August 16, 2013

Cheese Experience

A warm Thanks to my friend Melodie for opening my eyes to some amazing cheeses that I look forward to paring with wine.

Uncle Les's Cobbler

Triple berry honey roasted almond cobbler. Inspired by Uncle Les.
Uncle Les taught me this recipe. It is so easy and delicious. There are many variations you can do too. All you need is any pie filing that you like. Uncle Les's favorite is peach pie filing. You will also need a yellow cake mix and a stick of butter. Some times I add nuts on top.

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease the bottom of a 13 by 9 glass baking dish. For this cobbler I used berry pie filing and also added a handful of fresh berries (blackberry's, blueberry's and raspberry's). Put this mixture in the baking dish. Then take yellow cake mix and sprinkle on top of the pie filing mixture, make sure to break up all the clumps.This part does not have to be perfect, just evenly spread out on top of the pie filing.To add a little extra crunch top with a couple handfuls of sliced nuts ( I used honey roasted almonds). Finally slice up some butter in thin little squares and place over the top every where. The butter will melt in the oven creating the perfect crust. Bake for about 45 minutes until nice and bubbly and golden on top. You will know the cobbler is close to done when you can smell the goodness, I promise.

Options: Be creative
  • Pie filings include: Peach, Apple, Berry....
  • Toppings that you can add to the top, under the butter: Nuts, Coconut, Cinnamon, Dried fruits...
  • Mix ins: Fresh fruit or even nuts...
Serve with some vanilla bean ice cream and your life will be complete. 

Presto Pesto
Your life is not complete without homemade pesto. Pesto can be used for almost everything. Pesto on your favorite slice of pizza, bread for dipping or make it into a simple yet elegant vinaigrette.
                                                                                                                 Presto PESTO!
                                                                                                    Pesto on Pizza!
Pesto on a baguette with a drizzle of aged balsamic 
1 full bunch of fresh organic basil
1/2 of a bunch of fresh organic parsley 
3-4 cloves of garlic
about a dozen sun dried tomato halves 
pinch of salt and pepper
Couple rounds of the food processor with olive oil (probably 5 ish tablespoons depending on the desired consistency)
Optional: 1/4 cup fresh Parmesan (I omitted the cheese because I was making this batch vegan friendly). Another option is adding 1/4 cup of walnuts or almonds or pine nuts to give the pesto more texture (however, beware of nut allergies) 
Put all ingredients into the food processor and blend. Be aware of added olive oil to make the consistency you prefer. YUM Yum and yum.

Sun dried tomato parsley hummus
The title seems to explain it all. But it is so much more! This hummus is healthy, organic, vegan, gluten free and scrumptious. I also have to give a slight nod to my food processor. "Thank you Mr. food processor. "

1 can of organic garbanzo beans, drained
3-4 tablespoons of Sesame Tahini
3-4 tablespoons of olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Hand full of sun dried tomatos
Half of a handful of fresh organic parsley
3 cloves of garlic
Pinch or 2 of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

Optional variation that is equally as tasty: Instead of sun dried tomatoes add about 2 tablespoons of Chipotle Tabasco sauce or the famous Franks hot sauce.

Yep, put it all into the food processor! And blend until you like the texture. I like to keep mine a little chunky.
Serve with pita bread or pita chips and fresh veggies.
Side note: ALWAYS keep mason jars! Amazing storage.