May 28, 2011
Cream cheese is my weakness. When I found a recipe for cream cheese danishes that involved puff pastry and not hours in the kitchen I had to try it. These took 20 minutes and are absolutely delicious. I folded them two ways both for experimentation and because my baking sheet wasn't big enough.
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
2 sheets (1 box) frozen puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water, for egg wash
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Place the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and cream them together on low speed until smooth. With the mixer still on low, add the egg yolks, ricotta, vanilla, salt, and lemon zest and mix until just combined. Don't whip!
Unfold 1 sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured board and roll it slightly with a floured rolling pin until it's a 10 by 10-inch square. Cut the sheet into quarters with a sharp knife. Place a heaping tablespoon of cheese filling into the middle of each of the 4 squares. Brush the border of each pastry with egg wash and fold 2 opposite corners to the center, brushing and overlapping the corners of each pastry so they firmly stick together. Brush the top of the pastries with egg wash. Place the pastries on the prepared sheet pan. Repeat with the second sheet of puff pastry and refrigerate the filled Danish for 15 minutes.
Bake the pastries for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once during baking, until puffed and brown. Serve warm.
from Barefoot Contessa at Home
May 27, 2011
Both potato patches are thriving. One was accidental and just part of the old compost pile that started growing. It's the "surprise patch."
The nasturtium's, sunflowers and other things I planted on the side mostly got eaten by our dog, Pavlov. But the ones in the front are blooming their heads off. I planted them to eat, but I haven't been able to pick such a pretty flower yet.
I built a bamboo A-frame and draped the whole garden with bird netting to keep squirrels out. It definitely stops squirrels and dogs and I think it might be working on bugs too. I'm battling far less pests than last year. I'm also far less squeamish about squishing the things I do find.
Our garden is only a 4 x 8 raised cedar bed that I built myself. It is plenty big enough to provide some produce for the three of us, although I already have dreams of expanding.
Click here for more photos.
May 25, 2011
In the first photo you can see the baby's little hand and fingers.
May 23, 2011
Last weekend Penn and I took a trip to the Dallas Zoo with some of his soccer/baseball friends. I am not a big fan of going to the zoo. Wild animals in cages are hard for me to enjoy. But this was one of the most enjoyable times I've ever had at the zoo. Perhaps it was just the good company. Maybe the habitats have improved. The animals looked healthy and seemed equipped with things to play on. They were also really friendly. Every plexi glass window had a gorilla, lion, cheetah or penguin in it. I've actually never been so close to those animals. Inches. It was honestly fascinating. We watched an astounding bird show and informative cheetah feeding and an elephant washing. We ate a decent lunch next to lions.
This is a good group of boys. I didn't take the big camera so we made memories with the iphone.
May 20, 2011
Go eat some peaches and listen to, "Peaches" by Presidents of the United States of America.
May 19, 2011
May 18, 2011
I am a big proponent of fresh food. But I have an odd guilty craving. Sometimes I want canned spinach. This is not a pregnant thing. (Although it does happen more often when I'm pregnant.)
Frozen spinach is gross and fresh spinach is an entirely different (and wonderful) dish. But there's nothing like opening a can of Popeye and nuking it for a minute and adding a dash of salt. I don't want to cook with it and I won't ever serve it to you at my table. Just know that when no one's looking I take a break to eat an entire can of spinach and lust over design magazines.
May 11, 2011
I first got to spend some time with Milla in 2006 when she accompanied her amazing model mommy to a shoot. We all fell deeply in love with her. She's hard not to love. It's lovely to watch her grow into her big personality smarts. She recently finished her First Communion and I was honored to be able to photograph such a special portrait.
Penn and Milla ran through the field and looked so adorable together. I admit, I know they're only 7, but I totally thought, "Please grow up and marry someone like Milla and be as content as you are right now."
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