Mostly Rhubarb Tart

Rhubarb has been tough to find for some reason. Took me three stores, and even then it wasn’t the best looking and I bought all they had to try and get enough for this recipe.

Good thing I persevered because we all LOVED this tart.

It begins with our standard tart crust which is already beloved by all my family and tasters, so I was already off to a good start haha. The filling is pretty simple…macerated rhubarb, custard, and a few strawberries. This kind of custard, to me, is more of a sweet binding agent than “custardy pudding”. Really the fruit and crust shine though. ..and that crust being more like a cookie, this was just fantastic.

It was a perfect “kick the summer off” treat…fresh, and light, and so tasty! We tried it with some extra berries on top, but it wasn’t really necessary. We all thought tart was good enough to stand on its own.

When I can find rhubarb, this will be a keeper! 😍

Father’s Day Blueberry-Cherry Pie

Funny that Dorie made this for the first time in 2020 while her son was expecting his first child. I made this, and brought part of it over to my son-in-law when his new son was one week old. Didn’t quite get the baking done for eating ON Father’s Day, as we had a lot going on with a new baby in the family, but it didn’t make it any the less celebratory! 👶💙

This pie uses Dorie’s All-Butter Pie Dough recipe divided into two for the bottom and top layer. I thought this dough was great to work with, and everyone seemed to love it. The reviews were that I nailed the pie crust, so yay for that haha.

The filling is equal parts pitted and halved cherries and blueberries cooked down with sugar to make a jam like filling. There is some lime zest, lime juice, and flour mixed in and an optional teaspoon of cinnamon, which I added. The filling, which is super easy to make…other than the pitting of the cherries!…is put in the pie crust, topped and crimped and brushed with milk. The whole thing is cooked for about 65 min at two different temps. When it is brought out of the oven, the crust is brushed with a confectioners sugar glaze giving it an old school snack pie glaze look….which by the way my whole group loved.

The pie was promptly eaten with many great reviews..they loved the crust and the filling although it was mentioned that with two different fruit they thought this would be sweeter and more flavorful. It was almost like combining the fruit together made them more bland and neither flavor stood out. 🤷‍♀️. Weird. Regardless, the pie was a winner and none of it was left…I’d still call that a keeper.

One Big Break-Apart Chipper

This is a big slab cookie…one to put out on the table and let everyone break off a piece, or go ahead and cut it into pieces to share. Either way, it is a party cookie that is sure to bring smiles. It is delicious!

This is an interesting twist on a chocolate chip cookie bar. It is rolled thin, and baked large. The spices added in…cinnamon and cardamom are a sweet surprise that play well with the chocolate, brown sugar, and honey. You can add nuts as well and I went the route of using some glazed pecans I had on hand. Figured that would add to the cinnamon already in the dough.

This chilled in the fridge, and then baked until the edges were darker than the middle…which should be firm with a tiny bit of give. Sanding sugar is optional before you bake, but you know my stance on that..it is a yes, always haha. Once again, I think it takes the dessert to a fancier level and the crunch is always welcome.

These are sweet, but with my group, a total keeper! We loved them!

Portuguese-Style Cod and Beans En Papillote

Just WOW!

I have never cooked En Papillote, which is French for “in a pouch”…a type of cooking that seals in the flavors by oven-steaming. Essentially arranging the layers in a bundle, usually parchment or foil, and achieving a big-pot braise in miniature.

The amazing thing about this dish, was not only the flavor, but seriously how easy it was! It is basically just a construction of layers.

  • Lemon
  • Two slices of tomato
  • Sprig of thyme, salt and pepper
  • Cannellini beans mixed with garlic, balsamic, olive oil, salt, pepper, smoked paprika
  • Green onion
  • Cod ( I subbed Mahi) rubbed in smoked paprika, salt, and pepper
  • Garlic and green onion
  • Remaining lemon, tomato, and thyme
  • Olive oil and white wine

Bundled in a hobo packet and cooked for about 15ish minutes. That…is…it. Really couldn’t be simpler.

The dish is not a soup, but heavy on the broth…which is so delicious you end up eating this with a spoon so you don’t miss any of it. My husband’s reaction was, “this is next level gourmet”!! Hahaha!

Worthy of company, and easy enough for a mid-week dinner. Needless to say it was a huge hit and will most certainly be repeated!

This one is a keeper!

*update…made it a second time already and loved it again!

Zan’s Birthday Cookies

These cookies, Dorie tells us in her intro, “give us the pleasure of a thick slice of cake in a small, elegant package…and if they look like they were made for candles, so much the better.” Baked for a friend’s child named Zan, they were reminiscent of a German Chocolate Cake with the chocolate and coconut.

I made these earlier in the month as I was baking a ahead of time in preparation of the birth of my first grandchild mid-month! I thought this would be a perfect bake for where my head and heart are this month…focusing on a birth day! Instead of using a white candle like Dorie did in the cookbook, since my daughter and son-in-law did not find out the gender, I took pictures with each a pink and blue candle so I was prepared once the baby made its grand arrival. As you can see from the candle, we were blessed with a GRANDSON…and I am now a GRANDMA!! We couldn’t be more thrilled…Mama and Baby are both doing great and at the time of writing this, he is only 1 day old! We are so excited, thankful, and full of joy! 💙💙

Back to the cookies 😂, these were such a huge hit…but pretty time consuming to make. Like many bakes, this wasn’t hard but did require three separate components, two of which had chilling time also involved.

These had a chocolate and coconut brownie-like base, a toasted coconut pastry cream filling, and then a crunchy, cocoa streusel on top. They are baked in muffin tins, and quite thankfully, pop out no problem.

My family and most of my tasters are huge coconut and chocolate lovers, so I was pretty sure these would be a winner and I was right! I was told “don’t lose that recipe” and “these are such a great, unique, fusion of an old school crumb cake, almond joy, and brownie”. They seriously loved these. With responses like that, how can I not make them again haha. At least I would know what I was getting myself into and plan accordingly..probably easiest to make the parts the day before and then bake the next!

This one is a keeper!

French Vanilla Sablés

Sometimes simple is best!

We have made many different flavors of Sablés over the years and it seems they aren’t always a favorite with my family and tasters…but these were a clear winner.

Dorie tells us this recipe is “the model cookie-it’s rich, sandy, flavorful and memorable…phenomenal in texture and universally beloved in flavor.” We couldn’t have agreed more!

I do think the sugar on top takes it to another level with the added crunch. Nothing about these is hard, so all around winner in my book!

This one is a keeper!

Soy-Sauce Eggs and Sticky Rice

I changed this recipe just a bit…

We are suppose to marinate a raw egg yolk over night in soy sauce and mirin and although the overall dish sounded good, I just can’t eat a raw egg. 😳🤦‍♀️. Soooo, I went searching for a good alternative and came up with Momofuku’s Soy Sauce Eggs which are fairly similar, but are a soft boiled egg.

Dorie describes this dish as being rich and very delicious…one you will want everyday.

The base is a sticky rice (I used brown) mixed with some butter and sesame oil. That is topped with the marinated egg yolk…in my case, the soy marinated soft boiled egg. We are told there are no rules here, that we can use add-ins as we want. I used some torn seaweed and avocado..and actually some salmon and the other half of egg as well. The whole thing is given a sprinkling of soy sauce.

This was utterly delicious! I don’t know what to say other than Dorie was right…it is rich and delicious and you will want it everyday. 😂

This one was a keeper for us!

Macarons

Well…the Macaron can be a humbling bake. 🤦‍♀️

I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pull this one off as you might remember I have been without an oven for about 2 months. I thought these might be a stretch to pull off baking somewhere else.

Good news is, my oven finally came, and even though my macarons don’t look the part…they were delicious!

This was my second time baking macarons as we had previously baked them for our cookbook, Baking Chez Moi. I had some success that time as I got a smooth top and a decent foot. This time…ugh. Made them a bit smaller on my template by accident, so that wasn’t good and then my meringue was not smooth…which just makes things go poorly. My boiling sugar water just did not mix in well. I could just hear them in the tent on the Great British Baking Show, they would have started over…just didn’t have the room temp eggs to give it another go.

Soooo…I got some good lift, a good foot..but a weird top. I had already made the Spiced Cookie Filling with Biscoff cookies so I just went with it and hoped they tasted better than they looked. I figured my family doesn’t care what they look like haha.

These were a huge winner in the taste category! Everyone LOVED the spiced cookie filling. That seemed to be a true success…they raved about it. No one seemed to care what they looked like, although my husband did give a little chuckle.

Oh well…I will take that I got a great foot and the filling was a huge win! ✔️

Black Bean-Chipotle Dip

This recipe called for an easy blend of black beans, cumin, chipotle chili powder, lime juice, jalapeño, and red onion… (I omitted the cilantro). It really couldn’t have been easier. It all gets put into the food processor in two different steps and basically whirled up leaving the onion and jalapeño a bit chunky in the second go around. Dorie calls this a dip, but says it can just as easily be called a salsa. I am not quite sure what dictates which is which haha. I always think of salsa with tomato. 🤷‍♀️

So, my husband loved this…said it was absolutely fantastic and that he would call it a salsa. I am not a bean lover, but he convinced me to try it and I would also have to give the stamp of approval…that it was very good and quite tasty. I did double all the spices and jalapeño as Dorie said her version is more on the mild side and to play with it if we want it spicier. I knew my husband would enjoy more spice…he actually said even more next time haha.

This was so easy and made with ingredients generally on hand so it is a great one to remember!

This one is a keeper!

Asparagus-Lemon Quiche

This month we have a quiche to welcome spring with it’s lemon and asparagus freshness. The tart has a few steps, as they usually do, but nothing too difficult.

Our crust is an all purpose tart dough, easy to put together but does require a minimum of an hour chill in the fridge that needs to be considered when planning this meal.

The filling has a few surprises. The bottom layer consists of sautéed shallots, slivers of lemon..rind and all, and blanched asparagus. And then the custard is made up of two eggs, heavy cream, sour cream, and fresh herbs…I used chives and tarragon as suggested. Once that is all put into the crust, the tops of the asparagus are halved and placed on top. I did not add the optional Parmesan cheese, and in hindsight maybe I should have to add some color and a little more flavor.

We thought this was good. I was surprised though, that the shallots did not come through stronger and I couldn’t quite make up my mind about the slivers of lemon. They were interesting…and surprising…but maybe a little bit weird too. My husband did not notice the lemon bits and said he thought the quiche was a “healthy” version since he thought the crust and filling seemed lighter haha. 😂😂🤷‍♀️.

I think this was good, and we enjoyed it, but probably not a favorite. I think I can still call it a keeper though!