The B Family went to Half Price Books last night, and I scored three new cookbooks, along with my Father-in-Law’s next holiday present.  God bless him.  He has suffered through nine years of crazy gifts from me.  But he loved his talking George Bush doll, and his Chia Obama.  Okay, loved is maybe too strong a word, but he did enjoy seeding Chia Obama’s ears, eyebrows and nostrils, so at least we know he was entertained.

Anyway, cookbooks.  This is about cooking, not my inappropriate gift giving–I can’t even remember how that started.  I get normal gifts for everyone else.  Only Pop gets the nutjob treatment.  Cookbooks.

The new ones are the Step-by-Step, the Mediterranean, and the Smoothie books. No, those aren’t all my cookbooks. I haven’t found all of them in the unpacking, yet. And yes, that is an upside down wall sconce being used as a book end.


I’ve done a fair amount of cooking today, for having only gotten started after four o’clock.  I made my crackers this morning, then went to the grocery store and came home with the fixings for five recipes out of my new books.  I also came home with steamed crab legs, cooked lobster tail, and shrimp cocktail because my mother has addicted my child to crustaceans and he has been begging me for crab for two weeks.

While I was resteaming the crab legs, I got started on Goat Cheese Tarts from the Step-by-Step cookbook.  This is my kind of book!  It is full of pictures, showing you how to, what to, and how it should look.  I’m pretty visual.  That helps me.

The recipe called for a sheet of puff pastry, 10 oz of goat cheese (I got two different kinds from the same brand), onion, corn, or tomato relish, one egg beaten, oil for drizzling, flour for dusting, and pepper. I also added chopped olives and a dash of sea salt for flavor.
This relish. You guys! This relish is delicious! I had no idea what kind of relish to get, only that B hates corn, so that was out. I chose this one because Wayne rhymes with Lane, and it was Award Winning. I chose wisely. Buy this.
In short: You dust some flour on a space, roll out your dough, then use something round (I used a glass) to cut out 12 circles of pastry. You transfer that pastry to a buttered up cookie tray (I used a stick of Land o’Lakes butter and just rubbed it all over the tray until it was slick.) Then, use a smaller circle to make an inner ring dent (don’t cut! just impress) on the circles of pastry, brush egg all over that, then prick the dough with a fork a few times to punch some holes. I don’t know why. It was an instruction and I followed it.
Then, you put a spoonful of relish in the center of each round, and I added a spoonful of chopped olives, then a dash of salt. Then, you put a round dollop of goat cheese on top, drizzle that with oil, and top with sprinkles of pepper.


That goes into an oven, preheated to 400, until the pastry is fluffy and the cheese is bubbly. It took about 12 minutes for mine. Serve hot or cold.


They don’t look like much, and I was actually afraid to eat one.  I served them to B first, since I had finished cracking and cleaning his crab legs first.  He said they were very good, so I tried one.  Um…I have 4 left.  I am saving them for tomorrow.  Maybe.

But the relish is the thing.  That relish is delicious!  It is exactly the right balance between sweet and savory.  Nom nom nom.  Probably a ridiculous amount of calories per bite, but I don’t care.  That’s good eatin’!

I had a lot of lobster left over, so I have made lobster salad.  We’ll see how that is tomorrow, and if I like it, I’ll tell you what I threw together for that.