Sunday, August 25, 2013

Zucchini Potato Tart

This is the perfect lunch or light supper dish and is wonderful with different meats-- or leave the meats out entirely, if you prefer. I love how the tomatoes take on a roasted flavor as it bakes. This dish is a real breeze with a mandoline slicer- have I told you how nice this tool is? I have fallen in love with it for thinly slicing garlic when I sauté vegetables, slicing carrots thinly for salads (my kids don't love big chunks of anything hard to chew- eating a salad will take forever!). I also love to use this slicer for the veggies in this dish. I'm so crazy that I almost took it to my parents house when I went for a visit the last time because it is cuts down on prep time so much! Anyways, back to the recipe-- check this out and give it a try and see my notes at the bottom.

Serves: 6-8
  • 1 pie crust
  • 1 small yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 small zucchini squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 large or 3 small potatoes, thinly sliced (may leave skins on)
  • 1 medium or large onion- I used a mix of red and sweet onion, diced
  • 1/4 pound ham, diced (may use bacon or other meat)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of choice- I used mix of cheddar and monterey jack
  • 1 large tomato or 2 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • oregano, divided, crushing in palm of hand before sprinkling over tart
  • seasoned salt/pepper
  • celery salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp milk
  • 5 eggs

  • After your vegetables are sliced, cover the potatoes so they do not brown.
  • Place pie crust in a deep dish 10 inch pie pan. 
  • Begin layering about half of each of the vegetables except the tomatoes, seasoning well with salt/pepper and herbs between each layer.
  • Then sprinkle top of vegetables with onion and cheese and then ham or meat. 
  • Repeat layers, seasoning each layer well until all the squash, potatoes, onion and meat is in the pie.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and milk together with 1/4- 1/2 tsp seasoned salt/pepper and then pour over the vegetables in the pie crust.
  • Arrange tomato slices over the top and sprinkle with more salt/pepper and crushed oregano. Cut a couple smaller slices into 1/2 to make crescent shapes and place them in the center to form a swirl or pinwheel effect.
  • Fold the top edges of the pie crust over the pie.
  • Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees for approximately 1 hour- 1 hour and 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender to fork. Remove foil for the last 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle more cheese on top if desired.
*Note: If you want this to bake quicker,  sauté the squash and potatoes with a couple tablespoons of butter or oil for about 5 minutes until they are just beginning to soften. Then follow the recipe as above. This will shorten the baking time by at least half.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Blueberry Buckle (coffeecake)

This is one of the recipes I remember my mom making throughout my childhood and I always thought the name was so funny. It wasn't until just recently when I was watching Alton Brown on "Good Eats" talk about his Blueberry Buckle and how a Buckle was actually an old-fashioned coffee cake that I understood the name. Don't ask me to explain or remember how the word "buckle" has anything to do with a cake!

Anyways, I love this cake because it is easy to make, full of fruit and a dense but moist cake that is a perfect treat for any occasion. I don't remember my mom ever putting a glaze on top, but it adds a nice touch. I also added the almond extract to the cake and put vanilla in the glaze, but you could use whatever flavor you like in the cake and glaze-- lemon or vanilla would be great, even coconut and mix some coconut in with the crumble topping. Also, try this with 1/2 cup chopped nuts added in the crumb topping, as well. This cake is just perfect for switching up the flavors and fruits! So give it a try and have fun with it.

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup shortening (I use palm oil shortening), or you may use another oil
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract (if using vanilla- increase it to 1 or 1 1/2 tsp)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups well drained blueberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar (I used brown sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup soft butter
  • 3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp milk, more if needed
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  • In a large bowl, mix sugar and shortening together until well blended. Add in egg and wisk together. Stir in the milk and extract.
  • In a smaller bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Mix into the wet ingredients in thirds.
  • Fold in the blueberries carefully so as not to break up the berries. Batter will be very thick.
  • Put in a greased 8x8 or 9x9 inch baking pan and press out to the corners of the pan, making sure it is pretty evenly distributed in the pan.
  • In small bowl previously used for dry ingredients, mix together topping dry ingredients and then cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork until dry ingredients have combined well with the butter- should be little clumps without a lot of extra loose flour mixture.
  • Sprinkle evenly over top of the cake batter in the pan.
  • Bake for 45-50 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • While cake is cooling on a wire rack, mix up the ingredients for a glaze, adding milk 1Tbsp at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. If it gets too wet and runny, add more sugar. Cover glaze until cake cools.
  • After cake has cooled completely, use a spoon and drizzle the glaze over top of the cake, back and forth. Cut and serve!