Italian BLT Foccacia #Twelveloaves

IF THOU TASTEST A CRUST OF BREAD, THOU TASTEST ALL THE STARS AND ALL THE HEAVENS.”  Robert Browning

Italian BLT Foccacia | From My Sweet Heart

I am so happy to be a member of Twelve Loaves.  This wonderful group of bakers is founded by Lora of Cake Duchess.  And for novice bread bakers like me, it’s a great place to feel supported as I delve into the scary world of YEAST!  Actually, not all breads include yeast.  And not all of our offerings need to be bread.  But for now, I’m taking advantage of the opportunity to do a little more savory baking.

Each month, Lora will give us a theme or ingredient and we will all place our creative spins on it.  This month’s theme was a tribute to The Farmer’s Market.  And while there are so many great choices, I wanted to bid a fond farewell to summer’s beautiful tomatoes!  This light and fluffy foccacia is my Italian riff on a BLT.  Though I could call it a PAT.  Salty Pancetta, peppery Arugula and sweet balsamic roasted roma Tomatoes top one of the lightest, chewiest crusts of bread I have ever tasted.  All the stars and the heavens indeed! [Read more...]

Black Bean Tart with Chili Crust

MY GARDEN IS MY MOST BEAUTIFUL MASTERPIECE.”  Claude Monet

Black Bean Tart with Chili Crust | From My Sweet Heart

I love creating vegetarian meals.  They sure do make the most colorful masterpieces!  When I moved to my home 18 years ago, I was excited to have several areas of my yard that I could devote to gardening.  Unfortunately now, so many trees on the perimeter of my property have grown so much, that my yard is now too shady for a proper garden.  And I’ve resorted to planting a few peppers and cucumbers.  My deck is the home of my many pots of herbs and my Meyer lemon tree!  Fortunately, I have a wonderful farm market nearby.  And with the exception of the black beans, all of the ingredients for this tart came from local sources.

Not only is this black bean tart vivid in color, but it is bright and bold in flavor as well. A light black bean puree, sweet corn and red bell peppers, spicy jalapenos, mild scallions and the kick of cilantro are bound by melted Monterey Jack cheese. All of this nestled on top of a flaky crust made fabulous by the warm spices of chili powder, cumin and paprika!  And to top it all off. . . . . [Read more...]

Garlicky Shrimp & White Bean Pizza

“THERE’S NO BETTER FEELING IN THE WORLD THAN A WARM PIZZA BOX ON YOUR LAP.”  Kevin James

Garlicky Shrimp & White Bean Pizza | From My Sweet Heart

I remember that feeling!  Picking up a pizza in my childhood in New England.  Especially on a cold night.  Being responsible for balancing that box so perfectly on my knees.  Careful not to shift too much so that the cheese wouldn’t ooze off to one side or another.  Making sure there was no pressure on the top of the box so that the cheese would not be sticking to the lid when I opened it.  The torture of the smell of bread dough and sweet Italian spice the whole ride home!

While I still enjoy a simple, classic, ‘extra’ cheese pizza; nowadays I find myself searching for more.  And the pizzas I love the most tend to have no tomato sauce in them at all!   Well a pizza can be made with just about anything you can think of!  This unconventional pizza is made with lightly marinated shrimp on top of a garlicky white bean puree and topped with crunchy home made bread crumbs and fresh herbs!  I guarantee you.  You won’t miss the box . . . . . [Read more...]

Parmesan Tuiles with Heirloom Tomatoes

“APPETIZERS ARE THE LITTLE THINGS YOU KEEP EATING UNTIL YOU LOSE YOUR APPETITE.”  Joe Moore

Parmesan Tuilles with Heirloom Tomatoes | From My Sweet Heart

Come share in the tomato love at the Tomato Love Recipe Exchange, hosted by Gimme Some Oven & Bake Your Day, sponsored this week by KitchenAid.  Also visit Recipe for Change to learn more about how to support tomato farmers.

Well, temperatures here in the nation’s capital have been oppressive; reaching 102° today!!!  And I am feeling it!  I don’t know about you, but when it’s this hot; by the end of the day I feel so fatigued, the only thing I want for dinner is a bowl of cereal with ice cold milk!  And when I do eat a ‘meal’, it’s more like an appetizer.  So today, these parmesan tuiles were more than enough!  Light and crunchy, cheesy and salty; and perfectly topped with sweet, chilled tomatoes.

These are quick and easy to throw together and take great advantage of my beautiful, summer tomatoes!  I tried 2 different recipes for the tuiles.  And there was a clear winner for me . . . . . [Read more...]

Purple Potato Pizza

I wait all month for this day to come!  Kitchen Improv!

Purple Potato Pizza | From My Sweet Heart

Thanks once again to Kristen from The Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker for being the fabulous host of Kitchen Improv!  This is my absolute favorite group to participate in.  Kristen challenges us with 2 ingredients each month.  Sometimes the ways these ingredients can work together is obvious, and other times….not so much.  This month was pretty easy.  Potatoes and cheese!  So where do I go to get inspiration to bake for my favorite group?  To my favorite market…..Trader Joe’s!

And when I walked to the produce section, these purple potatoes were just waiting for me!  Beckoning me, if you will, to scoop them up and hurry on over to get the cheese!  Trader Joe’s always has such a great selection of cheese.  And wow, did I find an interesting one…… [Read more...]

Poppy Pistachio Wafers

“THROUGH THE DANCING POPPIES STOLE A BREEZE MOST SOFTLY LULLING TO MY SOUL”  John Keats

Poppy Pistachio Wafers | From My Sweet Heart

The unseasonably warm temperature here in D.C. yesterday was the talk of the entire afternoon!  Every where I went on my errand runs, store clerks, customers, UPS men in their cute little shorts and their really nice legs…..everyone……was beaming about the absolutely beautiful, warm, sunny day.  Everyone, that is, but me!  You see, the hectic holiday has had me a little out of touch with the news and weather.  With everyone hogging the tv for football,  and with me totally saturated with holiday sweets…..I decided to set out to pick up some ingredients for some savory baking.  Little did I know that I wouldn’t be needing my long sleeved sweater and fleece jacket!  I could only strip down so much and my errands kept me out most of the day.  So by the time I got home, the last thing I wanted to do was bake and the only thing I wanted to do was take a shower!  But the beautiful day soon turned into an even more beautiful evening.  And with a couple of hours of solitude, I baked these delicious, savory wafers and enjoyed them with a cup of tea on my deck at dusk.  The colors of these wafers were so striking, that I decided to photograph them before baking.  But it was after they came out of the oven, and when the sun began to set, that the magic began….. [Read more...]

Orange Nutmeg Popovers

“ONCE YOU GET A SPICE IN YOUR HOME, YOU HAVE IT FOREVER.  WOMEN NEVER THROW OUT SPICES.  THE EGYPTIANS WERE BURIED WITH THEIR SPICES.  I KNOW WHICH ONE I’M TAKING WHEN I GO.”  Erma Bombeck

Orange Nutmeg Popovers | From My Sweet Heart

Well you can’t take it with you.  So you might as well bake with it!

Nutmeg is one of my favorite spices and it combines beautifully with orange to make these popovers something extra special. 

Popovers are really so easy to make because they require only 5 ingredients, all of which are combined in a blender.  Today, I chose to add orange zest, freshly grated nutmeg and freshly cracked black pepper to create such a subtle hint of sweetness and a warmth and heat which permeate each sumptuous bite of this oddly formed, egg-like bread!  I served these orange nutmeg popovers with….. [Read more...]

Sweet Potato Strudel with Brown Butter and Cranberries

“MY DREAM IS TO BECOME A FARMER.  JUST A BOHEMIAN GUY PULLING UP HIS OWN SWEET POTATOES FOR DINNER.”  Lenny Kravitz

Sweet Potato Strudel with Brown Butter & Cranberries | From My Sweet Heart

I am with Lenny on this quote! There is so much I would be willing to give up just to live life more simply.  You know how complicated life can feel sometimes.  The more we can simplify, the better off we are, right?

Well this sweet potato strudel recipe is very simple.  But it doesn’t compromise in flavor.  It’s a simple combination of sweet potatoes, carrots, brown butter, golden raisins, cranberries, pecans, salt and pepper! And that’s it!  All rolled up in puff pastry and it doesn’t get any easier or more satisfying than this! 

[Read more...]