Over 20 years ago, a young woman traveled to Sedona and stayed, on recommendation, at Don Hoel’s cabins. They were a cluster of small cabins near Oak Creek, looking a bit tired, but still cozy and homey, each with a kitchen, fireplace and a separate bedroom.
12 years later, she returned to Sedona and the first lodging she considered was Don Hoel’s. She was disappointed to learn she couldn’t reserve a cabin – the owner was selling and the cabins were closed. She stayed just down the road at Junipine, at a place that was neither cozy nor homey. During that trip, she drove past Don Hoel’s and saw the large “For Sale” sign across the closed gates. Even then, she daydreamed about buying it. The place was big – over 20 acres, with 20 cabins and a market. Her thoughts on the matter stayed in the daydream world.
The woman is back again. The place is now renamed, owned by a young couple for the past 5 years . They’ve polished the place up, adding the much needed character, and turned it into a little gem. The woman, who is not so young anymore, is envious. Again, she thinks “I could do that” and this time she doesn’t consider it just a daydream.
Every Superhero has one great nemesis. Batman has Joker. Superman has Lex Luthor. My nemesis is named Inertia. Inertia convinces me to sleep an extra hour; she calls me to my comfy couch, and encourages me to get lost in formulaic television rather than creating something of my own. Inertia’s power frightens me. Without her, there’s no telling what I can do, yet I don’t know how to rid myself of her. This layoff has given me approximately 40 weeks to reinvent myself. 40 weeks seems like plenty of time, but not when Inertia sits at my left hand, whispering to me, “Tomorrow, tomorrow, start tomorrow.”
4 Large Brussels sprouts, cut in half and finely shredded (about 1 1/2 cups of leaves)
1/3 cup Canadian bacon, finely diced
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/3 cup All-purpose flour
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/3 cup canola oil
3 Tablespoons plus 1 Tablespoon milk
Sauté onion in butter until beginning to soften. Add Brussels sprouts and bacon and continue cooking until onions are soft and golden. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, salt and thyme. Combine canola oil and 3 Tablespoons milk in a measuring cup. Pour oil mixture over flour mixture and mix well. Place dough between two sheets of waxed paper and roll into a 12” circle. Place on a sheet pan, remove waxed paper.
Spread filling on dough, leaving a ¾” border. Sprinkle filling with feta cheese. Brush border with remaining 1 Tablespoon milk, fold border towards center, just barely enclosing filling and pleating as you go. Brush top of dough with any remaining milk.
Bake galette 25-30 minutes until crust is golden brown.
I adore candied citrus peel. You won’t offend me if you’re not a fan (yet). You probably only know those chewy, tooth sticking, flavorless, processed nuggets that come in a grocery store tub. That’s what I thought candied peel was all about, too – until I made my own. Then, ooohhhh, I fell in love. Hand-crafted candied peel is pliant and juicy with the perfect balance between bitter peel and sweet syrup. Making your own takes a bit more work than opening a tub, but it’s the difference between a frozen beef patty and aged ribeye steak. I always make more peel than what’s needed for a recipe. That way, I can toss the remaining peel in sugar for a sweet snack.
It’s 2017 and everyone is either cleansing or detoxing. Sugar is evil, gluten kills, dairy is your enemy…well, if you look at scientific research, that’s a bit of hyperbole. Do I think our diets can become skewed with too many carbs (raises hand), sugar (nods vigorously), and caffeine (guilty again) – absolutely. Everything in moderation. Do I think a 30 day detox is the way to realign? Not for most. Cleanses and detoxes give us control over our lives, they are a way for us to feel virtuous and give us something to discuss over lunch – seared fish with a lemon spritz – no butter, no oil, no sauce…because most sauces, you know, contain sugar (gasp!).
With that said, however, it’s time for me to get my eating realigned. Once of the pitfalls of having a dessert- focused blog – there’s always a cookie or slice of cake within reach at my house.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, combine carrots, apple, nuts, raisins and pineapple. In a medium bowl, combine oats, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and salt. Whisk together milk, egg, maple syrup, oil, and vanilla in a liquid measuring cup.
Pour liquid mixture over oats, stirring to combine then add carrot mixture and stir until incorporated. Let sit 10 minutes for liquid to be absorbed. Pour into baking dish. Bake 35-45 minutes until just set at the center. Serve warm.
“Don’t you want what I have?” she asks, feigning innocence. Her eyes say, “I am better than you.” I hesitate, not shameful, but convinced she couldn’t understand. “What you have is banal, unremarkable. I yearn for the exalted, more than I deserve, beyond your comprehension. I will endure rather than choose less.” I profess contentment, yet possess the greatest of restlessness. I’m content in this restlessness, perhaps.
I take a bite of my onion tart. Don’t you want what I have?
Adapted from Andre Soltner. Cubed bacon can be sprinkled over the tart before baking.
1 9” tart dough recipe (pâte brisée or premade refrigerated shell)
2 Tablespoons butter
2 onions cut lengthwise and thinly sliced (with mandolin if possible)
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup grated muenster cheese
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 pinch grated nutmeg
freshly ground pepper
Line tart pan with dough and dock using a fork. Freeze for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Sauté onions in skillet with butter and salt until they are golden and tender (15-20 minutes).
Cover tart shell with parchment and fill with rice or beans. Blind bake for 10-12 minutes. Remove parchment and rice and bake another 5 minutes until sides are barely starting to color. Remove from oven.
In a bowl, whisk together egg, cream, cheese, thyme, nutmeg, and pepper. Add egg mixture to cooled onion mixture, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan. Pour onion mixture into tart shell and spread evenly.
Bake 25 – 30 minutes until filling and golden brown and set. If the edges brown too quickly, cover edges with foil.