Monday, May 30, 2011

Le T'art

A couple of months ago, I went into Cardullo's in Harvard Square for my weekly visit/wine tasting with Eileen. This particular Friday, there was another tasting going on. Fruit T'arts!

Linda's fruit tarts became so famous among her friends, that she finally took their advice and packaged it. She guarantees that her tarts are so easy, anyone can make them and they will always turn out spectacular. All you have to do is add a stick of butter, two eggs and a pint of your favorite fruit. 

She brought with her blueberry and peach tarts for tasting. She was so convinced that I would love it, and I didn't have the heart to tell her I wasn't a fan of fruit-y desserts and definitely not a baker, so I tried it. I was wrong. It was delicious. I bought a package of her mix and told her I would try it out and blog about it. Then I got busy with school, went on vacation, and finally mixed it up today. Let me tell you, the pressure was on. But here's how it went down:

We had some frozen remnants in the freezer; just enough blueberries and raspberries for a tart.

just three ingredients

1 stick of cold, cubed butter

I decided to add some orange zest

pretty batter

spread batter into a tart pan, layer fruit on top

bake at 350 for  about 1 hour

let it cool, enjoy
Russo's carries T'art mix, as well as a few other local stores. For more information, check out Linda's website (click the link above).

The combination of the orange zest and berries was really good. And if we're being honest here, I might have tossed a few chocolate chips at the end. Most importantly, it really is easy to make, especially for those with an aversion to baking. This tart would be perfect to bring along to any of your upcoming BBQs! You were right, Linda!

On another note, I think one of the tests of a successful meal is how good it tastes the following day. Today, I had a leftover crab cake sandwich for lunch...

it was delish

...and a pasta salad with tomatoes, cucumber, green bell peppers, parsley and italian dressing. There's some s+p and a dash of cayenne pepper for a kick. I'll add chicken to it later.

A Happy Memorial Day and a special thank you to all those who have fought and sacrificed for our freedom!


Sunday, May 29, 2011

crab cakes and lemonade, Paula Dean-style

All it took was a look at Nicole's blog to decide what we were having for dinner last night. Crab cakes. Actually, she had fried oysters, but at first glance they looked like crab cakes and so that's what I decided to make. Crab cakes.

I looked around the internets for some ideas and found a tasty sounding one from Ina Garten, but quickly decided on Paula Dean's instead when I saw how much simpler it was. I pretty much stuck to the recipe, but added some corn, parsley and an extra egg or two when the mixture was way too crumbly. Have any of you ever made crab cakes before? How do you get them to stick together? I put the rest of the mixture in the freezer, so next time I make them, I can just slice them off of a log and hopefully, they will stick. Ugly as they were, they were pretty dang good.

Oh yeah, and I used half real crab meat, half imitation (which is part real crab meat, part Alaskan something or other, and about $5 cheaper). I couldn't really tell the difference.

bread crumbs

Form into a ball and lightly dust with flour. Then fry in a little oil on medium heat until brown, about 5-ish minutes on each side.

We had our crab cakes with a dill-greek yoghurt sauce that Alyssanne made. 

Keeping with the Paula Dean theme, Sanne whipped up some fresh lemonade from the dozen lemons life handed us hanging out in the fridge. 

mmmm, I forgot how much I like lemonade...

We finally got some beautiful weather here in Boston, and with it comes open windows, dragging fans up from the basement and packing away winter clothes. I'm really excited to use fresher ingredients, do some grilling and experiment with different summer salad ideas.

What are you looking forward to cooking/eating now that summer is here/coming?


Saturday, May 28, 2011

We're back!

I guess we should have told you not to expect a new post for a bit, as we were in Florida soaking up every bit of sun that our poor infant New England skin could take, and then some. But we're back now, with about 9,000 pictures from our vacation. Some of them even have food in them, so we'll give you a pictorial summary, with some babies for good measure...

Publix: the happiest pace on earth

Michael and Mandi, makin' a pie
Marilyn, enjoying a Publix cookie
Dana & Crystal made delicious calzones for dinner
a Pack favorite
Sangria. Tell us your favorite recipe... (no, don't)

Sonny's sweet tea, use both hands
we would have been happily raptured after this meal...
cakes by Mary and Sheldon
The Cake Monster strikes again
kid-tested, Cake Monter approved
Anthony, fashionisto
I mean no disrespect, but Publix has nothing on us...

...the same goes for you, Martha Stewart
Lady Maya

Les <3 s Marilyn...
Challenge - Encourage
babies talking to other babies in baby-voice = one of my favorite things
we may be biased, but Florida beaches are the best in the universe

-m & a