Brown butter makes everything better…

Brown Butter and Berry Tart

Brown Butter and Berry Tart

The past two weeks were absolutely beautiful here in the Pacific Northwest. While I was on vacation, temperatures soared to 80 degrees and the sun managed to stick around until yesterday. It was a wonderful mini-summer to tide us over until July, when things really heat up in Portland.

Sunshine immediately makes me crave berries which is how this Brown Butter Berry Tart became the finale for my family’s Mother’s Day dinner. The original recipe, courtesy of Bon Appetit, called for raspberries, but when I went shopping there was only one lonely container of fresh blackberries left on the shelf. Clearly everyone else in Tacoma had the same idea! (Happily my combination of blackberries and frozen blueberries worked just fine.)

Since I hadn’t seen my family in a month, I wanted to spend my spare time playing rummy with my mom and grandma, not slaving away in the kitchen. Luckily, besides being tasty, this tart is also amazingly simple to put together — though considering how ruthlessly my grandma beat us, perhaps I should have chosen a high-maintenance dessert instead. Then I could still have my dignity. *sigh*

Anyways, on to the sweet stuff —

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Speaking of Puff Pastry…

I wrote a post not too long ago discussing my love affair with onions. While I also briefly touched upon my affection for puff pastry, it occurred to me I could expand on this subject. Looking through pictures from the past few years, I found some excellent examples of why it’s a great idea to always keep a box of puff pastry in your freezer.

First up are some appetizers I did for Oliver’s birthday party last year. Since it was  a potluck-style game night, I thought a vegetarian-friendly finger food would be fun. In my recipe folder (of course!) I found a tartlet that involved ricotta cheese, roasted cherry tomatoes and puff pastry — clearly it was perfect.

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