Goat Cheese Arugula Bruschetta

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I made these with my sister to bring as an appetizer to a holiday party.  The title bruschetta is a bit of a stretch, it’s more of an arugula goat cheese toast with tomatoes but it is tasty nonetheless.  I made half of the recipe and it was plenty to bring to a party with 8 people.  But if you have a larger crowd then the full recipe might fit the bill!  The ratio of the goat cheese spread to lemon arugula topping is important because the arugula lemon spread is potent.  So be sure to put at least double the amount of goat cheese spread to arugula lemon topping and enjoy!

Goat Cheese Arugula Bruschetta Recipe

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The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2012: Andes Mint Chip Cookies

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When I first heard about the cookie swap I was so excited!  I just started my food blog in May and this is the first blogging event I’ve participated in.  I have a lot of bookmarks saved of recipes I would like to make, both sweet and savory.  So when I was deciding which cookie to try next for this I stumbled upon a cookie from Sally’s Baking Addiction.  She always is coming up with new creative baking ideas and this cookie did not disappoint.  The mint chocolate was such a refreshing taste for this cookie.

I received Chocolate Snowquakes from Amy at thisheartofmineblog.com, Cinnamon French Toast Sugar Cookies and Raspberry Almond Thumbprints from Valerie at pursuitofsweetness.com, and Molasses Crinkles from Amy at fearlesshomemaker.com.   Thank you for sending such yummy treats!

Andes Mint Chip Cookies Recipe

adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup chopped Andes Mints or Andes Mints Baking Chips ( I used one package of chopped Andes mints since I couldn’t find the baking chips at my local store)
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • milk if dough is too thick

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cream together the butter and sugars on medium speed using a mixer.  Add the egg, then the egg yolk, mixing for about 1 minute after each addition.  Mix in the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt, flour, and unsweetened cocoa powder.  Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients to the wet.  Mix for about 1 minute on low speed.  Add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix on low speed until combined.  If the dough is too thick then slowly add in a little milk until the consistency is good (I did not need to add any milk).  By hand, fold in the Andes Mints and chocolate chips.

Drop the cookie dough onto an ungreased baking sheet (I made mine about 2 tsp big but I think they would have been excellent larger). Bake for 8-12 minutes, depending on how big your cookies are, until the sides slightly begin to brown.  Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.

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Jerusalem Artichoke Soup and Fried Green Tomatoes

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I joined a CSA this year so each week I have been receiving an assortment of vegetables.  CSA stands for Consumer Sustainable Agriculture and how it works is that I paid for a season of vegetables at the beginning of the farming season.  Then each week I get a bag of fresh, organic vegetables to use.  The crops vary based on what is in season and what the weather has allowed to grow.  One week I got Jerusalem artichokes (aka sunchokes) and green tomatoes.  Both of which I have never cooked with before.  I made Jerusalem artichoke soup and fried green tomatoes, both of which were fantastic!  I have since made this same dinner again and got great results so this recipe is very reproducible.

The fried green tomatoes are better than I’ve had in a restaurant.  The trick is all about getting the oil to the correct temperature and I will explain how below.  My sister and brother-in-law sampled some and raved about how crispy and delicious they were! I hope you enjoy cooking with new vegetables!

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup

Adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 pounds jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 cups vegetable stock (chicken stock would work well also, I found this new vegetable base that is great for making vegetable stock)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • optional: vegetables to mix in with the soup, broccoli and carrots are pictured above

Directions:

Heat the butter in a soup pot over medium-high heat and cook the leeks and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Do not brown them. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt.  Add the jerusalem artichokes and the vegetable stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered for 45 minutes to an hour.  Let the soup cool for about 5-10 minutes and then pour into a food processor and purée the soup.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  **optional: if you would like to add in some extra vegetables to the soup then dice them and toss into boiling water for about 5 minutes.  Strain out the water and then pour into the soup.  I have eaten this with and without the vegetables.  I think the soup tastes more pure without the vegetable, but soup is a great way to use up odds and ends veggies from the fridge!

Fried Green Tomatoes

adapted from Food Network

Ingredients:

  • 2 green tomatoes cut into 1/4th inch slices
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • about 2 cups of canola oil for frying
  • optional toppings: goat cheese, walnuts, sriracha hot sauce

Directions:

Fill a medium frying pan with enough canola to make it 3/4 inch high.  Turn the heat to about medium.  While the oil is heating slice the green tomatoes into 1/4 inch slices and place them in a single layer on a plate.  Sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and pepper.  Get three separate small bowls.  In the first bowl combine the flour with the garlic powder.  In the second bowl scramble one egg with the milk.  In the third bowl combine the panko bread crumbs with a pinch of cayenne pepper (the first batch of these I made using Italian seasoned bread crumbs and they were delicious, so feel free to substitute if you wish).

Now place a pinch of the flour into the oil.  It should take around 8 seconds for the oil to turn brown.  If it turns brown immediately then the oil is too hot.  If it takes more than 8 seconds to turn brown then the oil is too cool and increase the heat.  Continue to do this until the oil is the correct temperature.  One by one coat the tomato in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, and then the panko bread crumb mixture.

Then place into the oil.  Flip it to the other side when golden brown.  Remove from the oil when the second side is golden brown and place on a paper towel on a plate.  I would recommend testing the first tomato for the oil temperature before placing multiple tomatoes in just in case your oil is not the right temperature.  It should take about 5-7 minutes to cook each tomato slice.

To serve top with goat cheese crumbles, walnuts, and a few drops of sriracha sauce.  Enjoy!

Pistachio Cupcakes

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I made these cupcakes for a football potluck to try and recreate a pistachio cake someone once made me for my birthday.  While I cannot remember if this tasted exactly like that cake, these cupcakes were so good that I am no longer searching for a pistachio cake recipe.  They were incredibly easy to make and extremely delicious.  They require only five ingredients and are quick to put together.  These cupcakes are a bit dense but the flavor and moistness are worth it.  They will be a hit wherever you bring them!

Pistachio Cupcake Recipe

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Strawberry Pumpkin Seed Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

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This salad was so refreshing and delightful!  Candying the pumpkin seeds was quite easy and to clean the pan you just have to soak it in water and then the sugar just washes away.  I altered the dressing so I will post that here.  I followed the instructions for the candied pumpkin seeds and the salad using the recipe on The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen.

Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Recipe

adapted from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen

Ingredients:

1/4 cup olive oil
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1/2 teaspoonsalt

Directions: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl or jar and then pour over the salad.  The unused dressing will last in the refrigerator.

Strawberry Pumpkin Seed Salad Recipe