Recipe of the Week – Stone Fruit Tart

From the Dessert Category at

Stone Fruit Tart

Stone Fruit Tart

Walking through the market the other day I say an array of stone fruit, peaches, nectarines and plums.  Not knowing when the season will end for fruit grown in our southeast; I decided to make a tart for our pizza party on Saturday night. Thinking a little out of the box I decided to make a cornmeal based tart shell, for added flavor and crunch.

Not too sweet but not too tart, this was the ideal finish to a fun evening of good food and good conversation.  Make one before the fruit disappears from your local market.

Stone Fruit Tart

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 8
Category: Dessert
Meal: other (General)
1 cup flour, all-purpose
0.5 cup cornmeal, course ground
0.25 tsp salt, kosher
10 Tb butter, unsalted
2 recipe sugar, granulated
-2 Tb water
2 medium peaches, peeled, pitted, sliced
2 medium nectarines, pitted, sliced
2 medium plums, pitted, sliced
2 whole butter, unsalted
6 Tb sugar, brown
1 tsp cinnamon. ground
0.25 tsp nutmeg, ground
2 Tb cornstarch
1 Tb oil, vegetable
1 Tb sugar, finishing

Combine the first 5 ingredients in the bowl of a food processor, pulse until a ball forms. You may have to add up to 2 Tb of water and pulse to combine. Allow dough to rest in the fridge for 15 minutes while you prepare the fruit. Roll the dough out to fill a 10 inch tart pan. Poke the dough with a fork and place in the freezer for 15 minutes.

Place peaches in boiling water for 1 minutes; then plunge into ice water to aid in peeling them. Cut peaches, nectarines and plums into slices. Add butter to a saute pan, add peaches, nectarines and plums to pan, add cinnamon and nutmeg. Saute for 5 minutes to reduce juice. Mix bourbon and cornstarch together; add to pan. Allow the juice to thicken and remove from heat.

Paint the bottom of the unbaked tart shell with the oil to seal. Spoon cooled fruit into the tart, sprinkle with finishing sugar and bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 – 40 minutes until crust is light brown. Allow to cool before serving.

For more fruit based desserts, check out

September 15, 2014 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Cranberry-Pumpkin Bread

From the Breads Category at

Cranberry-Pumpkin Bread

Cranberry-Pumpkin Bread

I was thinking I might be rushing the season here but then I went to the markets this weekend and one had spiced pine cones for sale and the other had pumpkins on display.  Seems we can’t finish one season without jumping ahead to mid-next season.  Anyway it got me thinking about those fall weekends when a warm cup of coffee and a slice of sweet bread is the perfect way to begin your day.

This recipe is from my friend, Teresa, who early on was instrumental in getting, up and going.  So it is fitting to put one of her recipes up on our 500th post.

Cranberry-Pumpkin Bread

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 8
Category: Breads
Meal: Other (General)
1.5 cup flour, all-purpose
0.5 tsp salt, table
1 cup sugar, granulated
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup pumpkin, canned
0.5 cup oil, vegetable
2 large egg, lightly beaten
0.25 cup orange juice
0.5 cup cranberries, fresh
0.25 tsp nutmeg, ground
1 tsp cinnamon. ground
0.25 tsp ginger, ground
0.25 tsp orange zest
0.5 cup pecans, halved

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sift together flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, eggs, juice,rind, and spices. Pour into bowl with dry ingredients and mix until just combined- do not over mix. Stir in the chopped pecans and chopped cranberries.Pour mixture into greased loaf pan. Bake 50-60 minutes or until done in the middle.

Catch up of more Fall selections at


September 8, 2014 at 8:03 am Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Chocolate Sushi

From the Dessert Category at

Chocolate Sushi

We had this dessert while on vacation in Breckenridge.  We were at a restaurant specializing in small plates and they had Chocolate Sushi as a dessert plate.  Intrigued by the name we order it and found it interesting, delicious and most importantly easy to copy.

The first time I made it I made my own chocolate fondant, a complicated affair; a lot like making pasta the first time, each time gets a little better.  Than I got smart and found several options of prepared fondant in the baking section of Michael’s.  This dessert will surprise your guests and please your family.  Serve with chopsticks for an added effect.


Chocolate Sushi

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 8
Category: Dessert
Meal: other (General)
1 package Wilton chocolate fondant
8 oz coconut, sweetened, shredded
1 Tb corn syrup, light
4 oz strawberries, whole
1 tsp sugar, granulated

Roll out the chocolate fondant into a 4 X 8 inch rectangle on parchment paper. Mix the coconut with the corn syrup.layer the coconut on the fondant, leaving 1/4 inch on the ends. Cut the strawberries, cutting the centers into rectangular pieces; cut the remaining sides into pieces. Place the sides into a bowl with the sugar and mix. Place the rectangular strawberries in the center of the coconut. Using the parchment paper roll the end of the fondant to meet the other side forming a log.

To serve slice the log into 1/2 inch slices and spoon the remaining strawberry pieces over and around the sushi.

More great dessert ideas at

September 1, 2014 at 1:10 pm Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Carmelized Onions

(From the Vegetable Collection at

Caramelized Onions

  Caramelized Onions

Some recipes are more useful than others.  Take this caramelized onion recipe for example.  Make the onions and top off a good steak with them.  Place them on puff pastry, shown above, to make a delicious and easy appetizer that will get rave reviews. Serve them just the way they are as a totally different vegetable; a surprising addition to any meal.

We did the best of all worlds; smothering some steak tips with the caramelized onions for an appetizer.

Caramelized Onions

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 6
Category: Vegetables
Meal: N/A
1 Tb oil, olive
2 large onion, red
3 cloves garlic, minced
0.5 cup sugar, brown
2 Tb vinegar, red wine
0.5 tsp thyme, dried
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

Put oil in sauté pan. Slice onion and add to pan; cook until opaque. Add garlic, brown sugar, vinegar, thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until syrupy.

Shown here on puff pastry.

Look for more interesting and useful recipes at; still only $9.95 for a whole year.

August 25, 2014 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Chicken Fluffs

(From the Appetizer Collection at

Chicken Fluffs

Chicken Fluffs

This post is a day late as we are enjoying the humid, hot, sunny, humid, did I say humid weather in Charleston.  My last post described how we plan the week’s meals to avoid confusion and having to get a consensus of the group.  Even the best laid plans change.  We have made some minor changes along the way, subbing special items the group wants to have.

We used to make these chicken fluffs when the kids were young.  We would make about 5 lbs in a turkey fryer and all the kids and their friends would show up.  This was before Micky D’s started to use real chicken instead of the reconstituted Chicken McNuggets.  Anyway, I made some of these to take to Charleston to use for appetizers for the few who don’t eat shrimp and seafood.  They also come in handy for lunches.  This is the same recipe I use for Chicken Piccata, they stay moist and absorb the flavors of the lemon and capers.

Chicken Fluffs

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 6
Category: Appetizer
Meal: N/A
2 lb chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
2 large egg
3 Tb water
0.5 cup rice flour
1 cup Panko breadcrumbs
0.5 cup oil, olive
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste

Cut chicken breast into 1/2 thick slices, on the bias. Place rice flour in a plate with a rim, mix eggs and water and place in a second plate. Put the panko in the third plate. Salt and pepper each bowl to taste.
Place enough oil in a saute pan to cover the bottom. Heat until just shimmering. Dip the chicken in the flour, then into the eggs and finally into the panko; shaking after each dip to take off the excess. Place into the hot oil and saute until golden on both sides. Do not overcrowd the pan. Add more oil to the pan as needed. Drain the cooked chicken on paper towels. Shown here with cocktail dipping sauce.

May be frozen at this point and then reheated.

See what else is cooking at

August 19, 2014 at 9:16 am Leave a comment

A Vacation Tip and a Recipe

(From the Fish Entrée  Collection at

Pan-seared Scallops

Pan-seared Scallops

We will head out to Charleston this weekend for our yearly vacation on the ocean.  Beach vacation for us means friends and family, sun and surf and really great meals and conversation around the dinner table.  There are two kinds of beach vacationers in my mind: those who need to be entertained at all time and jump from mediocre restaurant to mediocre restaurant for all their meals and those who enjoy the “fine dining” at the beachhouse.

With a little planning you can make your life much easier if you are the one entrusted, and you are entrusted, with making the food experience as good as the sun and ocean experience.  Over the years we have fine tuned our approach to meal planning.  While I do all the planning and cooking we have found each of the other “guests” should take turns in shopping for the nightly meal.

Here are tips that I find to work well:

1. Decide on a menu for the week, we include a carnivore meal and a seafood each night, along with appetizers and desserts.

2. Using we create and print the recipes needed for the daily dinner.

3. Again using the easy “Shopping List” function of we fine tune and print the shopping list each morning for the daily shopping trip for fresh fish, meats and veggies.

4. Get some prep help, I find that while offering appetizers and drinks everyone passes in and out of the kitchen and offers to help.

5. Enjoy the meal.

6. Sit back and let everyone else clean up. Perfect!

Here is one of the recipes we will have in Charleston.

Pan-seared Sea Scallops

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 2
Category: Fish Entrée
Meal: Dinner in the Round (Distinctive Dinners)
8 large scallops, sea
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
4 Tb Panko breadcrumbs
1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
1 Tb oil, olive
1 Tb butter, salted
8 leaves sage, fresh
2 Tb butter, salted
0.5 medium lemons

Note: This recipe takes very little time to make and therefore be sure to have the rest of the meal ready to go before starting the scallops.

Dry scallops thoroughly on a paper towel. Salt and pepper both sides of the scallops. Place Panko breadcrumbs in a shallow dish, salt and pepper breadcrumbs. Dip one side of scallop in breadcrumbs. Place butter and olive oil in pan; heat pan until oil begins to smoke. Place scallops, breadcrumb side down in pan and cook until light brown (about 3 minutes); flip scallops and cook for three minutes on reverse side. Remove scallops to a side plate. Lower heat to medium, place sage leaves and butter in pan and swirl, cooking for three minutes. Plate scallops and drizzle brown butter sauce over scallops, serve with a lemon wedge on the side.
Shown here with baby Yukon Gold potatoes and peas.

To view the meal plan for Charleston send me an email and I will shoot you a copy.

August 11, 2014 at 12:06 pm Leave a comment

Recipe of the Week – Inez’s Brazilian Caipirinha

From the Misc Category at

Inez's Caipirinha

Inez’s Caipirinha

I know this post is a few weeks late; as the World Cup was held in Brazil a while ago, but it is still summer and summer means cool drinks with friends.  While on our western trip we met some new friends, one of whom is from Brazil.  Inez instructed me on the proper method for making a Caipirinha, the national drink of Brazil.  Not only was I making them wrong but according to Inez the proper way to enjoy the caipirinha is to pass the glass around the table while drinking beer; kind of a communal cup of joy.

This drink is the perfect for making new friends, enjoying old friends or just to have a refreshing drink while relaxing.  A word of warning, too many caipirinhas make make your head pound to the tune of , “GOAL, GOAL, GOAL!”

Inez’s Brazilian Caipirinha

Recipe Summary
Complexity: Easy
Serves: 2
Category: Misc
Meal: N/A
2 medium limes
4 tsp sugar, granulated
4 oz vodka

Cut limes into 8 wedges; removing the white pith. Muddle the limes and sugar with a pestle or wooden spoon. Add the vodka and top with ice and shake well.

Note: this drink is originally made with Cachoca, a Brazilian sugarcane rum. You may be able to order it from your local liquor store.

You may want to have some appetizers to slow the effect of the caipirinha; we have lots of good ideas at Desfrutar! ( enjoy )

August 4, 2014 at 7:20 am 1 comment

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