Lemon Berry Tart

lbtOriginally published March 22, 2015

It has come to my attention that not everyone loves to bake and that easy holiday dessert recipes are something that many people really appreciate to get them through Easter. I saw a video for some lemon tarts yesterday on YouTube on the Simple Cooking Channel. Lots of fun videos to watch!

I decided to try my hand at the Lemon Tarts. I did make two modifications to the very simple recipe.

Lemon Berry Tart
6 mini graham cracker crusts or one regular size one
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp of Knox plain gelatine – not in the original
Fresh or frozen berries of your choice – also not in the original

1. Combine the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and plain gelatine and beat until a little fluffy.
2. Spoon into crusts.
3. Refrigerate for a few hours until set.
4. Top with berries of your choice and serve!

The original recipe didn’t call for the gelatine but I decided to add it because I was skeptical that the tarts would set. I knew that if I added a tiny bit of gelatine they would. Of course, this addition makes them unsuitable for Passover. But have no fear! My Mini Pavlova are perfect for Passover!

Holidays can be such a blessing. Gathering with family and friends to celebrate your faith is a gift, even though it is often fraught with stress and angst. I hope this simple recipe can help relieve you of some of that stress.

Enjoy!

Opening Day Cookies

odcThe 2017 Major League baseball season opens this week. I am not a baseball fan at all but baseball’s opening day does signal the official beginning of spring so I like it.

But, as we inch towards opening day, we are enduring another dreary day in Central Maryland. It’s windy and a little cool and very cloudy. Sounds like a good day to make cookies! I wanted to make something from the Betty Crocker Cooky Book that I got My Faithful Assistant for his birthday. I didn’t think he’d jump for joy when he opened it. I just wanted a copy in our house.

I paged through and settled on the Best Cooky of 1950-1955, the Salted Peanut Crisp. You can find the original recipe on Food.com.  I ended up changing it up a bit.

Opening Day Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar (white or brown or somewhere in between)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups Prince and Spring Peanut Lovers’ Trail Mix (available from Boxed.com)

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar.
  3. Beat in the eggs, and vanilla.
  4. Add the flour, salt and baking soda and mix until combined.
  5. Stir in the trail mix with a spoon. If you use an electric mixer, you will destroy the tiny little pretzel bites in this particular variety of trail mix.
  6. Drop by the spoonful onto a baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I made such an attractive cookie. Slightly brown around the edge yet still soft. I’m really proud of myself. And I will probably never meet with such cookie baking success again.

We have a busy week at work which includes a few extra hours tomorrow. Won’t my coworkers be happy when I show up with a little treat for them!

Enjoy!

Lemon Swirl No-Churn Ice Cream

lcnsicLet’s be honest. The main reason for clearing the freezer is to make room for ice cream. I am happy to have a little Ben and Jerry’s but one of my favorite treats is Homemade No Churn Ice Cream. As we shrug off sweaters and the heaviness of winter, our pallets turn towards the fresh flavors of spring and summer. Fresh fruit, asparagus, and, of course, lemon!

Lemon Swirl No-Churn Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 14 oz can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup lemon curd

  1. Start whipping the cream with the vanilla. As peaks begin to form, slowly add the sweetened condensed milk.
  2. Continue whipping until the peaks are a little more firm.
  3. Microwave the lemon curd for 30-45 seconds so it’s slightly runny. Fold into the whipped cream mixture so the lemon is swirled through the ice cream.
  4. Freeze for 4-5 hours minimum.
  5. Serve with fresh berries or all alone.

This picture below shows the ice cream right before it was put in the freezer. It gives you an idea of how it should look when it is whipped the right amount of time.

No Churn Ice Cream - No fancy equipment required!

No Churn Ice Cream – No fancy equipment required!

Note the lovely swirls? Isn’t it inviting? Don’t you see yourself diving right in and doing the backstroke through the waves?

I love this ice cream because, as I’m sure I’ve said too often, there are so many things you can do with it! It’s great with cookie chunks, or fruit. You can swirl in chocolate or caramel. And it’s a delicious treat that doesn’t require any special equipment. And you can freeze some in popsicle molds for a lovely and properly portioned treat!

Enjoy!

Shrimp and Scallop Saute

sssI’m on a mission to clear the freezer this week. I don’t mean throw things away. I mean eat them. I have a very good friend and cohort to join me in my little game. My Faithful Assistant has great kitchen sense. He can come up with meal ideas very easily using ingredients on hand. The gamification of dinner It should be a fun week!

I thought I had seen a partial bag of shrimp in the freezer and I was right! I also found a partial bag of scallops. The refrigerator yielded a red pepper, spinach and onion. And my Aero Garden has some lovely basil! Score!

Shrimp and Scallop Saute
1 cup shrimp
1 cup scallops
1/4 onion, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 red pepper, chopped
3-4 leaves of fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper

  1. Saute the onion in a little olive oil until translucent.
  2. Add the shrimp, scallops, salt, pepper, and wine and cook for about ten minutes until the shrimp and scallops are done.
  3. Add the red pepper and cook for another five minutes. Then add the chopped basil and spinach. Cook for another few minutes until the spinach has wilted.
  4. Serve!

You could serve this over pasta or rice. I ate it plain. It was delicious. I don’t get to have seafood at home very often so I really wanted to savor the flavors.

Have I enticed you into returning to this space to see what else we conjure up this week? I’m going to assume that you are shouting, “YES!!! YES!!! I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE MORE CLEVER CREATIONS FROM YOUR KITCHEN!!!” Well fear not my adoring audience. We will not disappoint.

Enjoy!

Spinach and Citrus Smoothie

scsAs we near the end of the citrus season, every bag of clementines purchased is a gamble. Will they be juicy and sweet? Will they be tough and flavorless?

Every good purchase gives me confidence to make another. But that fateful day will come. And then, you’ll need a way to get rid of those grainy clementines. Or oranges. Or tangerines.

Smoothies (and soups) are an excellent way to quickly get rid of produce and other food that hasn’t met your expectations. Combining multiple flavors can often mask the lower quality ingredients. Now in this case, the clementines I have on hand are still quite tasty. But the flavor of this smoothie wouldn’t have been hampered if they weren’t.

Spinach and Citrus Smoothie
1 cup orange juice
1 container of yogurt of your choice – I used Nosa Blood Orange yogurt
1-3 peeled clementines
1 handful of spinach – about a cup
1 handful of ice

  1. Put the ingredients in a blender with the ice on top.
  2. Blend starting on low and slowly increase speed until smoothie reaches desired consistency.
  3. Serve!

I shared my smoothie with one of my kids. He agreed with me that it was quite tasty and refreshing! As he heads back to school after spring break, he will have all the ingredients he needs to make this himself!

Enjoy!