Recently Pinning: Sweet Things

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panna cotta rhubarb tart // strawberry pretzel tart // bourbon peaches & cream pops
puff pastry donuts // ritz cracker ice cream sammies // apple & dark chocolate wontons
trix krispies // caramel espresso lassi // brown butter waffle cake

With the summer heat in full-blast, I find myself craving easy, cold — fresh — desserts. Here are some of the recipes I’ve been pinning lately.

Hope you’re able to stay cool in this crazy heat wave.

And if you’re not following me on Pinterest yet, please do! 

Brownie Saltine Ice Cream Sandwiches

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If you’re regular reader, you’re probably well aware of my obsession with sweet and salty combinations.

I honestly had the most wonderful weekend — these ice cream sandwiches were key, and probably should be part of every weekend for the rest of my life.

On Saturday, a handful of friends and strangers embarked on a river tubing trip. The weekend before, I had made these saltine ice cream bars. Naturally, I avoid them like the plague (especially when I know I’ll be wearing a bathing suit a few days later), so I piled the individually wrapped cracker bars into a ziploc and into a cooler bag. Let’s be real. I didn’t avoid them as much as I should have.

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I borrowed Kristen’s car for the drive to West Virginia (and Virginia, and Maryland), and with fewer people tied to our bunch of inner tubes than I was expecting, I had way too many ice cream bars left. So after a couple of runs on the river (and a great roll of fisheye film), I did what I do best: I made friends.

There was the belligerent and NSFW-named team of 29 southern Marylanders who were too drunk to understand “does anyone want free homemade ice cream sandwiches?” but there was an awesome group of girls who were waiting for the bus back to the parking lot at the same time. So I did the college thing and walked over with a bag of melting ice cream bars.

How to make friends 101.

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It even escalated to my handing out blog business cards (they’re just the cutest) and one of the girls begging me to cater a bridal shower — why not?

And it even carried through the evening, when I was out to drinks, and complimented a random lady’s super pretty criss-cross backless dress. I’m not exactly sure how it turned into a card exchange, but hey, it’s DC. At least my cards have photos worth salivating over.

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Sunday was spent sleeping in, and eventually just chatting in my living room with the Baltimore friends, which later faded into a spontaneous sailing trip on the Chesapeake Bay. Gotta love being friends with awesome people who know other awesome people. I really couldn’t have asked for a better weekend.

This week, there’s a lot of freelance, and a lot of True Blood. Due to too much flopping in bed this weekend, I didn’t get anything cooked… so we’ll see how I hold up.

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Saltine Brownie Ice Cream Bars, mostly from Lady and Pups

Continue reading “Brownie Saltine Ice Cream Sandwiches”

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.

A few updates… and an Avocado, Tangerine, and Feta Salad

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Before we get started with another delicious recipe, I thought I’d catch you all up on some housekeeping.

As you probably already know, my longtime companion, Google Reader, is going kaput. While I was initially grumpy and heartbroken, Google Reader’s announcement drove me to Feedly, which is basically what Google Reader would have been if Google had only invested in its design.

Anyway, get Feedly. The fonts are better, the colors are better, and you have more control over what your reader looks and feels like. Just… trust me.

Also, if you’re following Sweetsonian on Google Reader, please make sure to forward Sweetsonian to Feedly, or whichever RSS reader you decide to go with.

When you do so, be sure to subscribe to www.sweetsonian.com/feed — NOT just www.sweetsonian.com. We want to make sure everything gets transferred correctly now, right? I won’t try to explain why the internet works this way, because, well, that’s probably not why you came to this blog.

In other news, this girl is moving! I’m not moving to New York City quite yet, but for the moment, I’m headed to an adorable two-bedroom apartment near Dupont Circle. I’ll be sharing my home with a few different people over the course of the next year, but the ultimate goal is to eventually turn that second bedroom into a full-time design studio for my freelance business… let’s say, in three or four years.

I’ve decided to put New York on hold for the moment. I kept going back and forth with my big city obsession and my first true love — Washington, D.C. And, things don’t seem to be aligning quite perfectly with New York yet, so Sweetsonian will stay an indefinite while longer in this pretty little town.

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While there is no doubt I’m going to miss the home I’ve made on Capitol Hill, the drive back to Dupont comes from a few different directions — a natural, demographic shift of my friends to Northwest DC, a desire to downsize, and just an overall change in priorities as I get older. I wanted a more permanent home; something that I could really grow into a personal sanctuary.

And obviously, the first thing on my mind was “how good is the lighting for food photography?” The answer to that is AMAZING. Even though I’ll be shooting photos from my bedroom, the apartment layout makes it easy to shoot a beeline from the kitchen to the makeshift photography studio I’ll be setting up at my desk.

So, you’ll probably notice a change in my writing, as major life changes tend to draw out sentimental, reminiscent tones. And as I count the number of boxes my life fits into, I’m sure things will get more and more real.

I guess that’s that. Go on. Go ahead, and make the switch to Feedly. Everyone’s movin’ around, in one way or another.

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Avocado, Tangerine, and Feta Salad, inspired by Food & Wine

Ingredients
1 ripe avocado
2 tangerines
A few handfuls of baby arugula
Feta cheese

2 tablespoons lime juice (freshly squeezed, as always, is the best)
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

 

It’s a fresh salad, so my directions will be brief.

In a jar, combine the lime juice, vinegar, honey, and olive oil. Secure the lid, and shake vigorously.

Peel your orange with a sharp paring knife, leaving as little of the white rind as possible. You could technically peel like with your fingers, like you would normally with a citrus, but the knife effect is much prettier. Slice your avocado — to get the nice, slender slices, I quarter the avocado, and without cutting through the skin, slice each quarter into three or four slices. Then, I peel the skin off. This leaves you with nice, clean salad-style slices.

Dress a room temperature or chilled plate with the arugula, sliced avocado and tangerines. Drizzle with dressing, and top with crumbled feta (you could also use goat cheese if you hate on feta), salt and pepper.