Tag Archives: strawberry

Easy, Breezy…

8 Jun

Two weeks ago, I took a quick trip back to California. Despite the ridiculous flight delay that had me grounded at JFK for 6 hours (on the runway! 6 hours!), I am so glad I went. A little dose of sunshine and a whole lot of love welcomed me and I spent my 5-day vacation catching up with family + friends.

Being away from my loves for 5 months really took its toll on me. Once home, I started questioning my decision to live in New York.

California is so easy. No subway, no evil characters. All my loved ones here. People who I have known for decades live here. How can I be away from them?

It didn’t help that once I got back to the city, I had to deal with a possible bug problem that left me in a hotel, depleting my impending vacation savings for Australia. Suffice to say, I was NOT a happy camper.

But these past few days I made sure to catch up with my friends here who matter most. Just talking with them and hearing their own troubles makes me feel like what I am going through is normal.

Let me be frank: New York is hard. Crazy hard. It’s dirty, rude, gritty, and challenging. But it can also be magical, rewarding, astounding, and exciting.

You could say I am in a love/hate relationship with NYC. Like a typical girl, I keep coming back for me ;)

Anyways, while home, I made this simply Strawberry Cake. Can I tell you a secret? I cheated and used Trader Joes Vanilla Bean Cake Mix. I often hesitate to buy cake mix because the flavors are muted and it tastes like cardboard. However, this mix was steller. Moist and natural, I would gladly use it again. For the frosting, I used this one that I love so much. Since you are using real strawberry preserves, you can actually taste the real bits of strawberry in the frosting.  I can’t wait to buy this mix again and pair it with other frostings and flavors. Anybody up for a funfetti cake?!

 

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This summer, I love…

12 Jul

1. Hanging out with a blogging bud.
2. Eating my way through Los Angeles with formerly mentioned blogging bud
3. Anything related to the World Cup matches
4. Watching one of your favorite teams win the World Cup (Go Spain!)
5. Drooling over Eric and the other boytoys on “True Blood”
6. Donald Draper.
7. These brown wedges.
8. Listening to these fine gentlemen.
9. Enjoying pitchers of fresh sangria with my lovely friends
10. Reading this, this, and this.
11. Playing Guitar Hero at my best friend’s newly purchased home.
12. Week-long “Words With Friends” marathons.
13. Baking this fresh strawberry pie.

All Fresh Strawberry Pie
Origin: “Pie: 300 tried-and-true recipes for delicious pie” by Ken Haedrich
Yield: 8 to 10 servings
Prep Time: 1 hour + 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 to 65 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 2 hours

Ingredients:
● 1 recipe All-Butter Pastry, double crust, refrigerated

Filling:
● 4 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and thickly sliced
● 1/2 cup sugar
● 2 tbsp cornstarch
● 1 tbsp creme de menthe, (optional)
● 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
● 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
● 1 tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut in to small pieces

Glaze:
● sugar
● milk or light cream

Directions:
Prepare the pastry and refrigerate until firm enough to roll, about one hour.

On a sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the larger portion of the pastry into a 12-inch circle with a floured rolling pin. Invert over a 9-inch standard pie pan, center and peel off the paper. Gently tuck the pastry into the pan, without stretching it, and let the overhang drape over the edge. Place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes.

Put the strawberries in a large bowl. Mix the sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl, then add the mixture to the fruit and toss well. Add the creme de menthe (if using), lemon juice, nutmeg, and toss again. Set aside for 10 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

On another sheet of lightly floured waxed paper, roll the other half of the pastry into an 11-inch circle. Turn the filling into the chilled pie shell and smooth the fruit with a spoon. Dot the top with the butter. Lightly moisten the rim of the pie shell. Invert the top pastry over the filling, center, and peel off the paper. Press the top and bottom pastries together along the dampened edge.

Trim the pastry with scissors or a paring knife, leaving an even 1/2-inch overhang all around, then sculpt the overhang into an upstanding ridge. Poke several stream vents in the top of the pie with a fork or paring knife. Put a couple of the vents neat the edge of the crust so you can check the juices there later. Sprinkle the top crust evenly with sugar, then milk.

Place the pie on the center of the oven rack and bake for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Rotate the pie 180 degrees, so that the part that faced the back of the oven now faces forward. Just in case, slide a large aluminum foil-lined baking sheet onto the rack below to catch any drips. Bake until the juices bubble thickly at the steam vents and the tip is golden brown, 35 to 45 minutes. If the top of the pie starts to get too dark, cover it with loosely tented aluminum foil during the last 10 to 15 minutes.

Transfer the pie to a wire rack and let cool for at least 2 hours to let the juices settle and firm up before serving.

Coming soon…

7 Jul

This week has been a rough one and I had hoped to tell you all about this luscious Strawberry Pie I made for the 4th of July. But it looks like it will have to wait till next week. Stay tuned…

the enkindled spring

26 Mar

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.” D.H. Lawrence

Spring evokes numerous images. Fresh flowers all in bloom. Chirping birds on the tree right outside my window. Soft dresses replacing tired jeans and sweaters. Reading a book out in the grass. Lazy dinners with the sun refusing to set. Fruit finally coming to the markets. Long walks around the neighborhood. Dinner parties where the laughter is the only accompanying soundtrack for the night. And white fluffy cakes.

I won’t say that I totally abandon chocolate cakes once April comes, but I’m more inclined to bake the fruity desserts, at least for a little bit until my need for bittersweet chocolate becomes overbearing. Continue reading

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