Friday, August 20, 2010

Nifty Gadgets and Leftover Ideas

Jim and I received some cool wedding gifts from friends and family. One of the most creative kitchen tools we received was this Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin, found on Amazon.

The ends of the rolling pin are adjustable, so that you can roll dough to an even thickness without having to guess.

There are even measurements on the rolling pin to help serve as a guide. All this is REALLY useful for someone like me who isn't confident in her baking skills. I need all the help I can get.

3/8", 1/4" and 1/16" are the disk sizes included.

This was really helpful when I rolled out the pastry dough for Ina's tomato and goat cheese tart. Thanks Kate A. for the nifty gadget.

This is a delicious recipe! I've made it many different ways - with goat cheese, with pico, with parmesan - it's always good served on this puff pastry. Seriously, if there was one secret (or not so secret) ingredient I would say to always have on hand - it would be pepperidge farm frozen puff pastry. This stuff is extremely versatile and comes in handy when you are creating in the kitchen.

Find the recipe here on my blog: Goat Cheese and Onion Tart

On a whim, I decided to use up the spare puff pastry left over from cutting my circular tarts out of the dough. As much as I love puff pastry, why would I throw these pieces away?

This was a total experiment. I had little triangles left over so I stuffed them into a mini muffin tin and filled half with grated cheddar cheese and seasoned with a pinch of salt and pepper. The other half I filled with a few chocolate chips and sprinkled with cinnamon.

I baked these until the puff pastry was cooked and voila, these turned out to be really good treats - all made with leftovers! The chocolate chips didn't melt the way I thought they would, but despite the way they held their shape they tasted GREAT. My favorite however was the savory cheddar cheese pastry puffs. These were small bites that packed a big punch right out of the oven. Waste not, want not. Use up what you have in the fridge by being a little creative.

One of my favorite quotes that I put on the "About HWM" page is this: "Cookery is not chemistry. It is an art. It requires instinct and taste rather than exact measurements.” -- French Chef, Restaurateur and Food Writer, Marcel Boulestin

I find that to be so liberating. Go forth and create something new every day!

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