Wednesday, May 22, 2013

mother's day + an easy spring lunch menu

Things here have been busy, busy lately. It always gets a little crazy as we wrap up the school year.  It makes me long for the unscheduled days of summer even more! Charlie's preschool ended 2 weeks ago, but Andrew still has a couple more weeks to go. Between teacher gifts, volunteer commitments, and the start of camps I feel like I have a constant checklist running through my head of what needs to be done and who needs to go where.  I wanted to make sure I paused for a second and captured Mother's Day. Not the most timely post, I concur, but it's still May so perfectly acceptable, I think.  

Mother's Day... it was a nice.  Andrew wrote me a poem that made me cry.  He was slightly embarrassed to give it to me, but oh man, did it make my heart melt.  He'd be even more embarrassed if I shared it on the blog so I won't, but it came straight from the heart and I will treasure it forever.  I was woken early by my Little Biscuit {aka Charlie}, he was thrilled to dump an assortment of Godiva chocolates on my bed, all picked by him.  Some mothers get breakfast in bed, but the best mothers get chocolate. At 6:30 AM.  I wasn't complaining. We had my parents over for a very simple lunch. The boys were extra good and extra sweet to me.  It was a happy day.

For lunch I made Ina's Goat Cheese and Tomato Tarts, a mixed baby greens salad with my lemon vinaigrette dressing and orange cupcakes with a cream cheese, orange butter cream icing.  Cupcake recipe coming in the future.  They were very yummy {I ate 4. Pure gluttony.}, but I'm still tinkering a bit with the recipe.

Tomato + Goat Cheese Tarts
recipe from Barefoot Contesssa's Back to Basics Cookbook

1 package puff pastry
4 cups thinly sliced onions
3 garlic cloves cut in slivers
3 TBS white wine
2 tsp minced fresh thyme
4 TBS grated parmesan cheese
4 oz. garlic herb goat cheese
1 large tomato
3 TBS julienned basil
2 oz parmesan cheese, shaved

Unfold pastry on a slightly floured surface and roll into an 11x11 square.
Using a 6 inch wide saucer, cut 2 circles from each sheet of pastry. Place 4 pastry circles on a sheet panned lined with parchment and refrigerate until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat 3 TBS olive oil in a large skillet over med/low heat and add onions and garlic.  Saute for 15-20 minutes until limp and almost no moisture remains in the skillet.  Add 1/4 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 tsp pepper, wine, and thyme and cook for another 10 minutes until onions are lightly browned.  Remove from heat.

Score a 1/4 inch wide border around each pastry circle.  Prick the pastry inside the score lines with the tines of a fork and sprinkle with a TBS of grated parmesan, staying inside the scored border.  Place 1/4 of the onion mixture on each circle, crumble 1 oz. of goat cheese on top of the onions.  Place a tomato slice in the center and brush lightly with olive oil, then sprinkle with basil and salt and pepper.  Scatter a few shards of parmesan cheese over the top.  Bake 20-25 minutes until pastry is golden brown.

These little tarts were a BIG hit!  One per person was perfect for lunch, but we all could have eaten two.  For the boys I used grated cheddar and jack cheese in place of the goat cheese to make them more kid friendly.  They thought they were pizzas.

{my charlie. he loves his mama and he loves his guns. 
i just remind myself that this time last year his obsession was guitars!
i somewhat preferred the guitars. just being honest :)}


  1. That menu looks so yummy! I have a best friend has 3 boys and the youngest is named Charlie. Can't wait for the cupcake recipe!

  2. Can't wait to make this, Tessa! And I'm holding my breath for the cupcake recipe! I have 4 boys so I understand the love of a boy for their guns. Oh, cute dress! Where is it from?

    1. Thank! I'm not sure if it's a blouse, dress or tunic! Ha! From Jcrew.

    2. Its on sale and listed under bathing suit coverups haha! I'm buying it, wearing it as a dress and calling it a day!

  3. the tarts look delicious! so glad you had such a wonderful day - you are a wonderful mom! and you look great, as always! happy summer! xx.

  4. Awww... Tessa, the thought of Andrew writing you a poem melts me! He seems like such a sweet, sensitive, & serious soul. So happy your day was perfect! :)


  5. Awww... Tessa, the thought of Andrew writing you a poem melts me! He seems like such a sweet, sensitive boy. So happy your day was perfect!


  6. Tessa, I love your blog -- it's one of my favorites. Your luncheon looks delicious. I must try those tarts! Glad you enjoyed your Mother's Day. Good luck getting through the end of the school year! Any plans for summer?

  7. Tessa, I just discovered your blog a few months ago. I love it! It's a very comforting blog, if that makes sense! Lol! Glad your Mother's Day was wonderful. Handmade cards and poems are the best:)

  8. Tessa, I love this post. Andrew and Charlie are the sweetest boys!! Your lunch looks delicious!! I can't wait to try the tarts. My little girl loves goat cheese. Also, I can't wait for school to be out!!!

  9. Tessa, I love this post. Andrew and Charlie are the sweetest boys!! Your lunch looks delicious!! I can't wait to try the tarts. My little girl loves goat cheese!! And, I can't wait for school to be finished!! xoxo

  10. Love your blog! Glad I found it via Instagram.

  11. Those goat's cheese and tomato tarts look delicious - thanks for the recipe! Perfect for a summer lunch
    and I shall have to keep popping back to your lovely blog because I'm waiting to make those orange cupcakes!