Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Well that's just peachy!

Tis the season for peaches. You may remember a while back I made that gorgeous and absolutely delicious strawberry tart. Well I got a craving for one again recently, so I headed out to the neighborhood strawberry stand and guess what? It was gone! I don't know where on earth I've been but strawberry season here in North Carolina is officially OVER and peach season is in!

With all the juicy and delicious peaches filling up this state right now, I just couldn't buy greenhouse strawberries in the grocery store from God knows where. But I was still craving that darn tart! What's a girl with fresh local peaches and a tart craving to do? I came up with the extremely delicous and summery "Peaches n Cream Tart".

Peaches n Cream Tart

Much to my disappointment, I discovered the Big Bad Dad doesn't like peaches, so he gave the tart no more than a nibble and it was all mine. Getting fat enough thanks to my recent birthday I had to get atleast half that tart outta here and fast or I would have eaten the whole thing and been all that much more plump - and it wouldn't have been pleasant! So after eating a couple slices myself I hauled it off to my taste testers and it received rave reviews.

Peaches n Cream Tart

Peaches n Cream Tart

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt


1 bar (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar, plus more to sprinkle on peaches
4-5 medium size ripe peaches, peeled and sliced

1. Make the crust: Preheat oven to 350°. In a food processor, blend flour, butter, sugar, and salt until moist crumbs form (this may take up to 1 minute). Transfer dough to a 9-inch round tart pan with a removable bottom.

2. With floured fingers, press dough evenly into pan and up sides. Dip a dry-measuring cup in flour, and use it to press dough firmly into bottom and against sides of pan. Freeze crust until firm, 10 to 15 minutes.

3. Using a fork, prick crust all over. Bake until golden, 25 to 30 minutes, pressing down gently once or twice with a spoon during baking if crust puffs up. Cool completely in pan.

4. Make the filling: In a medium bowl, mix cream cheese and sugar until smooth; spread mixture evenly in bottom of baked crust (still in tart pan).

5. Starting from outside edge, arrange peach slices, in tight concentric circles on cream cheese. Sprinkle peaches with sugar to suit your taste.

6. Chill in pan atleast 1 hour, up to 6 hours. Remove from pan before just serving.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Dog Days of Summer

Thanks to their busy momma, the boys have been missing in action for quite sometime now. But after many many guilt trips were laid they're making a much deserved appearence this week.

the boys

Sammy & Stumpy - momma loves you!!

yes I talk to my dogs like they're people. Don't you??

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Sample This!

How cute are these!!

free samples!!

I guess you could say I'm a sucker for free samples. I LOVE getting to try out new products. And receiving little packages in the mail with goodies for me to try out?? The best!

I'm an admitted coffee lover, and some of you may call me a fraud because I'm not ashamed to drink the instant stuff. But hey, call me one! I totally shreaked with excitement when I got these samples in the mail because I think the packaging is so cute! Yeah I know, I've seen cuter too, but come on, you gotta admit for Taster's Choice it's pretty cute with the little individual servings right? If you want samples of your own just go to: verybestcoffee.com and then to: Taster's Choice Samples to take the short survey and get your free samples.

Happy coffee drinkin'!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

How the cookie really crumbles

best choc chip cookies

Perhaps you might call me a connoisseur of cookies, or maybe I'm just picky? Either way I know what I like and I often have very specific expectations when it comes to cookies, especially chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies!

Over the last few months I've experimented with several chocolate chip cookie recipes. And thought I'd found the one with when I tested out the Alton Brown recipe known as "The Chewy". Well, as fate would have it - yes I believe in fate, even when it comes to food! I stumbled upon a recipe on allrecipes.com, the ratings were pretty darn high with stellar reviews, so I just had to see if this cookie lived up to all the hype, and believe me, it did!

Best Big, Fat, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.

In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.

Bake for 15 to 17 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely

best choc chip cookieThese cookies tout themselves as being "the pinniacle of perfection!," and as the type of cookie that you will find in bakeries and specialty shops. I agree 100%! I've made multiple batches and been so happy with each batch that I now keep a container of the unbaked dough in my freezer.

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Saturday, July 01, 2006


Just in time for those 4th of July cookouts and all these hot afternoons splashin around in the swimming pool, I thought I'd share with you a recent recipe I whipped up for the sweet toothed readers over at Sugar Savvy.

And NO it's not Jello, close! It's Jello Pudding Pops...remember those?? I absolutely loved them as a child. And although, I know ice cream becomes hugely popular during the spring and summer months, I begin to crave popsicles. I've always liked ice cream, but I've always LOVED popsicles. I eat one and for just a moment I feel like a kid again.

This recipe, if you can even call it a recipe is super simple and I swear to you, it tasts just like the real thing. I have one of those adorable popsicle mold kits, but that's not necessary. You can use small paper cups and popsicle sticks if you prefer.

Pudding Pops

1 (4 oz) package instant pudding mix, whatever flavor you prefer
2 cups cold milk

Pour milk into a small bowl, and add pudding mix. With a small whisk, whisk together for about 2 minutes. Pour mixture into popsicle molds or paper cups. If using paper cups insert popsicle sticks. Place in freezer until completely frozen, about 4 hours atleast.

Makes 8 popsicles.
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