Wonton Cinnamon Crisps with Fruit

Happy Monday! I trust that this “Spring of Vaccinations” is bringing a freshness to you and yours…hope and recovery from 2020, and renewal, with positive refreshing energy changes. And speaking of energy, a couple of weeks back the grands and I joined forces for a bit of energetic fun in the kitchen to make these cinnamon crisps. It’s a “duck for cover” situation when you have 5 year olds mixing cinnamon and sugar free hand, but filled with smiles, love, and giggles. This house wasn’t built on gummy bears alone!

8 wonton wrappers, cut in half diagonally
Nonstick cooking spray
2 Tbs sugar
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups fat free vanilla yogurt
1 cup mixed berries of choice
4 t honey

Preheat oven to 400°.
Mix cinnamon and sugar together in small bowl.
Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray.
Arrange wonton wrappers on baking sheet.
Lightly spray wontons with nonstick cooking spray.
Sprinkle with cinnamon mixture.
Bake 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned and crisp.
Set aside to cool.
Spoon yogurt and berries into dessert dishes.
Drizzle with honey.
Serve with cinnamon crisps.

Note: Cinnamon Crisps will last 3 weeks in zip top bag or sealed container.

Messy Baking at Its Best !

We’re just completing this convenience expansion downstairs on our home; and there have been 8+ of the most dedicated gentleman working on the project for months. So Christmas week I baked, and baked, and baked a bit more to show my appreciation. I don’t know about all of you banana bread bakers in this pandemicized world, but I’m a very merry messy baker. And there are images to prove it! However the cakes and loaves all turned out to be bright stars in a dazed and confused time. So give them a whirl to pep up your New Year’s Weekend, and glide sweetly, filled with lemon and rum into 2021.

Have a Helluva Happy New Year’s Weekend and an Even Livelier Entire Year. Vaccines are popping up all over the place…soon we will be hugging and loving on all of our family members and circle of friends! Grab the Lemon Loaf Recipe HERE. And the Rum Cake Recipe HERE. Run and Go Dance into 2021! I send lots of love to my Circle of Family, Circle of Friends, and Friends of this World Wide Web!

And Boy Oh Man do I have a FIRST, and DELIGHTFUL surprise waiting for you next week! Think…Clark, soccer, Shaker Heights, DC entrepreneur, foodie, delightful young gentleman, and lifelong family friend!

Hand Held Blueberry Pies

Sliding in to Thursday on a Sweet Note you Good Folks of the InterWeb! I tried and tried to carve out time to make these yummies with my three golden grandchildren…alas, I was so lazily enjoying their hugs and conversation the last couple of times that we were together that I ended up making them on my own last week. But check out that cute little car that Liam left here 7 1/2 years ago; it still lives in my kitchen window sill. So that’s my garnish and nod to my grands, and the children in all of us who love a hand held pie memory from our youth! Yum.

Filling:
3 cups blueberries
1/2 cup granulated sugar 
3 Tbs cornstarch 
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon 
1 t vanilla extract 
Pastry
3 sheets frozen puff pastry (from two packages, such as Pepperidge Farm), thawed
1 large egg beaten with 2 Tbs water
Glaze:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

For the filling:
Combine blueberries and granulated sugar in medium saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to boil, reduce heat, and cook, stirring, until sugar is melted, and berries start to burst.
Stir together cornstarch and lemon juice in small bowl until combined.
Add to the blueberry mixture.
Add lemon zest and vanilla and continue to cook until glossy and thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the pastry:
Preheat the oven to 400°.
Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
To make the pies:
Unfold the thawed pastry and roll out to 10-inch squares.
Cut each square in quarters, making four 5-inch squares from each.
Spoon 1 1/2 Tbs of cooled filling onto one corner of each square.

Brush around the squares with the egg wash.
Fold the pasty over the filling on each to make a triangle, pressing lightly to remove air pockets. Crimp the edges shut with a fork.
Put the pies on the prepared baking sheets.
Brush the tops of pies with egg wash.
Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Transfer to a cooling rack set over a baking sheet.
For the glaze:
Mix powdered sugar, vanilla and 1/3 cup cold water in a bowl until smooth.
Drizzle glaze over pies and let set until dry.

Frozen Lemon Pie

Friday Post Script, a day later than the Thursday Pie Post…Bull City Little League cancelled the weekend tournament. I must say that with my personal fear of Covid, I was relieved in a sense. the don and I were looking so forward to being with Liam for a few days, and Liam was very disappointed, as he adores baseball. Alas, healthy decisions were made by caring coaches and I say a warm thank you to Ray and all involved! Cheers to you and many future tournament weekends together!

I know…It’s been a second since I’ve been here; precisely it’s been 35,942,400 seconds! Yes, I calculated it (meaning that Google actually did the math)! But who’s counting?! Let’s move onward; summer may technically be over since Labor Day has come and gone. But the hot and muggy summer weather still persists here in good ole Eastern North Carolina. So whip up this light and breezy lemon fruit pie for the weekend. Perfection in a pie shell! I’m heading to see the Grands this afternoon, pie in hand. We’re ready for a weekend of Bull City Little League with Liam, all while being smart, wearing masks, and trying our darnedest to remain healthy.  Doing my best to stay safe y’all…my buddies know I’ve been totally reclusive since February! Let’s continue to take care of each other, and always eat pie when it’s available!
Dessert Lemon Pie III

This is All You need!
6 oz frozen lemon concentrate can, thawed
8 oz container whipped topping, thawed*
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 9” graham cracker pie shell, purchased or homemade

And This is How You Do It!
With electric mixer or blender, beat together lemon concentrate and condensed milk.
Fold in whipped topping.

Spread mixture in pie crust; cover and freeze, 6 hours or overnight.
Take pie out of freezer about 15 minutes before serving time.

Garnish with raspberries, blueberries, cherries, strawberries, lemon slices, and edible flower petals.
Slice and serve.

*I prefer Cool Whip Lite.
It does not change the consistency or flavor of pie, and saves those calories.

Prosecco and Lemon Sorbet Cocktail

The liveliest little cocktail that you will enjoy all summer…I PROMISE! I mean it’s my new “go to” light summer sipper! In this recent heatwave I’ve been enjoying club soda, on the rocks, in a wine glass, with a wedge of lemon..but, hey, this is a wee bit more festive!

Adult Beverage Lemon Prosecco Cocktail

1 bottle Prosecco, chilled
1 cup vodka, chilled
1 pint lemon sorbet
Lemon wedges for garnish

Combine Prosecco and vodka in small pitcher.
Place scoop of lemon sorbet in each of 4 wine glasses.
Pour Prosecco mixture over sorbet.
Top with a lemon wedge.

Adult Beverage Lemon Prosecco Cocktail Sorbet

Author’s Notes: I prefer my lemon wedge squeezed and in the glass, rather than on the glass rim. Also, I use this wonderful sorbet “SorBabes” brand, Jam’n Lemon flavor. It is made with real lemons and lemon zest that pumps up the flavor to unexpected levels of happiness. Enjoy, and…happy almost weekend!

Cinnamon Elephant Ears

 

I had a special pajama clad helper in the kitchen one Sunday morning recently. No makeup, hair unbrushed…but it was magically delicious! I always thought these “elephant ears” were a short cut from a French pastry. Contrarily, my research revealed that it’s adapted from the Native Americans’ “sweet fry bread”…Either way, it’s quick, delicious, and this little three year old did most of it on his own!
A job opportunity awaits!

1 cup sugar, divided
Pinch kosher salt
1/4 t cinnamon
1 sheet puff pastry, defrosted

Preheat the oven to 450°.

Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and salt.
Pour it over a flat surface such as a wooden board.
Unfold the sheet of puff pastry onto the sugar mixture.

 

Combine 1/2 cup of sugar and the cinnamon.
Spread it evenly on the puff pastry.
(This is not about sprinkling, it’s about an even covering of sugar.)
With a rolling pin, lightly roll the dough until it’s a 13-inch square and the sugar is pressed into the puff pastry on top and bottom.
Fold the sides of the square toward the center so they go halfway to the middle.
Fold them again so the two folds meet in the middle.
Then fold one half over the other half as though closing a book.
You will have 6 layers.
Slice the dough into 3/8-inch slices.
Place the slices, cut side up, on baking sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake the cookies for 6 minutes, or until caramelized and brown on the bottom.
Then turn over with a spatula and bake for another 3 to 5 minutes, until caramelized on the other side.
Transfer to a baking rack to cool.
Brunch Elephant Ears VI

Fairy Bread

Fairy Bread ParkerFairy Bread has been a popular children’s birthday treat for generations in Australia. Simple as can be. So as you prepare for the Memorial Day weekend and the onslaught of family members, you may want to try this special and yummy treat!
Simply spread softened, room temperature butter on fresh bread (That acts as the glue). Top with any sprinkles or colored sugar desired…or let the children decorate their own! That’s what we did in the RockDamKitchen a couple of weekends ago. My grands LOVED making it and eating it! “Art doesn’t always fit in a frame”…nor do sprinkles! PS It was a sugary mess on the kitchen counter! Enjoy.

Fairy Bread Lucy IIjpgBrunch Fairy Bread IFairy Bread L L P

Chocolate Lava Cakes

dessert-chocolate-lava-cakes-iBusiness Class with Turkish Airlines is kinda sweet. And on our return flight from Istanbul back to the Great USofA this past weekend, one of the sweets served was a warm chocolate cake. I knew better than to be tempted by that offer…but i will share this authentic offering! Back in the winter of 2007, the don and I took a wee respite at the Ritz Carlton in Cancun. Whoa…that’s been a decade! They had just reopened after the devastation of Hurricane Wilma, and they were thrilled to have guests back in the hotel. As part of the major renovation, the Ritz added an all Viking Culinary Center. What a beautiful atmosphere in which to cook; added bonus, it overlooks the Caribbean Sea. That’s right. One of the courses I took with Chef Rory that week included this show stopper.  I was a bit afraid initially of my results, but it was perfection on a plate; and it has turned out perfectly in my home kitchen time and time again! Sharing the Love!

8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped or broken into pieces
2 1/2 sticks butter
5 egg yolks
5 whole eggs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
6 Tbs all-purpose flour, sifted

Preheat oven to 425°.
In a small sauce pan, melt the chocolate and butter together over very low heat.
*Do not allow chocolate to get too hot.
Remove from heat and keep warm.
In a large bowl whisk together the egg yolks, whole eggs, and sugar.
Pour warm chocolate into egg mixture.
While stirring chocolate mixture add sifted flour slowly to avoid lumps.
Spray 6 soufflé cups with cooking spray.
Pour mixture into cups and place on a sheet pan and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to rest 3 minutes.

To serve:
Go around edges of soufflé cup with a knife to loosen the cake.
Invert on to a plate.
Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on side of cake.

Makes 6 mid-size ramekins, or 8 small ramekins.

dessert-chocolate-lava-cakes-iii

Cinnamon Sugar Crisps (Mexican Toast)

A little sweetness for your morning or evening. Here’s the perfect little “pick me up” after a long day of errands that is inherent this time of year. And the bonus…your smallest children and grandchildren can participate in the creating. Spread the joy. Share the love.

dessert-mexican-cinnamon-toast-iii

1/2 stick butter
6  7 inch tortillas
2 Tbs sugar
1/4 t cinnamon
Pinch of salt

Place oven rack in center position of oven.
Preheat oven to 500°.
Melt butter in shallow baking pan in oven, about 2 minutes.
Spread tortillas in baking pan, overlapping slightly and turning each to coat both sides with butter.
Stir together sugar, cinnamon, and salt.
Sprinkle evenly over tortillas.
Bake until golden and puffed in spots, about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Watch carefully!dessert-mexican-cinnamon-toast-iv

Slice into wedges and watch them disappear.

Raspberry Brut Rosé Ice Cream Float

Well, bless Pat…whoever that is! That’s what my grandmother Smith used to say back in the day to express shock and awe. So, I give you a “back in the day” treat. Warning, this is an adults only float! Tomorrow is hump-day, so add this to your evening and celebrate making it through the first half of the work week. Just keeping it fresh for you.Dessert Raspberry Rose Ice Cream Float

Here’s the what and how to:

1/2 cup raspberries, plus more for garnish
2 Tbs sugar
4 large scoops vanilla ice cream, softened a few minutes
1/4 cup raspberry liqueur
Rosé brut champagne

In blender, purée raspberries and sugar.
Pour in glass.
Rinse blender.
Add ice cream to blender.
Purée until smooth.
Place ice cream in 2 short glasses.
Pour liqueur over ice cream.
Pour raspberry purée over ice cream.
Top with champagne.
Garnish with a few fresh raspberries.
Serve with a straw.

Makes 2 floats.