Monday, February 24, 2014


We were asked to bring an appetizer to a dinner party on Saturday night.  I love potluck dinners for so many reasons, not the least of which is that I only have to fix one thing.  And since it is only one thing, I can spend more time making the dish than I might when I am preparing an entire meal.  This appetizer isn't a lot of work, but it is putzy (sic).

*  1 ounce sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and finely chopped
*  1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
*  1 garlic clove, crushed
*  1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed
*  4 ounces crumbled goat cheese
Preheat the oven to 425ºF.  Dampen a large baking sheet.  Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil from the tomatoes in a skillet; add the zucchini slices and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 8 - 10 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides.  Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.  Remove from the heat and let cool while you prepare the pastry bases.

Thinly roll out the pastry on a lightly floured counter.  Using a plain 3" cutter, cut out 15 rounds, rerolling the trimmings if necessary.  Transfer the circles to the prepared cookie sheet and prick 3-4 times with the tines of a fork.

Divide the zucchini mixture equally between the pastry circles, add the tomatoes, leaving a 1/2" edge, and top each tart with a small spoonful of goat cheese.  Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil from the tomatoes and season to taste with salt, pepper, and herbs.

Bake the tarts in the preheated oven for 10+ minutes, or until golden brown and well risen.  Serve warm.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


When we were children, my father would return from hunting trips with pheasant or deer.  Unfortunately, my parents were not good cooks, resulting in me not having much of an interest in deer (too strong of a flavor!) or pheasant (too much buckshot!).  Fortunately, today there is such a plethora of on-line recipes, that finding good options to use these meats is no problem.

Recently, one of our nice neighbors gave us pheasant - thoroughly cleaned, cut into pieces, with the small breast bones removed, and not one single buckshot.   Thank you!!!   I went online to, and found a recipe that had great reviews for slow cooker pheasant.  The reviewers all said that this recipe resulted in meat that was moist and flavorful.   I agree!

To go with the Slow Cooker Pheasant with Mushrooms and Olives I made brussels sprouts.  This is a simple recipe but a serious upgrade from steamed brussels sprouts.


1)  Steam one pound of brussels sprouts until tender, about 10 minutes.
2)  Heat 3 tablespoons of salted butter in a small saucepan.  Add 1/4 cup chopped pecans, and brown them in the butter.  Optional:  Stir in 1/4 teaspoon Worchestershire sauce.
3)  Pour browned butter pecan sauce over brussels sprouts, and serve.

I love these!!