Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day + Recipes for Strawberry Basil Soda, Strawberry Crepes with Vanilla Pastry Cream & Soft Sugar Cookies

Ellie celebrated Mother's Day with an extra special breakfast, a lovely table and a colorful new waterbottle to replace the Nalgene bottle that I recently broke. She also left me a message on my computer. Ethan called and we chatted for a short while. The kids had planned a Skyping session, but Ethan got called away for duty on the ship. He also had Ellie pick up some beautiful flowers for me.
We also had my mother over. I am so glad that we live so close together that she can join us for things like Mother's Day. Ellie's height made my mom feel short, so Ellie bent her knees to be on her same level; it was pretty funny.
My mother always manages to close her eyes when her picture is taken, so it took a few to get it right. She decided that we should say something like, "Wohwho" and that made us both laugh.
Remmie wanted in on the action, too. He seems to know when we are taking photos. Besides, he is such a pretty boy!

Ellie made Strawberry Basil Soda as well as Strawberry Crepes with Vanilla Pastry Cream. It was all very yummy, and more filling than I think any of us expected it to be.
Later in the day we modified some shirts to fit her better, she packed for her trip to South Africa and then we watched, "Despicable Me 2" and "Free Birds." I made a batch of cookies for her to enjoy while we were having our movie fest.

I hope you, and/or your mother, had a lovely Mother's Day, too.

Crepes with Strawberries and Vanilla Pastry Cream

via: Allrecipes

Crepes - (We actually used our favorite crepe recipe from Julia Child)
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons butter, melted
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Pastry Cream
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream, whipped
4 cups sliced strawberries

Place the eggs, milk, water, melted butter, flour, and salt in the pitcher of a blender; blend until smooth.

Heat a lightly oiled griddle or non-stick skillet over medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 2 tablespoons for each crepe. Tip and rotate pan to spread batter as thinly as possible. Flip over when the batter is set and the edges are beginning to brown. Cook until the other side begins to brown. Stack finished crepes on a plate, cover with a damp towel and set aside.

Blend the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth. Gently fold in the whipped cream.
To serve, fill each crepe with 1/4 cup sliced strawberries and 1/3 cup of the cream cheese filling, roll up and top with a small dollop of the cream cheese filling and more sliced strawberries.
Strawberry Basil Soda
Makes about 6 (8-ounce) drinks

1 pound strawberries, trimmed
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1 cup sugar
Carbonated water

Juice strawberries using a juicer or blender.

If using a blender: Place strawberries in a blender and pulse until smooth. Strain through a sieve, pushing juice through with a spatula. Discard solids.

Pour strawberry juice into a liquid measuring cup. Add water to reach 1 cup if needed. Pour into a small saucepan with lemon juice, basil, and sugar.

Heat mixture over medium heat until boiling. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain syrup through a sieve into a clean container and discard solids.

To serve, add a little less than 1 part strawberry basil syrup to a little more than 1 part soda water and stir.

Taste and add more syrup, if desired.

Can refrigerate syrup up to 1 week.


Soft Sugar Cookies

Original recipe makes 4 1/2 dozenChange Servings
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt ** If you are using salted butter, omit the salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, shortening and sugar. Stir in the eggs and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt, stir into the creamed mixture until dough comes together.

Roll dough into walnut sized balls and roll the balls in sugar. Place them on an unprepared cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.

Bake cookies 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until bottom is light brown. Remove from baking sheets to cool on wire racks.

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