A Slice of Arancini

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Originating in Sicily and often coined “rice balls” in Italian-American eateries, arancini are the ultimate crispy, melty snack. The tennis ball-sized spheres of risotto are filled with ground meat and cheese, coated in breadcrumbs, deep-fried and served atop a pool of marinara sauce. The name is derived from the shape and color which is reminiscent of an orange, “arancia” in Italian.

While arancini are incredibly enjoyable as snacks, we decided to revamp the traditional, crunchy cheesy orbs and transform them into a savory tart.

Our Arancini Tart is an elegant auburn display that when sliced, reveals a decadent ragu–an impressive entree at any dinner party.

Arancini Tart

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Honeyed Almond Blackberry Pinenut Tart

You know, I consider myself to be a pretty lucky lady. Not win-the-lottery lucky, but my life is pretty good. Maybe it’s the holidays making me soft, but I’m really feeling my luck lately. I’m lucky in love. I’m lucky to have a job that I enjoy, I’m lucky that my children are healthy (even if they are terribly mischievous), and I’m lucky that I get to share my recipes with all of you. One of the perks of the latter is getting to try new and different products in my recipes. I received a sample set of honey from bee raw honey, and I couldn’t wait to try it out. The first thing I made was one of these tarts. I made one again the next day, and one the day after that. It has been thoroughly tested, and deliciousness is guaranteed. You’ll feel pretty lucky too, after you eat one.

Honeyed Almond Blackberry Pinenut Tart

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Caffeinated Baking: Blueberry Coffee Tart

On a quick 2-day trip to Michigan I kept driving past all these signs and billboards for u-pick blueberry farms. I resisted until the drive home and made a last minute stop. I didn’t have enough time to pick my own, but I did have enough cash to pick up a 5 lb bucket of blueberries. The first dessert to come of the blueberry bounty was this mildly sweet tart. If you’ve had bad luck with crusts before, fear not, I’ll walk you through a (nearly) fool-proof way to make a light and fluffy crust. Or if you just don’t care or aren’t up to the task, feel free to substitute store-bought pie crust.

Blueberry Coffee Tart

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Cookies Gone Wild! Top 10 Ways to Eat an Oreo

If you haven’t noticed, next to beer, I favor sweets.  I’d go so far as to say if it was an ideal world, I’d subscribe to Elf’s main food groups. Maybe not that far…but pretty close. Oreos are one of those foods that integrate sweet creaminess and crunchy chocolate to a different level. I’m sure there are Oreo purists out there who will only eat it one way—but for the adventurers among us, here are ten more ways to eat the number 1 sandwich cookie in America:

10. Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookie-on-cookie action! Some cookies you need to eat warm or wait until they get crispy. It seems like this one is enjoyable no matter when you chomp down on it. I’d still go for right out of the oven. Really—what’s better than the warm insides of a cookie?

Recipe: veryculinary.com

9. Individual Oreo Cheesecake

Some people feel overwhelmed by a large piece of cheesecake. At least this gives you the perception that you are controlling your portions. Until you have another…and another..and…

Recipe: deglazing.com

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Eat This, McDonald’s

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My husband and I have been reading Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser, which, for those of you have not heard about it, breaks down the evils of fast food generally, and McDonald’s specifically, point by saturated point . Each chapter is more disturbing than the last, from factory farms to exploited workers’ rights on down the digestive tract to e. coli tainted meat. Ugh.

But among all this, what really knitted my eyebrows was the role of the self-titled “flavorists” in the McManufacturing process. These chemists are responsible for nothing less than making that flash-frozen, shipped, thawed, deep-fried potato stick taste (well, smell, actually) like a McDonald’s French fry.  These highly educated men and women have managed to create something so deceptive that the author, upon smelling a slip of paper laced with these chemicals, had to open his eyes to make sure there was no one in the room actually grilling a burger. Yet the only shout-out these alchemists receive (at least publicly) is a mention of natural (that’s right, natural) or artificial flavors at the end of a very long list of Mcgredients.

And therefore, as I explained to an understandingly confused friend, it was a compliment for my husband to say that my apple tarts tasted “as good as McDonald’s apple pies.” And no pHd in taste-manipulation required. Here’s the recipe so that you too can feel like a “flavorist.”

Apple Chutney Tarts

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