Martha Wrap

Have you heard of my friend Martha’s latest invention?! Martha Wrap. Aluminum foil on one side, parchment paper on the other side. Perfect for baking, roasting, etc… It’s not too easy to find so when we saw it at Marshalls we grabbed a roll. We used it most recently when we made this flaky tomato and mozzarella tart. It worked perfect as parchment paper so the dough wouldn’t stick to the pan and as foil to wrap around the side of the pan.

That Martha, she thinks of everything.

Flaky Tomato and Mozzarella Tart

As always, we were looking for a new idea for a side dish to serve with our regular steak tip dinner. I found this recipe from an issue of Real Simple magazine from last summer that I saved because I thought it sounded good. Kind of like a healthier, fancier pizza…perfect to go with grilled steak!

Flaky Tomato and Mozzarella Tart
from Real Simple Magazine, July, 2011

all-purpose flour, for the work surface
1/2 sheet puff pastry (1/4 of a 17.3-ounce package)
1 C grape tomatoes (halved)
4 oz grated mozzarella (1 cup)
1 Tbs olive oil

Heat oven to 425° F. On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry into a 9-by-6-inch rectangle. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, at least 30 minutes.

Prick the puff pastry all over with a fork and top with the tomatoes and mozzarella. Drizzle with the oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes. Cut into pieces before serving.


Oscar Party

I love watching the Oscars – the clothes, the movies, the speeches…the snacks! Here is a list of all the films nominated for Best Picture and an appropriate hors d’oeuvre, meal, or dessert to go with each. Make them all or just make the one that corresponds to the movie you want to win Best Picture…either way have fun watching the Oscars Sunday night!

The Artist – French Onion Soup

The Descendants – Hawaiian Pizza

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close – New York Pretzel

The Help – Southern Fried Chicken

Hugo – Nutella and Fruit Crepes

Midnight in Paris – Croque Monsieur

Moneyball – Baseball Game Chili Dog

The Tree of Life – Texas Pork Ribs

War Horse – World War I Cake

At our house, we will be making Baseball Game Chili Dogs (my husband’s movie pick) and Croque Monsieur (my movie pick).

Dinner for Two

I got home from work last Tuesday to the most wonderful Valentine’s Day celebration that I just had to share in case you’re looking for ideas for a romantic dinner for 2…

Double Dozen Red Roses

Beet and Goat Cheese salad (yes, each beet is in the shape of a heart!!)
Baked Stuffed Shrimp, Chateaubriand, Green beans braised with tomatoes and basil

And, to finish the evening, homemade French Macarons, my favorite dessert…

*Note, my husband is on paternity leave right now so he has a little extra time during the day. Isn’t he the BEST?!

Brownies from Scratch

Again, I’m not really supposed to be eating dessert (I have a couple last stubborn baby weight pounds to lose), but we just felt this weekend that we really needed brownies. And I thought, if I’m consuming all of those calories, the brownies better be out of this world.

So, we made our old standby recipe for brownies from scratch. These brownies are fudge-like and phenomenal. Not too sweet. Super moist. Just great. Definitely drink with a glass of milk. Note, we made a half-batch so the recipe is easy to halve if you don’t want leftovers for days…
Cocoa Brownies
from Alton Brown,

Soft butter, for greasing the pan
Flour, for dusting the buttered pan
4 large eggs
1 C sugar, sifted
1 C brown sugar, sifted
8 oz melted butter
1 1/4 C cocoa, sifted
2 Tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C flour, sifted
1/2 Tsp kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pan.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.

Pour the batter into a greased and floured 8-inch square pan and bake for 45 minutes (edit – these brownies bake for nearly 55 mins, but start watching them at the 45 min mark). Check for doneness with the tried-and-true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean. When it’s done, remove to a rack to cool. Resist the temptation to cut into it until it’s mostly cool.