Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Angry Birds Cake for Tyson

Today is not just Halloween... it's Tyson's birthday! I made Tyson his first cake before he was even born. Tyson is three years old today and this is cake #4 (the first cake was for the baby shower we threw for his parents - Rachel and Justin). Being part of Tyson's life (and Justin's & Rachels' too) has been such a blessing. It's a joy to watch Tyson grow, learn, and have fun.

Tyson is really into Angry Birds these days. He asks for "Nette's phone" every time we're together to play Angry Birds. He also really, really likes the color blue. So I knew just exactly what kind of cake to make for him. I enjoy making cakes for this family so much. Here are some pictures of this year's cake and some from the past.

Happy 3rd Birthday Tyson!
even the inside is blue!
(white cake tinted with blue food coloring/almond buttercream frosting)

It all started with this cute little frog cake in anticipation of Tyson's birth...

Then we got to participate in his baptism - complete with a Noah's ark cake and little cross sugar cookies...

And Tyson's 1st birthday party was (appropriately) a big Halloween party with family in friends. Tyson's costume was a lion and the rest of the family joined in the theme. Rachel was Dorothy, Justin was the scarecrow, Tyson's grandparents played the Tin Man & Glinda the good witch, and his auntie was the wicked witch of the west. It was such a fun event (and one of my favorite cakes ever).

I'm already anticipating next year's birthday! But before that we'll get to celebrate the birth of the Young family's baby girl (coming soon), Rachel's birthday, and Justin's birthday.... all with cake of course!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Butternut Squash Gnocci

Butternut squash is one of my favorite fall flavors. I especially love butternut squash ravioli or gnocci because it feels so warm and cozy when you eat it. Served with a simple brown butter sauce and some sage, it's just so delicious. I decided to make this butternut squash gnocci with the squash I had left over after making this butternut squash tart. The tart was super simple. The gnocci not so much. It's a rather involved process, I have to say. The result was fantastic! But honestly, if you're not up for the process, there are some yummy butternut squash pastas out there that you can find at your local markets this time of year. You can prepare those and use the brown butter sauce and sage from this recipe and cut your prep time in half.

Butternut Squash Gnocci with Brown Butter and Sage
1 head of garlic, top third cut off
Extra-virgin olive oil, for rubbing
1 pound baking potatoes
One 2-pound butternut squash—peeled, seeded and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
salt & pepper
1 1/4 cups flour, plus more for dusting
1 stick butter
10 fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
Parmigiano-Reggiano shavings, for serving
Cooked Italian sausage for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375º. Place racks in the lower and middle thirds of the oven. Drizzle the garlic with olive oil, wrap it tightly in foil and roast on the bottom rack of the oven for 50 minutes. Lightly rub the potatoes with olive oil, prick them all over with a fork and bake on the lower rack for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until fork-tender. Line a large baking sheet with foil. Add the squash and rub with olive oil. Bake on the upper rack for about 30 minutes, stirring once, until soft.

Squeeze 3 or 4 of the roasted garlic cloves out of their skins into a food processor. Peel the hot potatoes and puree them with the garlic in a food processor. Transfer the potatoes and garlic to a large bowl. Add the hot squash to the food processor to puree, then add to the bowl with the potatoes. Let cool slightly. Add the egg yolks, ricotta, parsley, and 1 tablespoon of salt & teaspoon of pepper (or more to taste). Stir until combined. Sprinkle on the 1 1/4 cups of flour and gently stir it in. Scrape the dough onto a heavily floured surface and knead gently until smooth but still slightly sticky.

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and dust with flour. Cut the gnocchi dough into 5 pieces and roll each piece into a 3/4-inch-thick rope. Make sure you have your surface well-coated in flour or you'll have a sticky mess. Be gentle when rolling the dough into the rope.

Cut the ropes into 1/2-inch pieces and transfer the gnocchi to the baking sheet.

If you don't want to cook all of the gnocci right away, you can freeze it for a month. Just freeze the pieces on the baking sheet. When frozen, transfer them to a large ziplock bag. When you're ready to eat them, just cook the frozen gnocci as directed below.

Lightly oil another baking sheet or large plate. In a large, deep skillet of simmering salted water, cook half of the gnocchi until they rise to the surface, then simmer them for 1 to 2 minutes longer, until cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining gnocchi.
If using Italian sausage, cook the sausage in a skillet with some olive oil, or reheat if previously cooked. In a large nonstick skillet, melt the butter over moderate heat and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Add the sage and thyme and cook for 20 seconds. Toss in the warm sausage (if using). Add the gnocchi and cook for 1 minute, tossing gently. Season with salt and serve, passing the cheese shavings at the table.

recipe from Andrew Zimmern on

Monday, October 29, 2012

Chicken Tikka Masala

I love Indian food. It's always bursting with flavor and usually has some meat and vegetables in some kind of delicious sauce (I'm a sauce fanatic). Most of the time I'd be happy to just have sauce on rice or dip my naan in it. Yum... Well, I always try to make curry dishes and fail every time. I never can get the flavor right. This time I tried something different - Chicken Tikka Masala. Success!!! And it uses those blanched almonds from yesterday. Be sure to plan ahead for this meal - you need to marinate the chicken overnight (or all day).
Chicken Tikka Masala
for the marinade...
1 cup plain yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
salt & pepper to taste
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs

for the tikka masala...
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup blanched whole almonds (or 1/4 cup almond flour)
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons garam masala
2 teaspoons pure chile powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
One 35-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
Pinch of sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 red bell pepper, cut into1 inch pieces
1 yellow bell pepper, coarsely cut into 1 inch pieces
other vegetables work well too (fresh green beans, sliced carrots, etc)

2 cups prepared white or brown rice (for serving)

First, prepare the chicken and marinade (the night before)...
In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom, cayenne and turmeric. Season with salt and pepper. Using a sharp knife, make a few shallow slashes in each piece of chicken. Add the chicken to the marinade, turn to coat and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, make the tikka masala...
Preheat the broiler and position a rack about 8 inches from the heat. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and spread the pieces on a greased baking sheet. Broil the chicken, turning once or twice, until just cooked through and browned in spots, about 12 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and cut it into 2-inch pieces.

While the chicken is cooking under the broiler, in a small skillet, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil. Add the almonds and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the almonds to a plate and let cool completely. In a food processor, pulse the almonds until finely ground. NOTE: If you want to save a little time, you can just use almond flour if you have it.

In a large stock pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the garam masala, chile powder and cayenne and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes with their juices and the sugar and season with salt and pepper. Cover partially and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Add the cream and ground almonds and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes longer. Stir in the chicken and bell peppers; simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, and serve with rice and/or naan.



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Blanched Almonds How-To

I want to share a little trick with you that I learned recently… how to blanch almonds! You might wonder why you’d ever need to know this, but I have a couple of ideas – rosemary roasted almonds (today) and chicken tikka masala (watch for the recipe tomorrow).
Blanched Almonds
Bring 3 to 4 cups of water to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of raw almonds (or as many as you want to blanch). Simmer for about 1 to 2 minutes.  You’ll see some of the almonds start to float to the top. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the almonds into a strainer. Rinse immediately with cool water.
This is the fun part! Squeeze each almond between your fingers and the almond will pop right out of the skin, revealing a white (blanched) almond. Now you can use this for many recipes… or just eat them up!
Raw almonds on the left. Blanched almonds with skin removed on the right.
Rosemary Roasted Almonds
1 cup blanched almonds
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary

pinch sugar
salt & pepper to taste
Toss the almonds in the olive oil to coat. Sprinkle on the rosemary, salt & pepper, and toss to distribute the seasoning. Spread the almonds on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes or until lightly toasted.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Chocolate Red Wine Cake

Two of my favorite things combined into one dessert?! Amazing! This luscious cake is rich, decadent chocolate with the added dimension of deep flavor brought in by the red wine. You can use your favorite bottle of red wine. I happened to use a cabernet savignon, but it would also be absolutely delicious with a sweeter port. The bundt cake bakes up with a slightly crisp outside (just to hold its shape really) and an extra moist inside. A simple dusing of powdered sugar makes it pretty - frosting isn't necessary, but freshly whipped cream is divine.

Chocolate Red Wine Cake
2 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups red wine
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Whipped cream, for serving

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a bundt pan.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until combined.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending after each addition. Add the vanilla and beat for two minutes longer. Alternately fold in the dry incredients and wine until just blended.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar and serve with fresh whipped cream. Enjoy!

recipe from

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Do-It-Yourself Cork Board

I first saw a corkboard made from real wine corks in Cambria, California. It's this great little town on the central coast. It's quaint, quiet, and just darling - and has some fantastic restaurants. Inland from Cambria is the Paso Robles area full of beautiful vineyards and wineries. It's definitely in my top 5 of favorite vacation spots. Ahhhh... wishing I were there right now! But back to the cork board... Cambria had a very large cork board like this in the middle of town as a "community board" for people to post fliers and pictures and such. Here's how you can make one for yourself at home.

First you must collect enough corks to fill the size of board you want to have. Drink lots of wine, ask friends to help you save corks, and always keep the cork if you order a bottle of wine at a restaurant. Each cork in your board will hold a special memory of when you enjoyed each bottle of wine.

For your frame, you can just repurpose an old frame (or make one like Mark did for me out of some molding from Home Depot). If the frame doesn't have a back already, add a thin piece of word or sturdy cardboard to the back of the frame.  That's what the corks will stick to in order to create the cork board. I used some craft glue. Just spread some around the board inside the frame.

The trick is to select sets of two corks and alternate their direction. It's like doing a giant puzzle. I recommend arranging all of the corks inside of your frame BEFORE gluing them down. Then carefully move them all outside of your frame, keeping the same arrangement. Begin gluing the corks two-by-two like you see below until you've filled your frame. 
Allow the glue to dry for 24 hours before hanging your cork board. You can also place a few heavy books on top of the corks while it's laying flat on a table or floor to keep any corks from popping out of place as they dry.
Hang your board in the perfect place in your home. Hang some favorite photos or memories and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Almond Poppy Seed Bread

I’m a fan of something sweet to eat in the morning with my cup of tea (usually a chai latte from Starbucks). I usually eat breakfast at my desk at work because I don’t really take the time to eat before leaving the house. I modified this almond poppyseed bread recipe that I saw on for my breakfast for the next couple of days. It doesn’t take too much effort to make this in the evening so that you can grab it and go in the morning before work. It holds up well in traveling to the office, is moist, and sweet. It’s homemade – so that must be healthier than eating a donut or store-bought pastry in the morning, right?! That’s my justification to indulge in this yummy morning treat. 
Almond Poppyseed BreadFor the bread…
1 1/2  cups all-purpose flour *
1/4  teaspoon salt
3/4  teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1 teaspoon melted butter
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
*You could use a mix of almond flour and white rice flour to make this gluten-free.
For the glaze…1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Grease a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper, and grease the paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Add the oil, eggs, extract, and butter in whisk until just combined. Stir in the poppy seeds.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake at 325 for 55 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean).
Remove the bread from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edges of the bread and remove bread from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To make the glaze…
In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the orange juice, sugar, and almond extract. Cook until sugar is completely dissolved. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes. Brush glaze over the top of the bread. As the glaze drips down the sides, brush it back onto the top. The glaze will be quite thin, but will set to a sweet little crust as it cools.
Slice and enjoy!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Marshmallow Filled Cupcakes for Leah

Today is a very special day for my friend, Leah! Happy birthday Leah!!! These cupcakes are perfect for Leah's birthday... soft and sweet, pretty flowers on top, and a surprise in the middle. Leah is full of energy and surprises, she's sweet, and she's always looking adorable.
There's Leah (in the middle) with Emily and Karly this summer.
Hope you like these Leah... the combination of the delicate chocolate cake, gooey marshmallow filling, and sweet chocolate buttercream.... absolutely perfect.

Marshmallow Filled Cupcakes
(makes 24 cupcakes)
for the cupcakes...
2 sticks butter at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream

for the marshmallow filling...
1 jar marshmallow creme (7.5 ounces), approx 1 1/2 cups
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter at room temperature

Cream the butter and sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the cocoa-flour mixture to the butter-egg-sugar mixture, alternating with the sour cream.  Stirring between each addition. Mix until just combined.

Divide the batter among 24 muffin cups that have been lined with cupcake papers, filling each cup about 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack.

While the cupcakes are baking, combine the butter and marshmallow cream in a medium bowl using a whisk until smooth. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, until the marshmallow filling is set a bit. Transfer the filling to a large ziplock bag.

When the cupcakes are cool, use a small spoon, melon baller, or cupcake extractor (you can buy them at craft stores or Bed, Bath & Beyond) to remove a small amount of cake from the middle of each cupcake, leaving a little hole. Save the cake you've removed (you'll put it back on top to cover the hole.
Snip a corner off of the ziplock bag and squeeze a small amount of the marshmallow filling into each cupcake. Replace the small piece of cake you removed from each cupcake. Frost each cupcake with your favorite chocolate frosting, like my chocolate buttercream. Decorate to your liking and enjoy!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Chili Omlet

Wondering what to do with some left over chili? Have it for breakfast! I know you're probably thinking, "A bowl of chili with Fritos doesn't really strike me as breakfast food." I agree with you... but try it in an omlet and you'll enjoy the hearty warmth of the chili, repurposed in an omlet. Add some cheddar cheese and you're good to go for the rest of the morning.

Chili Omlet
1/2 cup chili (here's the link to Mark's Famous Chili)
2 eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
salt & pepper to taste

First warm the chili in a small saucepan over low heat.

In a small skillet, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Pour in the eggs, season with salt & pepper to taste, and cook until set around the edges. Using a spatula, carefully flip the omlet to cook the other side (try to keep it together in one piece, but if it falls apart, don't worry - it will still taste delicious). Spoon the chili onto one half of the omlet and flip the other half over the chili. Top with some shredded cheddar cheese.


Thursday, October 18, 2012

French Onion Soup

French onion is one of my favorite soups and this one has amazing, deep flavor. This recipe is so simple to throw together that I made it on a weeknight. It takes about an hour, but you have plenty of opportunity to get other things prepared (like the bread or a side salad) while the onions are cooking or the soup simmering. The recipe only serves two or three - so if you need to feed the whole family, you'll need to double or triple this recipe.
French Onion Soup
1 pound yellow onions (about two large onions),quartered and thinly cut lengthwise
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 to 5 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
1 teaspoon flour
1/2 cup dry white wine (I used a Chardonnay)
4 cups beef stock or broth (2 cans)
2 cups water
2 or 3 slices of fresh bread (ciabatta or baguette or mild sour dough), 1/2-inch-thick
1 1/2 cups grated Swiss Gruyère cheese

Melt the butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the onions, thyme, bay leaf, salt, and pepper and cook until the onions are soft and a deep caramel color, stirring occasionally. It will take about 25 minutes.

Stir in the flour and allow to cook for about 30 seconds. Pour in the wine and allow it to bubble for a minute or two. Add the beef stock and water. Cook for about 30 minutes on low, stirring occasionally. Simmering will allow the flavors to blend together and become incredibly luscious and delicious.

While the soup is simmering, place the slices of bread on a cookie sheet and set the oven to BROIL. Toast the bread under the broiler for a few minutes on each side until nicely browned. Remove the toast from the oven and set aside until the soup is done simmering.

Ladle the soup into bowls. Place a piece of the toast on top of each and sprinkle generously with the grated Gruyere. Place the bowls back in the oven under the broiler until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Be very careful handling the hot bowls. (I place the bowls on a cookie sheet so they are easier to move in and out of the oven). Enjoy! 

recipe slightly adapted from Jessica Strand on

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Mark's Famous Chili

This is my absolute favorite chili recipe. I am usually not a huge fan of chili and definitely not a fan of beans, but Mark's chili is the best I've ever had (and I even eat the beans). It's hardy and healthy! Try it on a cool autumn day - served with a little cornbread.

Mark's Famous Chili
1 pound ground beef
1 pound steak, cut into 1/2 in pieces
1/2 cup onion (1 small onion), diced
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cumin
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup catsup
1 (29 ounce) can tomato puree
3 cups beef stock
2 cans beans (pinto, chili, kidney, or a mix - we typically you 1 can kidney & 1 can chili beans)
1 cup dry breadcrumbs

You can make this in a crockpot or in a large stockpot on your stovetop...

Crockpot method (the one I typically use):
Brown the ground beef in a large pan over medium heat. When the meat is browned through, add the ground beef to the crockpot. Return the pan to the stove and add the onions. Cook until transluscent, then add the small pieces of steak and cook until just browned. Add that steak and onion mixture to the crockpot. Next add all of the other ingredients to the crockpot, except for the breadcrumbs. Give it all a good stir, put the lid on, and turn on the power. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or high for 3 to 4 hours. Stir in the breadcrumbs as needed to thicken the chili.

Stovetop method:
In a large stockpot set over medium heat, cook the onion until transluscent. Add the ground beef and steak and cook until browned through. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, just until fragrant. Add the remaining ingredients and give a big stir. Turn the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes to 1 hour, allowing enough time for the flavors to blend. Stir occasionally.
Serve chili topped with shredded cheddar cheese and Fritos for dipping. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dairy Free Vanilla Cupcakes

I've posted a recipe for dairy free chocolate cupcakes before. So I thought I should balance it out by also trying a vanilla cupcake containing no milk. This recipe contains almond milk (which is non-dairy). These cupcakes are also vegan because they contain no animal products at all - no milk, no eggs. The recipe will make a dozen cupcakes, but you could easily use half of the ingredients if you only needed a few cupcakes.
Dairy Free Vanilla Cupcakes
2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups almond milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a cupcake pan with paper liners.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the vinegar, almond milk, oil, and vanilla and whisk to combine. Spoon the batter into each prepared cupcake liner, filling 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

When the cupcakes are completely cool, top with your favorite frosting (or just eat them - they are quite moist). I topped mine with one of my favorite frostings --- the cookie dough frosting from Annies Eats. Click here to go there. To make her frosting dairy free and vegan, substitute Crisco for the butter and water or almond milk for the milk in Annie's recipe. The cookie dough frosting is also quite delicious on chocolate cupcakes.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage

I love just about anything with butternut squash in it. My very favorite is the butternut squash soup at Grounds in Long Beach, California. I think they served it every Tuesday in the fall and winter (and I ordered it every time it was available). I soooooo miss going to lunch there. If you live in Southern California, you must try it. They also have great sandwiches. Since I can't have my favorite soup, I got my butternut squash fix from this tart. It is a simple snack, lunch, or light dinner that's perfect for fall. It comes together in no time and is absolutely delicious. The fried sage is the perfect flavor match to the squash. You could serve the tart with a little salad to make it a meal.

Butternut Squash Tart with Fried Sage
1 small butternut squash
1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water
3 tablespoons olive oil
12 fresh sage leaves (approximately)
1/4 cup shaved parmesan cheese
salt & freshly ground pepper
Chile honey

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Peel the neck of a butternut squash using a vegetable peeler. Using either a sharp knife or mandolin slicer, cut 1/8-inch thin rounds from the neck portion and reserve the rest of the squash for another use.

Flatten the sheet of puff pastry on a baking sheet that has been covered with parchment paper. You can use a rolling pin if you need to or you may be able to just create a rectangular shape by unfolding it with your hands.

Brush the pastry dough with the egg wash (egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water). Arrange the squash rounds on the pastry dough, overlapping the edges to cover the entire dough, but allowing about 1/2-inch boarder of crust around the edge.

Place a second sheet of parchment paper over the squash and top with a second baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes. Then remove the top baking sheet and the parchment paper that's covering the squash. Brush the squash with a tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Return to the oven and bake for about 25 minutes.

While the tart is baking, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When it just starts to smoke a bit, add the clean, dry sage leaves to the oil. They will cook very, very quickly - about 5 to 10 seconds. You just need them to sizzle a bit to get crispy and then remove them from the skillet and place on a plate lined with a paper towel.

When the tart crust is golden brown around the egdes and cooked in the middle, remove it from the oven, slice, and top with the saved parmesan. Drizzle with chile honey (the link below has a recipe or you can buy some at your local market - it may also just be called hot honey or spicy honey). Top with fresh ground pepper and the fried sage leaves.

recipe from