Monday, July 29, 2013

Pretty Beet Terrine

Beets are becoming more and more popular these days in many gourmet or new American  restaurants. I was introduced to beets in the form of juice last year and loved them ever since. Roasted beet salad is one of my favorite things to eat and I have been making it often. This time I wanted to try a different recipe to use up the beets I bought from a farmers market. As usual I saw some great ideas on Pinterest and I decided to make a beet terrine. I came up with the following recipe after reading other beet terrine recipes and looking at what ingredients I  had in my fridge. 

Some people have never eaten beets and this terrine may not be for everyone but it sure is a very pretty appetizer loaded with nutrients that are great for your body such as iron and antioxidants.

Ingredients :

3 red beets
2 golden beets
4oz soft goat cheese
4 oz mascarpone cheese
1 tsp honey
Salt & pepper
Honey & olive oil to drizzle
Basil leaves for garnish


Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel the beets, then wrap them individually in foil. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 30-40 min till tender but not mushy so you can still slice thinly.

Meanwhile, mix the cheeses with 1 tsp of honey to obtain a smooth paste. This is going to be your glue between the beet slices. 

Once the beets are roasted and cooled, slice them thinly (about 1/8 inches) using a very sharp knife. 

In a loaf pan or container of your choice lined with plastic wrap, start layering beet slices starting with the golden ones then cheese paste sprinkling salt and pepper in between. Repeat the layering ending with the red beets.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night. Also place some kind of weight on top to press on your beets and help the terrine set and firm up. 

When you are ready to serve the beet terrine, remove the block of beets from the pan using the plastic to lift. Then slice the terrine. 

Drizzle with honey and olive oil ( I used lavender infused olive oil ). Also, if available, thin basil leaves strips  sprinkled on top will not only add color but also add flavor that goes well with this beet terrine. 

Hope you try this pretty terrine and enjoy it. It is not hard to make yet the end result looks like you spent hours trying to get this beautiful terrine.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Southern Peach Cobbler

Its summer time and peach season. My wonderful neighbor and friend went to a local orchard and brought back some super sweet peaches for me. I turned to the world of Internet and stumbled upon this yummy peach cobbler recipe from Allrecipes. I like this recipe better than the Paula Dean's I used before. The peaches I had were small peaches so I used 10 instead of eight. Next time I do want to add a few more peaches to get more fruit filling since it cooked down as it baked.

I do think that the peaches you use make a big difference. I have now been spoiled with the delicious TX peaches from Ham Orchard in Terrell, TX and don't want to ever eat store bought or can peaches again!
Also vanilla ice cream is a must to go with your warm peach cobbler. I will save the homemade vanilla ice cream recipe for another post.

Here is the recipe:


8 big fresh peaches - peeled, pitted and
sliced into thin wedges
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons cornstarch


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and
cut into small pieces
1/4 cup boiling water

Mix together:
3 tablespoons white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon



Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
2.In a large bowl, combine peaches, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2 quart baking dish. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
3.Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup white sugar, 1/4 cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with your fingertips, or a pastry blender, until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.
4.Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of topping over them. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Fresh Basil Pesto Pasta

Fresh Basil Pesto

Every year I have basil plants in my garden that reseed themselves and come back. I went out to my garden and picked fresh basil leaves and made this simple and delicious pesto. Pine nuts are pricey but you only need a little bit and won't break your bank. Also, you can substitute with walnuts or macadamia nuts. I have different kinds od basil plants and I used a variety of basil such as sweet basil, Thai basil. 

I got this recipe from the post of Elise Bauer from I made hardly any changes to the recipe.


  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil ( I used a little more ..3/4 cup instead)
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts (Macadamia nuts also yummy)
  • 3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Special equipment needed: A food processor 


1 Combine the basil in with the pine nuts, pulse a few times in a food processor. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.) Add the garlic, pulse a few times more.
2 Slowly add the olive oil in a constant stream while the food processor is on. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula. Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Serve with pasta, or over baked potatoes, or spread over toasted baguette slices.

Yield: Makes 1 cup. 

Pesto Pasta with Grilled Chicken

The above pasta dish is so simple and quick, I had to share! 

Just toss some cooked and drained pasta with the fresh pesto. Throw some grilled chicken or shrimp on top and ENJOY!!