Tangy Tomato Tart

I love alliteration, have you noticed? But I couldn’t resist adding “tangy” to this blog post title because what better word could describe the creamy tangy goodness that is goat cheese?!  

 Who knew that something so simple could taste so good? Goat cheese, with its pristine white color and distinct flavor is one of the most amazing foods in the world — a humble basic for some, a gourmet delight for others.

Notice what wholefoods.com has to say about this dairy delight…

Who knew that something so simple could taste so good? Goat cheese, with its pristine white color and distinct flavor is one of the most amazing foods in the world — a humble basic for some, a gourmet delight for others.

Our selection of goat cheeses ranges from creamy, mild spreads to pungent, crumbly discs to reinterpretations of favorite cow’s milk cheeses. It’s an essential part of any cheese plate, a course in itself or the secret behind the subtle tang in favorite recipes. Have a taste and enjoy the modest yet noble virtues of goat cheese.

Why we Love Goat Cheese

Variety! Goat cheeses can range in taste from strong and pungent, to delicate and mild. They come in many shapes: cone, disc, wheel, “button,” the log-like bûche (say: boosh) and the puck-like crottin (say: cro-TAN). They delight with textures from creamy to crumbly to semi-firm. They are sold fresh, aged or marinated in olive oil or red wine. They may get coated in herbs (lavender is fantastic), black pepper, edible flowers and yes, even chocolate.

An Ancient Tradition Lives On

Goats were some of the first domesticated animals, thus the art of making goat cheese has a very long history. It began in the Eastern Mediterranean thousands of years ago, spreading through both mountains and deserts into Spain and France where it was heavily adopted.

Today goat cheese remains a staple of the Mediterranean diet, while North America furthers the tradition by producing an abundance of fabulous goat cheeses of its own. Many come from cherished, small, local producers with unique regional flavors. Others are from renowned cheese makers who have won international awards for their creations.

Nutrition and Goat Cheese

Compared to cow’s milk products such as cream cheese, goat cheese is lower in fat, calories and cholesterol. It also provides more calcium than cream cheese. Even though goat cheese has fewer calories, it has a full, rich and creamy flavor. Goat cheeses at Whole Foods Market® are all natural with no artificial additives or preservatives.

Now let’s get to the matter at hand, that gorgeous tart at the top of the page you’re drooling over! Have an abundance of end of summer tomatoes but no idea what to do with them? Try this delicious and easy tomato goat cheese tart. Make it as an appetizer or a main dish with salad. Or hey, even breakfast, why not?! All you need is 4 ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need:

Beauty & The Butcher’s Tomato & Goat Cheese Tart

1 small log goat cheese room temp

1 store bought pie crust

2 oz. Cream Cheese room temp

6 plum tomatoes or 3 large of whatever variety you like

Preheat oven to 350. Line tart pan with pie crust and trim edges if necessary. If you don’t have a tart pan (a round shallow pan with fluted edges and a removable bottom) then I highly suggest getting one, they’re very affordable and can be found in most stores. A pie plate will do in a pinch though. Mix the cream cheese and goat cheese in a bowl with a little kosher salt (I used a goat cheese with herbs already infused into it but if you can’t find it then use plain and add whatever herbs you like such as thyme, rosemary, and basil.) Spread cheese (it must be room temperature or spreading it will be very difficult and you will risk tearing the crust) mixture on top of crust in a thin even layer. Slice tomatoes in thin rounds, squeeze out extra juices, and layer them, covering the cheese until you can’t see it anymore. Sprinkle with kosher salt and more herbs if you’d like. Bake for about 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let cool for about an hour to firm up any remaining tomato juice. Reheat briefly before serving or serve at room temp. Enjoy!

  

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care for a cuppa?

  I love tea. And parties. And tea parties. And pretty things. And heirlooms. So the natural progression of loving all those things? Collecting teacups! These are my favorite six of my collection. Four of the six have been given to me from a member of my family or the Butcher’s, making them all the more special. The other two are ones I have picked up from thrift stores or yards sales. I love finding one beautiful but lonely cup and saucer, long separated from its original set, perhaps given to a young bride at her bridal shower on a spring day in 1958. Or thinking about the skill of the person that held this cup in their hand and painstakingly painted each flower on the delicate porcelain. I love pairing all these mismatched cups together, seeing them set out at a tea party, all the beautiful different shapes, patterns, and colors and then watch as each woman walks to the tea table and chooses the cup that tickles her fancy. Taking pleasure in the little things in life helps me stay calm and brings me joy, just like my teacup collection.  

 

Pie Paraphernalia

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Baking and family history are two of my most favorite things so I’m elated today to combine the two with this delicious pumpkin pie recipe, made in my husband’s late great aunt Louise’s pumpkin pie dish. It’s so seasonal and so simple you’ll love it. The men in my life wouldn’t even let it cool before they dove in; the (homemade, anything else is just a sin) whipped cream was melting all over the top. I prefer it a little more room temp but either way, it’s pretty delicious. Here’s the recipe.
Beauty & The Butcher Pumpkin Pie

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 eggs
1 can organic pumpkin (make sure you get plain pumpkin not pumpkin pie mix that has all kinds of seasonings already in it)
1 can evaporated milk
1 unbaked pie crust
Whipped cream (I’d say OPTIONAL but it’s really not, what’s pumpkin pie without FRESH whipped cream?!)

Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin, sugar, and spices. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.

POUR into pie shell.

BAKE in preheated 425° F oven for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350° F; then bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours (or two minutes in my house) Serve immediately or refrigerate. Top with whipped cream before devouring…er, serving.

Kissing Sailor

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One of my favorite spots in Sarasota is the giant “kissing statue” by the bay. We posed for this picture on a trip there with friends for our 3rd anniversary. Today marks the 69th anniversary of that photograph, taken on August 14, 1945 by Alfred Eisenstaedt, so I decided to do a little research to get the real story behind this famous kiss. But, as LeVar Burton {or as I know and love him, Geordi La Forge} would say, you don’t have to take my word for it. Check out this New York Post article to read the true, and quite amusing, story surrounding this iconic snapshot.