Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Puff Pastry Adventures

My mom happened upon a puff pastry recipe just before New Year's Eve. As an avid fan of Top Chef, I've seen puff pastry used on several challenges -  mainly the ones where the chef goes home for using store-bought ingredients. The particular recipe was for spinach cheese spirals, and I must say it looked right up my alley.

Luckily, my dad bought us a box of puff pastry and a box of phyllo dough. For those of you who are not "in the know" when it comes to pastry/dough variety, puff pastry is like a thick pillsbury dough - easy to work with & roll out, whereas phyllo dough is composed of tiny, tissue paper thin sheets of dough that will make you question your sanity. Although delicious, particularly with baklava, phyllo dough can be a challenge for sure.

The spinach cheese spirals turned out well enough with the phyllo dough, & I saved the puff pastry for another recipe I stumbled upon - Raspberry & White Chocolate Hand Pies

After the challenges working with the phyllo dough, I was on pins and needles with the puff pastry, but it was a total breeze. I easily rolled it out, & cut 12 circles out of each sheet. Annabelle & I mixed cream cheese, sugar, & white chocolate chips. We plopped out about a tablespoon of this mixture onto the circles, then she diligently counted out three fresh raspberries to place on top.

Topless hand pies!
We brushed the sides with egg wash and closed them up. Like any pie, we stuck three holes in the top, and in the oven they went.

Hand model Baby D  
I would like to say I shared these with neighbors, co-workers & friends, but we didn't. We ate them all - every last one of them. They were buttery, crisp, juicy & since they contain fruit, I consider them a health food.
Literally bursting with flavor
Something that's great about this recipe is you could easily change out ingredients. I've thought about using dark chocolate & raspberries or white chocolate with blueberries or strawberries or even pineapple & honey. What ideas might you have to make some puff pastry pies? Whatever they are, totally try it!

Sunday, June 3, 2012


We made two trips to Louisiana in one month; no wonder I'm a little tired.

Our first trip was for a senior dance recital for my cousin Bailey. She did an awesome job & her twin Stephen even participated in the final dance as her partner. Annabelle had so much fun. She was mimicking the dance moves in the audience; especially the butterfly dance. Ed even watched most of it!
Ed, Bailey & Myself after recital
Earlier this year, Sir Edward met some of the Ebarb women, but he hadn't me one guy yet - my Paw Paw. So, they met and fell in love. Here's the proof.
Ed & Paw Paw getting to know each other
Ed also picked up a football for the first time. Who better to show him around a football than these two guys? How about Dak, who plays for Mississippi State University? Or Jace, who played football at Northwestern University in Louisiana?
Ed & cousin Dak sharing offensive strategies
Ed & Cousin Jace at Bailey & Stephen's graduation
We stayed at our old friend Ms. Mary's house. She's known me my whole life and was amazing enough to put up with all four of us on two different occasions. We love you!
Ms. Soileau & Annabelle watching cartoons
Someone else met Ed for the first time. Ms. Peggy- oh wait, don't call her that, Aunt Peggy will suffice. She is one of my favorite people ever and I am trying to remember one time I've ever been around her where I haven't had fun, and...I can't remember. That's because she is awesome and hilarious. Ed seemed to fall in love with her too.
Looking like twins at Red Lobster
Traveling all the way to Louisiana will make you tired. Mammy took advantage of one of the few sleep & cuddle opportunities Ed gives.
Mammy & Ed resting up
Something crazy happened at the dance recital. Baby Ed turned into a flesh eating zombie with a particular affinity for eyeballs. Lucky for us, he quickly recovered.

Annabelle trying to fend off an attack from Ed 
  Life is busy, and sometimes you don't get to see the people you love very often. Well, below are two ladies I love and miss very much & I try to cherish the time I spend with them- two of my aunts.
Peggy, Me & Valrie -  a little washed out, but still looking good!
To quote the most talented Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it." I need to be reminded of that sometimes.