— Essentials —


From CarolyneRoehm.com
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This summer it seems as though everyone on Instagram—but me—is vacationing on an exotic island or strolling the streets of a quaint Italian village. I did, however, go to New York City this week to see a friend who’s going through cancer treatment. Traveling is hard work so today I’m ready for a laid-back weekend, snuggling with Sam and Molly, watching Netflix and fixing something to eat that takes advantage of the beautiful produce in season.

My inspiration comes from former fashion designer, author, photographer and lifestyle legend, Carolyne Roehm, and her garden.

Whether its rebuilding her historic Connecticut home, creating her garden or setting a lovely table with food and flowers from her garden, Carolyne Roehm does everything with an eye for beauty and symmetry. Here is one of her summer recipes I’m making this weekend.



From CarolyneRoehm.com


(8 servings)

8 unbaked 4-inch pie shells or one 8 to10-inch, chilled (see Basic Tart Dough Recipe)

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 fresh jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Two 4oz cans chopped mild green chilies

Pinch of salt

2 cups grated smoked Gruyere cheese

1 medium yellow (and/or red) tomato, sliced ¼ inch thick

¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 375°. Place tart shells on flat baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool. Reset oven to 400°.

  1. In a small sauté pan, heat olive oil and sauté jalapeño and garlic over medium heat for 2 minutes. Add salt, green chilies and sauté for 3 more minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese in bottom of each tart shell. Top with 2 tablespoons chili mixture, then layer with remaining cheese. Arrange tomato slice on top of tarts and sprinkle with parsley and cilantro.
  3. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve hot or at room temperature

The dough recipe is one Carolyne Roehm uses for both savory and sweet things. It’s an easy and tender pastry. Just don’t over process the dough in the food processor.



(Makes eight 4-inch tarts or one 8-10 inch tart)

1 ¼ cup flour

1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small dice

Pinch of salt

2 or 3 tablespoons of ice water

Put flour and salt into bowl of food processor and pulse 3 times to blend. Add butter, lightly toss with your fingers to coat pieces with flour. Pulse processor about 8 times to cut in butter. Dough should resemble coarse corn meal and butter pieces should be no larger than small peas.

  1. Add ice water gradually by tablespoon through feed tube while pulsing machine. Dough will begin to pull together into a ball.
  2. Remove dough from processor, shape into a disk, sprinkle lightly with flour, and wrap in wax paper. Refrigerate until ready to roll out for tarts and pies.



From “Cooking Light” magazine.

Here’s a recipe for decaffeinated iced tea I found a couple of months ago in Cooking Light magazine. I served it for my ladies’ Bible study group, and it has a refreshing, subtle combination of flavors.

(Serves 8)

8 chamomile tea bags

12 cups filtered water at room temperature

2 small juice oranges, thin-skinned, peeled, cut into slices and seeded

24 large strawberries, halved

4 teaspoons honey

4 teaspoons hot water

  1. Place 1 tea bag and 1 1/2 cups water in each of 8 pint-size canning jars with lids. Place 2 orange slices and 6 strawberry halves in each jar. Cover with lids. Refrigerate 12 to 24 hours.
  2. Combine honey and 4 teaspoons hot water. Divide honey mixture evenly among jars. About 1 scant teaspoon in each.

Experiment with other fresh fruits like blackberries and plums or lemons and green tea. Enjoy!!

Love, Brenda


  • Esther Zimmer July 29, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    Sounds like a lovely weekend to me, if only I could come and join you! Essie xxxx

    • 1010ParkPlace July 30, 2016 at 10:03 am

      Perhaps we should both fix the same thing and eat it together over Skype. LOL!

  • Cathy Chester July 30, 2016 at 6:55 am

    Oh my goodness these look amazing! I’ll be right over to share them with you!

    I do hope your friend is alright. I hate cancer and the thought of your friend having to deal with it. What a wonderful person you are to be there for her. Not everyone does that, you know, but I’m not surprised that you do. xoxo

    Enjoy your weekend!

    • 1010ParkPlace July 30, 2016 at 10:00 am

      I wish you were close enough to pop right over. My friend is a man and someone I work with. He’s been struggling for months. We talk and text but it’s not the same. I just needed to see and support him in person. Went up one day and came back the next.

  • Sharon Linder July 30, 2016 at 8:47 am

    Brenda…LOVE these summer “Bests”. When visiting your friend instead of bringing flowers…please consider a monogrammed Janes Wellness Gown!
    Such a comforting, thoughtful gift.

    • 1010ParkPlace July 30, 2016 at 9:57 am

      My friend is a man, so the Wellness Gown isn’t appropriate, but I’ll keep it in mind for the future.
      Thanks for letting me know!

  • Laura Ehlers July 30, 2016 at 11:26 am

    Those tarts look wonderful!

    • Brenda Coffee July 30, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      They were!

  • Susan August 3, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Looks delicious, Brenda, and perfect for this hot weather we’re having! My hubby would scoff at the “girl food,” but I might just try those tarts when he is not around!

  • Jen Lawrence August 3, 2016 at 12:18 pm

    Yum! Thank you for sharing this. Perfect summer fare!

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