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Posts tagged ‘appetizers’

I’m Going To Need The World’s Smallest Fanny Pack For This

I have something to tell you.

This little man is ours.

I know what you’re thinking: that we’re crazy to get another puppy.  Or we’re high off our neighbor’s insulation.

Or this website was okay until it turned into Diaries Of A Puppy Hoarder. 

I promise it won’t.  (But I call that title.  And the subsequent motion picture, in which I play myself and Javier Bardem plays Scott because the real Scott is knee-deep in puppies.  I also call the rights to Diaries Of A Puppy Hoarder, On Ice.)

But seriously– we’re stopping at two dogs, so it’s important that this one not grow up to be a criminal.

I met with a dog trainer about this.  She handed me a belt+leash situation and asked if I could attach the puppy to me at all times.  So I asked her if she was in the market for a puppy because I knew a couple who had one, and she was all, “you’re avoiding my question,” and I was all, “NO, YOU’RE AVOIDING MY QUESTION” and then she had to rush off because she forgot she had another appointment.

The belt is padded and beige.  It’s kind of like wearing a fanny pack around the house, except not as handy because unlike a fanny pack, I can’t zip a chapstick or a Walkman or Twizzlers into the dog.  Also, a real fanny pack doesn’t try to pee on you.

By the way, The Peeing Fanny Pack’s name is Seymour.  He’s 2 months old and weighs 10.1 pounds.

As soon as The Peeing Fanny Pack hits 20 pounds, I’m going to get an actual, tiny fanny pack for him to wear.  When the two of us walk down the street, it’s going to blow your mind. 

We think he’s mostly border collie, which means he’ll grow up to be really smart.  Like, smart enough to herd the laundry into a pile and then separate the whites from the darks.

(Update: Okay, I got all excited to try this after I wrote it so I put a bunch of laundry in the middle of the floor.  So far, he’s chewed on two socks. But they were matching socks, y’all.  Holla!)

Thunder was skeptical the day we brought Seymour home.

She really likes him now, though.  That’s a relief, because Thunder’s loneliness was a big part of our decision to get Seymour.  She seems so sad when my mom’s dog leaves and she doesn’t have anyone to play with but us.

We agonized about it for months and finally decided to get her a little bro.  And then I had several glasses of Chardonnay and crawled under the covers because I wasn’t sure it was the right decision.

Now that he’s settling in, I know that it was.  I’m really excited, actually.  But that first night, I was more confident about making a dinner tart out of random stuff in the fridge.

I found a sheet of puff pastry, some beets, a little log of goat cheese, and honey.

Also, nuts.

The tart was delicious, and so pretty.  We’ve been eating it for dinner with a salad.  It’s savory and just a tad sweet, but earthy sweet–not dessert-ish.

It serves four for lunch or as an appetizer, or two for dinner, or you can hoard it (what?), in which case it feeds one.

Goat Cheese & Beet Tart {Download & Print Recipe}

Ingredients:

4-5 small to medium-sized beets

a glug of olive oil

salt

1 sheet frozen puff pastry dough, thawed

1/2 c. goat cheese

1/2 c. sour cream

orange zest from 1/2 orange

honey for drizzling

a handful of walnuts, hazelnuts or pistachios

Directions:

Thaw the pastry dough on the counter or in the refrigerator per the instructions on the box.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Rinse the beets and discard any leaves.  Dry the beets with a paper towel.  Place them in the middle of a large sheet of tin foil.  Drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle them with a dash of salt.  Fold the foil over the beets to make a package, rolling the edges to seal it completely closed.  Place the package, seam-side up, on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 30-40 minutes until tender.

[If you will be using walnuts or hazelnuts, you can toast them on an ungreased baking sheet in the 350 degree oven while the beets cook.  (I prefer the stove top or in a toaster oven, where I can watch them easier.)  Watch them extremely carefully because it will only take a few minutes and they’ll go to burned in no time.  Break them into smaller pieces after they’ve roasted.  I put them in a bowl and use the bottom of a thick glass to break them up a little.  If you’re using roasted and salted (or just roasted) pistachios, you don’t need to do this.]

When the beets are done, remove them from the oven and let them cool, but turn the oven up to 400 degrees.  Take the beets out of the package and rub the skins off with a paper towel or peel them with a vegetable peeler.

Cut the beets into 1/4″ rounds.

Cover the baking sheet with parchment paper.  Place the puff pastry dough on the parchment paper and roll it out a few times to make a rectangle.  Lightly score the dough along each edge with a fork.  Dip your finger in water and run water along the scored parts. Fold about 1/2″ of the dough in over the edges, pressing gently to adhere and make a shallow border.  Poke lots of holes in the bottom of the pastry with a fork.

Return the pastry to the freezer for 10 minutes. [This is important.  I tried it again without returning it to the freezer, and it didn’t puff properly].

Bake the pastry at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes or until it’s browned and no longer translucent.  The pastry will probably puff up into a huge pillow even though you poked it with the fork.  That’s okay.  When you take it out of the oven, immediately work the air out of it by piercing it again with the fork and pushing the air out.  It’s okay if it the top of the middle part breaks a little bit.

While the puff pastry bakes, combine the goat cheese, sour cream, orange zest and 1/4 tsp. salt in a bowl.  Stir until it’s smooth.

Spread the goat cheese mixture over the puff pastry while the pastry is still warm.  Arrange the beet slices over the goat cheese mixture.  Drizzle generously with honey and sprinkle with the nuts.  Serve while still warm.

Note: If you don’t like goat cheese, you could make this just with sour cream.  You could also experiment and throw other roasted vegetables, or fruits, on there if you’re not a huge beet fan.