Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spring Break

My younger sister, PeggyDee, and I are visiting my older sister, Margaret, and her husband at their home in Chicago. We just started our Spring Break, a much needed vacation, I might add, so we decided to visit our sister for a few days before heading back home to Georgia. We all got here late on Friday night, in time for dinner, but last night we stayed in and I had the chance to fix dinner for the family.

Margaret and I stopped by Whole Foods earlier in the day to pick out some fresh veggies, fruit and a few other things to cover dinner for the next few night. Last night, we had a really fresh salad of arugula, fennel, golden beets, and a cheese that I had never tried before. The cheese was a very interesting combination of cheddar and blue cheese; it was a hard cheese like cheddar and had the flavors of cheddar, but it had the strains of blue in it. It was a very nice, distinct flavor; very nutty and almost woodsy.

We had a dish of penne, applewood smoked bacon (uncured), spring peas, onion, and sheep's milk parmigiano; it was absolutely delicious, but unfortunately I don't have any pictures right now. :(

Dessert was wonderful, a lemon cupcake with raspberry buttercream. It was a really nice dessert for the spring, especially with Easter right around the corner. I love the dishes that we fix for fall and winter, but when spring finally comes around, I love the fresh , bright flavors.

Find a great menu for the upcoming spring season. There are some great veggies out there right now, and they are tender and beautiful because they're young. Research your local farmer's market, most of them are either opening up soon or moving from their indoor market to the outdoor market. Find some good and fresh. And then employ the help of a great sister to take pictures for you. ;)

Friday, March 26, 2010

Hello!! Again, I am sorry that it's been a while since I posted. Our Spring Break starts later today, and it's been crazy busy up until now; full of papers, tests, and who knows what else. You think it, and teacher probably assigned it.

So, since Spring Break is beginning soon, I'm hoping to have a chance to bake a little bit more, fix meals, and so forth. Look forward to more posting next week!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I know it's been awhile; it's been a very busy few weeks and it's only going to get busier. I was looking over schedules with a few people yesterday, and it is quite literally, a sprint to the finish. Graduation is a short two months away, but I'm just hoping to make it Spring Break first. :)

A friend of mine, Emily, is having a recital tonight. It's essentially her "thesis" for her music major. I'm helping her out with set-up and stuff, but I also baked for her as well. I decided to fix Spinach-Gruyere Pinwheels. I first heard of this through Paula Deen a while ago, and so I decided I would fix them, but I decided to add bacon. I fear that my friend, Tim, has been a bad influence on me....bacon makes everything better :)

Spinach-Gruyere Pinwheels

Puff pastry

Preheat oven to 400. I make sure that the puff pastry has some to room temp so that it's a little easier to work with. In a large saucepan, render the fat from 3 slices of bacon. Once you have this, saute 2 cloves of garlic in the fat, and once its has lost its raw smell begin adding spinach. You're going to need to wilt down about 1 or 2 bags.

While the spinach is wilting, you can grate up your cheeses. Combine them all together in a bowl. After spinach has wilted, let it cool for a while, then try to drain most of the water from it by wringing it in a towl. You don't want too much water in your spinach.

Once all these ingredients are ready, roll out your puff pastry and brush with melted butter. Layer the cheese, spinach, and bacon on top of the pastry, making sure to leave about 1/2" on one end. Roll up the pastry to make a roll, which you then slice into 1/2" slices. Place on a greased baking sheet and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Cool and enjoy!!