What to do with All That Basil

WOW! It’s been a while since we posted.

For anyone who grows fresh basil, you know that it sprouts like a WEED! It’s hard to keep up with all those wonderful, lush leaves. Seeing as though it was about to overtake the whole patio, I thought it was time to find a way to use some of it up. That, in combination with tomatoes officially being cleared of all possible salmonella related issues, made a great option of Cooking Light’s Rustic Tomato-Basil Tart.

My very first foray into savory tart making, I found this to be much easier than I thought! The dough came together quickly and easily and didn’t sog up underneath the weight of all those beautiful tomatoes. Mine turned more into a square (hey, it IS called “rustic”), and baked up for a few more minutes than the original recipe called for, but came out looking quite lovely.

1 1/2 pounds medium yellow tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 pounds medium red tomatoes, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons fat-free sour cream
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil, divided (I used more like 3/4 cup!)
1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

Arrange tomato slices in a single layer on several layers of paper towels; sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Let stand 20 minutes; blot dry with paper towels (mine sat for probably 40 minutes).

Preheat oven to 400°.

Place corn, juice, and sour cream in a food processor or blender; process until smooth. Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 cup cornmeal, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Add corn mixture; stir until a soft dough forms. Knead gently 3 or 4 times.

Slightly overlap 2 (16-inch) sheets of plastic wrap on a slightly damp surface. Place dough on plastic wrap; press into a 6-inch circle. Cover with 2 additional (16-inch) sheets of overlapping plastic wrap. Roll dough, still covered, into a 14-inch circle; place on a large baking sheet in freezer 10 minutes or until plastic wrap can be easily removed. Line baking sheet with parchment paper; sprinkle paper with 1 tablespoon cornmeal. Remove 2 sheets of plastic wrap from dough. Place dough, plastic wrap side up, on baking sheet. Remove top sheets of plastic wrap.

Combine 1/4 cup basil, cheese, and oregano. Combine 2 tablespoons flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Arrange cheese mixture on dough, leaving a 1 1/2-inch border. Using a sifter or sieve, sift 1 tablespoon flour mixture over cheese mixture. Arrange half of tomatoes over cheese mixture. Sift remaining flour mixture over tomatoes; top with remaining tomatoes. Fold edges of dough toward center; press to seal (dough will only partially cover tomatoes). Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until crust is brown; let stand 10 minutes (mine baked for about 45 minutes). Sprinkle with 1/4 cup basil and pepper (and I sprinkled with some extra shredded cheese as well).

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The best ever Chocolate Chip Cookies (Gluten Free)!

Gluten Free baking can at times be a very gratifying or dissapointing science expirament. Finding the right combinations of flours can often be a challenge.  But thankfully, gluten allergies and Celiacs disease are in the spotlight these days… so there are a lot more options out there. I found a variation of this recipe on Gluten Free Girls website some months ago, I made some adjustments and seriously, hands down this is the best Chocolate Chip Cookie ever! I think it rivals the Tollhouse recipe… I have fed them to many a co-worker & family member who haven’t even known the difference. HOORAY!

3/4 c teff flour
1/2 c sorghum flour
3/4 c ground flaxseed meal ( I like Bobs Red Mill)
1/4 c Brown rice flour
3/4 c Brown Sugar
3/4 c white sugar
2 sticks butter- softened
1/2 cup egg substitute (the equivalent of 2 eggs)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp of Xanthun Gum
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 bag chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375ºf.
In a large bowl- beat softened butter, sugars and vanilla.  Mix in egg substitute. In small bowl add dry ingredients & be sure to wisk them together. Blend into wet mixture. Add  chocolate chips.  Put heaping teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes.

Remove to cooling rack

Beware they will go fast! 🙂 Enjoy!

The Perfect Snack Mix

In my search for something else to bring on the boat this weekend (wide appeal, nothing “melty”) I flashed back to college. My mom used to send care packages that included this yummy mix – everyone loved it and it shipped and stored beautifully. It was a huge hit on the boat and the group gobbled up every last bit!

 

Praline Pecan Crunch

 

8 cups Quaker Oat Squares (1 – 16 oz. box) – cinnamon or original

2 cups pecan pieces

1/2 cup light corn syrup

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/4 cup margarine (1/2 stick)

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

 

1.  Heat oven to 250 deg.   Combine cereal and pecans in 13 x 9″ pan – set aside

 

2.  Combine corn syrup, brown sugar and margarine in 2 cup microwaveable bowl.  Microwave at high 1-1/2 minutes.  Stir.  Microwave 1/2 to 1-1/2 minutes more or until boiling.  Stir in vanilla & baking soda and pour over cereal mixture; stir to coat evenly.

 

3.  Bake 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes.  Spread on baking sheet to cool; break into pieces.

 

Think graham cracker crumbs are only for pie crusts?

Not so! Today is my co-worker’s birthday – he happens to be a fan of my goodies  and his VERY favorite are Butterscotch Graham cookies. I’m also heading out on a boat for the weekend, and need to bring along some goodies that won’t completely wilt in the sun. What perfect reasons to whip up a batch. The original recipe came from Nestle, but I tweak it just a bit.

Chewy Butterscotch Graham Cookies

2 cups graham cracker crumbs

¾ cup all purpose flour

¾ cup whole wheat flour

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cinnamon

a scant ¾ cup sugar, maybe closer to ½ cup

¾ cup packed brown sugar

1 cup butter (2 sticks), softened

½ cup egg substitute

1 tsp vanilla

1 package (11 oz) butterscotch chips

 

Preheat oven to 350.

 

In small bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs, flours, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In larger bowl, cream butter and sugars. Beat in egg substitute and vanilla. Stir in chips.

 

Drop in rounded tablespoons on ungreased cookie sheet, bake for 9 – 11 minutes. Remove and cool on sheets 2  – 3 minutes before removing to racks.

Because these aren’t chocolate, they will do really well on the boat. But for my friend, he gets special packaging. For anyone who hasn’t already discovered it, MyOwnLabels.com is FABulous!

How fantastic are these?

Check out these fantastic Mesh Grill top pans for your summer veggies and grilling adventures. Great idea Williams Sonoma!\

A girl can dream…..

In our obsession with baking and all things cooking, both Lynne and I have fallen in love with fun cookware. This is a must someday! Everytime I pass one in a store, I must admit… my heart flutters a bit. 😉 Pretty,  huh? AND IT’s PINK!

Introducing (drumroll please…)…

…the Bundting Baking Cousins! Or, er, something like that. We are coast-to-coast (okay, well almost…Washington DC and Denver, CO) cousins and dear friends who are genetically predisposed to baking, surfing food blogs, and helping women everywhere keep that extra five pounds they can’t get rid of! Two shouts for the pear shaped women of America! SO, we figured we’d start a blog of our own. Yahoo!