Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy 5th of July!

We had a great day yesterday, starting off with a big breakfast at church with a flag ceremony. 

I baked this yesterday after buying some beautiful fresh homegrown blueberries from the farmer's market.

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I kind of used a bunch of different recipes and made this one up.  Here's the recipe--if you like blueberries.  lemon, and cream cheese, you'll like these.  I added a bit too much zest and lemon juice, so the recipe shows the correct amounts.  This one was very tart!  I also accidentally forgot the vanilla, so that would also help cut the tartness. I also wish I had baked it an extra five minutes or so.  These are yummy and a nice "light" change from something heavy and chocolatey, which is really my forte.

BLUEBERRY CREAM CHEESE SQUARES

For the crust:

1 1/4 cups unbleached flour

1/3 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cold, cut in chunks

Filling:

2 teaspoons lemon zest

8 oz. cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar

1 large egg

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups blueberries

Topping:

1/3 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8x8 inch pan with foil.  Spray with cooking spray lightly.

To a food processor, add the flour, sugar, and salt and pulse a few times.  Add butter and pulse until resembles cornmeal.   Measure 3/4 cup of mixture and set aside.  Press the remainder into the pan.  Bake for 12 minutes.

Clean bowl of food processor.  Add cream cheese and sugar.  Mix until smooth.  Add lemon juice, vanilla and egg.  Mix well.  Put cream cheese mixture in a medium size bowl.  Lightly fold in blueberries.  Pour over crust. 

Add 1/3 cup chopped pecans to the reserved crumb mixture.  Sprinkle over top of cream cheese mixture.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Cool completely.  Chill for 2 hours.

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The day before yesterday I made these cookies because I'm trying to use up some buttermilk.  I did a search at Allrecipes.com and found these yummy little "cookie pillows" as the submitter put it.  The cookie had some good reviews, which is the only recipes I'll make from Allrecipes and I took into account what some of the reviewers said.  You can find the EASY recipe here.  I did not use the frosting suggested in the recipe as others thought it was a bit much.  I also did not sprinkle nuts on top.  Instead, I made a quick glaze and then sprinkled red, white and blue sprinkles on top.  Kevin liked these so much that after eating a bunch he said, "These are good, I'm eating them all."  I was trying to save them for the 4th, but oh well.  I only made 12 with the glaze topping as other reviewer said the cookies were great just sprinkled with cinnamon and sugar before baking, so I did half this way.  While the cinnamon/sugar  ones are good (I thought Kevin would really like these as he loves Snickerdoodles and they are smililar, but he really liked the glazed ones.)  A great soft "cakey" cookie and a super easy sugar cookie.

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For the glaze I mixed 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar with a little lemon zest, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, pinch of salt, and 1 tablespoon milk.  I drizzled it on with a spoon, but you could put it in a sandwich bag and slit the corner off, too.  Then I sprinkled some colored sprinkles on while the icing was still wet.  The hint of lemon was great.  I also think they would be just as good without the lemon and with a little vanilla extract in the glaze.  Next time I would do them all this way and skip the cinnamon ones and/or try the sprinkling of chopped nuts. 

It was so beautiful out yesterday and today.  Perfect weather.  It's usually very hot and humid here this time of year and I am loving the 80 degree weather with low humidity.  Have to enjoy it while we can, I know it won't last for long.  The boys were invited to have a water balloon fight and slip-n-slide with some friends yesterday afternoon.  We then had some friends over for dinner, burgers, dogs and they brought some BBQ pulled pork.  I made a couple salads.  One that I have made twice now, but keep forgetting to take pictures of is a sugar snap peas and beets salad.  I never thought I'd make a salad with beets, but a few weeks ago I bought a lovely bunch of radishes at the farmer's market, brought them home to wash them up and realized as I cut the tops off that they were not radishes, they were beets.  Small beets that were red on the outside and mostly white on the inside.  So I looked up what to do with them.  My memories of beets are my mom's pickled beets, which I don't really like.  The recipe calls for the beets to be roasted in the oven, but I just boiled them until they were tender and it worked just fine.  Yesterday I made the salad with red beets from the store and although the red was messy to work with, it was still good.  The only thing I've changed from the recipe is the amount of oil it calls for is 1/4 cup.  It seemed a bit too oily the first time, so this time I cut the oil to 3 tablespoons.  When I make the salad again, I will probably even only use 2 tablespoons and maybe add a little more vinegar.   I didn't use fresh dill as it calls for, but have freeze dried dill that is just as good.  The recipe is here at Epicurious.  I don't care for arugula as it suggests to put the salad on a bed of it, but it is great as it is or would be good on any greens.

Some friends of ours put on quite the fireworks show every year as he got his license to do fireworks a few years ago, so we went out to their place and watched the show.  I've never sat closer to where they were lighting off the fireworks.  It was very loud and really scared Sam.  The boys loved it. 

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Happy Independence Day, America!

Today I bought corn on the cob from the farmer's market.  It was/is yummy.  I brought the corn and other things home as I went early at 7:30 this morning then went on my hour run.  I'd told Kevin as I was leaving to go jogging about my market purchases and that I had my work cut out for me today with the corn.  He was still in bed.  When I got back from jogging, he was up and had almost all of it shucked for me.  That was so nice of him as I really hate doing that part.  (Thanks, Hon.)  Most of it I cooked and cut off the cob and froze in freezer bags.  I also bought green peppers, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, some beautiful parsley, and some garlic.  All that with the two dozen ears of corn and I only spent about $20.  How's your market, Mom and Dad? ;)

2 comments:

Michelle S said...

good times! love the shots of the boys. those treats look SCRUMPTIOUS.

Kristen said...

Oh, those look fabulous!