Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Coconut Cupcakes & Rustic Veggie Tarts

Well, all I can say is I hope no one else accidentally downloads a Russian rogue virus. Let's just say the best of baking-blog intentions fall away when your laptop is in the shop for 4 days. So, in an attempt to make up for lost time, I offer you two of my creations, coconut cupcakes and a rustic veggie tart. The cupcake recipe was created by the lovely and talented Ina Garten; the rustic veggie tart was inspired by my buddy Sarah, who found the original recipe in the Taste of Home (Aug./Sept. 2008).

So why did I make coconut cupcakes of all things? My friend Shane just graduated from law school, so when I received his text message asking me to bake for him, how could I refuse? The recipe is really easy and the cake, when cooked just right, is moist and lovely with the vanilla-bean cream-cheese frosting. Seriously addictive sweets that really are not just the domain of often over-priced cupcakeries. (though I wholeheartedly endorse Sweet Art... tasty cakes and art... what more could a girl want?)

On the savory front, to keep ourselves sane and healthy, Dave and I have split up our cooking responsibilities so that he cooks Mondays and Wednesdays and I cook Tuesdays and Thursdays. So, tonight I made Sarah's rustic veggie tarts for dinner, and they tasted as good as the day she made them. Before going to beginning yoga, I roasted eggplant, tomato, zucchini, garlic, red onion, white mushrooms and a red pepper in olive oil, salt and pepper. When I got home from an incredibly awesome class, I picked some fresh basil for the tarts' garnish from the plants I grew from seed on my front porch and rolled out the pre-made pastry dough (I'm a cheat on week nights, what can I say?) and then stuffed each circle with roasted veggies. The savory beauties cooked for 20 more minutes and voila! Dinner was served.

The really cool part about dinner was that Dave and I bought almost all of the ingredients at the Soulard Farmers Market on Saturday for super reasonable (read cheap) prices. I also discovered locally made, nationally award-winning Baetje goat cheese, which is handmade in Bloomsdale, Missouri, mild, and oh-so good. I secretly fantasize about moving to a farm, raising goats, and becoming a cheesemonger, but the Baetjes beat me to it (and they do a damn good job, so I can't complain). Next week I plan on making the recipe Veronica handed me on Saturday: three-pepper goat cheese and carmelized onion pizza!

Oh, but I digress. Here are the recipes for today's posting. I'll be back later this week for some Father's Day baking. I'm taking the train to Kansas City, and I want to surprise my dad with something tasty.

Coconut Cupcakes
The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten, 1999

For the full recipe, please click the link here.

Rustic Veggie Tarts

Los Angeles Times recipe

For the full recipe, please click the link here.

The only difference between Sarah's tart and the LA Times' recipe, is that we didn't use goat cheese, eggs or shallots (I used red onions). Dave doesn't like goat cheese, which honestly breaks my heart many nights, especially since I found a fine local purveyor, but hey! Parmesan works just fine! (and Dave's worth it, no matter how bad I'd like to make out with chevre by the log)


Hugs and high fives,



Anonymous said...

Both of these treats look delicious! I will definitely make one this weekend.

Kella said...

Thanks, Stef!! Both are really easy to make. The veggie tarts I borrowed from Sarah J. She made them for Jenna and me and I fell in love. Yum, yum!


Anonymous said...

honey bunches! I love the veggie tart idea for a weeknight dinner. also, IMPRESSIVE growing basil from seed--but not surprising, because why wouldn't things grow for you?

sad about Dave & goat cheese. I <3 chevre. we've got a local purveyor down here that makes a creamy herb spread I can eat the whole 4 oz container of bymsyselfinonesitting.

but, it's all about compromise, no? :)

Kella said...

I'm with you, Nishta. I have a serious love affair with chevre, too. Four ounces ain't no thang for me either (grins). And you should try growing the basil. It was surprisingly easy. Just water the seeds like the little packet says. And presto! Pesto! (& Hugs to you and Jill)

David said...

Mmmm to both the tarts and the cupcakes. They look great in these pics, but they were much better in person.

No comment on the goat cheese. :)

Dave, Girl and Her Oven Beneficiary