Tag Archives: summer

Tomato, Corn and Two Cheese Tart

tarts 625 sqWhen the farmers market stands begin to overflow with corn and tomatoes, I add them to everything I make. Lightly dressed arugula gets topped with sautéed corn and tomatoes and garnished with some buttery diced avocado. Peaches and Cream Corn and Blondkopfchen mini tomatoes weave their way into fritattas and onto tortilla chips gussied up as a salsa. Tiny tomatoes bursting with sweet acidity mingle with basil and plump sweet corn kernels. Tossed with some hot penne pasta and chunks of creamy buffalo mozzarella, it makes for a very happy summertime dinner.

I know that for many folks, biting into a freshly boiled, buttered and salted ear is a summer ritual eagerly anticipated all winter long. When all those sweet little kernels explode in your mouth, it’s bliss for them. But I am among the, mostly silent, minority who do not like to eat corn straight off the cob. It gets stuck in my teeth and I just want to run for the floss. Yes, very un-Canadian/American of me, I know. But I am ok with that. I am perfectly comfortable being mocked when I cut my corn off the cob.market freshWith my abundance of corn, tomatoes and scallions, I decided to make a tart.  Chef Christine Cushing’s buttermilk pastry, studded with fresh thyme makes a perfect base.pastry mise en placeRolling out the dough between 2 large sheets of parchment paper is a foolproof way of handling pastry.rolling between parchment paperLine the pastry with some parchment paper and fill with pie weights to blind bake the tarts. I buy dried chick peas that I reuse for this purpose only. This will give your pastry a head start so that your finished tarts do not have soggy bottoms.pie weights 2Delicious hot or at room temperature (they were even great reheated the next day) these little tarts are a very special way to celebrate the bounty of summer. Once everyone has a bite of these, you will be forgiven for cutting the corn off the cob.

Click here to print recipe for Tomato, Corn and Two Cheese Tart.

close up tart


Rye Galette

When I started this blog over two years ago, I never imagined that it would be read by college and university students. Yet, somehow, I seem to have garnered a following among the 20 something crowd. It started with the daughters of my friends. One young woman, my god-daughter, has set my blog as her home page and was worried about me when I went 10 days without blogging.  She actually called her mom to ask if everything was ok with me . How sweet is that?

Then it grew to include my daughter’s friends. She was quite proud of her mom and told her friends about my blog. I am sure they checked it out, just to be polite, because they are such nice young women!

However, I think they kept returning to the blog because they loved to read stories about my daughter and then tease and embarrass her. This was when they were in high school. Over the past 2 years they have moved onto university and have just recently moved out of residence and into their own apartments. Now they are interested in cooking, so they read the blog for recipes. And they have told their friends about it. So a big shout out to all my girls at McGill, Queens, Emerson and Ryerson!

My daughter’s best friend, spent many hours at our home when they were in high school. She loved eating at our house, especially when I made peanut butter bark, as her brother has a peanut allergy, so she couldn’t have it at home. Once she moved into her own apartment, she began asking me for recipes. She has turned out to be a wonderful cook (one minor mishap with vegetarian chili – but we won’t talk about that). She became obsessed with my galettes (free form tarts) and in May she made a Roasted Tomato and Gruyère Galette for her mom for Mother’s day and told me it was one of her proudest moments! It makes me so happy to see the next generation taking an interest in cooking and baking.

My sons, by the way, do not tell anyone their mother is a blogger. The oldest, probably for fear that his friends will read something humiliating about him, and the youngest because he can’t imagine his mother has time for anything but him!

Flushed with success at my recent venture into whole grains baking, I decided to try Kim Boyce’s Rustic Rye Dough and create a galette with that. In her book, “Good to the Grain”, Kim gives a lyrical description of this dough.

“The method for making this dough is similar to that for a rough puff pastry, a method I learned while working with Sherry Yard at Spago. It calls for letting a rough dough, made from chunks of butter and moist clumps of flour, rest in the refrigerator to give the gluten time to relax and the flour time to absorb the water. After an hour, the dough is rolled and folded a few times to create long “laminated” layers of butter throughout the dough, which give it its flakiness.”

Of course I waited to make the galette until my daughter’s galette obsessed friend was coming for a visit to the cottage. I filled the tart with spinach, corn, Asiago and provolone cheese and sliced tomatoes. The nutty flavour of the rye dough was perfect with that filling. Now of course my daughter’s friend wants to know how to make this, so here is a step by step tutorial, with video, to help her on her way.

Click here to print the recipe for Rustic Rye Dough .

Click here to print recipe for Asiago, Spinach, Corn and Tomato Galette

Cherry Cake with Pistachio Crumble Topping

If you happened to be at Your Independent Grocer (or “THE YIG“, as my sister likes to call it) in Smiths Falls, Ontario, last Wednesday, at around 2:30 p.m, and you heard a crazy woman let out a gleeful scream, well, that would be me. You see, as I turned the corner, just past the pluots and nectarines, I spied a bin filled with Ranier cherries.

The Rainier cherry is the sweetest, prettiest and most pampered of cherries. Developed in 1953, it is a cross between the Bing and Van varieties. Golden to orange to pale red in colour on the outside, one bite reveals a creamy yellow flesh. They are more delicate and sweeter than Bing cherries. The season for Ranier cherries is extremely short, a few weeks in mid July, and then it’s over.

During cherry season, I eat cherries like it’s my job. During Ranier cherry season, I work overtime! I filled my cart with several bags of Ranier cherries and probably ate at least a pound of them on the drive back to the cottage. I continued to gorge on Ranier cherries for the next several days and pretty soon I was sweating cherry juice. (In my defense, it was quite humid.) It became apparent that I would have to do something with the cherries before the rest spoiled.

Tartelette’s blog  came to my rescue! If you haven’t discovered this blog yet, I urge you to go on over for a visit. It is charming and filled with wonderful recipes and gorgeous drool inducing photography. She made little cherry cakes topped with a pistachio crumble. Brimming with fresh cherries and slightly flavoured with lemon zest. this cake is a wonderful way to celebrate cherry season. I made it with my surplus of Ranier cherries, but in hindsight, the flavour of Ranier cherries is so delicate, and the colour so pale, they were lost in the cake. Next time I make it, I will use Bing cherries.

Pitting the cherries is the most time-consuming task in making this cake. if you don’t have a cherry pitter, do it this way:

The crumble and cake come together very quickly. I made a 9 inch square cake, although if you have mini cake pans, it would make an adorable presentation!

Click here to print recipe for Cherry Cakes With Pistachio Crumble Topping .