Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nectarine-peach popsicles ~

I'm so happy to have a recipe with *blue* on Blue Monday!  :)  Simple pleasures, that's me!!!

Oh boy, oh boy ~~~ oh, yum!!!   Cold. Fruity. Good.  Easy.  Did I mention cold?  It's hot outside.  I don't like that.  'Tis my whiny season.  I'm going to retire where it's cold 10 months of the year, the other two are like fall.  Uh huh.  That's just more whining my part.  I love Bend.  This is my heart home.  (So far.)

Okie dokie.  Moving on...

Fruit pops using leftover and over-ripe fruit.   I-let-the-fruit-sit-around-too-long-but-don't-wanna-toss-'em-out fruit pops.

Two peaches
Two nectarines
1/2 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. water
Lemon juice.

  • Peel the fruit. Pit the fruit.  Whir it up in the food processor.  Do enough fruit for 1 1/2 c. puree.  
  • Squeeze some lemon juice in there - a couple tablespoons will do.  Add the sugar.  Whir it some more.  
  • Remove it from the processor into a bowl, add water.  Stir.  Pour into molds.  
This made enough for mold which makes ten.  Smile big that the next day when you eat these you will be happy for making homemade fruit pops!!

Happy Summer!!

The Grumpy Baker

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cream cheese mousse cake ~

It is not that big.  I promise.  :)

No bake cheesecakes?  The idea of cooler desserts have struck my fancy during the heat of summer.  I'm not one for desserts every night after dinner.  A little something sweet after supper was something I grew up with, though again, it wasn't every night.  I attribute it to a family that had a fondness for a little sweet now and then, but did not overly indulge when it came to sugar.  Fresh fruit showed up at our table any time of day more than prepared sugared desserts.

This is not a cheesecake, nor a cake, nor a mousse cake, nor technically a mousse.  I'll just blur the lines of definition, calling it what sounds good to me.  After my 11 year old daughter took her third bite, she said, "It's dream cake!"  That sounds good, too.  Eating it, enjoying and analyzing...I thought it was just perfect.  No needed extra flavors like chocolate or lemon or berries. 

I do believe that it was the chocolate mint cookies that made the this particular simple filling just right.  I came across these cookies by mistake.  They were in graham cracker section, they are the animal cracker/cookies in a chocolate mint flavor.

Cream cheese mousse cake ~
12 servings

16 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 - 1 c. sugar
2 c. heavy whipping cream(I use 40%, 32-35% will be fine)
2 tsp. vanilla

1 c. crushed cookies, chocolate mint
2 T. sugar
3 T. butter, melted

  • Crush cookies in a food processor until fine as bread crumbs.  Remove to a bowl.  
  • Add the 2T. sugar and melted butter.  
  • Save a 1/4 c. for topping, place the remaining crumbs in an 8" springform pan.
Filling ~  
  •  Cream the cream cheese with a paddle attachment in your mixer. 
  • Add the sugar.   Mix well.   I use an extra fine sugar, so I used a little less than a cup. 
  • ***Regarding sweetness can taste the mixture (no eggs) before putting it in the pan - add more sugar if you like.***
  • Add the vanilla.  Remove the bowl from the mixer.
  • In a separate bowl with a whisk attachment, whip the whipping cream to medium peaks.  
  • Add a blobby cup or so of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture bowl.  Fold this in.  This lightens the mixture to more easily take the remaining whipped cream.
  • Add the remaining whipped cream, folding lightly and thoroughly.  Taste for you level of desired sweetness.
  • Spoon the mixture into the pan, level.
  • Add remaining cookie crumbs to the top.
  • Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. 


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Tart on a Tuesday ~

One day years ago I was browsing baking books at a bookstore and came across a recipe called Mango Tatin, from Claudia Fleming when at Gramercy Tavern.  I made it.  Oooo...sweet Gaia, it was goooooooood.  You can still find it online today by Googling "Claudia Fleming Mango Tatin".  This recipe is a off shoot of that.  There have been many similar recipes such as this, just wander the web.

My babies went to the coast with their dad for the Fourth of July weekend.  Apparently they had pretty good weather and of course, they had a good time.  Sunday evening I found a very nice phone call left by my son on my answering machine saying that he was checking in from the coast, they were having a hard time not eating the salt water taffy they purchased for me.....and that they all loved me.  Talk about timing, it was perfect.  Thank you, Gaia ~ again.  Little reminders.  

I had this tart waiting for them upon their return from the coast. 

Not Mango Tatin coming up.

Tart dough.  French tart dough.  Sable dough.  Take your pick.  Google away and you will find the dough of your choice.   For most tarts I prefer a tart dough that is a dough made without water, instead including an egg.  

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. powdered sugar (or 1/3 c. granulated)
Pinch salt
8 T. butter
1 large egg

  • Flour, powdered sugar, salt into a food processor.  Pulse to combine.  
  • Add butter, pulse until a fine meal.  Add the egg and pulse until almost combined.  
  • Remove dough to a lightly floured counter.  Kneed until smooth, just a few turns.  
  • Now, I roll this out at this time and shape it into the tart ring, then put it in the fridge.  It can go in  the fridge for an hour first before rolling out, if you prefer.   If it's a particurally soft or a warm day, I suggest that.  
  • Chill tart in the form for half an hour.
  • Par-bake at 375 degrees for 15-17 minutes. 
Slice up two mangos of good size.  Peel and slice into 1/4" slices.  Set aside.

Brown sugar goodness ~

1/2 c. brown sugar
2 T. water
2-3 T. butter
  • Heat sugar and water in a saute pan on medium low until melted.  Turn heat up to medium and heat until it barely is starting to show small bubbles around the edges.  Add 2 T. butter, melt.  
  • Pour half this into the bottom of the par-baked tart shell, spread lightly.
  • Arrange mangos in the tart.
  • Bake the tart an additional 20 minutes at 375.
I do like a brownish firm crust for some of my tarts, this being one of them.

Whipped cream ~ 
  • Easy peasy.  Some heavy whipping cream, about a 1/4 c. 
  • Some sugar, about 2T.   
  • Some good vanilla. 
  • Sprinkle with nutmeg if you desire.

Toodles ~

Monday, July 5, 2010

Blue in the Hood

 ~ Blue Morning ~
5:30ish a.m.
July 5th, 2010

Birds visiting would be nice.  
Main Entry: 1hope
Pronunciation: \ˈhōp\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): hoped; hop·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English hopian; akin to Middle High German hoffen to hope
Date: before 12th century
intransitive verb 1 : to cherish a desire with anticipation s for a promotion>
2 archaic : trusttransitive verb 1 : to desire with expectation of obtainment
2 : to expect with confidence : trust
synonyms see expect
hop·er noun
hope against hope : to hope without any basis for expecting fulfillment

Main Entry: 1de·sire
Pronunciation: \di-ˈzī(-ə)r, dē-\
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): de·sired; de·sir·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French desirer, from Latin desiderare, from de- + sider-, sidus heavenly body
Date: 13th century
transitive verb 1 : to long or hope for : exhibit or feel desire for
2 a : to express a wish for : request b archaic : to express a wish to : ask
3 obsolete : invite
4 archaic : to feel the loss of