Saturday, May 9, 2009
Spring Flowers, Lunch, Mother's Day.
I am sure there are millions of gardeners out there who would totally disagree with me, but I love to see dandelions in the green grass, the contrast of green and gold is absolutely beautiful. It is such a shame that people work so hard to destroy them. We went to get more asparagus today and once again I forgot my camera, I wanted to take pictures of all the Trilliums in the woods on the way to the farm. Trilliums are Ontario's flower and are such beautiful blossoms. I used to think there were only white Trilliums but then a friend sent a picture of a pinkish flower growing near her property. Funnily enough, my sinlaw, Mike, wrote about bluebell woods in England yesterday and they are so beautiful to see, making a wonderful carpet in the English woods. Do check Mike's blog (link this page). Trilliums are not so numerous unfortunately, which cannot be said for dandelions. The trees in the park are blossoming now and the tulip trees or Saucer Magnolias, are also in flower. I used to have one in North Carolina which must be a good sized tree by now. I was surprised when we came back to Canada to discover they grew here, I had thought they would only grow in a warm climate. In fact there are one or two plants which I discovered grow here in the freezing cold much to my surprise. Not that I am any horticulturalist. Of course, other flowers at this time of year, which I love to see, are crocuses, daffodils, narcissi, tulips and hyacinths, luckily we seem to have a few keen gardeners in the area so when we drive by we can enjoy the fruits of their labours. Today we are off to have a lunch of dim sum in the same restaurant as last time, with the same friends. Looking forward to it as its quite a long time since we went before. I will have to make an effort to learn exactly what the menu says so that I can order for myself if I ever need to. My friend knows exactly what she is ordering, I haven't a clue although she explained what everything was once we got it. I am currently having mouse problems. I
have had an electronic mouse which whizzes around, I am now using a wheel mouse which crawls across the page like a snail. I will have to hi me to the store to purchase a new electronic or digital one ASAP, maybe after lunch today.
Meanwhile, a recipe from the local paper, The Record, for a Tart for Mother's Day which you can whip up pretty quickly I think.
Almost No-Bake Strawberry Cheesecake Tart
500 ml (2 cups) vanilla wafer cookie crumbs
50 ml (1/4 cup) butter (1/2 stick), melted
1 packet (7 g/1/4 oz) unflavoured gelatin
50 ml (1/4 cup) cold water
250 g (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
175 ml (3/4 cup) sugar
250 ml (1 cup) fat-free Greek-style yogurt
5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla extract
175 ml (3/4 cup) strawberry jam
Fresh strawberries, to serve
1 Heat oven to 200 C (400 F).
2 Tart Shell: In a medium bowl, mix together cookie crumbs and butter. Transfer to a 23-cm (9-inch) tart pan with removable bottom. Gently press mixture evenly across bottom and up sides. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until set. Remove from oven and cool.
3 Cream cheese filling: In a microwave-safe cup, combine gelatin and water. Set aside for 5 minutes or until gelatin is dissolved. Microwave gelatin for 30 seconds or until it boils.
4 In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth, scraping down the bowl as needed to avoid lumps. Add yogurt, gelatin and vanilla, then beat until smooth.
5 In a small bowl, use a fork to beat strawberry jam until mostly smooth. Add jam to cream cheese mixture and use a rubber spatula to just barely fold it in, stirring only once or twice.
6 Transfer mixture to cooled tart shell and, if necessary, use a spatula to smooth top. Cover and refrigerate until firm, about two hours. Serve with fresh strawberries.
Perfect for Mother's Day, this almost no-bake strawberry cheesecake won't leave Mom feeling guilty for indulging on her special day. It's also easy enough for kids to lend a hand.
Traditional cheesecakes are made from a blend of cream cheese and eggs, and thus require cooking. This easier version uses gelatin instead of eggs to set the filling, so no cooking is needed. Only the tart shell is briefly baked.
The cream cheese also is cut with thick, rich, yet fat-free Greek-style yogurt. This variety of yogurt has had much of the water drained from it, giving it a sour creamlike consistency. Don't substitute regular yogurt.
If Mom doesn't care for strawberries, the recipe can be adapted to the berry of her choice. Just swap the jam and fresh fruit.
The crust is made from 500 ml (2 cups) of vanilla wafer cookie crumbs. To make that amount of crumbs, you will need about 75 cookies, which is about a 340-g (12-oz) box minus 12 cookies.
Have a great weekend and to all you moms out there, Happy Mother's Day.