The delightful Rainey over on the Chocolate and Zucchini forums came up with the great idea to send me beads to keep me occupied during my treatment. The beads Rainey sent were so beautiful to hold I wanted to make something others could also enjoy. Napkins rings seemed the perfect item. Imagine the pleasure my family and friends will get from removing the napkin ring before placing the napkin on their lap. This is my first effort made with some of Rainey's beads.
I have about one day every three weeks where I feel well enough to spend any time in the kitchen. Even then my energy levels are pretty low so I usually bake something quick and easy.
It seemed appropriate to bake something from Taste Magazine after being featured in the March issue. I chose Julie Buiso's Tomato Tart. I suspect Julie grows her own tomatoes because her tart is so much better than mine made with store bought tomatoes. My tomatoes, even they were the best vine ripened tomatoes from IE Produce , released so much juice they made the pastry soggy.
TOMATO TART 12 -16 medium sized plum tomatoes, or vine ripened tomatoes sea salt extra virgin olive oil small basil leaves 400 grams ready made puff pastry.
Halve tomatoes and place in a shallow 24cm flan or gratin dish. Put any that don't fit in a separate shallow ovenproof dish; you will need these to top up the tart as the tomatoes shrink a little as they cook. Season with salt and pepper, drizzle with oil and top each tomato with a basil leaf. Bake tomatoes for 30 Minutes in an oven preheated to200C fan bake. Roll pastry thinly, to approx 33cm x 33cm, then cut out a 25cm round. Chill until tomatoes are ready. Add extra tomatoes to the dish to fill any gaps. Lay pastry on top of tomatoes, pressing down gently. Bake tart for 30 minutes at 200C fan bake, or until well risen and golden. Loosen pastry from sides of the dish then invert onto a serving plate scraping in all the juices. Cool tart for 10 minutes before serving.
Julies tomatoes are beautifully caramelised which makes me think my oven is not at the temperature it is showing on the dial.
I think next time I make this I'll semi dry the tomato halves first then add the pastry.
If you have stopped by after reading the article on Food Blogs in the New Zealand Taste magazine - WELCOME. I hope you enjoy your time here and come back again. Food blogs are not just a great resource for recipes and ideas, they are great fun, and if you are travelling overseas use them to check out restaurants. Most bloggers blog about their local restaurants giving you an alternative to the usual tourist marketed venues.
On the right hand side you will see a list of some of my favourite food blogs. For visits to New York check out Mona's Apple; San Francisco - Becks and Posh; Paris - Chocolate and Zucchini; Sydney - Grab Your Fork. Chez Pim is a widely travelled blogger who has reviews from cities all over the world...and she also writes a great blog on food and wine issues. There will be a food blog out there for any city you are visiting if you care to search.
I have made many friends amongst a caring and supportive group of food bloggers. Some I may meet , some I'll never meet. Being part of a world wide community of men and women passionate about good food and wine has become an enjoyable part of my life. I would encourage anyone who is interested to get involved. Go to Is My Blog Burning (on sidebar) to see some of the food and wine challenges organised by food bloggers. They are great fun, will expand your knowledge and you'll meet a heap of new people.
Usually I post two to three times a week. As I'm going through a second round of chemotherapy at the moment I'm posting only weekly on a Friday. After my treatment is complete in June I'll be back to normal postings with more of my own recipes. On the left hand side bar you will find Categories - all my recipes are there under Food.
Since my interview with Taste magazine several New Zealand based bloggers have been in touch with me and you will find a link to them on the right hand side bar. Please drop by and visit them.
If you want to leave a message in the comments section - please do - I'd love to hear from you. If it requires an answer check back to the comments section(where you left the message) the next day for my reply.