Thursday, November 20, 2014

Foodie Friday in the Forest

The Novel Bakers 
present the third and final day of
A Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson.


This cookbook helped me discover a marvelous thing ...

Butternut Squash.

Oh, I was a squash Philistine. I don't think my mother fed me the squash because
baby food probably hadn't been invented back then. But it's never too late to try something new.
They remind me of oven baked potatoes--minus the calories. While this squash does have a hearty share of carbohydrates, they're good for you.




Step 1: Peel and cube 1 butternut squash. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. 
Step 2: Combine cubes with 1 c. cherry tomatoes (sliced), 1 avocado (cubed), 1 c smoked mozzarella (cubed), and 1/2 cup basil, chopped.
Step 3: Dress with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper.


I also made an asparagus tart. 
The addition of pine nuts added texture, and the herbs gave it a little zing.

Asparagus Tart
Defrost 1 frozen puff pastry sheet. Roll  out and place in a greased pan. "Pinch
edges up to make a crust." Spread a thin layer of soft Brie over the bottom. Beat 1 egg and pour it
over the cheese. Add 15 raw asparagus stalks. Sprinkle with 2 T pine nuts, 2 T capers, 1/2 t garlic powder, 1/2 t dried Italian herbs and salt/pepper to taste. Bake 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.




Previous Recipes from The Forest Feast:



Visit the Novel Bakers for enchanted excursions into the forest:

For more inspiration, visit A Forest Feast on the NB's Pinterest Board.



Note: The Forest Feast is a book from my personal collection. This is not a compensated review--just playtime with the Novel Bakers and joyful sharing of a great cookbook.



The $100 Williams-Sonoma Giveaway ends tomorrow at midnight (Nov 21st) CST.
Click for details.
Are you contributing a recipe to this week's Foodie Friday?
 If so, locate the blue Inlinkz icon in the lower, left-hand portion of this post. Click on the icon and follow the directions. After you complete the process, you will see a red "x" beside your name. This allows you to delete your link if you made an error; the red "x" is visible to you only.
You can read an UPDATED guide to this linky party HERE.
f you'd like to share your food photos with a larger community, you are welcome to join the Pinterest foodie board, Top Food Bloggers.  Send me a message @ Pinterest if you'd like to join.

The Foodie Friday Link Party

Stay warm this weekend.
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Feast of Enchantment: 5 Simple, Sublime Appetizers


 "Enter these enchanted woods,
You who dare."
--George Meredith, Victorian Novelist and Poet

The Novel Bakers present the second installment of The Forest Feast,
which isn't just a cookbook--it is an enchanted fairy tale for foodies.

The moment I read the introduction, I was swept into the place where food and magic are born. 
At long last, I had found recipes that were made for an exhausted cook like myself--dishes that could be whipped up in seconds and tasted fabulous.
But The Forest Feast is so much more.
When I read the first recipe, I knew I was in the presence of something grand and life-affirming.

In this book, classic dishes are reinvented, combining flavors in fresh, fragrant ways. As I looked at the photos and ingredients, I felt like Alice in Wonderland, curiouser and curiouser.

Is it possible for recipes to be seductive? 

Can I learn how to conjure the very best from ordinary ingredients? 

Can ordinary humans be charmed, dazzled, and forever changed by a cookbook?


I have become enchanted by pomegranates.
They're nutritious, versatile, whimsical, and deeply symbolic. The slick, flushed exterior gives no hint of what lies in its secret heart. One slash of the knife, and we see what the fruit has been hiding: edible jewels.

I have been hypnotized by the smoky, garlicky taste of roasted nuts. 





 I am mesmerized by light, crunchy Fried Sage Leaves. 

Sage Chips

What You Need:

A bunch of fresh sage
olive oil
sea salt

Pour olive oil into a pan and heat. Drop sage leaves into the oil and brown slightly.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer chips onto a paper towel. Sprinkle with salt.

from The Forest Feast by Erin Gleeson

* * *

 I am spellbound by puff pastry-wrapped asparagus.


 I am bewitched by brie, 
especially when it wrapped in pastry, steeped in garlic, and dusted with pomegranate seeds.
But this is no ordinary brie recipe. The ingredients may change the way I cook--
and change the way I think about combining flavors.
I am possessed by a need to consume vast quantities of strawberry salsa.
I am captivated by the zingy taste and the provocative way it hunkers on bruschetta. 

Each bite summons the gods of taste.

The feast awaits you and me....
if we dare.


I'm entranced by The Forest Feast.
Each recipe begins with ordinary ingredients,
and within minutes (and minimal effort), you end up with something extraordinary.
* * *

 On this cold November day, I am dreaming of recipes.
 photo credit: Tyler West


 I am dreaming of polka-dot focaccia, strawberry-arugula wraps, asparagus tarts, rosemary skewers, and kale Caesar salad with polenta croutons.  I am dreaming of anything with pomegranates. 
 Photo Credit: Tyler West



 Photo Credit: Tyler West

 Photo Credit: Tyler West

Photo Credit: Tyler West, Biochemist and Honorary Novel Baker

Visit the Novel Bakers for enchanted excursions into the forest:

For more inspiration, visit A Forest Feast on the NB's Pinterest Board.

Shared at Tablescape Thursday, Wow Us Wednesdays,  and Home Sweet Home.


Note: The Forest Feast is a book from my personal collection. This is not a compensated review--just playtime with the Novel Bakers and joyful sharing of a great cookbook.


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