Sunday 26 January 2020

Mid Winter

Both December and January have been reasonably mild for the time of year, but also rather damp, and gloomy. However, there have been some lovely sunny, blue sky days, which really do lift the spirits. During the whole of the winter so far, this corner of the world, has received just two early morning frosts - both of which completely disappeared before there was time for me to venture outside with the camera.
In the garden the snowdrops and hellebores are flowering, and happily the hours of daylight grow noticeably longer as each week passes.

In the fridge some Stilton blue cheese was still hanging around from Christmas along with a large handful of shelled walnuts. I then remembered that I had a sheet of puff pastry in the freezer so decided to make a tart. I covered the base of the pastry with some caramelised red onions which I made by gently cooking the finely chopped onions in a little olive oil, and then adding balsamic vinegar along with some sugar until it turned into a 'jam' like consistency. However, I wanted something else to add to the mix and couldn't think what else to use. Luckily inspiration came along in the form of Lorrie's blog where I saw that she had used grapes on top of her blue cheese and flat bread recipe, thank you Lorrie. 




I cooked the tart for 20mins in a fan oven at 180แต’C - it smells delicious - can't wait to try it later.

37 comments:

  1. I wish I could grow hellebores - I tried once but they didn't make it! What beauties in your stunning photo dear. We do have bluebell leaves pushing up and a few daffodils in full bloom already. Like you we've had, so far, a mild winter and the plants don't know what to do. Of course February - March could still bring true winter conditions, it's wait and see!

    Love that puff pastry tart Rosemary - and Lorrie's grapes idea really make if colorful. I too have Stilton to use up and puff pastry in the freezer - this week I see a tasty supper on my table too!

    Hope all is well - see you must have your new computer working well now, yay!!!!!
    Hugs to you both.

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    1. Dear Mary - I am trying to put the trials and tribulations connected with the new computer behind me, but it has not been my best January ever! I have been unable to connect with anyone via emails etc for the past three weeks. It is rather frightening how much we rely on them. I had been concerned about insurance bills etc that were due and that tend to arrive via email, but fortunately they did sent me paper copies through the trusty old mail post.
      Love to you and BobXX

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  2. What a clever idea. I don’t use puff pastry enough. I think I even have some blue cheese to use up! B x

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    1. We have tried the tart now, and I can certainly recommend it - the red seedless grapes added a sweetness to it which was lovely.

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  3. How great to hear another cook that tries putting things together based on how she thinks it will taste. This was a winner!

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    1. Thanks - I will certainly be making it again - happily there is enough left for us to have tomorrow.

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  4. It seems that all of Europe is having a mild winter this year.

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    1. A bit more sunshine would be very welcome.

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  5. The blue cheese and grape combination is a winner. I like the idea of caramelized onions on the bottom and will try to remember that the next time. Your tart looks wonderful.

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    1. It was really good - the grapes added a lovely sweet touch to offset the strong flavour of the cheese.

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  6. Dearest Rosemary,
    That sure did smell good as it looks very appealing and no doubt tasted delicious.
    We have had very dreary and damp days and also heavy rain here.
    But I see the magnolias budding out as we have breakfast in the bay window area of our kitchen with full sunshine at times.
    We sure should not push time... one never knows!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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    1. Dear Mariette - it is so lovely to see signs of Spring in the air, but you are right 'we should not push time'.

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  7. Your tart does look delicious. My mother was a great one for blue vein cheese.
    Sorry to hear you have gloomy weather, would be lovely to have the sun out more as you say...it's similar here on the Island but of course not cold. The week here sound promising though.

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    1. Luckily the sun is here today, it makes such a difference to how you feel.

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  8. Looks tasty. It's been very mild with hardly any snow or frost yet the roads here are still full of potholes which makes me think that rock salt grit must cause them as we have plenty of rain in the summer months yet few potholes. Normally I'd put it down to freezing temperatures and ice expanding in cracks but we've hardly received any this year. It's a puzzle.

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    1. I too have noticed how bad the potholes have become again. My son came over at Christmas and his car received £120 worth of damage from a pothole. When he went to take a photo of it the next morning the council were already there filling it in, so he missed being able to photograph the actual hole. Obviously there must have been lots of phone calls from others who had also damaged their cars.

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  9. Oh my, that tart looks Good!! And it sounds so quick and easy too. I find as I get older I notice the passing of the seasons in more detail every year! The gloomy weather is not so nice, but hopefully signs of Spring will soon emerge.

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    1. Signs of Spring are on the way, but it is not too late for there still to be a cold snap too. Hope that the fires in Australia are very much on the wane now.

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  10. Hello Rosemary, I am also the improvisational type of cook, although my results are not always as photogenic as yours. After Chinese New Year Dinner last Friday (Happy Year of the Rat, by the way!) my friends gave me some goose meat to take home, as well as some vegetables from their garden. I decided on a soup. I put the goose meat in a pot along with an onion-like vegetable, a handful of barley, and some water. I let it cook until the barley was soft, then added some Chinese celery. In the last two minutes I added some young broccoli, hot-pot style. The result was incredibly rich and good, with each ingredient discernible although cooked as a soup.
    --Jim

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    1. Hello Jim - Happy Year of the Rat to you too. The Chinese New Year has been greatly marred by the terrible virus, and I do hope that all continues to be well for you in Taiwan.
      Your soup sounds delicious, wholesome and very nutritious too. I bowl of delicious soup and a crusty roll make for a very satisfying and easy meal.

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  11. Dear Rosemary, No Hellebores or snowdrops peeking through the snow in my garden. But it won't be long.
    Your tartlet looks so delicious. I will remember your (and Lorrie's) recipe for next time I have the girls over. Those already prepared puff pastries are such a convenience to have on hand. Thank you for posting the recipe.

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    1. Dear Gina - if you buy the good quality puff pastry it is really good, far better than I could make, and so useful to have around. Do give it a try and hope that you enjoy.
      Winter seems to last forever, but I noticed tonight that we are getting a good hours more light than we did only a month ago.

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  12. Oh how delicious does that look. We have had a string of beautiful, sunny and warm days...but can’t let our guard down as February is not even here yet. You inspire me. With just the two of us here...I haven’t done much cooking. My Tom eats like a bird (a small one). Guess I could get to baking and share with the neighbors!

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    1. You could always freeze it in individual portions, if that would help. Tom is lucky, so that he looks so slim and fit.

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  13. You do make some interesting dishes, Rosemary. I buy Stilton cheese here all the time (it costs a king's ransom) but I have never cooked with it at all. We do add it to a couple of salads, but mostly we enjoy it with crackers, or fresh bread, and a glass of wine. What could be better than that? If I had some in the house I would go and get it right now!

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    1. People seem to either love or hate Stilton, but like you David, I love it.

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  14. Looks really yummy ...love how you made the caramelized onions, will try that recipe.

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