Baked Parmesan-Crusted Artichokes

The hottest days of Summer are finally giving way to cool nights and changing leaves. The supermarkets are stocked full of fresh fruits and veggies. And now that the evenings are chilly it’s no longer too hot to use the ovens. In less than a month soups will make their grand entrance to our dinner tables. But for now we are nestled in between seasons ready for the final summer meals.

Artichokes are one of the great ingredients in season at the moment. I have relished this, picking up a couple from the store when I think of it.

One way to cook an artichoke is by putting a clove of garlic, a bay leaf and slice of lemon in pot with a couple inches of water. Then place a steaming basket on top with the artichoke and let it steam until done.

However, I have recently come across a recipe for baked artichoke that is quickly replacing the steaming method. Simply prepare the artichoke by washing and slicing of the thorns and stems, cut in half, and top with comforting flavors. Once the dish is in the oven, the aroma oozes from the kitchen, distracting you from your activity.

Eating an artichoke isn’t a clean affair. It’s filled with so much butter and dipping sauces your hands will need a bit of washing after. Of course it’s well worth the mess.

Baked Parmesan-Crusted Artichokes


  • 2 whole artichokes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Serves 4

  • Preheat oven to 400 F.
  • Prep artichokes by cutter off stems and slicing about an inch off the top of each one. Then cut down the middle to make two halves. Place, cut side up, on a baking sheet or in an ovenproof dish.
  • Top each artichoke half equally with balsamic vinegar, garlic, cheese, and butter. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until leaves are easy to pull off.
  • Serve with melted butter or mayonnaise to dip leaves into.

Chocolate Tart with Pomegranate Glaze

I started baking classes recently and have little to no time for blogging. But I do have time to bake on the weekends. I’ve snapped a few iphone photos and wrote up the recipes for you to enjoy and make. That’s what my blog is going to be for the next little while.

The first of these recipes I’m going to post is a chocolate tart with pomegranate glaze. It’s decadent and rich. If you make it be sure to slice the pieces thin when you serve it.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb1 preset


  • 1 ½ cups plain flour
  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 1 ½ stick butter cut into cubes
  • 1 egg

Blend flour and icing sugar in stand mixer that is fitted with a paddle. Add butter slowly. Let blend on low then add the egg. Mix until blended. Shape the dough into a disk and refrigerate for twenty minutes. Preheat oven to 375F. Roll out dough on a well-floured surface. Adding flour is important because this dough can tend to be sticky. Transfer to 11-inch tart pan and patch up any holes or mistakes with extra dough. Poke the dough all over with a fork. Cover with foil and baking weights (I use beans). Blind bake for 20 minutes. It should not be fully cooked when taken from the oven.


  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons warm coffee
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 4 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC.)
  • Spread the sugar in an even layer in the bottom of a large saucepan. Cook the sugar over moderate heat until the edges liquefy and being to caramelize. Use a heatproof utensil to gently drag the liquefied sugar toward the center of the pan, encouraging the sugar to melt evenly.
  • Once the sugar is melted, it was caramelized rather quickly. When it starts to smoke, but before it burns, turn off the heat and stir in the coffee. (The mixture will bubble and seize a bit. Be sure to avert your face and you may wish to wear oven mitts.)
  • If the caramel has seized up in places, stir it gently over low heat until smooth. Then add the butter and salt, and stir until melted, then stir in both chocolates until smooth.
  • Mix in the eggs*, then the flour. Stir in the rum or vanilla extract.
  • Pour the mixture into the pre-baked tart shell, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes, just until the filling starts to rise and crack at the edges but the center is still jiggly. Do not overbake.

Let cool completely before adding the glaze.

* when I mixed in the eggs it was too hot and cooked. I ended up straining it. Everything went smoothly after that. But next time I do this I would let the mixture cool a bit.


  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • seeds from half a pomegranate

Place sugar, cornstarch, and ¼ cup of pomegranate seeds in a small pot on medium-low heat. Let boil until sugar has melted. Stir constantly. This should take about five minutes and the mixture should be clear but pink. If it’s still a bit white the sugar still needs to dissolve. Remove from heat. Let cool for a moment. You don’t want to cool it for too long because you still want it spread well. Stir in remaining pomegranate seeds. Spread on your tart with a spatula. Let it set and cool before serving.…

Apple Fritters

As the days cool and coats are pulled out of closets, my mind starts to warm up. My fingers itch for creative and exciting things to do. With little time and energy, due to an education, I am thoroughly enjoying, I haven’t had the chance to make my abstract ideas into a concrete reality. I’m hoping with my break in a month new things can come for my blog. Right now, I’m soaking up every bit of instruction I’m given.

I’ve found small windows of downtime to create things. Most recipes I’ve been wanting to try. The latest was apple fritters. Can I eat this every day? Please? An apple sliced, dipped in a batter, and then fried in oil. How can that taste bad? It can’t.

I’m torn between saying it tastes like a doughnut or an apple pie. Maybe you can decide. The recipe is simple and fast. Give it a try.


  • Apples (Granny Smiths are best)
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt


Start by peeling your apples and slicing them thinly. Core the slices with a small cookie cutter or a knife. Mix together your batter (all the ingredients except for the apples).Dip apples in the thin batter. It’s okay if there are lumps.Fry in hot vegetable oil until golden brown. Place the golden apple fritter rings on a paper towel to soak up any excess oil while you fry up the next batch. Sprinkle the warm apple fritters with powdered sugar. Eat while warm.…

Madison Street Denver

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