Baked Goat Cheese with Bacon, Apple, & Fennel

Filled with chunks of fennel, green apple, and crispy maple bacon, this baked goat cheese is best hot from the oven with crusty bread. Bake it in a 9-inch cast iron skillet (which you do not have to butter) or a 9-inch baking dish (buttered).


Recipe from The Boston Globe.


  • 8 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 slices thick-cut maple bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 bulb fresh fennel, halved and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fennel fronds (for garnish)


1. Set the oven at 400 degrees. Have on hand a 9 ­inch cast iron skillet or lightly butter a 9-inch baking dish.

2. In a large bowl, stir together the goat cheese, cream cheese, chives, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, olive oil, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan, salt, and pepper.

3. In a dry skillet over medium ­high heat, render the bacon, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until golden brown. With a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.

4. Leave the bacon fat in the pan. Add the butter and when it melts, add the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute, or until it just begins to brown, taking care not to burn it. Add the apples and sliced fennel. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes, or until brown and tender. With a slotted spoon, transfer ⅔ of the apple-fennel mixture to the goat cheese mixture. Add ⅔ of the bacon. Stir gently to combine.

5. Spread the mixture in the skillet or baking dish and smooth the top. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Transfer to the oven and bake for 12 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden on top. Remove from the oven and garnish with the remaining bacon, apple-­fennel mixture, fennel fronds, and parsley.

Bacon-Wrapped Pork with Roasted Vegetables



  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 11⁄2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seed, chopped
  • 11⁄2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages baby carrots
  • 6 shallots, halved
  • 1 (11⁄2-pound) pork tenderloin
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided


  1. Preheat oven to 425°. In a small bowl, stir together garlic, rosemary, fennel seed, salt, red pepper, and lemon zest. In a large bowl, combine Brussels sprouts, carrot, and shallot; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon garlic mixture, tossing to coat. Set aside. Rub pork tenderloin with remaining garlic mixture.Wrap bacon around tenderloin, overlapping slices slightly.
  2. In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, heat 1⁄2 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add tenderloin; cook until browned on all sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side. Remove from heat. Add vegetables to skillet; drizzle with remaining 1⁄2 tablespoon olive oil.
  3. Bake until a meat thermometer registers 140° and vegetables are tender, approximately 25 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Caroline’s Balsamic Vinaigrette

So simple and delicious. You’ll never buy store-bought again!



  • 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp chopped shallots or garlic
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper


Combine all ingredients by shaking them together in a jar, whisking, etc. Store in an airtight container until ready to use.

Yield: Enough for 2 small salads

Kellianne’s Pesto Tomato Chicken



  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 jar store bought pesto, or homemade (about 8-oz/1 cup)
  • 1 14-oz can halved/quratered artichoke hearts, drained (can sub frozen artichoke hearts)
  • 1 large beefsteak (or other) tomato, sliced fairly thinly
  • 1 egg, beaten with a little water or milk
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Italian blend shredded cheese (usually a combo of mozzarella, parm, fontina, asiago, etc.)
  • 8 oz Fresh mozzarella, cut into spears like cheese sticks (could also sub mozzarella cheese sticks, i guess…)
  • Salt & Pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a large casserole dish.

Lay half of the tomatoes and artichokes in the bottom of the dish.

Butterfly the chicken and pound with a meat tenderizer. Sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper. Place equal amounts of mozzarella spears in each chicken breast. Roll up/fold over each chicken breasst aroudn teh mozzarella, dip in the egg mixture, and then dip in the bread crumbs. Place chicken in dish on top of tomatoes and artichokes.

Add the remaining artichokes to the dish, nestling them around the chicken. Pour the pesto over everything, spreading to cover evenly. Top with the remaining tomato slices. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over everything.

Cook in the preheated oven for 35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. At the end, broil for a few minutes or get some good color on the top.

Cool slightly and serve.


Cajun Onion Rings

You could always deep fry these, but I promise they turn out really well in the oven! Feel free to leave out the Cajun seasoning, or add any other seasoning you like.

onion rings


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk (can sub regular milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions, sliced 1/4-to-1/2-inch thick


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place parchment paper onto 2 baking sheets and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, Cajun seasoning, and 2 teaspoons salt (omit salt if your Cajun seasoning already has salt added). In another bowl or shallow dish, whisk together the buttermilk and eggs. Add half of the flour mixture to the buttermilk and beat until smooth and thickened.  Add the panko to a separate bowl.

Lightly dredge the onion rings in the flour mixture and then drop into the buttermilk.  Drain the excess batter and then dredge in the panko.

Arrange on the prepared baking sheets in a single layer. You can place smaller rings inside bigger rings if necessary, just make sure there is space between them. Lightly drizzle with olive oil and the remaining salt. Then place in the oven. Cook until golden brown, 14 to 20 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, flip over each onion ring to ensure even crisping and browning.

Crisp Gingersnaps


Yield: about 40 cookies


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 1/2 cup sugar in a shallow bowl, for finishing


Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a bowl; stir well to mix. Set aside.

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together on medium speed the butter, fresh ginger, and sugar for about 5 minutes until very light and fluffy. Add the egg and continue beating until smooth.

Lower speed and beat in half the dry ingredients, then the molasses. Stop the mixer and scrape down bowl and beater. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients. Remove bowl from mixer and use a large rubber spatula to finish mixing the dough.

Cover, and transfer to the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes (or up to 24 hours).

Set racks in middle racks of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees.

Scoop out 1-inch diameter pieces of dough. Roll into balls between the palms of your the hands, then roll in the sugar. Place the balls of dough on greased cookie sheets leaving about 3 inches all around each, to allow for spreading. Bake the cookies for 12-15 minutes (less for slightly chewy cookies, more for super crispy cookies). Cool cookies on racks. Store the cooled cookies between sheets of parchment or waxed paper in a tin or plastic container with a tight-fitting cover.


Fresh Fig Chutney

Ahh, the fig tree… bold, fragrant foliage, delicious, sweet fruit… this gorgeous tree is ubiquitous in the lower and coastal south. Even in suburban Atlanta, I can still find fresh figs growing on trees in my neighborhood. At the end of summer, you may (if you’re lucky) find yourself wondering what to do with all the ripe figs you (or you neighbor, in my case) have been blessed with. There are a multitude of sweet recipes to make with your figs, but I often crave something a little more savory. Fig chutney to the rescue! This recipe keeps for a long while in the fridge, and even longer if you can/process it properly. Be sure to share with your friends and neighbors (especially if it’s their figs you stole – *ahem* – liberated)!


Adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s recipe found here.


  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 lb light brown sugar
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp ground ginger (dried, from the spice isle)
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 1/4 lbs fresh figs, washed, stems removed, and sliced


Combine all ingredients (except figs!) in a large sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until mixture is thickened and reduced by 2/3, forming a thick syrup. Add the figs and cook gently until the figs are very soft and beginning to fall apart and most of the liquid they’ve given off has evaporated, about 30 minutes.  If needed, add pectin or a green apple peel to thicken (although this shouldn’t be necessary if you’ve reduced the chutney enough).

Cool to room temperature, and place in a glass jar. Place in fridge, or process according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Excellent served with Brie cheese (baked in pastry OR grilled in a panini), served with pork, or as an accompaniment on a cheese board.

Makes about 2 1/2 pints



Summer Succotash



  • 3 uncooked bacon slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cups fresh corn kernels (about 6 ears)
  • 2 cups frozen lima beans, thawed
  • 1 pt. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • Salt & Pepper


Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat.  Cook bacon, turning frequently, until crisp. Remove and drain on a paper towel. Cool and crumble.

Drain most of the bacon fat from the pan (leave just enough to cook the onion in).  Add onion and garlic cloves to the skillet.  Cook over medium heat until onions are translucent. Add the corn, lima beans, and tomatoes. Sautee until corn is just cooked – about 5 minutes.  Add the butter, vinegar, chives, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook a few more minutes, and serve immediately, topped with crumbled bacon.


Blackberry-Hoisin Meatballs in Lettuce Cups

Ok, I’m still on my blackberry kick! And this is yet another easy and delicious recipe you must try! And it’s low-carb! I tried making the copy-cat P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps, but the loose ground meat was so messy in the lettuce wraps… This option is way better! Feel free to substitute the blackberry-hoisin glaze with any glaze of your choosing. Teriyaki glaze, Miso and Honey glaze, Garlic & Ginger glaze… the possibilities are endless! But I personally recommend this delicious and easy blackberry-hoisin glaze! Recipe adapted from THIS recipe on the Just a Taste blog.



  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup panko or breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 lbs ground turkey (or chicken)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 cup blackberry preserves
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • Sesame seeds (for garnish)
  • 1 head Boston lettuce


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper/tin foil sprayed with oil.

Combine the milk, panko, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, scallions, egg, turkey, and S&P in a large bowl.  Toss gently with your hands or a fork until combined, being careful not to over-mix.

Shape the meat mixture into 2-inch balls and set on the prepared sheet pan. Place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, combine the blackberry preserves and hoisin sauce in a large, microwave safe bowl.  Stir until combined, and then heat in the microwave until hot (about two minutes). Stir again to make sure everything is combined and smooth.

Toss the meatballs in the blackberry hoisin glaze, and then garnish with sesame seeds. Serve in lettuce wraps.

Serves 4


Key Lime Pie with Blackberry Swirl

It’s the end on blackberry season, and these little gems are over-ripe and over-sweet!  Enjoy them while you still can in this oh-so-summery dessert. Fall will be here before you know it (hang in there!), but in the meantime, there are still delicious summer recipes to make!

Blackberry-Lemonade-Pie-690x690 (1)



  • 18 whole Graham Crackers
  • 1/3 cup Sugar
  • 1/3 cup Butter, Melted
  • Or, you can just buy a regular (not deep dish) store-bought graham cracker crust…


  • 2 Tbsp Lime Zest
  • 1/2 cup Lime Juice
  • 2 Egg Yolks
  • 1 can (14 Oz) Sweetened Condensed Milk

Blackberry Swirl:

  • 2 cups of blackberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 tbsp corn starch


For the blackberry swirl:

Combine blackberries and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir as sugar mixes with blackberry juice and melts, about 2-3 minutes. In a small bowl combine lime juice and corn starch. Stir in the lime mixture into the blackberries. Bring to a boil and allow to cook for another 2 minutes as the sauce thickens. Cool completely. Can be made ahead and stored in an air-tight container in the fridge.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For the crust:

Crush crackers in a food processor or Ziploc bag. Pour them into a bowl and stir in sugar and melted butter. Press into a regular (not deep dish) pie pan and bake for 5 minutes or until golden and set. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

For the filling:

Mix lime zest, lime juice, and egg yolks in a mixing bowl. Add in condensed milk and mix on high until smooth and thick. Pour mixture into crust.

Drop spoonfuls of the blackberry sauce onto the top of the pie, and swirl with a knife until you get the desired effect. Be sure not to over-swirl, or you’ll lose all the pretty patterns!


Place pie in oven and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven, allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 1 hour—more if possible.

Serve with sweetened whipped cream and more grated lime zest and/or blackberries.

Blackberry-Granola-Cheesecake-Gluten-Free (1)