Friday, September 22, 2017

Welcoming Fall: Swiss Chard Pie

Fall is coming and I'm ready:

This will be our first Fall in wine country and I'm pretty excited. After living in Colorado the last 2 1/2 years, it will be nice to not have to deal with snow (well, mostly driving in the snow). While I think snow is beautiful I've had my fill of cold winters. Snowy/wintery locales would be okay if you could just always sit by a warm fire and watch the snow fall. However, real life requires that we have to get out and do stuff. Yeah, I'm fine with missing out on a white Christmas. If we really want snow we can take a trip over to Tahoe! Plus, I've heard awesome recommendations around here for pumpkin patches, and tree farms, fall vineyard drives, and a ton of holiday events. Santa Rosa is even home to a year-round ice skating rink!


A few weeks ago, we discovered a great farm stand nearby our house. Tierra Vegetables is a sustainable farm and is housed in a neat old white barn right off of HWY 101. Anyone can stop on by and check out their produce and local Sonoma County made products. The day we went, I bought some amazing tomatoes and picked up a bunch of beautiful chard too! I haven't had or cooked with chard in awhile so I found this recipe for a hearty vegetarian option. I like that it utilizes both the leaves and stems so nothing gets wasted. Happy Fall and if you make this pie let me know what you think!











Swiss Chard Pie
Ingredients:

Olive Oil Dough & Swiss Chard Filling:
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cold water
  • 3/4 tsp coarse salt
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup sundried tomatoes
  • 3 TBSP all-purpose flour
  • Zest + 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • coarse salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • basalmic glaze

Directions: 
 Olive Oil Dough:
1. Combine flour, olive oil, water, and salt. Use a fork and stir to combine, then turn the dough onto a work surface. Knead the dough for 1 minute. Cover with plastic wrap and let come to room temperature for 30 minutes. 

 Swiss Chard Filling: 

1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot. Add the garlic and onion. After 2 minutes, add the chard stems and red pepper flakes. Cook until stems are soft, about 2 minutes 

2. Put chard leaves in pot and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat, cover and cook until the chard leaves are wilted, for about 4 minutes. When chard is soft, drain and try to press out as much liquid as possible. Mix chard with Parmesan, flour, lemon zest, juice, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

 3. Roll 2/3 of the dough to a 12 1/2 inch round (about the size of an 8-inch round cake pan). Fit into cake pan and fill the bottom crust with the chard mixture. With the remaining dough roll to a 9 1/2 inch round and place over filling. Pinch the edges together and close to seal. With a knife, cut a few vents in the center of the pie. Combine egg yolk with1 tsp. water and brush over top. Freeze pie for later! 

 4. When ready to serve, preheat oven to 400 degrees and place rack in the lowest position. Bake frozen pie until the crust is a deep golden brown for 1 1/2 hours To serve, preheat oven to 400 degrees, with rack in lowest position. Bake frozen pie until the crust is golden brown, about 1 1/2 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature drizzled with balsamic glaze. 

Yield: 8 servings *Recipe slightly adapted from Martha Sewart

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

SO MUCH CHANGE!!!

The title says it all! We have had so much change in the last year and then even more changes in our lives have happened in the last couple of months! 

First, learning how to parent a toddler is challenging, wonderful, and of course exhausting but I wouldn't have it any other way! 

My daughter is now 2 1/2 and she is so full of joy and love that all of that makes the hard days seem easier (even though I have days I feel like pulling my hair out!). We had some really tough times earlier this year and it brought our family incredibly that much closer together. I'm taking extra time in my life to appreciate every single day as such a wonderful gift. In just a couple of weeks, give or take, my little toddler is going to be a Big Sister:



We are super excited as a family but also a little nervous as we have no idea what to expect having two kids. It will be just be another chapter in our adventure of life. Adding on to that adventure, we made another huge life decision and decided to move to another state, again. Two and half years ago we moved from Sacramento to Colorado for my husband's job. Taking lots in to consideration, my husband applied for a new job outside of his corporate one and was offered and accepted a job back in California. One of the most exciting things is the new job is in a place we have always wanted to live:


Wine country, craft beer, amazing food, fresh year round produce, close to the beach......I could go on & on! We have been here about 2 months but already the amount of amazing things and opportunities this place offers is pretty special. We have lived in 3 different furnished temporary houses here so far because one thing we didn't realize was how incredibly crazy and competitive the housing market is here. We wanted to buy a house because this is somewhere where we are ready to set down our family roots but we kept getting out bid on houses we put offers on, etc. We finally found a house, however the closing date is on my due date! Yes, the logistics of our move didn't quite work out as planned but it is what it is, and we have tried to be as flexible as possible because this was a move we chose and wanted. Since the housing is more expensive here and I'm currently choosing to stay at home with my kids, we definitely have a much tighter budget than ever before. So I'm learning to create and cook some budget friendly meals that I will have to blog about as we go along this journey! 

We did receive an Instant Pot from my parents for Christmas and since I jumped in on that popular craze I will have to share some of the great recipes I've been making with it! We made sure to bring it with us and not pack it and it has been the perfect "travel" appliance for all of our temporary rentals! Stay tuned for more on living in wine country and becoming a family of four......




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