whip it!

While this seems like an apt opening to a post on homemade mayo or vanilla-scented whipped cream, I wanted to write briefly about gorgeous not-so-challenging food you can whip together for all the company headed your way this season.

my blog made quite an apPEARance

It seems I’ve been cooking for crowds quite a bit this month, and while the food has been blessedly beautiful and delicious, these are really things you can whip together with ease. Oh yes, I was referring, specifically, to you.

Thanks to all who joined in the celebration of Statements on the Water’s grand opening. (I even ran into the music teacher from my school, who was quite surprised to find me in attendance as a vendor)!

I made a gazillion-and-one herbed tarts with caramelized onion, roasted pears, gorgonzola cheese, creme fraiche, sun-dried cranberries, and fresh chives. But darn if they don’t look worth it, eh?

Click here for a previous post on my very simple tart shells, which freeze wonderfully and stay fresh in the fridge for several days. With these fellas prepared, it’s simple to fill them with a variety of fillings–even premade if you find something bold and flavorful.

While caramelizing onions on the stove (sliced thin and resting in butter on low heat about 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until deep amber), I roasted pears in the oven: unpeeled, quartered and cored, placed on parchment paper in a 400F oven until brown. Once cooled, pulse the roasted pears briefly in a food processor, or chop finely and combine the mixture.

Simply heap your onion-pear filling–which should resemble the consistency of very chunky applesauce–into the shells with a teaspoon measure. Next, top with blue cheese crumbles, dried cranberries, chopped chives, and a dollop of creme fraiche (or sour cream).

Here’s the kicker: you can omit any of these ingredients and they will still be delicious. I started out making them with onions alone and add a new ingredient each time around. They’re so versatile. Remember when I filled them with rosemary ricotta and my rich slow-roasted tomatoes?

Next up, I have some easy-peasy sandwiches I recently served at a co-worker’s bridal shower. Fresh ciabatta, arugula pesto, roasted red peppers, and of course caramelized onions. Plus, turkey and avocado sandwiches to accompany my favorite Greek feta dip. But for now, friends, back to homework!

A warm welcome to all the many new readers & eaters I had the pleasure of meeting at yesterday’s event. Come back soon 😀

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