Friday, May 25, 2012

Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble Tart

This is a post of random thoughts...and eventually a strawberry tart.  Mostly because my mind refuses to focus on one train of thought at the moment.

Random thought #1:
Operation Baking GALS rocks.  I sent my first box of baked goods off to Afghanistan on May 8th and earlier this week I received emails from three soldiers expressing their thanks.  I can't tell you how cool it was to get those emails.  And it was extra cool, because each email addressed me as, "Ma'am."  So official!  The next round of baking starts on June 1st - 13th.  That means you have time to join the GALS and share some goodies with our troops overseas.   To join head to the Baking GALS site, check out the FAQ's and then click on "Register New Account".  Once you are registered you can access the teams and read about each solider(s) that team is baking for and choose a team to join.  I seriously wanted to join 3 different teams this time, but I'm taking it slow and going to just stick with one for my first few rounds.  Meanwhile, thoughts of cookies are dancing in my head.

Random thought #2:
In the wake of Facebook's (less than) stellar introduction to the stock market I am finally getting around to telling you all The Ginger Snap Girl now has a Facebook fan page!  Yeah!  For some reason I was nervous to put up a page.  What if no one "likes" my page?   But I can always count on my friends and family to be my cheering section.  So I'm super excited to have 46 likes.  If you'd like to make it 47, 48, 49 or magic number 50, check it out...  Like most things, now that I've done it, I wonder what the heck I was nervous about to begin with?

Random thought #3:
Are you all geared up for the Memorial Day weekend?  Do you have travel plans or barbecuing plans?  Tackling a home improvement project?  Or lounging on the beach?  All of these things sound pretty good to me.  We're keeping it low key over here.  Already did our Costco run to stock up on watermelons, blueberries and feta cheese, among other things.  Barbecuing is on the agenda, along with seeing The Avengers, maybe some planting in the garden/flower bed and dinner with friends at one of our favorite restaurants, California Shabu Shabu

Random thought #3.1:
Have you ever had shabu shabu?  We've only gone to one shabu shabu place, so I really have no clue how it compares to any other...but it's so good that we have no need to look further.  Shabu shabu is Japanese style of cooking your food in a pot of boiling water.  This is a do it yourself meal where you "swish-swish" thinly sliced meats and vegetables in a hot pot until cooked (which takes literally 5 seconds for beef).  The cooked stuff gets dipped in sauces and then eaten with rice.  The sauce is where it's at.  Honestly, the meat and veggies are just a vehicle in which to consume large portions of ponzu and sesame sauce (similar to peanut sauce).  So. Freakin'. Mouth wateringly delicious.  Can't wait.

Really random thought #4:
I had a dream last night that Hubby and I were on a long road trip, driving at night, pulling a boat behind our Jeep (we don't have a boat).  Then in slow motion I see headlights coming towards us.  In our lane.  It was a big old clunker car circa 1977.  We are headed straight for the clunker's headlights and I close my eyes waiting for impact.  But we just keep driving.  The car swerves and misses us, crashing into something on the side of the road.  What does that mean?  Never mind.  I am pretty sure I don't want to know.

Random thought #5:
This weekend marks the one year anniversary of the purchase of our ice cream maker.  I am SO making ice cream to celebrate.  Now the hard part....choosing a flavor.  Perhaps this Kit Kat Ice Cream?  Lime Sherbet?  My own concoction?

Random thought #6:
While working from home today I turned around from my desk to see this (sorry it's a little blurry)...

And this....

Random thought #7:
Holiday weekends make me think about childhood barbecues at my grandparents house and crave deviled eggs, potato salad and strawberry shortcake.  Three things I've never posted.  I need to work on that.

Random thought #8:
Enough with random thoughts. 

Strawberry Cream Cheese Crumble Tart has been on my baking to do list for a year.  I first saw the recipe on Nick Malgieri's blog and bookmarked it.  Strawberry season passed last year and I never got around to making it.  I was recently reminded about it when Tracey of Tracey's Culinary Adventures and Michelle of Brown Eyed Baker each posted beautiful renditions of what I knew would be an awesome tart.  So when I needed a dessert for Mother's Day, this was it! 

The tart starts with a sweet cookie crust.  Cream cheese goodness and strawberries fill the crust and a chunky, crunchy crumb adorns the top.  The tart was a hit with the fam, just one lonely peace remaining.  If you're looking for a special dessert to bring to a Memorial Day party, this would be perfect. 

This dessert is not hard to make.  It is however, time consuming.  Make the cookie crust dough the day before.  It requires chilling time before you roll it out and more chilling time after you roll it out.  But don't bake it yet.  Cover it and store in the fridge.  Bake the crust and the crumble topping at the same time on the day you plan to serve the tart.  Mix the cream cheese filling and cut the berries while the crust and crumble bake.  Assemble it all no more than a few hours before you plan to serve it.  I found the crumble to crust/filling ratio to be a little high.  I only used about 3/4 of the crumble.  I left my tart at room temperature for about 3 hours prior to serving.  It didn't cut into the nice clean pieces I was hoping for.  Next time I will store the tart in the fridge until about an hour prior to serving this tasty tart!

For the recipe head over to Nick's blog.



  1. I can only imagine how you felt when you received the notes from the soldiers, even if they addressed you as Ma'am:) (You are not a Ma'am in my book, but they don't know that:)
    I can't decipher your dream, but i can tell you that I think that you have a fierce desire to live and live well! You did not perish, which means a lot (coming from a person who learned how to read dreams from an old book owned by her grandfather:)
    Have a wonderful holiday weekend!

  2. Looks delicious, I'm going to my daughters this weekend maybe we will tackle it. I love your ramblings. I like to know what's going on in other peoples brain! Keep up the great blogging. I do love your writings.