Tomato Tart

It is unbelievable to me that people are decorating for halloween. This summer has flown by at an unbelievable pace! Before the summer heat fades and fall creeps in, we all need to take advantage of the beautiful tomatoes at the farmers market. We have been eating a lot of wonderful tomatoes with just salt and pepper. But this is a great way to use up tomatoes that might be a little past their prime or if you go overboard at the farmers market. I like to use a variety of colors of heirloom tomatoes but whatever looks good to you at the market is what you should put in this tart. I think you can also experiment with the cheese. If you have a shredded Italian blend in your fridge, use it! (I certainly have before.)
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My husband absolutely loves anything I make in this tart shell. I could pretty much put hot dogs and dog food in this tart shell and I think he would love it. And if you have a food processor it is extremely easy, if you don’t its still easy. I have made this shell with just a knife and fork a number of times. I use a 9 inch round tart shell for this recipe. But there is enough dough here for a 10 inch and the shape is really up to you. I like to roll the dough out on parchment paper so that it is easily flipped into the tart pan. If you freeze the tart before baking it will keep its shape and it won’t shrink.
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Runzas


So we are officially back in KC! They just connected my google fiber and I knew my first priority was to write a blog post. I am actually sitting in my dining room eating one of these runzas right now! I read about runzas in The New Midwestern Table and I really wanted to try them. And what better occasion than my return to the midwest! The dish is of German origin – they call them bieroks and they are traditionally made with cabbage. The runza recipe in the book is made with sautéed spinach. So I have made here an All-American Runza, meat and potatoes. I might try adding some green stuff in the future, but we won’t call it All-American.

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The dough is really easy to make and if it is properly chilled, it will roll out super easily. I refrigerated mine overnight so keep this needed refridgeration time in mind when you decide to make these. I think you could probably add any vegetables to this and they will be great. It is an excellent recipe to use up ingredients you have laying around. I have some fully baked runzas in the freezer as well and we will see how those reheat.
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Vegetable Packed Jambalaya


I have not always been the biggest vegetable fan. In fact there was a time that my early 20’s self would not even buy onions even if a recipe called for them. Now onions, garlic, celery, carrots, kale, green beans, and brussels sprouts are just a few of the many things that are constantly on my grocery list. In an effort to be more health conscious, I try to spend as much time perusing the fresh food areas as I do the entire rest of the store. Sometimes I get a little carried away, so sometimes… I make this jambalaya. I attribute my new appreciation for vegetables to living in the South. The growing season is so long here that there is always an abundance of beautiful fresh fruits and veggies. And I have learned that Southern cooking is not about fried foods, it’s not even about barbecue or butter or pie. It is all about the veggies.

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Traditional southern cooks relied on a prolific harvest to feed their families. They also preserved these vegetables in many different ways so that they could eat all winter on what they grew in the summer. This is mind-boggling and so inspirational. It seems like we are so disconnected from our food. Especially with all the chemicals, plastics, and genetic modifications our food seems to be experiencing these days. I don’t know what it means for our health or the future of our food. But I do know that many people used to survive in the South mostly on what they grew in their own garden. And when you get back to this, and approach your home cooking with seasonal, fresh, local produce… something amazing happens to your relationship with food. Continue reading

Chicken Stock

Well I have no excuses for the lack of posts lately. The winter in NC just dragged on, I have worked way too many shifts in the ED, and I have not felt motivated in the kitchen. But I finally got a vacation!! My husband and I went to Asheville and it was glorious. Such a foodie town that provided so much inspiration. Not to mention, endless wonderful beers   and ciders. And insanely good chocolate that goes from bean to bar in the coolest little shop. But one of the most amazing things about Asheville is the locally sourced and natural foods. They have everything from the most amazing bakeries to whole animal butcher shops. It seems like the people of this city have really demanded a relationship with their food and they are reaping all of the rewards.
We were very inspired by our trip and have actually started brewing cider at home. My first 3 gallon cider project is bubbling up with fermentation as I write this post. (I will keep you all posted on the results.) This reminded me that I have been doing a different kind of home brewing for a long time now – homemade chicken stock. And you have to try it! It will change your life. Homemade chicken stock makes a huge difference in your recipes.

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You can really use any chicken parts. Below you will find the recipe with all purchased ingredients. But I recommend you start saving and freezing all your leftover chicken bones and carcasses. These contain valuable marrow and flavor that will make your stock so, so good. The stock is easily stored in the freezer. I like to freeze mine in quart ziplock bags, 2 cup portions. If you let them freeze flat they do not take up much room at all. They can be thawed in the fridge or microwave. You can cook this stock in a slow cooker for 6 hours on high or 10 hours on low.

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4 lbs chicken wings (or one whole 4 lb chicken, or 2 chicken carcasses)
2 large yellow onions, cut into quarters (or sweet onions, or one red onion and one yellow onion, plus or minus green onions)
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 large carrots, chopped (or a handful of baby carrots)
2 celery ribs, chopped into fourths
1 tbsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bay leaf
4 quarts water

Place all ingredients in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Cook for 3 hours. Taste for seasoning, add salt as needed. Strain with fine mesh sieve.

Yes, that is it.

This is a Bubbly Kitchen original recipe.

Tiramisu Brownies

Drumroll please… Finally our first dessert of 2015 will make its debut. So this is a recipe I have been perfecting for some time. I finally finished it and its fabulous! I have to say that the tiramisu cupcakes are still my favorite rendition of tiramisu. But those require a full day of work. The tiramisu brownies can be whipped up in minutes. Especially if you can find soft lady fingers at a specialty food store. Which I of course could not find… so I made my own and everything was fine. Tiramisu translates to “pick me up” in Italian. And if you are in a baking slump, this recipe will certainly give you the lift that you need.

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I would serve these with sparkling wine of course. If you want to keep things Italian, you should have prosecco. These wines are made with Glera grapes, they must be 85% glera to be prosecco. This wine is protected in Italy similar to how Champagne is regulated in France. You should always buy prosecco that is labeled at least DOC – denominazione de origine controllata. This is the second highest designation of Italian wine. DOCG is the highest (denominazione di origine controllata e garanita). Sorelle Bronca Prosecco is an excellent choice. It is one of the higher end sparkling Italian wines that you can find at most grocery stores. Mionetto Prosecco is also delicious for about half the price. Mionetto is very refreshing and quite dry, perfect for dessert. Continue reading