Come along with me as I journal about my latest cooking and gardening adventures. Discover what grows in my zone five garden, and see what new recipes I try from my cookbook collection each week.

As I share recipes and information from my kitchen, I invite readers to comment and share ideas along with me in this blog. I am looking to increase followers to my blog, so that I may learn more about cooking and gardening.

Since moving to Midland, Michigan, I have been reading and researching many cooking journals, cookbooks and collected recipes from the past thirty years. Organizing pictures of gardens I enjoy has also been a joy for me, as I continue to learn about garden design and horticulture.

angel food cakes

angel food cakes
this kitchen is seasoned with love

Saturday, October 6, 2012

tomato tarts

one of the many ways i used my abundance of fall tomatoes was to make tomato tarts.  these easy appetizers are quick to prepare and very tasty.

using frozen puff pastry sheets, thaw one sheet for about 20 minutes.  when thawed, flatten the dough and divide into 16 squares.  place on a parchment lined baking sheet and top with cheese.  i used goat cheese, but Gruyere or Swiss would be another great alternative.

next, add the sliced tomatoes to the tops of the cheese squares, and then season with shredded fresh basil. i also added Williams sonoma pizza seasoning, lightly sprinkled on the tops.  

bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.  check to see that the pastry puffs, but does not burn.  these are great quick appetizers for last minute snacks to make and serve. 

angel food cake with chocolate drizzle

here is an option for decorating an angel food cake for fall entertaining.  after making the boxed angel food cake, i simply drizzled melted chocolate with a spoon over the cooled cake.  i think it gives an appearance of a spider web, which could be a great feature for a Halloween buffet.

at the base of the cake, i used chocolate mint leaves, which i made from fresh spearmint leaves from my herb garden.  check out my blog post on chocolate mint leaves if interested on the technique to create this easy decorating option.

i kept the cake covered between servings, to keep the angel food cake fresh as well as the mint and chocolate bright and flavorful.

since angel food cake is a family favorite, it will certainly be served this way again.

chocolate leaves

as i was cleaning out my garden this week, i cut spearmint leaves from my herb bed.  after watching Martha for years demonstrating how to make chocolate leaves, i decided to give the technique a try on my own.

i washed the leaves and allowed them to dry on paper towels.  when dry, i simply melted 1/2 bag of ghiradelli dark chocolate bits within a double boiler on the stove top.

next, i placed the leaves on waxed paper and painted the leaves with a bristle brush dipped in the chocolate.

allow the leaves to dry for several hours and then use them for cake decorations.  i used my leaves this week on an angel food cake with great success.  the taste of the mint is so fresh and nothing like an artificial mint.  these chocolate mint leaves are refreshing and delicious.  i recommend them highly.

frozen grapes

frozen grapes have become my new "go-to" snack food.  they are simply amazing.  enough said.  i simply purchase the grapes, wash them and store them in the freezer.  when i feel like a quick healthy snack, i take a few grapes out of the bag.

the grapes are refreshing and very tasty.  it is difficult to believe that something so easy could be so good.  i am thinking that i may have to give them up for the winter months, as they really cool me down quickly.

i have only tried seedless purple grapes, but i imagine concord blue grapes would be spectacular, as they are my all time favorite type of grapes.

let me know if you like them too !