Wednesday, December 30, 2009

do you need some quick, easy and delicious appetizer recipes? is the day before new year's eve....are you ready for your party? if not, don't worry...there is still time to plan a wonderful gathering...with terrific tasting food...that is easy and delicious.

last week i sent an email blast to our preferred customer list and announced that we were back in stock in many of our jam & marmalade offerings... i have been "jamming" in the commercial kitchen for a good part of the month... to celebrate, i offered "free jam" with orders and promised to blog about how to use in appetizer are some easy-breezy suggestions for tomorrow night (or anytime)...and, options for using if you don't have our products...

* crostini topped with fig & grand marnier jam and a bit of gorgonzola cheese

* lime & jalapeño marmalade spread over cream cheese and served with crackers
of course you can substitute your favorite chutney for the marmalade
* mini biscuits split open and filled with persimmon & jalapeño jam and sliced ham
i use our recipe for extra virgin olive oil biscuits (make mini size) and bake a small ham so we can have the leftovers the next day...but even the best quality biscuit dough you can find & bake off just before serving and buy excellent quality sliced ham...a good hot pepper jelly works here if you do not have our persimmon & jalapeño jam

* persimmon jam glaze on baked chicken wings/drumettes
i use our recipe for persimmon jam baked chicken...just reduce the cooking time for wings or drummettes...and i serve in either a chafing dish or crock pot to keep warm....if you don't have the persimmon jam..apricot or peach works really well in this recipe...

* lime marmalade as part of a cheese platter
you can use any kind of tart jam or marmalade here...i don't like overly sweet condiments with fruit and cheese...but use what you like...

that's it...pick a few of the suggestions....add really good olives, bread and crackers....and, of course, your signature cocktail (we are having the last of our limoncello from 09...and starting a new batch next week), good wine and your favorite bubbly...and you are good to go with this fast, easy, stress free and delicious menu....

happy new year's everyone!


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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

a cilantro pasta recipe? for christmas?

i begin preparing winter recipes each year as soon as the weather turns cold ...i bake and roast and mash everything in sight. and...since we now celebrate canadian thanksgiving along with our traditional american t-day...i eat that meal two times each year. i decided i wanted something completely different for christmas dinner...and that led to cilantro pasta. now, i realize you must be thinking..."what on earth is she talking about?" let me explain...

sometimes i find myself creating an entire menu by taking apart a common recipe and using the ingredients in a different way...i bought avocados last week and made guacamole. the fresh ingredients are just so beautiful that i was inspired to use them for christmas...and i wanted a meal that was simple and is what i came up with:

christmas dinner 2009
roasted tomato soup with jalapeños
prime rib roast
cilantro pasta
grilled avocados with grey salt, red pepper flakes and lime drizzle
lime marmalade pie
polenta cookies
o.k...i realize prime rib is not actually part of the recipe for guacamole (i know i will get loads of emails on this)...but i figure you can put slices of left over roast on a tortilla with guacamole for soft tacos the day after i think we are good....

i am so excited about this menu...can't wait to prepare, serve and...of i will try to remember to photograph and post...but in the interim...if you are still looking for ideas for your own holiday meal...or any other time...may i suggest cilantro pasta?!

i had a version of this dish years ago at a restaurant in pasadena...the parkway grill. they prepared it by adding cilantro leaves, toasted pine nuts and e.v.o.o. to cooked pasta. simple, beautiful and delicious...of course that depends on your feelings about cilantro...i find that people either love it or hate it....i fall in the love, love, love it i have made this dish at home many times. i decided to tweak the recipe quite a bit (shocking, right?) give it a bit more i added a cilantro pesto to the above ingredients. very easy, very fast of all...uses every bit of the cilantro waste...

cilantro pasta
1 bunch organic cilantro
1 garlic clove
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pine nuts, toasted in dry skillet
grey salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
kosher salt
1/2 lb. pasta...i like a flat wide shaped pasta (like reginette or fettuccine) for this dish...but use whatever you like
squeeze of fresh lime or freshly grated parmesano reggiano cheese.

chop the stems off the cilantro and separate from the leaves. cut off the very bottom tips of the stems (part that looks dry and brown) and discard. place the cleaned stems in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. add half of the cilantro leaves and 1/4 cup of the pine nuts. pulse until finely chopped. divide the e.v.o.o in will only use 1/4 cup in the pesto. with the machine running, slowly pour in 1/4 cup of the olive oil. stop machine, scrape down sides and then continue pulsing until pesto is smooth but with a bit of texture. season to taste with grey salt. set aside.

meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil. add a generous handful of sea salt to pot and when water comes back to a vigorous boil add pasta and cook according to package directions.

add remaining 1/4 cup e.v.o.o. to a large skillet and warm oil. add remaining pine nuts to oil. drain pasta well and add to skillet. add remaining cilantro leaves, cilantro pesto, black & red pepper and stir to combine. taste and add additional seasonings if necessary. serve immediately.

*notes...with the christmas dinner i would not serve this with grated cheese...the squeeze of lime pulls the whole meal together. if serving the pasta on its own, the parmesano reggiano cheese is summer i add fresh organic heirloom cherry tomatoes for a light supper...really, really good...

*regarding the prime rib roast...for this meal i prepare using our organic rub and serve without any added "au jus" or other sauce...

merry, merry christmas everyone! whatcha cooking?


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Monday, December 14, 2009

would you like a recipe for lime marmalade pie?

our lime tree is now five years old...and, like our other trees, is producing a prodigious amount of beautifully scented, amazing tasting fruit. there is something fitting about limes, mandarin oranges and my beloved meyer lemon trees coming into season in the middle of december...and fruiting until almost march. when it is cold, grey and rainy...the smell and taste really help brighten the mood.

but...back to the amount of limes...can i just say tons? more than i can use and give away? so...the past few weeks have been spent experimenting with different and unusual ways to preserve the bounty. we always freeze a lot of lime juice to use throughout the year...and my recipe for lime margaritas sweetened with agave has become a oft requested favorite.(right mary and terry?) i have made meyer lemon marmalade for years...started selling it last winter and sold out by mid-summer...decided to try lime marmalade this year...what a hit! the marmalade is delicious and so i then experimented with lime & jalapeño! instant best seller on the website and at many people asked for ideas as to how to use that i started creating recipes to send with each purchase.
i love the tart taste of the lime marmalade and thought it would be amazing in desserts. i found a million recipes for key lime pie...and they looked really good but quite i decided to riff on that idea with a lime marmalade pie for something a bit different. i made one for peter topped with macadamia nuts...he ate the whole pie in a couple of sittings. a few days later we invited some friends over for a tree trimming party...i made another pie...and this time i added rum-soaked cranberries to the top of the meringue for color, taste...and just because the red was so "christmasy". caitlin said, "i don't usually like key lime pies, but this is delicious!" the real test was richard who told me key lime pie was his favorite dessert... oh no! this not a typical key lime pie...much more tart, so i was a bit worried...but he ate every bite, said he loved it AND took 2 pieces home....i consider that a success.
oh...about the pie photo...this is the first pie i made...of course i forgot to shoot the cranberry topped one...i am so really was beautiful :)

so give the pie a chance...try our lime marmalade or use your favorite brand. if you cannot find it in your area, you can try substituting 1/2 cup key lime or regular lime juice with 1 tbsp lime zest...but really...if you can...use marmalade...makes all the difference...

lime marmalade pie1 1/4 c organic graham cracker crumbs
2 tbsp organic sugar
7 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
4 large eggs, divided
1 can (14 oz) organic sweetened condensed milk
1 jar (7 oz) lime marmalade
meringue ingredients
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cream of tarter
1/4 cup organic sugar
1/2 cup macadamia nuts
1/4 cup fresh cranberries mixed with 2 tbsp sugar and soaked in 1/3 cup spiced rum-optional

preheat oven to 375 degrees. in a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs with the sugar. pour in 6 tbsp of the melted butter and mix together (i use a fork for this) until the butter in incorporated. test the mixture by pinching a bit between your thumb and forefinger. it should hold together...if not, add the remaining 1 tbsp butter and mix. pat the mixture into a buttered 9 inch pie plate ensuring the bottom and sides are covered. refrigerate for 30 minutes.

meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the egg yolks and beat for 4 minutes using the wire whisk attachment. add the condensed milk and the lime marmalade and beat until the mixture is airy and thick...about 5 minutes. pour into graham cracker crust and bake until the filling is set (check after 15 minutes). remove from oven and set on wire rack.
make meringue by pouring the 4 egg whites, vanilla extract and cream of tarter into a very clean stainless steel bowl of a standing mixer. use the whisk attachment and beat until soft peaks form...add the sugar and beat again until stiff peaks form. spread the meringue on top of the pie while the pie is still warm and allow to cool. (note...i do not bake my meringue because i love the pure white look...but i always use organic eggs since they are not cooked in the meringue recipe. if you want, you can bake the pie for another 10 minutes once the meringue has been added...some people love the caramel do whatever works for you.)

just before serving, toast the macadamia nuts in a dry skillet...stirring contantly...until just beginning to brown. sprinkle the nuts and the cranberries (if using) over the meringue and serve.

how is all of your holiday cooking and baking coming along? please tell me what you are making in the comments section of this post...

happy holidays!


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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

o.k...the holiday baking has fig jam thumbprint cookies, anyone?

i have spent most of my adult life traveling for business...whether driving, flying, or taking trains...corporate life required being away from home much of the time. i confess, in my "new" life i have gone in completely the opposite direction. you need a crowbar to get me to leave napa. we just returned home from a long weekend in southern california for the thanksgiving day holiday. this year, my cousin maria planned a family reunion celebration for the big day...and by reunion i mean the whole parents, sisters, husbands, nephews, aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins name it...a huge crowd. i loved every is that "crow bar" i was referring to.

but now that i am home i really have no desire to go anywhere else for a while. so...i must confess...i reacted with dread when my friend sondra invited me to a "holiday cookie exchange" party in san francisco this month. (sorry sondra)...i love her...and have not seen many of my sf friends for a long time...but...that drive!! traffic!!! i almost declined the invitation. then i had a long talk with myself and decided to get a grip...i mean, c'mon...san francisco is an hour drive from napa...not exactly the same as packing for europe...traffic? i grew up in los angeles an old hand at traffic. and i reminded myself of the important things in and friends being at the top of the list...and what would the holiday season be without a ton of baking?

so...cookie i come.... anyone interested in thumbprint cookies with fig and grand marnier jam? maybe the peanut butter and jelly cookies i told you about last month?...and then there are lavender cookies to consider...and what about chocolate with balsamic......?

i created these cookies to go with our fig & grand marnier can substitute regular fig jam and add orange zest....or use a citrus marmalade...whatever you like...
thumbprint cookies with fig-grand marnier jam
1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp orange zest finely grated and minced
fig and grand marnier jam or 1 cup fig jam mixed with 2 tsp finely grated orange zest

preheat oven to 350 degrees. prepare 2 baking sheets by lining with either silpat or parchment paper. in the bowl of a mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until well mixed and fluffy. add the egg and vanilla extract and beat until completely incorporated. in a separate bowl, sift together the flour and salt and then add to the mixer ingredients. mix until dry ingredients are combined with the wet not over mix. stir in the orange zest.

roll the dough into balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter and place on prepared cookie sheet. use your thumb to make a small hole in the center of each about 1/2 way down the dough ball. bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. remove from oven and fill each "thumbprint" 1/2 full with the jam. return to oven and bake for an additional 8-10 minutes until cookies are just beginning to turn golden. remove from oven and fill the rest of the thumbprint "hole" with the remaining jam. place on racks to cool before serving.

happy holiday baking everyone...whatcha making?


diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885 (tm)
"live a green life of style"(tm)

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Sunday, November 22, 2009

happy thanksgiving...have you finalized your menu? and a recipe for roasted brussels sprouts

happy thanksgiving week everyone! it is sunday and twitter, facebook and other social networking sites are flooded with people talking about what they are going to make for thanksgiving dinner....many have noted that they still are not sure what to cook....uh oh....hate to bring it up, but we only have three days left to plan, shop and i thought i would offer a little bit of help

last year, i did a thanksgiving blog round-up and invited some of my favorite bloggers, a few good friends...and my family to submit posts about their favorite t-day memories. i also asked if they would share their favorite traditional recipes. i loved the series so much...and reread a number of the stories last week. it occurred to me that newer readers might appreciate these delicious dishes...and get some ideas to complete their own menus...

click on this link for thanksgiving 2008 to view the entire sarah's french apple pie, theresa's gingerbread cake, colleen's green beans, or my smashed garlic potatoes. wondering what to do with left-over turkey? try diane and todd's delicious turkey egg rolls with bacon...and if you pop over into december persimmon muffins are profiled. i actually started sharing the stories last click here to find recipes for cranberries (2 options one from jean and one from dianne)...and a couple of vegetarian pasta options to round out your dinner....

so...while no recipes for turkey so have potatoes, vegetables, pasta, cranberries, dessert...and day after left-overs covered....all the dishes are there you go...a bit of a stress free planning blog for t-day 2009...enjoy!

i thought i would add one more recipe to the mix....a different version of brussels sprouts. while recipes for this vegetable abound at this time of year...many, many people i know turn up their noses and say...."oh no..i do not like brussels sprouts!" know what? sliced and roasted at high heat in e.v.o.o. & garlic with a splash of balsamic creates a totally different texture and taste....and no one i know has ever taken a bite and responded with anything but..."these are delicious" always, the ingredients really do make the difference so...if you can...choose local, organic or sustainably grown produce, excellent quality extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar...and good grey salt and black pepper....
we had a bit of fun with our raw brussels sprout photograph...just to make the point that....when roasted...they are as sweet as candy. do you like them in the candy dish?

for me, thanksgiving this year is a family reunion....about 50 of us....i am making the brussels sprouts. i know they will be a hit...and i love knowing they will become a new tradition for our annual t-day menu...

roasted brussels sprouts with garlic
1 lb brussels sprouts
6 cloves peeled garlic
extra virgin olive oil
grey salt
freshly cracked black pepper
excellent quality balsamic vinegar

preheat oven to 400 degrees. wash brussels sprouts and remove tough outer leaves. remove stems and cut sprouts lengthwise into thin slices (about 1/4 inch thick). slice garlic cloves lengthwise as thinly as you can. spread brussels sprouts and garlic in bottom of foil lined, rimmed baking sheet. drizzle olive oil over vegetables...enough so everything is well coated...and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. roast in preheated oven for approx. 30 minutes....until the sprouts are very tender and well caramelized. remove from oven and place sprouts on serving plate. drizzle with the balsamic vinegar. taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

*note...this recipes serves 4 so adjust accordingly for large t-day crowds.

so...whether you are celebrating the holiday with a huge crowd...or an intimate gathering....have a very, very happy thanksgiving.


diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885
"live a green life of style"
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Monday, November 16, 2009

how does roasted pork tenderloin with figs & balsamic reduction sound?

i know, i know...i have written many stories about figs...but, c'mon...fresh figs?? who can resist? i am always looking for new and different ways to serve the fig bounty i get twice a year from my tree. regular readers are familiar with my fig/chocolate cake, jam, appetizers, balsamic reduction, fig, bacon & blue cheese tart...etc. i look at the few remaining figs on my tree for this season...i thought i would share my family's newest fig obsession...roasted pork tenderloin with fresh figs & balsamic good does that sound?

fig & gran marnier jam
i first made this dish on an unusually chilly day in august for peter...he loved it and said.."o.k. you can make this often this fall". so, i made it again a few weeks later for some weekend house guests. major success (yes!)

fig cake

it has become an annual tradition for my mom and sister susan to visit napa in october. sometimes my dad comes too...and, since they live in southern california, they get to experience a bit of fall...crisp weather, leaves turning (did you know the leaves on the grape vines turn beautiful colors of reds, golds, oranges....truly beautiful)and harvest in the napa valley. we cook, eat, bake, drink wine, take country drives (although NOT after the aforementioned wine tasting) and talk...endless, endless talking.... sharing stories...making up stories...repeating stories we have all heard a million times....and, best of all...creating new family stories....have i told you how much i adore my family? i suspect you have guessed by now...i served the pork and fig dish one family loved turned into another story telling moment about my grandparents' fig tree....and led to one of those nights around the dining table...talking and laughing until almost midnight...

try the dish...and create family stories of your own....

the uncooked pork
roasted pork tenderloin with figs & balsamic reduction
1 2 1/2 lb pork tenderloin
12 cloves fresh garlic, peeled
grey salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1 tbsp organic lavender or rosemary, minced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
12-18 fresh figs, sliced in half lengthwise
1/2 cup fig-balsamic reduction or regular balsamic vinegar

preheat oven to 375 degrees. using a small paring knife, cut 12 small slits into pork (about 1/4 inch each) stuff each slit with a garlic clove. sprinkle salt and pepper over the tenderloin.

heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the tenderloin. turn the heat to high and brown the meat on all sides. remove skillet from heat. place the pork in the center of a roasting pan lined with foil. surround the pork with the figs. drizzle the remaining olive oil over the meat/figs..sprinkle with additional salt & pepper and either the lavender or rosemary. drizzle the balsamic reduction over the entire dish and cover roasting pan with foil. roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes. remove foil and roast for an additional 10-15 minutes until the pork reaches 160 degrees on a meat thermometer. remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes. slice and serve pork accompanied with a few figs with some of the pan juices drizzled over dish...serve over pasta...or with soft polenta...or with roasted sweet potatoes....or whatever sounds good to you....
o.k. everyone...thanksgiving is next week!..are you ready?

napa farmhouse 1885(tm)
"live a green life of style"(tm)
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Monday, November 9, 2009

a recipe for pb&j cookies?

sometimes the same idea will occur to multiple people simultaneously. this phenomenon can be interesting or annoying depending on your point of a blogger looking for unique story ideas, i'll take the second option...but freely admit creativity flows when presented with challenges...

last year i wrote a story about my maternal grandmother and posted her recipe for peanut butter cookies...truly the best peanut butter cookies i have ever tasted. i was looking for a new and different presentation for them...i have made them a bazillion times in my life the exact same way....and imagined using the recipe to create peanut butter thumbprint cookies filled with homemade jam. eureka!! (i thought)....only to open the october edition of martha stewart living to guessed it...peanut butter and jelly thumbprint cookies...on the last page of the magazine. that martha!...she is always copying me!! :)

so....i created a different take on the same idea...after all, who doesn't like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (do we really need the bread?) and viola!...i decided to made a "real" sandwich version of these tastes. enter my pb&j cookies. 2 delicious peanut butter cookies sandwiched with jam. really delicious....

the october selection for my book club was slow food revolution by carlo petrini and gigi padovani. the meeting was held at my friend caitlin's home. i told you about caitlin last year...she moved to napa from canada a couple of years ago and started a tradition of inviting a bunch of her napa friends to celebrate canadian thanksgiving with her so she would not be homesick...she wrote about it last year in the post three thanksgivings . this has now become an annual tradition and...since the entire book club was invited...we decided to make it a "local, organic or sustainably grown meal"...with all ingredients coming from the napa valley. i decided to make my pb&j cookies as part of the dessert offering...i started using only organic, locally milled grains in my baking when i started the dog treats business...and, since i grow the fruit used in my homemade jam, i figured that was about as local as you can get....the cookies were a hit...everyone raved over them...i actually had a number of people come up to me and say..."those cookies were the best cookies i have ever eaten!" (o.k....they had consumed massive quantities of wine..but still...i'll take the compliment...)
canadian thanksgiving in napa was as magical as ever....amazing food, terrific friends, beautiful scenery....and we get to do it again (with family this time) in less than a month for american thanksgiving....truly a lot to be thankful for....

pb & j cookies
peanut butter recipe from gran's peanut butter cookies blog post
1 jar of your favorite jam...i use our napa farmhouse 1885 persimmon jam

preheat oven to 325 degrees. make the cookie dough according to blog recipe directions. roll dough into balls 1 inch in diameter. place on greased (or use silpat) baking sheets (you will need two sheets) . flatten balls with tines of a fork creating an "x" pattern. (see photos). bake for 10-12 minutes. cookies will still be very soft which is the way we like them...bake an additional few minutes if you like your cookies crunchy. place cookies on racks and allow to cool.

when ready to assemble, spread the flat side of one cookie with a thin layer of jam. top with flat side of another cookie. continue with entire batch. let cookies sit for 30 minutes to allow jam to set.

happy november everyone! looking forward to sharing a lot of cooking/baking dishes this please post your favorites in the comments section of this post....and be sure to let me know how you like the cookies...

diane padoven
napa farmhouse 1885(tm)
"live a green life of style"(tm)

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

want a slice of fig, bacon & blue cheese tart with balsamic reduction drizzle?

what if i told you the tart is easy to make, comes together quickly and is delicious? so...with fresh fig season rapidly coming to a close...i suggest you make it as soon as you about this weekend?

i have written many times of my love of fresh beloved fig tree produces two crops per year and i constantly experiment with new and different recipes in a effort to vary the way i serve this amazing fruit. i first asked the question do you like fresh figs? in a story written in june 2008 and listed my favorite fig recipes. i still am surprised at how often that story is accessed. i receive numbers of hits from search engines every day with people asking the question..."what do i do with figs?"

well....for me...the best thing to do is eat them fresh off the tree...particulary on a hot day when the figs are warm...pure bliss....after that, my only advice is to keep it simple....whatever the recipe...let the "figginess" shine through.

i have made fig jam for years...but last year my twitter friend lelonopo suggested i add orange liqueur to the jam...oh my! this stuff is so good i started making it in large batches and added it to my website. our fig & orange liqueur jam quickly became a best seller. but...let me tell you....after spending numerous hours the past few weeks in the commercial kitchen making the jam...i am ready for a few easy peasy recipes to end the season. one day last week...after eight hours in the commercial kitchen...i had a small basket of figs left...and no idea what to make for dinner. i inventoried the fridge and came up with some bacon, blue cheese and a frozen pie shell i had made a few weeks ago...i thought..."fig, bacon & blue cheese tart with salad? how great does that sound?" of all...if you have a tart shell on hand..this comes together in minutes.

so...a bit about the pie shell. this is one area where i do not even try to experiment any more. i am not a classically trained pastry chef and do not always understand the science of baking. one time i tried to substitute olive oil for the butter in a pie turned out like a i leave this area to the experts. and....once i find a recipe that works for me...i stick with it...making it over and over until it becomes foolproof for me. alice water's recipe for tart and pie dough is an example. i tried it years ago because it was made with all butter instead of the usual butter/shortening or all shortening recipes of the past...personal preference....but i do not care for shortening. i loved the results and pretty much use this version exclusively in all my pies. and...since the recipe yields 2 11 inch tart shells....i almost always have one in the freezer....a bonus when i am pressed for time.

to prepare for the recipe...make the tart shell (or, even easier, buy an excellent quality prepared frozen pie shell. i have seen ones made with high quality ingredients at whole foods and other specialty markets). cook the bacon using the oven method i discussed a few posts ago in BLT pasta?. once you have a tart shell and cooked bacon...the rest of the recipe is a total breeze! and the tart should be very handcrafted and rustic no need for perfection when arranging the figs.... :)

fig, bacon & blue cheese tart with balsamic reduction drizzle
12-18 fresh figs cut in half
6 slices thick cut bacon, cooked until very crispy and then chopped into small pieces
4 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
grey salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1 tbsp fresh rosemary or lavender, minced
1 cooked pie crust (recipe follows)
balsamic reduction (recipe follows)

preheat oven to 375 degrees. fill bottom of cooked tart shell with fig halves, arranging in a circle and slightly overlapping. completely fill the shell with figs. season the figs lightly with salt and pepper. sprinkle the crumbled blue cheese and bacon over the figs. top with minced rosemary or lavender. bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until cheese is melted and figs are hot and bubbly. remove from oven, allow to cool slightly and cut into wedges. drizzle with balsamic reduction and serve.

Alice Waters Tart and Pie Dough RecipeMakes two 10-ounce balls of dough: enough for two 11-inch tarts or one double-crust 9-inch pie
Have measured:
1/2 cup ice-cold water
Mix together:
2 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit if using salted butter)
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold butter, cut into small (1/4-inch cubes)

Cut or work the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or your fingertips, leaving some of the butter in fairly large, irregular pieces. This will take 1 or 2 minutes. (or mix for no more than a minute, at medium-low speed in a standard mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.)

Pour in three-quarters the water, stirring all the while with a fork until the dough begins to form clumps. (In the mixer, turn the speed to low and pour the water down the sides of the bowl, mixing for 30 seconds or less.) Keep adding water if needed. Divide the dough in two, bring each part together in a ball, then flatten them into disks. Let rest, refrigerated, for 1 hour or longer.

Line a 9-inch tart or pie pan with the dough, folding the edges in to make double-thick sides. Press the sides in to make double-thick sides. Press the sides in well and prick the bottom all over with a fork. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. To keep the dough from shrinking while it bakes, line the shell with a piece of foil or parchment paper, then fill the tart with a layer of dried beans (or other pie weights). Bake for 15 minutes or until lightly golden brown around the edge. Take the tart out of the oven and remove the foil and the weights. Return to the oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, until the pastry is an even light golden brown.

balsamic reduction
2 cups balsamic vinegar
1 tsp organic honey
1 tsp organic agave nectar

add ingredients to saucepan and cook over medium heat until liquid has reduced by half. allow to cool. i always keep this on hand, stored in a mason jar in my refrigerator....drizzle on cheese, fruit (esp strawberries), steak, roasted or poached chicken, steamed vegetables, pound cake....i use this on almost everything...

welcome to fall everyone!

napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green live of style"
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

what is Studio-Store?

oct 2009 update....

yeah! we have a store! is a temporary "pop-up" shop called Studio-Store in downtown napa. my friend, the artist valerie raven, and i have moved into a vacant storefront @ 1144 main street, napa ca 94559. we are here until the landlord leases as a long term we could be here a month? a year? who knows?...but you gotta be creative in this economy.

the entire napa farmhouse 1885™ collection, along with cool art from valerie , is available for please come and visit....we are open wednesday through saturday from noon to six. and sign up for our mailing list for notices of all the special events we have planned....

i will post updates and photos soon....oh, and for those of you who have emailed me asking why it has been so long since i posted...this is the reason....we spent the past few weeks moving in and setting up...but i am working on a new blog post to be published this does a fresh fig, bacon, blue cheese tart with balsamic drizzle sound?

napa farmhouse 1885™
"live a green live of style"™

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