Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Honey, what's for dinner?

So, what's for dinner??? As much as I love cooking, I don't like to have to come up with what I'll be cooking... I think it will help to document the weeknight meals, so when I'm out of ideas I can look through the posts and be inspired again and keep tabs on what was a hit and what wasn't...

So, here it goes:


Braised pot roast

  • 1 (3 to 4 pound) piece beef chuck roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 red onions, halved
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 8 carrots, sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 cup button mushrooms, stems removed
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves

Season all sides of the beef with a fair amount of salt and pepper. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot that has a tight cover; heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over moderately high heat. Brown the meat on all sides, taking the time to get a nice crust on the outside. Pour in the tomatoes and the water. Scatter the vegetables and herbs around the pot roast, season with salt and pepper; and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Cover the pot and reduce the heat to low. Braise for about 3 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the pan juices, until the beef is fork tender. Slice the pot roast and arrange on platter surrounded by the vegetables. Serve with the pot juices.


If you end up making it, please let me know what you thought. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

By popular demand...

For a few years now I've been asked to share my cooking tips and recipes...Since my family and friends live all over the globe this seems to be the only way I can do this. I loved cooking and baking ever since I can remember and always enjoyed being in the kitchen with my mom and grandma. Everyone on both sides of my family cooks and growing up we seldom eaten out and have always made everything from scratch, so naturally this is the way, I've been cooking. I am partial to gourmet and "fussy" food and enjoy spending time cooking the gourmet meals as often as I can...I know, I know,"who has the time??? I suppose that some of us spend their weekends traveling or playing sports, I cook...I know, it's a little retro but I really love it when people enjoy my creations! All the recipes I'll be posting here are either mine or recipes that I've found through the years and adapted to my family's taste. So, my first recipe is made with one of my favorite fruit-PLUMS.

Walnut Plum Tart

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
12 tablespoons cold unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks), diced
1 egg yolk
2 pounds firm, ripe Italian prune plums, pitted and quartered lengthwise

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Combine the flour, walnuts, and sugar in a large bowl. Add the butter and the egg yolk. Mix, either by hand or with an electric mixer, until crumbly.

Press 1 1/2 cups of the crumb mixture in an even layer into the bottom of a 9 1/2-inch tart pan. Arrange the plums in the pan, skin side down, to form a flower pattern; begin at the outside and work your way in.

Sprinkle the rest of the crumb mixture evenly over the plums. Bake the tart for 40 to 50 minutes, or until it's lightly browned and the plum juices are bubbling. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and transfer the tart to a flat plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.