Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hello Autumn

It is another season in the Northern Hemisphere!
I love summer no doubt but autumn happens to be my favorite season -

the bright red and orange colors of the leaves,
the sweet autumn air,
hot root vegetables soup for dinner,
sleeping with the window open,
the sound of dried leaves under my feet,
the sweet smell of pumpkin pie in the oven,
apple picking in our own backyard,
the list goes on and on -

each one of them makes me happy!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Bites and Nibbles @ dina's

I first read about Dina's restaurant from a travel guide book I found in my hotel room in Buffalo. The article highlighted that the restaurant uses local and fresh ingredients in preparing healthy dishes. So on our recent trip to Ellicottville New York, hubby and I tried Dina's for brunch.

I love the exposed bricks and metal beams inside the restaurant - it is perfect for either casual or fine dinning. The breakfast menu is extensive - hubby tried Dina's favorite {sun dried tomatoes, basil pesto, pine nuts and cheese omelette) while I had their buckwheat pancakes. We both enjoyed our food and it can be improved further if the staff could be friendlier.

Dina's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Where in the World : Ellicottville, New York

On our way back to Toronto from Franklin, Pennsylvania we passed by the town of Ellicottville, New York - another charming little town in the midst of mountains and vast farmlands in Western New York. The city is a popular ski destination but it will not disappoint if you decide to go on a summer day. The main street {Washington Street} is lined with modern boutiques and restaurants complementing the architectural details and beauty of  century old buildings and houses.

Linking with Rurality Blog Hop

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Herbed Tomato and Mushroom Galette

As mentioned in my previous post, our tomato bushes are full of red and juicy tomatoes. That said, I am busy in the kitchen using all types of tomatoes in my recipes. The most productive of all is the cherry tomato bush - the bite-size fruits are so delicious as is so I always use them in salads. 

For this particular recipe, I paired the cherry tomatoes with  mushrooms and some herbs picked from my own herb pots and baked it. As expected, the roasting of  herbed tomatoes intensified its flavors, making it sweeter and savory at the same time.


Herbed Tomato and Mushroom Galette

15 pieces cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 tbsp olive oil
 2 sprigs of rosemary, finely shopped
3 sprigs of oregano, finely chopped
1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped
Salt and pepper
1 sheet completely thawed (but still cold) butter puff pastry (I used to make this from scratch but I find the President's Choice butter puff pastry from grocery store as tasty and flaky as home made)
1 1/2 tbsp tomato paste
10 white mushrooms thinly sliced
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 small egg, lightly beaten

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
In a small bowl, toss cherry tomatoes, olive oil, rosemary, oregano and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate for 20 minutes.
Unroll butter puff pastry and parchment paper (found in the package) on a baking sheet
In the center of the puff pastry, spread tomato paste in a circle motion leaving a 2 inch boarder all the way around
Add sliced mushrooms and onions on top of tomato paste
Add tomato and herb mixture on top of mushrooms and onions 
Pull pastry boarder up and over other edge of tomatoes and mushrooms, leaving the vegetables bare at center. Pleat pastry as you pull it up.
Using a pastry brush, brush pastry with lightly beaten egg
Bake in center of oven for 40-45 minutes or until  pastry is golden
Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing in wedges
Sprinkle with chopped basil leaves before serving.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

You say tomato, I say tomato

Everyday for the past three weeks, our little tomato garden has been very generous in blessing us with tomatoes in various shapes and sizes. We either eat them raw or use them in every possible way. This is one of the few reasons why we look forward to the end of summer ... when tomato bushes are flourishing with red, plump, juicy and sweet tomatoes!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Where in the World : Franklin, Pennsylvania

Hubby and I are back from our last road road trip for this summer where we took advantage of Labor Day weekend sale in Grove City {Pennsylvania}. After bargain hunting, we spent a day in charming and historic downtown Franklin. This well preserved Victorian neighborhood was a perfect side trip for us who enjoy old town charm.

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