Honey Blueberries & Cream Crostata

Blueberry Crostata I don’t know what to think about all of this early pumpkin madness that’s going on.  I cannot believe all of the pumpkin recipes I’m seeing, not to mention all of the pumpkin products in the stores.  It’s crazy because it’s STILL AUGUST.  We need to be taking advantage of all of the fresh fruit still coming in!  And whatever happened to apple recipes??  I always thought September/October were good months for apple-bakin’. 
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However, I do love pumpkin.  Very much so.  Another part of me is saying, bring on the pumpkin!!  Let’s get this party started!  It’s the best time of the year!  When I heard the other day that Starbucks was releasing the pumpkin spice latte for the season, I said to myself, that is so, so stupid.  It’s August!!  Then I promptly went to Starbucks and ordered a pumpkin spice frappuccino.  My lawd, it was delicious. 
IMAG4356_1So I guess it’s officially pumpkin season now.  I hate myself.  Also, I have a confession: I baked two different pumpkin breads in July.  Shhhh.  Eric and I ate them and told no one about the incident. 

I’ll try to hold back on the pumpkin recipes for a while, though.  Today I have a good blueberry recipe for you!  I’m still finding blueberries for a good price at the grocery stores; I’m not sure how much longer this is going to last.  Get all the blueberries while you can!  Blueberry Crostata4
I haven’t made a crostata in a long time.  Why?  I do not know.  They’re delicious and easy to make.  So I made my pastry dough (using all butter), rolled it out, then topped it with a cream cheese-honey mixture.  Mmmm.  Then came the juicy blueberries and sprinkling of cinnamon-sugar.
Blueberry Crostata 3After baking, the crostata gets a drizzle of melted honey-butter.  I think I need to start drizzling more baked goods in honey-butter.

Try this for your Labor day festivities!  Or bake something with pumpkin.  I don’t care.  Your family and friends are going to be giving you the side eye, though.
Blueberry Crostata2Honey Blueberries & Cream Crostata

Ingredients:
Pastry Dough1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
4 tablespoons ice water

Filling
4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/4 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Instructions:
To make the pastry dough combine flour, sugar and salt in a food processor; pulse until incorporated.  Add butter and pulse until well combined and mealy.  Add the ice water, a tablespoon at a time, until incorporated and dough starts to come together.  Form the dough into a flat disc and wrap in plastic wrap.  Chill for at least 1 hour.

To make the filling, in a small bowl, stir together cream cheese and honey until well combined.  In a small bowl, stir together granulated sugar and cinnamon until well combined. 

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roll out the dough into an 1/8-inch thick round on a lightly floured surface; transfer to cookie sheet.  Spread cream cheese mixture into the center. top with blueberries.  Sprinkle cinnamon-sugar mixture on top of blueberries and crust.  Bake 15 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.  Stir together honey and melted butter in a small bowl; drizzle on top of crostata.

Makes 6 servings

Pink Grapefruit & Earl Grey Paloma

Pink Grapefruit & Earl Grey Paloma 2Hello!  I hope everyone had a good weekend!  Eric and I had date night-weekend.  We mostly hung out inside the house with Cashew since it’s been so hot lately.  I’m ashamed to admit I made us an alcoholic beverage to sip on that was absolutely disgusting.  Don’t mix tequila, vodka, fruit punch, ginger ale and orange juice all together.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.
We hit up Seoul Taco for some dinner one night.  You should try it if you ever visit Saint Louis!  There’s a lot of good restaurants and bars in the Delmar Loop area.  Plus the Pageant and Fitz’s is there.  Eric has been eating from Seoul Taco’s food truck just about every week for a few months now and told me I had to try it. 
IMAG4347_1_1We had the chicken gogi bowl with fried egg, and chicken, spicy pork, and bulgogi tacos.  I think our favorite was the bulgogi.  Now we both want to get our hands on some gochujang sauce!  So spicy.  We stopped by this really cool specialty grocery store on Delmar called United Provisions and looked for some, but couldn’t find any.  Which is strange because they had every Asian sauce you could think of!
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Ironically, two days after stopping by Italian pastry shops in Little Italy, I visited an Italian bakery on Delmar in Saint Louis.  Eric and I have been wanting to check out Piccione Pastry for quite a while now. 
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Oh my goodness.  I know I only tried three different pastries there, but I believe they may have been some of the best pastries of my life.  They blew away any of the Italian pastries I had in Little Italy.  The signature chocolate cannoli was amazing.  I hated myself for not buying more!  The cannoli shell tasted so fresh, homemade and doughnut-like.  The filling was creamy, sweet and decadent. 
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We tried the rainbow/Italian flag cookies and florentine cookies dipped in dark chocolate as well.  So delicious!  They also had meringue cookies, pound cakes, muffins, pinwheel cookies, cheesecake, black and white cookies, cheesecake, tiramisu, cream puffs and gelato.
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I have a drink recipe for you that tastes much better than the jungle juice stuff I made + it’s much classier and doesn’t turn your tongue red.
Pink Grapefruit & Earl Grey Paloma
Pink Grapefruit & Earl Grey Paloma is a drink I created when I was craving a nice, refreshing paloma cocktail, but wanted to add some other flavors.  I made a simple syrup and mixed it with brewed Earl Grey tea, fresh grapefruit juice,  tequila and ice.  I garnished the drink with a grapefruit twist and a sprig of mint.  Apparently, tea-infused cocktails is trending right now and I didn’t even know it!  Think of all the different drinks you could make. 

Have you ever tried a tea cocktail before?
Pink Grapefruit & Earl Grey Paloma 3Pink Grapefruit & Earl Grey Paloma

Ingredients:

1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 packet Earl Grey tea
4 ounces fresh pink grapefruit juice
2 ounces tequila

Instructions:
Microwave water and sugar in a small measuring cup in the microwave for 20-30 seconds or until warm; stir until dissolved.  Steep tea bag in water for a few minutes, until water has cooled down.
Rim two glasses with a mixture of sea salt and raw sugar; fill with lots of ice - the more crushed, the better.  Divide tea mixture into glasses, followed by grapefruit juice and tequila; stir until well combined.  Garnish with a grapefruit twist and a sprig of mint.

Washington DC & NYC!

10513504_10204335168719788_1450403001478397747_n Recently, I had the pleasure of spending twenty four hours in both Washington D.C. and New York City.  I have always wanted to explore the National Mall and was so excited I actually got the chance to do it!  I have some family and a few acquaintances in the area, but didn’t want to bother them on a weekday afternoon, so I went by myself.  It was a beautiful day and so quiet and peaceful.  I visited the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial,  the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the US Capitol, the White House, some of the gardens, and a few of the museums.  I felt like I saw so much, but there’s still a lot I still want to see!  You could definitely spend a few days there.  1920498_10204335170879842_5227727388949903532_n

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I actually wore sneakers!  My feet thanked me later.
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Sprinkle cone!  The perfect snack for exploring the National Mall on a warm sunny day. 

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There was a cool farmers’ market with produce, baked goods, frozen beverages and kettle corn.
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My favorite museum I visited was the American History Museum; I spent hours in there.  I love American history!  Plus, Julia Child’s kitchen was there.  Amaaazing!  I love that lady.
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I visited Times Square, Central Park, Little Italy and Chinatown in New York City.  I did not wear good shoes this day and my feet hated me.  Bad Emily.

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I had some espresso and biscotti in Little Italy. 
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And cannoli!  Yum.  I spent too much money on desserts. 
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I also had stracciatella gelato from Ferrara.
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In Chinatown I tried my first banh mi sandwich (with coconut soda mmmm).  I had the vegetarian version with tofu.  I probably should have gotten the pork though, since it’s more traditional.
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Lastly, when I was walking around Chinatown, looking at all of the amazing, exotic produce, I spotted this tub of live eels.  Ewww, spooky.  It gave me the creeps.  Now you get to see it too.
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Okay that’s all for today!  Thanks for stopping by and have a good weekend!

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