The Bees Knees: Embracing the Unknown

quote about the unknown

“We have an unknown distance yet to run, an unknown river to explore.”

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The Bees Knees: Stars in the Sky

quote about stars

“To him the stars seemed like so many musical notes affixed to the sky, just waiting for somebody to unfasten them.”

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Reci-bee: Lime Mousse Tart with Blackberries

Sometimes in the dead of winter, there’s just nothing better than a little taste of summer.  If you’re craving the sweetness of the summer months or are looking for an easy summer dessert to bring to your next family gathering, this Lime Mousse Tart with Blackberries is a refreshing twist on the popular ice box pie.

This pie is so easy to make and most of the time is just spent waiting for everything to set.  It’s great to make in advance and keeps for up to a week in the fridge (then the crust starts to get a wee bit soggy).  You could also serve this with a tart Blackberry Sauce, but I think the limes give this pie enough tartness for my taste.

If you don’t like blackberries, you could also garnish with strawberries, as strawberries and lime are a winning combination.

Word to the wise, make sure your pretzels are ground super fine…almost to the point of looking like flour.  Otherwise you’ll have a chunky crust that is difficult to work with and it will take up a good portion of the tart pan.

Lime Mousse Tart with Blackberries Recipe

lime-mousse-tart-with-blackberries-recipe

Ingredients:

Filling

  • 1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon finely shredded lime peel (zest of 1 lime)
  • 2/3 cup lime juice (need 2-3 limes, depending on size)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2-4 drops green food coloring (optional)

Crust

  • 2 cups pretzels, finely crushed
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled

Topping

  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • Fresh blackberries

 

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, lime peel, lime juice, and granulated sugar.  If desired, stir in food coloring until light green.  Cover and chill about 30 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.  In a medium bowl, combine crushed pretzels and brown sugar.  Add butter; toss to combine.
  3. Press pretzel mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9″ fluted tart pan with a removable bottom.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until firm.  Cool completely on a wire rack.
  5. In a clean bowl, beat whipping cream with an electric mixer on medium until soft peaks form.  Fold whipped cream into lime mixture.
  6. Carefully spoon mixture into prepared cooled crust.  Chill for at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours or until firm.
  7. Serve with whipped cream and fresh blackberries.

 

What’s your favorite ice box pie?
Do certain fruits work better than others?

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The Bees Knees: Growing Pains

quote about growing up

“Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up ’cause they’re looking for ideas.”

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Reci-bee: Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Arugula

I don’t know about you, but I love anything with arugula in it.  Spicy and refreshing, this green adds a great bite to everything from a plain salad to a pasta dish.  In this Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Arugula recipe, it brings a bright, springy flavor to this comforting winter stable.

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I meant to make this meal with smaller mini raviolis, which are better for cooking and browning in the pan, but all I could find were these larger rounds.  They did work really well and gave this dish a nice look, but the raviolis did tend to fall apart once I tried browning them.  Something to look out for if you decide to tackle this recipe.

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Like all my favorite recipes, this one can easily be altered to suit your needs.  If you want more/less peas, bacon, arugula, or want to try adding something totally wonky, go for it!  Despite the fact that this recipe uses heavy cream, it’s actually quite light.  It’s wonderful in the winter, but would also be a great dish for the spring.

And, like most other pasta dishes, this one is quite tasty cold, as well!

 

Cheese Ravioli with Peas and Arugula Recipe

cheese-ravioli-with-peas-and-arugula-recipe

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 20-ounce package frozen cheese ravioli
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 cups loosely packed baby arugula
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

  1. Cook frozen ravioli according to package directions.  Drain ravioli and set aside.
  2. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.  Add the ravioli and cook until golden brown, about 3-5 minutes.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the frozen peas, heavy cream, and garlic powder into the saucepan.  Mix carefully so ravioli doesn’t rip apart.
  4. Bring the sauce to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  If the sauce is too thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce is proper consistency.
  5. Add arugula and toss until arugula begins to wilt, about 1 minute.

 

Do you like arugula?  Share your favorite arugula recipe below!

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The Buzz On…Herbs!

If you’re a beginner gardener like me or you’re looking for easy window plants to liven up your home this spring, herbs are a great solution.  They can grow in medium to full sunlight and plants like basil, parsley, sage, and cilantro are great to have on hand for your cooking needs.

Use this helpful printable chart to keep track of how to use your favorite spices!

common-uses-for-common-herbs

While they may all look similar, herbs vary in taste, texture, and usability.  Some, like the bay leaf, offer wonderful flavor to soups and stews but should not be eaten.  Others, like cilantro or basil, can be chopped up and added to just about anything…even desserts!

To Grow In or Out?

Herbs are not only food for humans, but hungry bunnies, chipmunks, bugs, deer, and other wildlife that might come visit your garden…so grower beware–if you grow your herbs outside, make sure you fence them in or protect them so you can enjoy them, too!  Herbs are also great for indoor gardening and grow easily on a windowsill in medium to full sunlight.  Last year we planted basil, sage, lavender, and cilantro in our little Chicago windowsill and had delicious fresh herbs all season long.

Dry Spell

Dried herbs are more concentrated versions of their fresh counterparts; however, not all herbs are good when dried.  Do some research before drying your herbs and store dried herbs in a cool, dry environment.

These herbs are great when dried:  bay leaves, oregano, sage, and thyme.  They will keep 1-2 months when dried and dried herbs make great gift ideas for hostesses or friends who love to cook.

 

What’s your favorite herb to cook with? 

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The Bees Knees: Letting Your Beauty Out

freevectir

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January 12, 2016 · 7:32 am