Blackberry, pecan and brie flatbread

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It’s blackberry season.

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I recently had a dinner party with something of a blackberry theme running through it (goat cheese was also recurring, as was arugula… OK there was more than one common thread).

On the menu that night:

  • Blackberry wild rice salad
  • Zucchini and spicy goat cheese rolls with lemon and mint
  • Angel hair pasta with scallops and arugula
  • Blackberry, pecan and brie flatbread to top it off.

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Let’s get cooking.

♫ Suggested listening: something with honey. ♫

Click to listen: Mariah Carey – “Honey”  (Yes, I’m a 90′s kid!)

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Mushroom and fontina tart

photoThis mushroom fontina tart came to be because I when I bought puff pastry to make the spring pea and goat cheese tart, there were two puff pastry squares in the box.

This was part of my Mother’s Day brunch menu, along with:

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It was a gooood afternoon.

This tart is deceptively easy to make.  Read on for details.

♫ Suggested listening: something easy. ♫

Click to listen: Con Funk Shun - “So Easy”

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Watermelon cucumber agua fresca

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Dudes, it is HOT in the district.  Hottest place in the country this past week, apparently.

Time to cool out, for real.  In your heat-induced languor, this is still easy to put together.  Your taste buds will thank you.

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♫ Suggested listening: algo que sabe a fruta fresca. ♫

Click to listen: Carlos Vives – “Fruta Fresca”

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Pasta with asparagus, walnuts and lemon

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I made this spring pasta for a friend’s BBQ this weekend.  It’s springy, vegan, and tastes great at room temperature.

It’s creamy, crunchy, and rounded out by the lemon.  Mmm.

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♫ Suggested listening: something from TC’s Funky Nuts. ♫

Click to listen: TC’s Funky Nuts – “Ain’t it Funky”

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Spring pea and goat cheese tart

Pea tart 1

This tart is the embodiment of spring.

It’s puff pastry covered with pureed spring sprinkled with additional spring paraphernalia.

Peas. Pea shoots. Parsley.  Mint.

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It’s a spring essplosion.

Pea tart carnage

Suggested listening: pass the peas! ♫

Click to listen: The J.B.’s – “Pass the Peas”

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Almond torte with edible flowers

It’s Mommy’s Day!

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My mom is in town for Mother’s Day!  That means… make a big ole brunch and invite ALL the friends!

Enough text.  Here’s more cake.

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As you may know, I am not a confident baker.  However, when I saw this recipe from Chez Panisse, I knew I had to make it.  And I put some edible flowers up top (I did not raid the landscaping from the neighboring buildings… I got them at Whole Foods) to make it extra spring-y and mom-tacular.

The whole spread

♫ Suggested listening: something with flowers. ♫

Click to listen: Talking Heads – “(Nothing But) Flowers”

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Paleo chewy gingerbread cookies

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These cookies taste like for-real-bona-fied gingerbread.  And they’re paleo-compatible(ish; coconut sugar is a grey area).  I’ve also made them with stevia instead of coconut sugar.  They just don’t taste as great.  That, and they stay fluffy, not chewy.

If eating better is one of your New Year’s resolutions, these cookies are a treat that you won’t feel too guilty about.  If you’ve gone paleo or just have a bunch of food allergies, give these a try.

♫ Suggested listening: “Let’s Start” that New Year’s resolution.  With some ginger. ♫

Click to listen: Fela Kuti and the Africa ’70 with Ginger Baker – “Let’s Start”

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Sage ginger winter cocktail

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Look at that photo.   I think Restoration Hardware should hire me.

Anywho, this is the champagne cocktail that I whipped up for a friend’s New Years Eve fiesta.  I made a small batch, since it was an experiment, but will estimate the proportions to the best of my ability so that other peeps can recreate it.

♫ Suggested listening: something classic and champagne-themed.  ♫

Click to listen:  Glenn Miller – Blue Champagne

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Crostini with goat cheese, walnuts, honey and fresh thyme

Crostini

These could not be easier to make.

And that combo of flavors? Bangin’.  Additionally, your party guests will be happy to see something not made of chocolate right about this time of year.

♫ Suggested listening: something with a little honey. ♫

Click to listen: Erykah Badu – “Honey” 

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Cranberry French 75

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Woohoo!  It’s holiday cocktail time!  I promise there are no pinecones in this cocktail… I just thought they looked cute.

Holiday cocktails

This recipe stars one of my favorite fruits of the season: cranberries.

I personally am not that crazy about cocktails.  However, the French 75 is a cocktail that even non-cocktail enthusiasts can get behind.

♫ Suggested listening: something fun and French. 

Click to listen:  Yelle – “Que Veux Tu” (Madeon Remix)

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