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Monday, June 23, 2008

How to destroy a playroom in 5 minutes or less

Take six good friends, mix in their five kids, add a cooking party, and you've got the perfect recipe for big smiles and an even bigger mess. Ok, we didn't care about the mess, but it was kind of funny. Remember this unnaturally organized playroom? Well here's what it looked like after five kids got ahold of it: Oh yeah, that looks more normal... I used a Tapenade Tarts recipe that cooking goddess Lisa sent me for the appetizers, and they were so good I had to restrain myself from eating more than six. (Not even kidding, in fact I ate two more this morning -- cold, straight from the refrigerator). Here's the recipe:

Tapenade Tarts

(I didn't use the exact amounts listed below, maybe only half of the olive tapenade, half of the feta, and however many cherry tomatoes it took to put three pieces on each tart -- the recipe was so easy I don't think you can mess it up no matter what.) 1 pkg. puff pastry sheets (2 sheets) 8 oz. olive tapenade (can substitute pesto if you're not an olive fan) 12 oz. feta cheese, crumbled 1 lb. grape tomatoes, each cut in half Thaw pastry according to package, then roll each sheet into an 8"x8" square. Cut each sheet into 16 equal squares. Place each square in the bottom of a muffin tin (which has been sprayed for easy removal), then add about 1/2 tsp. of tapenade to each one. Sprinkle on some of the feta, then top each with 3 tomato halves. Bake at 425F until pastry is puffed and browned -- about 15 minutes in our convection oven, not sure how long it would take in a standard oven. Remove to cooling rack as soon as you can handle them. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I also made "Spa Water," which I've been downing by the gallon lately. The idea came from Burke Williams Spa, which always has this fab chilled water in the dressing rooms. No clue what amounts they use, but I cut up about half a cucumber, one orange, and one lemon, put the slices in a big pitcher (usually twice as big as the puny one shown here, it's just that we ran out of room in our refrigerator, which is a side-by-side that I detest, but that's another story) and add water. Let it sit for a little while to get all flavorful and then just pour the water into big 'ole glasses of ice and suck it down. You can refill the pitcher a couple of times if you want to and the flavor will still be good, but after that you probably need to dump out the slices and start over.

Good stuff. Hope y'all had a wonderful weekend. If you have any other good recipes for appetizers, please please share them!