Red Wine Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese Tartlets

Red Wine Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese Tartlets

I’ve been out of the kitchen for quite a while and I have seriously missed it. This lovely little recipe landed in my inbox from my favorite blog, The Simply Luxurious Life, and I was instantly inspired. I didn’t change a thing and it turned out absolutely delicious.

I’m obsessed with caramelized onions and the flavor of the wine soaked onions and thyme paired so beautifully with the tangy goat cheese and flaky puff pastry. It’s the perfect appetizer or mid day snack. I ate one cold the day after and the flavors were so bold and scrumptious!

So add this to your list to make and enjoy! Your taste buds will thank you. 🙂

Happy Eating!


Red Wine Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese Tartlets

Recipe makes 8 tartlets.

Ingredients

3 onions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup of red wine
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 – 4 sprigs of thyme leaves removed and a few extra for garnishing each tart
Salt & black pepper
2 sheets of puff pastry
1 large tube goat cheese
splash of milk to brush the pastry rim

Instructions

Red Wine Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese Tartlets

Heat the oil in a pan and fry the onions over a low heat until softened but not browned, about 15 minutes.

Red Wine Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese Tartlets

Add ½ the red wine and deglaze the pan, allowing all the liquid to cook off.

Add the sugar, thyme, salt and pepper and cook for 5 more minutes.

Red Wine Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese Tartlets

Add the remainder of the red wine and once again continue cooking and stirring until the liquid has cooked off.

Red Wine Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese Tartlets

Place your puff pastry sheets on a floured surface and cut out the circles to desired size. You could also cut the pastry into 4 squares. This way you better optimize the pastry sheet with no wastage through offcuts.

Score the inside of the pastry with a small cookie cutter or a knife, but don’t cut all the way through, to make a small rim.

Brush the rim of each case lightly with milk, or and egg and milk mix (I find the egg just makes it a little darker but isn’t entirely necessary), and bake in a oven that has been preheated to 180C for 10 minutes.

Red Wine Caramelized Onions & Goat Cheese Tartlets

Remove from the oven and press down on the inner circle piece so that it drops down, it should come away where you have scored it, and fill each pastry case with the caramelized onion.

Top with the goat cheese (you can either crumble this or cut into discs), scatter over fresh thyme leaves and return to the oven to bake for 20 more minutes.

 

 

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Tomorroats: A Quick, Simple & Healthy Breakfast

I saw this recipe on one of my favorite blogs, Can You Stay For Dinner?, and I had to share. I love the idea of mixing your breakfast together the night before with a few simple ingredients, putting it in the fridge then voila, you have breakfast when you wake up. The only mistake I made was using Steel Cut Oats instead of Old Fashioned Rolled Oats…use the rolled oats, it will result in a less chewier experience!

When I pulled the oats out of the fridge the next morning I just topped them off with a drizzle of honey, blueberries, a sliced banana and a dash of cinnamon! Delish!

Tomorroats

  • 1/2 cup dry old fashioned rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/4 cup water

At night (before bed), mix all ingredients well in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, stir and serve. No need to heat them, no need to dirty another bowl. Simply mix in your desired toppings. I went with honey, blueberries, banana, and cinnamon!

Serves 1

Nutrition (for oats, yogurt, and water only): 200 calories, 5 grams protein, 5 grams fiber

Bon Appetit!

Cinco de Mayo: A Few of My Favorite Things

For all you history buffs out there Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of the “The Day of the Battle of Puebla” and an opportunity to celebrate the pride and freedom of the Hispanic population. Contrary to popular belief it is not Mexico’s Independence Day which is actually celebrated in September. [Thank you Wikipedia for those nuggets of information.]

For me, Cinco de Mayo means a day to celebrate two of my favorite things, Mexican Food and Margaritas, or for anyone…another excuse to spend Saturday afternoon drinking the day away on your favorite patio.

So for today’s post I thought I’d break down what makes Mexican food so amazing. Let’s get to it.

Flavors: I wouldn’t consider myself a Mexican food connoisseur, but merely an obsessed fan of the flavors that make the popular cuisine a favorite down in the south, particularly Texas. The onions, garlic, spices, peppers…it’s a flavor explosion in every bite! Now when I’m talking about Mexican food I’m referring to Tex-Mex. I’ve had my share of “authentic” Mexican cuisine, but not enough to consider myself any kind of an expert.

Authentic Mexican Food vs. Tex-Mex: It’s been my experience that the most differentiating factor in Tex-Mex is our love for cheddar cheese and sour cream. Rarely do I find oodles of cheesy and creamy goodness in authentic Mexican fare. Another difference is our use of meat and chicken as opposed to seafood. Now I’m not saying you won’t find meat and seafood in authentic dishes, you certainly do, but I’ve found a lot more seafood when I’ve eaten Mexican food outside of Texas. Oh and cactus! I’ve never tried it and don’t ever see it on Dallas menus, but I would love to try the prickly treat.

So getting back to the flavors that make my mouth water at every plate of steaming fajitas or spicy salsa, I have to give credit to the mighty pepper! I’m a heat freak. One of those people that will make themselves sweat and practically miserable just to get that rush of heat. A daredevil of sorts…in a culinary sense. So what are my favs…lets jump ahead shall we.

Peppers: Jalapenos, Serrano Chiles, spicy Habanero’s…I love them all. The more heat packed into that gorgeous colorful flesh the better. When I’m cooking Mexican food at home these are my go to peppers along with my new fav, the delicious and sweet Red Bell Pepper.

Red Bell Pepper – the mildest of the four these lovely peppers omit a beautiful sweet flavor whether cooked or uncooked. Whether you’re roasting and stuffing it or simply julienne it for a salad, this versatile pepper is a kitchen staple all year long.

Jalapenos – this chile will give you a much stronger kick then the mild bell pepper, but it’s punch isn’t harsh enough to burn out even the most sensitive heat seeker. Roast it up, saute it with your fajitas, or just bite into it like a pickle – whenever I need my heat fix this is my go to pepper.

Serrano Chiles – I turn to these thin and long ladies for my spicy fire roasted salsa because they offer a bit more kick then their jalapeno brothers, but not quite the hit as a habanero. If I’m making the salsa for myself then I’ll do a mix of serrano, jalapeno, and habanero…apparently I like my mouth to be set on fire!

Habanero – a quick tip: the smaller the pepper, the hotter it will be. Habanero’s aren’t the spiciest peppers, but they definitely rank high on the Scoville Scale. They’re perfect if you want to add a hit of spice that settles warmly in the back of your throat with every bite. Damn I’m getting hungry!

Spices: And now for my favorite part, the spices. Cumin and Chile Powder are the stand-out spices that complete a tasty Mexican dish. Cumin is such a versatile spice. Another popular spice in Indian cuisine, it provides a warmth and flavor element that is truly unique.

I can’t dismiss the most predominant flavor in Mexican food, cilantro. Again, a very versatile herb found in Mexican and Indian dishes, this earthly beauty brightens up any dish whether it’s swimming in a sea of spicy peppers, oil popping in a fajita dish, or the sinfully lard filled refried bean, you can’t go wrong with Cilantro. Side note: I’ve met a few people that despise the leafy green…I don’t understand you.

Recipes: If you follow Sarah’s Musical Kitchen then you are well aware of my obsession with Mexican food. Here are 5 of my favorite blog recipes to date:

Flautas with Adobo Chile Crema

Taco Packets with Avocado Crema

Grilled Avocado with Black Bean Corn Salsa

Spicy Fire Roasted Salsa

Weight Watchers Healthy Beef and Bean Tacos

Restaurants: Back in 2010 I wrote a post about my Top 10 Mexican Food Restaurants in the DFW area. For the most part my list has stayed true, with a few minor changes. Instead of creating another top 10 here’s what I consider the key to a stellar Mexican food joint!

Chips & Salsa: If a restaurant doesn’t have good chips and salsa I won’t be coming back. My favorite thing about going out to eat Mexican food is indulging on the salty and spicy goodness of fried corn and spicy pureed tomatoes. Mi Cocina still holds the torch for best chips and salsa in my book. The chips are the perfect level of thickness and are always served hot and fresh and the salsa steels the show in my opinion. You can still taste the tomato goodness but feel the fiery punch of the peppers. Mi Cocina gets a bad rap for not being “authentic” enough, but compare this salsa next to anyone else in the DFW area and I think it’s no contest!

Tacos: If you would have told me 5 years ago that the best tacos in town were out of a truck stop/gas station, I would have questioned your cleanliness and mocked your culinary prowess. Okay maybe I wouldn’t have taken it that far…the point is, I’m a LOT more opened minded these days. So after all the buzz around DFW’s “Best Taco Spot” I had to drop in and give it a try.

Greasy, flavorful, and small enough to inhale at least 4 in a setting, Fuel City Tacos undoubtedly are the best “street-style” tacos I’ve had! These little tacos topped with onions and cilantro aren’t fussy, aren’t trying to be the most creative tacos in the city, they just revel in their simplicity and amazing flavor!

Try them, love them….and bring plenty of cash because you’ll definitely go back for seconds!

Fajitas: If you want a combination of chicken, beef, and lobster…yes that’s right, lobster, then you have to try the Cadillac Platter from Uncle Julio’s. It’s a bit pricier then most fajita platters but it feeds two easily and the flavor’s are off the charts. Before you stuff your flour tortillas take a heaping fork of chicken, beef, and lobster then dip it in the warm drawn butter…HEAVEN!

Queso: I love discovering new hole in the wall joints, especially when I discover they serve the best queso in Dallas. Apparently queso dip isn’t very wide spread outside of Texas and Oklahoma so let me break it down for you. It’s creamy white or yellow cheese sauteed with a mix of onions and tomatoes and often served with taco meat, sour cream and guacamole. Holy Frijoles keeps it simple yet I walk away wondering everytime…what the hell do they put in their queso. It’s meaty and flavorful, yet there’s no meat in the cheese and it looks relatively simple. It’s perfection actually, and no words will do it the justice it deserves.

Margarita: This is a hot topic and one I’m sure people will disagree with me on. To me the best Margarita in Dallas is the Mambo Taxi at Taco Diner. There’s a reason there’s a 3 drink limit…they will knock you off your bar stool.  The blend of frozen rita and fruity sangria is the perfect thirst quencher in the Texas heat. I’m warning you though, you might think you’re okay and demand another round, but trust me…pace yourself…you’ll thank yourself in the morning.

So Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone. If you’re still with me after my outrageously long post, you rock. I’m heading out to wet my whistle with some sizzling fajitas and tangy margaritas before I go see the amazing Sarah Jaffe at the Granada Theater.

What are you Cinco de Mayo plans? Let me know in the comment field below!

Photo Credits: Plastic Jungle Blog, Mom’s Kitchen Handbook, That Foodie Girl

New Year’s Day Nosh – Black Eyed Pea and Hot Bean Dip

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Happy New Year everyone!!! Matt and I spent the weekend in Houston with family and friends and it’s been a wonderful trip. For New Year’s Eve we had an amazing dinner at Smith and Wollensky then drinks and dancing with friends afterwards.

Today we lounged around and ate at the most AMAZING Mexican food restaurant, El Tiempo. If you’re in the Houston area you have to check this place out and you must get the Parrilla platter!! To die for!

Tonight we had another small get together for Sunday Night Football and gorged ourselves one last time. My cousin and her friend made some seriously sinful dips. They were so tasty I had to tell you guys about them. Try them out, their easy and delicious.

Continue reading

Discounted Lobster…in Dallas?

Yes, that’s right, I have stumbled upon a place in Dallas that has wholesale live lobster. Or should I say, my husband’s love for lobster sniffed it out. I will admit that cheap seafood isn’t something that usually makes me jump for joy, but last night I was pleasantly surprised.

Matt discovered Lobster Harvest through a family friend and we decided to quench our fall lobster craving with some lobster rolls. Unfortunately, I didn’t take any pics of the mania that went down in  my kitchen. It’s kind of hard to bust out a camera when you’re finding out the hard way how to crack open a full live lobster. Continue reading

Delicious Fall Recipes

Things have been super busy in my life and I’ve been meaning to post a blog about our traditional Halloween weekend. I made the most delicious recipes that I absolutely had to share with everyone. So, instead of a Halloween post, consider it a toast to Fall!

We had our traditional evening in, handing out candy, watching scary movies, and of course…cooking up some delicious dishes in the kitchen. I’m not a big dessert person, not that I don’t love dessert, but I try to avoid as many sugary temptations as possible. Halloween though, is an exception, and I baked the most AMAZING muffins ever!! Thank you Martha Stewart!

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Saturday Trip To Jimmy’s

I’ve been hearing about this Italian food store in Dallas called Jimmy’s Food Store for quite some time, and today I finally had the chance to check it out. Think Eatzi’s meets local Italian flare. It has the ambiance of a village market with a wide variety of meats, cheeses, pastas, wine, dessert, and fresh produce.

Aside from all of the market varieties offered, they also have a great deli with some delicious Italian Sandwich selections. I opted for the Muffaletta and in return received quite the monstrosity. This sucker was huge. Laced with delicious Mortadella, Ham, Provolone, Genoa Salami, and Olive Salad it was packed full of flavor and absolutely big enough for two.

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Fajita Turkey Burgers

Another late night and another successful recipe from Cooking Light…their Fajita Turkey Burgers were super tasty! I was running out of ideas for things to cook since I’ve been “attempting” to eat healthier in lieu of our debaucherous Labor Day weekend! 🙂

Soooo a burger sounded good (a healthy one of course), and Cooking Light’s Fajita Turkey Burger just hit the spot. Continue reading

4 Quick, Easy, and Healthy Weeknight Meals

Things have been so crazy lately that sometimes I don’t even have time to eat dinner, let alone cook. It’s always good to have an arsenal of recipes under your belt when your running short on time. When I have a busy week coming up I reach into my quick and easy recipe box for a few regulars that I know will not disappoint. So here are 4 of my all time favorite meals that make their way to my table multiple times a month. Give them a try!!

*Disclaimer: Yes…I am partial to Cooking Light. They are quick, easy, and HEALTHY!!! So the majority of my recipes come from them. Hit me up Cooking Light!! 🙂 Continue reading

Pierogies with Bacon, Sautéed Onion, and Sour Cream

Things just never seem to slow down sometimes. So when I don’t have a lot of time to cook I turn to quick and delicious meals from my favorite magazine, Cooking Light. It’s really easy to grab something quick and fattening when you’re in a hurry, and healthy is always first on my mind.

I first heard of Pierogies from last month’s Martha Stewart magazine. They looked amazing and next time I have an afternoon set aside for culinary experimentation I will try some of her homemade recipes. In the meantime, for us busy folks, try this quick and easy Pierogie recipe. I have to say…it’s pretty awesome. The husband was quite pleased as well! Continue reading

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