Ryan and I are blessed to have few, but very good friends in our lives right now. It makes the time spent with them very sweet and very appreciated. We feel like we are coming out of the “hibernation” that is the first year or so of marriage. We made the time to leave and cleave and become one a priority… a wonderful thing and what God intends. Sadly, some friendships and time spent with friends had to take a side seat for a while. Those that have survived this time are the most precious to us.
On Friday night we got to spend time with one such couple, our dear friends Aaron and Leah, who will be a Mr. and Mrs. themselves in just a little under 4 months. Exciting! The best part of our get together was finally being able to show them the engagement photos I took for them last weekend… a post with those will come after this. I wanted to be sure to share with them first.
We went out to dinner at Brewbakers… our second attempt as a group and Aaron and Leah’s third. We were able to get a table quickly and shared a great meal. After that we headed home to share a yummy dessert (recipe below) and show the pics. I was so delighted to hear that they loved the photos and are even using one on their wedding invitations. 🙂
Then, on a whim, we decided to head out to a 10 o’clock movie. Almost unheard of for me! But I excited to finally see Toy Story 3!
We absolutely loved it, despite some yucky theater neighbors who felt the need to make out during the film. And, it should be clarified; this couple was the same gender. Yeah. Other than that, it was a great double-date night and we’re looking forward to the next!
Strawberry-Almond Cream Tart
From: Cooking Light Magazine, April 2003
36 honey graham crackers (about 9 sheets)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
4 teaspoons water
2/3 cup light cream cheese
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
6 cups small fresh strawberries, divided
2/3 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
Preheat oven to 350°. To prepare crust, place crackers in a food processor (or crush in a Ziploc bag); process until crumbly. Add 2 tablespoons sugar, butter, and water; pulse just until moist. Place mixture in a 9-inch round removable-bottom tart pan coated with cooking spray, pressing into bottom and up sides of pan to 3/4 inch. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare filling, combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and extracts in a medium bowl; stir until smooth. Spread mixture evenly over bottom of tart shell.
To prepare topping, place 2 cups strawberries in food processor; process until pureed. Combine strawberry puree, 2/3 cup sugar, and cornstarch in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; cook 1 minute. Remove glaze from heat, and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
Combine 4 cups strawberries and juice; toss to coat. Arrange berries, bottoms up, in a circular pattern over filling. Spoon half of glaze evenly over berries (reserve remaining glaze for another use). Sprinkle nuts around edge. Cover and chill 3 hours.
This dessert was super yummy and pretty, but kind of fall-aparty, which was disappointing. Oh well, it was cheered up through the use of my cute strawberry plates from Grandma. Though the recipe is from Cooking Light Magazine, I opted out of going light for our dinner guests. I used full fat cream cheese and more melted butter in the crust (OH, YEAH!). I think it actually needed just a little more melted butter so the crust would hold together. Either way, it was yummy, and I’m sure is just as good lightened up. There are lots of steps, but it’s not difficult.