Cute Fruit

For this week’s dessert, Barbi suggested something NOT chocolate (shock of the century!!!). Searching through one of my many cookbooks, I came across this recipe for Strawberry-Lemon Cream Puffs.  After reading through the recipe twice, I realized that it was definitely do-able, even though I didn’t have all the ingredients.  That’s not always a problem since I almost never follow a recipe exactly anyway!  Here is the original recipe, taken from “The Best of Country Cooking 2004”, with my changes at the end. Who knew fruit could go over so well with a chocoholic?

1 cup water

1/4 cup butter

1 cup flour

FILLING:

1/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch

5 oz evaporated milk

8 oz vanilla yogurt

1 1/2 tsp. lemon extract

1/4 tsp. butter flavoring

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

1/2 tsp. confectioners’ sugar

In a saucepan, bring water and butter to a boil.  Add flour all at once, stirring until a smooth ball forms.  Remove from the heat; let stand for 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Continue beating until mixture is smooth.  Drop by 1/4 cupfuls 3 inches apart on greased baking sheets.  Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove to wire racks.  Immediately split puffs open and remove tops; discard soft dough from inside. Set puffs and tops aside to cool.

For filling, combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan.  Stir in evaporated milk and yogurt until smooth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Remove from the heat. Stir in lemon extract and butter flavoring.  Cool.  Fold in strawberries.  Refrigerate until serving.  Fill cream puffs; replace tops. Dust with powdered sugar.

Changes:  Since I did not have vanilla yogurt, I used a 6-oz cup of blueberry yogurt and added 1/4 cup of light sour cream.  I had no lemon flavoring either, which is really a good thing since the man of the house depsises any hint of lemon!  I used vanilla flavoring instead and used almond flavoring for the butter flavoring.  I also added a handful of frozen blueberries along with the strawberries.

  I used a muffin pan instead of a baking sheet, so I ended up with 12 puffs instead of the called-for 10.

Cute!

Monday in Minutes

Mon·day: the first day of the working week, hated by mankind in general and tolerated only during football season.

Maybe that is not the exact definition, but it’s pretty close! Despite our dislike of Mondays, they do have one redeeming quality in our house: all the men have regularly scheduled obligations on Monday night, leaving us women to our blissful selves. Since the guys are not home to eat, this is the night we pull out the good stuff make “chick food”. French toast, omelets, light salads, and yogurt are a few of our favorites, but to stick to our goal of spicing up the routine we tried an awesome new smoothie recipe last night. Keeping this one from becoming a habit is going to be difficult! Maybe we can compromise a little….

Minted Peach Smoothies

2 cups milk
2 cups frozen sliced peaches
1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
2 tbsp. sugar
5 ice cubes

In a blender, combine all ingredients;

 cover and process until smooth.  Pour into glasses and serve immediately.

 Add mint sprigs for garnish.  Yields 4 servings.

Done in 10 minutes or less, leaving plenty of time to enjoy the rest of the boy-free evening!

Sunday Dinner Dessert

Sunday dinner at our house has been elevated to a ritualistically traditional status. The pot roast is placed in the crockpot at precisely 11pm Saturday night and covered with onion soup mix and (when available) half a can of coke. Said pot roast is not touched until after church Sunday morning when the whole fam troops into the kitchen to begin the rest of the ceremonial preparation. Rice, broccoli, carrots, mashed potatoes, and bread are added to the menu with no. deviations. whatsoever. If so much as one item is missing from (or added to) the Sunday dinner table, the security of the entire universe will be called into question. So when we told everyone not to move after dinner yesterday because we had dessert, the eyebrows went through the roof. Now we do have dessert every so often, but because of the harried nature of Sundays, dessert is NOT part of the traditional meal. Of course once this delicious recipe hit four male mouths, the universe-danger radars went down and (shockingly) the pie was gone in seconds.

The original recipe is from the Best of Country Cooking 2002, but we experimented with blueberries and strawberries instead of the recommended raspberries. Enjoy!

Strawberry-Blueberry Meringue Pie

1 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. cold butter or margarine
1 egg, beaten
2 tbsp. milk

TOPPING:
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup strawberries, chopped
1 cup blueberries

In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt; cut in butter.  Combine egg and milk; stir into flour mixture (dough will be sticky). Press into the bottom and up the sides of a lightly greased 9-inch pie plate; set aside.

  In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites on medium speed for 5 hours until soft peaks form.

oh this shouldn't take long... 10 minutes later... Gradually beat in sugar, 1 tbsp. at a time until stiff peaks form.20 minutes...seriously?!? I HAVE CARPAL TUNNEL!!

  Combine strawberries and blueberries.  Fold into beaten egg whites.

  Spoon over the crust.  Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.

  Cool on a wire rack.  Refrigerate.   Yield: 6-8 servings.

 

Dad: hmm. Meringue?  Just eat it Dad. There are no lemons, I promise.

Collective boys: no time to comment between bites. We take this to mean that dessert can safely be added to the Sunday dinner ceremony without harming the universe.