Whole Grain Blueberry Waffles

Whole Grain Blueberry Waffles

No matter whether it’s for breakfast or dinner, sometimes it is nice to have a good old blueberry waffles, but why not take that blueberry waffle and make it a bit healthier. Granted this still is not something you would want to eat every day, but it makes the times that you just have to have a waffle that much better! ;oP

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of white whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
3 eggs 2 cups of buttermilk (Note: If you don’t have buttermilk you can use 1 cup of sour cream and 1 cup of milk.)
1 to 1 1/2 cup of frozen blueberries

Preheat a waffle iron.

Whole Grain Blueberry Waffles: Batter

Stir together white whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt and sugar in a bowl until well mixed. Add eggs, oil and buttermilk and stir until well mixed. (Note: You may need a bit more buttermilk due to humidity and such. You want a thick batter type consistency.) Stir in blueberries, until just mixed.

Spray your waffle iron with non-stick spray or brush with oil. Add batter to each plate and lower the lid. When the waffles are golden and done through remove and serve.

Whole Grain Blueberry Waffles: A Bite

Notes: You could do this with strawberries or bananas as well.

Kicked Up BBQ Chicken

Kicked Up Barbeque Chicken

Barbecue chicken, a bit dull, but oh so good! But why not kick it up another notch? This takes regular barbecue chicken and makes it something more…It’s just perfect for when you want something quick, simple, but with a certain wow factor. What’s not to like about that?

This recipe is actually something I came up with when I was doing Weight Watchers several years ago and one of the many times I’ve done that over the years. By taking the barbecue chicken and adding a few elements you really get bang for your buck (or points as the case may be)!

It’s been a while since I’ve done Points (the last time I did WW I did the Zone plan), but let’s see if I can’t remember the basic break down…2 points for the chicken breast, 1 point for the barbecue sauce, 2 points for the cheese, 2 points for the center cut bacon and 0 points for the scallion…That brings you in at around 7 Points, if I remember my Points correctly, for a very hearty dish. Pair it with some fresh or steamed vegetables and you’ve got the perfect meal!

Note: As I mentioned it has been several years since I have done Points, so double check the numbers if you are actually doing WW! :o)

What You’ll Need Per Person:
1 boneless skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup of barbecue sauce
1 ounce of shredded cheddar or Colby cheese (Note: I used Colby Jack.)
1 piece of center cut bacon, cooked and chopped or crumbled
1 scallion, chopped both green and white parts

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Bake chicken breast for 20-25 minutes until done through. Remove from oven and brush with barbecue sauce. Return to oven for 5 additional minutes.

Once chicken is done and barbecue sauce is heated remove from oven and place chicken breast on a plate. Top with shredded cheese, bacon and scallions. Serve immediately.

Kicked Up Barbeque Chicken

Notes: If you aren’t a fan of barbecue sauce you could simply add the toppings to a breast that has been cooked with season salt.

Blueberry Cheesecake

Blueberry Cheesecake

On Saturday a dear friend of mine (Hi Cookie!) came over for lunch/the day. We ate lunch, talked, played Scene It Harry Potter and just generally enjoyed spending time with one another! Earlier in the week I had e-mailed Cookie and asked if she liked blueberries as I had a bunch of blueberries in the freezer that I froze when they were in season and I’ve been wanting to make something with them ever since! It turns out Cookie likes blueberries too so we were in business!

So now I knew we were dealing with blueberries, but what to make? I could have made some sort of blueberry pie or blueberry cobbler or something with a blue berry sauce or a cake or blueberry muffins or even one my all time favorites Blueberry Ice Cream! But I’ve done all those already…I wanted something new…Something different! But what?

Then it hit me…Cheesecake! Yes I had already made a cheesecake for our dinner guests earlier in the week, but I had always wanted to see if you could make a cheesecake with actual blueberries in the cake and not just as a topping and this was the perfect chance! And I must say I really loved how this turned out! The flavor was really fabulous and the color was just marvelous! Topped with a little whipped cream this was the perfect, cool, creamy, summery dessert!

Now if you’ll excuse me I think I need to go get myself upon the treadmill and/or elliptical machine! ;oP

Blueberry Cheesecake: Crust

What You’ll Need for the Crust:
1 sleeve graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1 stick of butter, melted

(Note: I like to leave my graham crackers a bit chunky instead of processing them to complete crumbs, but which ever version you prefer will work fine.)

Crush graham crackers and place in a medium sized bowl. Add sugar and stir to mix. Pour in melted butter and stir until it all comes together. Press into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been generously sprayed with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Note: As I’ve mentioned before in terms of cheesecake the most important part of making a cheesecake is making sure that you preheat your oven first! Preheat your oven to 325 F and don’t try to skip this step. It’s essential! Do NOT skip the preheat stage!

Blueberry Cheesecake: Blueberries

What You’ll Need for the Blueberry Portion:
2 cups of blueberries (Note: I used some I had frozen earlier this summer)
The zest of 1 lemon
The juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of organic cane sugar

In a medium sized pot add blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar and cook over medium heat stirring often until blueberries form sauce and become soft. This takes roughly 3-8 minutes depending on the heat.

Remove from heat and set aside and let cool to at least lukewarm or cool completely.

Blueberry Cheesecake: Ready to Bake

What You’ll Need for the Cheesecake:
Blueberries as prepared above
4 – 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened (Note: I used regular cream cheese, but I’ve used low-fat and fat free in the past when making cheesecake and they both have worked.)
1 cup ricotta (Note: I used part skim this time because the store was out of fat free, but any variety will work.)
4 eggs
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour

As I mentioned above preheat your oven to 325 F.

In the bowl of your mixer cream together cream cheese, eggs, ricotta and sugar until completely smooth. Add cooked blueberry mixture and mix until the blueberries are completely incorporated into the batter. You may need to scrape down the bowl several times. Add flour and mix until just incorporated. The batter will be a lovely purple color:

Blueberry Cheesecake: Up Close Before Baking

I mean how gorgeous is that color??

Pour batter into the pan with the crust and spread it out evenly. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to make sure there are no air pockets. Wrap the bottom of the pan in aluminum foil and place the pan into a baking dish. Pour warm water into the dish until it comes at least half of the way up the side of the pan. (Note: The aluminum foil keeps the water from ruining the cheesecake, while allowing you to bake it in a water bath.)

Blueberry Cheesecake: Ready to Bake

Bake for 1 hour.

At the end of 1 hour turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake where it is. Open the oven door to the broil position and let the cheesecake sit in the turned off oven for an additional hour. Once that hour is over remove from oven and place in the fridge. You want to chill the cheesecake for at least 8 hours. Overnight is best.

Blueberry Cheesecake

Once the cheesecake has cooled completely, just before serving, remove the outer ring of the springform pan, slice and serve.

Trust me if you’re a blueberry lover you are going to LOVE this one!

Blueberry Cheesecake

Notes: I’m going to go out on a limb here and say if this worked for blueberries, any berry would work with this same method. Or perhaps peaches…Oh my…I may just have to make that one day! 😉

Peanut Butter Cheesecake

Peanut Butter Cheesecake

I adore cheesecake and if you’ve been around Dianne’s Dishes for a while you’ve probably heard me say that before! Seriously a cheesecake food group? Anyone??

Essentially I have a basic cheesecake recipe base that I tweak to make different varieties. The base is the most important part of a cheesecake to begin with. You want something that is creamy, yet firm, but not so firm that you have to really push your fork through it to eat it. You want firm, yet soft…Confused yet? 😉 But trust me this cake base never fails! You get a perfect cheese cake every time and after all that’s exactly what you want!

A peanut butter cheesecake has been on my list of things to play around with for a while. So when we had dinner guests on Tuesday night (With whom we had a fabulous time I might add!) I decided it was the perfect time to see what I could come with! I must say I was really pleased. The peanut butter is there, but not overpowering and the chocolate crust, along with the hot fudge drizzle and whipped cream just all came together so well! I even made Jamison a crustless, gluten-free version (see below) that was pretty good too! What’s not to like about that?

Peanut Butter Cheesecake: Crust

What You’ll Need for the Crust:
1 sleeve chocolate graham crackers
1/4 cup sugar
1 stick of butter, melted

Crush graham crackers and place in a medium sized bowl. Add sugar and stir to mix. Pour in melted butter and stir until it all comes together. Press into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been generously sprayed with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Note: The most important part of making a cheesecake, other than getting everything blended well, is making sure that you preheat your oven first! Preheat your oven to 325 F and don’t try to skip this step. It’s essential!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake: Baked and Ready to Serve

What You’ll Need for the Cheesecake:
4 – 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, softened (Note: This go around I used regular cream cheese, but I’ve used low-fat and fat free in the past when making cheesecake and they both have worked.)
1 cup ricotta (Note: I use fat free, but any variety will work.)
4 eggs
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 cup peanut butter powder
1 cup of unbleached all purpose flour

As I mentioned above preheat your oven to 325 F.

In the bowl of your mixer cream together cream cheese, eggs, ricotta and sugar until completely smooth. Add peanut butter powder and beat until completely mixed. On low speed add flour and mix until just incorporated.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake:Ready to Bake

Pour batter into the pan with the crust and spread it out evenly. Tap the pan on the counter a few times to make sure there are no air pockets. Wrap the bottom of the pan in aluminum foil and place the pan into a baking dish. Pour warm water into the dish until it comes at least half of the way up the side of the pan. (Note: The aluminum foil keeps the water from ruining the cheesecake, while allowing you to bake it in a water bath.) Bake for 1 hour.

At the end of 1 hour turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake where it is. Open the oven door to the broil position and let the cheesecake sit in the turned off oven for an additional hour. Once that hour is over remove from oven and place in the fridge. You want to chill the cheesecake for at least 8 hours. Overnight is best.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake

What You’ll Need for a Gluten Free Alternative:
1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
2 eggs
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
1/3 cup ricotta (Note: Again I used fat free, but any variety will work fine.)
2/3 cup peanut butter powder
1/3 cup sweet potato flour

Cream together cream cheese, eggs, ricotta and sugar until smooth. Add peanut butter powder and beat until it is completely mixed. Add sweet potato flour on low and mix until just incorporated. Pour into two small 6 inch glass dishes that have been sprayed with non-stick spray. Follow the same directions for baking as above.

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecakes: Ready to Bake

(Note: With the glass dishes you don’t need to wrap the bottoms of the dishes in aluminum foil since the water can not penetrate them.)

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cheesecake

After the hour of sitting in the oven that is turned off turn cheesecake out of their dish and put in an airtight container in the fridge for at least 8 hours before serving.

Now let’s talk a little hot fudge shall we?

Peanut Butter Cheesecake with Hot Fudge Sauce and Whipped Cream

What You’ll Need for the Hot Fudge Sauce:
8 ounces of baking chocolate (Note: I used 60%.)
1 cup of sugar
1 stick of butter
2 cups of half and half
1 tablespoon of vanilla

Melt everything together in a medium sized pot. Bring to a quick boil. Boil for three minutes and then remove from heat. Add vanilla and stir to mix. Let cool and serve.

Note: You can store the hot fudge in the fridge when you’re done. When you put the hot fudge in the fridge it turns to a fudge like consistency. Simply take out a few scoops, put it into a glass dish and microwave for 20-30 seconds to melt again.

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna: Topped With Sour Cream

Mexican lasagna has always intrigued me. I’ve heard about it for years, but had never tried it. I knew the general idea was that you used corn tortillas as you would noodles in a more traditional lasagna, while also utilizing more traditionally Mexican ingredients. I made this version sans meat and I must say I really liked the result! What’s even more fabulous is that the longer it sits the more the flavors just come together making it the perfect recipe for leftovers! And let’s face it leftovers are a good thing…Lunch anyone? 😉

What You’ll Need:
12 Corn tortillas
1 – 15 ounce can of pinto beans (Note: If you want you can use pre-made refried beans, but I like to make my own.)
6-8 scallions, chopped (Note: Both green and white parts.)
Cayenne pepper
A pinch of sea salt
1 – 4.25 ounce can of whole green chillies, drained and chopped
1 – 19 ounce can of enchilada sauce
Chopped peppers (Note: You can use any type of pepper that you like. I used chopped sweet banana peppers, but bell peppers will work fine too. If you really want to heat things up then you can use a hot pepper as well.)
Shredded Cheddar, Colby or Monterrey Jack (Note: I used Colby Jack. Or you can use a combo of any of them.)
Sour cream for garnishing if desired

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Mash pinto beans and stir in chopped scallions, a generous pinch of sea salt and cayenne pepper to taste. (Note: If you don’t like a little spice then leave out the cayenne, but I like for it to give a little kick. You can use as much or as little of it as you like.) Set aside.

Mexican Lasagna: First Layers

Spray and 8 X 8 inch baking dish with non-stick spray and place 4 corn tortillas in the bottom of the pan, overlapping, until the entire bottom surface of the dish is covered. Spread out half of the bean mixture to cover the top of the tortillas. Sprinkle with chopped chilies and peppers.

Mexican Lasagna Second Layer with Cheese

Next add a layer of enchilada sauce and cheese. Repeat these steps one more time.

Mexican Lasagna: Top

After you have done two layers add another layer of tortillas and top it with enchilada sauce and peppers. Then top with a layer of cheese.

Mexican Lasagna: Baked

Bake for 25-30 minutes until the cheese melts and browns slightly. Remove from oven and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.

Mexican Lasagna: A Slice

Cut into slices and serve plain or with a dollop of sour cream.

Note: Guacamole would be a good topper for this too. You could add some shredded chicken too if you liked, or even some mushrooms to continue in the vegetarian vibe.

Parmesan Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Parmesan Roasted Rosemary Potatoes

Today is a busy day, so I’m going to share with you a quick, easy, fabulous side dish that you can whip up in no time! This one will get you raves and you won’t be in the kitchen all day either. That’s a win win in my book! 😉

What You’ll Need Per Person:
1 potato
Extra virgin olive oil
Course sea salt (Note: I like Celtic Sea salt.)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 ounce of Parmesan cheese, grated
1 sprig of fresh rosemary, stripped from the stem and chopped

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Cut a potato in half and then make slices about 1/8 of an inch thick. Toss with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, black pepper, Parmesan and rosemary and place in a single layer on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper. Bake for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are slightly crisp and golden. Serve immediately.

How easy is that?

Notes: You could use thyme if you liked in place of the rosemary or use them both.

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Wow the weekend passes so quickly! You blink and it’s simply gone! It seems like just a few minutes ago it was Friday afternoon and now bam it’s Monday morning! Where did the time go? I’ll tell you…It went to house cleaning and lawn mowing and laundry and errands and generally boring stuff! So let’s not talk about it and move on to the peppers shall we?

Stuffed peppers…I’ve heard horror stories about them and I must say I’ve never actually tried your traditional stuffed pepper, nor have I actually had a chance, and these stuffed peppers are most definitely not what most people are used to! I also made some Stuffed Mediterranean Peppers last year and they weren’t exactly what you would call traditional either, but that is not necessarily a bad thing!

Traditionally (From what I understand…Again I’ve never eaten a stuffed pepper) stuffed peppers involve some form of tomato sauce, maybe some onion, possibly some rice, perhaps some ground beef and seasonings. Sounds good, but I wanted to take it a step further. I decided to cut out the tomato and meat, add in risotto instead of regular rice, all while tossing in some cheese and giving them a spicy kick. What resulted was fabulous and if you like things a little spicy then these are the stuffed peppers for you!

Stuffed Peppers

What You’ll Need:
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
4-5 mushrooms, chopped
A pinch of sea salt
2-3 cups of baby spinach leaves, chopped
1 cup of arborio rice
Freshly ground black pepper
A generous pinch of cayenne pepper (Note: If you’re not a fan of spicy use less or omit this. If you like spice add more!)
1 quart of broth, plus more if needed (Note: Chicken or vegetable will work.)
1/4 a pound of queso blanco
2 ounces of goat cheese

In a large skillet sauté onion and mushroom with a pinch of sea salt until tender. Add chopped spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes until spinach is wilted. Add arborio rice and cook for a minute or two, then add black pepper and cayenne pepper and give a stir to mix. Add broth and cook, stirring occasionally until arborio rice is tender.

You may need to add more liquid. I usually use broth at first and then if I need to add more I add water instead. If the liquid has absorbed, but the arborio rice is still stiff add more water 1 cup at a time. Sometimes you may not need to add liquid at all, other times you may need to add liquid 3 or 4 additional times. I’m not sure why this is, but I suspect it is much like flour and has to do with humidity.

Stuffed Peppers: Ready to Stuff

While the arborio rice is cooking, cut the tops off of bell peppers and remove the seeds and ribs. (Note: This mixture will fill 6-10 peppers depending on what size they are. I used four, three green and one chocolate, and had some filling left over.) Set aside.

Stuffed Peppers: The Filling

Once the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed remove from heat and stir in cheese until mostly melted. Let sit for about 5 minutes to rest.

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Stuffed Peppers: Read to Bake

Stuff each pepper with filling until it is completely filled and place the top of the pepper back on. Place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick spray or brushed with olive oil. Baked for 10-15 minutes until peppers are soft. Serve immediately.

Notes: This filling mixture is fabulous all on its own if you don’t want to stuff peppers. This filling would also be good to stuff mushrooms.

Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding

Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding

Chocolate…What’s not to like? I’m a firm believer that there is no such thing as too much chocolate. Jamison on the other hand…Well let’s just say that he’s a firm believer in chocolate in small doses.

Yes I know…How is that possible? ;oP

He does however like chocolate pie (though I’ll have to gluten free-ize it before Thanksgiving…And yes I did just make that up!) so I thought it might be fun to play around with some pudding and see what I could come up with and let me tell you Alexis and I were highly impressed!

Now in the interest of full disclosure I have to tell you that Jamison wasn’t as big of a fan of this as Lex and I. He thought it was too rich, which rich it was, but again it’s all a matter of perspective. I also was out of milk chocolate so that made it a bit richer than it might have been otherwise and I’ll definitely try it again in the future using milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet to see if it would be a bit more to his liking. Overall however I was very pleased and if you’re a chocolate lover I think you would be too!

P.S. I enjoyed taking last weekend off so much I’ve decided to make it an every week thing for the most part unless something just really inspires me and I can’t wait to share it with you all! Check back this afternoon for “What’s For Dinner?” and then I’ll see you happy readers on Monday!

What You’ll Need:
2 cups of chocolate chips (Note: Milk, semi-sweet or dark will work fine. Or you could do a mix of them or even go nuts and throw in some white chocolate chips too!)
1 1/2 cups of sugar (Note: Jamison likes things very sweet!)
1 1/2 cups of half and half (Note: Fat-free or regular is fine.)
1 cup of corn starch
1/2 a stick of butter, softened

Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding: Ready to Melt

In a large pot, over low to medium heat, melt chocolate chips and sugar in half and half, stirring often, until smooth. Once melted bring to a quick boil and slowly add corn starch, stirring constantly. Once mixture is slightly thickened (about 2-3 minutes) remove from heat, add softened butter and stir for an additional minute or until butter is completely melted and incorporated. Chill for 1 hour and serve plain or with a dollop of whipped cream.

Gluten Free Chocolate Pudding: Ready to Chill

Notes: Because of the chocolate chips this is a make and serve sort of dish. The longer it sits, the more firm it becomes. If needed you can whip the mixture with a mixer or hand mixer just before serving if you feel it’s too firm.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Chocolate Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Chocolate and peanut butter…Such a fabulous combination as you well know! A few weeks ago when our neighbor did us a favor I decided to play around with the two ingredients and this cookie is the result! These cookies are tender and almost cake like and the flavors of the chocolate and the peanut butter just meld so well! I wish Jamison could have tried these, but alas with the gluten it just wasn’t an option! These would have been fabulous for him though! Regardless, if you are a peanut butter/chocolate lover then these are the cookies for you!

What You’ll Need:
2 ounces of baking chocolate
1/4 cup of half and half
2 sticks of butter, softened
1/2 cup of peanut butter powder
1 tablespoon of vanilla
3 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1/2 cup of cocoa
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
2 – 10 ounce packages of peanut butter chips

Melt baking chocolate with the half and half in the microwave until smooth. (Note: My microwave actually has a setting for melting chocolate and it works great! You want to be extremely careful when you melt chocolate in the microwave that you don’t let it go too far and burn. Do the first round at 30 seconds and then do each additional round at 20 seconds if your microwave doesn’t have a setting.) Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of your mixer cream together butter, peanut butter powder, vanilla, eggs and sugar until completely smooth. Add cooled, melted chocolate and mix well. Next add sea salt, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa to the wet mixture and mix on low until incorporated. Slowly add flour and mix until just mixed. Add peanut butter chips and stir to incorporate. (Note: You can do this with a spoon or you can just mix them in with the mixer on low. I prefer the mixer method.) Place dough in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours to overnight.

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Drop dough by the rounded tablespoonful onto a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Bake for 8-12 minutes until cookies are done through. Remove from oven let sit on the cookie sheets for a couple of minutes and then remove the cookies gently to a cooling rack. Once the cookie are cooled store in an airtight container.

Makes about 4 dozen cookies.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Peanut Butter Chip Cookies

Notes: You could add in chopped peanuts as well if you liked.

Tomato and Goat Cheese Pizza Tart

Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Tart: Up Close Crust

Wow…The weekend seems to go by so fast! On Saturday we decided to go the new local library and see what it had to offer. They had booths set up with fun things to do and clog dancers, which Alexis really enjoyed, and of course the new library and all the books! What’s not to like about that?

Saturday night Jamison made dinner and then I gave Jamison a haircut, after which he put Alexis to bed. I then spent several hours watching Dr. Who on BBC America…Sure they are old episodes, but David Tennet was on the screen so what else could you ask for? Perhaps a Dr. Who/Torchwood marathon would have been even better…Yes I’m a geek! ;oP

Speaking of being a geek I saw a quote on Facebook Flair that I just loved: “Come to the dork side…We have Ï€!” Get it…Ï€…Pi…Pie…Oh never mind! ;oP

Where was I? Oh yes…

Anyway, yesterday I spent the day doing lesson plans and Jamison and Alexis spent the day annoying one another, which they are rather good at! ;oP No seriously though Jamison kept Alexis occupied…They played in the basement, they played outside and had fun as they always do. It’s amazing how much you can get done when a curious five year old isn’t under your feet! Don’t get me wrong I find her curiosity all consuming and exciting, but lesson planning is much more fun for both of us if I can surprise her once the lessons actually roll around! All of that said, we had a wonderful weekend though the weekend always seem to blaze in and out before I catch my breath. Two days just doesn’t seem like enough does it?

Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Tart: Dig In

Now let’s talk some tomatoes shall we?

Believe it or not I was not always a fan of tomatoes. In fact as child I hated them…I didn’t like them on salads, I didn’t like them on sandwiches and I didn’t even like them plain! But years ago, the first time I did Weight Watchers, back before WW had Points or even the Core Plan, I rediscovered tomatoes through cooking with them and then progressed into enjoying them all by their little selves. It wasn’t immediate, but over the course of a few months my whole outlook on tomatoes changed. Now I can’t get enough of them!

My initial plan was to make a traditional tomato/goat cheese tart with a pie crust, BUT my crust failed miserably. Oh well that happens sometimes, but what next? I briefly thought about making a buttermilk biscuit crust, BUT I was out of buttermilk. Oh well that happens too. So I decided to settle on a pizza crust instead and the result was fabulous!

Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Tart

If you like tomatoes and goat cheese then pull out your tart pans…This one is for you!

P.S. This was my tomato inspiration of this week’s garden party over at Dinner Tonight…I’m a few days early, but it’s going to be such a busy week I knew if I didn’t get it done early it wouldn’t happen. :o)

Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Tart: A Slice

What You’ll Need for the Pizza Crust:
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour (Note: I meant to use white whole wheat flour, but got side tracked. You can substitute that if you like.)
1 teaspoon of sea salt
3/4 cup of warm water
1 tablespoon of honey
4 teaspoons of yeast
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil

What You’ll Need for the Tart Filling:
2 pints of grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
A generous pinch of sea salt
Extra virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
2-3 sprigs of rosemary, chopped (Note: I love rosemary. In my opinion there is no such thing as too much rosemary. Seriously if I could figure out a way to chocolate coat it I would! However if you aren’t a fan of rosemary or like it in small doses use one sprig.)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces of goat cheese
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese

Slice tomatoes in half and place in a glass bowl. Sprinkle generously with sea salt an toss to coat. Let tomatoes sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours to draw out moisture. After that time dump the tomatoes into a mesh or stainless steel strainer and let drain for 20-30 minutes.

Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Tart: Tomatoes

In a glass bowl stir together flour and salt until mixed. Set aside.

In a glass measuring cup add honey and yeast to warm water and let sit for 3-5 minutes until foamy.

Next add olive oil to the flour mixture and then slowly add water/yeast mixture stirring until ball of dough forms. (Note: Depending on humidity and such you may need a little more or a little less water. Eyeball it as you go. Once the ball forms you’ll know to stop. It’s hard to mess this recipe up. It’s very forgiving. If you go too far with the water add more flour a little at a time until ball forms.)

Press dough into a tart pan that has been sprayed with non-stick spray. Let dough rise while oven preheats.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Bake crust for 5-6 minutes until done, but not browned. Remove from oven and set aside.

While the oven is preheating and the crust baking, prepare topping. In a large skillet sauté onion and tomato, with rosemary, garlic and black pepper until tomatoes are soft and most of the liquid has cooked off. (Note: If the liquid doesn’t appear to be cooking off don’t sweat it…Simply strain the cooked tomatoes before putting them on the crust.)

Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Tart: Tomatoes Cooking

Once tomatoes are cooked spread them out on the partially baked crust. Sprinkle the top of the tart with goat cheese and Pecorino Romano cheese. Return to oven and bake for 5-6 additional minutes until cheese is melted and crust golden. Remove from oven and let sit 5-6 minutes before serving.

Tomato Goat Cheese Pizza Tart: The Inside

Notes: You could use other herbs if you liked. Dried thyme would be fabulous in this! You could also add in other vegetables if you liked.