{twd} quick classic berry tart

Ugh. I have a severe case of blog apathy and writer’s block. These days it seems the only new post I can write is the one for Tuesdays with Dorie. I’m baking and cooking. Sometimes taking pictures, sometimes not. Some are incredibly delicious and I want to share–like Pot-Roasted Eggplant with Tomatoes and Cumin (you need to make this) from the May 2010 issue of Food & Wine. Some are for other baking groups.

Anyway, thanks to Cristine of Cooking with Cristine for hosting this week’s recipe– Quick Classic Berry Tart. I made it for Mother’s Day. It’s a simple tart with vanilla pastry cream topped with fresh berries ( I used strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and some jarred cherries). It was very delicious and a big hit with the family. I can see myself making a tropical version in the near future with rum pastry cream and pineapple, mango and kiwi. YUM.

For the recipe, visit Cristine’s blog or buy the book.

{sms} mini strawberry rhubarb cobblers

With apologies to Tracey, I only made a third of the components of this week’s Sweet Melissa Sundays Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler Pie. It was supposed to be a biscuit-topped cobbler in a pie crust. I didn’t make the pie crust and I’m not a fan of biscuit toppings for cobblers. I made the strawberry-rhubarb filling though!

For the the cobbler topping I used Mark Bittman’s recipe from How to Cook Everything and I made 1/2 the recipe of the filling which I baked in mini-ramekins. I ate mine with Fresh Ginger Ice Cream a la David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop. It was the perfect dessert for a warm lazy Saturday afternoon.

Thanks to Tracey of Tracey’s Culinary Adventures for hosting this week. Check out her blog for the recipe and  her fabulous content/pictures. She’s also one of my blogging friends, although I admit I haven’t been active in the food blogging world as of late.

{sms} Coconut Cream Pie

This post is actually about the pie crust. A chocolate pie crust. The Sweet Melissa Sundays recipe for this week is Chocolate Pie Crust. I decided to make a Coconut Cream Pie. The recipe for the coconut cream came from The Essential Baker.

I made 1/2 a recipe of both the crust and the filling, which made enough for three 4-inch pies. My trusty side kick Diego helped me with pies. Paula worked diligently on the computer as our tech specialist.

I did not try the pies, but my taste-testers all approved. Thank you to Donna of L’Amour de Tarte for hosting this week’s selection. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book. The recipe for the Coconut Cream Pie is HERE.

{twd} two for the price of one

This week marks the second anniversary of Tuesdays with Dorie, the awesome blogger baking group that is baking it’s way through Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours. To celebrate the occasion Laurie, the founder of the group, let the bloggers decide which recipe to make and chose a second one  as another option.

I made the Tarte Tatin for the non-chocolate dessert option at my supposed-to-be-vegetarian Christmas Eve dinner. Darn, those parents! Anyway, the tarte was easy to make and used simple ingredients.  You caramelize apples in a pan and then cover the apples with puff pastry (what I used) or tart dough and bake it in the oven. Once done, you flip it and the apples are on top. And, YAY!, all my apples behaved.

I, of course, served it with homemade ice cream. I made the Vanilla Bean Ice Cream from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert. See the flecks! Love it.

I really liked the Tarte Tatin. It wasn’t too sweet and it was light and flaky. I’ll definitely make it again, maybe using different fruits.

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I made the Cocoa-Buttermilk Birthday Cake for Olivia’s first birthday party. Olivia is my best friend’s daughter. I made it for the sole purpose of destruction.  I made half the recipe and baked it in three 4-inch round pans. I froze two of the little cakes and split the third to make layers. The cake was a big success with Olivia. See the photo montage below.

Thank you so much to Laurie for starting Tuesdays with Dorie 2 years ago. It’s been so much fun and I’ve met and have become friends with so many new people since I joined. If you would like the recipes for both, please buy the book or visit Laurie’s blog.

{twd} mini-pecan pies

Today’s post is going to be short and sweet because I’m busy busy busy just like everyone else this time of year.  My Favorite Pecan Pie from Baking…From My Home to Yours was this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection. I made minis for easier sharing.  I liked this pie. Pecan pie is usually too sweet, but this one wasn’t which is why it is Dorie Greenspan’s favorite pecan pie recipe.

Thank you to Beth of Someone’s in the Kitchen with Brina for picking a winner. If you would like the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.