Bacon, lettuce and tomato quesadilla

Here is a fun way to serve a classic sandwich with a new Tex-Mex twist.  I use sun-dried tomatoes, either quick microwave crispy bacon or traditional bacon, and shredded Fontina cheese.  I also like to use Romaine lettuce.

Gather the ingredients. Heat the tortilla shells in the oven for five minutes and then add the ingredients and return to the oven to bake on 350 degrees until the cheese is nicely melted.  That usually takes around 8 minutes.  Serve with sour cream and enjoy.

Tomato and Cheese Tart

Inspired by the Food Network magazine, September 2016 issue, I made this tart last week.  This is a great recipe, as the puff pastry works perfectly to create a tasty savory tart.  This could be a wonderful Super Bowl appetizer, or could be used alongside an arugula salad for a delicious lunch entrée.  This tart will provide four generous servings.

To make this appetizer tart, gather these ingredients.  One frozen puff pastry sheet, thawed less than 20 minutes–1 1/4 cups Fontina cheese, 5 slices of crumbled microwave bacon cooked, 3 medium Roma tomatoes sliced, dried thyme, Kosher salt, ground pepper, 2 Tablespoons Egg Beaters.

First, roll out the thawed puff pastry on a silpat mat or parchment lined cookie sheet.  Sprinkle with cheese, keeping a nice border edge for folding later.  Top with the bacon and tomato sliced in three rows, slightly overlapping.

Next, season with thyme, salt and pepper.  Fold in the long ends first and slice with a knife in one inch apart vents.  Then, fold in the smaller ends.  Brush with Egg Beaters.  Place in a pre-heated 400 degree oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly browned and puffed. Slice and serve warm.  Easy and quite delicious.

  

Pumpkin Popovers

So, I found this recipe back in October for pumpkin popovers, and boy are they delicious. Just the perfect blend of the pumpkin taste with the ever popular popover experience. I have to admit that popovers are my all-time favorite item from the bread basket. Somehow, I always hope since they are hollow in the middle, that they really don’t count for a full bread exchange.  And, these just use the ever popular pumpkin pie spice–not what you might have first thought–ugh, not that canned pumpkin again.

So, here is a great recipe that started me thinking about just adding different spices to this popover recipe–so stay tuned for other ideas.  From the pages of Good Housekeeping, October 2016, comes this recipe, with my modifications.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees along with a popover pan.  When heated, melt a bit of margarine in each cup and swirl around to coat the pan. Meanwhile, mix 3 eggs, 1 cup milk, 3 Tbsp melted butter together in a bowl.  Stir in 1 cup flour, 1 1/4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Blend well, and divide into 6 large popover cups until each is 2/3 full.

    

Bake 50-60 minutes until browned.  Remove from the oven and tap to hear the hollow sound that the classic popover will make, signifying that the center is fully cooked.

If possible, serve warm, but they are tasty when cooled as well.  These can be dusted with powdered sugar, if desired. Serve popovers with soup, salad, or any breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner entree.  A great alternative to a roll, biscuit, or other types of bread choices.  This recipe makes six large popovers.

 

 

Picnic lunches for warmer weather

With warmer weather coming to Michigan, the anticipation of picnic weather is here.  Portable containers to transport summer picnic food need to be properly sized with temperature consideration.  The containers need to keep food cold during transport.  I also like to have foods kept separately during transport.  There is nothing worse than having fruit juices spill or stain onto other picnic foods.SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

This past week I was asked to review one of the latest products to be launched next month from Francois et Mimi.  The set is a three-piece stackable Bento Lunch box with an insulated lunch box bag.  The set is available in five different colors, and includes a portable fork, knife and spoon.  Made from food grade materials, the set is BPA free and FDA approved

I especially like the design of this bento box set.  The boxes are stackable, and have an elastic strap to hold them together.

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 Some of my favorite picnic foods to easily transport include:

grilled shrimp, watercress and cucumber sandwiches with cream cheese, chicken salad with rosemary–served with crackers, cole slaw, fresh watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries or grapes, scones with jam, brownies, shortbread cookies, and various cheeses with thin sourdough bread slices.

Other great picnic packables are: tortilla roll-ups, stuffed cherry tomatoes with dill cream cheese, olives, pickles, cheese twists and nut bread.

Yummy!

For more information about the Bento boxes or to order on amazon.com, please follow this link:

http://www.amazon.com/Francois-Mimi-Multi-Compartment-Stackable-Bento/dp/B00VDFY0ES/ref=pd_sxp_f_pt

 

 

Jacobson’s Quiche Lorraine

Jacobson’s department store was my all time favorite place to shop.  I have memories of this neighborhood store from my childhood.  In fact, we could walk to this department store from my home.  I grew up with Jacobson’s, having shopped for everything from clothes, shoes, jewelry, candy, stationery, and items for my home after we were married in the late 70’s.

Over the years, I had many lunches with my mother and even my daughter in the St. Clair room.  It was a special place for a ladies’ lunch.  We were very disappointed when the stores closed their doors, but still have great memories from those days. We even visited the Jacobson’s in Florida when we would vacation.

I was gifted a book about the history of Jacobson’s which included recipes served in their stores over the years.  I made their Quiche recently, and actually remember ordering this in the past.  So cheesy and fluffy.  If you remember Jacobson’s, you might want to try this recipe.  I promise you it will bring back memories.

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This recipe will make 6-8 servings.

Begin by gathering these ingredients:  6 large eggs, 1/2 cup half and half mixed with 1/2 cup milk, 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese, 1 pie crust, 1/2 teaspoon basil, paprika and nutmeg to taste.  (I also added some chopped red pepper.)

Beat eggs.  Add milk and mix.  Prepare pie crust, but do not bake.  Add cheese to shell.  Add basil to eggs.  Pour eggs over cheese.  Top with paprika and nutmeg.  Bake 325 for 45 minutes.  Check the center for doneness.  Cool for 10 minutes prior to slicing.

This is a great recipe for a ladies’ lunch, served with a side salad or fruit.

Holiday brunch punch

For a small party or family brunch, here is a great recipe that I have been using for years.  A pink brunch punch is festive and tasty with a holiday breakfast or brunch.

This is a non-alcoholic recipe and will be enjoyed by everyone from small children to adults.  The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.  I make sure that the punch is very chilled before serving to enhance the taste.

Mix together:

2 cups Crystal light orange drink mix which has been prepared as directed

4 cups cranberry light, cranberry, or pomegranate juice

4 cups club soda

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roasted tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons

I felt “Fall” in the air this past weekend in Michigan.  I must admit, I love this season the best of all of the seasons of the year.  The brisk mornings and the changing leaves make the season so comfortable for me.  I have been looking at many recipes over the past few weeks just getting ready for comfort food season.  I found this one in Jamie Deen’s cookbook titled Good Food.  It felt perfect for dinner last night, since I still had a whole bowl of tomatoes from the garden ready to be used in a recipe.

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I have made homemade tomato soup several times before and have posted recipes on the blog, but not for roasted tomato soup.  I must say that the tomatoes had an extra layer of flavor, since they were combined with the roasted onions and garlic.  The soup was delicious, making extra for lunches and to freeze for another colder fall evening dinner.

I loved the grilled cheese croutons.  They were delicious in the soup and were such a great garnish.  My husband had an extra grilled cheese on a plate, since the croutons were just not enough for his meal. The sandwiches could also be cut into strips and served with the soup, for dunking.

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to make the soup recipe:

Gather the following ingredients for the recipe–3 pounds of fresh tomatoes, or a mixture of fresh for roasting and boxed, one Vidalia onion, 6 cloves of fresh garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock and dill.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Slice the tomatoes in quarters, and the large onion into chunks.  Separate the garlic into cloves. Place all on a heavy sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil and honey. Mix well together.  Roast in the oven for 35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and take out the garlic cloves.  Smash 2-3 cloves depending on their size and return to the pan,  discarding  the rest.  Place all in a blender to puree in batches.  Mix any browned bits from the baking pan into the chicken stock. Using about 2 cups of stock, add to the soup pan on the stove.  Add the tomato mixture from the blender along with other boxed tomatoes as needed for the recipe volume.

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Season as needed.  Simmer for at least 25 minutes. Add the rest of the stock to incorporate during the cooking time.  Stir in the dill during the last minutes of cooking to taste.  Or use as a garnish on the soup when serving. I also used fresh basil from the garden as a garnish.

 

to make the grilled cheese croutons:

Prepare a sheet pan with cooking spray.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Using margarine, spread one side of each slice of bread making a sandwich.  For 4 sandwiches, that would be eight slices of bread.  Place butter side down, one slice for each sandwich.  Add shredded cheddar cheese or other cheese slices.  Place the second slice of sandwich bread on top, butter side up.  Bake in the oven for a total of 20 minutes.  I usually bake 12 minutes on one side and flip the sandwiches.

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Cut into slices, strips, or cubes for croutons.  Delicious and so perfect for Fall.

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