Strawberries & Cream Icebox Bars

strawberries & cream bars

strawberries & cream bars

On any given spring day, I would normally advocate for eating fruit as-is. Especially strawberries — they are so sweet and pretty to begin with… so why mess with that?

On the other hand, strawberries were my favorite fruit growing up. I ate strawberry-flavored everything. Ice cream, frosting, cupcakes, you name it. It didn’t matter if they were real or artificial. I loved the flavor, and I loved that they turned everything pink.

Can you blame me?

strawberries & cream bars

strawberries & cream bars

I’ve gone through a transition over time, as we all have. I not only want to fit into my clothes, but I’ve wanted to eat more healthily. Fruit has enough sugar, right?

Well, on this Sunday Funday, we’re just going to take strawberries to the next level.

I found this recipe on Pinterest a while back, and I’ve been itching to make it ever since. I found that there was not nearly enough crumbles to make both the bottom and the top crusts, so I’ve doubled those measurements here.

strawberries & cream bars

strawberries & cream bars

strawberries & cream bars

strawberries & cream bars

Strawberries & Cream Icebox Bars, via Pip & Ebby

1/2 cup pecans, toaste
8 whole gram crackers, broken into pieces
1 cup butter, melted
2 cup flour
2/3 cup brown sugar

2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
Juice from 1 lemon
4 oz. cream cheese
2 cups diced strawberries

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a food processor, combine the pecans and graham crackers. Pulse-grind until uniformly mixed in a pretty, crumbly mix. Then, transfer to a large mixing bowl with the melted butter, flour and brown sugar. Mix with a fork, and spread out onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Pat down with your fingers to make one giant cookie (you’ll be crumbling this later). Try to keep it about 1/4 to 1/2-an inch thick.

Bake for 15 minutes, and remove to cool. Crumble into a bowl.

In your stand mixer, beat the egg whites until you have soft peaks. Then, gradually add the sugar and heavy cream. Beat for another 4 minutes, until the mixture is light. Beat in the lemon juice and cream cheese until evenly mixed, and then fold in the strawberries.

Line a 9×13 cake pan with parchment paper. Spread half of your cookie crumbles into the pan, coating the surface evenly. Then, pour your strawberries and cream mixture on top of the crust, using a spatula to spread the cream all the way to the edges. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the top, coating the cream entirely.

Let freeze for AT LEAST four hours, but preferably overnight. When fully frozen, slice with a very sharp knife, and wrap individually with plastic wrap or parchment paper. Distribute to your friends on a pretty spring day.

Lemon Cream & Blueberry Tart

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Swamped at the day job, folks.

Here’s a great spring recipe for you to try this weekend.

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Lemon Cream & Blueberry Tart

135 g unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1.5 tablespoons olive oil
4.5 tablespoons water
3/8 tablespoons salt
225 g flour

8 oz. mascarpone cheese
1 cup greek yogurt
zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup fresh blueberries (or any berry of your choice)

 

This tart dough recipe belongs to David Lebovitz — it’s by far the best crust recipe I’ve found. Ever. I also just adore the story behind it.

Let’s begin. Preheat your oven to 410 degrees.

In an oven-safe dish, combine the butter, olive oil, water, and salt. When the oven hits 410 degrees, place the dish with your crust ingredients in the oven for 15 minutes — everything will boil together. Then, carefully remove the contents, stir with a fork, and slowly add in your flour. BE CAREFUL. It might splatter.

Once combined, press your dough into your tart pan. I like crusts on the thicker side, but use your judgment. I trust you.

Spear the bottom of the dough with a fork, and bake your tart shell for 15 minutes, until it’s a nice golden brown. Then, let cool completely.

In a stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), whip the marscapone cheese with the Greek yogurt, and then slowly incorporate the powdered sugar. Whip in the lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth.

Using a spatula, transfer your lemon cream into the tart shell. Smooth out the top, and throw some blueberries on there.

Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs

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I have a confession to make, reader. I’m on a… diet.

Luckily for you, I’m a weekend blogger. And on the weekends, I give myself a few freebies.

This recipe actually doesn’t veer too far away of what’s on my weekday work-and-freelance eatable list (basically lots of protein, vegetables, and the occasional condiment to go with it).

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Anyway, this weekend, I had a few breaks from my freelance work, so I was able to spend all of Sunday on my blogger extravaganza. Or… for this post, the eggstravaganza.

I may still be dealing with the dreaded wintry mix, but it’s officially spring, and real-life spring is just around the corner. With Easter Sunday coming up, I thought I should prep a nice brunch recipe.

My dad, and his New Yorker blood, is a huge fan of lox. I don’t obsess over it like most people I know, and I don’t normally eat it by itself, but I do love a deviled egg. And in this case, I do love lox. And Old Bay. And pickles. And eggs.

All-around good recipe.

It’s time to let that quintessential New York Jewish mother persona take over. You know she’s hiding somewhere in there. Let her out. Make these deviled eggs, let’s start off a wonderful week.

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Smoked Salmon Deviled Eggs, inspired by Food & Wine

Ingredients for 8 eggs (just multiply if you’re cooking for a crowd)
4 eggs
2 to 3 slices wood-smoked salmon, sliced, and any extra for garnish
1/4 cup mayonaise
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard (note: I like mustard. Perhaps start with 2, and add to taste.)
Dill pickles or cornichons — diced, about 1/3 cup
Old Bay seasoning for garnish

 

Hard boil your eggs — do this ahead of time, so you can work with chilled eggs later. There are many “tried and true” methods of hard boiling eggs. This is what works for me.

Fill a medium-sized saucepan with enough water to cover your eggs by about an inch. Heat the water and the eggs together on high, until the water boils. When the water starts boiling, set a timer for one minute — this is how long you should let the water boil. After, the minute is up, remove the saucepan from the heat altogether, and cover. Set another timer, for 30 minutes this time. During this 30 minutes, your eggs will finish cooking.

After 30 minutes, run the eggs under cold water until cool. As someone concerned about wasting water, I put them in an ice bath (large bowl + ice + water + salt). Either method does the trick.

With a sharp knife, slice each egg in half, wiping the knife clean after slicing each egg (because we don’t want yolk scraps on the edges of each egg white). Pop the yolks out, and place them in your food processor or blender. Set the whites aside.

Add the salmon, mayonaise, mustard, and half of the diced pickles. Blend until pink, light, and fluffy — about a minute or two. Taste test to make sure it’s lox-y enough. Feel free to add ingredients as you see fit. My measurements are generally estimates, anyway.

Fold in the remaining diced pickles, and transfer the mixture to a pastry bag or ziploc bag with the corner snipped off. Pipe into each egg white, and generously top with Old Bay seasoning. Garnish with a little slice of lox.