Sunday, July 22, 2012

Life's Busy Times….

I hope your summer is going well. Mine has been amazing but going by way too quickly. There have been weekend trips, day trips, dinner with friends, and even some quiet moments. Because of this, there has been so many things I have wanted to post on here but haven't had the chance. 

These cookies I made for a friend's birthday a few months back. Totally forgot to post about them but ended up making them again for a 4th of July party a few weeks ago. 

Here is a recipe for when life has those busy times. The moment when one realizes they need a dessert  but have NO time to make something. I had one of these moments! I realized I needed a dessert one evening and had to fit them in between work and running. So this recipe was born out of desperation….one bowl, one baking sheet, and less than one hour…..

Coconut Macaroons

2/3 C Unbleached Flour
5 C Flaked Coconut
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 Tsp Vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 Degrees F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combine flour, coconut and salt. Add sweetened condensed milk and vanilla until well mixed. Using an small scoop, drop dough onto the prepared baking sheets.

Bake for about 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until coconut is toasted

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blueberries and Cream…...

I am starting to wonder if this is a heat wave is covering the entire U.S. We just survived a week of extremely high temps here in the Midwest which has luckily come to an end (at least for now). Is this happening is your area?! 

Luckily for me, I recently went on a trip to Colorado a few weeks ago to get home to family. It was perfect timing since the heat wave seemed to be everywhere. During these trips, I love being able to catch up with family while I am there and also enjoy what nature has to offer. The only things I hate about these trips are leaving and the lack of baking while I am away from home. Luckily, we usually find enough desserts to make up for it. 

If you are like me, this weather makes me question my love of summer and the need to avoid the kitchen by all extremes possible. However for me, once I returned from vacation I had a Girls Night Out which I needed to bake for (maybe need is not the correct….so on when the oven. I can happily tell you this recipe was easy, quick and completed within 30 minutes….yay!!! I love when things work out in my favor... 

So returning from Colorado, I looked in my fridge to see what I had available. I have to be honest at this moment...all I had were blueberries, milk, eggs and lemons (and maybe a few random condiments) I had not made it to the store yet to restock the house. So out of necessity the Blueberry Lemon Cream Mini Tarts were born. 
On a separate note, please continue to think of those in Colorado who are struggling with the fires right now. The High Park fire was one of the largest fires for the State until the Waldo Canyon fire destroyed Colorado Springs in such a short amount of time. While nature does what it needs to survive, those around have to start their lives once again. Be thankful for what you have and cherish those around you!

Blueberry Lemon Cream Mini Tarts

1/4 C Sugar
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice, fresh
1 Tsp Lemon Zest
2 C Blueberries

Lemon Cream
1 C milk
1/2 C fresh lemon juice
2 Tsp Lemon Zest, grated
1 Tbsp Cornstarch
1 Egg Yolk

Follow link to tart dough recipe to make mini tart shells. 

Stir together granulated sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice and zest, and a pinch of salt in a medium bowl. Add berries; toss to coat. Fill shells with berry mixture. Bake until crusts are brown and filling is bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly in tins. Run a knife around tarts; remove from tins. Let cool completely on rack.

While tarts are baking, make the lemon cream. In a small saucepan over medium heat, whisk together milk, lemon juice, lemon zest until slightly boiling. Add cornstarch and egg yolk and mix until thickened. Let cool. Once cooled, place in a piping bag and pipe onto cooled tarts. Top finished tart with fresh blueberry and serve.