It's been quite a while since I last posted. Do you remember
last year when I disappeared for a while? All of the flooding, basement overhaul, kitchen out of commission? Don't worry. It didn't happen again. In fact, this time I have a good reason why I've been incognito on the blog front. We are getting ready to move into our new house. It's very exciting and I can't wait to share with you my fabulous brand spankin' new kitchen and my office off to the side. Some girls have been known to dream about their wedding days, planning it for years. Others, perhaps having that first child and dreaming of motherhood. For me, it was this kitchen. I can't wait to take pictures on the blog and share them with you soon. For now, we are still in our old home and preparing ourselves for the move. Why we put ourselves through this bedlam right before the holidays is beyond me, but this is one headache I am willing to put up with.
In the midst of meeting with contractors and picking out furniture, we managed to find some time to get away to the Outer Banks in Emerald Isle, NC. We have been going to our place in OBX for five years now during the Thanksgiving break. This year I put up a big fuss because there was so much to do and so much to take care of before the moving date, but I was outnumbered. Plus, it's hard to break with tradition. And, I have to say I am so glad we went. This lady was in desperate need of some R & R.
I was also in desperate need of cooking and baking, and I didn't even realize it. Spending my days meeting with contractors in an empty house for the past couple of weeks gave me very little time to bake. Throw on top of that the school concerts, soccer parties and practices, and school conferences, my family is lucky they have clean clothes and dinner at night. As I sit here now, the blinds salesperson is running an hour late. I really need to go to the grocery store. I need fruit. I need comforting veggies. I need good food. Healthy food. And, I could have knocked that out had I not rushed over here only to wait for this lady to show up!!! Okay...I'm off on a tangent. I was trying to say that I was happy to have a moment away where I could stand in my kitchen for hours cooking, baking, and cooking again. In my moment of zen, I was inspired to create something new to the delight of my daughter.
Madison has recently decided to be a vegetarian again, only this time it's the real thing. She won't even touch seafood. The only dish she planned to eat for Thanksgiving was my
Broccoli Casserole. I did also make roasted butternut squash, but that was wishful thinking on my part that she would actually eat it. Madison does like mushrooms, so my plan was to saute mushrooms with a few herbs and balsamic vinegar. Boring, right? As I was preparing the mushrooms, I remembered that I had one sheet of puff pastry in the fridge. Hmmm.... Then, I thought of my girl, which made me think of cheese. Trust me, the two go together. I remembered that I still had half of a block of cream cheese in the fridge. I took it out to soften and decided I'd whip it up when it got to room temperature. Meanwhile, I added a little salt to the mushrooms, chopped a bit of parsley, added a tablespoon of olive oil and mixed it all together. I then rolled out the puff pastry and placed it on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. After I whipped the cream cheese, I spread it across the puff pastry. Then, I poured the mushrooms on top and began to fold the edges of the puff pastry. I used an egg wash to seal the folded edges and then gave the mushrooms a light sprinkling of balsamic vinegar.
After baking to a golden brown and cooled, I cut the puff pastry into small rectangles, thinking we could snack on them while I finished cooking. Madison asked to sample them and quickly ate two right away. At dinner time, she ate even more with her broccoli casserole. It is rare that I find something she will eat so willingly, so this was definitely a momentous occasion that I had made something that actually made my thirteen-year-old happy. You have no idea how joyful this made me. Fellow moms of teen girls, do you feel my joy?
The great thing about this Mushroom and Cream Cheese Pastry is that it can be used as part of a meal when meat is not called for, but it can also be a fantastic appetizer to snack on before your big meals when your guests are glaring at you with hunger in their eyes and that turkey just won't cook fast enough. Think about it, too, for finger foods to counter the bubbly on New Year's Eve. You could even cut the puff pastry into small squares and place in a mini-muffin pan to serve as bite-sized appetizers or finger food.
So, I'm still sitting here in case you're wondering about me. Ho hum. At least I got some work in much to, hopefully, your delight.
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One sheet of frozen puff pastry, thawed in the refrigerator
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
8-ounces baby portobello mushrooms, washed and quartered
8-ounces button mushrooms, washed and quartered
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 egg white
2 Tablespoons water
1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
After puff pastry has thawed in the refrigerator, remove it from the wrapping and let it sit on your counter for 10-15 minutes to avoid cracks when you unfold it.
Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper and unfold your pastry sheet onto the pan.
In a mixing bowl, whip the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Spread the cream cheese on top of your puff pastry.
In a separate bowl, combine the mushrooms, parsley, salt, and olive oil. Mix to combine. Pour the mushrooms into the center of your puff pastry, leaving about an inch free on the outer edges. Fold the sides, just covering the edges of the mushroom mix.
Combine the egg white and water and brush on the folded edges of the puff pastry, especially the corners. Smooth the edges together to ensure that they don't open up when baking in the oven. Lastly, sprinkle balsamic vinegar over the top of the mushrooms.
Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before slicing into small rectangles.