Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Current Read

My sister-in-law gave me a book for my birthday and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  The title Large Family Logistics might frighten some, but as a mother of only two small children, I have already found the first few chapters to be quite helpful.  She is practical, challenging, and inspiring in her thoughts on  being a mother.  If you are a mother who wants to better manage your home, I would encourage you to pick this up, read it at your leisure, and find that your days become more fulfilled as you strive to be a diligent manager of your home.

Lemon Mousse with Blueberry Compote

One of my favorite things to eat is dessert.  However, believe it or not, chocolate is not my favorite dessert.  I prefer buttery shortbread, homemade pies, or fruity tarts.  When my birthday came this year, I decided not to make a cake or pie, but to do something different and make a dessert that I loved but wouldn't make every day.  So, I remembered a pie I had made last year for a dinner party:  Lemon Meringue Blueberry Pie.  I'm not a big fan of meringue, and when I made this pie, the crust cooked too long, so it wasn't the best. However, the filling was absolutely amazing!  So, I decided to eliminate the meringue and crust and just serve up a sweet lemon mousse!  This is the perfect dessert to serve at any of your dinner parties during the warm months.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Lemon Mousse with Blueberry Compote
(Begin making this a day ahead)
Lemon Mousse
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch
3/4 cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
9 large egg yolks
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes

1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
Blueberry Compote
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, divided
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
1 teaspoon all purpose flour

For Lemon Mousse:
Whisk sugar and cornstarch in heavy medium saucepan to blend.  Gradually add lemon juice, whisking until cornstarch dissolves.  Whisk in yolks.  Add butter. Cook over medium heat until curd thickens and boils, whisking constantly.  Transfer curd to medium bowl.  Press plastic wrap directly onto surface of curd.  Refrigerate at least 1 day (Can be prepared 5 days ahead. Keep chilled)*
Using electric mixer, beat whipping cream in medium bowl until peaks form.  Fold 1 1/2 cups lemon curd into whipped cream 1/4 cup at a time.  Chill lemon mousse at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.

For Blueberry Compote:
Combine 3/4 cup blueberries, sugar, lemon juice, salt, and cinnamon in small saucepan.  Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves, about 4 minutes.  Whisk in flour; cook 1 minute.  Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 3/4 cup blueberries.  Transfer compote to small bowl.  Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.  Keep compote refrigerated).

When ready to serve, dish serving size of mousse into small bowl.  Top with blueberry compote.  Enjoy!

*There will be a small amount of lemon curd left.  This is delicious a spoonful at a time, or pair it with one of your favorite scones.
Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit 2005

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Burlap: Fail.

My sister-in-law introduced me to Ballard Designs back in the fall, and I must say I immediately fell in love with the styles I saw!  Knowing that we would be purchasing a new home, I began to fold pages over, file ideas away, and plan for incorporating this style into my home.  When we finally moved in, several months later, I took an afternoon and perused the latest catalog.  What struck me?  Burlap.  Burlap drapes, burlap pillows, burlap message boards, the possibilities were endless!  I'm on a rather small budget for decorating our home, so I was even more thrilled to find that I could purchase a yard of burlap for less than $2!  I was hooked.  I placed my order, paid more to have it shipped more quickly, and eagerly awaited the day when I would be hanging my 'knock off' Ballard burlap drapes in my family room.

The long awaited day arrived and I laid out the fabric to cut it.  My little girls happened to to be awake (I couldn't wait until nap time), and my youngest was playing near the table as I cut.  A few minutes passed after I had finished cutting it out, and I noticed that my youngest's face was rather puffy and red around her eyes.  Her skin gets irritated easily by many things, so I knew at once that she had rubbed against the burlap and was reacting to it.  Ugh!  My thrifty designer drapery idea was now a failure!  I can't have burlap drapes hanging from my windows, well within the reach of a young child whose face will swell every time she touches it.  So, my burlap is a fail.  I will use the cut pieces to make some of the other items that inspired me, ones that will hang on the wall, well out of reach.  Now, I'm back to square one with drapery ideas.  Muslin? Linen look fabric?  While I await my decision, I'm moving on to another room of the house.

Anyone want to buy 6 yards of burlap?