Ricotta-Spinach DumplingsMake yourself happy. That’s what you can do with the “Ricotta-Spinach Dumplings,” from the October 2015 issue of Cooking Light. It’s the happiness that results from watching your hand-rolled dumplings float to the top of the pot of hot water. It’s the same happiness that you get from a successful pot of matzo balls.

I halved this recipe in order to make 18 dumplings. The batter is easy: frozen spinach and ricotta. The balls are delicate, but they respond to the gentle hand-roll in flour. Being careful to lower the boiling water to medium-low, the balls sit at the bottom of the pot, then float after a nudge at 6 minutes. Brilliant!

After this minimal effort, you get cheesy, pillowy dumplings. Happiness.

Leek and Mushroom TartNext, there’s the profound impact of sauteed leeks combined with cream and eggs and puff pastry. And that’s not all, with the “Leek and Mushroom Tart” from Truffles & Trifles you also win with the magical richness of a pound of mushrooms. Completely exhilarating.

I’m easily pulled into a recipe that uses puff pastry as a platform. It’s too easy. Two pounds of leeks makes quite a mountain, but the rewards are great.

I’m singing the “I Love Mushrooms” song right now, as my options at my food coop continue to dazzle. Just close your eyes and pick some out. I mixed together shiitakes and chanterelles and maitakes, here. Wow.

And this tart keeps getting better. Fresh thyme and Swiss cheese play no small part. It’s all a bit too exhilarating, no?

After 35 minutes in the oven, the tart isn’t quite like a quiche (it’s not eggy enough for that). Instead, it’s rich and delicate thanks to the pastry. This tart gives you more of everything.

Shiitake Mushrooms (.52 lb.) = $4.02
Chanterelle Mushrooms (.33 lb.) = $6.45
Maitake Mushrooms (.22 lb.) = $4.05

PREP TIMES: take your time hand-rolling the dumplings, they cook in 6 minutes; eat the tart after an hour of prep and cooking
pillowy dumplings are cheesy; leeks and mushrooms and Swiss cheese are further enriched by pastry

Next time, I need to try the “Black Sesame Cupcakes with Matcha Buttercream,” from Molly Yeh in the Food52 Baking book. Come back to my site next week to celebrate this fun with me.