February 19, 2011

Foodie Fun

Yes, that is a half bottle of 1964 port that I bought for The Husband's birthday.  1964!  Barrel aged for 40 years, bottle aged for almost 10!  Further, the year 1964 has a certain significance to any Alaskan.  Commence drooling. 

Additionally, that is a half round of O'banon goat cheese wrapped in grape leaves that have been soaked in bourbon.  I finally made it to Fromagio's, the relatively new cheese store in south Anchorage.  It's super awesome!  The staff are friendly and knowledgeable, happy to help you out and answer questions.  I didn't know what I wanted and the selection was overwhelming, but all I had to do was mention a few other cheeses I enjoy and they whipped out a selection of samples for me.  I came home with some nice cheddar too, but the goat cheese was the clear winner.

More drooling.

Anyway, the point of this post (that's a lie, I just wanted to brag about the port and cheese) is a bit of an update.  You may have noticed that the blog got a little face lift.  The most important part of this face lift is just below the title.  Yes, I have tabs now!  My kick in the butt for finally getting tabs was joining the HH6 cooking club.  Basically, once a month I will be doing a cooking challenge along with the other fine ladies of the HH6.  If you want to know more, click the tab!  We get our first challenge Monday.

ps. The moose is just there for cuteness.  My mom made it!

February 15, 2011

Strawberry Tartlets

Yesterday was, of course, Valentine's Day.  It was also the Husband's birthday, so I went all-out cooking.  Last fall, Husband had requested that I learn how to make pie crusts.  With that request in mind, I decided that these strawberry tartlets (based off of this recipe at Epicurious) would be the perfect dessert.

This was my first venture into crust-making, and it was a good thing I started the crusts a day early because my first attempt was a complete and utter failure!  I made some adjustments, and the second time worked like a charm.

We paired the tart with a vintage character port - fantabulous!

Recipe makes four tartlets or one full-size tart.


4 mini tart pans or one large tart pan with removeable bottom


1 1/4 c flour
3 T sugar
1/4 t salt
7 T butter
1 egg yolk
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 t lemon juice
3 T ice-cold water

Slice the butter into small pieces.  Put flour, sugar, salt and butter into the bowl of a food processor.  Process until well blended, with butter being no larger than pea sized.  Mix together the yolk, vanilla, lemon and water, then slowly add to the flour mixture, processing just enough to form a dough.

Gently knead for a minute or two.  Press to fill greased tart pans, then place in the freezer for an hour or until completely frozen.

Preheat to 375.  Bake for 10 minutes.  Add greased pie weights and bake for another 20-30 minutes, or until nicely browned.  Cool for at least 20 minutes.


8 oz mascarpone cheese
1/4 c powdered sugar (or a little less)
1 t vanilla
3 T ruby port
1 T milk (or more)

Using a hand-held mixer, whip the first three ingredients until smooth.  Add the port until a light purple color is achieved.  Add milk as needed to smooth and thin out the filling.

Strawberries and glaze

1 pint strawberries
2 T sugar
3/4 c ruby port

Thinly slice the strawberries and toss with the sugar.  Let sit for 30 minutes.  Drain, reserving the liquid.  Mix the strawberry juice with the port in a small saucepan and simmer until reduced by half.'

Spread the mascarpone filling in the tart shells.  Layer the sliced strawberries on top, pressing gently.  Spoon glaze over top and refrigerate 20 minutes before serving.

February 6, 2011

Pizza Roulade and ABTs

It's not the Superbowl without Manfood - meat, cheese, and smoke!



Cream cheese
Lil' smokies
seasonings of your choice

Slice jalapenos in half lengthwise.  Remove seeds.  Season the cream cheese and spread it in each half of jalapeno.  Lay a lil' smoky on top, then wrap the whole thing in bacon.  Smoke at 250 until the pepper is soft and the bacon crispy.

Pizza Roulade


1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1/2 tube of ground sausage
1/2 bag pepperoni
1/2 bag shredded mozzarella
1 roma tomato, diced
1 egg white
crushed red pepper
Parmesan cheese

Brown the sausage with garlic and oregano.  Drain and place in a bowl to cool.  Meanwhile, roll out the puff pastry until it has doubled in size.  Into the ground sausage, stir pepperoni, tomato and mozzarella with additional oregano and garlic.  Place this mixture on the bottom third of the puff pastry and carefully roll it up, sealing the edges.  Lay seam down on pan.

Mix the egg white with some garlic, oregano, and crushed red pepper.  Brush over the roulade.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top.

Smoke at 250 until browned and crispy.

Alternate Roulade: "Women Food"

Instead of the meat and mozzarella stuffing, try this for your next luncheon!  Puree 1/2 bag of baby spinach with a bit of oil, pepper, oregano and garlic.  Stir in some crumbled feta and shredded chicken.  Mix in one egg to bind, and continue with the roulade.  It's a guaranteed hit at your next luncheon!