Beef Taco Crostada

Beef Taco Crostada
Print Recipe
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 40-45 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    35 minutes 1 hour
    Servings Prep Time
    4 people 40-45 minutes
    Cook Time Passive Time
    35 minutes 1 hour
    Beef Taco Crostada
    Print Recipe
      Servings Prep Time
      4 people 40-45 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      35 minutes 1 hour
      Servings Prep Time
      4 people 40-45 minutes
      Cook Time Passive Time
      35 minutes 1 hour
      Ingredients
      Pastry
      Taco Meat
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      Pastry
      1. Combine flours and salt in a large bowl. Cut in butter chunks until pea-size or smaller. Drizzle with 4-5 tbsp of cold water and the vinegar tossing with a fork until dough becomes scraggly. Add another tbsp of cold water if necessary. Turn mixture out onto a clean work surface and knead until dough comes together. Form into a flat disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
      Taco Meat
      1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and green pepper and sauté over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Add ground beef and continue to cook until beef is no longer pink and has started to brown, breaking up beef chunks as it cooks. Remove from heat and dab out any excess fat with a paper towel.
      2. Return to medium heat and add spices and water, stirring to combine. Allow mixture to come to a simmer and cook uncovered until most of the moisture has evaporated, about 10 minutes.
      3. Remove from heat and stir in beans and half of the cheese.
      4. Preheat oven to 375°F and line a large baking tray with parchment.
      5. Roll dough into a 14" circle that will be about 1/8" thick. Fold dough in half and move to your prepared baking tray.
      6. Spread beef mixture in the centre of the dough leaving a 1 1/2"-2" boarder of dough. Fold the dough boarder up and over the beef mixture, crimping the dough slightly as you go.
      7. Whisk egg with a tbsp of water and brush onto exposed pastry edge. Bake for about 35 minutes until pastry is golden.
      8. Remove from oven and top centre with remaining cheese. Cut into wedges and serve with desired toppings.
      Recipe Notes

      -The pastry can be made up to a day in advance and kept chilled until ready to use.

      Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry

      A scoop of Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry from a green casserole dish with serving bowls in the background.
      Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        6-8 people 35-40 minutes
        Cook Time
        30-35 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        6-8 people 35-40 minutes
        Cook Time
        30-35 minutes
        A scoop of Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry from a green casserole dish with serving bowls in the background.
        Turkey Pot Pie with Puff Pastry
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          6-8 people 35-40 minutes
          Cook Time
          30-35 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          6-8 people 35-40 minutes
          Cook Time
          30-35 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: people
          Instructions
          1. Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven until foamy. Stir in carrots, celery and onions. Sauté for 5 minutes until starting to soften.
          2. Sprinkle in flour and stir to coat all the vegetables. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring often.
          3. Over medium heat, slowly add one cup of hot chicken broth stirring constantly until mixture comes to a boil (mixture will be very thick).
          4. Add another cup of broth and stir until smooth and the mixture comes to a simmer. Repeat with remaining broth.
          5. Reduce heat to low and add potatoes, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer, partially covered for 10-12 minutes until potatoes are almost tender (this will depend on the size of your diced potatoes).
          6. Preheat oven to 425°F.
          7. Meanwhile prep the puff pastry dough if you have purchased unrolled. Dust your work surface with flour and roll pastry to 13"x9" rectangle or large enough to overhang your casserole dish. Dough should be 1/8"-1/4" thick.
          8. Stir turkey and peas into the stew and adjust to taste with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into a greased 12"x8" or 2-quart equivalent casserole dish.
          9. Drape rolled puff pastry over the casserole, pressing the overhang onto the edge of the dish.
          10. Whisk egg and cream together in a small bowl and brush evenly over puff pastry.
          11. Cut 6-8 slits in the puff pastry to allow steam to escape. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and pastry is cooked through. Remove from oven and serve immediately.
          Recipe Notes

          -It's important to use hot chicken or turkey broth.  Pouring cold liquid into the hot flour mixture will cause the flour to congeal and you will have lumps in your sauce.  Using hot broth maintains a steady temperature of the mixture allowing all flour particles to become incorporated before the flour cooks.

          -Flour does not reach its full thickening capacity until it comes to a full boil.

          -Use pre-rolled puff pastry dough for more convenience.

          -Be sure to leave an overhang of puff pastry.  If you don't the stew will bubble up over the pastry, preventing it from cooking properly.

          Molasses Crinkle Cookies

          Molasses Crinkle Cookies stacked five high and tied with a white ribbon and decorated with an acorn.
          Molasses Crinkle Cookies
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            38-40 cookies 40 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            9-10 minutes 3+ hours
            Servings Prep Time
            38-40 cookies 40 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            9-10 minutes 3+ hours
            Molasses Crinkle Cookies stacked five high and tied with a white ribbon and decorated with an acorn.
            Molasses Crinkle Cookies
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              38-40 cookies 40 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              9-10 minutes 3+ hours
              Servings Prep Time
              38-40 cookies 40 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              9-10 minutes 3+ hours
              Ingredients
              Servings: cookies
              Instructions
              1. In a medium bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, spices and salt. Set aside.
              2. Using an electric mixer or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream butter and brown sugar until light.
              3. Add oil and molasses and beat until combined. Add egg and beat until fully incorporated.
              4. Mix in flour until well combined.
              5. Flatten dough into a round disk and chill for a minimum of three hours or overnight.
              6. Preheat oven to 375°F and line baking trays with parchment.
              7. Divide dough into equal portions using a tablespoon or weigh (I used 20g each). The dough balls should be an approximate inch in diameter.
              8. Roll each ball in sugar to coat completely. If the dough has warmed while you were rolling, rechill rolled dough for about 10 minutes to firm up again (this prevents the cookies from overspreading). Arrange prepared dough on baking trays placing at least 2" apart. There's no need to flatten cookies. Sprinkle the tops with additional sugar.
              9. Bake cookies on the middle rack for 9-10 minutes only. Remove from oven and allow to cool on pan for 5 minutes before moving to a cooling rack.
              Recipe Notes

              -Start these cookies several hours ahead as they need time to chill.

              -Using coarse sugar makes for a pretty holiday cookie.  It will take a little more coarse sugar than granulated sugar for rolling.

              -I find the dough warms up too much while rolling into balls, especially if taking the time to weigh each one. Therefore, I suggest that you rechill the rolled balls for about 10 minutes to prevent too much spread. You can do this before rolling in sugar, after rolling in sugar, or once they are prepped on the baking tray (this is great if you can fit the tray in your fridge)

              -At 20 grams each, I get 38-2 3/4" cookies.

              -Do not overcrowd the cookies on the cookie sheet and do not overbake. These cookies are wonderfully chewy at the 9-minute mark.

              Apple Galette with Almond Pastry

              Apple Galette with Almond Pastry
              Print Recipe
                Servings Prep Time
                8 slices 50-60 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                40 minutes 1+ hours
                Servings Prep Time
                8 slices 50-60 minutes
                Cook Time Passive Time
                40 minutes 1+ hours
                Apple Galette with Almond Pastry
                Print Recipe
                  Servings Prep Time
                  8 slices 50-60 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  40 minutes 1+ hours
                  Servings Prep Time
                  8 slices 50-60 minutes
                  Cook Time Passive Time
                  40 minutes 1+ hours
                  Ingredients
                  Pastry
                  Filling
                  Servings: slices
                  Instructions
                  Pastry
                  1. In a large bowl combine flour, almond flour, sugar and salt. Cut butter cubes into the dry ingredients using a pastry cutter or a knife until the flour is crumbly with small bits of butter.
                  2. Drizzle water and vinegar over flour mixture and toss with a fork until dough just starts to come together. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and work gently to bring everything together and the dough has smoothed out.
                  3. Roll dough into a ball and then flatten into an approximate 6" disk. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least one hour.
                  Apple Filling
                  1. Peel and core apples and then cut them into thin slices. Drizzle slices with the lemon juice as you slice to prevent oxidization.
                  2. To the apples add the sugar, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg. Toss to combine.
                  3. In a small bowl whisk together egg and milk.
                  4. Preheat oven to 375°F.
                  5. On a lightly floured surface roll dough to an approximate 13" circle adding a sprinkle of flour to the top and bottom as you go to prevent it sticking.
                  6. Trim dough to a neat 12" circle by using a plate or pie plate as a guide (see note). Roll dough onto your rolling pin and transfer to a large parchment-lined baking tray.
                  7. Pile filling in the centre and spread out towards the edge leaving a 1 1/2" border of plain dough.
                  8. Fold the dough edge up and over the filling, crimping slightly as you go around. Sprinkle the apples with dots of butter. Brush the pastry with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar if desired. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes until the pastry is golden and apples are tender.
                  9. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing into wedges and serving with ice cream.
                  Recipe Notes

                  -The pastry does not have to be a perfect circle. If you'd like a nice rustic look you can leave it as you roll it as long as it is an approximate 12"-13" in diameter and 1/8" thick.

                  -If you like a neater look you can also arrange the apple slices in a concentric circle.  I'm partial to piling the apples in as they fall.

                  Graveyard Brownie Bites

                  Graveyard Brownie Bites resting on crumbled cookie dirt scattered with sculls and bones.
                  Graveyard Brownie Bites
                  Print Recipe
                    Servings Prep Time
                    36 mini brownies 60-80 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    12 minutes 60 minutes
                    Servings Prep Time
                    36 mini brownies 60-80 minutes
                    Cook Time Passive Time
                    12 minutes 60 minutes
                    Graveyard Brownie Bites resting on crumbled cookie dirt scattered with sculls and bones.
                    Graveyard Brownie Bites
                    Print Recipe
                      Servings Prep Time
                      36 mini brownies 60-80 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      12 minutes 60 minutes
                      Servings Prep Time
                      36 mini brownies 60-80 minutes
                      Cook Time Passive Time
                      12 minutes 60 minutes
                      Ingredients
                      Servings: mini brownies
                      Instructions
                      1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
                      2. Prep 36 non-stick mini muffin tin cups by either spraying generously with non-stick spray or greasing and flouring. See note.
                      3. Chop the semi-sweet chocolate and measure out 4 ounces. In a large bowl combine the 4 ounces of chocolate with the butter and microwave at 30-second intervals until melted, stirring often.
                      4. Whisk in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla until fully combined.
                      5. Sift in the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt directly into the bowl. Whisk to combine just until the dry ingredients are incorporated.
                      6. Scoop the batter into prepared mini muffin cups using a level 2 tbsp scoop.
                      7. Bake on the centre rack for 12 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely in the pan.
                      8. Meanwhile, prepare the tombstones but slicing each cookie wafer into thirds, tapering the bottom slightly inward toward the center piece to create a tombstone shape. Reserve the side pieces that have been cut off.
                      9. Crush reserved cookie wafers that have been cut off the sides to a fine crumb that resembles dirt and set aside.
                      10. Dust each tombstone piece with a small amount of powdered sugar by rubbing the sugar lightly onto the cookie wafer.
                      11. Melt the remaining 3 ounces of chopped chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave using 30 second intervals and stirring often until melted.
                      12. Remove brownie bites from the pan and spread the tops with a small teaspoon of melted chocolate. Immediately sprinkle with crumbled cookie wafers and press lightly to adhere.
                      13. Push a tombstone wafer into each brownie bite, cutting a small slit in the brownie if needed to push in far enough to hold in place.
                      14. Decorate with candy bones, spiders, or worms as desired. Drizzle with red decorating gel to mimic blood. Serve and enjoy!
                      Recipe Notes

                      - I have used both pan preparation methods with similar results.  The key is to allow the brownie bites to cool completely in the pan before trying to remove them.  Loosen the tops from the pan with a sharp knife if necessary. Twist the brownie lightly to loosen and the brownie should pop out.