Search This Blog

Friday, August 16, 2013

Strawberry Ricotta Goat Cheese Tarts

Ever since I learned how to make Ricotta cheese I have been thinking of things I can make with it.  My love of all things dessert drove me to this one.  Bake Ricotta Cheese Tarts.  I know, not chocolate.  I do, upon occasion, make a dessert without chocolate.  No often, but occasionally.
The first thing I need to do is make the Ricotta.


  • 6 cups whole milk (Vitamin D milk, you know, the red one)
  • 2 Tbs Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp Salt
Add salt to milk in a large pan.  Stirring occasionally so it does not burn on the bottom, heat milk to almost boiling, 180 degrees, then add vinegar and lemon juice and remove pan from heat.  Let it sit for 5 min for the curds to form.
With a slotted spoon, carefully remove curds and place them in a cheese cloth lined colander or strainer over the sink or a deep bowl to let the whey drain out.
Gather up the corners of the cheese cloth and tie them around a spoon held over a large bowl.  Refrigerate overnight.
The second thing I need to do is make the Tart.

Pie Crust

  • 2 and 1/4 cup Flour
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 2 Tbs Sugar
  • 1 cup of cold Butter (2 sticks) cut into cubes.
  • 1/2+ cup of ice cold water
Food processor flour, salt, sugar, and butter cubes until it has a sand like texture.
Slowly add ice cold water until the dough comes together.  Add more water as necessary.
Remove dough and briefly knead together until it forms a ball.
Divide the dough ball in half and put each into a plastic bag.  Flatten out as desired.  Refrigerate for 30+ minutes.  Also can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for a few months.  Be sure to thaw it out before trying to roll it thinner.
The third thing I need to do is make the filling.  I decided to add Goat Cheese to my Ricotta because I love Goat cheese.  That is all.

Ricotta Goat Cheese Filling

  • 1 cup Ricotta
  • 1/2 cup Goat Cheese crumbles
  • 4+ Tbs Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2+ Tbs Powdered Sugar (optional, if you like it sweet, and I do like sweet)
Whip it together until it forms a nice thick paste, like pudding.  May need to add more heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar according to taste.
Roll out one half of the pie dough and cut out tart sized disks.  Insert disks into a muffin tin.  Crimp the edges.  Add Ricotta Goat Cheese filling.  Just a spoonful each should do.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

They looked a bit plain so I added Strawberries.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Fish and Corn: A one oven meal

I do one pot meals.  I do pinterest meals.  This is my one oven pinterest meal.  As both techniques were found on pinterest and I could bake them at the same time for 30 min at 350 degrees in the same oven.
Simple and Healthy Baked Fish.
Thaw out frozen fish overnight in the refrigerator.  Salt and pepper both sides.  Lay on top of a layer of lemon and lime slices.  Add more lemon and lime slices on top.  Wrap in tinfoil.
Bake fish at 350 degrees for 30 min.
Bake corn, still in the husk, at 350 degrees for 30 min.
Cut the bottom off the corn.
The claim was that you can slide the corn out of the husk and all the silk is magically removed as it slides out.
This was not the case.  I still had to pick at it to remove the silk and it was not any easier than removing the silk before boiling the corn, which I traditionally do.  A nifty technique to baking corn instead of boiling, but in no way easier at removing silk.
Remove fish and corn from the oven at the same time.
Done.  One oven meal.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fixing the Fence

A part of our back yard fence was knocked down during a windstorm sometime in the fall of 2010.  We pulled the wreckage back into our yard and set it by the rose bush with full intentions of fixing the fence.  Then we got busy and didn't really want to fix the fence, nor could we really afford it.  The kids in the neighborhood turned our back yard into their playground and made the broken fence by the rose bush into a bike jump/fort.  They also pulled down more fence posts and left their candy wrappers, toys, and drink cartons everywhere.  Darn meddling kids.
Then neighbors started using our backyard as the neighborhood dump and we found all sorts of beer cans, tires, broken furniture, and other questionable substances that I did not want to touch.  Darn meddling neighbors.  Darn meddling kids.
 In the summer of 2012 we decided to fix the fence and started to dig out the cement fence posts holes to put new ones in.  We dug out a few holes, went to the hardware store to buy cement and when we came back the darn meddling  kids had filled the post holes with dirt.  Since this defeated the purpose of digging post holes we then lost our motivation to fix the fence that year. Darn meddlesome meddlers.

Summer of 2013 we got fed up with being the neighborhood junk yard and playground so J took some time off work to finish digging out the old cement and bought some new fence posts.  With the help of my Uncle David, J went about fixing the fence.  David is an experienced fence builder.
They spend the next couple of weeks fixing the fence together one section at a time.  The labor was relatively cheap since I paid them in cookies.
They pulled the slates off and re-used as much of the wood as possible and filled in the rest with new slats to save money and material.
Finally the gaping hole in our fence is filled in with wood.  That should keep the darn meddling kids out.  Probably not the zombie apocalypse, but at least it stopped the darn meddling neighbors from using our yard as the local dumping ground.
Now to work on the yard. Darn meddling weeds.
We donated most of the wood to my parents to use as fire wood (you know to stop the darn meddling cold).

No longer is there a fence wood pile by the rose bush and no longer can it be used as a bike jump.
We finally got the back yard pretty much cleaned. up.
Through this experience J can now add builder of fences (and stopper of meddlers) to his resume.  Good job J.  I'm so proud of you.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Applesauce Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

With a certain birthday coming up I asked J what he would like me to make for him.  Applesauce Cupcakes are J's second favorite dessert.  First are Peanut Butter Oatmeal Bars (which rarely leave the house and I made them for him last week), second are Applesauce Cupcakes, and third is Peanut Butter cookies  The Husband loves his peanut butter.  I like them because they are a good cupcake I can make for my nut and milk sensitive friends, because they have neither.  You could add nuts if you wanted to.  I think walnuts would be good, but J is not a nut (unless they are well buttered, and um.....peaed?) so all of my more nutty desserts are not allowed to stay in the house too long.  Much like certain relatives I suppose.
Ingredients, Assemble!

Applesauce Cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup Butter (1 stick) room temperature or slightly melty
  • 1 and 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 cups Flour
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp Cloves
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2+ cup Applesauce
  • 1 Granny Smith Apple, peeled, cored, and finely chopped (food processor works great)
Cream butter and sugar together.  Add eggs and vanilla.  Mix dry ingredients in.  Fold in applesauce and apples chunks.  Add more applesauce if it looks too dry.  Lunchable sized applesauce packs are 1/2 cup.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 - 25 min for full sized cupcakes.  (I got my oven down to 16 minutes exactly.  My oven runs hot.)  Makes 24+ cupcakes.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 min for 84+ mini-cupcakes.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup Butter (1 stick) room temperature or melty
  • 1 (8oz) package of Cream Cheese room temperature or melty
  • 5 - 6 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 1 Tbs Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 1 tsp Vanilla (optional)
  • Cinnamon
Cream together butter, cream cheese, and heavy whipping cream.  Add powdered sugar and mix in one cup at a time.  Add cinnamon to taste.  I like it really cinnamon-ey so I think I added like 4 Tbs of ground cinnamon.
To quote my friend Heather, "If there is no frosting, it's a muffin.  Muffins are healthy.  You're welcome."  I admit, the same logic does not quite apply to a bran muffin with frosting on top and calling it a cupcake, but I think these could pass for muffins.  They are pretty dense.  But a blueberry muffin with cream cheese frosting sounds good right now.
Even more perfect with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting.