Weekend Shenanigans With the Daughter :)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

This past weekend I took a morning to hang with daughter.  We decided to visit a local Farmer's Market but I decided to surprise her with a stop for a quick breakfast at Roadrunner Cafe.  It was the first time either of us had been to this certain little cafe.  I was taken back by how sweet and homey it felt.  There were clearly regulars hanging out and talking and the owner (I assume he was the owner) was involved with the conversation.  He also was so nice to daughter and she loved, for the first time ever, the strawberry smoothie she got.  I say the first time ever because usually she hates the smoothies from coffee shops but she loved this one and the impressive whipped cream on top!
I got a caramel macchiato that was the best thing I have ever had!  I decided I even liked it better than Starbucks!!  

If you are ever in Tucson I highly recommend this local cafe :)

After we ate we took our drinks to go and headed to the Heirloom Farmer's Market up at the Steam Pump Ranch.  I was super excited because I LOVE the Rillito Park one.  When we got there I noticed immediately that it was so much smaller.  I do not know if it is always like this but it was this past Saturday.

I got some gigantic cucumbers (made a cucumber salad with those) and some pretty plump carrots (which I am eating right now with hummus).  
I do have to say though I will probably stick with the Rillito one though because it is closer to my home and it had more options.
Either way though I am a firm believer in Farmer's Markets because they are local people just trying to make a living with great ideas and stupendous food!

Lemon Hand Pies Turned Tarts

Monday, May 2, 2016

As promised yesterday on my Twitter, here are the amazing lemon tarts that I made over the weekend!  I adapted a recipe that I found on another pretty awesome blog called Pixel Whisk.  On her blog she made lemon handpies!  They looked so tasty and flaky and well all around amazing, I decided to try and make the recipe.  
I have tons of lemons on my lemon tree still.  If you all recall I made Organic Lemonade with these lemons and let me tell you the picture below doesn't even do this tree justice!  We still have so many lemons I don't even know what to do with them all.  I think I am going to have to start juicing them and freezing the juice and/ or giving them away to family and friends.

Also, yes I do know that the tree is over grown but we don't like to cut the tree when there are lemons still growing on it. 
Anywho...  Back to the tarts...
Like I said above the amazing Pixel Whisk made these beautiful handpies and I knew right away that I was never going to be able to replicate them fully for several reasons but the main one is because I have never made a lemon curd before.  Even now after making it, I still don't think that I made it right but my tarts turned out super tasty and one of my good friends, The Bubbly Brunette, tasted them today and she gave me the yummy approval so I decided that I would for sure share my experience and what I think I will do differently next time.
To start it all off I followed the Pixel Whisk recipe for the lemon curd to a T!

I squeezed my lemons (using my handy dandy juicer from IKEA) and set aside for when it was time to add it.  I put the sugar (organic granulated) and the yolks together in the saucepan and heated till combined.  Then I added the juice and zest of the lemons.  Here is when I think I went wrong...
I believe I did not let the curd mixture thicken enough because I was super worried that I would get some weird cooked eggs.  But I rolled with it because at this point I didn't know that it mattered how long to cook it, I thought it was thick enough and as it cooled with the butter it would thicken more.  Next time though I will for sure cook it a bit longer.

I also do not have the correct whisking apparatus for my pots so I used this cute egg spatula (figured it was fitting and it is small) and rolled with it.  Can you tell that I am a first timer or what?!
As that cooled I began the wheat flour crust.  I used the same recipe on the Pixel Whisk blog but I did not add the walnuts (boyfriend doesn't like them).  After everything cooled and sat in the refrigerator for the allotted time I began the process of putting the tarts together.
This is when I really noticed that the lemon curd was too thin because it would not stay put in the middle of the bottom half of the pies.  So in a leap of faith I used the dough not for hand pies but for tarts.  I used a muffin tin to form the crust (I used a regular muffin pan and only filled the cups with dough but only half way) and filled the tart crust with the curd.
I continued to follow the recipe, with out the egg wash, by putting the tarts in the oven at 400 for about 16-20 minutes.
My first lemon tarts were born!

Since my lemons are super sour I decided to add half a blackberry to the top of the tart (my own twist) to cut some of the tartness.
Also because most my pictures didn't turn out that well (like the one above) I made sure to get a yummy side angle to show you all the amazingness that were these tarts (that's right folks, they are all gone).

So if you are in the mood for some pretty amazing little hand pies or in my case tarts you can find the recipe at Pixel Whisk.
Thanks friends!

Oh and I wanted to mention that I also shared this with

A Fresh Start