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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Pastry Party One or...What I Did On My Summer Vacation

Well... the little vacation I seem to have had from dear Bloggity, anyway.

At center, fudge brownies with a rosette of chocolate ganache. From center left, raspberry mini cheesecakes. From center right, blackberry mango tartlettes and plain mini cheesecakes.

The blackberry mango tartlettes were much more impressive in person. They were a soft purply-peach color with that glistening sliver of fresh mango on top. I made the mistake of buying frozen filo tartlette shells for this and the filo really overpowered the delicate flavor of fruit and cream in the filling. I have the opportunity to try again because my client was so impressed with this display she ordered again when I delivered these beauties.

This is me doing the happy pastry chef dance.

Blackberry Mango Cream Tartlette Filling
I simply folded a few tablespoons of my homemade blackberry mango jam plus a few tablespoons of mango puree into sweetened whipped cream and piped into purchased filo shells.

Sour Cream Mini Cheesecakes
2 cups graham crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter (I use salted because salty and sweet complement each other so well), melted

20 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup heavy cream

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Fill mini muffin cups with papers.
In a small bowl, combine graham crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Place 1 teaspoon of mixture in each muffin paper and press down. Bake 10 minutes. Cool.

Reduce oven temp. to 250 degrees and place a baking pan of hot water in the oven on the lowest shelf.

In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat sour cream for 10 seconds. Add the cream cheese and sugar and mix on low for 30 seconds then turn up to medium. Scrape the bowl.

In a separate container, combine vanilla, eggs, yolks and heavy cream. With the mixer on medium, slowly pour the liquid mixture in. When half of it is incorporated, stop and scrape. Continue adding the mixture until the rest of the ingredients are incorporated. Once completely combined, scoop (about a tablespoon each) into the cooled crusts.

Bake at 250 degrees for 35 minutes. Turn off oven and allow cheesecakes to cool for 1 hour before removing. Then refrigerate. Makes about 100 mini cheesecakes.

These are really delicious plain. I tried adding a bit of raspberry jam to some before baking, which resulted in sunken middles. Still delicious, but not very appealing to look at.
If you don't have pans for 100 mini cheesecakes, simply bake in batches. The cheesecake filling refrigerates overnight very well. Or, make some mini and some larger individual cheesecakes with regular size muffin cups. Bake those 50 minutes before turning off the oven.

I'll attempt a pastry crust of some sort for the next round of blackberry mango cream tartlettes and hope that it turns out well.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005


Via MrG, a few gift items you may want to think about from Archie McPhee Toys. Archie has tons of funny stuff. Here are a few foody items:

Air fresheners with the look and smell of bacon or t-bone steak. Sadly we're told the sushi air freshener has a fresh clean scent.

Bacon gift wrap with bacon decorative tape, of course.

A fun toy for the baby?

When it's time to remodel the upstairs bath, be sure all your accessories are meatified.
shower curtain
shower cap
bath mat

Nutritious gummy breakfast and heavenly bible gum.

Dieter would approve.

Know a chef who has every kitchen gadget? Bet they don't have this one. Pizza cutter and bottle opener all in one handy cowboy boot.

Though not necessarily food related, Tub O' Flying Cats; and you've heard the youngsters' saying, "Your breath smells like @ss!" and now you can say it right back to them with this.

MrG: I want this bag.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Time For Some Shopping

Order in time for Halloween:
A very yummy looking Spider Web Cake and Caramel Apples from Williams Sonoma.

From The Popcorn Factory:
a Pair of Goblin (gobblin'?) Goodies Baskets,
Chocolate Tombstone,
S'mores Corn and Jelly Belly Kettle Corn (which would be great any time of year!),
Monster Rice Pops (psst... these would be quite easy to make if you were so inclined... if you make them, let me know!) among the many seasonal items. [of course, none of the links worked from the Popcorn Factory, so you'll have to look for the Halloween tab.]

If you want the whole neighborhood to know who gives out cheap candy that actually cost a bundle, can help you out.

To help me with my jamming efforts, I just bought one of these. I sure hope it works.

When you want your shooters really cold you can use Ice Shots. I wouldn't recommend blow jobs or buttery nipples with these glasses though (everyone knows those things are best at room temprature or above). And when one is done with her shot, what becomes of the glass? Is it tossed in the fireplace? Is it eaten like a popsicle? Is it continually filled until the drinker no longer cares that the glass is melting down her arm? Inquiring minds want to know.

Thursday, September 15, 2005


Oops. It seems the description of my dream has caused some embarrassment to dear MrG. He just (as in, today) gave my blog address to the wife of a friend of a neighbor's relative, or something and well... I guess that wasn't exactly the first impression I want to give of my dear Bloggity, either.

So, if you are here and your name is Mrs. Somebody, forgive me. MrG isn't all that freaky as my dream would suggest. He's a Nut but not a Fruit.

We now return you to our regularly scheduled food blog.

What Does It Mean?

How does one interpret a dream? There are books, there are sites on the Net, there are psychics you can telephone and ask but how do we know this is the correct interpretation, really?

What does it mean when you dream your husband was living in an apartment in New York City with Brad Pitt and they were sleeping in the same bed in the living room?

What does it mean when your dear husband asks you and the kids to move in there and then leaves you alone with stinky Brad Pitt who tries to get you to sleep in the bed with him?

What does it mean when, despite Brad's advances, you agree to live there and begin to have a look at the place?

What does it mean when, as you're looking at the place you find there are a large number of rooms with none suitable for a child's bedroom? Room after room of kitchenettes, offices and tiny, dirty bathrooms?

What does it mean when the room you think might be suitable for your own bedroom has a clothes closet that makes you say, "WOW... now this I could like!" only to find out that your apartment is actually connected to a clothing store that you have walked in to?

What does it mean when you're told this apartment has been adjoined with a mobile home to increase the space and when you've wandered into the trailer portion, you find you're now in the woods instead of New York City?

What does it mean?

Maybe it means I need to quit eating those peanut butter and artichoke sandwiches right before bed.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Confession of a Peachy Variety

I enjoy blogging about food. Food is something that I know and enjoy. I don't think I'm adept at getting my thoughts down in a proper manner to keep some readers interested, but I have readers (that's you) and that's what really matters in the end. This enjoyment of the blogging experience (and my drive to achieve something close to recipe perfection) leads me to confess that I have made a mistake in a recipe I listed some time ago.

My listing of the recipe for Peach Pie Filling seriously underestimated the amount of peaches needed, not only to properly fill a pie, but also to balance the flavor of the spices in the recipe.

You may be wondering how I made this mistake and how I discovered it a full month after posting. Let's begin with how the mistake was made in the first place. Quite simply, I used a recipe and changed it, that's how it got messed up. The original recipe is written for professional chefs and since I realize many of my readers are not professional chefs, I attempted to simplify the recipe by changing the amount of peaches in weight to a number of peaches to use in the recipe. Let me assure you that weighing a whole peach is not equivalent to weighing slices of peach that have been peeled and cut from the pit.

So, how did I ultimately discover that I had made this mistake? I followed my own recipe as it was posted and this was the result:

The lighter jar is from the first batch that I made and was keeping in the freezer. Even though the glass is frosted, it's pretty obvious this is not the same result.

So along with my confession, I will go back to the original post and change the recipe back to a measure of weight.

One day I will learn not to change recipes on a whim... one day.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

You Say Potato, I Say Ebay!

Did you ever find a weird looking potato? MrG told me the story of a potato that was found at his frat house in college. It had eyes (of course), a nose and he says hanging from the back, it had, er... how to put it delicately? Rhymes with mingleberries. I'm pretty sure he also told me his buddies kept it around for a long time and named it or something odd that frat boys do... I truly didn't want to know, after a certain point in the story.

I am continually fascinated by what people will try to sell on Ebay. Ebay has not let me down thus far and I thought I would share (since I can't seem to think of anything else to write about today). A new potato shaped like a heart. Now that's love!

Not to be out done, a Russet to show your love in another variety, perhaps?

Then there is one I doubt I would eat and (at least to me... I know there are others who would disagree so I won't be judgmental) it doesn't exactly conjure a feeling of "Be Mine", it's shaped like a butt. Funny, the term butt potato never brought a picture of this to mind.

Would a vegan eat a potato shaped like a duck?
The devil potato chip made me ask that question.

Monday, September 05, 2005

IMBB #19 I Can't Believe I Ate Vegan

This month's IMBB has been announced and the host is Sam over at Becks&Posh. She is challenging all of us to be vegan for a day - some time between September 26th and September 30th 2005.

So, what's a vegan?
Vegans exclude flesh, fish, fowl, dairy products (animal milk, butter, cheese, yogurt, etc.), eggs, honey, animal gelatin, and all other foods of animal origin.
That leaves out pretty much my entire diet (I say, jokingly, of course!). Actually, many years ago I was a non-strict vegetarian (which means I ate some meat, when I felt like it) and while I don't think I could live a completely vegan lifestyle, I could eat vegan on occasion. I would be happy to share a vegan meal with my friends (or finicky family?) I would not, however, trick someone else into eating vegan. I'm just not into that deception thing.

You can find out more about vegans and what they eat or how they live. Who knows, we might even find some bloggers who choose this lifestyle, in the end.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Pining for the Minnesota State Fair

I thought I should mention this guy's blog.

It's all about the Minnesota State Fair, of which I've lovingly spoken before. It seems he's there every day of the 12-day event (yesterday he went twice?). It may just be me waxing nostalgic but seeing the fair through his eyes and camera lens makes me want to go even more than I did already.

School or no school, next year... I'm there!