I know the snow is well on it's way here in Utah, but I can't help but cling to the warm weather as long as possible with both hands. The snow certainly a beautiful sight to see, but when I think snow, I think ice.
About 5 years ago, Ryan and I were gifted a 1990 Chrysler New Yorker for our wedding. It was basically an aircraft carrier, broke down once every couple months (usually when I was on the freeway) and sucked down gas like none other. But we loved that car so much. It had the most comfortable seats (like sitting on a couch), could handle my loud music, got us from point A to B most of the time, and allowed us to go the first few years of marriage without having to wrestle a car payment. It has it's own special charm, and I miss the New Yorker to this day (not the breaking down part, though....) I still have it's key on my set of keys to this day (even though we saved up enough for a healthy substitute).
The snow was coming down in thick chunks, it was almost past eleven at night. I was at my Mom's house finishing up a few things while Ryan was catching up with a buddy of his from high school across town. I walked outside to get into the New Yorker to go pick Ryan up and quickly realized just how much snow had blanketed the ground. I was scared to death to drive in the thick snow, but reasoned that Ryan and I needed to get back to Provo before the morning, and there was no other way we could do it but drive in the beast. I'm notorious for driving far too slow in bad weather conditions. WAY slow. Slower than the slow. But I made my way towards Ryan's location (radio off, leaning as close to the foggy windows as possible, white-knuckled, praying hard I wouldn't die).
As I went down the first hill, I could feel a little slipping, and the car tilted a bit. Ice. My heart raced. I pressed on, without slamming on the breaks, and was able to correct myself back on the road.
As I drove down the second hill, I wasn't so lucky. The New Yorker started to turn sideways, and my car spun around until I was perpendicular to curb. I was screaming, cars were swerving all over the place behind me, and the my car slammed right between a power box and fire hydrant. I reached for my cell phone. Battery dead. Panic. I started the car and tried to back up to get out, I heard the engine start. The wheels were jammed in the snow. It was useless. I got out of the car (pushing snow out of the way to get the door open) and started waving my hands to get help. A suburban full of high school kids stopped and tried to help me push the car. Nothing. Some of them went back up street to wave traffic in a different direction to avoid hitting my car (which was jutting out into the street at the bottom of a hill). Eventually a shady drunk guy wrapped some tow cables around the back of my car, and pulled it out of the snow with his Jeep. It was scary, but I was grateful for the guy, even though I'm pretty sure he wasn't sober enough to be on the road in the first place.
Finally relieved, I thanked everyone, and pressed on. I drove away from where my car t-boned a curb. Not SECONDS later, a car whizzed down the same unlucky hill, and SLAMMED right into the back of my car. Her car was totaled, she was okay. I had horrible whiplash for a week. The New Yorker was totaled (meaning the bumper only bent down a little... old cars are awesome like that). Ryan's friend dropped him off to the scene of the accident. I was a mess, and vowed to never drive in the snow/ice again. It's been almost 5 years, I've driven on the ice/in the snow since, but never without my stomach jumping into my throat. And it's not because I don't trust myself driving in the snow (and I've lived in Utah my entire life and had plenty of practice.) But ice is so unpredictable - I'm afraid of this college town full of students who may have little/no experience driving in the icy/snowy conditions. Good luck, guys.
Oh, this is a food blog? Hah. Right.
Well, this tort was kind of an accident. Not a wet-your-pants kind of accident (or wreaking-your-car-in-ice accident for that matter) but one of those serendipity moments. I usually plan out my menu for the week, buy all the ingredients at once, and prepare the recipe in the order of when the ingredients will be the most fresh. This past week, however, was much different. I had no idea I was making this recipe until moments before I started peeling the potatoes.
We are college students. Once in a while, we have to have one of those "cheap meals" weeks (canned soup, french toast, Top Ramen, Scrambled eggs & Toast, and 97 cents Mac & Cheese). It puts us back on budget for the month. This was one of those weeks, so if you see a lack of new recipes on the blog recently, you now have your answer why.
While browsing blog land/Pinterest yesterday, I came across a recipe from My Recipes (from Health.com) and quickly realized I had all the ingredients (including a random leftover pie dough half from the Pumpkin Pecan Pie, and a few potatoes left over from the Creamy Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup.) What are the odds we'd have all the ingredients on a "cheap meal" week? It was a match made in heaven, and very easy to throw together.
I don't have tart pan, so I used one of my glass pie dishes - it worked alright. This tart was surprisingly filling and stuffed with the comforting splendor of sweet potato. Can I stress enough how nutrient-soaked those little devils are? I've never used them so much before, and I can't stop the madness. This tart would be great as a side, or even an excellent main course with fresh salad and fruit.
Ryan thinks it needed bacon. I concur.
1 half refrigerated raw pie crust dough
1 large egg white, lightly beated
1/2 C heavy cream
1/2 C 2% reduced fat milk
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1/2 t salt
1 garlic clove
1/2 t pepper
2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
3 T finely grated parmesan cheese
1 T unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray fluted tart pan/glass pie dish with cooking spray. Press prepared pie crust into pan and poke lots of holes in bottom with a fork.
2. Bake in oven for about 15 minutes, remove from oven and brush bottom with egg white. Cool completely (I put mine in the freezer to speed up this process).
3. Mince garlic as fine as possible, add to bowl along with cream, milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.
4. Layer potatoes, altering russet and sweet potatoes, in your pie crust. Pour cream mixture over poratoes, pressing gently to distribute the liquid. Sprinkle top with Parmesan and small pieces of butter. Cover surface with a round of parchment paper (make sure it covers the crust).
5. Bake until potatoes are tender (test with a small sharp knife), 40-50 minutes. Remove parchment paper and bake until all cheese is melted and browning starts (don't burn crust). Cool on wire rack for 15 minutes until set.
Recipe adapted from: Health