Tag Archives: pie crust

A Sweetheart for Me and a Simple Jam Tart for You

<img alt="Simple Jam Tart"/>

Simple Jam Tart

I looked over at my husband a few evenings ago as we sat in our usual places after dinner in front of the television — he in his chair, ever present laptop casting a blue white glow on his handsome mug, and I pressed into a corner of the sofa, pillows wedged beneath me, iPad screen black and lacking my attention.  I’m not sure what urged me to bring it up, but I told him to not worry about Valentine’s Day, to not bother with running to the store for a card or flowers — that I didn’t need a day created to sell cards to remind me he loves me.  And then I had to confess I’d forgotten I had already purchased a card for him last week and watched him fake a pout and I laughed over the whole thing.  We’ve celebrated “us” quite a bit in the last couple of months and I’m currently planning our trip to Paris and Germany for later this spring, so Valentine’s Day seems to have been lost in the shuffle.

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Strawberry Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie

It’s officially summer.  The calendar says so, and when I look out my window, I can say that our weather is even cooperating — if not with warmer temperatures, then surely beautiful sun and light that makes me want to grab a chair and book, maybe a glass of something tinkling when it’s picked up to sip.

I also think of brightly colored veggies in all kinds of combinations brushed with oil, tossed with garlic and salt and grilled.  Fruit as well.  Lots of fruit.  Sometimes I’m carried away and bring home too much — well, too much as far as eating it plain and simple goes.  One can have too many smoothies as well.

When faced with this particular predicament, it’s time to make pie.  Pie that isn’t on the diet I say I’m not on.  The non-diet I’ve been on since January and have been very good about until the lead-up to summer and all our goings on have inserted themselves into my carefully crafted snacks and meals.

I had pie for breakfast this morning.  We all did.  And I laughed as the hubster carried his piece out the door along with the oatmeal he routinely eats in the car on the way to work each morning.  It’s a wonder he makes it to work without being pasted with food each day.

I spent the afternoon yesterday making this pie, enjoying every moment of it.  It’s relaxing, and as much as I know the of the country is sweltering in temperatures approaching 100 degrees, as usual, we’re barely hitting 70.   Outside of having to prebake the pie crust, this pie requires very little heat — instead refrigeration once it’s cooled then put together.

Summer has to have a pie — and this one is perfect to celebrate today.

It’s June 29th, and it’s Pie Day!

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Easy Mixed Fruit Tarts: San Diego Food Blogger Bake Sale 2012

It’s the first day of spring and perfectly clear outside, the sun making its appearance after a much needed rainy weekend.  I’m feeling the urge to get out on my patio to start clearing away the damp leaves in my planters, trim the new growth from the vines we cut back last year, and get ready to plant the tomato seedlings I bought Sunday, but the air is more chilly than I’d like right now.  Too chilly to be outside digging in wet soil on the shady side of the house this morning.  Not too chilly to be out in the glorious sunshine enjoying a long walk, yet here I sit sifting through old photos and thinking I should get some writing done.  The words in my head aren’t ready to be put down yet, so much wanting to be said all at once crowding my thoughts and making it impossible to begin in any kind of a sensible way.  It’s annoying.

I try to get things going by dawdling around in the kitchen shining counters and finishing dishes that won’t quite fit in the dishwasher.  Making sure I have what I need to make dinner tonight so a last minute trip to the market can be avoided.  Deciding once again to put off the pantry overhaul I’ve been promising myself I’ll do.  But this morning, nothing has worked so now here I am instead, thinking about fresh fruit tarts I made several times last spring when I was trying to decide what I might make for the first ever San Diego Food Blogger Bake Sale.

The event was so successful, that this year we will be holding it again with Marie of Meandering Eats at the helm and are fortunate enough to be hosted by my favorite cookware store, Great News! in Pacific Beach on April 28th from 10-2.  If you’re not familiar with the event, you can read all about it at What’s Gaby Cooking.  Last year, $25,000 was raised nationally and this year, the goal is to reach $50,ooo to help feed hungry kids in America.  We’re hoping to double the amount we raised locally last year as well.

There are lots of ways to get involved even if you’re not a food blogger.  We have nearly 40 San Diego bakers signed up to participate this year, so the easiest thing to do is mark your calendar and plan on a visit to our sale making sure to save some time to shop at Great News! like I do whenever I have the opportunity.  Or you could make a donation which will be credited to San Diego Food Bloggers’ efforts by visiting our bake sale blog and clicking that DONATE button.  We’d like that.  Every little bit counts!  Or you can make a donation on my behalf which will also be credited to the San Diego Food Bloggers’ team efforts.

Now, what to make this year?  I made three different types of tarts last year and although I sold them all, it was a bit of a mad production the day before.  Perhaps if I cut it down to one type of tart but filled them differently.  I’ll have to think about it.  In the meantime, here is one type I baked for last year’s sale.  I’d made them for Mother’s Day and they were a big hit so I knew I could count on them again.

Fresh fruit, an unstructured crust.

So simple and satisfying!

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Dark Chocolate Tartelettes

Tart Pans

I know I’m not alone in having had the experience of finding something long forgotten — if noticed missing at all.  The purses sitting just beyond a comfortable reach on the top shelf of my closet are veritable treasure troves when I finally decide one or two should be sent to the Good Will.  I recently found a gift certificate to a local book store dated June, 2000, ink smeared and dog eared. Cleaning out a junk drawer usually turns up a few movie passes, that button that popped off a favorite sweater I vowed to sew back on, and a recipe for margaritas torn from the local paper years ago.  One never knows when a truly excellent margarita could come in handy.

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3-Onion Leek Tart

3-Onion and Leek Tart Time has just flown by lately and with it, my opportunities to not only write as much as I have, but cook the way I’ve always enjoyed cooking — experimenting with new recipes.  Since coming back from Mexico, I’ve been mulling over an opportunity that has taken on a life of its own and me with it.  For the next year or so, I’ll be out of the house again for most of the day so will have to learn to adjust to writing here in the time I have left.  I know there are many of you who do this successfully, so I’ll look to you for inspiration and perhaps a schedule!  By all means, share your secrets with me so I can find a good balance.

In the meantime, I wanted to share a tart I made recently inspired by yet another tart made with some lovely vegetables from Specialty Produce. Although the brief and somewhat elusive season for ramps is close to ending (April – May) , I was able to sample them for the first time.  Ramps are wild leeks harvested by foraging in wooded, mountainous areas, and from what I’m learning, quite the reason to celebrate since they’re a sign of spring.  Ramps are a member of the allium family, so I decided to sample them with green garlic and shallot shoots knowing that whatever I ended up making would be delicious.  Unfortunately, the first tart was prepared for a dinner party, and since I’m challenged to find a way to shoot great photos while entertaining, I decided to recreate the tart using a different collection of vegetables from the onion family.

Because I was home alone that evening, I was thrilled not to have to share this amazing tart with anyone.

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