Category Archives: Life

tomato goat cheese cobbler recipe

Tomato Goat Cheese Cobbler Recipe

Hello friends!

Another relaxing weekend mostly spent enjoying our back deck has come and gone. James and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary – and pretty much made it a whole weekend ordeal.

Friday night I whipped up a quick pesto pasta dinner, which we enjoyed on the back deck before heading inside to binge watch Netflix and stuff our faces with Graeter’s ice cream: cheese crown and chocolate chip cookie dough to be exact.

Saturday morning we went for a long bike ride. When our legs couldn’t take another mile, we headed home to spend the rest of the afternoon reading on the back porch. Then we headed to Sarah’s Place for dinner where we each enjoyed a saucy Italian dish – I demolished a plate of baked eggplant – and then slowly savored a dessert of cappuccino and carrot cake. We spent the rest of the night dancing to the music of some pretty great up-and-coming Cleveland bands.

After church on Sunday morning (and of donuts, of course), I spent some time working in the yard. Then it was back to the porch to continue reading. Right now I’m really into The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollen. If you’re interested in the food industry and want to know more about how just about everything you eat is derived from corn, you’ll enjoy this book.

Finally having a few days to wind down, I was really excited to end the weekend with a recipe I’ve been dreaming about for a while now – especially since it included my homemade goat cheese as a main ingredient.

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This tomato goat cheese cobbler recipe was fabulous, and I can’t wait to make it again! The biscuits were the perfect combination of sweet and salty. The cherry tomatoes burst flavor in every bite. And, the goat cheese complemented the biscuit and tomato perfectly.

It was an extremely comforting way to wind down the night – enjoying warm cobbler, taking in the smells from neighbor’s grills, watching the sun set through the trees behind our house, sipping on a Manhattan.

I really hope you’ll take the time to make this, and enjoy it as much as we did.

Tomato Goat Cheese Cobbler

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 9 servings

Tomato Goat Cheese Cobbler

A perfect Sunday evening comfort food adapted from the David Blagh.

Ingredients

    Biscuits
  • 3/4 cup & 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup & 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cold buttermilk
  • Tomato Filling
  • 1 package, or about 1 pint, cherry tomatoes
  • 1 can, or about 14 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 sprigs of thyme
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 6 oz soft goat cheese

Instructions

  1. Mix flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter using two knives until you have pea size pieces.
  2. Drizzle in the buttermilk and mix with a fork until dry ingredients are evenly moistened.
  3. Turn the dough onto a clean work surface. Press and squeeze until the dough begins to hold together.
  4. Shape the dough into disc about 3/4 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass, cut out about 9 biscuits. Continue to gather the dough scraps, press them into a slab again, and cut out as many biscuits as you can.
  5. Transfer the biscuits to a baking sheet and place them in the freezer for 1 to 2 hours.
  6. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  7. Toss cherry tomatoes, olive oil, half the thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper in an oven proof skillet. Cover the skillet and cook on medium-high until the tomatoes begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Uncover the skillet and add the crushed tomatoes. Continue cooking until all the cherry tomatoes have burst slightly.
  8. Crack the egg into a small bowl and beat with a fork. Remove the biscuits from the freezer and brush the tops with the beaten egg.
  9. Place the biscuits on top of the tomato mixture, spacing them about 1 inch apart.
  10. Bake the cobbler for 25 minutes. Remove the skillet from the oven and dot the goat cheese between the biscuits, covering all exposed tomato mixture. Return the skillet, turn the oven to 450 degrees and continue baking until the top of the cobbler is nicely browned, about 10 minutes.
  11. Sprinkle the remaining thyme over the top of the cobbler, followed by a pinch of pepper.
  12. Enjoy warm out of the oven!
http://foodievsfitness.com/tomato-goat-cheese-cobbler-recipe/

blueberry picking

What to Do With Pounds and Pounds of Blueberries

Hey guys! Crazy long weekend full of friends and family over here.

We started the weekend off with a bang at Cleveland’s Hofbrauhaus, enjoying mugs of beer, great polka music and dancing on tables. My brother’s band really rocked the house and kept this typical “grandma” out way past her usual cap.

Saturday we built a fire pit in our backyard and invited some friends over for s’mores and raccoon attacks. We were all just chatting around the fire when someone calmly said “Uh, guys, there’s a raccoon sitting next to me.” She really ruined his sneak attack on the marshmallow bag, but that raccoon didn’t give up. He just kept coming back. All. Night. Long.

Sunday we headed over to my college roommate’s one of my dearest friend’s family home. She was visiting from NYC, and had a bunch of her old farm town Ohioan friends over for a good ol’ backyard BBQ. This night of course also ended with a bonfire and more s’mores. Only this time we really amped it up and went with chocolate filled marshmallows.

By Monday, we were absolutely wiped from summer fun, so after a morning hike, we spent most of the day on the couch. We then headed to my parents for dinner, and ended the July 4th weekend with a piece of cherry pie.

blueberry recipes easy desserts

Amongst all of this fun, my most favorite part of the long weekend was Saturday morning. We woke up as early as we could to head out for the first day of blueberry picking season! Together, James and I picked 16 pounds of blueberries.

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A little boy picking berries with his mother even came over to James and squealed with delight, “You’ve got a lot in your bucket! You even have way more than my mom has!” The two boys then proceeded to throw blueberries for one another to catch in their mouths. No matter the age, boys will be boys.

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So, now I have pounds and pounds of blueberries to turn into delicious – healthy and some not-so-healthy – muffins, breads, cakes and crumbles. The whole shebang.

I’ve of course started a Pinterest Board and thought I’d share some of the recipes in case you decided to add blueberry picking to your list of summer fun too.

  • This is the blueberry recipe – an incredibly easy to make dessert, by the way – that I specifically loaded up on blueberries to make: Bread & Wine & Blueberry Crisp.
  • Since my brother-in-law and his lovely lady just blessed us with an ice cream maker, I’m more than excited to try my hand at a blueberry ice cream using fresh blueberries.
  • A homemade blueberry jam without loads of excess sugar definitely made the list! Cant wait to mix up the usual egg breakfast and spread this on some Ezekiel toast.
  • Some blueberry scones from one of my favorite baking bloggers – she even titles them My Favorite, so you know they have to be awesome!
  • This is an oldie, but a goodie that you must try: Blueberry Balsamic Grilled Cheese Sandwich.
  • For a day when I feel like pulling out the fancy pants, I’ve saved this recipe for Blueberry Zucchini Cake with Lemon Buttercream.
  • And then, well…there’s these

Making Time For Hobbies

Hello, hello.

Wow, what a weekend we had. I mean wow what a week. We were go-go-go every day after work. We saw so many friends and family. It was fantastic.

Except it wasn’t fantastic for this blog. I’ve found more and more that this blog suffers when my life prospers. When I’m off doing the things I really love, there’s simply no time for stopping at the computer. Don’t get me wrong – I love sharing with you guys. But, now I understand why so many blogs fail. They really and truly require many hours of work. It’s not all taking pretty pictures and sharing stories.

I’m also finding that the older I get the more hobbies and activities I want to fill my day with. Why can’t someone just pay me to be a 50’s housewife, so I can fill my days with the hobbies that bring me the most joy?!

I want to do so much more of what these past few weeks have been filled with.

I want to celebrate more with family, (that’s my brother Sean. He just graduated from college. And…he’s in a band.)

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and splurge more with friends.

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I want to ride my bike down more country roads,

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and attend more local festivals. IMG_2248

I want to bake more breads, ferment more veggies, ice more cakes and try more new foods (Those are lentil croquettes from a restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio called Fire and Drink)!

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But, most of all I want to make more cheese. Ok, here’s the story…

James and I joined a herdshare. As part of this herdshare, we visit a local farm every week to pet the goats and pick up our share of their milk. The goat milk has been great in morning coffee, oatmeal and plenty of baked goods. But, I’m ready to take it up a notch – to cheesemaking! Yep, I made my first cheese, a chevre, and I’m hooked. I can’t wait to make cheddar, brie, mozzarella – you name it!

Instead of attempting to make the chevre on my own, I asked the woman who cares for the goats to walk me through the process. Cheesemaking is not like cooking or baking. It is science. So, to begin, I got a science lesson on the making of cheese.

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This is the aftermath of the actual cheese making session. We nibbled on a little bit of a cheese that had already been made while our recently made cheese was beginning to set in the pot.

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After allowing the cheese to drain for close to 10 hours, and letting it sit in the refrigerator for three days, I was dying to taste it. The tasting itself was an event. We poured some wine, salted the cheese together and took our first bite.

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Every day after, the cheese kept gaining more and more flavor. It was just about perfect when we had family in town, so I whipped up some mini appetizers, pairing the goat cheese with fig and jalapeno strawberry jelly.

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So, there you have it. If you’re waiting around for days for a new post it’s because I’m busy making cheese :).

 

hiking zion canyon

Foodie Versus Fitness Adventures in Utah

Where was I last week?

James and I were hiking the national and state parks of southern Utah, namely Zion and Bryce Canyons. My favorite hike by far was through Kolob Canyon, part of Zion. I felt like I was on the set of Indiana Jones.

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The landscape at Bryce Canyon was incredibly different. There were valleys and valleys full of rock formations called Hoodoos.

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Each day we hiked about 8 to 15 miles, and each day we packed a lunch to enjoy on a rock. Then we’d head to an easy dinner joint for a little indulgence. Being a foodie, I usually like to try as many new local restaurants as I can while on vacation. But, this time, I was dieing to go back to the same place twice: River Rock Roasting Company.

Primarily a coffee shop with a great view, the River Rock Roasting Company makes a killer veggie sandwich complete with avocado, tomato, red onion, cucumber, sprouts, lettuce and vegetable cream cheese. Add a little salty crunch from a pickle or a kettle cooked potato chip and you’ve got a wham bam dinner.

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Not only was their food great, but we found ourselves there in the morning ordering coffee…

IMG_2214 …and in the evening to enjoy a  crisp pale ale.

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No worries – I didn’t let the foodie side win on this trip. We definitely worked hard for all the food and booze. Many of the hiking paths had fairly easy terrain through narrow canyons.

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But, there were also many rocks to climb over, under and around.

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Hiking boots were an absolute must on this trip. I’m so glad we did our research and made the investment, or I think we would have had extremely sore legs and feet.

So, lets get back to food, because it’s pretty much all I can ever think about. James and I hiked many miles in silence enjoying the peaceful sounds of nature. Every once in a while, James would turn back and ask what I was thinking about. Most of the time my response was NOTHING. And, I really meant it. I can do and try to do that when I go on vacations like these. I try to just be present in the moment and leave all life’s SH** at the start of the trail.

There were other times; however, when my response would be SANDWICHES or LUNCH. I always looked forward to our daily lunch and snack breaks – a moment to re-fuel and re-energize. We made a lot of forest friends during these breaks. The squirrels and chipmunks in Utah have no shame – they want your food and they want it now. So, we shared.

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For James, lunch was always a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. For myself, it was mostly crackers and cheese, beef jerky, an apple or an orange and some snap peas. Snack time usually consisted of a handful of nuts or a Kind bar (the bars involving dark chocolate are the best).

We had a few more dinners that were a little more epic than those lunches or the veggie sandwich and worth sharing. These included a sushi night.

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And, a Mexican night. I don’t even remember what this dish was called, but it was fantastic. With salsa verde, this was easily one of the best dinners James and I have ever had. I know that because we didn’t speak a word to each other until our bellies were full and the food was almost gone.

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Of course all of these fabulous dinners were followed by dessert.  Yes, I had ice cream every night ok. I’m not proud of it, but just take another look at the landscape we hiked. We earned it.

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Ok, we didn’t climb up that, but we climbed for miles and miles around these hills to get to the top of them.

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Our longest and most strenuous hike was to see the beautiful Kolob Arch. Along the way, other hikers kept telling us it really wasn’t worth the trek, but I was pretty awed by it.

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I was also pretty wowed by the color on the rocks. This one cave in particular looked like a Jackson Pollock painting.

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While it was hard not to spend every day out on the beautiful trails, we knew we needed to let our bodies relax. So we spent one morning lounging along the side of the lake in Sand Hollow State Park, and then another day at the spa.

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After a week of hiking bliss and foodie indulgences, if there’s any advice I can give, it’s never ever forget your rain pants.

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Ok, but seriously the weather is a little wonky in southern Utah. It will be sunny and 75 one minute and the next thing you know it’s raining. The rain doesn’t last long at all – certainly not long enough to ruin a hike – but it does sneak up on you.

Weekend Recap in Dessert and Graduations Photos

Oh boy was it a weekend filled with a whole lot of family, ice cream and good times!

James and I spent the first half of the weekend catching up with his family which, as always, involved tons of great food. This weekend the theme seemed to be dessert – there was a spread of s’mores brownies, Nutella cheesecake, and all the Graeter’s ice cream you could eat. We tried Graeter’s newest flavor, Cheese Crown. I’ll admit I was extremely skeptical, but I’m glad I tried it because it was extremely delicious. Its supposed to taste like a cheese danish, but I’d re-label it Cinnamon Bun. Mmm. It was so good, it was the only one I went back for seconds for.

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After spending a wonderful afternoon on the Wineland’s back deck, we were on our way to start graduation celebrations. We had dinner at Don Pablo’s with my family, Manhattan’s at the oldest bar in the city, and then spent the rest of the night rocking out to Sean’s band.

In the morning, we scarfed down coffee and muffins in order to make it to the actual graduation by 9:00 a.m. By the time we watched 1650 graduates receive their diplomas, we were starving! So, we ran over to Smash Burger for a quick lunch. No matter where we go, if there’s a milkshake on the menu, James just can’t ignore it.

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Then of course it was time for pictures with friends.

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And, pictures with family.

Take one. IMG_2128

Take two.IMG_2131

Take three – everyone’s finally smiling. *Ahh life surrounded by boys. IMG_2133

All in all, a weekend with that much ice cream, cheesecake and family time couldn’t get any better. James and I were definitely off our usual pattern of 8 hours of sleep each night, morning exercise and healthy foods, but it’s important to splurge every once in a while, and now we’re ready to kick off the week with our usual healthy habits.