Back to school! I always loved back to school. New outfit, new pencils, new goals.
State Fair. What whimsy does that call to mind for you? First, I hear Templeton the Rat singing that obnoxious song in my head. But next, I remember all of the wonders, merrymaking, and smells of the Wisconsin State Fair.
We were always very methodical about it. We would get up at the crack of down, slather up in sun screen, and get there are soon as the gates opened. After picking up our coupon book, we would visit the animals in the barns. I always liked the cows the best. They’re so delicate for animals that weigh literally tons. When you look into their eyes, covered in the most beautiful, long lashes, it makes you almost reconsider hamburgers. Almost.
Then we went down the pig slide. To the “Oriental Market”, the name for the shops before Wisconsin got with the program and realized that was in bad taste. After picking up a fresh-shaken lemonade, I begrudgingly followed my eager mom to the pig races. I have never understood pig races. Just, why…?
Lunch was always a gyro from Eileen’s. Then the Kids from Wisconsin. When I was little, I dreamed of being one. The trade center, avoiding that creepy Smoky the Bear at the DNR exhibit and finally….
The Cream Puff.
It was always the last thing we got, and we ordered an extra to take home to dad. Now, truth be told, I’m not a huge fan of those cream puffs. It’s more the nostalgia that still makes me want one. They’re too sweet and as huge as your face. But there’s some kind of reminiscent satisfaction of getting cream on your nose that will never fade from my memory.
But that was years ago. Now, I live somewhere else. No more state fair. To try to relive the fun, my mom and I ran (well, I ran) in the Cream Puff 5k this summer. We posed with a live cream puff. It was pretty cool.
But it still doesn’t beat state fair and all of the weirdo people you see. So when you feel like running down memory lane or just need some good, ol’ fashioned, creamy deliciousness, whip up a batch of cream puffs. Be sure to get some on your nose.
Cream puff pastry (pâte à choux) seems complicated, but it’s actually the easiest thing. And once you can make , your baking world is open to eclairs, profiteroles, and other such delights.
On a sticky summer day, I just love to crunch down on a crisp, flavorful salad. Usually I like to enjoy a hot dinner at night, but I just can’t bring myself to do that when it’s 95° outside!
I have a cooking philosophy that I think this salad does a wonderful job of exemplifying. Gourmet cooking is fun and zen, but sometimes “what’s in the fridge” is just as good, and way easier. This is that salad.
I didn’t run to the store. I didn’t spend a lot of time. Any cook of ANY skill level can whip up this salad and bite into yum.
Protein-rich salmon and hemp seeds paired with sweet mango and bursts of grape make this salad another summer staple.
I think I’m ready to quit my life and start fresh as a farmer! Well, almost. But this experience was so zen and wonderful!
Travels have kept me away from the kitchen recently (sorry, but no apologies for that!), but I had to see what I could make when visiting Seattle. Apparently, blackberries are weeds, effectively, there. I first saw them when we were driving to a national park- they were everywhere!
I bought a perfect little pie tin at the Pike Place Market for my adventure. Then I set to picking berries, listening to a small creek behind me and smiling at the birds in my baking Cinderella moment.
Naturally, half of the blackberries went straight into my mouth. They were so perfect and tart, so I knew that a plain Jane butter crust would not be the perfect partner. A sweeter platform for a low-sugar filling would be perfect.
Quick question to address:
Why don’t these cookies have normal cookie ingredients?
Think of it more as a shortbread. Cookies are meant to rise, and that does not make for good pie crust. Trust me on this one!
This cookie crusty is the perfect base for all-natural, tart berries. Another quintessential summer treat!
Please Note: Unfortunately, my uncle’s kitchen has awful lighting. As such, I have not done the usual step-by-step with pictures before the recipe. I do have the pictures, though, so if you need more information or want to see what a step looks like, just ask! Thanks!