A Recipe | Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Galette With Thyme and Goat Cheese

As the cold weather sets in, I’m hunkering down for the winter. I don’t much care for the cold, but I do like to be cozy in the midst of it. By all rights, I should be tucked away in a cabin writing away the remainder of my life. But I digress. My thoughts have turned to all things Christmas – putting up the tree, decorating, doing countless DIY projects, working with real pine and florals, and figuring out what I’m going to buy (or make) for the special people in my life.

My thoughts turn to food too during this time of year not only because it is our daily sustenance, but also because it is an exciting time in the culinary world. My mind drifts off to warm and hearty soups and stews, beans and lentils, or roasted butternut and acorn squash. Buying seasonally from a farmer’s market is truly a beautiful thing. Even if you choose to buy seasonal at the grocery store in a sea of “variety” well, that’s beautiful too – if not more so. Seasonality livens us, sustains us, makes us whole.

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A galette is a rustic french pastry that is both simple and classic. The nice thing about galettes is the combination of ingredients and flavors is truly endless. Create a savory galette like this one, or a sweet one with apples, pears, or cranberries – whatever suits your fancy. This was my first savory galette, including my first recipe I developed on my own – that tantalizing but scary plunge every cook knows they must take sooner or later. I must say I think it turned out very well for my first round.

Mushrooms have been used a lot in savory dishes, especially galettes; and with good reason. Mushrooms have many health benefits and give off incredible flavor when cooked. Sauté them in a little butter or olive oil, or grill them (I think I can taste it now). I could eat cooked mushrooms by themselves, but it’s the accompaniment of herbs and cheeses in this galette that takes it to the next level. Add to that the caramelized onions and you get a note of sweetness. I had debated between ricotta and goat cheese for this but I’m glad I went with the goat cheese. The tartness of the goat cheese lends for an earthy finish to this rustic galette. This is a recipe you can turn to on those cold, winter nights, for a morning brunch, or simply because you want to use up some ingredients in your kitchen. Whatever it is, throw it into a galette and hope for the best. I did. Enjoy!

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Recipe: Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Galette With Thyme and Goat Cheese

Ingredients:

For the crust

1 cup of flour

5 1/3 tablespoons vegetable shortening

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup water, or more as needed

For the filling

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

1 clove garlic, minced

1 lb. Crimini mushrooms

2 medium shallots, cut lengthwise and caramelized

1/2 tablespoon thyme

2 tablespoons goat cheese

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine ingredients for the pastry and refrigerate for 15-30 minutes. Meanwhile, start caramelizing the onions. Heat 2 tbsp butter in a 9 inch skillet. Caramelize the onions until they are translucent and golden in color, about 15 minutes. Once they are done, set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp butter in the same skillet. Add garlic, mushrooms, and a dash of salt and pepper. Once the mushrooms have softened, toss in the thyme to warm. Take off the heat and combine with onions.

Take your pastry out of the fridge and roll out. Spoon in your mushroom and onion mixture in the center, leaving about a 2 inch margin on the sides. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Roll up sides of pastry holding the mixture inside, but leaving the middle exposed.

Transfer to a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes.

Let cool for 5-10 minutes and enjoy!

A Timeless Classic: Birthday Pumpkin Pie

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I often ask my brother if he wants to switch birthdays. I would much rather have a birthday in the fall. I could reward myself with long walks amid the changing leaves and pumpkin pie instead of cake (though I don’t remember the last time I had cake for my birthday). But alas, I must endure a birthday in March – not quite winter, not quite spring and always sopping wet with rain. It turns out my brother isn’t much of a cake fan either. So with the extra pumpkin purée I had, I baked him a pumpkin pie for his birthday.

As I was gearing up to shoot the process, I knew I had to get started early. It’s true, natural light is best when it comes to food photography. But the type of light is very important. 9 am light looks very different from 12 pm light and each one creates different textures and moods. I shot this sequence of pictures from 8 am to 8:30 am which was perfect! I knew I needed enough morning light but not too much to where it was harsh. The result was a very soft light with deep shadows. The lighting just made me want to stay in that spot forever and keep baking like there wasn’t a care in the world.

It’s funny, when you smell pumpkin purée it smells nothing like the pumpkin taste we know and love. Someone somewhere put a bunch of spices together and said, “this is what pumpkin should taste like.” And I agree with that person, so I don’t intend on creating anything new here. Here is a very timeless pumpkin pie recipe you can enjoy for thanksgiving (or anytime someone doesn’t want cake for their birthday).

{Recipe}

You will need:

2 cups pumpkin purée (I used real pumpkin from a pie pumpkin but canned will work too)

1 12 ounce can of evaporated milk or 1 1/2 cup heavy cream

2 eggs plus the yolk of 1 egg

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional, this stuff is expensive!!)

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Crust:

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon salt

5 1/3 tablespoons shortening

1/4 cup water (or as needed to form the dough)

Start with making your crust. Mix together flour, salt, shortening, and water and form into a dough. Knead and roll out large enough to fit a 9″ pie pan. You want at least an inch of overhang for the crimping. Roll the edges under so they sit on the edge of the pan. Next, with your index finger and thumb form small notches all around the edge of the crust. Poke holes in the crust once it is formed in the pan (this will prevent the crust from expanding during baking). Refrigerate for 1 hour.

– Preheat oven to 425 –

Combine eggs, spices and sugars, pumpkin purée, and evaporated milk and mix well. Pour filling into the crust and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The filling will be puffed up but this is normal due to the leavening of the eggs. Let cool for two hours. If you’re making it for the holidays or anything special, I would suggest baking the pie the night before and let cool at room temperature until the next day when you’re ready to eat it. This will let the pie firm up really well.

Any holiday or birthday favorites of yours? Comment below!

Slow Living {In the Kitchen}

Ahh, finally back to the blog. So sorry I’ve been gone, friends. I’ve been pretty busy and preoccupied with other projects! My friend Sarah and I have decided to start a business. Not really sure what it will look like yet, but it will be centered around the idea of living simply – Hey! That’s what my blog is about! More than living simply for ourselves, we want to show others what it looks like and how they too can live a life more in tune with their surroundings. One way to do this is to hold small, intimate gatherings; enjoying company and conversation, and teaching the art of simplicity.

I figured I would show you what I’ve been doing lately. I’ve been into food photography from what I’ve been baking and cooking. There is something so personal about the food we eat. It is our daily sustenance; without it, we die. But in this day and age, we have lost touch with our food. When we grow our food, harvest it, prepare it, and eat it, we have a personal connection and a knowledge of where that food came from. Food photography is about showing the beauty of being in our kitchen, of slow living, and all the messes and imperfections that come along with it. In other words, it’s life.

{Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza}

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{Pumpkin Pie}

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{Apple Galette}

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{Morning Cast-Iron Baked Eggs}

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