Saturday, June 13, 2015

A Taste Of Summer

As with most social gatherings, the men assembled in one place while the women at another.   This evening was no different.  Lori, her daughter Shelby, and I, with sangria's in hand, lowered ourselves into the pool.   The water was 87', which was the perfect temperature.  At the same time Vlad our host, Jamie, Nick and Stone sat close by in the shade.   I suppose solving all the worlds problems.
For appetizers Vlad had prepared some babaghanoush,  a middle eastern eggplant dip which I love.  He also had some crackers, cheese and fresh radishes.  While we lazied the evening away Vlad was the perfect host keeping our drinks filled and while at the same time bringing appetizers to us ladies who never left the pool until dinner time.

With the sun setting Lori, Shelby, Jamie, Nick, Stone, and myself all gathered on the patio over looking the pool as the food was placed on the table.   For our feast Vlad kept it light.  He had prepared a potato and a tomato salad.  With that he served some freshly sliced bread and some liver pate, which I had never tasted and was pleasantly surprised how good it was.  When I think of liver, I go back in time when my mama would make smothered liver with onions and make us eat it.  YULK!   Either my taste have matured or maybe I just do not like smothered liver with onions.  Unless my mama makes it on one of our visits, I guess I will never know the answer to that question.  I myself never plan to prepare it.
We ate family style, very casual, passing the bowls one by one.   Scooping the salads, filling our plates until our stomachs were content.
I on the other had did not keep it so light.  I made the desserts.  As usual I couldn't decide on what to make so I made two, a pie and a tart.  One recipe I knew was good, Fairfield Hospital Buttermilk Pie, recipe here:  I have made this many times and never fails to please.
The other, a tart I had never made, but wow it was great.  It's a Paula Dean recipe, that alone tells you  its good.  
It had been a wonderful, relaxing evening as the rain held off to come another day.  Vlad always the perfect host.  Great food and good company.  What more could you ask for?

Fresh Fruit Tart

Fresh Fruit Tart

Fresh Fruit Tart
Fresh Fruit Tart
Crust Ingredients:
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened and sliced
Filling Ingredients:
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
strawberries-kiwi slices-blueberries-raspberries
1 (6 ounce) can frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Whipped cream, for garnish
Directions for crust:
In a food processor, combine the confectioners' sugar, flour, and butter, and process until the mixture forms a ball.  With your fingers, press the dough into a 10" spingform pan and up the side somewhat that has been sprayed with baking spray.  Refrigerate until firm.
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until very lightly browned.  Set aside to cool.  
Directions for the filling and topping:
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla together until smooth.  Spread over the cooled crust.  Slice the strawberries, and kiwi.  Place the fruit on top of the cream cheese filling.  
Directions for the glaze:
Combine the limeade, cornstarch, lime juice, and sugar in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until clear and thick, about 2 minutes.  Let cool.  With a pastry brush, glaze the entire tart.  You will not use all the glaze.
Keep the tart in the refrigerator.  Remove about 15 minutes before serving.  Slice into 8 wedges and serve with a dollop of whipped cream.

While waiting for the other guests to arrive, Vlad walked me around his yard.  He, like myself likes plants.  Below is just a few of the many plants in his lawn.