Tag: the taste

Baked Goat Cheese “Caprese” – Hot and Not

No salad will break your heart like the “Caprese.” It always sounds great; creamy mozzarella, fragrant basil, and sweet, juicy, vine-ripened tomatoes…what’s not to love? Well, false advertising for one. With very few exceptions, the tomatoes used on these Caprese salads are not sweet, juicy, ripe tomatoes; they’re the opposite.

They’re almost always your standard, conventionally
produced, picked green and left to redden (not ripen) in the case, tomatoes.
They’re mealy, flavorless, and completely undeserving of being paired with
ingredients as perfect as mozzarella and basil.

While I’m invariably disappointed by the execution of this
classic salad, I do love the combination of flavors, and by using cherry tomatoes,
I thought it would translate perfectly for a baked goat cheese appetizer. Did
it ever. When you take into consideration the taste, appearance, and ease of
preparation, there’s a real chance this could become your new favorite summer

By the way, as long as you are using high quality, oven
safe ramekins, you can also do these on the backyard grill. Place a piece of
foil on the grates, set down your ramekins, close the cover, and cook until the
juices are bubbling, and the cheese is heated through.

I hope you give this delicious, and so not disappointing
“Caprese” a try soon. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 portions:
8 oz log fresh goat cheese, cut into 4 equal pieces
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp basil chiffonade
16 cherry tomatoes, halved
freshly ground black pepper and cayenne, to taste
*bake at 400 degrees F. for about 15 minutes

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Farinata – Why Didn’t You Wish for This Sooner!

The third best part of this job, after the fame and
fortune, is learning about unique, new foods; and this farinata video is a
perfect example! Until it was requested by a Vlad Kiperman (if that is his real
name), I had no idea this tasty, and dead simple recipe even existed. It’s so
good, I’m kind of sad the discovery came so late in life.

Farinata is nothing more than a simple garbanzo bean flour
batter, which is spiked with olive oil and salt, and baked in a very hot oven.
The surface gets crusty, the edges get crispy, and yet the inside stays most
and sort of creamy. The texture is easy to explain, but the taste, not so much.

This is so simple and subtly flavored that it’s a kind of
hard to describe.
You may be familiar with the taste of garbanzo (aka chickpeas) in things like
hummus and falafel, but here it’s not combined with other strongly flavored
ingredients, and so you’re getting pure, un-cut bean. It’s going to be easier for me if you just make it and taste for yourself.

Like I said in the video, if you’ve never made this before, you
should probably try a plain version to get an idea of what this stuff is all
about, but after that, the sky’s the limit. The options for add-ons to the batter,
as well as potential toppings are virtually limitless. I hope you give this a
try soon. Enjoy!

Pan Note: I know many will ask, so I’ll just say it now;
yes, you can use any oven-safe 10-inch pan to make this, but I have a tough
time believing it will come out as wonderfully textured as it would if you use
a cast-iron skillet. Putting the batter into a smoking hot pan seems to be one
of the big keys here.

Ingredients for 6 portions (one 10-inch cast iron pan):
2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 cups garbanzo bean flour (aka chickpea flour)
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt (about 1 tsp fine table salt)
1/2 tsp finely minced rosemary leaves, optional
5 tbsp olive oil, divided (use 3 tablespoons for the batter,
and 2 tablespoons for the pan)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Gluten-Free and Loving It

By the way, since this is made from a legume-based flour,
farinata is 100% gluten-free, which should make a small, but very passionate
group of foodwishers happy. My usually modus operandi when it comes to such
requests and questions is a referral to Allrecipe.com’s impressive, and extensive gluten-free recipe collection, or one of my many talented GF food
blogger friends. 

Speaking of which, Shauna and Danny from Gluten-Free Girl (the Beyonce and Jay-Z of GF bloggers), have a new cookbook out called, Gluten-Free Girl Every Day. If you happen to swing that way, check it out. The recipes sound wonderful, the photos are gorgeous, and the book’s getting rave reviews.

Matcha Green Tea Shots

These healthy energy shots give you a BLAST of antioxidants, the perfect afternoon pick-me-up for a healthy Happy Hour!

I’m in love with Matcha[1], not just because of the antioxidants, or because it has two amino acids (theophylline and L-theanine) which have both an energizing and calming effect (which explains why Buddhist monks have been drinking Matcha for centuries!)

I really just love the taste of Matcha[2], more than I enjoy drinking a regular cup of green tea. Because it’s a fine powder form of the tea leaf, it quickly dissolves in anything you put it in, hot or cold, so if I want to drink it cold, I just mix it in – no heating required!

This is so easy, and takes just 1 minute to make. I combine sweetened vanilla Almond Breeze[3] almond milk and Matcha powder – then shake, shake, shake! That’s it! You could even use unsweetened almond milk and a few drops of stevia.

For a quick afternoon pick me up, rather than reaching for a cup of coffee (which I prefer to drink in the mornings) I go for Matcha instead. It’s the perfect pick me up without the jitters.

Matcha Green Tea Shots
Servings: 2 • Size: 2 shots (4 oz)  • Old Pts: 1 • WW Points+: 2 pt
Calories: 55 • Fat: 2 g • Carb: 10 g • Fiber: 1 g • Protein: 1 g • Sugar: 9 g
Sodium: 76 mg • Cholest: 0 mg



Combine the almond milk with the Matcha powder and place in a martini shaker. Shake, shake, shake (shake really good to dissolve the powder) and pour into 4 shot glasses.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze[4].
I only share products I use in my own kitchen
on a daily basis. I created this recipe and received compensation to do


  1. ^ Matcha (www.amazon.com)
  2. ^ Matcha (www.amazon.com)
  3. ^ Almond Breeze (almondbreeze.com)
  4. ^ Blue Diamond Almond Breeze (almondbreeze.com)

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