Sunday, June 7, 2015

Easy Berry Cream Cheese Danishes

I'm sorry to have to do this to you, but it must be done.   This easier than pie recipe has to be in your life for the bounty that is summer.  I will be making this with all manner of berries as they come into season, then the peaches and plums and after that, well, who knows.

This recipe is so quick and easy and basically no fail.  Sorry finicky pie crust, puff pastry is my new best friend.  If you happen to love cheese cake, this is your easy fix for that, as well.  It is basically the perfect dessert.  Serve it warm from the oven or let it cool, either way it's just right.




Cream Cheese Filling
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 C. Granulated sugar
1 tsp Vanilla
1 egg yolk
Lemon zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Berry Topping
1 TBL. cornstarch
1/4 C Sugar
12 oz. combination of blueberries, raspberries, blackberries

1 Sheet, thawed frozen puff pastry
1 Egg, whisked

Preheat 375 F

In mixer, combine all ingredients for cream cheese filling, mix until blended and smooth.  Scrape sides as necessary.

Combine cornstarch, 1/4 C Sugar in medium mixing bowl and 1 tsp water.  Add berries and gently stir until the cornstarch and sugar have dissolved.   Set aside.

Combine whole egg, whisked and 2 tsp water in small bowl.  Set aside.

Roll puff pastry dough into a 12 inch square (or as close as you get it) on lightly floured counter top.   Cut into 9 even squares, approximately 4" x 4", each and place these onto cookie sheet lined with parchment.

Evenly spoon the cream cheese mixtures diagonally across each puff pastry square, starting and stopping about 1/2" from corner.  There will be a bit of filling left in the bowl.  Spoon berry mixture evenly over cheese.

Pull one corner of each danish into the middle, brush with egg wash and then fold opposite corner over it, sealing by pressing gently in the middle.  Brush remaining egg wash all over dough with pastry brush.

Bake until nicely golden brown and crisp for approximately 30 minutes.  Transfer immediately to cooling racks to avoid danishes sticking to cookie sheet.

Serve a la mode with some Praline's and Cream ice cream and enjoy a sweet taste of summer.

If this happens, don't worry, it'll still taste just as good as the others....just won't be as pretty.

Happy Summer!

Heather


Thursday, April 16, 2015

The Beating Hearth is going into business...the Custom Quilt business

I've been thinking about starting a little business.  A collaborative business where I co-design quilts with my customers.  The customer gets all the fun of choosing the fabric (with a little input from myself) and the quilt design.  This is for people who love quilts, but don't have the time or desire to actually make a quilt, make a quilt.

Here's an examples of some quilts that I've been commissioned to make.

Let me know what you think of this idea.

This is a baby quilt for little Echo using the cutest Dr. Seuss fabric.  As soon as my customer and I saw it, we had a fit over how adorable it is and knew it was the fabric for us: the bright blues and reds together, contrasted with the white and black, too much fun for a baby boy.

 I particularly like how we used the striped fabric for the name and the binding, and the giant half square triangles have a big visual impact.

The backing!

Baby quilts are approximately 36" by 36".  The perfect size for a new baby.  The best thing about a quilt this size is once the baby is done using it as a quilt, you can hang it on the wall and use it as a wall hanging.  The quilt that keeps giving.  This particular quilt cost $140.  Prices vary depending on fabric and design and I know it can seem steep, especially when you can buy a quilt at a store for significantly less than this.  The thing to remember is, this isn't just a quilt, it's a quilt that you helped design, hand picked the fabric and collaborated on the design, which was then hand-made with love just for your special somebody.   It's not just a quilt you're paying for, it's the whole experience and joy you receive for giving a loved one something truly unique that you had a hand in designing.

The raw materials, fabric, batting, thread, and fusible web for this particular blanket cost just shy of $70.   I will be completely upfront about fabric costs.  You can choose to buy your own fabric at a quilt shop and ship it to me, in which case I will only charge you for labor and misc. supplies, like thread and fusible web and not fabric, or together we can shop the many amazing online fabric stores out there and you can buy the fabric and have it shipped to me, or I can buy the fabric and have you pay me via PayPal.  Lots of options.

Quilt sizes are customizable.

Here's a few more examples of my work.

Tell me what you think and drop me a line if you're interested in getting started! It takes about 3 weeks for me to complete a quilt, depending of course on what we're doing.

Some of my images are pre-iron.  I am sure once this business really gets started I'll take MUCH more professional photos...ha!  Doubt it.  I get too excited once my creations are done that I don't have time to wait for such trivial things as ironing, I just want to show them off!

Aren't the hearts fun?  And I love the rainbow letters.

This one for little Sadie Lyn is so soft and girly.  It makes me want my sister to make me one more baby niece to love.

One of the things I do to keep you in the loop, is send picture updates via text or Email so you really get a sense of what I'm doing.

Again, don't look at the wrinkles.  This is the quilt I am currently working on, it's a twin and I just LOVE the fabrics.  So perfect for a little girl.

I also make custom throw pillows, pillow cases and wall hangings!

I am still working on a web page for Beating Hearth Custom Quilts, but if you are interested before things really get going, leave a comment here and I'll get with you right away.

Thanks for reading!

Heather

Thursday, April 9, 2015

De-Mystifying the Rachael/Reuben Pannini Family Supper

You can make a reuben using this technique; if you enjoy corned beef, that is.  I personally prefer the rachael which is made using roast turkey.  A more satisfying and delicious sandwich, you won't find.   This isn't so much a recipe post as it's a how-to post.
 
step by step rachael sandwich
Here's the problem with making your family a batch of rachaels for supper, you've got to be really ready to move.  There's no time for day-dreaming here.  Remember your 7 P's and you will be fine.





Before you do anything, get your ingredients out and do any prep work you can before you need it.  Drain your kraut, butter one side of all the rye bread you will be using (I like Russian rye), two slices per sandwich (that may be obvious), lay out your turkey in neat piles on a plate, however many slices you want per sandwich, I find that 3/4 pound of turkey makes four nice sandwiches for two parents and two littles.   Have your Swiss cheese sliced and ready.  Open up your Thousand Island dressing, have a knife handy for slathering your sandwiches.

Okay, prep work complete, let's get to it.  While you are cooking, make sure you have any side dishes ready to go and that your kids are setting the table and have your plates out so you can toss a toasty, warm panini down for immediately consumption.

Preheat a frying pan over medium, medium-low until nice and warm.  Have a smaller, heavy frying pan ready to do some sandwich smashing.

Now, go!

Place one slice of buttered bread in hot pan, buttered-side down.  Quickly smear Thousand Island dressing on.

Place on your neatly portioned turkey.

Smother or lightly top the turkey with kraut.  I prefer to smother, my kids prefer not to know kraut is on their sandwiches, but I still put on a light smattering of the pungent stuff for them.

Next comes a slice of Swiss cheese.  Which you will then top with another slice of bread, buttered side up.

Smash the heck out of the sandwich with a heavy frying pan.  You want to toast the sandwich and melt the cheese and make everything warm and gooey. 

Don't burn your sandwiches!!!  You will probably need to turn your burner down the more sandwiches you make.  As soon as one sandwich is toasted on both sides and lovely and golden and melty, don't just stuff your face, give it to a family member and quickly repeat the process until everyone in your family is noshing gleefully.  These cook up so quickly you won't need to wait too long before enjoying one yourself.

Rachael Sandwich how-to
Yum, yum, yum!!!  You might wonder if I want some sandwich with my kraut.  Maybe.

Thanks for reading!

Heather

 
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