Chocolate, Cherry, Coconut Macaroon Tart

Last weekend, was kind of perfect. It was the kind of weekend I imagine non-students have all the time, but which sometimes seems tragically absent for those of us with work always hanging over heads. Friends and family popped in and out all weekend. We played games; watched a game; I ran an impromptu race. And, this tart was there the whole time. Baked up on Saturday morning for a dinner party we were hosting, the leftovers served as a snack when Noah’s parents came by, and then accompanied us to a Super Bowl party. It received rave reviews at every point. If you are looking for a perfect weekend, I think this tart should be your companion. If you are trying to turn a less than perfect weekend around, I think this tart could help out.

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It’s a riff on the macaroon tart in Heidi Sawnson’s Super Natural Everyday. I made it gluten-free by substituting almond and buckwheat flours in the crust. I made it less seasonal–because the current season is the worst–by buying frozen cherries and covering it in chocolate. Come to think of it, maybe that is perfectly seasonal for February (this could be a Valentine’s Day treat, if you are into that sort of thing).

Oh, and another thing, a few months ago I started writing the occasional post for Blue Apron Meals. Do you know about Blue Apron Meals? You should definitely check them out. Anyway, the coconut in this tart came from coconut I dried. That’s right, I made my own coconut milk and wrote about it for them. As a result I also got my own coconut water and shredded coconut. While you can certainly use store-bought, unsweetened coconut, if you really need to turn a bad weekend around, you could also get out a hammer, buy a coconut, and rid yourself of any aggression.

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Soupy Rice, Kale and Lentils

After a string of sexy (or at least sweet and boozy) recipes, I’m bringing this blog back down to earth with the most mundane of dishes. Rice, kale, lentils, and broth. Could anything sound more ho hum? I can’t even describe this dish as a soup since, even if it starts out soup-like on day one, by day two the rice and lentils have slurped up so much of the broth that it has transformed itself into more of a risotto. So, here we are. It’s a very gray, very cold February. The roads are slushy and our food is soupy and also kind of gray.

That said, if you can get past this dishes indeterminate name, boring list of ingredients, and none-too-flattering photographs, I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I know I was.

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I had absolutely no intention of writing about this dish. I just wandered into the kitchen hoping to use up the kale that was slowly wilting in the refrigerator and warm up our drafty apartment. I didn’t write down what I was doing, just chopped up an onion, scrounged up the lentils and rice, and washed the kale hurriedly while the onion was browning. But, then Noah got home and yelled, “What are you cooking? It smells amazing.”

Then I took a bite, and, well, it’s much more complex than I expected. It’s got the umami-ish depth that comes from melting anchovies into your food. The wine gives it some tang (more so if it is edging its way toward vinegar as mine was). The lentils are toothy and make a bowl of this feel healthy enough for lunch even while the arborio rice makes it feel bone-sticking enough for February. I scribbled the recipe down on a napkin, but I’m moving it here for safe keeping. I’m sure I’ll be making more before the winter is over.

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