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Savory Recycling

You have probably figured out that I am all for food recycling. Well after Sunday Party, I had a load of mini grape tomatoes and mozarella kebabs left over, so I unrolled a sheet of pie crust (please don’t tell Martha) and got to work.

I marinated the tomatoes and mozarella in 1 Tb. olive oil, 1 Tb. balsamic vinegar and added one sliced vidalia onion, some black pepperput the mixture in the pie crust and let it bake at 350 for 45 minutes. It was great and easy dish with a side salad and scorching hot temperatures outside.

The Easiest Pie…Always

Here is my "to go/ no fuss/ never failed me" fresh fruit tart recipe.
Let me explain: when I was working full time at the restaurant, there were many a Saturday mornings that started with a light hangover, yes restaurant crews are known to enjoy the night life and then some… When you are faced with a busy weekend ahead, a headache and a load of creme brulees, nougat glace, chocolate mousses, apple tatins, cheesecake and others, a good fresh fruit tart has the tendency to be put at the bottom of your to do list, and it is quite a shame because a good fruit tart is just that: goooooood. It should be uncomplicated so as to put forth the freshness of the fruit yet interesting and bold in flavors so as to attract diners and gourmands.
I don’t know exactly how I came up with this one, after years of baking and reading magazines, cookbooks, one can develop, mix and match their own recipes and I am probably sure I came up with this one on one of my morning jogs (probably trying to sweat out some cosmos after a night out).
Long story short, you can use this recipe for every sort of fruit available. You can bake the layer of fruit on top of the tart with the filling, or lay unbaked ones once the ricotta mixture has cooked and cooled and the glaze on top can be made with any flavor of jam or jelly you enjoy. It is so incredibly versatile.

In this case it was a White Peach and Ricotta Tart with Blackberry Glaze

1/2 recipe Pate Sucree

For the ricotta filling:
1 container (16oz) whole milk ricotta
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
juice and zest of 1/2 lemon

For the fruit filling:
Your favorite fruit!
Here I used white peaches (about 5 medium ones, peeled, cored and cut into slices)

1 cup of your favorite jam or jelly heated for about a minute (microwave works fine)
Here I used blackberry.

You can do this pie 2 ways:
Pre bake the tart shell at 350 for about 10 – 15 minutes.
While it cools a bit, pour the ricotta in a big bowl, add the sugar, lemon juice and zest. Mix well. Add the eggs and whip until fully incorporated.
Layer the fruit on top and bake for about 45 minutes or until almost set (the center will still wiggle a bit, but will firm up in the fridge). Let the pie cool down for 30 minutes and pour the heated jelly on top. Refrigerate until completely cooled.

If you want to use fruits like kiwis or fresh berries, you can bake the ricotta filling first, let it cool completely and then layer the fruits on top, ending with a glaze like apricot, apple or orange jelly.

We have forked through 1/2 of it already….. I think the neighbors won’t get to try this one either…Sorry!

What a Party!

The party is over bu man did we have fun! There is a ton of food leftover. We had a lot of finger foods, the 2 grills were going full blast too. Beside the cake, I added a pan of fudgy brownies and some chocolate dipped strawberries. Seems like everybody had fun. It is our second home and our first housewarming party. Not that we live like hermits or anything but Mr. B was really rpoud to be able to show off his work and craftsmanship (I am proud of him too). I love birthdays and this was the best occasion not to miss his 50th.
Overall, I am tired but happy.

At Home…Catering…

for our home… Explanation: we are having a big party on sunday combining a housewarming party and a birthday. Our long time friends know champagne will flow for the hubby and our new friends will toast to the new house. We open our doors at 3pm, until… We have invited about 30 -40 people total. Therefore, I am catering my own party! Which is why you won’t see me much until next week. The party is Sunday, but I am doing a lot ahead of time like sundried tomato goat cheese turnovers, lemon shrimp canapes, wonton spinach quiche, spinach artichoke dip, chicken pate, salmon mousse in cucumber cups, Brie in puff pastry, different meats to go on the grill, and veggie sides…and finally Mr. B wanted a Red Velvet Cake with White Chocolate Frosting for his birthday.
I will try to take as many pictures as possible.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cake

Here it is: cut, shared, eaten, almost gone. Layers of the lightest banana rum cake, peanut butter filling and dark chocolate ganache.

every recipe from Marcel Desaulnier’s book has been a delightful journey into chocolate bliss. Textures, flavors, combinations. Some recipe may sound heavy, like this one, and I was rather curious regarding the result, but it came out light and slightly tropical thanks to the rum. Definitely best served at room temperature.

Sugar Blurr

Is it the cake that makes the book or the book that makes the cake?
I got inspired to make Marcel Desaulnier’s Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cake yesterday, and when I went to take a picture, my blood sugar content was probably so high that the paper and live items kind of melted together!

Weekend Dog Blogging

Tippy does not look convinced that we can get this whole new computers set up done right! I already gave up and wait on the Husband to get it. I took refuge in the kitchen to take care of some ripe bananas (again!)

Head over to Sweetnicks later on today for the latest Weekend Dog Blogging round up.

This and That

Sorry if I have not posted much lately but we are getting a whole new computer installation set up here and it is taking me a while to get acclimated to it. Needless to say that the current heat wave has not been conducive to baking and cooking either. But I did come up with a little dessert one night that I was staring at some fresh apricots starting to wilt and wrinkle.

Apricots and Almond Mousse:
Serves 2/3

For the Apricots:
Puree 4 apricots with a Tb of lemon juice and 2 Tb of sugar.
In a separate dish dissolve 1 1/2 tsp. powdered gelatin in 1/4 cup cold water.
On medium heat, warm up the apricot puree. Off the heat, stir in the gelatin until dissolved. Let it cool a few minutes before pouring into dessert dishes.

For the Almond Mousse:
Heat up 1 cup of almond milk over medium heat. In a separate bowl, dissolve 2 tsp. powdered gelatin. When the milk is hot, stir in the gelatin.
Let cool to the consistency of unbeaten egg whites.
In a separate bowl, whip up 1/2 cup of heay cream until slightly stiff. Gently fold this in the cooled almond milk.
Pour over the apricot gelee and refrigerate 1 hour. Decorate with fresh berries if you want.

This was nice and light for dessert under the heat!

Good Morning Sunshine!

Well, I have got a very nice husband who decided to get back into a little fitness routine and needed a workout partner for his morning power walk/ jog… and guess who did he ask..his lovely wife the trainer…but since she is also a pastry chef, guess what he gets as a reward…some nice fresh but figure friendly scones.

I peroused the Cooking Light website while he was getting ready and found what promised to be a great recipe according to the reviews. I did not have the dried apricots the recipe calls for but I did have some peach nectar instead of apricots. The result was very light but flavorful scones, ready in no time. What a delighful way to start the day!

Always Room for Dessert

We were invited to T & D yesterday afternoon for a great Barbeque and relaxing time. They are both fine cooks, gourmets and gourmands. He is the master at the grill and she always has a lovely spread of appetizers and sides. As you may guess, I was in charge of dessert, one thing I volunteer with pleasure!

I brought a White Chocolate and Strawberry Mousse Cake. I would post the recipe but it is 3 pages long. The cake is not complicated but the making components are multiple and the assembly takes time. The base of the cake is a toasted almond sponge, cut in 3 parts and alternatively filled with white chocolate and strawberry mousses. The leftover white chocolate mousse is spread around the caek, almonds to decorate and I added the white chocolate triangles on top.

It was the perfect endind to a great meal, rich but light.

The recipe can be found in this book.