Pear and Brie Tart

Either make your favorite pie crust recipe or purchase the premade ones from the grocery store. Roll out crust into a round shape and place on a cookie sheet or pizza pan. Fold sides in to form a shallow “dish” for holding the remaining ingredients.


  • 1 to 2 ripe pear(s) (whatever kind you like), sliced (an easy way to do this is to cut the pear in quarters and then get rid of the seeds and then slice in 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick pieces – but you do it however you want to.)
  • Brie cheese, sliced in a similar size to the pear pieces
  • Red onion, thinly sliced also in a similar size to the pear and cheese
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 to 4 springs of thyme

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).

Place a small pan with the balsamic vinegar and thyme sprigs (if you only have dried thyme just put in a couple of pinches) on the stove on medium/high heat. Bring to and keep at a simmer so that the vinegar reduces and thickens. You will be able to see this happening.

Line the pear, brie and onion inside the tart shell. Alternate the ingredients in one layer until the whole area inside the edges of the tart is covered. Place in the oven for about 20 to 30 minutes (until the crust is a nice golden brown color and the ingredients are cooked). If the crust edges look to be cooking too fast, cover them with some foil to slow the browning.

Remove from the oven, drizzle with the balsamic reduction and serve with a simple salad.

Quick Strawberry Jam (with Basil and Balsamic)

  • 1 pint fresh strawberries, cleaned and stemmed
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar (to taste)
  • Sweetener – to taste
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil (to taste)

Place strawberries in a small to medium pot on the stove over medium heat. Mash with a fork or potato masher. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Add balsamic vinegar (start with 1 tablespoon and add to your taste). Add sweetener (sugar, honey, agave nectar, etc…) to your taste – often no sweetener needs to be added so be sure to taste before adding any. Simmer until strawberries thicken – 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chopped basil. Serve with toast, biscuits or even over ice cream.

Heirloom Tomato Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small to medium shallot, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed (or finely chopped)
  • 1 cup fresh tomatoes, chopped

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add diced shallots. Cook until shallots are softened; add garlic. Cook for 1 minute; add tomatoes. Cook until tomatoes are broken down and sauce has thickened somewhat (anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes – simmering a bit longer won't hurt it). Great sauce for pizza, pasta or bruschetta.

Roasted Beet & Sweet Corn Salad (with Tarragon Vinaigrette)

Roasted Beets:

  • 2 medium beets, roasted, peeled and cut into a 1" dice
  • 2 to 3 ears of fresh corn, cooked and kernels removed from the cob
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chopped tarragon (to your taste)
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Combine beets and corn in a bowl. Put tarragon, vinegar and olive oil in a jar or container with a tight fitting lid. Close the container and shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour vinaigrette over salad and stir to combine (you may not need all of the vinaigrette for this salad but it’s great on any salad so don’t discard the left over).

PS – If you have leftovers - this salad is great served on bread (with some goat cheese or feta) as a bruschetta, or even on pizza dough (also with goat cheese or feta) as a pizza!

Easy Apple Sauce

  • 6 apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 2” pieces (Honey Crisps, Pink Ladies or Fujis are great for this recipe)
  • Cinnamon to taste (optional)
  • Sweetener to taste (optional)

Place apples into a pan with a tight-fitting lid on the stove over medium heat. Keeping the lid on the pot, cook until the apples are soft. If it looks like the apples are dry, add a couple of tablespoons of water to the pot. Place the apples in a food processor and process until they are the desired consistency. Add cinnamon and desired sweetener (if needed) to taste.