Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend Snippets

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T
HIS PAST WEEKEND was marked by scorching hot weather, something I usually can't complain about. But since I didn't feel well, I stayed indoors most of the time. Though it was relatively uneventful, I enjoyed cooling off with iced drinks and snapping some photos. Here are a few things that made it more enjoyable:



{Sunlit kitchen}



{Swirl Ice Cream Poster}



{Wild roses}



{Bright blue geometric sandals}


1. Mornings in our kitchen: I love our kitchen because it has a south-facing window and is cozily snug. I found these antique ice cream chairs and table circa the 1950's along with red chair pads, and it fits perfectly in our kitchen. 2. Fun Wall Art: There are few things that help beat the Summer heat as much as ice cream does, and now I've got an ice cream poster! Debbie Carlos is the photographer, whom I discovered via etsy.com. Find her ice cream print here: http://store.debbiecarlos.com/bw-posters for $40. 3. Flowers: Nick and I bought some pink and yellow dahlias for our porch, which Nick aptly named "Strawberry Lemonade" flowers. I also found a wild rose bush growing on the back of our property. 4. New Sandals: I scooped up a pair of snazzy blue sandals from Target.com and so far they're a dream for my feet and my pocketbook at $19!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Petite Raspberry Tarts

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OW DID MY MOM get me to eat healthy food when I was younger? She quickly learned that it would be a losing battle to use force. There was no point in forbidding me to leave the dinner table until I ate my veggies because I would let them sit in my mouth for hours, leaving her feeling pretty defeated. But being the resilient person my mom is, she found new ways.

I am very conscious of what I eat now that I am older, and I accredit that largely to my mom. She made me realize that there's a pretty direct (seemingly obvious) correlation between what you eat and how you feel. With fruit, she got me hooked with some of the most irresistible berries nature has to offer—raspberries. Not only did I enjoy their sweet and sometimes subtle tartness, I enjoyed eating them the way Amelie did. My boyfriend and I love putting them on our cereal, eating them by the handful, and lately, on top of tarts and in pies.


Raspberry Tart Heaven

I took a stab at making a vegan raspberry tart for my boyfriend's birthday. I had a bit of difficulty with the pie crust, but the trick I learned is not to overdo it on the kneading. You want to work the dough as little as possible while still forming its shape. Sounds paradoxical but it'll make sense once you get to trying it for yourself.


TART CRUST INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup Earth Balance Butter (Vegan)
  • Several tablespoons ice water

TART FILLING INGREDIENTS
  • 1/2 Package Soft Silken Tofu
  • 2 teaspoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Tablespoons Confectioners Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Milk


INSTRUCTIONS
1. For crust: mix flour and salt. Cut in vegan butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. One tablespoon at a time, add ice water and mix until the dough holds together. (Don't overdo this step!) Form into a ball, cover in saran wrap, and place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

2. Remove dough from fridge and roll out to 1/8 inch thick. Fill tart pan with crust and score bottom of the dough to prevent air bubbles from forming.

3. For filling: combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until smooth. After baking tarts at 400° for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown, spoon filling into shells and top with raspberries. Return to fridge to set.

If you're feeling more ambitious than I was, you can also make a chocolate ganache to top over the chilled filling, or sprinkle chocolate shavings on top. Can't go wrong with either!

Thanks for reading,
Margaret