Mushroom Tart

I made this savory mushroom tart a while ago and never got around to posting it. Tarts, savory and sweet make the top of my list of dishes I enjoy making and eating.  They can be made in advance, travel really well, look oh so gourmet, and somehow always taste better the next day.  This tart consists mainly of mushrooms, cheese, herbs, and custard in a buttery, flaky pie crust.  I go light on the custard part, so I call it a tart versus a quiche.  The crust is my staple pie crust I use for every savory tart.  This definitely isn't a quick one and making your own crust always takes some practice, but kitchen challenges are meant to be fun!  Posting these pictures is tempting me to make it again real soon.  I don't think it's in the cards given that D-day is only 3 weeks out, and quite possibly less!  Maybe during maternity leave if my peanut cooperates :)

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Sausage, Tomato, & Bell Pepper Pasta


About a month ago, we were out in The Plains, VA on our way home from our friend's family farm. Neil got hungry so we stopped off at this cute little market/restaurant for a quick dinner. Forlano's Market is a deli, butcher, and bakery with a focus on locally raised meats, produce, and cheese. I found it to be an adorable local gem that attracts a big local crowd. It seemed like everyone knew each other, and the vibe was pure fun and relaxation. Customers were lingering there for hours, sipping on wine, eating fabulous food, and simply catching up. The food is super fresh and the menu changes very often. They also have some great wines, which unfortunately I couldn't have :( While there, I had a delicious, simple sausage and pepper linguine. The fennel sausage was house made and absolutely incredible. We noticed customers buying sausage links to take home with them, so we followed suit. I've stored it in the freezer since then, and this past wkd, I decided that I better cook it soon before my peanut arrives and takes up all my time. No idea if I succeeded in recreating the dish, but I can guarantee that this concoction I ended up with is still delish!

Along with the pasta, I had a pizza craving, so we grilled a homemade pizza with roasted peppers, onions, and fresh mozzarella. If you haven't read my grilled pizza post from a year ago, it's an absolute must do this summer season!

Pizza and Pasta...doesn't get better than thatOk, maybe Pizza, Pasta and Wine :)...I'm almost there!!

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Hash Brown Crusted Quiche

I know I've been super lazy lately with keeping my blog up to date. I promise I've been cooking and baking! I just hate the writing part, and now I have a huge backlog of items to post on the blog. So, back in the 2nd trimester of my pregnancy, when I had spurts of random energy, I made this brunch for my cousins visiting from NY. It was also the first time we got to use our new kitchen table, and it worked out beautifully. Everyone fit comfortably for a change, and while we are by no means "civilized", it was still much nicer than having people hover over a small space, elbowing each other to get food :) I believe that with the new table, people even passed items to each other. Brunch was a hit and it was a wonderful way to break in the table and start to a gorgeous Spring day.
One of the items I made are these hashbrown crusted quiches. I got the idea from food network, but made my own variation for the quiche fillings. While I love all things "homemade", If you're making several brunch items, a "from scratch" crust isn't always practical. Using this hashbrown crust is a major time saver and so delicious. Who doesn't like a crispy potato crust? Quiche 1 was made with roasted red peppers, spinach, caramelized onions, mushrooms, chives and montery jack cheddar. Quiche 2 was made with chorizo, roasted red pepper, scallions, and a fun cilantro/jalapeno pesto to dollop on top. Have fun with this one and try your own variation. A simple asparagus and leek quiche would be a perfect compliment to the potato crust.
I'm now on week 35, and luckily still feeling great...not too much longer to go!
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