• erin

    Dumplings with my family
    A recent graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, I found myself with no money, no kitchen equipment, and an exceptionally huge appetite. Ideas, improvisations, and yummy meal solutions were discovered in the kitchen of my very first apartment.
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Celebrating my 100th post with a Peach Tart and a Giveaway!!!

I can’t believe it…but today is my 100th post! It seems like just the other day I started chronicling recipes that I could make without spending a lot, using a lot, but that would still allow me to eat a lot! Because I know everyone gets inspired in different ways, I wanted to celebrate this milestone with my very first giveaway – a fantastic new book that’s hot off the presses.

A Tavola! is the newest release from The Culinary Institute of America, and it features incredible photos, history, and some amazing recipes that are my favorite kinds – simple, quick, and full of flavor. My personal favorite is the super easy and gorgeous pasta with red wine and herbs. To be entered into the drawing to win this book, just leave a comment on this post with your favorite easy meal solution before August 22nd.  I will pick a winner randomly if you’re the lucky one, I’ll ship the book to you!

And as my own personal form of celebration, I made a this tart – a brown butter crust filled with peach compote, rice pudding, roasted peaches and toasted walnuts. I love the way this tart combines something comforting, like rice pudding, with the fresh taste of peaches. Best of all, it’s good warm, cold, or at room temperature. Try it with a dollop of meringue!

Rice Pudding Tart with Roasted Peaches, Toasted Walnuts, and a Brown Butter Crust

Makes one 9″ tart
Leftover Potential: This tart will keep, refrigerated, for 35 days.

Brown Butter Crust
7 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp sugar
pinch salt
1 cup flour

1. In a small pot, heat the butter, water, sugar, and salt over low heat. Once the mixture has melted, let it cook until the butter is lightly brown and has a nutty fragrance, about 10 minutes.
2. Remove the mixture from the heat, add the flour, and stir until the mixture comes together. Turn it out into a tart pan (or just onto a baking sheet, if you like), and lightly press. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes, until it’s cool enough to handle.
3. Press the crust into the pan until it’s about 1/4″ thick. Lightly score the base with a fork, and bake in a 400 degree oven until lightly browned, 12-15 minutes. Let cool completely.

Peach Compote
1 peach, diced
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla

1. In a small pot, cook the peaches with the honey until completely softened, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the vanilla. Cool completely.
2. Spread the compote across the base of the cooled tart shell.

Rice Pudding
1/2 cup arborio rice
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
1-2 tsp cinnamon
1 pinch salt
1 egg yolk

1. Bring the rice, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon to a boil over medium heat.
2. Add the salt and the egg yolk, whisk vigorously to combine.
3. Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat until the rice has absorbed the liquid and the mixture is thick and creamy, about 15 minutes.
4. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover directly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cooled.
5. Spread the mixture evenly into the tart shell.

3 peaches, pit removed, sliced into 6 pieces
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
pinch cinnamon

walnuts, toasted

1. In a small bowl, combine the sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon. Sprinkle the mixture into the center of each peach slice.
2. Roast the peaches in a 400 degree oven until the sugar mixture has caramelized and the peaches have softened, about 8 minutes.
3. Let cool, and arrange the peaches on top of the rice pudding. Finish with toasted walnuts.


31 Responses

  1. Congratulations on your 100th post! That is amazing. I just wanted to pipe up and introduce myself. I’m Ellen and my dad recommended that I check out your blog (my folks are friends with your parents). Your blog is great and you have already inspired me to make my own tortillas this week. I love that your recipe doesn’t call for lard or a tortilla press (things I don’t have on hand).

    When I want to make a quick and easy meal, I usually try to use up some of my left-overs on a pizza (spinach and roasted potato most recently) or a fritatta which is just so easy and satisfying and quick to make.

    Oh and your peach, rice pudding tart looks genius!!

  2. I love your blogs and congratulations on your 100th. My favorite easymeal solution is take out. However, right now I’m loving cottage cheese, fresh tomatoes and basil from my garden.

  3. 100 posts is outstanding!

    I once thought it would be a good idea to write a cookbook called “Fallback Dinners” for those days when you have no time or no ideas.

    Quesadillas filled with whatever’s in the fridge

    Pasta with olives, sundried tomatoes, veg, and parmesan. Sauteed chicken or tuna is a nice addition.

    Or salmon spaghetti – spaghetti, smoked salmon (the dry kind, not lox) crumbled up, olive oil, cream or milk, and a generous amount of parmesan.

    The ultimate don’t-feel-like-cooking meal is fried egg on toast with a little green salad with oil and vinegar.

    Oh, whoops, did you say one easy meal solution?

    I can think of tons more.

  4. Congrats on 100!

    My easy-meal solution is fried rice – I almost always have leftover rice in the fridge, and you can add almost anything to it, veggies, meat, etc. A little soy sauce, and done!

  5. i want to win things! congrats on your 100th posting 🙂

    my favorite quick meal is whatever willie makes, usually based (loosely at times) from your recipes or from Everyday Food mag. i also like to shake Urbanspoon on my iphone and have someone else cook for me. so lazy!

  6. Thanks for the giveaway!

    My favorite quick meal recipe is cheese omelet with brown bread. It has no chemical ingredients and always turns out good!

  7. Congrats on your 100!!!! I love making all kinds of salad with leftover veggies. Saves a lot of time and is very filling as well. I generally have leftover yoghurt in fridge. Add that, some olive oil, black pepper, salt and lemon to the chopped veggies and you have the most amazing quick salad!

  8. Congrats on your 100th! You are an amazing writer and have enhanced the blogosphere with your deliciousness. Thanks for giving away such an awesome prize! That looks like a fantastic and beautiful book.

    My quick and easy dinner idea is homemade Spaghetti Os and Franks: macaroni, store-bought tomato sauce, sliced hot dogs, and grated cheese. Oila!

  9. Congratulations! I am so happy to have your culinary inspiration on hand despite it inciting cravings I didn’t even know I had within me!

  10. Congrats on 100 posts! Ooh, I would love to win. I fascinated with traditional Italian cooking. My favorite go-to easy meal is my Mexican Lasagna. Just brown some ground beef, then drain. Add in a packet of taco seasoning and the required amount of water, then simmer for about 5 minutes. Spray the bottom of a casserole dish with non-stick spray. Lay in a flour tortilla. Smear the tortilla with a layer of refried beans. Then lay out a layer of black beans. Top with some of the meat mixture, then shredded cheese. Repeat the process until meat is gone, and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 25 minutes. Serve with sour cream, black olives, jalapenos, salsa, anything you want!

    hayatiggs at comcast dot net

  11. I love making White Chicken chili in the Crockpot- just cut up chicken breasts (1 or 2) and saute with cumin seed, chili powder, onion and garlic, plus chopped green pepper or a can of green chilies. Put in crockpot. Add one can of creamed corn, one of regular corn, one or two cans of great northern beans (plus liquid) more cumin and chili powder if you like, chicken soup base, pepper and salt. Maybe some water if you think it needs it. Let cook 4 hours on high, then turn off power, add some half and half, check salt, add if needed, and VOILA! Dinner!

  12. Congrats on your 100th post!

    My go to wuick simple dinner is a nice big scoop of hummus on a bed of arugala with whatever raw veggies are on hand, olives, and good olive oil (I always have home-made hummus on hand for work lunches).

  13. Nice recipes! Congratulations with this project. I’ve being cooking profesionally for the last 15yrs, and attended the CIA back in summer of 2000, and evendo I already have a few cooking books there’s always room for more. Plus, if my little sister likes it, I have to supported!
    Good luck.

  14. Favorite easy meal-cook quinoa with chicken broth for flavoring and throw whatever leftovers you have-roasted chicken, saute vegetables and there is a quick meal and healthy.


  15. one pot meals do the trick for me. rice dishes with lots of vegetables and lentils thrown in, i’d say!

  16. Mollyavalon Soup
    Numerous cloves of garlic, chopped and softened in the bottom of a soup pot of hot olive oil, to which I add about a quart of chicken stock; this simmers for about 20 minutes.

    Then, in go chicken pieces (picked off the latest roasted chicken), a 14-oz. can of good tomatoes, some fresh rosemary or basil, diced red pepper, pieces of string bean, a hunk of Parmesan rind if possible, a splash of sherry, salt to taste, what have you.

    The other day when my wife Sarah had a horrible cold, I added a dollop of pesto into her bowl. The next morning, she was cured.

  17. The peach tart with rice pudding looks so good and easy to make! I LOVE peach dishes! Congrats on your mucho postings!

    Got any sushi recipes that aren’t too crazy but yummy??

  18. The tart looks delicious!! Can’t wait to try it. I’m a black bean tostada fan for quick and easy: organic black beans (canned / rinsed / drained) ; mashed a bit, heated with a touch of olive oil, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper served with corn tortillas (cooked for a bit in olive oil) served with tomatoes, greens, sour cream, salsa…..whatever!!

  19. Grats on 100!

    I love your pictures!! (We call it “food porn”…)

    I have two “easy meal” dishes I do regularly. If I want two days off cooking dinner, I make a great big crockpot of black bean soup (beans, onions, poblanos, seasonings). If I’m struggling for something exotic and come up short, I just throw some sliced ginger root and diced chicken on top of rice.

  20. This looks delicious! Rice pudding with peaches — brilliant. I’ve been making rice pudding the last year with chocolate chips in it. But never thought to do a fruit-based dish. Yum.

    Congratulations on your 100th post! That’s a great milestone. Our favorite quick & easy meal solution, since you asked, is Norwegian open-faced sandwiches (pronounced “sheeva,” it’s spelled “skive”). You buy (or make) French bread — long baguette style. Serve bread on a communal cutting board with bread knife, and put out dishes of salami slices, Swiss cheese with slicer, cucumber with slicer, green pepper, blue cheese, baby shrimp. Put out soft butter and mayonnaise, and also lemon wedges. Everyone makes his own sandwiches on his own plate; just slice off a piece of bread, add butter, baby shrimp, cucumber, squeeze of lemon — yum. Instant dinner. And all the passing around and sharing of communal ingredients makes for a very festive meal.

  21. Hey there- i just bought a tart pan- thanks for the recipe!

  22. What’s for dinner?? Breakfast! Hubby will eat it anytime and I always seem to have the ingredients handy! Thank goodness for bacon and eggs!! Congrats on your 100th post! Make some reservations to celebrate!!

  23. congrats on 100 posts! My easy meal solution is pasta. Add some ground turkey and tomato sauce, and all it a day. Simple, easy, and quick.

  24. Congratulations on your 100th post…. and wishes for another 100 to come! My easy meal solution is pizza dough. Having it on hand allows you quite a few options. You can make a pizza or calzones using leftovers you have… or even breadsticks or herbed bread using spices and seasonings. I love how versatile pizza dough is so it’s definitely an item I keep on hand!

  25. My fav easy meal solution gotta be chicken macaroni soup. It is balanced with carbo – macaroni, protein – chicken and vegetables such as celery and carrot. I have cooked it many times and well-received especially from my hubby 😉

  26. My quick meal solution is black bean and corn salad made with couscous, some read or green pepper, and an olive oil/lime/herb dressing. Couscous takes like 5 minutes, and while waiting, throw the rest into the bowl!

  27. Congrats on your 100th! I’m late to the begging-for-free-stuff party, but I also just want to brag about my favorite easy dinner. It’s a Martha Stewart joint (from Everyday Food, I think?): garlic soup. Throw some garlic in a pot, get it brownish. Add chicken stock, chick peas, and macaroni pasta. Serve it with parmesan, and if you’re feeling extra-ambitious, a little bit of whichever fresh herb you have in your fridge at the moment. Yummerton. That is all!

  28. 100 posts! Waouh! Congretulations !!!

    I am completly new in the blog word, and I just started mine Yesterday!
    Since I am french it is all about French and Easy Light food – I mean that will be all about that !-

    My favorite easy recipe will be french, the tomato and mustard pie

    What you need:
    – a shortcrust pastry
    – tomatoes
    – 4 tbsp dijon mustard
    – pizza cheese according to taste

    On the pastry spread the mustard everywhere.
    Slice tomatoes and dispose them on the mustard.
    Add cheese on the top

    Cook in the oven (360 degres) for 30 minutes or until it is cooked.

    Serve with some lettuce for example.

  29. […] to commenter #10, who said: Harley, on August 12th, 2009 at 4:16 pm Said: Edit […]

  30. Congrats! My quick and dirty dinner for my (fairly picky and highly food allergic) son we call “noodles and peas,” as opposed to mac and cheese. It’s pasta, frozen peas, a dab of Earth Balance dairy free margarine and a spoonful of Tofutti Garlic and Herb Better Than Cream Cheese.

    Somewhat embarrassing for someone with a food blog!

  31. Oops, too late!

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