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A Simple Salad Dressing

Homemade salad dressing never crossed the threshold of my mother’s kitchen. It was all about Seven Seas bottled Italian Dressing over iceberg lettuce. In fact, homemade salad dressing remains a foreign concept in my mother’s kitchen; however, she has introduced some new brands and flavors into the mix.

I love to make my own salad dressing. It is more flavorful and certainly less expensive and I like that each time I mix my own batch of olive oil, vinegar, and whatever else I have in stock – I’m getting a unique twist. It is a different experiment each time. But I think I finally found THE ONE.

Parc makes a simple, elegant salad with the best dressing. I rarely enjoy a salad with just lettuce, but with the right dressing it is a perfect complement to a variety of dishes or even just a hearty soup or a nice baguette. Parc creates such a dressing. I asked my friend Liz – the best cook I know – what is the secret? It is the tarragon she said. Truth be told, I’ve never even used tarragon before. As it turns out, it is the Tarragon and I finally found a keeper in this homemade Tarragon salad dressing. For me, the trick to dressing is mixing all of the ingredients in a jar. Just shake and pour. Also, I added some Cipollini onions to the dressing below for a little extra kick. Beats Seven Seas any day….

Tarragon Salad Dressing

Ingredients

Directions

Place fresh chopped tarragon, minced garlic, honey, mustard(s), mayonnaise, salt & pepper in a jar. Shake it well. Add vinegar. Shake again.  Add olive oil. And shake again.

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The Big Apple

My love for fall has been well documented on this blog. But my affinity for October 4th is particularly strong since it is the day I got engaged. We were spending the weekend in NYC – a lovely crisp fall day. My husband proposed on a rowboat in Central Park where he hired a violinist to meet us on the lake playing our song. It was the best day of my life – and yes even better than my wedding!

Somehow this day passed by me this week. I’m one of those people that likes to celebrate the anniversary of our first date, engagement and wedding. I don’t expect a gift or anything – I just like to take a moment, remember, and smile. So we will celebrate – belatedly – tonight with an apple custard tart. All week, my husband has been stomping around the apartment each night after dinner wondering what snacks/dessert can be found. Well, none. So I’m making it up to him with a big ol fattening apple custard tart.

I just love the presentation and packaging of a tart especially when you use one of these dandy Springform tart pans. What I love about this tart is the consistency – it is kind of like a apple tart, cake and pie all rolled into one.  And it is a perfect way to celebrate the beginning of fall…

 

 Apple Custard Tart

 Ingredients

  •  1 3/4 c. sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. (2 sticks) butter, melted and slightly cooked
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 med. sized tart apples (approximately 1 lb.) pared, cored and sliced 3/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 inch spring form pan. Beat flour, 1 cup of the sugar, 1/2 cup of the butter, baking powder, and 2 of the eggs in medium size bowl to make smooth dough. Refrigerate until chilled.

Press dough evenly over bottom and 2 inches up side of prepared pan. Flour fingers lightly if dough is sticky. Stand apple slices in the surface of dough, rounded sides up. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Place pan on baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 50 minutes or until dough is lightly golden. Leave oven on.

Stir together 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of the butter, and 1/2 cup of the sugar. Carefully pour over the tarte, do not allow egg mixture to run over sides of dough. Bake at 350 degrees for an additional 20 minutes or until custard sets. Cool on rack, remove sides of pan. Serve slightly warm and for a little extra indulgence add some vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

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