Recipe of the Week: Savory Sweet Potato & Goat Cheese Puffs

I have been an obsessive foodie for years, but the demands of balancing family duties with my life as an artist has significantly cut into the time I am able to spend on meals. (Isn't this something we all struggle with in some way or another at some point?) I've come to accept the fact that I'm lucky to have three square meals a day, nonetheless eat something that is both healthful and interesting, but I like a good challenge. This recipe is one of many I've come up with that applies the bygone days I've spent in gourmet cookbooks with the need to put something good together, quickly.

Savory Sweet Potato and Goat Cheese Puffs
(created by K. Sitko for brunch with the girls)

1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1/2 can sweet potato puree (This can be found in most grocery stores these days. If you can't find this, cut sweet potatoes into 1" cubes and steam for 40 - 45 minutes or roast in the oven at 400 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes, or until soft when squeezed - with an oven mit, of course.)
Dried, rubbed Sage to taste
Pepper, to taste
1/4 c crumbled goat cheese (the goat cheese really is what makes this treat, so don't be afraid to use more)
9 fresh sage leaves for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat oven and let puff pastry rest at room temperature according to instructions on the packaging (Mine read 375 degrees F and 10 minutes, for example) then cut into nine equal squares and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Set aside.

2. In small bowl, mix puree with sage and pepper and spoon dollups of the mixture into center of puff pastry squares. Cook according to instructions on pastry packaging, until pastry is golden brown. (Mine was 15 - 20.)

3. Let cool for 5 minutes before crumbling goat cheese evenly over each pastry. Serve warm or cool.

(* For variation, try butternut squash puree with rosemary, thyme and sage with ricotta cheese.)


A Wee Break Before Dinner

Sometimes a glass of wine helps to get the chef ready for battle and sometimes it's just a reward for making it through the day.


Easter Feast

I hope your Easter was splendid indeed. Mine was bright and sunny, filled with good music, a great church service and brilliant company.

We happen to take feasting quite seriously in my household, and this time we broke out the fine china and good wine to go along with our Easter ham. We were so stuffed that we didn't make it back to the table for espresso and triple berry pie until after dark. Now, just what to do with all of these leftovers?


Perfect Packaging

After such a winter as this has been, I'm thrilled at the coming of spring. Tiny buds appear on branches, brave little tulips send leaves poking through the soil and, at long last, the sound of birdcalls fill the morning air once again. This holiday weekend, amid a frenzy of feastfull celebration and cellophane grass, millions of eggs will be collected from henhouses and iceboxes and, for just a moment, admired for their simplicity.

I wish you and yours a Happy Easter and Joyous Spring!