Lovely Ladies Luncheon League

March 25, 2014

Honey and Pine Nut Tart

Filed under: Food for Thought — LLLhost @ 11:44 am

At our most recent book club gathering, someone brought the most amazing tuscan style tart in honor of our Italy travels. Everyone deserves a bite so I am sharing the recipe. Martha Stewart certainly knows how to sweeten our lives!


Honey and Pine Nut Tart

Honey and Pine Nut Tart

Honey and Pine Nut Tart from Martha Stewart

Two types of honey lend this luscious tart its elusive taste. Intensely floral leatherwood honey, which could easily overwhelm the buttery shortbread-like crust and mild pine nuts, is tempered by mellow acacia honey.
Yield: Makes one 10-inch fluted tart
Source:  Martha Stewart Living, September 2008


For the Filling

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 ounces (1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup acacia honey*
  • 1/4 cup Tasmanian leatherwood honey*
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups pine nuts (6 ounces)

*NOTE:  Store honey at room temperature for up to 2 years. If it no longer flows freely, place the bottle in warm water; the gentle heat will return the honey to a liquid state.


  1. Step 1

    Make the pasta frolla: Whisk cream, egg, yolk, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Pulse flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a food processor to mix. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, add cream mixture, and process until dough just comes together. Shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate 1 disk until firm, about 1 hour; reserve remaining disk for another use. (Dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months; thaw before using.)

  2. Step 2

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. (If dough is soft and sticky, transfer to a baking sheet and freeze until firm but pliable, about 5 minutes.) Cut out a 12-inch round, and fit it into a fluted 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. (Patch any tears with scraps of dough.) Freeze while making the filling (or cover and freeze for up to 3 days).

  3. Step 3

    Make the filling: Bring sugar, honeys, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, whisking until sugar dissolves. Add butter, and whisk until incorporated. Transfer honey mixture to a medium bowl, and let cool for 30 minutes. Whisk in cream, egg, and yolk until incorporated.

  4. Step 4

    Place tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Scatter pine nuts over bottom. Slowly pour filling over pine nuts, redistributing pine nuts evenly with your fingers. Bake until crust is golden brown and center is set but still slightly wobbly, about 1 hour. Transfer tart to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Remove from pan, and serve immediately.


March 29, 2013

2013 Spring PEEP Show

Filed under: All This Month...,Food for Thought — LLLhost @ 11:06 am

Spring. Finally, after an endless winter, spring has arrived. In a time of renewal & rebirth, many celebrate Easter with its homage to stuffed bunnies & chicks, colored eggs, neon baskets,  jelly beans, chocolate & the enduring PEEPS. Personally, I have never been a huge fan of the PEEP but I do look forward to inspired visionaries who, like great LEGO artists, see something special in the humble PEEP. Each year, the Washington Post hosts a diorama contest, a review of the previous year through PEEPS.  I’ve borrowed a few images from the Post to share and encourage everyone to take a closer look at this years clever entries. There is something for everyone to smile about & appreciate. Happy spring!! Happy peeping!!

The Washington Post Peeps Contest

Rest in Peeps Winner 2013

“Rest in Peeps” Winner 2013

Peep Pope Mourns Twinkie Loss

DETAIL: Peep Pope Mourns Twinkie Loss


and a few favorites……

Peepton Abbey

Peepton Abbey

Life of Peep

Life of Peep

Peep Art

Peep Art

Zero Peep Thirty

Zero Peep Thirty

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Peep

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Peep

Dispeepable Congress

Dispeepable Congress

Pope Peep

Pope Peep

We the Peeps

We the Peeps

Peep Floyd

Peep Floyd

January 5, 2013

New Italian Cookbook

Filed under: All This Month...,Food for Thought,Italy — LLLhost @ 9:16 pm

In honor of our upcoming trip my sister gave me a copy of Francis Mayes cookbook, The Tuscan Sun Cookbook: Recipes from Our Italian Kitchen. We immediately set to work on sampling recipes. The first of many is in the photo below…a beautiful red pepper tart with a nutty parmesan flavor and caramelized onions over a bed of zucchini held together with farm fresh eggs.


Everything in the book is enhanced with wine, cheese and love. Simple flavors where the ingredients shine.

A few other early favorites from the book that we already sampled are…clams with lemon & white wine over spaghetti (sans garlic and still fabulous I might add), shrimp with orecchiette and delectable poached pears in red wine. I look forward to experimenting with the ladies and preparing for our cooking class in Tuscany!

December 9, 2012

Annual Cookie Extravaganza

Filed under: Food for Thought — LLLhost @ 12:00 am
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Today was our annual cookie exchange. We make a few batches of traditional Spritz cookies together (lemon & almond) and exchange other tasty treats for a beautiful plate of homemade goodies to take home. Before we can work the dough though, there has to be a delicious meal, usually soup and bread to keep us warm & allow for conversational catch-up. Once full, we have the strength to squeeze the spritz press and get started.

This year we shared curry lentil, turkey chili and a bacon spagettiOs ala joe. An amazing peppery bread from the farmers market (from an italian bakery in Stoughton called Cabibbos) and a sourdough with cheese and fig jam.

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

Oh What a Beautiful Morning

Then it was on to the art of the spritz. Getting the dough to the proper temperature, the press working smoothly, the decorations just right, we all have a hand in these yearly delights.


Pressing the dough onto the baking sheets

Art of Decorating

Art of Decorating

Cookie Flower Art

Flower Spritz on display

Recipes will follow in another post soon….Enjoy!

January 27, 2010

Bean & Beer Casserole with Baby Dumplings

Filed under: Food for Thought — LLLhost @ 4:55 am

4T peanut or vegetable oil
1 onion, sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1 parsnip. sliced
14 oz. can mixed beans, rinsed and drained
14 oz can baked beans
(no mushrooms in the recipe but they would be a great addition)
1 cup Guinness or other stout
1 cup Vegetable stock (see below)
4T, coarsely chopped herd, such as rosemary, marjoram, thyme
1 1/4 cup, self-rising flour
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2T course grain mustard
salt and pepper

one Heat the oil in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole and sauté the onion, celery, and parsnip for 3 minutes. Add the mixed beans, backed beans, beer, stock, and 3T of the herbs. Bring to a boil and let the mixture bubble, uncovered, for 8-10 minutes or until slightly thickened.

two Meanwhile, mix the flour, shortening, mustard, remaining herbs, and a little salt and pepper in a bowl with 8-9T cold water to make a soft dough.

three Evenly distribute 8 spoonfuls of the dough in the casserole and cover the pan or dish. Cook for 10 minutes more or until the dumplings are light and fluff. Serve immediately.

Vegetable stock (yields 3 1/2 cups)

2T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped, plus skins
2 carrots, chopped
4 oz turnip or parsnip
3 celery stalks, sliced
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 bay leaves
several thyme and parsley sprigs
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 tsp. black peppercorns
(these veggies are just guide, throw in cabbage, broccoli, zucchini, fennel, green onions, celeriac, etc.)

one Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions, carrots, turnip or parsnip, celery, and mushrooms and sauté gently for 5 minutes. Add the herbs, tomatoes, peppercorns, and onion skins and cover with 6 cups water.

two. Bring to a boil, partially cover, and simmer gently for 1 hour. Cool, then strain and refrigerator for up to 2 days.

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