French apple tart

_MG_22291¼ cups flour, plus more for dusting
12 tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed and chilled
¼ tsp. kosher salt
7 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and halved
¼ cup sugar
½ cup apricot jam

Combine flour, 8 tbsp. butter, and salt in a food processor and pulse until pea-size crumbles form, about 10 pulses. Drizzle in 3 tbsp. ice-cold water and pulse until dough is moistened, about 3—4 pulses. Alternatively, mix flour and salt in a large bowl, and cut in cold butter pieces with a pastry cutter by hand, until pea-size crumbles form. Transfer dough to a work surface and form into a flat disk; wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour. Unwrap dough and transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Using a rolling pin, flatten dough into a 13″ circle and then transfer to a 11″ tart pan with a removable bottom; trim edges; chill for 1 hour.

Heat oven to 375º. Working with one apple half at a time, thinly slice into sections, keeping slices together. Press sliced apple half gently to fan it out; repeat with remaining apple halves. Place 1 fanned apple half on outer edge of the tart dough, pointing inward; repeat with 7 more apple halves. Separate remaining apple slices. Starting where the apple halves touch and working your way in, layer apples to create a tight rose pattern. Fill in any gaps with remaining apple. Sprinkle with sugar and then dot with remaining butter. Bake until golden brown, 60—70 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat apricot jam in a small saucepan until warmed and loose; pour through a fine strainer into a small bowl and set aside. Transfer tart to a wire rack; using a pastry brush, brush top of tart with jam. Let cool completely.

Recipe from saveur.com

Lentil, avocado and farro salad

_MG_35273/4 cups quick-cooking farro
1/2 cup small green lentils lentils
1 cup parsley leaves
1 small shallot or 2 tbsp finely diced white onion
3 medium carrots, cleaned and chopped bite-size
6-8 radishes, cleaned and chopped bite-size
2 clementines, cleaned and separated into sections
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
2 small ripe avocados
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine farro and lentils in a saucepan of boiling, salted water; cook 10 to 12 minutes or until lentils are tender. Meanwhile, add parsley, chopped shallot or onion, carrots, radishes and clementines to a large salad bowl and mix well. Stir together oil and vinegar. Drain lentils and peel, pit and cut avocado into bite-size pieces. Toss all ingredients together and check seasoning. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Food52.com

Asparagus and peas spring risotto

_MG_35231 lb asparagus
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
6 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
10-oz fresh or frozen green peas

Snap off the tough ends of the asparagus and add them to a large soup pot. Slice the trimmed asparagus spears on the diagonal into 1-inch lengths, leave the tips whole, and place both in a medium bowl and set aside.

Pour 5 1/2 cups water or stock over the asparagus ends. Bring the liquid to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and gently simmer until the broth is fragrant, about 25 minutes. Discard the asparagus ends, keep the stock warm.

Add the olive oil to a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Add the freshly ground pepper and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the onion and 1/2 tsp salt and cook, stirring often, until the onion is translucent and soft, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring often, until the grains are opaque, 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring often, until it is absorbed, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add 1 cup of the broth. Cook the risotto, stirring constantly, until the liquid is mostly absorbed (when you push a wooden spoon through the center of the pot, a trail should remain for 1 second before the rice comes back together), and then add another 1 cup of warm broth. The rice will probably need about 2 minutes of cooking and stirring between each addition.

Once you have added 4 cups of broth total to the risotto (after about 10 minutes), add the sliced asparagus, asparagus tips and peas with the last cup of stock. You know the risotto is done when the rice is creamy, not mushy, the grains are plump yet separate, and the rice is cooked to an al dente doneness (there should be an opaque speck in the center of a grain of rice). Turn off the heat. Add 2 tbsp of the Parmigiano-Reggiano, stirring to combine. Spoon the risotto into serving bowls, sprinkle with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano, and serve.

Recipe adapted from lucini.com

Cinnamon ice cream – Philadelphia style

_MG_2184Ingredients:
3 cups heavy cream, or 2 cups heavy cream and 1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 teaspoon Roasted Saigon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tbsp brandy

Directions:
Pour 1 cup of the cream into a medium saucepan and add the sugar, cinnamon and salt. Warm over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved.
Remove from the heat and add the remaining 2 cups of cream (or 1 cup cream and 1 cup milk) and the vanilla extract.Chill the mixture thoroughly in the refrigerator. When ready to churn, add brandy and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions.

Roasted garlic hummus

_MG_3431Ingredients:
1 (14.5 ounce) can chickpeas
2 heads roasted garlic
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup tahini
juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 tbsp olive oil, or to taste
1 tbsp water
salt and pepper to taste
paprika

Directions:
Puree everything – chickpeas through water in a food processor until smooth. Add more olive oil to bring it to the consistency that you like.
Serve garnished with paprika and olive oil to taste.

Recipe adapted from closetcooking.com

Cinnamon banana cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

_MG_3470Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cups light brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup of melted and cooled coconut oil
3/4 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
1/3 cup coconut milk
1/3 vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 10 large and 8 mini muffin tins with cupcake papers.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Mix brown sugar in coconut oil until combined.Add all at once coconut oil, bananas, coconut milk, yogurt, vanilla, and eggs. Mix until thoroughly combined. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups, filling about 3/4 full.

Bake mini cupcakes for 15 minutes, regular cupcakes for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from pan. Cool on wire rack.

Recipe adapted from clabbergirl.com

Frosting
6 tablespoons Earth Balance vegan buttery stick, softened
4 ounces of cream cheese, softened
2 cups powdered sugar (more as needed)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons McCormick Roasted Saigon cinnamon

To make the frosting, beat together the butter substitute and cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar slowly and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and cinnamon.
If necessary, add more powdered sugar until the frosting is firm enough to hold its shape but still light and fluffy. Frost the cooled cupcakes.

Recipe adapted from lil’luna.com