As you know, I love cooking and trying new recipes. While my current living situation is not always conducive to culinary experiments, I do enjoy creating new dishes from time to time.
My inspiration this past week came from my new favorite website, Pinterest. It deserves its own blog post, but if you're not familiar with Pinterest, it's an amazing collection of recipes, decorating ideas, party inspiration, DIY tips, crafting tutorials, and so much more. You can "pin" images to your own boards and view others' boards as well. But more on that later. One afternoon, I discovered a recipe for baked zucchini with a sweet onion dipping sauce. Amazingly, I had just bought a zucchini at the store a few days earlier, and had everything else for the recipe on hand. Caramelizing the onions was the longest part, and I didn't have quite a whole onion, so I guessed at the amounts for the remaining ingredients. The zucchini sticks definitely get soft if you don't eat them right out of the even, but it was a delicious recipe, none the less. And as much as I love zucchini that's been breaded and fried, I might like it baked even more. (Bonus: It's healthier that way, too!) And a lovely dipping sauce doesn't hurt either.
Dinner that night also included seasoned, roasted potatoes and a roast cooked in the crock pot with a few things I had on hand - beef broth, garlic, Worcestershire sauce, and an onion soup mix packet. Did I tell you that I have a crock pot now? I bought it from my friend, Vanessa, at the end of last term. It has been a lifesaver for meals that require more than one thing to be cooked in the oven. I can put the meat in the crock pot during the day, and everything is still finished at the same time.
On Saturday, I was finally able to try a recipe that I found a few weeks ago for goat cheese and apple tarts. Goat cheese is usually common in the grocery store and is fresh from Belmont Estates here in Grenada. Apples, however, are quite expensive, and I had to make a second grocery run this past week since they were all out on my normal shopping day. A bought 3 Gala apples for about $6 total. It was definitely a splurge, but sometimes you just get tired of eating the same few things over and over. Plus, I had a fantastic new recipe to try! The tarts were extremely easy to prepare. Once you peel and slice the apples, the tarts are in the oven within minutes. I didn't have any thyme, so I substituted a little dried rosemary and added a sprinkle of cinnamon on each tart. The flaky pastry combined with the creamy, tart goat cheese and sweet apples was amazing. This would be a fantastic appetizer or served at a party as you can make quite a few tarts very quickly. We ate ours with an omelet, maple syrup-glazed bacon, and a cup of coffee for dinner.
It's always good to try new foods, new cooking techniques and broaden your horizons. You never know what new favorite thing you'll discover next. Tonight, I'm going to attempt to make rice pudding for the first time! Have you tried any new recipes recently?