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August 31, 2011

Three Cheese Tomato Tart, Tortellini Pasta Salad, and No Bake Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake

Sorry it's been so long since I last posted, but I have been at work almost non-stop for a week and a half! I'm exhausted, but so glad I finally had a break to cook dinner! Naturally, I went all out and made 2 dishes and a dessert. They all turned out delicious, but dinner was quite rich. Dessert was a little lighter, but quite sweet and tangy. Without further ado...

Three Cheese Tomato Tart
Here's the recipe adapted from The Kitchn.

Prep Time: 45 min | Cooking Time: 30 min | Difficulty: Easy | Serves: ~9 slices

2 Ripe Heirloom Tomatoescut into ⅛-inch slices 
1 Sheet Frozen Puff Pastry
3 Tbsp Light Mayonnaise
½ cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese (I may have accidentally used too much cheese, so measure it!)
½ cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Basil
Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
to taste
Kosher Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Lay out the tomato slices on a large sheet of paper towels. Cover with more paper towels and allow to drain for approximately 30 minutes (this is crucial to not getting a watery tart). Meanwhile, remove the sheet of puff pastry from the freezer and allow to thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes.

3. Unfold the puff pastry onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, pinching to close any holes in the seams. Using a fork, prick the dough all over to prevent it from puffing up during baking.

4. Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise over the entire puff pastry. Sprinkle evenly with shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheeses. Arrange the tomato slices over the cheese. Season generously with kosher salt and pepper. Grate a generous amount of Parmesan cheese on top and garnish with freshly chopped basil.

5. Bake for 30 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese is melted. Remove the pastry from the baking sheet and let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Cut into 9 squares and serve immediately.

Tortellini Pasta Salad with Bacon, Broccoli and Basil
Here's the recipe adapted from Cookin' Canuck.

Prep Time: 10 min | Cooking Time: 15 min | Difficulty: Easy | Serves: 4-5

12 Oz. Cheese Tortellini
slices Bacon (or just use a 1/4 cup of real bacon bits, which is what I used because we had it and we didn't have bacon)
1 Head of Broccoli
¼ cup White Wine Vinegar
2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 ½ tsp Honey
1 tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
½ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
6 large Basil Leaveschiffonaded (rolled and thinly sliced)

1. Set a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Cook tortellini according to package instructions. Drain and immediately rinse with cold water. Drain again. Transfer to a large serving bowl.

2. In a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat, cook bacon until crunchy. Set aside on a piece of paper towel to drain. When cool, crumble the bacon (not too small) and reserve. (Skip this if you used bacon bits)

3. Pour out all but 2 teaspoons of the bacon grease from the pan, increase the heat to medium-high, and add the broccoli florets. Saute until the broccoli is tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir into tortellini.

1. In a medium bowl, whisk together white wine vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper. While whisking constantly, slow pour in olive oil until combined.

2. Pour the vinaigrette over the tortellini and gently toss. Stir the basil into the pasta salad. Serve.

No Bake Raspberry-Lemon Cheesecake
Here's the recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction.

Prep Time: 15 min | Difficulty: Easy | Serves: 6-8

For The Crust:
¾ cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
1 Tbsp Sugar
3 Tbsp Unsalted Buttermelted
For The Filling:
 cup Sugar
Zest On 2 Lemons
1 (8 ounce) Package Cream Cheesesoftened
2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1 (8 ounce) Tub Frozen Whipped Toppingthawed
1 cup Fresh Raspberriesslightly mashed with a fork

1. In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and 1 tablespoon of sugar and melted butter. Spread the mixture evenly in a glass or metal pie tin.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the sugar and lemon zest until the sugar becomes moist and fragrant. Add cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Add lemon juice and vanilla mixing to combine. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped topping until well blended, then fold in the raspberries.

3. Spread the mixture over the crust and spread smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving. If desired, garnish with fresh raspberries and a sprig of fresh mint.

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