Fresh Raspberry Blueberry Cream Tart

Recipes in this PostFresh Raspberry Blueberry Cream Tart

There was a wonderful tip from America’s Test Kitchen that I’ve been doing for quite a while, only not as efficiently. To protect iced cakes from plastic wrap, I’ve been sticking the top with toothpicks. America’s Test Kitchen uses spaghetti noodles – they’re more plentiful, and easy to break for whatever length you want.
So, when I decided to make my pie today, and didn’t want it getting over burdened with plastic wrap, I took linguine noodles, stuck them in, covered my pie, and stuck it in the refrigerator. Now it won’t pick up any bad smells, or have any of it come off with the plastic wrap. There’s a bunch of other transport tricks at America’s Test Kitchen.

Spane liked the Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle so much that he asked me if I could make it again. There were fresh raspberries and blueberries on sale at the market, but I didn’t want another trifle, I wanted a tart.

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Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle with Lemon Cream for 4th of July

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Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle with Lemon Cream

Finished Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle with Lemon Cream

When thinking about making this Balsamic Strawberry and Blueberry Trifle with Lemon Cream, it reminded me of something that happened many years ago. I was asked to bring something to a 4th of July potluck. I was making a yellow cake and using strawberries and blueberries for filling, with a whipped cream topping. As I was taking the cake out of the pan, my cat Lazer startled me, and I dropped the cake on the counter. I went into bunch of little pieces. Well, I had a trifle bowl, so I scooped everything up, put in the bowl with the cream and fruit, presented it as Oops 4th of July Trifle, and called it a day.

This year, I wanted something along the same lines, but a little more fun. Strawberries and balsamic vinegar are perfect together. Strawberries and Mascarpone are even better together, but I didn’t want anything that thick. So I developed a wonderful lemon cream.

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Kiwi Lime Mini Cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day

Kiwi Lime Cupcakes

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On one of my recent sojourns to the local grocery store, I found dried kiwi fruit. I immediately thought they would make a great decoration for St. Patrick’s Day cupcakes. When I brought Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Dipped Strawberries for my son’s third grade class field trip, one of the girls requested I make cupcakes the next time I brought a treat for the class. So, I’m making mini lime cupcakes with kiwi for Friday since St. Patrick’s day is on Saturday.

I had planned on making these Thursday evening, but decided to do them this morning. Why? Well, let me first say that I love my son’s curiosity and inventiveness. Yesterday, he was tinkering with the alarm clock and mistakenly set the clock ahead four hours. When I got up at what I thought was seven o’clock and drank coffee, it was not until I looked at the cable box that I realized it was only three o’clock. Since I had already had a half a cup of coffee, it was too late to try to go back to sleep, so I’m making cupcakes.

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Second Chance Banana Bread

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Banana Bread

At my son’s school they have something called “Second Chance Breakfast” for those students who either didn’t have time for breakfast at home, or who are hungry at the midmorning break. Spane has coined a lot of second chance items in our house, dry food for Rolo is “Second Chance Cat Food”, etc.

Spane and I like bananas, and we especially like them when they are just ripe, are firm and might have a little green still on them. I even have a banana slicing tool from Chef’n which makes slicing them a snap. Still, it’s hard for us to get through a small bunch of bananas without one or two going brown. Sure enough, one had gone brown, and knew that it was destined for banana bread.

Why do I call it Second Chance Banana Bread? Well, because it’s a second chance for the banana itself, and because the night Spane and I made it, I was very tired and fell asleep waiting for it to finish baking. When I woke up the house smelled of burnt sugar. The whole loaf was black on top. A little bit in the center had not burned, and we ate that. It was so good, Maria gave me three bananas she had that had also gone brown, so I could make a second loaf – and not burn it.

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Cheesecake Stuffed Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

Cream Cheese Stuffed Chocolate Dipped Strawberries


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The other day, when I was perusing Pinterest, I came across something that looked fabulous. It was strawberries stuffed with cream cheese, and it was called Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries. I pinned it, and decided it would make a nice treat for the kids in Spane’s class going to the Planetarium field trip. Last year, I made White Chocolate Rum Raisin Cookies for Mrs. Mary’s class when we went to The Natural Science Museum.

I lucked out, and strawberries were Buy One box, Get One Free. There are 24 kids in Spane’s class, plus the teacher, and possibly one or two more parents who, like me, volunteered to go on the trip to help with the children. There were enough strawberries, with a few extra for the house.

I decided to change the original recipe a little and dip the strawberries in chocolate. All the recipes on the Internet tell you to add shortening to the chocolate to temper it. I don’t like shortening, and I knew that I had dipped strawberries before without it. Of course, looking in The Joy of Cooking, I found that I didn’t need shortening at all, just a candy thermometer, that I have a nice glass one with a clip. There are instructions later in this post about how to do this.

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Rosemary Garlic Chicken Purses with Lavendar Mustard Dipping Sauce

Rosemary Garlic Chicken Cream Cheese Purse with Lavender Mustard Sauce

I graduated from Immaculate Heart High School in 1975. Okay, so now you know how old I am! I have not gone to any of the reunions, and had not heard from any of my former classmates until I found a bunch of them on Facebook.

When I was in high school, one of my best friends was Libby. She lives in another state, and we have been corresponding on Facebook for a while. She said she was coming into Glendale to visit her mother and suggested we get together. Her mother lives a block from Spane’s school. What a coincidence! I haven’t seen her in 36 years, and today, we are going to the park and have a reunion picnic. I am so excited!

Libby has been liking my recipes on Facebook for a while, and even asked me if I remembered making a lemon pie that she liked so much. I decided that she deserved to have a special lunch, so these are thing things I have made:

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