Uncategorized April 23, 2018

Bake Your Day


Home By Design

april | may | 2018

bake your day

A Collection of Sweet and Savory Baked Goods


All it takes is the scent of something baking in the oven for my family to come running. It doesn’t matter if it is sweet treats like peanut butter cookies or savory morsels like beet tarts; they know it’s going to be the perfect shade of golden brown when it emerges from the oven. Sometimes baking evokes a sentimental memory. My recipe for carrot cake cupcakes with cream cheese frosting always makes me think of my mother, who would make these desserts on special occasions or when we all needed a special treat for the week. Whether it conjures memories from when you were growing up or helps enhance new memories, nothing says home like the smell of baking.

Bake Your Day


This is such a fun and simple pastry to prepare for any occasion, be it a brunch, light dinner, or even a last-minute cocktail hour with friends. I think this pastry is best when prepared with a quality ham that you might get from your deli counter or local charcuterie shop. I often use an aged Irish or English cheddar for extra flavor.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 4 to 6 slices of ham (I like rosemary or honey ham)
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg whisked with 1 teaspoon water
  • Fresh chopped chives, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425 degree F.

Open the thawed puff pastry and place it on a lightly floured work surface. In the center panel of the trifold pastry, spread the cream cheese. Then layer the slices of ham, tearing them into pieces if you like, and then sprinkle the shredded cheese over the ham.

With a knife, make 6 even slits on both sides (end panels) of the puff pastry. Starting at the top of the pastry, fold the flaps diagonally and alternating over the filling. When you get to the end, tuck the extra dough under the pastry.

Gently transfer the pastry to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush the pastry with the egg wash and then place it in the preheated oven for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

HAM AND CHEESE DANISHLet the pastry cool for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing and garnish with fresh chopped chives.


This happens to be one of my favorite savory tarts. What could be more delicious than roasted beets over ricotta and goat cheese in a homemade crust? If you’re short on time and you need to use a store-bought crust, this tart will still be just as tasty. If you can’t find golden beets, use all red beets or maybe swap a few large roasted carrot slices to mix up the color. Consider serving this with a lightly dressed salad of spring greens and arugula.

Serves 6

  • 2 medium red beets, scrubbed clean
  • 2 medium golden beets, scrubbed clean
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces cold butter, diced
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese, drained
  • 4 to 6 ounces goat cheese
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried chives
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh chopped thyme or lightly dressed spring greens, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Place the beets on a large piece of aluminum foil and then rub them with the olive oil. Wrap the beets in the foil, tenting it so the beets can steam a bit.

Place the foil beet packet on a baking sheet and place the baking sheet in the oven. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes or until done and can easily be pierced with a fork.

While the beets are roasting, mix together the pastry dough. In a food processor (or by hand with a pastry cutter) add the flour, salt, and cold butter and pulse until the flour resembles coarse crumbs. While the food processor is running, add the cold water. The mixture should form a dough. When the dough has formed and is not sticking to the sides, transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Knead the dough a few times and then form a disc. Wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

RED AND GOLDEN BEET TARTWhen the beets are done and cooled, peel the outer skin off the beets and then slice evenly making 6 to 8 slices per beet. Set aside until needed.

Whisk together the ricotta, goat cheese, egg, dried thyme, chives, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Set aside until needed.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and roll it out large enough to fit into the tart pan. Once the dough is in the tart pan, spread the cheese mixture into the bottom of the pan over the dough. Drizzle the cheese mixture with a little olive oil and then bake in an oven preheated to 350 degrees F for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the pastry edges are golden brown.

Place the roasted beet slices, alternating red and gold, on the cheese layer until all the slices have been used. Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper and salt and serve at room temperature. Garnish with fresh chopped thyme or lightly dressed spring greens.


Dutch babies are large, light, and fluffy pancakes—much like a popover. They’re typically served sweet with a dusting of powdered sugar; however, they can be made savory. This Dutch baby is filled with spring asparagus and Swiss chard and makes a lovely brunch, lunch, or evening meal.

Serves 4 to 6

  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅔ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup chopped Swiss chard
  • ½ cup shredded Gruyère cheese

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream, Parmesan, flour, lemon zest, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Let the batter rest for about 15 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron pan or seasoned iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, add the asparagus and cook until crisp tender. Then add the Swiss chard and cook just until wilted. Sprinkle with the Gruyère cheese.

Next pour the batter over the vegetables and then place the skillet on the middle rack of the preheated oven.

SPRING ASPARAGUS AND SWISS CHARD DUTCH BABYBake for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the Dutch baby is browned and puffed. With oven mitts, carefully remove the skillet from the oven and serve immediately. The Dutch baby will deflate after a few minutes, but it will still be tasty.

Maria Walker CRS

Maria Walker CRS


Where Dreams Come Home

Featured Magazine