New Favorite · Vegetarian

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

Our CSA was loaded with beets this year and I’ve struggled with recipes to use one of my least favorite vegetables.  Memories of canned, chopped beets in the school lunch flood my memory when I think of beets, but thank goodness there are so many wonderful ways to eat fresh, colorful beets.

I do enjoy a beet goat cheese salad so I whipped one up starting with a wonderful recipe but adapting it to use mixed greens and vinaigrette I had on hand.  It was delicious and I was able to put the lunchroom flashback to rest.

BEET AND GOAT CHEESE SALAD

2 bunches medium beets, (about 1 1/2 pounds) tops trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Vinaigrette dressing of your choice (I used Brianna Champagne Vinaigrette)
1/2 cup walnuts
1 bunch of mixed greens
4 ounces goat cheese, (preferably aged goat cheese) crumbled

  • Put the beets in a saucepan with water to cover and season generously with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until fork tender, about 20 minutes.
  • When the beets are cool enough to handle, peel them–the skins should slide right off with a bit of pressure from your fingers. If they don’t, use a paring knife to scrape off any bits that stick. Cut each beet into bite-sized wedges.
  • Whisk the vinegar with salt and pepper, to taste, in a large bowl. Whisk in the olive oil in a slow steady stream to make a dressing.
  • Toss the cut beets in the dressing; set aside to marinate for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the nuts on a baking sheet and oven-toast, stirring once, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Cool.
  • Toss the greens with the beets and divide among 4 plates. Scatter the walnuts and goat cheese on top. Serve.

Adapted from:  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/beet-salad-with-walnuts-and-goat-cheese-recipe.html?oc=linkback

New Favorite · Vegetarian

Grilled Peach Bruschetta

The idea of Peach Bruscetta resonates with me as did the Strawberry Bruscetta I’ve made many times. This recipe was delicious and I made it strictly according to the recipe.  The grilling of the bread and the peaches took some time, but the end result was worth it.

Next time, however, I may try using Goat Cheese instead of Burrata and skip grilling the peaches, using my tried and true Peach Salsa as the topping with a drizzle of honey.

Anyway you make, you can’t go wrong this time of year with fresh Colorado peaches, cheese and bread.  MMMMM….

GRILLED PEACH BRUSCHETTA

1 loaf ciabatta bread, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces burrata cheese, torn
3 medium ripe peaches, halved and cored
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon
Flaky sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Honey, for drizzling

  • Preheat and oil a cast iron or gas grill. Brush 2 tablespoons olive oil evenly over ciabatta slices and grill over medium heat until crisp and lightly charred on both sides, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Brush peach halves with vegetable oil or spray with non-stick spray. Grill, flesh side down, until lightly charred, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly, then chop and place in a medium-sized bowl.
  • Chop tarragon and add to bowl along with salt, pepper and remaining tablespoon of olive oil and mix to combine.
  • Spread a layer of burrata over each slice of ciabatta and top with a dollop of grilled peach mixture. Season with additional salt and pepper and drizzle with honey.

Recipe from: http://www.lepetiteats.com/2014/08/grilled-peach-bruschetta-2.html

Family · Home

My First Furniture Refinishing Job

Furniture Refinishing always sounds appealing but I have heard so many horror stories that I have avoided this type of project. However, with the kitchen remodeling project, I had a burst of energy and decided to refinish an old conference table that I’ve been using as a patio table for the last several years.  While it is protected from the elements, it needed a facelift. The project started with a solid sanding, a very rewarding task exposing the beauty of the wood as the old finish and grime melted away.

Note: The black burn marks on the side that tells the story of the time the tablecloth blew over the center candle. 

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Step two was to use wood filler on the cracks and dings in the wood.  I used a standard Wood Filler, and this was my first big lesson learned. Not all wood fillers take stain well.  In the future, I will be using a wood filler that matches the stain of the wood.

Next I applied two coats of Minwax Gel Stain, taking care to wipe it down as I worked on the table, assuring the color was evenly applied.

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Last but not least, I applied two coats of indoor/outdoor clear semi-gloss Polyurethane, allowing a day of drying time between each application. The table finish is beautiful, if I do say so myself. Now I don’t have to disguise the dingy wood with a tablecloth. Loving it!

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Garden · New Favorite · Vegan · Vegetarian

Cinnamon Basil Pesto

Cinnamon Basil was a garden experiment that produced more than I expected. Now, what do I do with it?

I found this interesting Cinnamon Basil Pesto recipe and decided to try it in three ways:

  • Simple spread on a wafer/cracker
  • Served on top of a mild cheese (brie, gouda, etc.) and wafer/cracker
  • Served on top of a mild cheese with wafer/cracker and drizzled with honey

This fun experiment ended with the pesto, cheese and honey winning my vote

CINNAMON BASIL DESSERT PESTO

1/3 – 1/2  cup walnut oil
2  cups firmly packed, fresh cinnamon basil leaves
1/2  cup chopped almonds
1/2  cup flaked coconut
1/4  cup freshly grated Asiago cheese (1 oz.)
2   teaspoons raw sugar or packed brown sugar

  • In a food processor or blender combine 1/3 cup of the oil, the basil, almonds, coconut, cheese, and sugar. Cover and process or blend until nearly smooth, stopping and scraping sides as necessary and adding enough remaining oil until of desired consistency.
  • If the pesto is not to be served immediately, divide it into three portions. Place each portion in a small airtight container. Refrigerate up to 24 hours or freeze up to 3 months. Makes about 1-1/3 cups pesto.