This month my Secret Recipe Club assignment was Dancing Veggies, a (mostly) vegetarian blog with a few vegan recipes. Way to get me out of my comfort zone! As I scrolled down Amanda’s list of recipes, many caught my eye, like these pierogies & these super-tasty-looking zucchini fritters with homemade tzatziki sauce. But, as you know, I’ve been on a bit of a berry kick lately, so when I saw her Verry Berry Terrine, I knew that’s what I had to make!
Like Amanda, I had never heard of a terrine before, so I decided to do a Google Image search to see what dessert terrines looked like. Inspired by the many layered desserts I saw, I elected to do 3 layers instead of her 2: 1 with blueberries, 1 of just cream, & 1 with strawberries. Red, white, & blue! You could serve this for one of the many patriotic holidays we have coming up, or, since I seem to be the only food or craft blogger who didn’t make something for the Super Bowl, Patriots or Giants colors. This dessert looks fancy, but it was remarkably easy, & I already had everything I needed for it. I love it when that happens!
- 12 oz. Neufchatel cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 2 cups prepared whipped cream (or Cool Whip)
- 1 cup blueberries, rinsed & patted dry
- 1 cup diced strawberries
- 1 cup crushed graham crackers
- 2 Tbsp. butter, melted
- about 8 whole graham cracker sheets, quartered on the perforations
- Line a loaf pan with enough wax paper over the sides to cover the top as well.
- In your mixer bowl, cream together cream cheese & sugar. Mix in the vanilla, then remove from mixer & use spatula fold in the whipped cream until well combined.
- Split the mixture into 3 smaller bowls. Fold blueberries into the cream mixture in one of the bowls, & the strawberries into another.
- Combine the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter (it can be in the same bowl you used for the cream cheese). Press the mixture into the bottom & halfway up the sides of the loaf pan.
- Very gently pour/spread the blueberry-cream mixture over the top of the graham cracker crumbs. Use your spatula to smooth it flat, then do the same with the cream, & lastly with the strawberries. Gently slide graham crackers down the sides of the pan, between the strawberry layer & the wax paper.
- Place remaining graham crackers on top to cover the strawberry layer. Fold the overhanging wax paper over the top. Use pie weights (or, in their absence, a Tupperware of frozen leftover spaghetti sauce works quite well) to keep it pressed down. Freeze several hours or overnight.
- Remove to refrigerator to thaw a few hours before serving (we took it out almost 4 hours beforehand & the fruit was still frozen). Remove wax paper, then invert from pan onto a serving plate. Then cut into slices with a sharp knife. It’ll keep for several days in the fridge, but will get quite soft once it’s fully thawed, so it’s best to eat it within 24 hours of pulling it out of the freezer.
Thanks, Amanda! This was delicious!
The Primaries are tomorrow here in Florida. The race has been hot, to say the least, with almost every single evening commercial break being completely taken up with campaign attack ads. Having already done my civic duty — it’s really easy to vote early here — I thought I’d commemorate the craziness with a little patriotism.
(You don’t need to explain the irony to me of using a French-named dessert… Maybe you could use this for Bastille Day this summer.)
I saw this easy Napoleon recipe on TidyMom a week ago & knew I needed to make it. I love that the thick pudding/whipped cream mixture is essentially a quick pastry cream! Her version uses raspberries & bananas, which sounded good, but strawberries & blueberries are in season here, & I have to tell you, they’re the best I’ve ever tasted. Living in the same county as the top growers for Florida strawberries, we’re getting Farmer’s Market quality in the grocery store! It’s unbelievable. So I thought I’d complement those berries with chocolate & cinnamon instead of TidyMom’s caramel & brown sugar.
That’s the great thing about this: you can do it however you want! I actually was going to do bananas too, but a certain husband ate the last one. Honestly, though, I don’t think we missed them!
One quick note: in the future, I think I’ll use puff pastry instead of crescent dough for a flakier, more authentic texture.
- 1 (8 oz.) can refrigerated crescent rolls (or use puff pastry)
- cinnamon sugar
- 1 cup cold skim milk
- 1 box (4-serving size) French vanilla (regular vanilla works fine too) instant pudding & pie filling mix
- 1 cup prepared whipped cream*
- thinly sliced fruit of choice (bananas, strawberries, raspberries, whole blueberries)
- 1/3 cup chocolate chips
- vegetable oil
*I made mine with very little powdered sugar so that it wouldn’t be overwhelmingly sweet. You could also use Cool Whip.
- Preheat your oven to 375. Cover a baking sheet with parchment.
- Unroll your crescents into 4 rectangles. Pinch shut the seams that turn them into triangles. Use a pizza cutter or very sharp knife to cut each rectangle into 4 smaller rectangles, approx. 4″x2″. Place on prepared baking sheet & sprinkle each with cinnamon sugar.
- Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden & beginning to puff. Allow to cool at least 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, whisk together milk & pudding mix until smooth & beginning to thicken, then refrigerate 30 minutes, until set.
- Fold in whipped cream. If you’re serving this later, cover with plastic wrap & refrigerate until ready to serve. If you’re serving immediately, continue.
- Microwave chocolate chips in a small bowl until melted. Stir in enough oil to thin the chocolate to where it is “drizzle-able” (pretend that’s a word).
- Construct Napoleons as follows: one crescent rectangle, dollop of pudding mixture, sliced fruit, another crescent rectangle, another dollop, more fruit, & one last crescent rectangle. Drizzle with chocolate. For small children, just dollop some pudding in a bowl, place a crescent rectangle in the pudding, & top with fruit & chocolate drizzle.
Get Your Craft On Tuesdays
Yesterday was Pioneer Day, a holiday that commemorates the day in 1847 when the Mormon pioneers first entered the Salt Lake Valley. It’s a state holiday in Utah; everywhere else, Mormon wards put on picnics/barbecues/etc. to celebrate. Our new ward had a barbecue & “Dutch oven” baking contest on Saturday. (“Dutch oven” is in quotes because entrants were instructed to bake it in their ovens at home, then bring it in a Dutch oven. I used my Le Creuset Dutch oven. It still counts.)
Meet: the winner! Ta-da!
This recipe originated from The Princess & the Frog: Tiana’s Cookbook: Recipes for Kids, was modified by Tina at Mom’s Crazy Cooking, & then re-modified by me & my unfortunately still wonky (that Indiana-ism is the only word I can think of that can accurately describe it) oven.
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3 cups diced fresh peaches (I wound up having to freeze half of mine because produce gets to the store a little riper down here than in the Tri-State Area; they still worked fine)
- 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries (ditto)
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1 cup flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- pinch salt
- 1 cup cold milk (I used 2%)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Preheat your oven to 350 (or prepare your campfire, if you’re ambitious enough to be all “authentic”). Use a pat of the butter to grease the inside of your Dutch oven.
- Melt remaining butter in the microwave. Set aside.
- Combine fruit in a small-ish bowl & sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. of the sugar. Stir gently & then set aside to macerate.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, & salt. Add remaining sugar, milk, & vanilla; stir until well blended. The batter will be (perhaps alarmingly) thin.
- Pour the melted butter into the batter & whisk quickly until just combined. The batter should be a little thicker now. Pour immediately into the bottom of your Dutch oven.
- Gently spoon the fruit mixture into the batter & lightly press it partway into the batter.
- Bake (uncovered if you’re using the oven; covered if you’re using a campfire) about 1 hour, or until top is golden brown. Serve warm. Win a baking contest!
Hi, all! I’m late posting today because we decided to take The Munchkin to see her first in-theatre movie, Cars 2, this morning to celebrate her using the potty for the first time! (Yes, we were planning on going anyway, but it was nice to call it a reward.) It was a little loud in the theatre for all of us, but we all liked the movie. Munchkin was also quite excited when she saw the Winnie the Pooh movie preview.
I’ll post about the weekend’s crazy birthday bash next, but I need a little detox from Sweets Week first.
This is my favorite salad. Period. I make it all the time during strawberry season. I love how fresh & light it is, plus it boasts lots of antioxidants! This is another great recipe from The Essential Mormon Cookbook, & just like with the last one, I halve the dressing recipe & still have plenty for at least 6 people. This is how I make it; if you’re making it for a huge church get-together or something, double it. Oh, & the dressing keeps really well in the fridge, too!
Honey Celery Seed Dressing
- 3/8 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1/2 tsp. ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp. finely grated onion (just take a cut onion to the side of your box grater a half-dozen times & use your 1/2 tsp. to scrape the resultant goo off the inside. You could also use dried onion powder or flakes, but I don’t know the conversion for that)
- 1/4 cup lemon or lime juice
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 tsp. celery seed (if you have an aversion to the taste of celery, you can cut this in half)
- Add all but the last 2 ingredients to a blender cup & blend well.
- Lift the lid; gradually add oil & celery seed while blending.
- Toss with washed baby spinach, sliced strawberries (macerate them with a little sugar if you’re serving this outside to keep them fresher), & sliced toasted almonds (if you can find the honey-roasted salad topper ones in your produce section, those are the best, but my grocery store didn’t have them). Serve immediately. If you’re taking this to a potluck or waiting to serve it, leave the dressing on the side for guests to add themselves so that the spinach doesn’t wilt.
- Refrigerate remaining dressing to use later.
Get Your Craft On Tuesdays