easy strawberry cheesecake pockets.

with chocolate, if you please!

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wowwweeeeeeeee i have been in the depths of winter hibernation and have forgotten how to exercise this creative outlet of mine. in the midst of general busyness/business/darkness/laziness, i haven't been in the recipe making zooone. well, at least not to the point of photographing them properly - because it's dark & gloomy as shit out!

also that thing called christmastime happened, peter & i went on a long trip to europe,  and we both turned 30.  evidently we spent the entire month of january recovering from all of that, lol. woopsie.

to lift myself outta my winter creative funk and get back into the habit of challenging myself to make random recipes and take real photos (in daylight), i threw something together with a few ingredients i happened to have on hand. frozen strawberries from last summer, a bar of dark chocolate, frozen phyllo pastry dough, brown sugar, & cream cheese.

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and it worked! i quickly put something together, it tasted good, and i didn't completely forget how to use my camera. [lolz jk i've actually been using my camera a ton this winter, just not for a lot of food purposes - but it still it feels like working a different muscle when you switch from shooting portraits to landscapes to objects to food, etc etc. 

while i do not think these little treats (or the photos) turned out to be the most beautiful thing in the world, it still legitimately feels like i came out of a hibernation and took my first few wobbly-bambi-leg steps back into just making stuff for the hell of it. and it feels durn good!

p.s. calling these things "pockets" is kinda grossing me out..... but at the same time i don't feel like using some crazy long-winded 'chocolate strawberry cheesecake phyllo dough crispy thingydoodah' title either.  so - stick that in your back pocket.  BYE!

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Easy Strawberry Cheesecake Pockets

Makes 6 Triangles

Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 roll phyllo pastry dough - actually only about 6 sheets (you can re-roll the sheets you don't use and freeze with the other roll that comes in the box of 2)
  • 4-6 large strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 a chocolate bar of your choice (I used 1/2 of a Lindt 70% Cocoa Excellence Bar), chopped
  • 4 oz. cream cheese (I used about 1/2 of a block of lite cream cheese for this)
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, for sprinkling

Instructions-

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet lightly with cooking spray. Layer one sheet of phyllo dough at a time, giving a light spray (or brush on melted butter or coconut oil if you're an overachiever) of cooking spray on each layer. I used about 6 sheets in this recipe.

Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the large rectangle into 6 equal squares. Carefully place a dollop of cream cheese in a corner (but about 1/4 inch away from the outer edge) and sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar. Add some sliced strawberries and another sprinkle of brown sugar (you want the sweetness to be a bit layered and evenly dispersed). Add the chopped chocolate and more brown sugar if you desire.

Fold the empty corner of each square over the toppings to form a triangle and press down gently to flatten. Lightly spray (or brush with butter or oil) over the tops. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the pastry dough has started to brown and crisp. Remove from oven and cool for a few minutes on a cooling rack, but serve them warm! They are okay to eat once cooled for 1 day. Warm & fresh is best!

Note: You can use white sugar or whatever sugar you prefer - I generally think granulated white sugar gives a "higher" sweetness whereas brown sugar or coconut sugar gives a "deeper" sweetness, if that makes any sense.  granulated white is more of a "sickly sweet" (sometimes) versus "rich sweetness" of brown or coconut sugar, in my mind...

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& happy february!

 

qp

roasted fresh strawberry ice cream

ello!

it is an absolutely, insanely, ridiculously nice day here in seattle! i'm talkin not a cloud in the sky, birds chirping, a perfect 75 degree morning.  pete and i are sitting/laying on our back porch in our new lounge chairs we got from target yesterday...and they are pretty much the best thing that happened so far this summer.   if you saw us right now......you'd be so jealous of our x-treme chill zone.  my head is in the shade but our feetzies and legs are soaking up the rays. 

what else besides back porch lounging screams summaaaaaaa???

why, fresh strawberry ice cream, of course!

strawberry ice cream is something i would get once every blue moon growing up because chocolatey goodness is always my constant go-to.  but every now and again, strawberry ice cream is just sooo GOOD. and CLASSIC. reminds me of my grandpa somehow..although i think his ice cream of choice is pecan or pralines and cream or something old folks are generally stoked on.

p.s. my grandma and grandpa just celebrated their

67th wedding anniversary

this week! i love them.

those raspberries have nothing to do with this recipe except we bought them from the produce stand with our strawberries that day and they're just cute in their little teal container.  however, you could add the rasps to this recipe for some extra oomph and flava!

i roasted the strawberries in the oven for just a little bit with brown sugar.  i used way less sugar in the actual ice cream because i think that roasting the strawbs with brown sugar made them extra complex and sweet.  can you call a strawberry complex?  i don't know, but the brown sugar definitely deepened the natural sweetness of the strawberries. 

and the zest of one lemon for some extra zing and freshness!

here it is, churning away in the ice cream maker!

ice cream in a new fangled ice cream maker is actually [dangerously] too easy to make.  we just keep the little bowl part frozen so that you're ready to make ice cream at a moment's notice.  this strawberry ice cream probably took a total of 20 minutes to put together, 30 minutes to churn, and a few hours to freeze.

total tangent:  i recently discovered how hilarious

jen gotch

is, and i've been cackling to myself at every single one of her instagram posts.  particularly

this one

and

this one

.  and the two-part version of

this one

.  gawd all her two-part posts seriously had me craaacking up to the point of tears yesterday when i was being all weird and hungover from the shania twain concert (ooh, subtle side-brag, quinn).  she got me listening to

this song on repeat

 even though she claimed to hate it at first.  it's just so cheery and jazzy and is going great with strawberry ice cream talk. 

[i wish i could add a little video of pete's toes mid-air tapping to this song that he's never heard.  and he probably doesn't realize i just listened to it 5 times back to back.  it IS catchy!]

doesn't the top ice cream scoop here just look dweeby?  man, i have a newfound appreciation of food stylists who work with actual frozen food that needs photographing.  i was in pure panic mode when i was taking these photos because i was struggling to get the ice cream to look like any stretch of the term "cute," and pete put bacon on the stove for me to "watch" while he ran to the store.  you can imagine the lines i was running between the kitchen and the living room where i was taking these photos.  gah! bacon flip! gah! melting ice cream! it looks like crap! i can't do much else but smash it all down and pray for some camera tricks!  gah! bacon is burnt! pete's coming! i'm in trouble! ice cream everywhere! whatever.

first time ice cream photo taker, here.

cute little mint garnishes courtesy of our front yard.  we've got: spearmint, peppermint, and chocolate peppermint a'growin!

oh, and the ice cream turned out great!  very fresh and creamy with a slight zing of citrus!

the one think i would do different next time is actually juice some extra strawberries and add the juice to the ice cream maker as well.  i wished the ice cream would have turned out a bit more pink! and i did nottttt wanna use food coloring, pssh.

Roasted Fresh Strawberry Ice Cream

Prep time: 1 hour   Freeze time: 4-8 hours

Makes 6 cups of strawberry ice cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound fresh strawberries (YAY SUMMER!)
  • 2 TB brown sugar
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • Zest of one lemon

Instructions-

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Chop the strawberries into small bits.  Place strawberries in baking dish and sprinkle with brown sugar.  Roast in oven for 8 minutes, until slightly bubbly, but not mushy.

Remove from oven, put in a small bowl with all the extra juices and set in fridge to cool.  Get the strawberry/sugar juice washed off your baking dish ASAP! It's basically turning to a hard candy in there.

Combine all other ingredients in a bowl and add to the ice cream maker.  Churn for 20 minutes, then add the roasted strawberries and lemon zest and churn for another 10 minutes.  Now would be a good time to also add extra strawberry juice to give your ice cream a lovely pink color!

Remove ice cream from ice cream maker when it has thickened a bit and the texture is to your liking. Place in glass container or loaf pan and freeze for 4-8 hours.  

*I used the 6 cup glass tupperware with click-on lid (from Costco--best tupperware set evarrrr) to keep the ice cream fresh and prevent from icing over too much.

have yourself a scoop in the sunshine and

listen to this song again

! lolololol.  

 (play count is probably at 17 by now.  sorry pete.)

correction: i just noticed that this youtube link is a ONE HOUR LOOP of this song.  haha!! i was wondering why i could never tell when it ended and started over again.... anyhoo we're at minute 53!  go me!

qp