Wednesday, August 22, 2012

"I've Been Meaning to Make that!" ~ August's BITE Theme

Tierney was in charge of determining this month's BITE theme, and she decided to have us each pick a recipe that we have been meaning to try, but just haven't gotten around to!  What fun!  All I have to do is look at my Pinterest Boards for inspiration - heaven knows I have enough pins!  My part of our recent dinner was the side-dish.  I have often drooled over the "onion tart" recipes that I have seen on Pinterest and elsewhere - and this was the perfect opportunity for me to finally make one.  I also made some roasted asparagus (not pictured) so that we did, indeed, have something "green"! As always, you can click on the links to go to the recipes, but they can also be accessed on my BITE page at the right-hand column of my blog.

Chris was responsible for our opening offering and she chose first to prepare Kalamata Olives and Chevre Phyllo Appetizers.  She additionally prepared Pico de Gallo using her garden fresh tomatoes.
The salty tartness of the Kalamata Olives and Chevre Phyllo Appetizers was just wonderful!
Tomatoes from Chris's garden!
Next was my Creamy Onion Tart with a slight variation in the recipe.  I read through a number of tart choices with different ingredients, settling on this one.  Many others that I looked at however, had the addition of gruyere. Anything so quiche-like really needs cheese - in my humble "quiche" opinion.  so - I added 1 cup of shredded gruyere to this recipe. Another alteration I made to the original recipe is that I used 2 medium-sized sweet onions rather than one large white onion.  I must say that I thought it tasted really good!
~sautéing sweet onions in my new, beautiful, All-Clad sauté pan!
~to a light golden color~
~cream, whole milk and beautiful brown eggs from my friend Sue's chickens~
~grated gruyere~
~ blind baking the tart crust~
~a little grated nutmeg to add to the mixture~
~pour it all into the tart shell~
~and bake - delicious! 
For our main dish, Tierney cooked up Balsamic and Onion Pot Roast.  All I can say is, "Oh my!"  I love pot roast, but we all agreed that it is something that we just don't often cook.  What a delicious treat this was, and a wonderful compliment to the onion tart.
When we walked in, the smell of this cooking was just amazing!  It had a nice balsamic tang and bite to it - just delicious!
~reducing the cooking broth down to a wonderful sauce~
Ellen made this month's dessert, and since desserts are her specialty - we knew we were in for a treat!  She made Double-Chocolate Zucchini Cake!

Now, we all know that zucchini is good for us, but the more we learn, it turns out that chocolate is as well!  So there you have it - a rich, sweet, moist dessert that is good for you! (finally)
Being the thoughtful friend and hostess that she is, Tierney had special words for each of us next to our place-settings.  I realize that I need to step up my game when I host next month!

As always - we spent a lovely evening in the company of good and dear friends.  Doesn't get much better!

September is my month to choose our food theme, and I told the others awhile back that I would like to focus on local foods. There should still be an abundance of produce available, and as the "local food" movement has grown nationwide, it has around us as well. Not to fear that we have completely moved away from our "country" themed meals.  Chris has October, and we will be cooking "Transylvania"- a historical region in Central Romania and a great Halloween themed country.  Till then, as Julia would say ~ 

Bon Appetit!


  1. Oh heaven! I want to eat at your house.
    Smiles, Dottie

    1. Thanks Dottie! Aside from the wonderful food - there are the wonderful friends!

  2. Aw, now I'm hungry :) This Onion Tart sounds sooo yummy - great choice!

    Btw, your theme is also a great choice - looking forward to the outcomes!

    And PS: Wonderful pictures, Tracy!

    1. Thanks so much! I am a bit more pleased with the quality of these food pictures than I have been with the ones in the past. I love how the colors come through in yours. Is there a particular technique?

    2. Thank you! I do a lot of editing in Photoshop - but I know that Food Photography is really, really difficult. Unfortunately, I don't know much about it. But I think it all depends on the light. I had a workshop with this lovely woman (her recipes are also worth a look ;)) She uses always some sort of this to avoid much shadows and "boost" the light:

      Here's where she gives some tips, I think:

      And maybe the macro setting (Hope this is how it is named in English) can be useful.

      Hope this helps a bit:) Have a great day!

      PS: I have to read this book, you presented in your last post...

    3. Thanks so much for all of the helpful information! i love my camera (Nikon D90), but really know so little about it and photography in general. It's very thoughtful of you to pass on all of the tips and suggestions!

      Yes - the book I wrote about is quite something - that's the best way for me to describe it!

    4. Wish we didn't live an ocean away - I could really use a tutor!

  3. Just re-reading this post makes me want to make that pot roast again and sit down to a piece of Ellen's cake.
    I'm glad you share our evenings and the recipes.