A blog of hopeful, inspired living: cooking & baking & growing & harvesting & preserving & gleaning & eating & sharing food... while bringing positive change to my kitchen and our food system.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Apricot Almond Galette

With beautiful apricots overflowing at the farmers' market, I couldn't help but load them into this late-spring pastry.  Apricots go surprisingly well with almond, and their tartness is complemented by the sweetness of the almond cream and a sprinkling of coarse sugar. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Madeleines are alluring to me.  I love their dense yet spongy texture, lovely crisp edges and subtle citrus flavor.  I love that they are shaped like shells.  And their name is sweet, too.  I never made Madeleines before because I didn't  have a Madeleine pan and am resistant to purchasing cookware that has one and only one purpose.  Recently I scored a $3 Madeleine pan at a thrift store and quickly made an exception to the one-purpose rule and started hunting for a recipe to get started.
$3 Madeleine pan
I found recipes that sounded good on trusted foodblog faves: 101 Cookbooks and David Lebovitz.  I also poked around online to try to figure out what makes a Madeleine a Madeleine.  What makes them so special?  My understanding is that traditional Madeleine, which originated in the Lorraine region of northeastern France, uses a gĂ©noise cake batter.  I read Madeleine cakes in several places.  It seems that a Madeleine is a cake and not a cookie.  Ok with me.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Rustic Leek and Mushroom Galette

Galette refers to a rustic, free-form tart.  They can be any size, filled with savory or sweet fillings, and they look beautiful and... well, rustic.  They don't take as much effort as a pie -- there is no gentle pinching of crust edges.  A galette just gets folded up onto itself and popped in the oven.  I love them.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Prickly Pear Margaritas

While perusing the extensive produce section of a nearby Latino grocery store, I was impressed with the beautiful pyramid of magenta prickly pear cactus fruit.  I went home and googled prickly pear.  I discovered that this cactus, a true cactus, is the Opuntia, native to the Western hemisphere.  The paddles as well as the fruit are eaten (I see those sold as nopales).  I've seen the fruit and even had uncomfortable encounters with them in the wilds of coastal Georgia (of all places).  But what the heck do you do them?  I came up with lots of hits for jams, candies, lemonade and even pie.  And... bingo: margaritas!  Cinco de Mayo is a perfect excuse to make and consume tequila, and Prickly Pear Margaritas would make it a real celebration.