Mixed Berry Hazelnut Tarts and June Bake Together with Abbey Dodge

Here it is the end of the month and you may have noticed, I’m trying to slip in a few “round ups”. I’m generally not a huge procrastinator and I gave myself permission not to stress about doing these because they really are for fun. Knowing we would be getting our main house ready for the summer season of vacationers, that I would have loads of friends to catch up with and would just want to have a little me time for projects, I decided I’d play it by ear. So yesterday I did make a third round of pasta for the Donna Hay photo round up at Jungle Frog and since I had friends over for dinner a couple days ago, why not make mixed berry tarts to add to Abbey Dodge’s very berry mini pie  round up. Right?

Now I’m down to the wire and still managed to be courteous to the Census Bureau Man who happened to drop in at 5pm on a Sat night. Go me.

And honestly, cooking is my “me” time, my project time. There’s nothing more fun than having a time-contstraint free day to cook, take photos and share my project with friends and loved ones. This was our dessert after the grilled salmon and goat cheese pasta. I can be pretty hard on myself when something really doesn’t hit the mark, but I’m also not afraid to give myself praise when deserved. Let me just say… these rocked.

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Blueberry tart and Creme Fraiche Sorbet from Biscuits and Bobbins

Today’s post is from Jodi of Biscuits and Bobbins where I recently guest-posted preparing a seasonal German favorite of white asparagus. She in turn, has graciously offered to share one of her summer go-to desserts from her kitchen in Atlanta, Georgia. Jodi’s love of straight-forward and simple flavor-play stems from her professional pastry background with stints in Atlanta landmark kitchens such as Bacchanalia, Seeger’s and The Four Seasons. Check out her blog for more dishes inspired by farmer’s market finds and adventures in urban gardening.

Delighted to be here at Chez Chloe, thanks for having me over Wendy.

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Ultimate Spring Strawberry Short Cake…. Grande

Ultimate Spring Strawberry Short Cake…. Grande

O and I share the same age for two weeks out of the year from April 8th to 22nd. The rest of the time he is officially older. We’ve got a ram, a bull and a crab in our household. That’s an interesting image I hadn’t thought of until just now. We have a deep respect for one another and have learned to love and appreciate the unique qualities we each possess. I’m choosing not to elaborate here… might divulge too much. To this audience and possibly to myself. So moving on…

O is more of a fruit lover than chocolate lover… but still croons over a delicate chocolate mousse and he wasn’t turning his fork over at the recent appearance of that outrageous classic chocolate cake, so it all works in the end. For his birthday cake, I started with the idea of a white cake and strawberries, but I don’t fancy say a yellow or vanilla cake.

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Say it with me… Triple chocolate chunk Banana nut cupfin

It was either cupfin or muffcake. I just don’t think the latter works. Are you with me? Somehow I don’t think it will be the next “cake pop”

I’ve migrated from the deep philosophical ponderings of the last post. Although maybe these  little bundles of yum might think differently. Maybe they feel a need to explore their various expressions. Am I a muffin? Am I a cupcake? Am I bread? Am I teacake? I digress.

I’ve just spent a few moments trying to learn if there IS a definite distinction between cupcakes and muffins. It was a few moments too many. I have different images and feelings about each more than a concrete verbal definition for them individually or in comparison. Muffins can be healthy if they aren’t wrapped in plastic with an expiration date 18 months out. Cupcakes are for the most part little cakes with frosting. I did like this anonymous quote I found.

“If you threw a cupcake against the wall, you would hear something of a “poof!” If you threw a muffin, you would hear a “thud!””

As you might have noticed, I make a lot of banana bread/muffins/tea cake. I just love it and so does the family.  And today, well yesterday I threw in three chocolates. White, milk and dark cut up from bars.

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Valentines… bath,duck and kumquats

Valentines… bath,duck and kumquats

Ok not the rubber kind and it was the car that got the bath. Happy Valentine’s day honey. Right? What do we get for our loving husbands? Mine isn’t into power tools but how about washing and vacuuming the car, I thought. It was my first car wash in Germany. I was returning from dropping Chloe off at school.. which on a side note is so totally American. These kids here are trained young for church, getting themselves around, and crossing streets only when the green guy flashes. We see 5 year olds out there rain, sun, snow walking to school. They’ve got backpacks as big as their little bodies and until they leave home at 18, they are independent. It’s great. But you have to start straight away. Like with church. My choir did a couple songs for the kids service today and these kids start so young going to church. It is just something you do on Sundays. You start them before they realize they have choices.  It’s not like a “hmm… should we go to church today?” It’s just what you do. By the time they hit puberty it’s part of a structure that just is. I’m not religious per se so it’s not about going to church… but the principal of training, ya know?

You can read further about my car wash experience down below. It was pretty funny. But now here are a couple ideas for a lovely Valentine’s Day meal or weekend dinner.

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