Garden Lessons Learned & The Best Rhubarb Tart

Earlier this month I trusted some internet information which led me to a huge garden blunder. I planted my much cared for indoor tomatoes outside too soon. The weather turned cold and especially windy just days later and being away from home I was unable to protect those beauties. Mother Nature took a toll on the plants, but they held on. Today, in spite of their ravaged leaves they continue to thrive and I am already seeing a few tomatoes. Planting a garden can teach us many lessons. Remaining strong no matter how life chooses to chew us up and spit us out is one of them. Stay calm and plant some seeds. The rewards are great.

tomato plant

Tending a garden also teaches patience. For instance, I planted rhubarb last year and I really, really, really want to pick it, but I can’t. The rule of thumb is to let the plant build its root system and strength over a three-year period before harvesting. It’s the same with asparagus. It’s been 7 years since I planted the asparagus and today we are harvesting more than we can eat. It’s a joy to share it. The reward of patience. Lesson learned

As the world is opening up so is the produce at the market. Rhubarb is plentiful in the spring, but has a short growing season. Get while the getting is good and stock up on the naturally tart stalks. This darling of a vegetable can be added to pies, muffins, quick breads and even savory dishes.

Rhubarb Frangipane Tart

ALMOND FRANGIPANE

14 cup plus 2 tablespoon sugar

14 cup plus 1 tablespoon almond paste

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour

14 teaspoon baking powder

14 teaspoon kosher salt

In food processor fitted with metal blade, beat the sugar and almond paste until almond paste is chopped into small bits. Add butter; pulse just until blended. Add eggs and vanilla; blend until smooth. Scrape down the bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the butter mixture and pulse until just blended. Cover and chill while preparing crust.

CRUST

1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

14 cup plus 1 Tbsp. granulated sugar

1 egg yolk

14 cups all-purpose flour

14 teaspoon kosher salt

3 to 4 stalks fresh cut rhubarb, diced on diagonal (1/2-inch dice)

1 tablespoon sugar

With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Scrape down the bowl, then beat in the egg yolk. Combine the flour and salt, then add to the bowl, beating on low speed until just incorporated. Place dough in a 9-inch round fluted tart pan. Using fingertips, press the dough evenly across the bottom and up the sides of the pan to cover in an even layer. Dock (prick) the dough every 2 inches with a fork. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet; freeze for 10 minutes or until firm.

Meanwhile, set a rack in the top third of the oven and preheat to 350°. Spoon the frangipane to the center of the tart crust, and using an offset spatula, spread evenly all the way to the edges. Individually place the chunks of rhubarb on the frangipane in a pattern you like, leaving room between the pieces. Sprinkle tart with 1 tablespoon of sugar.

Bake until the top is lightly browned, about 40 to 45 minutes. Tart will look puffy, but then settle with cooling. Cool completely.

A symbol of wisdom, burning sage is used to achieve a healing state — or to solve or reflect upon spiritual dilemmas

Strawberry Stuffed Sourdough Puffy Pancakes

Yes, I can’t deny that I’m a day late and a dollar short on Mother’s Day, but I’d feel terrible if I did not share this one with all my strawberry and sourdough lovers. And if you don’t have an aebelskiver pan, well, you must go out (strike that due to COVID19), I mean order one on-line because serving this recipe to your friends and family guarantees you rock-star status in the kitchen.

Strawberry Stuffed Sourdough Puffy Pancakes

3 oz. (62.5 g) sourdough starter (great use of discard)

¾ cup (184 g) milk

2 teaspoons sugar

¾ cup (109 g) cake flour

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted plus extra for greasing pan

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon vanilla

2 eggs, separated

Fresh California strawberries, ½ cup small dice plus 10 strawberries, sliced

Whipped Cream

Maple syrup

Powdered sugar

The night before, in a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk sourdough starter, milk, sugar and cake flour until blended. Cover and set aside on counter overnight. In the morning, stir in melted butter, salt, baking powder, vanilla and egg yolks. Whip egg whites to just stiff peaks. Using a rubber spatula, fold egg whites into batter. Brush the wells of an ebelskiver pan with butter and place over medium heat. When the bubbling of the butter subsides, spoon 1 tablespoon of batter into each well. Spoon 1 teaspoon of diced strawberries into the center of each pancake. Top each with enough batter to fill the well. Cook the pancakes for 3 to 5 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown and crisp. Use two wooden chopsticks or skewers to turn pancakes. Cook 2 to 3 minutes more or until lightly brown. Repeat with remaining ingredients keeping cooked pancakes warm in a 200F oven. To serve, arrange warm pancakes on individual serving plates and top with sliced strawberries, whipped cream, maple syrup and a dusting of powdered sugar, if desired.

for all the mothers who have ever lost a child

For two more of my aebelskiver recipes check out this blog post or this blog post. Think Father’s Day <3.

Grab & Go Cranberry Crunch Bars

Jump to Recipe

a healthy on-the-go snack

Healthy On-The-Go snacks are an essential for busy families. Whether you are a mom waiting on dance class to let out or a student suddenly having a snack attack during a long lecture, or just need a tasty break from work, having a handy, grab & go energizing snack can be a game changer.

However, quality store-bought snack bars can be expensive and what’s more sometimes filled with unappealing ingredients like preservatives and excessive sweeteners. Let’s try making our own. As you know, I love a great product and a good recipe challenge, so I have entered into the Cape Cod Select Blogger Recipe Contest.

With premium cranberries as the foundation this recipe is the perfect mix of nutritious superfoods. Protein packed roasted nuts add crunchy flavor and seeds add fiber and heart-healthy fats. Between the cranberries, dates and touch of brown rice syrup there is a perfect balance of natural sweetness. What’s more, both kids and adults will love them as the perfect breakfast on the go, mid-afternoon desk snack, or pre-workout fix. Bake up a batch to have on hand throughout the week.

Bonus: the recipe comes together quickly with things you may already have in your pantry. Toss one of these cranberry crunch bars in your lunch box, brown bag and backpack and be ready any time a snack attack strikes. Don’t ever need to be “hangry” again. ❤

Grab & Go Cranberry Crunch Bars

  • Servings: 10 to 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 1/4 cups Cape Cod Select Premium Frozen Cranberries

8 pitted dates, finely chopped

¼ cup brown rice syrup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups assorted unsalted, roasted whole nuts, coarsely chopped

1 cup puffed rice cereal

¼ cup roasted pepitas or sunflower seeds

1 tablespoon chia seeds

Heat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square baking dish with parchment paper or foil leaving a slight overhang. Spray with non-stick spray. Finely chop cranberries in a food processor. In small saucepan, over medium heat, combine cranberries, dates, brown rice syrup, butter and salt. Stirring, bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes or until mixture is quite thick. In a large bowl, toss nuts, cereal, and seeds. Add cranberry mixture and stir well to coat the nuts, cereal and seeds. Press mixture into prepared pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Cool in pan on wire rack for 30 minutes. Chill in pan in refrigerator for 30 minutes or until cold. Using the edges of parchment, lift from pan and place on a cutting surface. Slice into bars or squares. Wrap individually in parchment paper or foil and store in the refrigerator.

For more great recipes and cranberry information follow these social media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/capecodselect/#

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CapeCodSelect

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/capecodselect/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/capecodselect/

And to find a store near you: http://www.capecodselect.com/store-locator/