Mapping out my posts for the month has proved to be a good move as I am finding myself more organized and productive with The Kitchen Scout than I have been of late and it feels good. But before I introduce this week’s sweet recipe, I thought I would share just a few links to things I’ve been enjoying lately either inside the kitchen or out. Maybe you need a last minute gift for someone or yourself? None of these links are sponsered by the way in case anyone was wondering!
Now, I’ve said countless times that I am not a kitchen gadgety type person, but there are a few things that have come into my life that I absolutely love and if you have a cook on your list, consider these tiny presents.
This bench scraper from Rachel Ray on Amazon is one of the best purchases! Because it has sides, it is awesome for transporting finely diced up onions or any other vegetable from cutting board to pot in a snap. I love it.
We eat a ton of capers in our house so when I opened up a yankee swap present with this caper spoon inside, I held on really, really tight and poo poo’d the whole thing hoping nobody would grab my package! I subsequently purchased one for my daughter’s apartment as she is a huge caper lover. Also in that yankee swap package was this nifty tool that I use when I have the time and want to really crumble any ground meat to a fine consistency. Not sure when I started using the word nifty?!!!
Outside the kitchen and completely random, the Delancey Moto Tight from Athleta is awesome and I wish they made them in more dark colors!
Oh and speaking of athleisure, if you have not discovered CRZ Yoga on Amazon, let me introduce you. I purchased these tank tops in a few colors and love them, although I wish I had sized up from my usual size. The fabric is excellent and the colors are true to what you see on your computer screen. Bonus, they are way less expensive than you know who. CRZ also makes a short sleeved top that I purchased but have not worn or washed yet so can’t really comment but it looks like it will be a great work out top for warmer days. And although I absolutely do not need it, but would like a black zip up jacket, this option is on my Christmas list. The other legging brand my niece introduced me too on Amazon is Colorfulkoalas that are also super affordable and come in lots of fun colors and patterns.
Thanks to my friend, Sally I found these American made face masks that I love and fit my narrow face well.
I know I’ve mentioned them before, but I have to stop myself from buying a new Dudley Stephens turtleneck every time they introduce a new Terry Fleece color. I absolutely love these tops, size up.
I also have to stop myself from buying more Sh*t That I Knit hats, but because I stupidly washed mine and they shrunk beyond wearability, I purchased a few more with a generous discount offered by the company to assuage my feelings of inadequacy in caring for their beautifully made products.
Recently though, I went to the SOWA Winter market and discovered this wonderful young woman, Deanna DeRocheau who is producing gorgeous hats, mittens and all kinds of scarves on a much smaller scale and got some beautiful presents for my girls – shhh don’t tell!
I purchased these earrings from my friend Lucy and absolutely adore them. Worried that my sagging ear lobes would never wear a hoop again, Lucy also introduced me to these ear patch thingy’s that support the weight of heavier earrings that I wear a lot.
Ok, let’s move on to this week’s recipe which is a delicious and super quick dessert that I promise you can whip up on a moment’s notice with ingredents you most likely have in your pantry right now.
I promised something sweet and so I poured through all of my recipe folders, index cards from my mother and grandmother and my recipe box to figure out what I might like to share. Even though I’d love to, I will not share the recipe for one of the many cakes my mom used to make at Christimas that was one of my brother’s and my absolute favorite cake in the world. I can’t share it because it does not represent who she was as a baker, other than a loving mother who enjoyed making her kids happy. Don’t force it out of me now, because I will have to admit it uses a boxed cake mix, a package of pudding and some bottled hershey’s syrup. And tell you that it is a combination of chocolate and pistachio, making part of the cake a soft green color, swirled among the chocolate. I’d rather you know that my mother was a beautiful from scratch cake baker and her pies were beyond compare. But we really did love that chocolate pistachio cake to be honest and maybe someday I will post that recipe! Hopefully you have recipes like that in your memory bank.
Among the recipes in my folder was a Jam Shortbread Tart from Food 52 that had very few ingredients and looked so easy to execute. Plus it combined two of our favorite non-chocolate ingredients, shortbread and jam along with some almond extract which elevates any dessert in my opinion.
The recipe starts with making a very simple shortbread dough, flavored with just a hint of the almond extract. I may increase it by just a splash next time. Most of the dough is pressed into a tart pan while a little bit is placed in the freezer to firm up for crumbling on top later. Jam is spread on top of the shortbread layer, more than the recipe called for based on the comment section, and in my case using raspberry as opposed to the recommended apricot although both would work equally well. The chilled shortbread is crumbled on top and then sliced almonds are sprinkled over the entire surface.
The tart is baked at 350 degrees for around 45 minutes until golden brown, cooled and served alone as I did for my book group, or with an unsweetened whipped cream (the tart is sweet enough). You could serve it with creme fraiche or some ice cream if you’d prefer.
One of my book group friends thought it was like a slice of Linzertorte (my favorite) and I’d have to agree!
I think you will really enjoy this easy tart and if you need to bring a dessert to a holiday celebration, this may be just the thing. Please let me know if you make it and feel free to switch it up with almost any jam you can imagine!