Apple Tarte Tatin

I first made an apple tart tatin when I was a senior in highschool. I didn’t have time to work but I wanted to have some money to spend so my mom paid me to do all the grocery shopping and make dinner a few nights a week. It was a great way to me to relax and de-stress after school before starting homework and allowed me to hone my cooking skills and cultivate my creativity while making a little money on the side.Apple Tarte Tatin |Glitter It Gold

One of the things I was doing at this time was cooking my way through the Cooks Illustrated magazines. Cooks Illustrated is by far the best cooking magazine out there for people who want to learn how to cook, not just how to read recipes. Each one has a full article on the technique, ingredients, or methods used and why it is important so that that knowledge can be translated to other recipes. For example, in their recipe for Ground Beef Chili they explain that baking powder helps beef retain it’s moisture and brown better. Now that I know this I frequently add baking powder to beef and let it set for about 20 minutes before browning, even if the recipe doesn’t include this step.Apple Tarte Tatin |Glitter It Gold

Anyways, I found the recipe for apple tarte tatin in cooks illustrated, and it was fall so I made it for a Thanksgiving dinner with my then boyfriend (now husband’s) family. It was a total hit. Now we have our own apple tree that is producing a ton of fruit right now so I pulled out the recipe. But to be honest, I was feeling pretty lazy so I made up a different, much easier recipe. I used puff pastry instead of making a dough. I wouldn’t dare call it authentic but it is definitely tasty.Quick Apple Tarte Tatin | Glitter It Gold

Melt 4 TBS of butter on med-low in a 12″ cast iron skillet. Add 1/4 c brown sugar, 1/4 c granulated sugar and melt until dissolved completely. When it starts to bubble add the whiskey (or brandy would be good too), and cook stirring for about a minute. Add the chopped apples and vanilla. I like to leave them all different sizes so you get a variation in the texture of the apples. I also leave the skin on. Our apples have very tender skin, but if you prefer no skin then peel them, and if you prefer an even texture then make all your apple slices the same size. Sprinkle the apples with cinnamon, ginger, and lemon juice and bake for about 10 minutes. Once the apples are softened, gently press them down with a spatula to flatten slightly. Place your trimmed puff pastry on top, tucking it down into the sides with a spatula. Cut a few slits on top to release steam and bake for another 20-25 minutes until the top is golden. Cool it for 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate. You could make some pastry flowers, or use cookie cutters to make some pretty shapes for decorating. Just bake them separately and set on top after you have inverted the tart. Top with ice cream, whipped cream, or as I did with Mascarpone Sorbet.Apple Tarte Tatin |Glitter It Gold

Apple Tarte Tatin |Glitter It Gold
Apple Tarte Tatin
Print Recipe
A gooey, caramely, sweet apple dessert that comes together in just 35 minutes. A quicker, easier version of the traditional French dessert using a puff pastry sheet instead of a pie crust.
Servings Prep Time
1 tart 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 tart 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Apple Tarte Tatin |Glitter It Gold
Apple Tarte Tatin
Print Recipe
A gooey, caramely, sweet apple dessert that comes together in just 35 minutes. A quicker, easier version of the traditional French dessert using a puff pastry sheet instead of a pie crust.
Servings Prep Time
1 tart 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
1 tart 5 minutes
Cook Time
30 minutes
Servings: tart
  1. Pre-Heat oven to 400F
  2. In a 12" cast iron skillet melt the butter over med low heat. Add the sugars and stir to dissolve.
  3. Let the mixture bubble for about 1 minute then add the whiskey and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Add the lemon juice and stir to combine. Remove from heat, add the vanilla and stir.
  5. Arrange the apples in the pan with the cut sides down, layering a bit.Sprinkle the top with the cinnamon and ginger.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes until the apples begin to soften. While the apples bake, trim your puff pastry into a circle to fit your skillet. You can use the excess to make pretty shapes for decorations, but bake them separately.
  7. Use a spatula to gently press down the apples to even the top. Carefully place the puff pastry over the apples and tuck the sides down into the pan with a spatula. Cut a few slits in the top for steam to escape.
  8. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
  9. Let cool for about 10 minutes before inverting onto a plate. Serve warm with Mascarpone Sorbet or with ice cream, whipped cream.
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Spring Pasta with Pea Shoot Pesto, Tomato and Mozzarella

It’s May and in Southern California that usually means it’s sunshine and 85 degrees already. The last week though has been gloomy and drizzly (but not actually rainy which we desperately need). I have all these beautiful spring veggies and herbs and all I want to eat is soup and chicken pot pie and anything that requires me to turn the oven on. I have had a giant bag of pea shoots in the fridge and I needed to dig into it somehow. I have been really into pea shoots lately, but they can be a little bitter on their own so I have found I like them best tossed into pasta at the last minute, or on pizza or in fritattas or omelettes or on sandwhiches (not so much in a smoothie).Spring Pea Shoot Pesto Pasta- Glitter It Gold

I was cruising Pinterest when I came across the idea for Pea Tendril Pesto from Love and Lemons. It’s so good I want to smear it on everything. I made mine extra citrusy by using a few TBS of lemon olive oil from Temecula Olive Oil Company. I also chose to add Parmesan and used mint instead of basil. Seriously this stuff if excellent smeared on toasted baguette with ricotta, inside an omelette, as a spread on a sandwhich, and of course tossed with pasta. I made this for dinner served warm over ravioli, and also as a cold pasta salad with diced tomatoes and mozzarella for lunch and I can’t decide which I liked better, but I photographed the cold pasta so that’s the recipe you’re getting. Just toss it all together and devour. Other yummy add ins could be feta instead of mozzarella and some red onions. Yum!! Spring Pea Shoot Pesto Pasta- Glitter It Gold


Pea Shoot Pesto (adapted from Love and Lemons)


  •  ½ cup pistachios, roasted, salted and shelled
  • a few big handfuls of pea shoots
  • zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt & pepper
  • Olive oil (you may used up to a 1/4 or more depending on desired consistency)
  • 5 mint leaves
  • 1-2″ piece of parmesan cheese


Place the parmesan and the garlic in a food processor and pulse until crumbly, add in the pea shoots, salt and pepper, and mint and pulse a few times, drizzle in the olive oil between pulses until desired consistency is reached- I like mine chunky rather than smooth.



  • 8-9 oz of uncooked pasta of choice
  • 1/2 c diced tomatoes (2 small or 1 large)
  • 1/3 c drained mozzarella pearls
  • 1/3 c pea shoot pesto


  1. Cook 8-9 oz of pasta of choice according to package instructions, drain.
  2. While pasta is cooking dice 2 small or 1 large tomato
  3. Toss with 1/4- 1/2 c of pesto (starting with 1/4 c and adding more if desired), tomatoes and mozzarella. Garnish with pea shoots or mint sprigs.


Rosemary “Shrub” Cocktail

Two months ago I got this thing in my Hatchery Box called drinking vinegar. Uh, huh? It says to mix with alcohol of my choice and top with soda water. The flavor is supposed to be Michigan Apple Pie. Since when does vinegar taste like pie or belong in my cocktails? Well, you learn something new every day and I am truly grateful to Hatchery box to practically forcing me to learn this new cocktail. I took a little swig and let the flavor sink in while I went for a run. On my way back home I saw the rosemary bush outside the apartment and the lightbulb went on.Rosemary "Shrub" Cocktail- Glitter It GoldThe label on this “drinking vinegar” says that it is also called a “shrub.” So….why not “shrub” it up a little more by adding some rosemary simple syrup. Wow, it’s good. Eric said it tastes like something really high- end that you would drink in a fancy cocktail bar, which reminded him that we have none in our area and that he bought me a (text)book on mixology which I have been neglecting and we could have a successful bar by now….Rosemary "Shrub" Cocktail- Glitter It Gold

But seriously, this cocktail couldn’t be easier to make. The simple syrup is super simple, as the name implies: 1/4 c water, 1/4 c sugar, 1 6″ sprig of rosemary. Bring to a boil, simmer a few minutes then let cool. Viola. Then simply put the whiskey, rosemary simple syrup, and drinking vinegar in a lowball glass and top with soda water and garnish a little rosemary. Rosemary "Shrub" Cocktail- Glitter It GoldUltra shrubby, kinda hipster, but super delicous. You can order the brand I used here or on the McClary Bros website where they have a bunch of flavors and I just went a little too crazy after getting the green light from Eric (Pineapple and Fennel Seed and Lemon and Ginger!!). I would suggest another place to get it or another brand, but this whole drinking vinegar thing is new to me so I am still investigating that…..

Ingredients (for 1 cocktail)

  • 2 oz of whiskey or bourbon
  • 1 oz of drinking vinegar
  • 1 oz of rosemary simple syrup
  • 2 oz of soda water

for the Rosemary Simple Syrup

Place 1/4 c of water and 1/4 c sugar in a pot and dissolve sugar. Add 1 6″ sprig of rosemary and simmer for 2 minutes. let cool before using.

Truffle Honey and Brie Toast

Sometimes when I have a stressful day at work, it takes me a little while to unwind before I can start cooking. Which is odd becuase usually cooking is my form of relaxing and unwinding. But on some days I am just too hungry and tired and wired from my day that dinner seems like this gigantic, monster of a feat that I just don’t have the energy to begin. Enter glass of wine and fancy (yet ridiculously easy) snack to pamper myself a little before tackling dinner. These snacks usually consist of a cheese, a spread or sauce or jam or preserve, a vehicle, and a flavorful/decorative finishing touch. Today I made these, and Oh. My. Goodness. Delicious. Toasted sourdough topped with a slice of brie, a drizzle of truffle honey, a sprinkling of toasted pistachios, and pinch of fresh cracked black pepper. Stick it back in the toaster over for a minute to get the brie all nice and melty.Truffle Honey Brie Toasts with Pistachios- Glitter It Gold

This would be good as baked brie too. Just spoon the honey over a piece of brie (rind removed) in a baking dish and bake until gooey and soft, top with pistachios and serve with a plate of crackers or toasts.Truffle Honey Brie Toasts with Pistachios- Glitter It Gold

I have been working on a Creamy Roasted Garlic Balsamic Vinaegrette for you. But I need pictures, and pictures requires me to photograph when it’s light out, and making it and having light just haven’t happened at the same time yet. Anyways, my point in telling you this is one ingredient in the dressing is Truffle Honey. The stuff is heaven in a jar, but rather expensive. So, as encouragement for you to get some, I figured I would give you a few recipes that use it, so you know, it’s a little more worth it. I’ll get my act together and get you the dressing recipe soon and some more details on the truffle honey. But for now I am going to finish this wine and toast because my brain hurts, make burgers for dinner and go straight to bed. After an episode of House of Cards. or three. (don’t judge). Goodnight.

Pea Shoot, Roasted Strawberry and Burrata Salad

It’s spring. And in Southern California that means it should already be 85 degrees and sunny just about every single day. Which is why I am thoroughly confused about our current weather- gloomy, cold, drizzley. Like what is this, the Northwest? NO! I know we are in a drought and could use some rain, but if it is isn’t actually going to rain I would like my sunshine back thank you very much!

So anyways, it’s spring. And today is the first Saturday in a very long time that I don’t have anywhere to be, and you know what that means- SPRING CLEANING. Well sort of. I started off really strong- two loads of laundry, dusting, dishes, folding clothes, putting things away, fliling…. but then I got hungry. We have plently of leftovers I was planning on eating until I openened the fridge thinking I would clean that out as I decided what to eat and these really sad looking strawberries were staring up at me from the back of the fridge. I had to do something, rescue them, make them less pathetic looking. So you know what I did? I sliced them up, tossed them in balsamic, and roasted them. Now my original plan was to dump them over the pistachio gelato I impulsively bought at the grocery store yesterday but that doesn’t really count as lunch so I came up with this wonderful salad. W-O-N-D-E-R-F-U-L. It is so good. The strawberries are like candy, with the crunch of the pistachio (since I already had pistachio on my mind), and oh the cool creaminess of the burrata…. Pea Shoot, Roasted Strawberry, Burrata Salad- Glitter It Gold

My tastebuds were in heaven.Pea Shoot, Roasted Strawberry, Burrata Salad- Glitter It Gold

This was the perfect thing to brighten my gloomy, boring day full of cleaning. Try this salad, just try it. I found pea shoots at my local asian market and the burrata at Ralph’s. If you can’t find burrata just use fresh buffalo mozzarella. If you can’t find pea shoots I imagine spinach would be good, but try for the pea shoots, they’re also good in omelettes, smoothies, and sauteed too.Pea Shoot, Roasted Strawberry, Burrata Salad- Glitter It Gold

I did have a little bit of roasted strawberries left so…..

Pistachio Gelato with Balsamic Roasted Strawberries

I deserve this. I have been cleaning all day, or half a day, with every intention of cleaning the rest of the day….after I finish this….

Ingredients for 1 serving:

  • 1 cup pea shoots
  • 1/2 c strawberries, quartered
  • 1 TBS balsamic vineager
  • 1 tsp good quality olive oil
  • 1 ball of burrata, or about 2 oz of buffalo mozzarella
  • 1 TBS roasted, salted pistachios, shelled
  • S+P


  1. To roast the strawberries place them on a non-stick baking sheet and roast at 400 for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool completely before using.
  2. Assemble the salad pea shoots first, then add the roasted strawberries, then sprinkle with pistachios, drizzle with balsamic reduction, drizzle with olive oil, place burrata on top, sprinkle with S+P.
  3. Devour.

Banana, Almond, Oat Smoothie

This is my husband’s absolute favorite smoothie. We go through about 2 bunches of bananas a week just because of this smoothie. I wish I could get him to drink more green smoothies but, at least we are starting our morning off better than with a Starbucks gutbomb sandwhich (easier on the wallet too). It’s really quick to make, and easy to eat on the go. This recipe fills a mason jar which I always put it in because it’s the perfect size, can go in the dishwasher, and travels well with a sealed lid.Husband's Favorite banana, almond, oat smoothie- Glitter It Gold

This smoothie is sweetened with dates but honey is good too if you don’t have dates. I also like to throw in some other add-ins on occasion: cacao nibs, cocoa powder, shredded unsweetened coconut, sometimes I use walnuts or pecans instead of almonds. The recipe below is the basic one and actually my favorite.Husband's Favorite banana, almond, oat smoothie- Glitter It Gold

Want to know a secret? Sometimes when I write banana I accidentally write bananda, like Amanda+banana. I also have been known to write my name as Amandanda or Amanda Rowlanda- mostly when I was in college and running on 3 hours of sleep per night. You’re not judging me right? Can we still be friends? Smeeeh….why am I so embarrassing sometimes?Husband's Favorite banana, almond, oat smoothie- Glitter It Gold


  • 1 c almond milk
  • 1 TBS chia seeds
  • 3 TBS quick oats
  • 1 TBS unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 tbs raw almonds
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 medjool dates, seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup ice


Throw it all in the blender and enjoy!


Mint Chip Green Smoothie Bowl

Green smoothies are a great way to start the morning- get your veggies and your fruit and drink on the go- Perfect. But sometimes you just need something different. I typically don’t like sweet Breakfast foods- they make my tummy hurt. But occasionally I crave something on the sweet side in the morning.

Mint Chip Green Smoothie Bowl

  A green smoothie bowl that tastes nothing like veggies (or even fruit) can keep me from eating that donut, pancake, or muffin. This green smoothie bowl is packed full of antioxidants, protein, minerals like iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, K, and B and aids digestion and concentration. Wow- doesn’t that make you want to have this every. single. morning. And you what makes it EVEN BETTER? It tastes like mint chip. Seriously. It’s a nutrient packed and delicious blend of spinach, banana, spirulina powder, cacao nibs, cocoa powder, oats, shredded unsweetened coconut, honey, peppermint, and almond milk. It could even pass as dessert- really healthy dessert.

Mint Chip Green Smoothie Bowl

If you aren’t using spirulina powder in your smoothies you are missing out on some pretty amazing benefits- it’s 65% protein in one of the most highly digestible forms and it has tons of iron and minerals and B vitamins. 1 serving (1 TSP) has 4 grams of protein. The only downside to spirulina is that it kinda tastes and smells like pond water, but that taste is also easily hidden by flavors like mint, lemon or citrus, and red berries. I buy mine from Mountain Rose Herbs online, which is also were I get my cacao nibs.


Mint Chip Green Smoothie Bowl

What a great way to start the morning- with a breakfast that tastes like dessert and is super healthy for you.


  • 1 banana (cut into pieces and frozen)
  • 1 cup tighly packed spinach leaves
  • 1 TBS Spirulina powder
  • 1 TBS cacao nibs
  • 1 TBS cocoa powder
  • 1 c almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 drop of pure pepermint oil
  • 4-5 peppermint leaves
  • 1 TBS honey
  • 1 TBS shredded unsweetened coconut


Place all ingredients in the blender on blend on high until smooth. If you wish to make it a smoothie you will need to add additional almond milk. Top with extra shredded coconut, cacao nibs and maybe some sliced banana (all mine were frozen or I would have added on mine too).

Enjoy- you’re off to a great start today.

Fancy Egg and Toast

What’s the deal with eggs and toast lately? It seems like no one can get enough. All anyone wants to talk about it that perfect egg, how to achieve it, how to consume it. And we all thought cooking eggs was like the easiest thing to do and now our whole world is being turned upside down because we just found out that we have been cooking eggs wrong our whole lives.

And don’t even get me started with the toast thing…. I’m actually having a hard time posting about toast. Like stick in the toaster, smear some PB and honey on it call it good amiright? Wrong. Toast has decided to ditch the ball cap and jeans in favor of a ball gown and diamond accessories. Toast is a fancy thing now. While I’ve been fancying up my toasts (formerly known as an open faced sandwich) for years, it has never seemed to me like the kind of thing that needed a recipe. Yet here I am, jumping on the bandwagon.

So anyways here’s my toast today. Jalapeño cheddar loaf, cottage cheese, chilies in adobo, smoked salmon- because you know that’s my thing right now- avocado, sunny side up egg, cracked black pepper and Hepp’s Applewood Smoked Salt. It’s pretty damn delicious. The smokiness and spice of the adobo pairs so well with the smoked salmon and what better way to tame spiciness than with avocado? It’s a simple meal (toast is a meal when you make it like this- who knew?), but oh so good.


  1. Toast a thick slice of bread to your desired toastiness.
  2. Smear on 2 heaping TBS of cottage cheese.
  3. Smear with 1/2 tsp of chopped chilies in adobo.
  4. Layer on 3 slices of smoked salmon.
  5. Add three slices of avocado.
  6. Top with an egg, sunny side up cooked in ghee (clarified butter) was my choice but make it how you like. Eggs don’t have to be complicated. Heck scramble it if that’s how you like it.
  7. Too with fresh cracked black pepper and smoked salt.
  8. Devour.