Monday, October 3, 2011

Delicious! Leek and Bacon Tart

I always like to have frozen pie crusts or puff pastry dough on hand to throw together a sweet or savory tart with whatever ingredients I have on hand. It's like a blank canvas and a great way to use any excess fruit, veggies or cheese.
This weekend I made a DELICIOUS leek and bacon tart with a goat cheese custard. Yum!

Here's how to do it...
First set out the pie shell so it can thaw whilst you prepare the filling and pre-heat oven to 350.

Chop 2 slices of center cut bacon (pancetta or prosciutto would work too) and cook down until fat is rendered out and bacon is crisp. Remove with slotted spoon and set aside.
Slice 2 leeks (or 1 large onion, it's all about using what you have) and cook on medium/low heat in the bacon fat until wilted and slightly caramelized but not browned - aprox 15 minutes.
At this point I like to deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine and season with black pepper and a bit of paprika to play off the smokiness of the bacon.
Add the bacon back to the pan, stir, and remove from heat to cool while you start your custard.

Custard: wisk together 1 whole egg, 2 additional egg yolks, 2/3 C milk or cream, 3 oz. plain greek yogurt or sour cream, 3 oz. goat cheese (or whatever cheese you like!), fresh grated nutmeg and black pepper to taste.

Prick bottom of crust with a fork and fill with leek and bacon mixture.
Pour custard over the top, place tart on a baking sheet and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until custard is set and top is golden brown.
And here is what you get... (I also opted to top with thinly sliced tomato and a sprinkling of parmesan upon reheating it) Enjoy!
This recipe can be adapted with whatever filling ingredients you have on hand, just use the basic custard formula and substitute any meats, cheeses and veggies that sound good to you (and a great way to use leftovers)
This tart can be frozen and reheated for a later date - so get crazy and make 2 at a time.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

catnip and mint: real life lady : kimberly albachten talley

Hello Lovelies! please check out the Real Life Lady profile of yours truly on my amazing friend Coco's blog Catnip and Mint ...
catnip and mint: real life lady : kimberly albachten talley: real life lady kimberly albachten talley and some catnipmint kinda questions. lady kim of the dlb... where classy intelligent Ladies go to play!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Champagne Grapes - tiny DELICIOUS pearls of juicy fruity fun

Champagne grapes... you may have seen them recently at your local Trader Joe's (which is where I picked them up myself) or perhaps your farmers market or upscale grocer (like a Gelson's)
They look so darn cute, but what the heck do I do with them?
True they make a LOVELY garnish for a cheese plate or just hanging out in your fruit bowl, but surely there must be more to these little gems... 
My son loves to eat them - right now he is obsessed with 'baby' anything so they have been a big hit in our house, however he can only eat so many and I am left with a box full of itty bitty grapes to play with.
Here are some of the fun ways I have come up with to integrate them into my cooking, give it a try!

4 Cheese and Grape Pizza: this DELICIOUS pizza comes from Trader Joe's as well, so you can go ahead and pick it up with your grapes. It is a white pizza and comes with a lovely pouch of fresh arugula to garnish.

Curry Chicken with Roasted Grapes, Carrots, and Fingerling Potatoes: OK, we are seeing a pattern here... this curried chicken came from, you guessed it, Trader Joe's.
This easy 1 dish meal is comforting and DELICIOUS, the grapes added an amazing fresh fruity flavor and their texture provided a nice pop to the more stew-like consistency of the dish.
I simply placed the chicken, grapes and veggies in a glass baking dish and topped with a bit of prepared tapenade for added flavor then baked at 350 for about 40 minutes or until veggies were tender and chicken cooked through. I served it over Israeli Couscous.

Curry Chicken Salad with Champagne Grapes and Couscous: Bonus meal!!! I used the leftover chicken and couscous to make a DELICIOUS salad the following day...
I chopped the curried chicken and threw it and the couscous on to a bed of arugula dressed with olive oil and lemon juice, then added some fresh champagne grapes for a light and healthy lunch.

So there you have it, try Champagne Grapes! or try any of these ideas with regular old green or red grapes. Grapes make an awesome addition to all sorts of savory recipes. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Your Childhood Faves

Get ready for some DELICIOUS and CHILDISH recipes based on YOUR childhood favorites!
I am awaiting survey results of your fave childhood meals and brown bag lunch sandwiches...
Check back for updates and recipes of both old school originals and re-vamped classics from days of ole' ~ feel free to comment with your suggestions

Monday, August 22, 2011

Delicious & Childish! Nicoise for 1.5

Parents may relate to the whole 'do I make separate meals for my kids or not' thing...
As a mom of a 2 year old, I am often rushing to get something healthy and yummy down for him and perhaps something that I can eat as well.
This easy DELICIOUS Nicoise salad was a perfect summer lunch for both of us, and an added bonus was he could get his hands dirty and help!
Check out both our plates below ...

Quick and Easy Nicoise Salad (for 2):
1 can/pouch of Tuna in Olive Oil
2 (hard boiled) eggs
6 fingerling potatoes 
small bunch of fresh green beans
12 black olives
6 cornichon pickles
1 small shallot minced
juice from 1/2 lemon
1 T whole grain mustard
2 T olive or grape seed oil
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

in salad bowl combine minced shallot, lemon juice, mustard, oil and S&P - allow this to marinate while you are doing the rest so the flavors come together.
add eggs and potatoes to a medium pot, cover with cold water and bring to simmer.
meanwhile, prepare an ice bath (large bowl full of ice water).
when potatoes are fork tender (aprox 8 mins) remove them to ice bath with a slotted spoon giving the eggs another 5 minutes (aprox 13 total), remove eggs and add to ice bath.
add green beans to simmering water for 1 minute to blanch and then throw 'em in the ice pool with the others.
empty can/pouch tuna into small bowl and mix with 1T of the dressing, set aside.
remove eggs, potatoes and green beans from ice bath onto paper towel to dry.
slice potatoes into coins, cut green beans in half if desired, cut each egg into 1/4 s.
add green beans and potatoes to the remaining dressing and toss.
now your Nicoise is ready to assemble, I like to put the tuna in the middle and then arrange the potatoes, green beans, boiled egg, olives and pickles around... but there are no rules - you could toss the whole thing together too if you like.
Bon Appetite!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


The most beautiful moisturizing eye product - not quite a gel, not quite a cream... just velvety goodness that you have to try.... ATOPALM Moisturizing Eye Repair Serum. Heaven.
check out more of their goods (all paraben free with plant derived ingredients) at


Who doesn't love BACON??!! (well, vegetarians excluded)
Check out this delicious Bacon Jam!  Try serving BLT crostini at your next mixer.
available at or your local Whole Foods

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