pairing wine and food. So I got to learn a few things. OK, a bunch of things.

But, more than anything, it feels like a small step towards my goals that I’ve been working so hard on. Being taken seriously in the world of food, and someday being able to make enough of an income from it that I get to spend more time at home with my little lady.

And, I got to make food like this:

The only thing I changed about the recipe they sent over was the crust. The recipe called for a store bought tortilla, which, I’m sure is fine. But I made these tortillas using all the fat I save every time I cook bacon, and they were so delicious, and really, super easy, I wanted to make them again. Plus, they cost about 16 cents to make.

If you have never made your own tortillas, I promise you, it is so easy. Sounds hard, right?   It’s not. At all. Plus, it is SO SO SO much better than the ones you buy at the store, it’s like a completely different food. And it takes about 10 minutes, and then you let them rest for about 20 minutes while you are getting everything else together. You can do that. I swear.

This recipe was paired with Project Paso Red Wine Blend. I really like blends, it’s like they take all the good stuff from each type of wine and mix them all together. This, like the Pepperwood Grove, is a high acid, low tannin wine that is pretty easy to pair with most entrees. It can even go with pork or chicken dishes. This would be a great wine to serve if you are having Fancy Pizza Night. Which you should.


Pizzetta With Bacon Fat Tortilla Crust


2 cups of flour

1/2  tsp salt

4 tbs bacon fat (can use butter or lard as a substitute)

1/2 cup warm water


1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp caraway seeds

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

12 Kalamata olives, pitted and cut into quarters

8-12 oz Smoked Mozzarella

2 tsp chopped walnuts

Makes 8 small pizzas

After cooking bacon in a skillet, save your bacon grease by pouring it through a fine mesh strainer into a container with a tight lid (just pour the next round on the top of the previous) and keeping it in the fridge. This stuff is liquid gold, don’t pour it down the drain.

Combine the flour and bacon fat in a large mixing bowl, working in the fat with your fingers, until completely incorporated.

Dissolve the salt in the water, pour about 1/3 cup of it over the dry ingredients and immediately work it in with a fork.

The dough will be in large clumps rather than a homogeneous mass.

If all the dry ingredients haven’t been dampened, add the rest of the liquid (plus a little more, if necessary).

Scoop the dough onto your floured work surface

and knead until smooth.

It should be medium-stiff consistency — definitely not firm, but not quite as soft as most bread dough either.

Divide the dough into 8 portions and roll each into a ball.

The best way to do this is to cut the dough into two equal portions. Then cut each of those in half, so you now have four. Then cut each of those four in half and you  now have eight.  Set them on a plate, cover with plastic wrap and let rest at for 20-30 minutes (to make the dough less springy, easier to roll).

While those are resting, prepare the toppings. Roughly chop the caraway seeds and add to a small bowl. Add the oregano, thyme, black pepper and salt, stir to combine.

Slice your cheese into thin slices (you can also grate it).

You can either press your tortillas using a tortilla press lined with parchment paper to prevent sticking, which I used. I rotated the tortilla and pressed it several times

*Make sure your tortillas are VERY thin & flat before cooking. Much thinner than pie dough in order for it cook all the way through. 

or you can roll them with a rolling pin using this method:

On a lightly floured surface, roll out a portion of the dough into an even 7-inch circle:  Flatten a ball of dough, flour it, then roll forward and back across it; rotate a sixth of a turn and roll forward and back again; continue rotating and rolling until you reach a 7-inch circle, lightly flouring the tortilla and work surface from time to time.

If you have a grill pan, I would highly recommend using it, if not you can use a heavy skillet heated over medium to medium-high heat.  Brush the tortilla with olive oil and Lay the tortilla on the hot grill pan.

After 30 to 45 seconds, when there are browned splotches underneath, flip it over. You will know it is time to flip when the edges look dry and lighter in color.  Brush again with olive oil and sprinkle with the seasoning mix. Top with the cheese, then the olives and walnuts. Cook until the cheese has melted. Repeat for all tortillas.

Serve with a high acid, low tannin red wine like Project Paso

Shrimp with Pomegranate Sriracha Cocktail Sauce

My very first giveaway is over. I wanna do it again. It was so fun to read all the comments and have brand new visitors to my blog. I just wish I had 141 more of those beautiful cheese domes to give away! But congratulations to Dee!

Now I am going to expect fancy cheese if I ever stop by your house.

And a big huge smooch and a Thank You to Ile De France for the fabulous prize.

Here is another recipe for all that Holiday entertaining that you all will be doing. PACKED with good stuff like anti-oxidants and almost no fat. One of those treats that is actually fairly low in calories, gives you a dose of fruit and veggies AND makes you feel like you are spoiling yourself by eating a special treat. A way to indulge without added pounds.

Shrimp With Pomegranate Sriracha Cocktail Sauce

2/3 cup pomegranate seeds

2/3 cup tomato paste

1 tsp Sriracha

2 tsp cream style horseradish

1 tbs worcestershire sauce

2 large cloves of garlic, minces (about 1 tbs)

1 tsp lemon juice

24 large shrimp, shelled & deveined, cooked & cooled, tails on

in a food processor, combine the first 7 ingredients.  Process utill completely combined and smooth. Push sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove the pomegranate seeds.

Serve chilled with shrimp.

Roquefort, Cherry & Bacon Wontons, Plus A Giveaway!

This is my first giveaway! I’m so excited, because as you have read over my recent posts, Christmas is about giving to others. AND I get to give to YOU, so maybe that makes me a selfish, Christmas Spirit hoarder. I’m fine with that.

I was contacted by Ile de France a few weeks ago, and they wanted to give YOU somethings. Making me so excited to be the middle man in this little transaction.

Let me back up and tell you all a little about how the blogger/product-company relationships work. I had no idea about any of this when I jumped head first into the blog world 6 months ago, but it really is a fun perk. You start a blog, you write about food, people read it, your traffic grows and then product companies and PR people email you and want to send you stuff! For free! There isn’t any catch. They want you love their products and write recipes for them, but there is no obligation. I have even seen bloggers write BAD reviews of products, which is not my style. A PR girl once told me, "Advertisers PAY for space, PR people PRAY for space." They just send it and hope. 

I have companies write me all the time and ask if they can send products to me. I am always so excited, and proud that they found my little blog worthy of the shipping charges, but I have some rules about this:

  •  I only accept products that I like, or think I will like.
  • I never take a product that I would never write about. For instance, even though I may from time to time have a package of  pre-made food in my house, I would never write a recipe about a box of Mac N Cheese (for instance) so I would never accept that from a company who offerend. Even if I knew I was going out of town and Mr. Fits would use it. To me, it’s unethical to accept it knowing I would never write about it.
  • Even if I accept something that I hope to love and write about, I never feel obligated to do so. My integrity as a blogger and your respect means more to me than a box of chocolate or a vat of olive oil. I will never say that I love I product unless I do. If I mention a product it’s because I really do like it. 
 Ile de France contacted me and I was glad to accept their Roquefort Cheese, because I have used it and do really like it. Although I like to buy my fancy shmancy cheese from local artisan cheese stores, I also like to give my readers all over the US (and the world) options that are easy for them. Ile De France is sold in the grocery store, and still schmancy enough to fool cheese snobs. AND they wanted to give you this beautiful gift that is perfect for your New Years Party:

Four beautiful cheeses, a fabulous cheese dome, and a cheese knife.

Won’t you look fancy as the owner and operator of a cheese dome. It’s so grown up.

I don’t even have one, but I love and admire them at parties. As if you have reached a whole new level of entertaining if you have an entire centerpiece dedicated to cheese. This one is beautiful, and one of those things that you would never really buy for yourself, but would end up using every time you have people over. What did you ever do before your cheese dome?!

All you have to do to enter is to comment on this post, and make sure and leave your email address in the comment form (not in the actual comment). I’ll use a random number generator to choose the winner and then contact you by email for your address. And those nice people from Ile de France will send it over to you.

Contest is open as soon as this post goes up and ends December 14th at High Noon (PST). So comment quick! Only a few days! Everyone in your house can enter, just have them all write separate comments with separate email addresses. 

The winner will be announced Wednesday afternoon on my Facebook page. "Like" the page to receive the announcement in your feed. 


And now, here is what I did with that wonderful, smelly, tangy Rouquefort that those nice people form Ile de France sent me:

Rouquefort, Dried Cherry & Bacon Wontons
12-14 wonton or gyoza wrapers(you can buy them in most major grocery stores, usually by the Tofu)
1/3 cup dried cherries
1 3.5 oz package of Ile De France Cheese (Roquefort, Blue OR even my favorite of all: Goat Cheese)
3 strips of bacon, cooked, and chopped into bacon bits
1/4 cup water
3 tbs olive oil

Lay the wonton wrappers on a flat surface.
Top with 3-4 dried cherries, then top with 1 tsp cheese, sprinkle with about 1/2 tsp bacon. 

Moisten the edges of the wrapper with water.
Fold the wrapper in half and secure the edges well with your fingers.
Repeat for all wrappers.
Heat the oil oil in a large pan until hot but not smoking. Working in batches (making sure not to over crowd the pan) cook the wontons on each side until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and allow to cool and drain on a paper towel. Serve warm.

Congrats to Dee, Number 55! She is our winner!

Thank you SO much to everyone who entered. Wish I had 141 more to give out. 

How To Use Thanksgiving Leftovers: Candied Yam Empanadas

Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday because gratefulness is such an underrated personality trait. I wish people admired that quality in others like they admire shoes and jewelry and waist size.

"She is SO grateful! I wish I had that." 

We should start the day that like. Before we ever get out of bed, list the things you are thankful for.

If you aren’t feelin' in a Thankful kinda mood right now, this’ll do it:

I’ve know quite a few survivors of the Nazi Holocaust. Most of whom are in their 90’s now. I know a man who was in Auschwitz concentration camp and went to the gas chamber. Twice. Both times, something was broken, and the entire chamber full of terrified, naked, sobbing Jewish men, women and children where told to go back to their cells. To this day, when something goes wrong, a toilet breaks, his phone service is down, his car needs work, he will always say, "Thank God for things that break! Broken pipes saved my life!" Nothing like a concentration camp story to put your life in perspective, right?!

No matter what you are facing, what is wrong, or what is hard to deal with. Take some time to think about what is right in your world. Hold the good closer than you hold the bad. I have so much to be thankful for, and I hope a day never comes that I stop thinking that. 

Every Thursday, not just the 4th Thursday in November, we should take some time and to list the things we are thankful for, no matter how long or short that list is. 

Oh, yeah, food. That’s why you’re here. These little guys are pretty fantastic. Plus, you don’t just have to limit them to your leftover candied yams, fill these with what ever you have. Other great empanada combos:

Turkey (chopped), mashed potatoes & gravy

Stuffing & cranberry sauce

Mac & Cheese

But, even if you didn’t make yams, or you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving and want to make these, I’ll give you an easy candied yam mash recipe that will be perfect for the filling.  

Thanksgiving Leftover Empanadas: Candied Yams

For The Dough:

2 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp salt

10 tbs butter, cold, cut into cubes

1 egg

1/3 cup ice water

For the Filling:

2 cups leftover candied yams, Mashed


2 large yams, peeled and chopped (about 4 cups)

1/2 stick butter (4 tbs), chopped into cubes

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/4 cup pecans


1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 tsp salt

Put 1 1/2 cups of flour and the salt in a food processor, pulse for a second to combine. Add the butter and process until combined. Add the remaining flour and process again. Move to a bowl. In a small bowl, beat the egg and water together until well combined then add the egg/water to the dough with a wooden spoon. If you add the water and egg with the food processor, your dough will turn out crispy and cracker like.

Form into a disk, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400.

If you are using leftovers you can skip this next paragraph.

Place your chopped yams in a large loaf pan, sprinkle the top with cubes of butter. Drizzle with the maple syrup and then top with the brown sugar. 

Bake, uncovered at 400 for about 40 minutes or until the yams are fork tender. Remove from the oven and allow to cool a bit. Drain off most of the liquid (leaving about 2 tbs in the bottom of the pan). Mash with a potato masher until mixture until creamy, add the pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg and stir. 

Once your dough is chilled, roll it out to an even thickness on a flowered surface. Cut out 4 inch circles. I don’t have a 4 inch circle cutter, so I used a margarita glass. 

Brush the edges of each circle with water. Put about 2 tbs of filling in the middle, leaving the sides clear. Fold the circle over and press the edges together well to make a secure seal. Put three small slits on the top of the empanadas to allow steam to escape. Place on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray (or covered with parchment paper). Brush the top with maple syrup, sprinkle with a small amount of salt. 

Bake at 400 for 20-22 minutes or until golden brown. Eat, smile, be thankful. 

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Crab Cake Mini Muffins

You always have fun when you’re eating crab cakes. Actual fact. But, here is the thing about crab cakes: Lots of work.

I made Wolfgang Pucks recipe once and it took me about an hour. They were really incredible, so if you ever get your hands on some really amazing, fresh, never touched a can, right out of the sea- kinda crabs, that would be a worthy recipe to slave over.

This time of the year, food is more about the biggest shine for your time. You have about a zillion things to cook for right now: the holidays, your office party, your kids school gathering-that-we-legally-can’t-call-a-party party, AND family type people. Here you go: 15 minute crab cakes. Looks super fancy, like you spent that hour I spent with those other crab cakes, craveably addictive, AND 15 active minutes, then bake.


Crab Cake Mini Muffins 

3 tbs cream cheese

2 eggs

1 tbs lemon juice

1 tsp Dijon mustard

1/2 tsp hot pepper sauce (Tabasco, Tapatillo)

1/4 cup roasted red bell peppers, chopped

1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning

½ tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

½ tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

2 tbs green onions, chopped (more for garnish if desired)

1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs (plus ¼ cup for topping, divided)

¼ cup flour

6 oz lump crab meat, drained

Makes 16-18

Preheat oven to 350.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese until softened. While the mixer is on high, add the eggs, one at a time until well combined.

Reduce speed to medium and lemon juice, mustard, and hot pepper sauce, mix until combined.

Add the Old Bay, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, green onions and mix until combined.

Add ½ cup Panko and flour and mix until combined. Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and stir in the crabmeat with a wood spoon or spatula.

Very generously grease enough mini muffin tins to hold about 18 mini crab cakes.

Add the crab mixture to the wells of the mini muffin tins until just below the top. Sprinkle the top of each mini muffin with the remaining ¼ cup of Panko.

Bake at 350 for about 18-20 minutes

Questions that I think you might have:


If I don’t own a mini muffin pan, can I make this in a regular muffin pan?

I don’t recommend it. My guess is that by the time you get the inside cooked (about 30 minutes) the outside will be burnt and dry. But my other guess is that if you buy a mini muffin pan, you will use it all the time.


I like to dip things, What about a dipping sauce?


I like to dip things too. Easy dippin’ sauce, since I know you have a ton of other things to do: 1 cup sour cream, 1 tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp smoked paprika, ¼ tsp hot pepper sauce. Adjust depending on taste, oh and throw some of those green onions on top.


I don’t like hot stuff, can I leave on out the pepper sauce?


They will be bland. But the small amount that is called for isn’t enough to make it spicy. They sell Tabasco in supper tiny bottles, and it lasts for about a million years in the fridge.

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That’s Nacho Crostini

More party food for y’all. These are fun because Corstini’s sounds fancy and Nachos are the greatest of all American Tex-Mex bar food.

I brought these to another book club, or more accurately, a Girl-Talk/Wine-Time club. We talked about our babies, working mom vs stay at home mom, birth stories, laughed about those things we (all) think but are kinda embarrassed to say out loud.  This is a healing ritual for all you people who just became parents. An incredible club to belong to, as long as you find others who will let you speak freely, without judgement. Tell you their deep dark secrets and find that you share the same ones. Book? Oh yeah, we didn’t like it. Horrendously violent and self indulgently written. Next time, we are reading What Alice Forgot and I hope that there is some type of food item in that book that I can spend time obsessing over and attempt to recreate, like my Caramel Cake from The Help. Here’s hoping.


Nacho Crostinis

1 baugette, sliced into 1 inch thick slices

3 tbs butter

1 large tomato, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/2 cup grated cheese (mozzarella, cheddar or whateva your fav Nacho cheese is)

1/2 cup sour cream

1 large avocado, sliced

1 tbs sliced black olives

Preheat the broiler in your oven.

Heat 1 tbs butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the slices of bread and allow to cook until toasted, about 2 minutes, turn over and cook on the other side. Don’t crowd the pan with too many slices of bread, cook in batches if necessary, adding more butter when the pan gets dry.

Places the toasted slices on a baking sheet.

Add the tomato, onion and cilantro and add to a small bowl, toss to combine (you can also sub in Pico De Gallo for this, but make sure to drain well or it’ll make the bread soggy).

Top each of the toasted bread slices with the tomato mixture, sprinkle with a generous amount of cheese. Place the baking sheet under the broiled and toast for 2-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Top each Crostini with a slice of avocado, then a dollop of sour cream, then a slice of olive.

Serve immediately, enjoy.

Thank you to all the ladies of my Mom’s group. You have all meant so much to me in the past 18 months. I found you when postpartum, colic, lack of sleep, total life-change, overwhelming baby-love…had me completely consumed and I felt alone in the big City of Los Angeles, without any Mommy friends. You understood me, shared advice, laughs, tears, food and never judged me. I am a better mom and better human because of you.

Party Food: Mini Galettes {Strawberry Brie & Bacon Goat Cheese}

The requirements for party food are pretty simple, but hard and fast.

  1. Yummy
  2. Must travel well
  3. Must have the ability to sit at room temperature for extended periods of time
  4. Bonus if it evokes this sentence from at least one other party goer: "Can I get that recipe from you?"
Mini galettes also have the added bonus of being adorable and fairly easy to make. If you want to make them with store bough crust, I may pound on you a little bit. The crust takes about 8 active minutes plus it’s really, really SO much better than store bought.
Feel free to make these your own and use what ever flavor combinations you love.
Miniature Galettes


2 cups flour

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 1/2 sticks of butter

1/3 cup ice cold water


4 oz brie, cut into slices

3/4 cups strawberries, chopped

1 tbs butter, melted

2 tbs sugar


6 strips of bacon, cooked and chopped

3 oz goat cheese, crummbled

1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped (don’t use frozen, too much water)

Makes 12 (6 of each)

In a food processor, combine 1 1/3 cup flour, salt, sugar and butter, process until well combined. Add the remaining flour and process again until combined. Transfer to a bowl and add the water with a wooden spoon (don’t add the water while the dough is in the food processor or your dough will be brittle and cracker-like). If the dough isn’t moist enough, you can add more water, a tsp at a time until the consistency is right. Form dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. You can make this up to 5 days ahead of time, just place the dough, wrapped in plastic wrap, in a large zip lock bag.

Place your chilled dough on a well floured surface. Top with more flour and roll until your dough is fairly thin and even. Cut out 12, 4 inch circles. I didn’t have a biscuit cutter that size so I used a margarita glass.

Place the dough circles on baking sheets that are either covered with parchment paper or sprayed with cooking spray.

Strawberry Brie:

A Trader Joe’s just opened on Friday down the street from my house. I am inappropriately excited about living within walking distance from such a fabulous food source. I bought these cute mini brie wheels. These are also fantastic to make mini baked brie out of, but that is for another post.

I cut each wheel into 3-4 slices. If you don’t live by a Trader Joe’s, you can also just use regular brie and cut it into slices small enough to fit inside the circle.

Place about 1 tbs of brie in the center of 6 of the circles. Top with about 2 tbs of strawberries.

Fold the edges up over the filling, leaving the center open. Pleat and press the edges when necessary.

Brush each of the 6 Mini Galettes with melted butter, sprinkle with about 1 tsp of sugar each.

Bacon Goat Cheese:

For the remaining 6 circles, add about 1-2 tbs of goat cheese to each circle. Top with 1-2 tbs of chopped spinach, sprinkle with bacon.

Fold the edges up over the filling, leaving the center open. Pleat and press the edges when necessary.

Brush the folded edge of each of the 6 Mini Galettes with melted butter.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, or until the crust is a light golden brown.