Friday 27 January 2017

Roasted Tomato Tart with Two Cheese Crust.

Here's one for the tomato growers.
 We love this recipe. We discovered it a few years ago, while we still lived in UK 
Of course we didn't grow our own Toms then, but it still tasted good.

Roasted Tomato Tart with Two Cheese Crust.

3-4 onions
1 tbsp butter
Drizzle of olive oil
2 t sp sugar
3 thyme sprigs (Or a good shake of dried)
3 sage leaves chopped ( ditto)
30g fresh bread crumbs
75g Parmesan grated
500g mixed tomatoes thickly sliced, 
the more colours and sizes, the prettier it will look.

For the pastry
300 g standard flour
100g very cold butter, diced
85g cold tasty/mature cheese, diced
25g Parmesan grated
150ml, very cold water.

Make the pastry.
Add the flour, butter and two cheeses to a food processor. Pulse a few times to break up the butter and cheese.
Drizzle the water in a little at a time, pulsing between each drizzle.
Until it comes together in a rough ball.
Wrap in film and refrigerate for an hour.

In a pan over a low heat, melt the butter and the oil. Gently fry the onions until soft.
Stir in the sugar and herbs.
Turn up the heat and cook for a few more mins until golden and sticky.
Set to one side and allow to cool.

Build your tart.
Heat the oven to 200 C
Dust a baking sheet then roll your pastry into a rough circle about 0.5 cm thick.
Mix the cooled onions with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan and spread over the middle of the pastry, leaving about a 5 cm border.
Arrange the sliced tomatoes on top.
Hand roll the pastry edges toward the filling, pressing firmly to hold and make a decorative thumb print edge.
Scatter over some thyme, a pinch of sugar if you desire and plenty of seasoning.
(You can now cover and chill your tart for up to 12 hours.)

Drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 25 – 35 mins or until the pastry is crisp and golden.
Serve warm or at room temp, with a BIG green salad.

Sometimes I just use dried Italian herbs instead of the thyme and sage.
I usually omit the sugar from the onion filling, but will sprinkle a pinch or two just before baking.
Oooh! I wonder if I could add crushed garlic to the onion mixture.
If you try it, I'm sure you'll enjoy it.
Let me know how it goes. 


Monday 23 January 2017

Rainy Days

As promised, I'm back with a progress picture of my cross stitch project.
St Basils is coming along nicely, thanks to a very rainy day yesterday.
Sadly this image doesn't show all the pretty sparkly threads that are blended with the white.
After some quite frankly, bloody awful weather, I ventured out to the green house this morning, not expecting much. I was amazed to bring in a whole bowl of tomatoes.
We can only eat so many, so today I'll be preserving tomatoes.
And making a two cheese crust tomato and onion tart.


Of course, I plan to stitch a wee bit more while pans bubble and the oven does it's thing!

Wednesday 18 January 2017

How does your garden grow?

I'm happy to report, that mine is doing well again this year.
You know how supermarkets do give aways? Usually some wee toy for the children. Well New World group in NZ gave away 'Little Garden' in the spring, encouraging us to plant seeds and grow our own veggies. Yes it was aimed at children, but Nannas can join in too!
Much of my garden this year is thanks to New World.
So my first ever go at growing Fennel. I had two seedlings and after consulting google I learned that I shouldn't pull the whole plant, but cut just above ground level and the roots that remain will sprout some more bulbs for me.
So that is what I did. I cut this bulb at the weekend and after slicing, it was roasted with garlic, olive oil and Parmesan. Delicious. 
I'll be keeping an eye on the roots.
There is also a second bulb out there, waiting its turn.
I'm also growing pumpkin and squash again this summer. I have to say, my squash are faring better this year as I planted them in a different patch. Just look at this monster.
It's even bigger now.
The pumpkin are also in a different patch, but they are not doing quite so well. I'll try them in another patch next time.
The greenhouse is thriving and the fruit are starting to turn, we have already had some lovely tomato salads made from homegrown fruit. You can see some of them, back up there, in the picture with the fennel.
 Tony made a point of going out on Christmas day and finding the best looking fruit he could. It wasn't quite ripe, but he was determined.
Apparently having your own homegrown toms on Christmas day is something of a boasting point!
 The sweetcorn is almost as tall as me and flowering well. We have a lot more this year, grown from seed rather that bought seedlings.
 The garden is not all about the veggies, there are many flowers, which I'll show off another time, but I just had to reassure you, I may live in NZ, but I'm still Manx at heart and need Fairies in my garden.
Can you see her there, glowing in the sunshine? At night a ball she is holding lights up and she continues to glow long after the sun has set.
My latest sewing project is coming along slowly.
Pics next time.

Monday 9 January 2017

A UFO and a new beginning.

Thank you again to everyone who has commented on my last two posts. I love that you are still here.
I promise that I shall try to do better this year.
That said, more cross stitch today as that seems to be the craft of the moment.
First the UFO. 
It's called 'Woodland Alphabet'.
After I had finished with my beautiful dragonfly I pulled this piece out, the upper part had already been stitched and I remember procrastinating over getting on with the next letter.
Well having not even completed the next letter I remembered why it became a UFO!
I have now decided that this piece is to become a retiree! I give up. I'm not enjoying it and really don't want to stitch it anymore.
So it's up for adoption, if anyone is interested.
Yesterday I pulled out a brand new start.
I've had the chart for St Basil's Cathedral stashed away for a few years, and last year I pulled together all the necessary threads and fabric in preparation for this very moment. 
As you can see, if you use a magnifying glass, LOL I didn't do very much as yet, but I loved it. A totally different experience to stitching the alphabet.
It's one of those dull miserable rainy days here, so after I'm done with the domestic stuff, guess where I'll be.

Wednesday 4 January 2017


Firstly, let me say thank you to those of you who commented on my first post in ages. It is lovely to know that I still have people watching out for me.
So, here we have my first finish of 2017! 
I'm tickled pink with my dragonfly.
For anyone interested it is called "Tribal Dragonfly"  and produced by Sparklies. 
So onto my next project. I've pulled out a ufo., I'm not sure if it will become my next finish or if I'll switch projects at some point. It became a ufo for a reason!
Pictures next time.
Oh! I forgot to say.

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Is there anybody there?

You could be forgiven for getting bored and wandering off, I have been gone for a while.
Sorry I've been quiet for so long, life just got in the way.
I shall try to do better this year.
And for starters, here is a peep at my current cross stitch project.
I sat and stitched for a few hours yesterday, it was the first time in ages.
Loved it.