Sunday, July 24, 2011

San Francisco

Andrew and I spent last weekend in San Francisco doing lots of touristy things. We went to Alcatraz and ate lunch on the pier, shopped, and then like the rest of the world, watched HP 7.

Such a satisfying weekend. Here are some photos from the one day I took some.

The Bay Bridge (it was too foggy to see the Golden Gate)
On the ferry to Alcatraz, the city in the background


The Bay Bridge/financial district (where Andrew works)

Coit Tower--where Andrew and I got engaged!

Strawberry Pizza Pie

I made this a looong time ago, but have not been a very consistent blogger lately.  I love this pie, it is my favorite dessert and happens to be what I get on my birthday every year instead of cake.  Birthday cake has never appealed to me... birthday strawberry pizza pie, however, is something I always look forward to.

A few weeks back, I decided to make this for a dinner at a friends house. The only problem was the dinner was on Sunday but I made the pie Saturday morning.  This is a problem because by the time Sunday morning rolled around, I had eaten almost half of it.

I'm not sure how it happened, but I am not sorry.

I ended up having to make a second one Sunday afternoon.  No one ever knew. It was very well received and I was actually asked for the recipe on the spot.  That made me happy.

Here is the recipe for you. My family calls this Strawberry Pizza Pie because sometimes we cook the pie crust on a flat, round pizza pan and with the cream cheese center and the strawberries on top, it looks like a pizza. You can call it what you want, though.


Strawberry Pizza Pie
  • 4 oz Marscapone cheese (it's Italian cream cheese that is incredibly mild and perfect for this. It can be found at specialty grocery stores like Whole Foods. If you omit this, use 8 oz cream cheese but reduce the sweetened condensed milk by a little less that half).
  • 4 oz cream cheese
  • Half a can sweetened condensed milk
  • One 14 oz container strawberry glaze
  • 1 basket of strawberries, sliced
  • Pie crust, recipe here, previously baked
  1. Blend the Marcapone cheese and cream cheese together using an electric mixer. 
  2. Add in 1/4 jar of the sweetened condensed milk, then add the rest little by little, tasting the mixture after each addition. Too much sweetened condensed milk is a very bad and overpowering thing.
  3. Place the cream cheese mixture into the cooled pie crust.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix half the container of strawberry glaze with the sliced strawberries. 
  5. Place the strawberries on top of the cream cheese mixture.
  6. Refrigerate for at least an hour (if you can wait) to let the cream cheese mixture set, though it will never be stiff and will always blob on a plate. Looks don't matter, it's all about taste.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Apricot-Pineapple Jelly

I just started this blog post three times and each time I deleted what I wrote because it sounded weird. Cheesy. Too overly jazzed about the weekend coming up and what not.  I'm excited, yes, but jazzed is a little over board.  Just not real, you know what I mean?

Though, I do have a lot to be excited about, you know, for the weekend. I am going to spend it in San Francisco with Andrew so really I am pretty thrilled.

There, was that too jazzy?

Anyway, I made jam. Delicious jam using the apricots from my mom's apricot tree in her backyard.  There are definite perks to living in California and one of them is having yummy fruit trees in your back yard.

Jam is a perfect thing to make in the summer. It just fits. It's one of those things that goes together like apple pie on the fourth of July or bikinis and the beach.  Making fruit jam during the summer just works. It's the right thing to do.

I made jam with apricots because they were easily accessible. I added the pineapple (with a little apprehension) at a friend's request because she said it would be yummy and would also help keep the color nice due to the acidity.  I didn't particularly think that apricots and pineapple would go well together but I didn't want to dismiss my friend's contribution so I went for it.

I am glad I did. It turned out to be fabulous- added a nice jolt of pizazz and unexpected flavor. I knew we were friends for a reason.


Apricot-Pineapple Jelly
  • 5 cups very ripe apricots
  • 1 can crushed pineapple (8 oz)
  • 6 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp butter
  • 1 pouch fruit pectin 
  • 12 pack 8oz self-sealing jars
  1. Wash jars in hot water. Bring water in a sauce pan to a simmer and place in lids--make sure to place every other lid face-up and every alternative lid face-down so they don't stick to each other. This sanitizes the lids and also makes it so they seal better.  Once the lids are in, turn off the heat and let them sit in the hot water until you are ready for them.
  2. Wash the apricots and remove their pits.  Place them in a food-processor or blender and puree them to desired consistency. (I hate lumps in my jam so I blended  them until they resembled baby food.)  Add in the pineapple and blend together.
  3. Stir sugar, fruit mixture, and butter into a large stock pan. The butter helps reduce foaming. Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in pectin. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 1 min., stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off any foam with metal spoon.
  4. IMMEDIATELY pour the hot jam into the jars, one at a time, adding the self-sealing lids soon as each jar is filled.  The steam will help the jar seal.  Screw on the lid.  Do not fill the jar to the brim, fill it to within 1/8 inch of the top.
  5. Let jars sit on the counter top, unperturbed! Do not touch them or they will not seal. You will here a 'pop' as they seal.  After 6 or so hours, check to see if all the jars have sealed by pressing middles of lids with finger. If a lid spring back, or makes a hallow sound, the lid is not sealed and refrigeration is necessary.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Station 22 Cafe

My blog posts are becoming sporadic.  It turns out that working full-time really puts a damper on my cooking desire.  When I come home I want to veg. I want a quick meal, a bowl of ice cream and a good book.

Also, I want to eat out more.  Eating out more and cooking less go hand in hand.

So, I am not here to give you something to cook, but I am here for all you Provo-ians to tell you where to go for your next lunch date.

Go to Station 22 Cafe on Center Street.

I went there today and it was seriously delicious.  After I'd heard rave reviews about it from three people, I decided to try it out.  The place is cute, very urban kind of feel and the bluesy music was playing made me want to sit inside and eat instead of taking it out which was my original plan.

But what put it over the top was of course, the food. The huge, giant, delicious, meticulously sauced food.

I was very impressed.

I got the 22 Club and here is what the menu says about it: roast turkey, bacon, pickled red onions, avacado, swiss cheese, & spring mix with roasted garlic mayo on a pesto focaccia.

The picture does not do it justice. It was so good that I closed my eyes for the 2nd a 3rd bite so I could savor it more. I know, something is wrong with me when it comes to food. Then I lost control of myself and accidentally drooled. Literally. It was embarrassing, but luckily I was alone and no one saw me.

Prices are moderate to high, but the portions are huge so go and split a side of fries and a sandwich and you'll make it out of there stuffed for only $10.

Here are a few of their other sandwiches and foodstuffs, just to tempt you.

Station 22 Cafe
22 W. Center Street
Provo, UT 84601
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-3pm