Earlier this month, my favorite recipe that I have inherited from my mom was featured on Self.com for Mother’s Day!  These Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Tart is always the dessert that signifies spring’s arrival for me.  What a fun way to honor my mom for Mother’s Day by showing off her recipe.  After all, she is the reason I have such a love of baking. Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Tart {satisfymysweettooth.com}

This Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Tart is the most perfect shortbread-like crust topped with light and airy, sweet, yet slightly tart custard and it is perfect served alone or with a dollop of whipped cream.

Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Tart {satisfymysweettooth.com} My mom was always baking and so there was seldom a lunch or dinner that wasn’t followed by dessert.  If there wasn’t a tray of cookies or a loaf of banana bread still warm from the oven, I could always find a batch of brownies or bars wrapped up in the freezer.  There are pictures of me kneeling on a stool in a teddy bear apron helping my mom make Christmas cookies when I was barely old enough to hold a spoon.  As I grew older, I was always her official taste tester in the kitchen and to this day, when we are together, we can usually be found together in the kitchen.

Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Tart {satisfymysweettooth.com}

I will be making this favorite family recipe for Memorial Day weekend and sharing it with friends and family at the lake cabin.   CLICK HERE FOR THE RECIPE for Strawberry Rhubarb Custard Tart.  Have a wonderful long weekend!

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When I was a little girl, I loved tea parties.  One of my most memorable birthday parties was when my mom hosted a tea party for me at an old historic mansion and each of my friends and I  wore old fashioned dresses and elegant hats.   We sipped on tea and ate cucumber sandwiches and petit fours.  It’s funny how when you are a child you always want to dress up and act like an adult and the you grow up and realize how simple and magical childhood was.

I think one of the reasons that I still love tea parties so much is because of the dainty, delicate foods.  So, when I received a copy of Mini Cakes & other Bite-size Treats (Author:  Hannah Miles) to review from the fine people at Ryland Peters & Small I was so excited to try some of the recipes.  This book is filled with petite cakes, tarts and pastries that are perfect for any occasion.  And you will have the chance to win a copy of the book tomorrow!

The first thing that I made out of this precious little book were the Baby Éclairs and Chocolate Profiteroles.  Both recipes use the same dough and they were so easy and fun to make.  Chocolate éclairs are one of my mom’s favorite desserts and I wish I could have shared them with her!

This would be a perfect quick and adorable dessert for your valentine ♥.

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for the pastry, heat the butter and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil

add flour, remove from heat and whisk until dough comes together

cool mixture for 5 minutes, beat eggs and whisk into cooled mixture to combine

spoon dough into pastry bag

pipe 2 cm lines (for baby éclairs) or 1 cm dots (for profiteroles) onto baking sheet

bake as directed

prepare chantilly cream and chocolate sauce and to serve, cut éclairs in half, fill with cream and top with sauce; for profiteroles, pile onto serving spoon and drizzle with chocolate sauce

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My holiday break left me feeling very refreshed and optimistic about the year to come.  There is something about spending time with family and friends that just seems  to re-center me and remind me of what is truly important in life.  It is our relationships and how we treat each other that makes our lives meaningful and that will leave a lasting impression after we are gone.

With my job, I get to develop at least 10 new relationships every 4 months or so and I just love it because I always get to interact with different personalities.  Have you ever met someone and you are just instantly drawn to that person because he or she seems to exude a positive energy and attitude?  That is the type of person I strive to be.  Some people would consider this to be a negative desire.  They would say that “you cannot please everyone and this is an unrealistic goal”.  But getting everyone to like me is not what I mean.  I know and accept that not every single person that I interact with will like me.  But regardless of how they feel about me, I can sleep well at night knowing that I treated people nicely that day.  I think if we all made a small effort to be conscious of the way that we communicate with others  and do some simple good deeds, it could greatly improve the condition of our society.

Hold the door for someone behind you.  Ask someone if they need help carrying their groceries.  Tell someone that you appreciate their service.  You do not have to be rich or Mother Teresa to make a difference.

Ok, I will get off of my soapbox now and move on to the sweet of the day.

I love recipes that are fairly simple but result in something that looks fancy and impressive and tastes delicious.  When I saw recipes for these pastry braids over at Willow Bird Baking I hoped that the recipe was as easy as it seemed and that the resulting pastry was as yummy as it looked.  I was not disappointed.  The filling in my braid was a simple mixture of strawberry preserves and frozen blueberries, but you could really be creative and use anything you can think of to fill it (i.e. apple butter, nutella, fresh or frozen fruit, etc.).

The pastry itself is flakey and pie-crust-like and it is scrumptious when drizzled with a simply glaze and eaten warm out of the oven.

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 combine flour, baking powder and salt in a food processor

add butter and cream cheese and pulse to combine

add other ingredients and pulse into a loose dough, then turn out onto floured work surface and knead for 15 seconds

roll out dough between two sheets of was paper until long rectangle is formed and place formed dough onto baking sheet

cut outer thirds of dough into 1 1/2-inch strips at a diagonal

place filling in the center leaving 1/2 inch between filling and cut strips

fold strips over on top of the filling alternating sides to give the braided appearance

 bake about 15 minutes or until lightly browned

make glaze and pour over warm pastry

slice and enjoy while still warm (or re-warm)

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The heat has been sweltering here in Minneapolis.  Not to mention the humidity.  When I walk outside and immediately feel like I am in a sauna, rich ooey gooey treats do not sound as appealing to me.  Instead I crave cooling treats with fresh summer fruits.

This fruit tart is one of my husband’s favorite desserts.  I like it because decorating it makes me feel like an artist and it allows me to let my creative juices flow.   The tart starts off with the recipe that I use at Christmastime for cut-out sugar cookies.   When this dough is pressed into a baking sheet, the end result is a perfectly thick and chewy cookie crust.  I top the perfect sugar cookie crust with a cream cheese frosting smear and at that point, it is a blank canvas for whatever fruit toppings I have chosen.  Finally, a simple fruit preserves glaze and it looks like it could grace the cover of a food magazine.  Ok, maybe not, but it really will impress your friends and family!

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And the best part is that when you are finished there is inevitably going to be left over fruit and maybe just a spoonful of frosting……

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