A couple weeks ago my amazing friend Heather and I were patting each other on the back, tooting our mom horns about how much energy we had when it came to chasing our boys, and just being all around strong country girls..Now, she IS a beast, in so many ways, and I am usually just trying to soak up some of her super-powers…Whether it’s chasing down an elk with her bow, running 10Ks, throwing a football farther than most dudes I know, running the nursing staff of our local hospital, or just being an all around amazing mom, she is just dang amaze-balls. Like I said, I just try and keep up. However, the weekend of the county fair, we put that braggadocio to the test..
We spent all morning driving two hours, out of town, to our kids’ football games, spent 4 hours watching them do their thang, sprung for a loud, sticky, fried-rice everywhere, Chinese food feast for lunch (since there is none worth eating to be found within a 90 mile radius of our little town), and did a little shopping before we headed back home..We dropped off her husband on the top of the Mogollon Rim to scout for his upcoming hunt, and decided that wasn’t a crazy-full enough day..The county fair was in town, and our boys desperately wanted to see the rodeo and the farm animals, and to ride the carnival rides… Now by this time, even though the fair had been my 5a.m. in the morning, caffeine-addled bright idea, I started to doubt the energy and monetary reserves it was going to take to haul all of us and a few strays that we picked up at the football game to the county fair…so I did what any crazy, over promising mama did..I pulled out some toothpicks, propped my eyelids open for the rest of the drive, and high-tailed it back home, hollering at the kids wrestling in the back seat all the way down the mountain…
To save the $18,000 it would take to fill our 4 boys + 2 extras football-starved tummies with fried twinkies and pulled pork sandwiches at the fair food trucks, we decided on top of it all: “Well let’s cook dinner before hand…Why not??? We’ve got 45 minutes to spare”… So we loaded the ravenous boogers up on chicken alfredo pasta and garlic bread; and I knew this was my chance to pawn off some of the bushels of tomatoes that I’d been harvesting from my mutant Jack-in-the-Bean Stalk, composted magic, rooftop garden..Even though I was exhausted, I’m just hoity-toity enough to want to show off my culinary skills when I get a girlfriend over to a sit-down dinner…So I Caprese’d the heck out of those tomatoes.. It gave us something a little more waist-line friendly on the menu as our kids slurped down their cheese laden noodles.
SARAH’S CAPRESE SALAD
- Pint of Cherry Tomatoes (cut in half ~use a serated knife…trust me, you and your unsmooshed tomatoes will thank me..)
- Handful of Fresh Basil (Julienned into strips)
- Fresh Mozzarella,cubed
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil drizzled over top liberally (don’t be shy, supposedly now, all that healthy fat is good for you!)
- Sea Salt the daylights out of those tomatoes (Trust me, it may not be great for your BP, but it IS good for those tomatoes…)
- Cracked Pepper to taste
- If you’re really feeling frisky, finish the salad off with a Balsamic Glaze Reduction drizzled over top~ It will rock your tongue’s world!
So…Back to the longest mom day ever…We fed our kids, gorged ourselves on fancy schmancy tomatoes, and quickly cleaned up the kitchen…I still had a crap ton of the salad left, I knew the basil would be wilted, and the tomatoes macerated by the time I revisited them the next day, but the salad was just too glorious to toss to the already best fed chickens in Northern Gila County. So I threw it in the fridge, and decided I’d come up with something the next day…Just. wait. for. it. When I get to the end of my story, you can partake in their fancy schmancy encore, presented…uh-humph, shameless plug ensuing…on some Tre Sorelle Art Studio’s spectacular designed tableware… it was almost like I designed it especially for this blog posting 🙂 .
So any-who….back to the fair..Our caffeine reserves were below empty, so with some Pumpkin Spice goodness filling our tanks, we decided to brave the carnival lights and rodeo loud-speakers.. After turning the kids green and alfredo noodles practically coming out of their noses on their 3rd go-round on a whirly-gig, little-too-rattly-for-this-mama, carnival ride, we headed to the call of the National Anthem and the Bright lights of the family ranch rodeo..The first thing the kids saw was a vendor selling what looked to me to just be some duct-taped pvc pipe…but our boys knew better…these weren’t just any ole plastic pipes…These were high powered Marshmallow guns. So even though we got away with only spending a few bucks on snow cones thus far, we soon succumbed to the begging puppy dog eyes of our cute little boys and watched the rest of our cash fly away into the basket of the happiest pipe vendors this side of the East Verde River..
We got to the bleachers, and it didn’t take long for one of my stinkers to spot some cute, doe-eyed little cowboys across the divide, standing in the announcer’s stand, staring wistfully at our boys partaking in their initial marshmallow duel.. So what does my ornery boy do? He practically shoots the hat off of the youngest cowboy across the way with a barrage of marshmallows. Well let me tell ya, and it’s something I’ve yet to impress on my little rascals…You don’t pick a fight with cowboys. That little guy’s older brother picked up those marshmallows, and without a gun, threw the little fluffy sweets so hard and fast, he beaned my boy right between the eyes…Oh, then it was on. You’d think it was an unfair fight, with us having six marshmallow shooters on our side, and those little cowpokes possessing just rugged, wild-west strength and stubborness..But I’d be lying. After about 5 minutes of laughter, I couldn’t take it any longer. Those feisty little cowboys made my day by giving our boys what-for. I had Robby, my oldest, go buy them each their own guns, and the Marshmallow feud of 2016 ensued…The collateral damage was mind boggling…Poor elderly couples quickly migrated far, far away from the sweet pandemonium, grown cowboys hid under their hats from the deluge of marshmallows, rough, tough teenagers, itching for a fight twirled around to see what hit them, only to back down when they realized it was Heather’s 4 year old son with a devilish grin on his sticky face, and a golden marshmallow shooter in his hand.. After a couple re-energized hours of bucking bronc’s, intense cattle roping, and a few mini marshmallows shot in my eye, we finally decided to vamoose. And yet again, the beast of a lady I call my friend took all 6 boys home for a slumber party, which finally gave me the remaining whisps of the dust-filled night to collapse into bed and dream up the amazing rustic tomato tart you’ll see below.
Rustic Puff Pastry Tomato Tart
- 1 sheet of puff pastry, thawed, and set out to soften for a few minutes
- Tomato filling (pint of diced farm fresh tomatoes, 2/3 c. cubed fresh mozzarella, handful of julienned fresh basil, 2-3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil, splash of balsamic vinegar, Sea Salt and Cracked pepper to taste)..If the tomatoes are particularly juicy you can add a heaping tablespoon of flour to the filling to help thicken..
- Heat oven to 400°
- Roll out puff pastry dough gently on a floured board
- Lay out dough into shallow pie pan, or if you’re feeling extra fancy, use one of Tre Sorelle’s gorgeous Botanical Fruit or Vegetable shallow 9″ pasta bowls, they are oven friendly and just perfect for my rustic tarts…It’s like I designed them that way, or something 😉
- Gently spoon in tomato filling (do not overfill) and bring in sides of puff pastry, edge by edge, folding and brushing with an egg wash as you do.
- Brush the remaining exposed dough with the egg wash, and sprinkle on more salt and pepper over the entire pie, and add a few more chunks of mozzarella to the top of the exposed filling..
- Bake for 20-22 minutes, you want to give the dough time to puff and turn golden and the mozzarella in the filling to bubble up into a beautiful browned crown on the tart.
- Drizzle tart with a balsamic reduction, or store bought balsamic glaze, if you’re like me and just don’t have time for one more thing tonight.
- Eat right away…Puff Pastry loses some of its decadent magic once it has completely cooled.
This recipe can also be adapted to mini canape tarts…Use a mason jar lid to cut small circles out of the pastry dough, insert into mini muffin cups, gently spoon in tomato filling (don’t over fill, trust me, it will be SOOOOO NOT Pinterest-worthy if you do…#gooeymess #notsayingthatiswhathappenedtome). Cook at 400° for about 18-20 minutes until the sides of the muffin cups are gorgeously brown, and puffed.
Horn-tooting time…Does not Tre Sorelle Studios’ Botanical Fruit and Veggie dishes play the perfect Vanna White to this gorgeous food? I had to pull the collection out..it’s the perfect transition, this time of year, from the summer harvest to the warmth of Autumnal entertaining and the decadent smells pouring out of our ovens. You can still find this collection online. Just search either “Certified International Botanical Fruit or Veggie” or “Tre Sorelle Studios Botanical Fruit or Veggie” on your favorite online retailer.
Want to Purchase our Gorgeous Tableware? Search Amazon for our Botanical Fruit and Botanical Veggie Collections, pictured above.
Be sure to Pin us to save this beautiful recipe!