fig and prosciutto bruschetta

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This is kinda a cheater recipe, because I’ve told you about it before, and recreated it in flatbread form.  But here is its original form – mascarpone and fig spread on toasted baguette slices, arugula and prosciutto.

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It’s delicious in all of its forms – you can leave it vegetarian without the prosciutto, or even just the mascarpone and fig.  Or try all three.  So good.

Fig & Prosciutto Bruschetta

Printable Recipe

  • 1 baguette
  • 4 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup fig jam, I use this kind
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 8 ounces prosciutto

 

1.  Slice baguette on the bias into ¼ -inch slices and toast under the broiler on both sides.

2.  Spread each toast with mascarpone, then with fig jam.  Top each toast with arugula and then prosciutto.  Putting the prosciutto on top helps to hold the arugula in place, which makes these much easier to handle.

 

strawberry mascarpone tart

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Things that are difficult to take pictures of: ice cream, anything shiny, and this strawberry tart.

I almost didn’t post the recipe because I didn’t have any pictures that I deemed worthy, but instead I just settled on this picture, taken with the BF’s iPad.

Why?  Because this recipe needs to be shared, people.  It’s so easy, and so refreshing, and so… perfect.  It’s light, refreshing, and the right amount of sweet.

The kid in me prefers a Nilla Wafer crust, but you could use a regular pie crust all the same, just baked according to its own directions.  You could even use one of those store-bought graham crusts if you were extra short on time, I’m sure it would still taste great!

Strawberry Mascarpone Tart

Makes 1 8- or 9- inch tart

Printable Recipe

For the Crust

•             2 2/3 cups vanilla wafer cookies

•             1 tbsp sugar

•             1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

•             4 tbsp butter, melted and cooled

•             1 egg, whisked with 1 Tablespoon water

For the Filling

•             2 lbs strawberries, stemmed and sliced or quartered

•             1/2 cup white sugar

•             1 Tablespoon lemon zest

•             1 teaspoon lemon juice

•             8 ounces mascarpone cheese

•             4 ounces whipped cream

•             1/2 teaspoon vanilla

•             1/3 cup powdered sugar

•             1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Make the crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Crush wafer cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs.  Add melted butter and vanilla extract and continue processing until blended.  Dump into pie or tart pan and press firmly into bottoms and sides (I find using the bottom/sides of a glass to help press makes a big difference).
  2. Brush bottom of crust with whisked egg and bake for 10 minutes until golden brown; cool completely (up to overnight) before filling.

Make the filling

  1. Toss the strawberries with half of the zest, all of the juice, and sugar in a large bowl; set aside for 30 minutes.
  2. While the strawberries are macerating, mix the mascarpone cheese with lemon zest, vanilla, and powdered sugar in a medium bowl until well combined.  Gently fold in the whipped cream; refrigerate until needed.
  3. After 30 minutes, strain juice from strawberries into a small saucepan.  Add the balsamic vinegar and bring to a boil of medium heat.  Reduce until thick enough to cover the back of a spoon, it should be like a syrup.  Set aside to cool.

Assemble the tart

  1.  Spread the mascarpone mixture over the bottom of the tart shell, top with strawberries (sometimes I arrange them fancily, other times I just dump them on top and spread them out, whatever your preference and energy levels call for that day), brush with balsamic syrup and chill until ready to serve.

 

[ Adapted from Simply Recipes ]

 

 

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fig and prosciutto flatbread

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It’s Monday and I’ve got a treat for you.

It’s one of my favorites.

It combines creamy mascarpone cheese, sweet fig jam, salty prosciutto, and peppery arugula that satisfies any possible craving you could have all in one bite.

Usually I would make this as a crostini on sliced and toasted baguette. Unfortunately, it can become very tedious when you have to spread and layer ingredients onto a bajillion little pieces of bread.  So when I was planning Christmas Brunch, it occurred to me that I could save a lot of time if I just made one giant crostini… I briefly thought about slicing a baguette in half, toasting the halves and going from there, similar to my cheesy artichoke bread recipe.

Then, as I was scanning the fridge to find something for dinner, my eyes stopped on a package of pizza dough from Trader Joe’s.  It came to me all at once, it was so simple I couldn’t believe I hadn’t figured it out before: flatbread!

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Flatbread was the solution to my problem.  (How many people can say that?)

I could make one large flatbread and just cut it into a bunch of bite-size appetizers for people to snack on.  Just grill your pizza dough until it’s cooked through, add your toppings, slice and serve.  The result was the perfect super fast, super easy way to make my favorite appetizer.

Prosciutto Flatbread

[ Printable Recipe ]

  • 1 pound pizza dough
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup fig jam
  • 8 ounces prosciutto
  • 4 cups arugula

Divide your dough into two equal portions and roll into a ball, set on a lightly-floured surface and cover with a towel.  Bring to room temperature for about 1 hour prior to cooking.

Heat griddle or grill to high heat (or heat the oven to 500 degrees and put the rack on the lowest rung).  If you’re using the oven here, you’ll want to start pre-heating it at least 30 minutes early.

Shape your dough, I just stretched mine out into an oblong shape.  You can try for a circle or rectangle if it suits you, but don’t drive yourself crazy over it.  Sometimes I prick it with a fork to make it slightly less bubbly, but I’m not convinced that it makes a huge difference.

Grill your bread until poofed and browned on one side, then flip and cook the other side.  If you’re using the oven, it’s pretty much the same concept, you can leave it in there un-flipped just keep cooking until both sides are browned and the dough is cooked through.  You’ll have to do this twice, because there are two pieces of dough.  If you’re using the grill it only takes a few minutes per side, super easy!

Let it cool slightly, then when you can handle it comfortably, spread a layer of mascarpone on the flatbread (I find this is easier for some reason to do with the back of a spoon, maybe because the flatbread isn’t totally flat).  Then spread a layer of fig jam over the layer of mascarpone.  They’re going to mix together, it’ll be okay.  You’re halfway there.

Now you have two options, prosciutto and then arugula, or arugula and then prosciutto.  I prefer the latter, I find that putting the prosciutto on top helps to hold the arugula onto the flatbread.  If I put the arugula on top I end up chasing it around as it falls off of every bite I take.

Then, that’s it!  You’re done!  Slice it up and eat it.

cookie madness: oreo snowflake cookies

 

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These cookies are for all you Oreo lovers out there. Sure you could always make your own Oreos, but why not just make some cookies and shove some crushed Oreos inside? Plus, these particular cookies only need 7 cookies-worth of crumbs, which means it’s a great way to use up the last of the box… or the perfect excuse to buy a new box and have plenty of… a-hem… “leftovers”.

I kicked this batch up a notch and finished off my bag of Birthday Cake Oreos (see the colorful sprinkles??), but you could really use any sandwich cookie. Like, Nutter Butters perhaps?

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A couple of things about the original recipe that I would (or did) change. The original recipe called for baking at 325°F but I found that temperature to be less than cooperative, so I kicked the oven up to 350°F and they baked perfectly. Note that they will only be ever-so-lightly browned on the bottoms. They’ll still be rather pale, but they’re baked, trust me. :) I also thought there was probably a bit too much flour in the recipe. When I make them next time, I think I will reduce the flour by at least 1/4 cup.

Oreo Snowflake Cookies

[ Printable Recipe ]

  • 1 cup butter
  • 3 oz mascarpone cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 7 Oreo cookies, crushed

Preheat oven to 350°F. Crush 7 Oreo cookies (I put them in a Ziploc bag and then use my rolling pin to release some stress beat them senseless. Carefully, though, since the bags sometimes like to break when I do that).

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and mascarpone cheese until whipped (about 3 minutes).

Slowly beat in the sugar until light and fluffy, about two minutes more. Then beat in the egg yolk and vanilla until incorporated.

Add the flour and mix on low until just incorporated. Stir in crushed Oreo cookies.

Scoop cookie dough by the tablespoon onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake at for 12-15 minutes. They will still be pale, just every so slightly golden brown along the bottoms. Remove pan to a cooling rack and cool cookies on the pan 10 minutes or until cooled.
[ Adapted from Kevin & Amanda ]

 

You may also like these recipes:

faux-reos

 oreo cheesecake cookies

 s'more cookies

Creamy Cheesy Pasta

creamy chicken pasta

I never realized how often I make pasta until I saw the number of pasta recipes in queue for this site. I don’t feel like we eat pasta that much, I don’t even particularly like pasta. It must just be that it’s so easy to just boil some water and throw a sauce together after 8 hours of work, 2 hours of commuting, and an hour of gym time. When all I want to do is just go home and crash, apparently pasta is my go-to dish.

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While I usually will make pasta with a red sauce or just some fresh sauteed veggies, it’s always good to change it up now and then with something new. This particular recipe comes to us from a recent issue of Cooking Light. I used skim milk and added some shredded chicken for extra protein.

Creamy Cheesy Pasta

Print Me!

·  8 ounces uncooked pasta
·  1 cup milk
·  2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, divided
·  1/2 tsp salt
·  1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
·  1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
·  1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
·  1/2 C (2 oz) shaved fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
·  1 1/2 Tbsp mascarpone cheese
·  ½ – 1 C cooked, shredded chicken* (optional)

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.

2. While pasta cooks, whisk together milk, 2 teaspoons basil, salt, and pepper in a bowl.

3. Heat a small saucepan over medium heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add flour to pan, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.

4. Add milk mixture; cook for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and add 1 1/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano and mascarpone cheese to milk mixture. Add pasta and chicken to pan and toss with tongs to combine.

5. Sprinkle with remaining 4 teaspoons basil and remaining 1/2 ounce Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve

[Adapted from Cooking Light]

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