Pear Galette with Blue Cheese, Hazelnut and Thyme

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This Pear Galette with Blue Cheese, Hazelnut and Thyme came out incredible, I created the recipe on the fly and it worked perfectly. So I kept notes on what I did so that I could share it with you here. I think you will enjoy it. As you know (or may not know) I’ve been doing some videos lately, I wanted to do a stop motion video and thought it might be fun to make a galette since there’s a lot of assembly involved. Well mostly assembly as there is very little to do other than chop and slice a few things, and if you already have pie dough on hand it’s even easier. Which I recommend, pie dough freezes great, this is what I had leftover from the holidays. 

The stop motion video was fun to make, although it does take quite a while to create. The video below contains 56 photos, by the time I got to arranging the pears, Jeff helped out by hitting the shutter so that I didn’t have to clean my hands each time, which is what I did while rolling out the dough and I was getting flour all over my laptop (I worked with my camera tethered to my computer), so that was really helpful (thank you Jeff!), I would recommend getting some assistance if you plan on doing a stop motion video like this, where there’s mess involved. I’m curious to know if you enjoy the videos and if there are any recipes that you would like to see in video format in addition to photos? You can leave comments here or Instagram or wherever you like. Recipe below! Enjoy!

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Pear Galette with Blue Cheese, Hazelnut and Thyme

  • 1 pear, halved and sliced 1/4” thick

  • 1/4 cup blue cheese, crumbled

  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

  • 1/4 cup roasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1 pie dough (recipe below)

  • 1 egg beaten (for egg wash)

Heat oven 400°

Roll out your pie dough to roughly a 10-inch round. Sprinkle the brown sugar on the dough leaving a 1-2 inch border. Add cheese, nuts and thyme (leaving a few ingredients aside for the top), then add sliced pears in a circular pattern, fold the edges in a circular pattern, top the center with the remaining cheese, nuts and thyme for color and texture.  Brush the egg wash on the dough. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and Bake at 400° for 25-30 minutes until golden. Remove from oven and serve warm or room temp. 

Pie dough (this makes 2 pie crusts, you will have extra for next time, yay!)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 sticks (16 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

  • 6 to 8 tablespoons ice water

To make the dough in a food processor, pulse together the flour, sugar and salt until combined, about 5 pulses. Add the butter and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 5-10 pulses. Remove from processor and place dough in large bowl, add 6 tablespoons of the ice water, combine with wood spoon. The dough should hold together when squeezed with your fingers but should not be sticky. If it is crumbly, add more water 1 teaspoon at a time. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, divide in half and shape each into a disk. Wrap separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to overnight. You can freeze the extra pie dough for MONTHS, it holds up very well.


The 7-Minute Egg

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When it comes to boiling eggs, minutes really matter. I only recently discovered this. My whole life I’ve been starting them in cold water, bring to a boil, cook for an unknown amount of time, which resulted in a hard-boiled egg that was sometimes ok. But then I was watching Salt Fat Acid Heat recently and Samin mentioned the 7-minute egg, and it looked really good, not as runny as soft boiled but not hard boiled either. You start the eggs in boiling water. This makes an enormous difference. Not only the quality of the yolk, but the texture of the white, it’s fully cooked and kinda velvety, not rubbery which I thought all boiled eggs were just like that. And after 7 minutes you put them in an ice bath for a few minutes. Since I’ve been using this method the shell comes off the egg perfectly, no more moon craters of the past. The cooking times range from 6-12 minutes, with 12 minutes being hard boiled, everyone finds their favorite somewhere in-between, but I’m sold on 7-minutes. And, I made another video! If you like you can follow my Youtube channel here and Vimeo here

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Currant Almond Rosemary Crackers

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I’ve been wanting to make these gourmet type crackers for a long time now, and I’m glad I did! They came out really good. I used currants and almonds since that’s what I had on hand, but you can add any kind of fruit or nut to this recipe. I think next time I’ll try preserved lemon and fig or date. They’re very much like Raincoast Crisp Crackers which are crazy expensive on Amazon, I think they sell for about $7-8 in the stores here. 

The mini loaf pans I used are very small 2”x4”, I have no idea where I bought them but you can use any pan that would make a suitable size cracker. I only had 4 mini loaf pans so I put the rest of the batter in a regular loaf pan for slightly larger oblong crackers (this size will take a bit longer to bake). They’re much easier to make than I anticipated. You will need a couple of days since it’s bake, freeze, then bake again the next day. I still have about half of the baked breads in the freezer and will make the rest of the crackers once we’ve finished these.  They don’t have preservatives so they won’t last as long as store bought crackers. Store them in a sealed container for…however long, lol, I really don’t know the shelf life on this recipe. That’s part of the reason I’m making them in small batches. I made some 4-5 days ago and they’re still good! Enjoy!

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Currant Almond Rosemary Crackers

  • 1 cup dried currants

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds

  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds

  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary minced

  • 1 cup plain yogurt

  • 1 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°F. Arrange mini loaf pans on a baking sheet. Grease them with a neutral oil, like avocado or grape seed.

Place currants in a small bowl and cover with hot water and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl whisk the flours, rosemary, baking soda, and salt together. Whisk in the brown sugar, breaking up any clumps until well combined.

In a separate bowl whisk yogurt and milk together until smooth, then pour over flour mixture and stir just until moistened.

Drain the currants and add them along with the almonds and sesame seeds to batter. Fold to combine.

Divide batter between the mini-loaf pans filling them about 3/4 full. Transfer baking sheet with loaf pans to oven. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, until a knife or toothpick inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean.

Remove loaves from pans and cool completely. Wrap loaves in foil and place in freezer bag or freezer container. Freeze for several hours or overnight until solid.

To make crackers, preheat oven to 300°F. Remove one of the loaves from the freezer and slice very thin - 1/8-inch or thinner - with a very sharp serrated knife. Arrange slices in a single layer, close but not touching, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining loaves.

Bake 15 minutes. Flip and continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes. Crackers are done when they are golden in the middle, feel dry to the touch, and have slightly curled slightly edges. The (crackers will continue to crisp as they cool.) Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Repeat with remaining loaves. You don’t have to make all the crackers at once, you can leave some loaves in the freezer and make them as needed.

Adapted from Pinch and Swirl


Pumpkin Bread

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It’s that time of year again. All things Pumpkin! And dark. Well actually this October has been unusually sunny for Portland, but this past week the rain finally kicked in, raining every. single. day. oh no! But this time of year is also an opportunity for walks on misty mornings. I like this Pumpkin Bread recipe, it’s good but maybe not as good as the Pumpkin Loaf Cake with Walnut Glaze from four years ago. But I wouldn’t not eat it! It tastes great with a Double Spice Chai tea by Stash. This isn’t an endorsed or sponsored post, I just happen to love their tea. They do everything right.

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Pumpkin Bread

  • 1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 Teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 Teaspoon Pumpkin Spice

  • 2/3 cup sugar

  • 2/3 cup brown sugar

  • 1/4 cup milk

  • 3 egg whites

  • 1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz can)

  • Sliced almonds

Preheat oven to 350º F.

In a medium bowl combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and Pumpkin Spice.

In a large bowl whisk together sugar, brown sugar, milk and egg whites. Add the canned pumpkin and mix together well.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, stirring until well combined.

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan, then sprinkle with sliced almonds.

Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Allow the bread to cool in the pan before removing.

Honey Chocolate Fudge

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Healthy fudge!? For real? A few weeks ago Sprouted Kitchen started a Cooking Club. I like Sarah’s recipes and thought it would be fun to join, so I did. Each week she provides a shopping list and recipes for three meals and a snack. This is one of the snacks. As with most of her recipes it’s pretty healthy and made with natural ingredients. This is the second time I’ve made it. The first time I made it I used whole raw almonds, here I made it with toasted almond slivers. I definitely prefer toasted almonds.

It’s not exactly like fudge but similar and I like it better in a lot of ways. She said the recipe was created and inspired by Honey Mamas fudge which is made right here in Portland! You can check our their site to get some ideas on variations, adding coconut, peppermint or spices. Enjoy :)

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Honey Chocolate Fudge

  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, well chopped

  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds 

  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder (natural or dutch) or raw cacao, plus more for dusting

  • pinch of sea salt

  • 1/3 cup honey 

  • 1/4 cup coconut oil

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup crisp rice cereal

Line a loaf pan with parchment paper. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate along the bottom of the pan. 

In a food processor or a strong blender, combine the almonds, cocoa powder and sea salt. Pulse the mixture until it resembles coarse sand, about 10 times. You want some crunchy bits of almonds. 

In a saucepan, combine the honey and coconut oil and bring it to a gentle boil. Stir to mix. Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla extract.

Add the almond mixture and the rice cereal into the wet mixture and stir to combine. Any extra add-ins would go in here (coconut, seeds or more nuts). Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan, smooth the top and put it in the fridge to cool for at least an hour. Store refrigerated or a very cool place.

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Preserved Lemon + Herb Focaccia

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And I’m back with a Preserved Lemon recipe! You might remember I preserved lemons in April and wanted to follow up with some ideas on how to use them. I’ve since added them to dishes like rice salad and they really add some great flavor. The lemons are super salty (even after rinsing) which makes me think I might have used too much salt, so something to keep in mind for next time. I got the idea for this Focaccia bread not too long ago. The bakery at my local grocery store makes this and wow, it’s incredible. It’s very flavorful, you can eat it on its own or with pasta or salad. For this recipe I used dried oregano, I wished I had used more so that it would look a little more “herby” for the photos.

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Preserved Lemon + Herb Focaccia

  • 2 cups warm water (105°-110°F)
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • olive oil
  • Oregano (fresh or dried)
  • 2 preserved lemons, rinsed, rinds chopped
  • kosher or sea salt for sprinkling over the top

 

Preheat oven to 425°F

Put the yeast in a stand mixer bowl fitted with a dough hook. Pour in the warm water. Add the salt and 2 cups of the flour, mix into a soft and sticky dough. Add the remaining 2 cups of flour and mix well. (The dough will be sticky)

In a large bowl add olive oil, enough to cover interior of bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and cover the dough with some olive oil. Cover and let rise for 1 hour in a warm place.

Press out the dough on a well oiled baking sheet. Using your fingers, shape into a rectangle approximately 9”x13”.

Add olive oil to the top of the dough, poking the bread surface and leaving little pools of oil. Do this all over the bread. Don't skimp; this will result in great flavor after the bread is baked.

Top with the preserved lemon and oregano and sprinkle with coarse salt.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden.

 

Adapted from The View from Great Island

Brown Butter Bourbon Banana Bread

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Brown Butter Bourbon Banana Bread. That’s some alliteration there.I wasn’t planning on posting this but it came out so good I decided to take a few photos and share the recipe here. The brown butter adds such a great flavor, I’m not sure I would make banana bread any other way. The bourbon adds even more richness making this recipe a keeper. This is my second post with this awesome Cast Iron Loaf Pan I bought recently, it bakes very evenly and it has handles! And it’s cute!

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Brown Butter Bourbon Banana Bread

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 very ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 2-3 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350° F. and butter a loaf pan. (I used 5”x9”)

Place the 1/2 cup of butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Continue to melt butter for a few minutes until it starts turning brown and smells good! Set aside to cool.    

In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a medium size bowl beat together the eggs and sugars until well combined, then add the bananas, yogurt, brown butter, bourbon and vanilla, whisking until all combined.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix with wooden spoon until combined. Spoon into loaf pan and smooth out the top. 

Bake 40-45 minutes, it will be done when knife placed in center of loaf comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let it cool for about 30 minutes. 

Adapted from Food52

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Dill Rye Bread

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It’s strange. I forgot that I had wanted to make this bread back in late January and just now found the text doc I started, which was a week before my mother became ill with pneumonia. I was writing about this bread, how she discovered it on a trip to California in the 1970s and brought back a loaf in her suitcase. It wasn’t something she could find in Connecticut and really loved it. The words I wrote just a few weeks ago couldn't possibly express the emotions that I feel now that she’s gone. 

I’m going through a lot of… I should have called her more, I should have visited her more, and just missing her so much. While I’m experiencing the sadness of losing her, it’s left me with a greater appreciation for family and friends, and life in general. This post is for my sweet Mom who introduced me to Dill Rye Bread.

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Dill Rye Bread

  • 8 oz rye flour (2 cups)
  • 12 oz all-purpose flour (almost 3 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon instant (rapid-rise) yeast
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 15 oz water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dry dill weed

In a large bowl combine flours, yeast, salt, dill and caraway seeds. Add water, and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let dough rest at least 12 hours, preferably about 18, at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

Dough is ready when its surface is dotted with bubbles. Lightly flour a work surface and place dough on it; sprinkle it with a little more flour and fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with towel and let rest about 15 minutes.

Place the dough in a cast-iron loaf pan, cover with a cotton towel and let rise for about 2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 450°F. Score the dough down the middle. Bake about 45 minutes until loaf is browned and internal temp reaches 190°F. Cool on a rack about an hour before slicing.

While looking for ideas for an open faced sandwich with rye bread I came across the Danish Smorrebrod here. Pictured above, I layered the rye slices with creme fraiche, smoked salmon, sliced cucumber and fresh dill. It tastes amazing on this bread.

Montana Hiking Bar

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A couple of weeks ago we went to visit Glacier National Park in Montana and it was really spectacular. The day we were heading out to Many Glaciers on the east side of the park, we stopped by this bakery in East Glacier for a bite to eat. if you’re in that area it’s worth a visit. They had a hiking bar that was so good it inspired me to make my own. They also had some braided pastry with spinach and sun dried tomatoes that was absolutely delicious. 

We drove along the Going-to-the-Sun Road where you will find many trail heads to stop and explore. It’s an absolutely beautiful ride. I thought it might be a little scary driving the road since it’s narrow with huge drop offs on the side of the mountain, but most of the way they have barriers, and where there isn’t (gasp) just look at the road or the scenery. I have some fear of heights but luckily it didn’t freak me out.

Going-to-the-Sun Road

Going-to-the-Sun Road

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Many Glacier Swiftcurrent Lake. This is definitely a destination and it's worth planning to spend some time here since it’s far away from other areas in the park, and you’re almost in Canada!

Swiftcurrent Lake at Many Glacier

Swiftcurrent Lake at Many Glacier

Saint Mary Lake. I didn’t know until after we were back, but this is where the opening scene of The Shining is filmed, and that scene ends with the Timberline lodge at Mount Hood here in Oregon.

Saint Mary Lake

Saint Mary Lake

Trail to Virginia Falls and Saint Mary Falls, the forest burned due to a fire in 2015, and it wasn’t what I was expecting, the trail description was “Soon the trail enters the canopy of a dense conifer forest…” I hadn’t realized how much of the park burns every year, almost always due to lightning. But it was quite striking and beautiful with the black trees and colorful new growth.

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Virginia Falls

Virginia Falls

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Avalanche Lake. This is a beautiful hike with creeks along the way through the forest, it starts at Trail of the Cedars and brings you to Avalanche Lake where you can take a rest and enjoy the views. The trail is considered moderate, it’s about 2 miles climbing up but it’s not too steep and fun on the way back down. There were bears spotted not too far from where we were, and while it was tempting to go further and see them, we took the advice of going in the opposite direction of where the bears are.

Avalanche Lake

Avalanche Lake

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Hidden Lake Nature Trail from Logan Pass. It was our last day in the park and we had to be back in Whitefish early evening to get something to eat before catching the train back to Portland. When we arrived at Logan Pass parking lot it was packed, apparently you have to get there around 8am for easy parking, otherwise, like us, you will be circling that lot forever. But Jeff chatted with a ranger and he said we could park 3 miles east down the road and catch the shuttle back. So that’s what we did. We were lucky to find a parking spot on the side of the road near the shuttle stop. And so we waited, and waited, and waited (The shuttle coming from the east side can take up to a 1 hour wait, but on the west side it’s more like 20-30 minutes.) Time was ticking and we were wondering if we would have any kind of time for this hike, because you have to factor in getting back again. A couple days prior a ranger had told us if you’re ever in need of a ride in the park just hitchhike. So we joked about doing it and a woman there said she would do it if she didn’t have her kids with her. So we stuck our thumbs out on Going-to-the-Sun Road, many cars passed, but one stopped. It was this sweet older couple from Missouri that have been traveling all over the west including Alaska. We offered them money but they wouldn’t take it, at one point she mentioned Rice Krispies treats that were in the back seat! They were very cute and very nice people. We get to the trail head and discovered it’s a boardwalk almost the entire length until you reach Hidden Lake Overlook. I would say this was our least favorite trail. It was like climbing up stairs for 2 miles. You would think it would make it easier but I much prefer a natural path. I had read that this is THE place to see mountain goats, but we didn’t see any at all, I think you have to go early in the morning or early evening to see wildlife.

Hidden Lake Nature Trail

Hidden Lake Nature Trail

Hidden Lake Overlook

Hidden Lake Overlook

In addition to the trails there is much to see just along side of the road, we were there for 5 days and I feel like I would have wanted at least 10 days to explore. When you go to the park I definitely recommend bringing some food and leaving it in the car, or if you carry it with you it should be sealed up so that hungry bears don’t start following you. Lake McDonald Lodge has a restaurant but it’s not always open, and when it is open it's packed. I got most info on hikes at Hiking in Glacier, and it’s always good to check in on Glacier National Park’s website for any closures or delays. You can view the parks webcams here which is pretty cool. 

Below is a recipe for the hiking bars, you can make all different kinds but the basics are always the same with dried fruit, nuts, a syrup, a nut butter and oats. I didn’t want to have to buy 10 bags of different nuts and dried fruit, so I went to Trader Joe’s and bought a back of mixed nuts and a bag of dried fruit (dried cherry, strawberry and blueberry is good!) They have a great selection there. 

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Montana Hiking Bar

  • 1 cup dried fruit
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter or almond butter
  • 1 cup roasted salted nuts
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats or quick cooking steel cut oats
  • 7 oz dark chocolate
  • optional additions: chocolate chips, dried fruit, nuts, banana chips, vanilla, etc.

Spread the oats on a cookie sheet and toast the oats for 15 minutes in 350°F oven, then allow to cool.

Place oats, dried fruit and nuts in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Warm honey and peanut butter in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir and pour over oat mixture and stir until combined.

Line a 8”x8” baking pan with parchment paper, then spread the mixture in the pan, pressing down firmly until flattened. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or microwave, then pour it evenly over the mixture, shake the pan to even out the chocolate.

Cover the pan and refrigerate 20-30 minutes until firm. Remove bars from pan and cut into 9 squares. Store in an airtight container for up to a few days. Store in freezer for longer duration.

Olive Tapenade

I heard a song the other day in the car, it was so cute, if a song can be cute, that I had to pull over and Shazam it. The song was We’re Going to Be Friends by The White Stripes, a band I’ve never heard of, but it’s what I’m listening to now while I’m trying to write about olives. We had a few neighbors over for a wine and cheese get together recently, we had some olives and a neighbor brought more, and so here I am making my first olive tapenade. It turned out really delicious. So much flavor! I excluded capers and anchovies from the original recipe because, yuck. I think what really makes the flavors work here are the Oven-Dried Tomatoes that I made last year, they held up remarkably well in the freezer. I would recommend adding those to this Tapenade. We make them every summer when the tomato plants are overflowing with tomatoes.

Olive Tapenade

  • 1 cup black olives, pitted
  • 1 cup green olives, pitted
  • 1/3 cup Dried Tomatoes with Herbs
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/4 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

In a food processor, combine all the ingredients except the olive oil. Using the pulse button, process until coarsely chopped and well blended. Continue to process, slowly adding the olive oil. Refrigerate in a covered container. Use as needed. Tapenade will keep up to 1 week, refrigerated, in a covered container.

Adapted from Epicurious - Wolfgang Puck