Cantal Cheese Tart

Via Bon Appetit/Source

Ever since moving to Seattle, I can't get enough of two things... cheese and chocolate.  It has something to do with the cold rainy weather that has me craving these comforts.  This recipe comes from Le Temps Des Vendages, a city in Southern France via Bon Appetit's May 2010 issue.  Although it is perfect paired with a salad, clearly, the cream, butter, and cheese in this recipe do not qualify it as a particularly healthy choice.  Unless maybe you consider cheese to add something to your happiness.  Mental health is important, right?

The Cantal cheese can be substituted with an English farmhouse cheddar or a sharp white cheddar, I'm using Beechar's Flagship, a cheese made locally here in Seattle.  Making the crust is a little challenging, but the filling is a breeze.


1-1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
6 tbsp. chilled unsalted butter, diced
3 tbsp. (or more) ice water

1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1-1/4 cups heavy whipping cream
3 large eggs
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2 cups coarsely grated rindless Cantal cheese (or substitute)


1. Blend flour and salt in processor for 5 seconds.  Add butter and cut in, pulsing on/off turns, until a course meal forms.  Add 3 tablespoons of ice water.  Blend until moist clumps form, adding more water if dough is dry.  Gather dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.

2. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to about 12" - 13" round.  Transfer to a 9" tart pan with removable bottom.  Create a 1/2" overhang by cutting off any excess dough.  Fold overhang in and press sides so that the sides of the dough rise 1/4" to 1/3" above the rim of the pan.  Freeze the crust 15 minutes.

3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line the crust with foil and fill with beans or pie weights.  Bake about 25 minutes until sides are set.  Remove beans and foil and bake until crust is golden about 20 minutes.  (Peirce with a fork if the crust bubbles.)  Cool crust.  Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees.

4. Melt butter in a heavy medium skillet.  Add shallots.  Season with salt and pepper. Saute until soft about 4 minutes.  Meanwhile whisk cream, eggs, pepper, nutmeg, and salt in a medium bowl.  Mix in cheese.  Spread shallots in crust. Pour cream mixture into crust.  Bake until filling is set in the center, 35 to 38 minutes.  Cool for 15 - 30 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature.

Black Bean Soup with Avocado, Orange and Cucumber


This is one of my favorite soups of all time because it hits the 3 points that some nights call for: it's fast, it's healthy, and it's affordable.Oh and I forgot, it is also vegetarian and its delicious!  Because of its simplicity I was skeptical, but it really is the bomb.

I'm not going to detail it all out because you can find it all here .Also, if you have trouble finding Cotija, I have substituted feta and it works well.

Kale Chips


The winter holidays are over now and what’s left, but to cozy up for the long dark nights of winter.  As I write this here in Seattle the snow is coming down for the third day in a row, the roads are icy, but our fireplace is going and I’m looking forward to wrapping up in a blanket with some wine and a good movie.

What is needed is a little comfort snack food that won’t break my New Year’s resolutions.  I’ve got a good one to share with you – kale chips.  Trust me, I know you may be skeptical, but they are so good.  And they are so fast to make and kale is currently in season in most states.




bunch of kale
2 tbsp olive oil
sea salt to taste

Garlic salt
Garlic salt and shredded parmesan
Smoked paprika


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Wash kale and dry in spinner.  It is important that the kale be dry.  Remove the stems from the kale and tear into large pieces
  3. Add olive oil and sea salt to a large bowl.  Add kale and toss to coat with olive oil mixture.
  4. Line a cooking tray with parchment paper and spread the kale in a thin layer.  Bake for 10-20 minutes.  Be sure to check at the 10 minute mark.  Kale should remain a nice deep green

I’ve included a list of optional ingredients that you can use to add a little extra zing to your batch, but really, use your imagination, almost anything goes.


Here’s the low down on kale so that you can feel extra proud of yourself.  Kale is actually a form of cabbage and is loaded with fiber.  One cup of kale gives you twice your daily vitamin A, a ton of vitamin C, and 1,000 times your RDA for vitamin K.

Parmesan Popcorn

The festivities are over...  the champagne popped, the tree ornaments packed away till next year.  After all that hustling, a little down time is in order.  On these cold winter nights, in my mind, nothing is better than to curl up on the couch with a bowl of popcorn and a glass of wine and read a good book or watch a movie.  I want to share with you my favorite popcorn recipe.

It is not only easy and delicious, but it's a healthy twist for all of us whose New Year's resolutions include shedding a few pounds.  I know your probably a bit skeptical... and I too consider myself a popcorn purist (I do love the buttery goodness)... but I swear this has so much great flavor you won't miss it.

For those of you who may want the numbers: 1/3 cup of Parmigiano-Reggianno is 110 calories and has 8 grams of fat, compared to 303 calories and 34.6 grams of fat in just 3 tablespoons of butter.  Can't wait to curl up with The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, am I the only who hasn't read this yet?