Rainbow Carrot + Asparagus Tart

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How can I ever accurately express the impact Celine Dion has had on my life?

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I suppose I’d have to go back to the beginning. When a six-year-old Rachel sat in the movie theatre after her first screening of Titanic and the credits rolled. Something inside of me just clicked.

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My Heart Will Go On became the first in what would become a collection of ballads I would memorize and sing at all hours of the day staring at myself in the mirror performing in a melodramatic fashion.

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And now, in less than one year, I will see my idol in person. I will breathe her angelic air and hear her golden voice live. Because my mother knows me to my core, she was determined to get these tickets. She joined a Celine fan club to get early access to tickets and on the morning they went on sale, she was prepared to fight the masses with two cell phones, an iPad and a laptop. After we lost out on Adele tickets in 2016, she was not taking any chances! After about 73 failed attempts, she gets them. 8 tickets for me, her and 6 of my BFFs. It’s not until after she’s paid she realizes she accidentally bought us VIP tickets. Like, OK, do I smell a meet and greet in my future?!?!! After further research, we discover the 8 VIP tickets we purchased give us 8 commemorative lanyards and 1 CD. A single CD. For the 8 of us to share. We’ll be creating a rotation schedule so everyone gets equal amount of time with the disc.

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And we are also all going to channel different Celines for our wardrobe and makeup, so we or may not go viral.

 

 

Time:  1.5 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 1 tart

Ingredients:

  • 1 puff pastry
  • 4 rainbow carrots
  • 1/2 a bunch of asparagus
  • 1 cup of basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of walnuts
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic
  • 1 tbsp. of lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup of olive oil
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Thaw puff pastry for 40 minutes
  • Arrange carrots + asparagus on two lined baking sheets
  • Drizzle each with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + some S+P
  • Roast 20 minutes, tossing once in the middle, remove the asparagus, cook carrots a couple more minutes
  • Meanwhile combine basil + walnuts + nutritional yeast + garlic + lemon juice + S+P in a food processor, process on low + add in remaining olive oil
  • Spray a baking sheet with oil + place puff pastry on sheet
  • Spread pesto on thawed puff pastry, leaving edges plain
  • Cut carrots in half, length wise + place them + asparagus on top of the tart in whatever order your heart desires
  • Bake 15-20 minutes or until crisp to your desire
  • Cut in quarters + serve warm
  • Take a quarter in your hand + crunch it up over your tilted mouth letting the crumblies fill your pie hole

Buttnernut Squash + Beet Pizza

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My husband just asked what is the difference between the Oscars and the Academy Awards.

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How did I end up with him, honestly?

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It was another successful Oscar Sunday in my household. Snacks were served, a guessing game was played, an exclusive performance by muah of the entire A Star Is Born soundtrack was witnessed.

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Speaking of, will I ever recover from the Gaga/B Coop performance? My dreams for the last three nights tell me no. When they came back from commercial and the camera is filming the audience as the stage hands set up the piano and you hear the opening chords, I was all wait, what, what is happening, what is going on?!? Then, they rise from their seats like friggin PHOENIX FROM THE ASHES and walk hand in hand on stage, I truly almost fainted. I was not mentally prepared. Then they opened their mouths and started singing and my blood began to boil in a positive way. Like, I started to sweat and get light headed. Bradley was obviously nervous and Gaga just calmed his nerves via the secret brain waves they share. When he started walking towards her, again, I had to force myself not to pass out. He sits, puts his arm around her & I had to fight back tears. I cannot remember when I’ve been subjected to that much passion on live TV. They finish the song, pause, look at each other, and in that intimate moment, I just began to scream. Kiss her. Kiss her! KISS HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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The friends I had over for a watch party are no longer speaking to me, but they’re probably just really busy.

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 1 pizza

Ingredients:

For dough, if making homemade –

  • 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 ounces of active dry yeast, activated
  • 1 tsp. of S
  • 2 tbsp. of olive oil

For toppings –

  • 1 butternut squash, peeled + cubed
  • 3-4 baby beets, peeled + sliced thin
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, rinsed + drained
  • 1/2 cup of spinach, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, taste
  • 3 tbsp. of olive oil

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a large bowl, combine flour + activated yeast + S
  • Mix in a cup of warm water + the olive oil + knead until it forms a dough ball
  • Let sit for 15 minutes
  • Roll out onto a floured surface + place on an oiled pizza stone or cookie sheet
  • Bake 10-15 minutes or crisp to your desire
  • Meanwhile, arrange butternut squash on lined baking sheet + drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + S+P
  • Roast 20-25 minutes, tossing once
  • Meanwhile, heat another tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add onion + S+P, cook 7-8 minutes or until caramelized to your desire
  • Stir in beans + S+P, cook 1-2 minutes, turn off heat
  • Process butternut squash in a food processor with garlic + remaining olive oil
  • To assemble pizza, spread butternut squash puree on cooked pizza dough + top with onion/bean mix + sliced beets
  • Cook another 10 minutes
  • Top with fresh spinach, serve warm
  • Take leftover beet slices to the local park + use as mini frisbees with pals

 

Dough from here!

Fig Jam Pizza

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I wish I was 13 years old again and my greatest joy in life was learning a new cheat code in The Sims.

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I wasn’t a cool 13-year-old, OK?

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If I could calculate it, I’d likely discover I spent the better part of my adolescence behind a giant Dell computer screen making fictional families comprised of me, my school crushes and lots of children with my favorite names at the time – Juliet, Katarina, Trevor, etc.

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I’d build extravagant houses and paint all of the walls hot pink and lime green and fill the backyard with like 6 hot tubs. My character’s career path was ALWAYS music and I mastered the guitar in like 3 days and painted in my spare time. I always made my husband (better known as my 7th grade flavor of the week) a doctor and when, in real life, I decided I was totally over him and/or he got a girlfriend (more likely the case), I would make him cheat on me in the game so I could slap him and kick him out. Learning healthy relationship skills from the jump.

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The best was when I’d get bored with a family so I’d put them all in the house, remove the doors and watch them go nuts.

 

 

Time: 2 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 1 pizza

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs of figs, ends trimmed + sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 pizza crust
  • 2 cups of arugula
  • 1 onion, sliced thin
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • In a bowl, combine figs + sugar, coat + let sit for 15 minutes, stirring occassionally
  • Transfer figs to a pot + add lemon juice + 1 cup of water, bring to a boil
  • Turn heat down a bit, let simmer for 40-45 minutes, until jam is sticky + runny to your desire
  • If you want chunks, leave as is, if not, turn off heat + blend with an immersion blender
  • Transfer to a mason jar + refrigerate
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 + heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add onion slice + S+P, let caramelize for 8-10 minutes, remove from pan
  • On a pizza crust, spread some jam + top with onion
  • Bake for 10 minutes or until crisp to your desire
  • Top with arugula + serve warm
  • Put a slice atop your head + run into the streets chanting “I gotta pizza on my head, but don’t call me a pizza head”

 

Fig jam adapted from here!