3 Beet Watercress Tart Recipe

The beet has a reputation not unlike politicians. You either love them or you hate them. They are a gorgeous vegetable with a very unique flavor that some would describe as earthy, while others would say they taste more like dirt. Well, regardless of which side of the beet your on, beets need to stop taking a beating from beet haters and start getting some well deserved credit.

Beets are extremely good for you. They are loaded with phytonutrients which give them their deep purple color. These nutrients are known to help fight cancer by slowing the growth of tumors. They are also known to have exceptional detoxifying benefits and are helpful at reducing inflammation, which these days it seems everyone is trying to accomplish. But wait, there’s more. Beets are also good for boosting mental health, helping with digestion and lowering blood pressure. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals including iron and potassium.

Back when I was a kid, you couldn’t get me to choke down a beet. Then, as I grew older and started actually TRYING new foods, I realized that beets weren’t so bad after all. They are great in salads with goat cheese and nuts, and there are very few vegetables that can match their beauty. Red beets, yellow beets, or my favorite chioggia beets, which are white, with red circles going through them, are all beautiful and each has a different flavor. Jena and I thought they would all taste good together in a recipe, so we decided to try a tart version of a beet and goat cheese salad.

This tart is loaded with flavor and beets galore, so if you don’t like beets, this is not the recipe to try to learn to accept them. It actually has 4 kinds of beets. Cooked roasted red beets, roasted yellow beets, roasted pink beets and raw slices of chioggia beets. We added these beets to a puff pastry shell topped with a goat cheese spread made with fresh dill. Peppery watercress, micro greens and toasted pumpkin seeds are sprinkled on top making this the most stunning tart we’ve ever seen. The bonus is that it tasted so good, we decided to put it in our cookbook Herbs For Flavor, Health and Natural Beauty. If you don’t like beets, don’t make the recipe, but don’t forget to buy our book. It makes the perfect Mother’s Day gift. Especially if mom likes beets! You can buy it on Amazon or Barnes and Noble online, or through Jim’s website Rude On Food. Enjoy and remember to cook with love and live to cook.

Jim & Jena


4.0 from 1 reviews
3 Beet Watercress Tart Recipe
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Beets are the hero in this beautiful tart, but the fresh flavors of goat cheese, watercress and pumpkin seeds add layers of flavor, while the buttery puff pastry gives it that rich flakiness that makes this a crowd favorite. You can find the recipe in our cookbook Herbs for Flavor, Health and Natural Beauty.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 6
  • 1 sheet Puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 lg. Egg white, beaten
  • 2 tsps. Sesame seeds
  • 4 ozs. Goat cheese, softened
  • 4 ozs. Cream cheese, softened
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 whole Small chioggia beet, thinly sliced, optional
  • 3 whole Small pink beets, roasted, halved
  • 4 whole Small red beets, boiled until tender, peeled & sliced
  • 2 whole Small yellow beets, roasted, halved
  • ½ cup Watercress, washed
  • ¼ cup Microgreens, optional
  • 1 tbsp. Pumpkin seeds, roasted, optional
  1. For Tart Shell Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Unfold puff pastry onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut ½” wide strips from all 4 sides of puff pastry and set aside. Brush remaining sheet of dough with egg white. Place reserved strips of puff pastry along edges on top of pastry sheet, creating a border. Press to seal. Brush edges of pastry with egg white. Using a fork, poke center area of puff pastry all over to prevent pastry from rising too much. Sprinkle sesame seeds along edges. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely.
  2. For Cheese Spread In a medium size bowl, combine goat cheese and cream cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. To Assemble Tart, Spread mixture over cooled puff pastry. Sprinkle dill over cheese mixture. Place beet slices, watercress and micro greens evenly over cheese. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds if desired. Cut into squares and serve.
If yellow, pink or chioggia beets are not available, you can use red beets.

Katie - This post is so timely, as we have a bag full of red beets in the refrigerator just waiting for a recipe to use them. I’ve had the cookbook for a while now and am kicking myself for not trying anything from it yet, so good timing all around.

Lori Rice - This is absolutely stunning! Do you shoot with a macro lens for shots like these?

Keith Gooderham - Looks so tasty and the photography is absolutely stunning!

littlerustedladle - Thank you, Lori! Yes I do! 100mm Canon

Alia @ Everyday Easy Eats - What a beautiful tart! All of the colors look so pretty!

Irish Whiskey Thyme Sour – Food and Travel in Ireland

Hello March! We have been especially excited for St. Patrick’s day coming up for two different reasons. We took a trip to Ireland last August and can’t wait to show you the photos. The second reason is that it is within one week of our our due date for the next Baby Carlin! We found out two weeks before our trip that my husband Brandon and I were having our 2nd baby. Being pregnant on our trip to Ireland really cramped my drinking style, but luckily we have a Irish cocktail recipe inspired by our trip ready for after the baby arrives!

Here is a look at our favorite parts of our vacation. We ended up doing a road trip around all of Ireland and I have to say, the beauty is undeniable. While driving around, some of it seemed similar to Wisconsin, until there is a castle ruin in the middle of the green landscape and also the scary narrow roads that were sometimes covered in sheep.

Throughout our trip we did some incredible sightseeing. We made it up to Northern Ireland and back down through the Atlantic Way and also toured the Cliffs of Moher. On our last day in Ireland we went into downtown Dublin where we toured the Jameson distillery. The kind bartender there made up a beautiful mocktail for me. Below is a cocktail recipe inspired from our trip, Irish Whiskey Thyme Sour. In the mood for Irish food? Check out this recipe for ST. PATTY’S DAY CORNED BEEF POT PIE Cheers! – Jena and Jim

Irish Whiskey Thyme Sour - Food and Travel in Ireland
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Recipe type: Drinks
Cuisine: Irish
Serves: 1 glass
  • 2 oz. Jameson Whiskey
  • 1 oz ginger liqueur
  • 1 oz. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 small bunch of thyme
  • ¾ oz. simple syrup
  • 1 white of large egg
  • 4 drops orange bitters
  • 3 oz sour
  • lemon wedge
  1. Place lemon juice, simple syrup, and ½ of the thyme in a stainless-steel shaker and muddle
  2. Add whiskey, ginger lacquer, and egg whites with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Tap glass bottom to disperse air bubbles.
  3. Top with sour and garnish with 4 drops orange bitters, lemon wedge, and the rest of the thyme.


Paula | My Common Table - Ireland is one of my dream travel destinations. I only know Dublin and I loved the friendliness of the Irish people. Your pictures capture the magic of the Irish countryside.

Amazing Fried Cheese – Best Super Bowl Party Appetizer


Amazing Fried Cheese - Football Superbowl Party Best Appetizer Ever - Little Rusted Ladle - Jena Carlin Photography -fb

Cheese is as much a part of a Wisconsinites everyday routine as any food available. When it is in melted form, it only increases its desirability. Batter or bread it and deep fry it, and you have what almost every restaurant and bar in the state would be crazy not to have on the menu. Fried cheese curds are salty, gooey, savory, crunchy, and extremely delicious.

Cheese curds are indeed gooey pillows of yumminess. However, it occurred to me that other than curds and of course mozzarella sticks, there aren’t many other flavors of fried cheese available. Yet there are hundreds of delicious Wisconsin cheeses even tastier than the simple curd. Why not cut some of these many delectable cheeses into cubes and batter them as well? That is the purpose of this article.

Amazing Fried Cheese - Football Superbowl Party Best Appetizer Ever - Little Rusted Ladle - Jena Carlin Photography - Web-15Amazing Fried Cheese - Football Superbowl Party Best Appetizer Ever - Little Rusted Ladle - Jena Carlin Photography - Web-2

When trying to decide what cheeses to use, a few important things are needed. If you are going to batter cheese, it must be able to be battered or breaded. It can’t be too soft and it can’t be too hard. If it’s too soft, it can’t be coated. If it’s too hard or aged too long, it won’t melt very well. Flavor is also important. If you fry a cheese with too strong a flavor, it is less than pleasant to eat, especially in any quantity. So, a semi-soft or firm, meltable cheese with good flavor is what is needed.

The cheeses chosen for this grand experiment were very different. One of my favorite wisconsin cheeses is a fenugreek gouda. It’s sweet, salty and very meltable. Blue cheese is very soft and very strong in flavor, which would normally rule it out as an option. However, when combined with cream cheese, it’s flavor is just right. Form the mixture into small balls with scoops, then freeze them and they are able to be battered as well. Horseradish and chive havarti is very creamy and full of horseradish that cleans the sinuses. Ghost peppers are very popular right now. When they are added to cheese, it makes the cheese much hotter than any other cheese. Call it torturous, but it sounded like a tasty option. The last cheese chosen was a smokey cheddar swiss combo. It’s combination of flavors seemed perfect choice for frying.

What about the batter? A standard beer batter would normally be the choice, but a lighter batter is a better choice so the cheese doesn’t get dominated by a thick coating. A tempura style batter gives a crunchy but light flavor. Instead of all-purpose flour, rice flour was used. It eliminates the gluten as well as making for a tasty alternative. The recipe is very similar to the fried sage bundles that are in our new cookbook called Herbs For Flavor, Health and Natural Beauty. It’s available for pre-order on Amazon here. Instead of ice water, I did use beer, but a light one. Any pilsner or ale will do. To add extra flavor, fresh herbs were added to the batter. Parsley, chives and thyme was used, but feel free to use whatever herbs you prefer.

Amazing Fried Cheese - Football Superbowl Party Best Appetizer Ever - Little Rusted Ladle - Jena Carlin Photography - Web-22

The last detail was coating the cheese with plain rice flour and freezing the cubes so when they are fried, the cheese doesn’t melt too quickly. All that’s left is to batter the cheese, fry it and eat it up. Be sure to use a good electric fryer and do your frying outside. Otherwise, your house will smell like a fried food stand, which may be fine now, but won’t be as pleasant when the feast is over. All the varieties of cheese were great. I mean come on, bad melty cheese, Really? The only negative was that the ghost pepper cheese was hard to pick out of the pile, so if you picked the wrong piece, you were greeted with a blast of molten fire. Kind of a russian roulette kind of choice.

So tomorrow, when you’re trying to decide what to make for the big game, maybe some fried cheese is a good way to start the show. Pick any cheese you like. If it doesn’t work, you can always eat it cold. Either way, you’ll be eating cheese. Preferably from the dairy state. The recipe will be posted tomorrow. Until then, cook with love and live to cook.

Jim & Jena


Battered Cheese
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Pillows of gooey cheese, enrobed in a crunchy batter.
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 30 pcs.
  • 2½ cups Rice flour, divided
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 2 lg. Egg yolks
  • 1 cup light beer
  • 1 tbsp. Parsley, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. Chives, chopped
  • 8 ozs. Cream cheese, softened
  • 4 ops. Blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 lb. Assorted cheese cubes of choice
  • 1 cup Ranch dressing.
  1. Pre-heat 1 gallon of vegetable oil in a large electric fryer and pre-heat to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine 2 cups of the rice flour and the next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl until smooth.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese and blue cheese.
  4. Scoop the mixture into 1" balls with a small scoop and transfer the balls to a foil lined sheet pan. Freeze for 2 hours or until firm.
  5. Transfer remaining ½ cup flour into a resealable plastic bag. Add frozen blue cheese balls. Roll around balls until well coated. Set aside.
  6. Add remaining cheese cubes to the bag. toss in the bag until cubes are well coated. Set aside.
  7. Transfer 4-5 pieces of the reserved cheese balls and cubes into the batter. Stir them around to coat them completely. Using a wooden toothpick, transfer cubes one at a time into the hot oil.
  8. Fry for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown and cheese starts to melt out.
  9. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Serve with a side of ranch dressing.


Karly - I can’t act like I wasn’t totally committed at Fried Cheese, but I’ll still say that I am totally obsessing over this post. Cannot get over how good these look!

Herbs for Flavor, Health and Natural Beauty – A Sneak Peak

Rosemary Mac & Cheese from our new herb cookbook - www.littlerustedladle.com


In a little more than a month, LRL’s new cookbook titled Herbs for Flavor, Health and Natural Beauty will be hitting the shelves of bookstores near you and websites like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  We are really excited about it, because it will be our debut as co-authors.  The entire book was written, developed, styled and photographed by Jena and I, and we did it in less than 4 months.  Now don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t by choice.  It had everything to do with spring and our desire to have it available for the coming herb season.   After all, we’re going to be ready for the new growing season and all the fresh herbs that will go with it.  Why not enjoy some beautiful, delicious herb recipes while you’re waiting for those wonders of nature to start popping?  To get your mouth a watering, Jena and I decided it was a good idea to give everyone a sample recipe and a few photos to go with it to show why we are so excited about our debut book.

HERBS for Flavor Health and Natural Beauty - Jim Rude and Jena Carlin_rgb_Web2Rosemery Chicken Mac and Cheese - Herbs for Flavor, Health, and Natural Beauty - Little Rusted Ladle - Jena Carlin Photography - Web-2

Since it’s still January and there are still a good two months left here in Wisconsin before we will have temperatures warm enough to start thinking spring, and another two months after that before those delicate herbs will be able to be safely planted, why not tempt you with one of my favorite recipes from the book.  Rosemary Mac & Cheese.  This outstanding version of the classic mac and cheese recipe, uses rosemary in more than one form.  First we cook large macaroni noodles and make the sauce right in the pan using chicken broth, gobs of goat cheese and of course rosemary.  Then, we fold in some juicy rotisserie chicken and top it all off with an incredibly flavorful rosemary panko crumb topping.  It’s loaded with rosemary flavor and really easy to make.  What better way to get through the cold and snowy days of winter than with a cheesy, gooey bowl of homemade mac and cheese?

Rosemary Chicken Mac and Cheese - Herbs for Flavor, Health, and Natural Beauty - Little Rusted Ladle - Jena Carlin Photography - www.littlerustedladle.com

We will be taking advance orders for our book very soon, so be sure to keep an eye out for the notice.  There is a limited run of books, so make sure you get your copy early.  The book contains over 225 full color pages.  Each recipe and herbal beauty project is displayed with Jena’s beautiful photography.  We hope you enjoy this teaser recipe while you wait for the book to arrive.  Don’t forget to cook with love and live to cook.


Jim & Jena

Herbs for Flavor, Health and Natural Beauty - A Sneak Peak
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This grown up version of the classic Mac & Cheese is loaded with the fresh flavors of rosemary, goat cheese, and rotisserie chicken.
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 4
  • ½ cup Fresh rosemary leaves, chopped, divided
  • ⅓ cup EVOO
  • 2 cups Chicken stock
  • 2 cups Water
  • 2 cups Heavy cream
  • 3 cups Large elbow macaroni
  • 3 cups Rotisserie chicken, cooked
  • 4 ozs Goat cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tsp. Rosemary oil, see above
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  1. For Rosemary Oil Combine ¼ cup of rosemary and olive oil in a blender and blend on high for 1 minute or until rosemary is finely ground. Strain oil into a bowl with a fine strainer. Set oil aside while you make the pasta.
  2. For Pasta Pour chicken stock, water and cream into a large dutch oven or saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium, then add macaroni. Stir with a rubber spatula to prevent pasta from sticking. Cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring mixture occasionally until pasta is al dente and liquid has thickened. Fold in chicken, goat cheese and remaining rosemary. Cook 2-3 minutes longer or until goat cheese has melted into sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Turn off heat and let rest for 2-3 minutes.
  3. For Crumb Topping In a small skillet over medium heat, toast panko crumbs with 2 tsp. of reserved rosemary oil for 2-3 minutes or until crumbs are golden brown, stirring often. Remove from heat and let cool while you dish up mac and cheese.
  4. To Serve Spoon macaroni mixture into shallow bowls or large mugs. Spoon 1-2 tsp. of reserved rosemary oil over macaroni.
  5. Top with toasted rosemary crumbs. Serve.

Rosemery Chicken Mac and Cheese - Herbs for Flavor, Health, and Natural Beauty - Little Rusted Ladle - Jena Carlin Photography - Web

sharron - ***** Brilliant recipe

Lori Rice - Congrats! Can’t wait to see it!

Co - Cannot wait for this and congrats to you both!!👍🏼👏🏼❤

Kristen - Yum! I can’t wait to buy your new book. Congratulations!

Joan - Congratulations on the new book – how fantastic! This recipe and images are over the top gorgeous and as a WI resident myself, this is PERFECT Mac n Cheese weather!

Watercolor and Marble Cookie Decorating with a Toddler


We love the family time leading up to the holidays! Here is a recipe for some beautiful watercolor and marble snowflake sugar cookies that even a toddler can help with!


We started by making white marshmallow fondant at home. Roll out the fondant and water down some food coloring to paint it with. We chose shades of teal and blue to keep it simple. While the fondant is tacky we added shades of blue sprinkles and cut out a variety of sizes of snowflakes.


Then we worked on the sugar cookie folding teal food coloring in the dough until we had the color and marble look we wanted. Roll it out and cut out more snowflakes in a variety of shapes. Cook and cool sugar cookie. adhere the cookie and fondant together with white icing.




Marshmallow Fondant
Cuisine: Dessert
  • 8 ounces marshmallows (4 cups not packed) (make your own)
  • 1 pound powdered sugar (4 cups), plus extra for dusting
  • 2 tbsp water
  1. Place the marshmallows and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, until the marshmallows are expanded.
  2. Stir the marshmallows until they are smooth.
  3. Add powdered sugar and stir. It will become too hard to stir.
  4. Scrape mixture out onto a powder sugar dusted work surface. Knead the fondant mixture like bread dough until smooth.
  5. It is ready to be used and rolled out or cover with plastic wrap until you are ready.






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