Monday, November 11, 2019

Butternut and Apple Galette for Baking Bloggers

 I had high hopes for this, and I wasn't disappointed.  Look at those lovely layers
Butternut and Apple Galette

BTW, it's time for Baking Bloggers and the challenge this month was to make a Holiday Pie.

Sue of Palatable Pastime is our hostess here.

So I started thinking of what is usually served for the holidays, and it comes down to Pumpkin Pie, Pecan Pie, Sweet Potato Pie, and of course Apple Pie.

This is also the time of year when you get Butternut Squash and Acorn Squash and various other great squashes in the grocery stores, if you haven't grown them yourself.

Coincidentally, I love making Galettes as well,  which is basically a free form pie.   They're fun to make, have a lovely rustic feel to them and taste great.  

This time of the year, when you've got every single pie plate filled with other pies, this is also perfect to make, no pie plate required.

BTW,  I'm bringing one of these to Thanksgiving this year.  I think it fits perfectly with the holiday season. 
So I wondered, could I combine a squash and apples in a pie?  I went into my old cookbooks, but nada, no inspiration there, so I went googling.   I found this recipe, and this one and also this one.  All sounded great, and they were all very similar.
As much as I love, love, love onions, I didn't want to include onions in this.

I also had a pie crust in the freezer that needed to be used, and it was perfect for this. Every so often, I make a bunch of pie crusts up, and freeze them in a sheet to use for pies.  I make several at a time, because they're a little on the messy side to make but taste so good. 

I did have a bit of fun with this.  A few years ago I made this Kentish Pie, which is fabulous served warm or at room temperature and has a lovely flavor.

The reason for mentioning it?  Because as I was brushing egg on top of the pastry to get a lovely golden sheen to it, I hated the thought of wasting the rest of the egg.  So I added a few little chunks of the Havarti and poured it into the center of the Galette. 
You do have to be careful that there are no holes for the egg to run out of though, sigh.  This is why a commercial pie crust would be good here, no holes. 
Butternut and Apple Galette
Some of the egg escaped, but enough stayed behind and well, here's a look at some of the layers, before the folding over.  I like making it look pretty, especially since I'm  taking pictures.
I arranged the thin slices, alternating them in circle. 
I also used a pie crust that I'd been hoarding saving in the freezer.  
Butternut and Apple Galette

I forgot to add the cheese until after I'd folded the sides over, so I just tucked it in. Mise en place, anyone? 
Butternut and Apple Galette
But look at the beautiful thing.
Butternut and Apple Galette
Not too sure if I should admit it, but I had a hard time not eating the whole thing, one sliver slice at a time.  You can see the lovely layers in this piece.  And the taste is amazing. 
Butternut and Apple Galette

The Havarti is a nod to my Danish side, ;) (Wink). 

Hope you have a great Holiday Season. 

Butternut and Apple Galette

Yield: 8 servings for appetizer or 3 servings for a light lunch
prep time: 15 Mcook time: 40 Mtotal time: 55 M
This is a multi-purpose, easy to put together and delicious appetizer or light lunch. A little bit savory, a little slice goes so well with a glass of Rose or other light wine. Serve with a salad for lovely lunch as well. This tastes great either warm or at room temperature.


Butternut and Apple Galette
  • 1 round pie crust, purchased is fine for this
  • 1/2 butternut squash, sliced thin
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced thin
  • 2-4 slices cooked bacon - cut into eights
  • 2 ounces Aged Havarti, cut into slices
  • 1 egg- whisked with a fork
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh Rosemary


How to cook Butternut and Apple Galette

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. On a flat rimmed baking  sheet, place a sheet of parchment paper.
  3. Fry the bacon til crisp if you don't have any already cooked, drain and set aside.
  4. Peel and slice the butternut squash and set aside while coring and slicing the apple. 
  5. Place a sheet of pie dough on the parchment paper on the rimmed baking sheet.
  6. Place the squash and apple on the pie crust, in the center,  alternating them in circular fashion, two inches in from the edges.   Add the bacon and sliced Havarti cheese on top, evenly.  
  7. Fold the edges of the pie crust in towards the center leaving a hole in the middle.   
  8. Brush the edges of the crust with the egg, and then pour the remainder of the egg into the middle of the galette. 
  9. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until crust is a golden brown. 
  10. Take out of oven and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into wedges, or allow to cool to room temperature before serving.  Sprinkle with the chopped Rosemary before serving. 
Note:  You could sprinkle the chopped Rosemary on the inside before baking, but I like the little pop of Rosemary flavor on the top.  It doesn't hijack the entire dish either.  
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Monday, November 4, 2019

First Monday Favorites - November 36

It's time to link up your favorite recipes from the past month.  Not the recipe that got the most views, but your own personal favorite, the one recipe that surprised and delighted you and that you know you'll make again and again.

I had that lucky experience with two recipes this month and it came down to a coin toss.  Literally, I tossed a nickel to make this my head's up recipe this month.

And can I say it was perfect. OMG, especially with the cooler weather we're experiencing here.   The flavors were warm and satisfying, the calorie count was low, well, gee, I look at calories sometimes, and it was also vegetarian.  It could also be classed as gluten free, and if you choose not to add the quinoa to it, it's also keto friendly.

I'm talking about this Moroccan Chickpea and Tomato Soup with Quinoa that I made.    In fact I'm making some more this week.
Moroccan Tomato and Chickpea Soup
When I find something I like that not only tastes great, but is also quick and easy to make, I love to share it.

So, here it is, your chance to add your favorite recipe from last month to First Monday Favorites.

First Monday Favorites

Check out what everyone else made and is bringing to the party.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
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Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Halloween's Coming... Are you ready?

I love making food for Halloween, but it's usually on the savory side.  There's so much sweet stuff out there and some really great ideas, but I'm more of a chips and dips sorta person. 

Here's a few ideas that I've made in the past.

And most of these ideas, work, they're mostly quick and easy.

First off, for those of you who like to decorate, but don't want a honking great big Jack o' Lantern on the table, cause you'd like to leave room for food. 

Get a orange pepper, carve it out a little, stick a battery operated light inside and
VOILA! Carved pepper Jack o' lantern
Here are the instructions. 

Now for the rest of the food...

How about this guy?  A Mummy Head all wrapped up in bacon. 
A little gruesome looking, almost perfectly gruesome in fact, but totally delicious when cut into and eaten.  He's a Danish meatloaf called Forloren Hare.  
And you can even make the gravy a little on the red side, by adding some red current jelly to it.  
Forloren Hare Mummy 

I love making dips and spreads and tapenades, so here's a couple to go with the Spicy Witchy Fingers

In fact I made this one for the first time this year, and have to say it was amazing, and I kept on eating and eating and eating it. TMI?  Let me just say it was totally delicious.

The first one I'm calling Ogre's Blood and it goes perfectly with these Witch Fingers.  
Spicy Witch Fingers with Ogre's Blood Tapenade
Last year I made a really garlicky dip and called it Vampire's Blood. 
Vampire Blood Tapenade
I'm not quite done with dips or spreads.  This Green Spider Dip is also fun.  Green Spider Dip

 Or if you're into Deviled Eggs, these 'Tate's Hell Snake Eyes are especially spooky as well as being delicious.
Tate's Hell Snake Eye Eggs
 For some added spice, how about some regular Tate's Hell Eggs?
Tate's Hell Eggs

And to totally confuse everyone, or not.   I love making this Spider Cake along with some Spider Eggs.  Spider Cake

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Saturday, October 19, 2019

Moroccan Tomato and Chickpea soup with Quinoa for #SoupSaturdaySwappers

Sue of Palatable Pastime is our hostess this month for Soup Saturday Swappers.

I have to confess something here, for some reason I wrote down Autumn Soups for this month and made a great one using squash, but that's not what the theme was.
Back to Google I went, after looking up Moroccan Soups and Stews in my various cookbooks, and finding not one single recipe.

What's the use of having lots of varied and old cookbooks when you can't find a recipe?  Hmmmm?

But Google is my friend today.   I found this recipe on the BBC Good Food site and went, I can do that. Even though I don't have any Harissa Paste, and I don't plan on a trip to the big city until next week sometime.
Moroccan Tomato and Chickpea Soup

I did however,  have some Ras-al-Hanout seasoning in the pantry, giggle.   I'd actually made the seasoning mix myself, because I couldn't find any for sale.   I do now have a store I can go to for stuff like this, but again, it's up in the 'big city'. 

Enough hyperbole, and stuff.

And I did make a couple of changes to the original recipe.   I hunted high, low and sideways for the couscous in my pantry.  I've either used it up or hid it really well, so I grabbed some Quinoa, cooked that up and topped the soup with some.  I also grabbed some mint from my mint plant and topped the soup with the mint. 

This past month has been hard for me.  I had a much beloved dog pass away, and I basically sat with her as much as possible and didn't cook or interact much with people.  She was able to die at home, without any help from us to cross the rainbow bridge.   This is one of my favorite pictures of her.  She's pouncing on our other dog, Mauli who is also no longer with us.   I miss my dogs.  It's an empty house here.  

But back to the soup.  Before
Moroccan Tomato and Chickpea Soup

OMG is it good.  A slight hint of heat from the Ras-el-hanout seasoning, but that's a good thing.

I also think it would be amazing served with a crusty roll on the side, but I'll take it how it comes. Or goes...

And after

Moroccan Tomato and Chickpea Soup
Moroccan Tomato and Chickpea Soup

Yield: 4-6 servings
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 20 Mtotal time: 30 M
This soup is perfect for cool fall days. The mixture of spices in it are warming and soothing at the same time. Side benefit, it's also vegetarian and vegan, but most important is how it tastes. Which is amazing.


  • 1/2 cup uncooked Quinoa- prepared according to package directions
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into cubes or coins
  • 4 cups vegetable stock (can also use chicken stock)
  • 4 garlic cloves - crushed
  • 1-2 tsp. fresh ginger, finely grated (use a microplane)
  • 1-2 tablespoons Ras-el-Hanout spice mixture
  • 1 tablespoon Harissa Paste + 1 tsp. for serving (I didn't use any)
  • 15 oz. can of chopped Tomatoes
  • 15 oz. can of Chickpeas - drained
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Chopped fresh mint ( or coriander)


How to cook Moroccan Tomato and Chickpea Soup

  1. Prepare the quinoa according to directions.   
  2. Peel and chop the carrot and onion.  Heat the oil in heavy stockpot, and add the carrots and onions and cook over medium heat for about 8-10 minutes or until the carrots are just crisp tender. 
  3. Add the garlic and ginger, stir, let cook for about a minute or so and then add the Ras-el-hanout and stir to combine and let cook for another minute.  By adding the spices to the hot vegetables you release more of the flavours.  
  4. Pour in the vegetable stock, canned tomatoes and the drained chickpeas.  Cook an additional 20 minutes. 
  5. Spoon some soup into a bowl, top with a spoonful of the cooked Quinoa or Couscous and sprinkle with some chopped mint or coriander. 
  6. If you have Harissa Paste, you can serve it on the side for those who want a little more spice. 
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Friday, October 18, 2019

Poached Sole with Caper Sauce for #fishfridayfoodies

It's time for Fish Friday Foodies.  Third Friday of the month and  this is when we showcase all kinds of fun fish/seafood dishes.

Wendy of A Day in the Life of the Farm started this group, and I've managed to participate quite a few times now, and there's always great recipes from other bloggers as well.
This month Wendy is our hostess as well.

The theme this month is Poached Seafood.  
Poached Sole with Capers

I had some sole in the freezer, one of my favorite fishes, which just so happens to be perfect for poaching.

Dover sole is to my taste a very delicately flavored fish, which also happens to cook quickly, and is pretty delicate as well.

And poaching it in the Toaster oven, was a perfect way to not only cook the fish quickly but also to keep it from falling apart.

I poached this en papillote, which basically means I wrapped it in some foil, to keep the moisture in.

I'd actually like to say this was a recipe, but it's much more like a method of cooking fish, retaining its' basic structure and taste and enhancing it.

There are a few flavor profiles I absolutely love, one of which is lemon and butter together.   Let's face it, butter should be named an essential food group.  You can do so much with it.  And in this recipe, while I use butter, it's more as a finishing touch.  Although I did dot the fish with a couple of teaspoons of butter as it poached.

I also went out and raided my Tarragon plant (which is finally showing some life), for a couple of leaves.
I served this with some sauteed Cauliflower, Peas and thinly sliced carrots.

Brush some foil with butter and lay the Sole on top.
Poached Sole with Capers
Brush with some melted butter and add a few capers, some tarragon leaves, a little of the caper liquid and a squeeze of lemon on top.
Poached Sole with Capers
  Fold the foil over and enclose the fish.  Bake in a toaster oven at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes, depending on how thick the sole is.
Poached Sole with Caper Sauce

While the fish is cooking, saute some Cauliflower, Peas and thinly sliced carrots in a little butter and EVOO.

As soon as the fish and veggies are done place on a plate, and then melt about 1-2 teaspoons butter in a pan, add the capers, a squeeze of lemon and pour over the fish. 

Serve with a smile.   I have to say this was so good and the leftover fish became a sandwich the next day.
Did I mention this is also low carb, gluten free and Keto?  
Poached Sole with Capers

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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade aka Ogre's Blood

Have you ever made something accidentally, that tasted so good that you just can't stop eating it?

That was me the other day.   I wanted to make something Halloween inspired for a potluck. I already knew I was going to make some Spicy Witchy Fingers, (a totally awesome cheese cracker), but wanted something to dip the 'fingers' into. 

Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade aka Ogre's Blood
I actually copied out the basic ingredients for two recipes, and was debating on which one I was going to make and then ended up accidentally combining the ingredients, and thought, oh what the heck, I'll just go ahead and see what happens.
Total deliciousness is what happened.  

Here are the two sites,I got the recipes from. 
The kitchn,
which has some great hints, tips and recipes
and this one Taste of Home  
which also has some tried and true recipes.
I basically combined both recipes, and then played with it.  I did not add either nuts or anchovies.
My mouth has been doing the happy dance ever since.   It keeps telling me to go ahead, scoop up a little more, in fact spread some on a piece of white bread, even, and see how it tastes.
Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade aka Ogre's Blood

I know, my mouth sometimes just doesn't know when to shut up, but that's OK for this.

Does it sound like I'm raving about the tapenade a  little much?

Tough!  I like it.

This does make quite a bit though, so you may want to halve the ingredients.  Otherwise you'll be in the predicament I'm in.  I've got lots left in the fridge. 
Every time I go into the kitchen I hear the siren song from the fridge, and it's starting to sound a little scary. 
"C'mon, just a taste, you know you want some, try it.  I know we've got more crackers in the cupboard, try it on some veggies, go ahead.  "

I have to admit to also getting a kick out of being able to go outside and harvest fresh basil and oregano from the pots in my back yard.

I served this with some Spicy Witchy Fingers for a spooky? delight.  Actually the fingers went so well with the Ogre's blood, I had to keep sampling.  All I can say is that, it was just lucky that some of it made its way to the Community Potluck the other night. 
Ogre's Blood aka Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade

BTW... I think this is a multi-holiday treat.
I can see serving this at Christmas even.  Just make some of my Spicy Witch Fingers into small square crackers and serve the tapenade with a touch of greenery on it.
And Voila!  you've got a nice red and green Christmas theme going.
Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade with Cheese crackers

Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade with Cheese crackers

Ogre's Blood Tapenade - Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade
Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade

Yield: 24-36 servings?
prep time: 5 Mcook time: total time: 5 M
This is a great tapenade, perfect for Halloween or any special occasion. The flavors are bright, beautifully layered and complex. Using fresh basil and oregano, along with the lemon juice, gives a lovely complexity to the tapenade.


  • 3 finely minced garlic cloves
  • 1 jar (7 oz.) roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1 jar (7 oz.) red pimentos, drained
  • 1 jar (7 oz.) pitted Kalamata Olives, drained
  • juice from one lemon
  • 2-3 tablespoons EVOO
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced fresh basil leaves
  • 1-2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/3 cup concentrated Tomato Paste


How to cook Ogre's Blood Tapenade - Roasted Red Pepper Tapenade

  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process.   Place in fridge for at least 3-4 hours before serving so that the flavors can get acquainted and the garlic has a chance to mellow out a little.
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Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Community Potluck for October 2019

The weather was gorgeous yesterday, and everyone stopped outside to admire the sky and sunset after the potluck.
It was a year ago that our area was devastated by Hurricane Michael, and many of us remarked on that fact.
But it didn't stop us from enjoying not only great food,  but also great company.

Here's a lineup.

I had to make something that was a nod to the month. 
Spicy Witch Fingers with Ogre's Blood tapenade  (I'll share the recipe soon)
We also had this great Taco Casserole
Chicken Marsala
Some rice to go with it.
A Hash Brown Potato Casserole
we also had some Mac and Cheese
Roasted Cauliflower
Fruit Salad
Some Tabouli
Wings with two sauces

Totally forgot to get the picture of the pineapple, sigh.
And then there were the desserts

Here's my plate with a little of everything
Now for the sunset shots.
I wish the camera could do justice to the colors, they were so subtle but beautiful.

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Monday, October 14, 2019

Filled Donuts-Gluten Free for #Baking Bloggers

 It's time for #BakingBloggers again.  This month the challenge, should we choose to accept it was
Baked Donuts.  This group is led by Sue from Palatable Pastime, and every month we choose (we actually vote on it), a theme or category for everyone to bake something for. 
Mini Filled Gluten Free Donuts

And I had adventures...

I actually ended up with a Gluten Free recipe. 

I really wanted to like the first recipe I tried, I did, in fact I made it a couple of times with some minor variations and I still think it's lacking, something.    The kitchen goddess received a couple of tributes this week.
Although I did try frying some 'traditional' donuts out of it, and they were pretty good.
Fried Donuts and scraps
I guess all that extra fat makes a difference.   Let's face it, fried almost always tastes good. 

Then I tried a second recipe, and didn't care for that one either, they looked good, but the taste, nah, better they should be an offering, than reside and take up space in my fridge ( or on my hips).
 I put my thinking cap on, looked at the keto bread I'd made for breakfast and wondered what would happen if?

And here they are.   Filled Donuts that are Gluten Free.  I'd love to say that they're Keto and Low Carb as well, but I used real sugar in them.   And the fillings also have sugar in them.

I got an even dozen mini filled donuts out of this recipe, and have to say I'm impressed.  I did also  bake them in a mini muffin tin, cause I didn't want the batter escaping off of the pan if I just mounded them on the pan, alone.    I know that there's only 11 on there, but I taste tested one before filling and glazing it, and it passed my taste test.

Not only did they taste great, but they're also gluten free, and almost keto, or at least low-carb, until you fill them with jelly, and since I had some lemon curd in the fridge, I'd made a couple of weeks ago, I filled a couple with that.  If you have sugar free jelly, use that.
Although they could have done with a little more filling, maybe next time?

Good thing I only made a dozen mini donuts.  And several of them are almost gone.
Cause they're rather more'ish.
Baked Filled Gluten Free Mini Donuts

Baked Filled Gluten Free Mini Donuts

I filled a few with some American Beautyberry Jelly a friend gifted me a couple of weeks ago, and some with the lemon curd and a few with some marmalade and then glazed them all. 

Filled Donuts - Gluten free

Yield: 12 mini donuts
prep time: 5 Mcook time: 18 Mtotal time: 23 M
A quick and easy donut treat, which is not only gluten free but almost keto and carb free. Use sugar free jelly or jam for these as well.


Gluten Free Mini Donuts
  • 2 eggs, separated,
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 5 tablespoons gluten free flour
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 tsp. Baking powder
  • 1/4 cup jelly mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/4 cup lemon curd
  • 1/4 cup marmalade
  • 1/2 to 1 cup confectioner sugar
  • 2 -4 teaspoons liqueur or vanilla extract


How to cook Filled Donuts - Gluten free

  1. Whisk the egg whites together till just whitened a little. Add the egg yolks, and whisk together.
  2. Sift the almond flour, gluten free flour and baking powder together. Whisk into the egg mixture until well combined.
  3. Spoon into cupcake liners in a mini cupcake pan. Bake at 350 degrees in a toaster oven for 15-18 minutes or until well risen and baked through.
  4. Remove from pan and take off the cupcake liners.
  5. Heat some 1/4 cup jelly with 2 teaspoon water and whisk together. Place in either a piping bag or a small squeeze bottle and insert into a mini donut and squeeze in about 1/2 - 1 teaspoon jelly into the center. This will fill about 4 mini donuts.
  6. Whisk 1/4 cup lemon curd together and fill an additional 4 mini donuts, and continue with 1/4 cup marmalade for the last 4 donuts.
  7. Mix together 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar with some vanilla extract or sherry or another complimentary liqueur and glaze the tops of the donuts.
  8. Serve.
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