Hamptons Lane: (clicking this link uses my referral code and credits me $20 so I can keep blogging about it!)
1. Ships Monthly for $47
2. Culinary Inspired Boxes
3. Their website describes: “Each month is different – we spotlight a different region, food, ingredient, skill, or activity”
4. Unique option to pick a box or skip each month
This months theme was Tarts and Pies. The note from the curator, Emily Battista, verbalized what most of us average cooks fear, baking! I grew up cooking with my mom who still to this day does not have a recipe to her name. She just throws stuff in a pot and it is amazing. So naturally I grew up with this disregard for recipes. However, baking requires you to actually read recipes. It requires precision. It requires many skills that scare me.
Here is the info magazine with details on the items and recipes (their website has additional recipes):
This box contained:
Rectangular Tart Pan by Fat Daddio’s
(Cooking supplies with names like Fat Daddio’s must be good!) The dimensions are 13 1/2 by 4 1/2.
Double Sided Pastry Cutter by Fox Run
These might not get used until next Thanksgiving when I make my yearly apple pie for my husband who always requests it but never eats any of it because he always fills up on dinner.
( I don’t know what ceramic pie weights are either!! Apparently when you pre-cook a pie crust you can use them to prevent the bottom of the crust from rising)
Leaf Presses (Set of 4) by Hampton’s Lane
These presses are really well made and easy to clean!
Sweet Orange Sugar by Terre Botanicals
Fancy and Organic, Hooray!
Cloister Whipped Cinnamon Honey
I may have briefly thought about applying this to anything that moved in my house because it is so darn yummy.
Chicken Pie and Pumpkin Pie Spice from Raw SpiceBar
I have tried this company before thanks to HL and I love their mixes.
Now on to the cooking!
I decided to make the pear and goat cheese tart listed in the HL booklet because our office got a fruit basket with pears in it and well it seemed like I couldn’t mess it up. The recipe calls for a puff pastry sheet. I wasn’t sure what that was but I thought it might be phyllo dough. Did I look it up before I went to the store to double check? Nope. Are they the same? Nope. I realized this as I was making the tart.
I told you baking requires skills I don’t have like reading……………..
But never one to back down, I was making this tart no matter what! Besides the true star of this tart was the filling so, onward!
I sliced the pears and then arranged them. The recipe calls for you to drizzle the honey on afterward but since I thought the phyllo dough might be a little dry I went ahead and drizzled the honey pre-baking.
Top with goat cheese and done! Baked for 20 minutes and you have breakfast!
Lesson here: Top anything with Whipped Cinnamon Honey and it tastes amazing
Feeling a little ambitious because my tart was so yummy, I decided to try the Chicken pot pie recipe. This requires you to make a roux which is a combo of butter and flour that you use as a thickening agent. This simple sounding combo can go bad instantly and turn lumpy so I approached this recipe cautiously.
For this Task, I needed the Tom Petty station on Pandora.
Things started out great. First song up was Running Down a Dream by Mr Petty. I got my ingredients out and sent my son and husband off to the yard. Things were about to get crazy.
This is my steady one true love. It is my shortcut to greatness. The recipe call for you to bake the chicken but I didn’t want it to be dry so I poached it in here for 15 minutes.
Next song: Santuria by Red Hot Chili Peppers
I knew it was time to try the roux when this song came on. The middle photo is the final rue. It came out pretty good. The recipe called for butternut squash but I subbed in cauliflower instead.
ok maybe it was a little lumpy……
Making my own pie crust is where I had to draw the line. Why, when I could just unroll and bake……….. When it came time to put the top crust on Free Bird by Lynyrd Skynard came on and I knew victory was in site..
Free Bird had calmed my nerves so completely that I felt I could try the leaf cutters!
I always love getting these boxes because it forces me to get out of my comfort zone of making Chili and Salads all the time. Also you can pick or skip any month so if the box seems to be too daring or something you wouldn’t use then you can opt out. But if you like to cook then I highly recommend this box!