Monday, July 27, 2015

Tomato Tart and Cooking Camp

 This Nana is having one of her favorite Summer time treats out on the patio.  I've posted this recipe before, which you can find here,  but will share it again.  It's such a perfect meal, with pie crust, garlic, cheese and simple, but sooooo delicious!  The recipe for the Tomato Tart is at the end.

 My friend Rosie gifted me with several teacups from her late Mother's collection, as she knew that I would use and love them.  Isn't this Strawberry by Royal Grafton, a beauty?

 Yes, the kids and I are still busy at our weekly Cooking Camp!  Here are the little sweethearts after making our Teddy Bears at the Beach cupcakes.  You can find directions here.  We've made these before, but the kids have fun creating their little scenes.

 We also made Caterpillar Cheese Balls.  You can use a favorite cheese ball recipe,  and divide it into 8 balls, roll in parsley, leaving one ball plain.  Add some pretzels and raisins and there you have it!  This adapted version came from my Great Balls of Cheese cookbook, by Michelle Buffardi.  Each family of kids took one of the caterpillars home to share with their family.  

We also made Hot Buttered Soft Pretzels, which was a recipe from King Arthur Flour.  You can see that the pretzels are all labeled by one of my campers.  We want everyone to be sure to get their own!!  This is a quick yeast dough recipe, with only a 30 minute rise.  The kids loved these and afterwards I took the little bakers to my neighborhood pool to cool off! You can find the recipe for the pretzels here.

Tomato Tart

1 refrigerated pie crust
1 garlic bulb
1/2 t. olive oil
1 1/2 cups shredded fontina cheese
4 large tomatoes
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper. 
Press refrigerated pie crust on bottom & up sides of a tart pan.  Bake at 450 degrees for 9 minutes or until lightly browned; set aside.
Cut off pointed end of garlic bulb; place garlic on a piece of aluminum foil & drizzle with olive oil.  Fold foil to seal.
Bake garlic at 425 degrees for 30 minutes, or until the garlic is tender.  Test it with a paring knife.  Squeeze pulp from garlic cloves into bottom of baked pie crust.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup of fontina cheese over the garlic.
Slice tomatoes & place on folded paper towels.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper & let stand for 10 minutes. 
Arrange tomato slices over shredded cheese.  Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese.
Bake at 350 for 30-45 minutes or until lightly browned.  I like to add some minced fresh basil before serving.
NOTE:  In place of the garlic bulb, I often just sprinkle the crust with garlic powder.  Also, in place of the fontina, which can be pricey, I'll sub an Italian blend shredded cheese.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Freezer Caramel Drizzle Pie

Today is National Ice Cream Day and I'm sharing a recipe for a frozen dessert that tastes like ice cream.  I found this recipe on and it's a great one because it makes two pies.  That way you can serve one and stash one away for unexpected company. You can also make this in a springform pan for a large version to serve to a crowd.  You don't need a big slice of this to satisfy a sweet tooth!

 This pretty teacup was one that was painted by my late Great Aunt Kitty.  It looks so pretty with my watermelon teapot. 

 I love these Lizzie Kate seasonal cross stitch designs.  I'm working on the Fall one now.

Oh my goodness, is this pie ever decadent!  You can purchase the pre-made graham cracker shells, but I like to make my own.  The crunchy topping makes this pie extra-special.  Here's my slightly adapted version.

Freezer Caramel Drizzle Pie

2 (9 inch) prepared graham cracker crusts
3 tablespoons butter (original recipe called for 6)
1 (7 ounce) package shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans

1 (12 ounce) jar caramel ice cream topping (I saved some of the topping to drizzle on later)

1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 (8 ounce ) package cream cheese, softened 
1 (16 ounce) container of frozen whipped topping, thawed

Place butter in a medium skillet and melt over medium heat. Add coconut and pecans, stirring to coat. Saute until coconut and pecans are lightly toasted, (the directions said for 5 minutes, but I toasted them for about 8-10 minutes).   Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whip together condensed milk and cream cheese until fluffy. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon 1/4 of cream cheese mixture into each graham cracker crust. Drizzle each with 1/4 of caramel topping. Repeat layers with remaining cream cheese mixture and caramel. Top each pie with coconut and pecan mixture. Freeze overnight.  (I didn't use all the caramel topping, but drizzled on later). 
Update on my son Mike:
Mike had the spinal cord stimulator surgery, with a wireless transmitter, done this past Wednesday.  The surgeon asked if he could day a prayer with Mike before the surgery, which was so nice and brought tears to my eyes.   After the surgery Mike went home feeling very discouraged because the stimulation was only being felt in his left leg, and none in his right, even though the rep tried to tweak it.  Two reps met with him two days later at his pain management doctor's office and the one rep was able to get it working.  He will need to charge the battery that's implanted in his right hip about once a week, by lying against the transmitter,  for about 20 minutes.  He will also need to have the battery replaced in about 10 years.  Hopefully this will help bring him to a more active lifestyle, than the pain he's been in for the past 3 1/2 years. After he heals in the next 6-8 weeks, he will be free to do whatever he wants.   Thank you so very much for all your concern, well wishes and prayers. 
I am sharing this with:
Weekend Potluck
I was featured!

Monday, July 13, 2015

A Lovely Gifted Teacup and No Bake Cookies

 Today as we sit by my waterfall, I am excited to show you my new teacup!  We will have some Touch Organic green tea that came along with my teacup.  The daisies came from a border on the side of my house and they're a variety that does well  in Texas.

 My dear friend Barbara, from Two Birdies and a B, sent me this gorgeous teacup because she was thinking of me when she saw it.  Now Barbara and I have never met, as she lives in New York and I live in Texas. However, like most blogging friends who are drawn together, we "know" each other and are kindred souls. I could not believe my eyes when I opened my package.  If a teacup could be made for me, this would be it!  Long ago, when I attended Ohio State University, and was a Home Economics Education major, I took a Home Furnishings course.  In this course we had to pick a home design, furnish, and decorate it.  My favorite colors then and have always been red, blue and green, and look what Barbara chose for me!!! 

 Don't you just love the scalloped edge around the teacup rim and saucer,  the pretty basket weave embossed  design, and the lovely floral border??  The surprise of flowers inside the cup is an added bonus.

 Here's the pattern name and one that I've never seen.   Thank you, Barbara, for this most thoughtful gift and for the tea that you sent, too.  I'm in teacup heaven, and it suits me perfectly to a TEA!

I've made some No-Bake Cookies for us to share, while we admire my new teacup.  These cookies are an old recipe that were loved by my kids while they were growing up.  Both the  chocolate and peanut butter flavors are subtle and it's a perfect cookie to make in the summer months, when you don't want to turn on the oven.

Chocolate Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 cups oats
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix butter, milk, sugar, and cocoa; bring to a rolling boil and boil 1 minute.  Remove from heat and immediately add peanut butter, oats, and vanilla.  Stir mixture well and then drop by spoonful onto waxed paper.  Cookies will harden as they cool.  

Makes 24-36 depending on size when dropped

Update on my son, Mike:
Back on June 5th, Mike had the "trial" spinal cord implant done by the pain management doctor.  Through a series of ups and downs, in finding a surgeon and facility that was in his insurance plan, he is finally going to have the spinal cord transmitter implant procedure done this coming week.  I know he's looking forward to moving ahead.  Thank you so very much for your concern, prayers and well wishes. 

I am sharing this with:

Thank you for your visit!  xo

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Strawberry Eclair Dessert

I've set my 4th of July tea table outside, atop my Big Star Quilt.  The pretty carnations are from Costco and lasted several weeks. 


My teacup is Olde English Countryside, by Johnson Brothers.  It looks so pretty with my Liberty plate, by Coventry.  

My sister told me about this cute idea that was on the cover of Country Sampler magazine.  I bought some marbles from the Dollar Tree and put in my battery operated candle and tied some ribbon around it.

I recently made this dessert to share at a luncheon.  It's a wonderful recipe to take for a crowd, but it does need to be made ahead in order for the graham crackers to soften.  I hope you try it!

graham crackers 
2 boxes of instant vanilla, white chocolate or vanilla cheesecake pudding mix
3 cups milk
1 container of frozen whipped topping, thawed
about 2 cups strawberries, chopped
1 container of chocolate frosting, warmed slightly in the microwave  (I actually made a quick chocolate frosting)

Line a 9 x 13" baking dish with graham crackers, breaking some if needed, to fit.

Mix the instant pudding and milk together until thickened, and then add the thawed whipped topping.  Layer half of this on top of the graham crackers.

Add half of the chopped strawberries on top of the pudding mix.

Add another layer of graham cracker and then repeat with the pudding mix and strawberries.  Finish with a third layer of graham crackers.

Pour the slightly warmed chocolate frosting on top (or make your own).  Store in the fridge overnight or for about 8 hours.  

Happy Independence Day !!!

I am sharing this with:

Thank you for your visit!  xo

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...