Showing posts with label Fourth of July. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fourth of July. Show all posts

Thursday, July 6, 2017

RX: Calling the Cake Doctor! @LucyBurdette

LUCY BURDETTE: My one and only granddaughter Dorothea celebrated her first birthday this past week. Of course, being the first grandchild, she had two parties. I was honored to be invited to make the cake for the first one (at her other grandma's house.) Since there would be something of a crowd attending, I thought a sheet cake would work better than a two-tiered cake. My first thought was my son-in-law's favorite carrot cake, but I was talked down from that and decided to try something new.

Since this was a new recipe, I tried it the day before the party. Here is the vanilla sheet cake, all puffed up and lovely. Phew!

Here it is half an hour later when it had sunk to half it's height. I was in despair. Make a whole new cake? Sigh. I already had two others to make this week. 

Was there a way to save it? Calling the cake doctor! I decided whipped cream and strawberries from our garden and blueberries might do this job.

RX ingredients

Cup of garden fresh strawberries
2 cups organic whipping cream
Two heaping tablespoons powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Blueberries for decoration

Wash and hull the strawberries and cut a handful of them in quarters. Slice the others and set aside. Whip the cream in a food processor with the quartered berries until the cream begins to thicken and the berries have given the cream a light pink color. And the sugar and vanilla and whip until stiff.

I cut my beleaguered cake in half lengthwise. Slathered whipped cream on the first half and layered the other half on top. Frosted the cake with the remaining whipped cream, and decorated with sliced berries and blueberries. I tried spelling out Dorothea's name in blueberries, but sadly it was illegible so I opted to fill the whole cake in. Bonus: this fit in nicely with the Fourth of July holiday!

I will not give you the cake recipe as I will never make this one again! I did get some funny comments from the adults: I love how homemade this looks...What's the custard layer in the middle? (failed cake!) But Dorothea didn't care at all--she was too busy coating herself in red icing from her store-bought "smash cake."

Do you have a cake disaster story that you're willing to share? And don't forget to enter our anniversary contest--details on the sidebar!

Lucy Burdette writes the Key West food critic mysteries--find them wherever books are sold! Find her on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest--Instagram too...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Cheesecake Shots #recipe, ala #PioneerWoman from @DarylWoodGerber

Happy almost Fourth of July!!!

To celebrate, I have a first-week-of-the-month giveaway below. Read on.  

The other day, I was eating lunch with my husband (yes, we do that!), and we turned on the television to the Food Network. The Pioneer Woman was on. I’d never seen her show. I’ve read her blog a number of times. I said, “Stop, let’s watch.” I had just been reviewing recipes from her latest cookbook for my next Cookbook Nook Mystery, which features barbecue and down-home kinds of recipes. I wanted to see what she was like in person.

Darling!! Easy to watch. Fun.

Anyway, she was making something ultra easy, and I thought, I must make these. Tonight. I had all the ingredients in my refrigerator. 5 ingredients. Perfect for my protagonist Jenna, who is still learning how to cook – she’s getting better, by the way.

A cheesecake shot is perfect for the Fourth of July! And wham-bang, are they ever good!

So Happy Fourth of July. May you relish your independence. May you continue to enjoy the freedoms that are ours because we live in this country. May you do your part to make sure everyone enjoys those freedoms!

CHEESECAKE SHOTS ala The Pioneer Woman

(serves 4 - 6)


1 12-ounce carton cream cheese
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
6-8 graham cracker squares
1 can cherry pie filling
blueberries, if desired
slivered almonds, if desired


In a small bowl, using a hand-mixer or whisk, mix cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk. [The Pioneer Woman says this is one of her favorite go-to items in her pantry!]

Crush graham crackers. (If you need to eat gluten-free, you can find GF graham crackers at lots of stores. Or you can use GF sugar cookies.)

In small dessert bowls (or wine glasses) (4-6 portions), put 2-3 tablespoons of graham crackers.

Fill a pastry bag with the cheese/milk concoction. Squeeze about 1/3 to ½ cup of the filling on top of the graham crackers.

Top with 2-3 tablespoons of cherry pie filling. (For those who need to eat gluten-free, make sure the pie filling has modified corn starch or tapioca starch as it’s thickener.)

If desired top with blueberries and/or almonds.

Chill for about 1-2 hours. Serve cold.

Click here to PREORDER
Starting this week, I will be offering giveaways on Mystery Lovers Kitchen through the release of FUDGING THE BOOKS. So check in often!

Also I'll be having a release party on Facebook on August 4th, so mark your calendars! Look for the event invitation.

And I'll be doing a giveaway August 3rd via my newsletter to someone (or a few someones) who are signed up to receive it! Don't delay. Sign up.

Today's giveaway is your choice of the first three Cookbook Nook Mysteries OR any of the Cheese Shop Mysteries on the shelves + some fun swag. Leave a comment, with your email (cryptic, if you must) so I can contact you!  

And tell me what you're doing on the Fourth of July!

Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!

Friend Daryl on Facebook
Friend Avery on Facebook
Follow Daryl on Twitter
Follow Avery on Twitter
Follow both of us on Pinterest
Check out our website.

order here

FUDGING THE BOOKS, the next Cookbook Nook Mystery, is available for order: order here.

If you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list 
so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests! 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fourth of July Fruit Tart

Happy almost Fourth of July! If you're anything like me, you like to have something sweet and festive around for the holiday. This tart recipe looks like it's intensive, with lots of steps, but it's not hard at all. I've given options for both regular and gluten-free crust. That's the only thing that matters when it comes to dietary issues.
After that, it's time to enjoy the flavors of summer! And your independence. 

Did you know (fourth of July fun facts):

...that John Adams wrote home to Abigail on the 3rd of July that this day, July 2nd, will go down in history...but it wasn't until July 4th that congress accepted Jefferson's proposal. a bizarre twist of fate, both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4th.

...the fourth of July was being celebrated as early as 1777, but it wasn't an official holiday until 1870.

...the fourth of July is the biggest hot dog consuming day, with over 155 million being eaten for celebrations.

...this one for Sheila...which I'm sure she knows, history buff that she is...the Liberty Bell has not been rung since 1846, for fear of cracking it further. Therefore, on July 4th, it is tapped 13 times to signify it is time to ring the bells of freedom across the country.



For the crust (***regular or gluten-free option):
1 stick cold butter, cut into pea size pieces
1/4 cup sugar (*I used raw sugar)
1 1/4 cup regular or gluten-free flour, plus extra for rolling dough (depending on your dietary needs!)
1 egg yolk
Pinch of salt
2 to 4 tablespoons cold water (I used 4)

For the tart:
1 1/4 cups milk (whole or 2%)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup white sugar (*I used raw sugar)
4 tablespoons cornstarch 

Jam Glaze: (optional)
1/2 cup apricot jam or strawberry jam
1 tablespoon water


3 cups fruit including strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, and more…raspberries kiwifruit, bananas, plums, pineapple, melon, etc., depending on your preference

Special equipment needed:
1 pound dried beans or rice
Parchment paper
10-inch tart pan


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

For the dough:
Put the butter, sugar, flour OR gluten-free flour, egg yolk and salt in a food processor and pulse for 30 to 60 seconds or until the mixture has a grainy consistency. Add half of the water and pulse the food processor 2 to 3 times. The dough should start to come together. If desired, add the remaining water. (I did!) Check the consistency by clenching a small handful in your fist. If the dough stays together it is the proper consistency. If not, pulse the dough with a little more water. When the dough has reached the right consistency, set it on parchment paper that has been dusted with flour (or gluten-free flour, depending on your needs!) Dust with more flour (or GF flour). Top with another piece of parchment paper. Flatten slightly using the heel of your hand. Put the entire thing into a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

When ready:  Set the dough, including parchment paper, on a clean work surface. Roll the dough out to 1/8 to 1/4-inch in thickness between the paper. Peel off the parchment paper and roll the dough gently into a tube. Then lay the dough in the tart pan, unrolling as you go. Push the dough into the sides of the tart pan. Roll dough over the top edge of the tart pan, then cut the extra dough from the pan. (You need this extra bit because the dough will shrink when it bakes.) Cover the dough with parchment paper and gently poke holes in the paper. Fill the tart shell with the dried beans or rice and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, remove the parchment and beans/rice and bake for 3 to 5 minutes more. Remove the tart shell from the oven and cool. The dough should be golden and crisp.

For the custard:
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the sugar and egg yolks together.

Add the cornstarch to the egg mixture, mixing until you get a smooth paste.

Next, in a saucepan bring the milk and vanilla to a boil, just until the edges bubble. Remove from heat and add slowly to the egg mixture. Now pour the egg-milk mixture into a FRESH medium saucepan and cook over medium heat until boiling, whisking constantly. Whisk for another 30 - 60 seconds until it becomes thick. Remove from heat. Pour into a clean bowl and VERY IMPORTANT cover the surface with plastic wrap to prevent a crust from forming. Cool to room temperature.

To construct the tart:
Heat the jam and water in a small saucepan in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds on medium-high. Brush half of the jam over the bottom and sides of the baked tart shell to prevent the crust from getting soggy. Let the glaze dry (about 20 minutes). 

Remove the tart from the fluted sides of the pan by placing your hand under the pan and gently pushing the tart straight up. Neat trick: the fluted tart ring will fall away and slide down your arm. Set the tart pan on a flat surface and the tart ring in the sink.
If you want to remove the bottom of the pan, run a knife or thin metal spatula between the crust and metal bottom, then slide the tart onto your platter. But this isn’t necessary.
Next, spread the cooled to room temperature pastry cream onto the bottom of the tart shell. Place fruit on top of cream or in concentric circles, starting at the outside edge. Using the remaining jam, brush the fruit with a glaze.

Refrigerate the tart, but bring to room temperature before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Serves about 6-8 people.


On Killer Characters blog, which a number of us participate on, we are having the Cozy Days of Summer Giveaway, where each day you can enter to win a book or more. Check it out and leave a comment with your email! Click the picture to follow the link:


For STIRRING THE PLOT, which comes out September 30th, I'm going to be doing a number of giveaways. Books, mugs, stuffed kittens!  Make sure you're signed up for my newsletter and "like" me on Facebook, where information about the giveaways will appear.  Look for pictures of Tigger, the ginger cat in the series, celebrating ala Halloween!


Friend Daryl on Facebook
Friend Avery on Facebook
Follow Daryl on Twitter
Follow Avery on Twitter
Follow both of us on Pinterest
Check out our website.

Days of Wine and Roquefort 
is out!
order here

Inherit the Word
  is out!
                                    order here

STIRRING THE PLOT is available for preorder: order here.

If you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list 
so you can learn about upcoming events, releases, and contests!