Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hot Diggity Dogs for the Fourth

Photos are from the Deseret News' Food Section.We've had company this week, one of my dearest friends Kimmarie from Philadelphia and her five kids. In between swimming, hiking and playing, we've been keeping up-just barely-with violin, tennis lessons, piano, violin, and my job. Just barely. I had some grandiose ideas for hot dogs that I was cooking up to share with you for the Fourth of July, but those ideas were nudged off the agenda. I was even going to make extraordinary (I hoped) hot dogs for Kimmarie and her gang, but instead she made my family grilled steak and baked potatoes, and marinated tomatoes instead. I could get used to coming home from work to a nice dinner. I can see why spouses like it so much.
I've been thinking that hot dogs are just about perfectly patriotic for the Fourth of July. They don't cost much, so you can feed the multitudes. They couldn't be faster, so you don't have to miss all the fun. You can customize them in a million different ways, so everyone is happy. You can a keep it simple for the kids with a squirt of ketchup, or make them high falutin' fancy for the adventurous crowd. That's how I like them-so full of fixings, that you could skip the dog (which I do, frankly. Frank-ly, ha! ) A friend of ours is starting a hot dog stand in Hawaii, and I've been working on secret sauces for him. So far this chicken wing sauce has been the favorite, but my tangy root beer barbecue sauce is a close second . I'm also workingon a spicy apricot simmer sauce that should go well on a dog, so I'll be sure to share if it turns out well.
This morning, the Des News ran an article about hot dogs with loads of marvelous variations.
Check it out and give it a try. Maybe I'll even get one made before the Fourth so I can share it with you.
Up Next:
Patriotic Popcorn

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Best Ever Lemon Bars

This morning, while I was getting ready for church, I thought I'd save a little on our AC bill and dry my hair in front of a small fan. I was in my silky bathrobe and my hair was billowing in the cool breeze, and I couldn't help but think that this was the life-when suddenly, I felt my head lurch backwards and suck my hair into the fan. Instinctively, I grabbed onto my hair and tugged back. The fan and I were engaged in a battle-vanity versus electricity. I yelled to Sailor to come and unplug the fan. (I would never have called for West or I'd still be yelling now.) Then I did a clumsy about-face, picked up the fan clogged with my tangled hair, dragged the cord and my pride to the bathroom, and waited for the Quiet Man to finish showering and rescue me. I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and all I could think was Cousin It. But it could get worse....Would I need to get a short haircut, like Anne of Green Gables when she dyed her hair green, or like Jo March when she sold her locks to buy a train ticket for Marmy? The Quiet Man, in just a towel, patiently and gently battled my enemy fan, releasing most of the frizzy mess. The fan surrendered and then held stubbornly tight, refusing to give up one last lock. Quiet Man reached inside the screen with a pair of long, shiny scissors and snipped the last prisoner-tress, and then I was free. Phew. Thank you, kind sir. I'm the antithesis of Rapunzel, but the Quiet Man is still my knight with shining scissors.

I know just to help me forget my close shave with disaster: Best Ever Lemon Bars. This recipe, like so many of my favorites, hails from Ina Garten. These really are the Best lemon bars, not too sweet, not too tart, and just the right soft consistency. Their yellow color is so sunny, cheery, and bright, making them perfect for a summer dessert. (Or a summer pick me up after an almost accidental haircut. Gulp.)
Post Edit: The missing piece of hair is , as it turns out, not missed. I can't even find the spot anymore.
Best Ever Lemon Bars
Estimated Cost:
$6.00 for 24 servings
Notes: Get a big bag of lemons for the best deal-then use the extras to make homemade lemonade. Don't even bother with a half batch of these bars. Make the whole darn thing, cut them up, and take some to a neighbor.
Ingredients
For the crust:
1/2 pound unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 cups flour
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
For the filling:
6 extra-large eggs at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest (4 to 6 lemons)
1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup flour
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust, cream the butter and sugar until light in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Combine the flour and salt and, with the mixer on low, add to the butter until just mixed. Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and gather into a ball. Flatten the dough with floured hands and press it into a 9 by 13 by 2-inch baking sheet, building up a 1/2-inch edge on all sides. Chill.
Bake the crust for 15 to 20 minutes, until very lightly browned. Let cool on a wire rack. Leave the oven on.
For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and flour. Pour over the crust and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Let cool to room temperature.
Cut into triangles and dust with confectioners' sugar.
Next Up:
Recipes for the Fourth of Joo-lye

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mojo de Ajo Veggie Fajitas

Last weekend we were warming up with pretend camping, and this weekend we are heading off to do the real thing. Did I tell you that I love to camp? I grew up on yearly trips to Yosemite and Yellowstone, with Dad the Fisherman and Mom the Reluctant Camper and ten siblings in tow. We're not going anywhere as grand as a National Park, but there will be evergreens, Dutch oven cooking, hikes, and lots and lots of dirt. I'm most looking forward to the smell of bacon and maple intermingling with pine trees and temperatures that won't come anywhere near 100 degrees. All right, I'm just as excited as the charges, only I have neither their free time nor energy. I'd better get cracking. Before I go, I leave you with this veggie fajita recipe. Remember this post about my new favorite San Antonio Chicken fajitas? I thought I'd give it a go with pure veggies, and they were every bit as mouth-wateringly delicious. That Mojo de Ajo spice and garlic oil is spiffy stuff, kiddos. You've got to make some this weekend!

Mojo de Ajo Veggie Fajitas
Estimated Cost: $7.00 for four generous servings
FOR THE MOJO DE AJO
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (4 to 6 cloves)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
FOR THE FAJITAS
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 large white onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 1 cup)
1 large green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 large red bell pepper, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/2 inch strips
1 cup corn kernels
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
12 small corn tortillas (about 6 inches), warmed
Guacamole, for serving
Pico De Gallo, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
Shredded mild cheddar cheese,for serving
DirectionsMake the mojo de ajo: Cook oil and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat until garlic is soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in lime juice, red-pepper flakes, and salt.Make the fajitas: Heat a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over high heat. Add oil, and gently swirl to coat. Add onion and bell peppers, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is browned in spots, and pepper has softened slightly and skin is blistered, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, corn and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are browned and tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the mojo de ajo, and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with warmed tortillas, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, and cheese.
Next Up:
Best Ever Lemon Bars

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

June Bug Mocktails

There are exactly seven days left in the month of June. After that, there are exactly six months left in the year 2010--but I'm getting ahead of myself. Time just keeps on ticking into the future, like it or not. I don't think there's anyone north of the equator that wants June to be over. The month is a gift of sunshine, blossoms, freedom, and golden evenings. School is out, play is in. And yet, in one week, playful June will be replaced with patriotic July. It's no reason to pout, except that I know that July will go by just ask quickly as June has gone. Life feels like a great big circle, going round and round, and you're tempted to think since there will always be another June, that nothing is really changing. But look again-the kids are growing faster than the garden corn, and the Quiet Man's hair is getting grayer, and my knees made a cracking sound when I got out of bed this morning. Time's a circle that's not only spinning but rolling forward, and darn it, if I can't stop it, I'm at least going to drink it in. So here's a new sipper that looks like a June sunset, and tastes like a sweet and fizzy flower. I spotted it in Better Homes and Gardens and the name intrigued me. June Bug. You've got a week to stir one up. (Although, you could just rename it YearRound Bug and drink it whenever you please.) And while time might be moving too quickly for me, it's moving too slowly for this little cowboy. He couldn't bear to have his beautiful, inviting June Bug just sitting there waiting to be photographed. A few minutes are an eternity at age seven. Normally, he just has to be patient. But not this time. June and life are too short. I snapped a couple of quick, sloppy shots, and then I sat down with my boy and we drank it all in. Together.
June Bugs Mocktails
Estimated Cost: $4.00
3 cups ginger ale
3 tablespoons grenadine syrup
3 tablespoons orange juice
4 scoops orange sherbet (plus more)
Blend in the blender. Divide into four cups. Add another scoop of sherbet to each cup. Do not waste time photographing. Enjoy.
Next Up:
Best Ever Lemon Bars

Monday, June 21, 2010

Cinnamon Swirl Bread

We had such a funtabulous weekend. I was really expecting it to be rather quiet, since we're having a rare lull between summer visitors. Usually we catch up on work and chores, balance checkbooks and weed gardens, and other unpleasantries when we are without guests. This weekend, we chucked all the mundane stuff out the window, and just had a great time. On Friday night, we went to a late showing of Toy Story 3. I love the excitement and anticipation of late night shows on opening day. We liked Toy Story 3 so much that we didn't even finish our bucket of popcorn-and that's saying alot for my snacky family. This groovy tiger stole the show. Hiya, Kennie. I never had Ken or any Barbies, but my friend Julie L. used to pack a giant suitcase full of boy and girl Barbies when she came for a sleepover. We had a great time UNTIL I accidentally dropped her Barbie furcoat in her Barbie pool. That was the end of that. Sorry, Julie L. But the movie was marvelous, and I can recommend it without reservation for kids from 1 to 92.

On Saturday,the kids had a lemonade stand and brought in a cool ten dollars. Sailor claims she did most of the work and should probably get more than half of the ten, since West mostly just ran around with neighborhood boys, putting ice cubes down each other's shirts. It's hard to be an ant when your little brother is a grasshopper.
We swam in the afternoon, rode bikes around the neighborhood, and then built a fire in the backyard and roasted hot dogs and marshmallows. You might as well set up a tent and play Uno, if you're going to pretend to camp. This tent it 26 years old and smells like the Scout Jamboree, but that kind of thing doesn't bother you until you hit middle age, I think. But it is a good place to hide and wrap Father's Day gifts. Father's Day is a feasting day- I made a grilled steak with a maple chili butter that is pure heaven, but that's another post for another day. The Quiet Man ate well, opened gifts, and had a nap and the charges only got in 12.6 arguments, instead of their usual 32.9, in honor of Dad's special day. What more could a father want? How about cinnamon swirl bread?
Well, whaddya know, we've got some right here. This yummy swirled bread was my Tuesdays with Dorie assignment last week, so you've got to click here to get the recipe. I left out the raisins, since my kids act like they might be poisonous. It was delicious fresh and hot out of the oven, but even better as toast. And even even even better as cinnamon toast.
Hope you had a wonderful weekend and Father's Day.
Next Up:
June Bug:Non Alcoholic Fun Fizzy Drinks

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bengal Beef Skewers for the Man in your Life

Floating along in the spirit of sweet smelling June, I almost forgot to post a Father's Day menu. Although, if you scroll down to my last post, you could make a very fine feast of Teriyaki Chicken and pineapple upside down cake for your Dad, but then there is also your husband to consider. Somehow, I forget that I'm sorta responsible for that man of mine on Father's Day, too. (I did remember to get him some little presents-an Ella Fitzgerald CD, a tin of Altoids, a Toy Story 3 puzzle to put together with the charges, and an inflatable neck pillow for our big trip to the Middle East in the Fall. I don't think he's reading this post, but if he is I have no surprises left. That's what happens after nearly 15 years of marriage.) If I ask the Quiet Man what he wants for dinner, he usually says something kind but maddeningly unhelpful, like "I'm happy with what you make everyday." But on Father's Day, I don't want that every-day-kind-of happiness. I want that manly-beefy-holiday-kind-of-happiness. I had to put on my thinking cap for something really special. I had a flashback to our days of graduate school in southern California, when we spent our weekends making good use of our Disney annual passes. For those of you who know Disneyland, you'll recall a distinctive, savory aroma the minute you cross the threshold into Adventureland. The smell of Bengal Barbecue Beef Skewers, from some little cafe next to the Indiana Jones ride, was enticing enough to excite even the ever-stoic Quiet Man. Everyone who passes by drinks in the intoxicating smell-mmmm, this is the stuff that culinary dreams are made of. I wish I had a scratch and sniff sticker so you could lean in and see for yourself. Tender bites of grilled beef, doused with a savory sauce with the flavors of garlic, sesame and soy. This'll be just the ticket to surprise the Quiet Man, even if he already knows about all of his suprises. The smell alone would be worth it, but trust me-the flavor is unforgettable-in a manly-beefy-holiday kind of way, too.
Bengal Beef Barbecue Skewers
Estimated Cost: $8.00 for 6 skewers
Money Saving Tips: The grocery stores will have big meat sales for Father's Day, so stock up. Any tender cut of beef for grilling will work well here, so ask your butcher for your best and cheapest cut.
1 cup Soy Sauce
1 1/2 cups Water
1 Tbsp. Ground Black Pepper
3 Tbsp. Sesame Seed Oil
1 tsp. Ground Red Pepper
1/2 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 Tbsp. Granulated Garlic
3 Tbsp. Cornstarch
18 one-ounce pieces Sirloin Beef Chunks
6 Bamboo Skewers
Directions
Combine all of the ingredients above and bring to a boil, adding cornstarch to thicken. Soak the bamboo skewers in water to avoid burning. Place 3 pieces of beef on each skewer and cook on the grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Brush with sauce and serve.
Here's what I'm serving alongside:
A green salad with apples, berries, and pecans,
Cheesy potatoes
Mixed vegetables
And there will be pie and ice cream. I'm not sure what kind, but I read somewhere that it was the favorite dessert of men. I've never forgotten it. That kind of useful information sticks with a girl.
Next Up:
Cinnamon Swirl Bread

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pineapple Upside Down Cake & Pineapple Glazed Teriyaki Chicken


Hooray, my pictures are working. Thanks for your tip in the comment section, Catherine.
I buy canned pineapple rings about once a year, just in case my Dad wants a pineapple upside down cake. (Some years he wants a chocolate mayonnaise cake, and I keep dried dates on hand for that, but that's another story.) My Dad's birthday comes just a few weeks before Father's Day, so that leaves all of us ten siblings scrambling for not just a birthday but also a Dad's day gift. It's tough to know what to get for the guy that has it all, especially considering that he is a superlative gift giver. I've given up getting wrappable gifts for the most part-unless I catch him openly admiring something and I can quickly buy it before he can. Instead, I bake him gifts from my kitchen. This year it was pineapple upside down cake. He loves my pineapple upside down cake, because I make it just like his mother did. You can't get fancy and modern with fresh pineapple. No, it has to be canned pineapple rings studded with seven maraschino cherries. The cake itself is tender and slightly sweet, making a perfect foil for the sugary brown syrup and bright pineapple juice. Bake it in a cast iron skillet for the best results. When you are all done enjoying your pineapple upside down cake, you will be left with a few extra pineapple rings, plus some juice. They make a splendid sauce and topping for chicken, especially again in your cast iron skillet that can travel so seamlessly from stovetop to oven. (If you don't own a cast iron skillet, buy one. But if you can't do that, wrap the handle of your skillet with tinfoil, and it'll fare well.) The chicken is tender and sweet, but the pineapple is the true star of this dish. It takes on savory notes from the soy sauce and chicken, but the pineapple's sweetness is intensified by the brown sugar and the high heat. It's given me a new reason to buy pineapple rings, and not just for my Dad's cake. But I'll keep buying if for that, too. Happy Father's Day, Pop.
Dad's Pineapple Upside Down Cake
from Joy of Cooking

Estimated Cost: $5.00
1 (20 ounce) can pineapple rings
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
7 cherries
2 eggs
2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
6 tablespoons buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drain 7 slices of pineapple (reserve juice and remaining slices for recipe below). Heat a nine inch oven proof skillet over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons butter. When the butter is melted, sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Place one pineapple ring, in the center, and surround it with remaining pineapple rings, each with a cherry in the center. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, 2 tablespoons buttermilk, and vanilla. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, powder, soda, and salt. Add softened butter and buttermilk and beat until smooth. The batter will be stiff. Add the egg mixture and beat until smooth. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, atop the pineapple rings. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and tilt the pan in all directions to loosen the cake. Let cool for 2-3 minutes and unmold. I like to place a large plate on top of the skillet and flip it over. Voila!

Pineapple Glazed Teriyaki Chicken

Estimated Cost: $7.00
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
4 slices red onion
4 slices green bell pepper
4 canned pineapple rings
juice from 20 ounce can of pineapple rings
3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons brown sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add oil and let warm. Add chicken and brown, about three minutes per side. Cover each piece of chicken with a slice of onion, green bell pepper, and a pineapple ring. Combine pineapple juice, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Pour over chicken. Place chicken in oven and bake for twenty minutes, basting with sauce frequently. If sauce reduces too quickly, you can add chicken broth or water. (I don't season with any salt, since the soy sauce is already salty.) Serve with rice.
Next Up:
Cinnamon Raisin Swirl Bread

Working on my Post...

"
I'm working on my post about pineapple chicken and pineapple upside down cake, but my pictures are downloading as complicated gibberish code instead of image. You are all so smart; can you tell me what I'm doing wrong? Computer troubles reveal my true nature as a Flintstone. I'm tempted to throw a rock at my computer and see if that would fix it. It hasn't worked yet.
Anyway, I'm too chipper to let it get me down today. This last weekend I was out looking for shoes when I spotted these stunners from Dansko. Hopefully you will see a pair of shoes, and not the scrambled jibberish I was referring too earlier. Can you see them? " "Too much moolah, but very cute," I told my sister, Heidi. She blabbed my secret yen to my littlest sister Mary Kate, the one with five kids that I just babysat while she was in the Cayman Islands. As a thank-you present, she suprised me with the shoes I'd been admiring. I love their comfort, their stylishness, their pretty straps, but mostly I love that my two sisters conspired to suprise me.
I'll be back later today, after I throw a second rock at the computer. Happy Monday.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake: It's All Delicious!

When I was out for my morning jog on the trail today, I passed an unforgettable exerciser. She was a plump, silver-silver haired woman, and from far away I thought she was jogging. There was such a lively spring in her step, her body seemed to bounce up and down, with her full arms swinging rthymically as if she were a Viking assigned to row. As she marched in closer, I could actually hear her. Dressed in a T-shirt with a giant smiling sun, complete with bright blue stretch pants and a fanny pack, she was bobbing up and down, half dancing-half running, but all the while singing. Over and over again she crooned, "It's all deeeelicious, it's all deeeelicious, it's all deeelicious." I smiled to myself, and then at her, and then at the world. Who was this woman? Why was she so happy? Was she some kind of prophetess? A morning revelator with a fanny pack? Good grief-was she me in a few decades? If so, at least I know I'll be happy. And you know something else? She was right. It is all delicious. And here's further proof.

Strawberry Shortcake. Whipped Cream. Sugary Strawberries. Tender, buttery biscuits. Yep, it's all delicious. Make your own. Then go for a walk with your fanny pack and sing about it, if you dare. Recipe here. Estimated Cost: $5.00 for a five serving half batch
P.S. This is a true story.
P.S.S. I can't wait to find out if my delicious friend will be out on the trail tomorrow.
P.S.S.S. Don't you think too many PSs are annoying? Me too.
Up Next: 70s throwback-Canned Pineapple Rings in Dinner and Dessert

Monday, June 7, 2010

San Antonio Chicken Fajitas

We were feeling impulsive this past weekend. Usually when I feel impulsive I go to a movie that starts later than nine o'clock. Ooh, wee-such adventure. Pathetic, right? I used to think nothing of uprooting my life for the promise of chaos and uncertainty. Look what the thirties have done to me! But my brother called midweek and said he had four free passes to Legoland. It was too late to take off work, and almost impossible for me to find a sub for my college classes, unless it's the Quiet Man. But, like the lure of adventure from my twenties, free stuff is my siren song. Free Legoland Passes!!! So we left Friday night, and made the six hour trip to San Diego, and found ourselves at Legoland (free passes!) as the park opened. I felt like a college kid again, taking a trip that I hadn't planned and really didn't have time for. Throwing off the shackles of responsibility felt invigorating. I hope to do it again some time, and not just for free. But I won't plan on it, because then what would be the point?

In another rash of spontaneity, I recently spotted the recipe for some truly divine fajitas. I canceled my dinner plans and ran to the market. I just knew down deep in my bones that they had to be made that minute. Oh, yes. They are now first on the totem pole, knocking my other fajita recipes down a carved face or two. The recipe hails from an old issue of Martha Stewart, along with some other classic Tex-Mex dishes, that I'm itching to try out. For anyone that loves California's El Cholo fajitas, these are pretty darn close. Maybe they're even it. Make them up tonight-impromptu. This whim is definitely worth it.
San Antonio Chicken Fajitas
Estimated Cost: $9.00 for four generous servings
FOR THE MOJO DE AJO
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic (4 to 6 cloves)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (from 2 limes)
1 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
FOR THE FAJITAS
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 large white onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices (about 1 cup)
1 large green bell pepper, ribs and seeds removed, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (1 small whole), sliced 1/2 inch thick
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2), sliced 1/2 inch thick
8 small flour tortillas (about 6 inches), warmed (instructions follow)
Guacamole, for serving
Pico De Gallo, for serving
Sour cream, for serving
Shredded mild cheddar cheese, preferably longhorn, for serving
Directions
Make the mojo de ajo: Cook oil and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat until garlic is soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in lime juice, red-pepper flakes, and salt.
Make the fajitas: Heat a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) over high heat. Add oil, and gently swirl to coat. Add onion and bell pepper, and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onion is browned in spots, and pepper has softened slightly and skin is blistered, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and 1 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring frequently, until chicken is browned and cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the mojo de ajo, and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with warmed tortillas, guacamole, pico de gallo, sour cream, and cheese.
Next up:
Strawberry Shortcakes

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Strawberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

I finally caved in and bought a new bike. I'd been riding around on the Quiet Man's bike. He's a good 7 inches taller than I am so I was straining to reach the handlebars and the pedals. Plus his seat would flip up in the middle of a ride...um, try not to think about it, but know that it wasn't comfortable. Why do men's bicycle seats have to have such an um, uncomfortable shape anyway? Yowch. Yet another reason to be glad I'm a girl. Being a girl, and a very sensible one at that, I went to Wal-mart and bought the prettiest bike I could find. Isn't she loverly? I'm calling her Betty. My new bike makes me so happy, and the seat is plump and comfy and not once has it flipped up. I bought a little basket for the front, so the charges and I are going to ride all over town and run our errands until it get's too hot that we can't bear it anymore. That might be tomorrow. The weather man is saying 96 degrees. Ooh wee. Maybe I should stay home and ride Betty around the living room. Or maybe I should just stay in and bake. I did have an assigment for Tuesdays with Dorie this week-white chocolate brownies. They didn't sound too grand to me, so I decided to make something that sounded better with white chocolate: Strawberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars. I made a brown sugar-cookie base, topped with a white chocolate cheesecake layer and a slick of my own homemade strawberry freezer jam. They are divine. You will swoon. Make some soon. In the month of June. I will go before I get carried away. A new bike, a sweet treat, and the month of June can do that to a girl.
Strawberry White Chocolate Cheesecake Bars
Estimated Cost: $4.50 for 12 servings
1 cup flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons butter
1 package cream cheese, softened (8 ounces)
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ounces melted white chocolate
1/2 cup strawberry jam
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, and salt. Cut in butter until mixture has coarse crumbs. Press mixture into bottom of 8 inch square baking pan. Bake for five minutes. Meanwhile, combine cream cheese and sugar until velvety smooth. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Gently mix in white chocolate. Bake for 20 minutes, or until edges are set and center jiggles slightly when you tap the pan. Let cool for 15 minutes. Pour jam over the top and smooth gently. Let cool completely in refrigerator for at least two hours. Slice into squares and serve.
Sailor made her own little itty bitty version. So cute.
Up Next:
San Antonio Chicken Fajitas