Thursday, July 4, 2013

As American As Strawberry Pie

Gypsy Slow Down

Witt and I have a habit of stumbling upon good music. For the fourth we went downtown for the fun fourth festival in Greensboro and as we were wondering around in the heat we stopped for a beer and listened to Rosco Bandana. I thought they were a super fun folk band so we got their CD. After a few hours at the festival some dark rain clouds started to appear and we headed back to the car, just avoiding a downpour. On a whim we decided to eat lunch at Ghassan's, which was, in fact, where we had our very first date four years ago.

Gypsy Slow Down

 We hadn't been back to Ghassan's since that date which made me all retrospective. I thought about what was I wearing at the time and I'm pretty sure it was jeans with huge holes in the knees, a color blocked turquoise, black, and white strappy shirt and those silver sandals that take me an hour to buckle all the straps. And I had on large silver hoops with my long hair down (I have loved having my hair short and I think it's a lot of fun but I'm ready for it to suddenly grow five inches. Please?).

I was thinking of other things too, like how have I grown, and what has changed? Feels like a lot. 

Gypsy Slow Down

Anyway, saying yes to that date was the best thing I ever did. 

In honor of the fourth I have two yummy recipes to share with you that I think celebrate the day.

We made pina coladas. And we took a long walk on the beach. Just kidding. But we did make pina coladas, which I love but I almost never have because normally the mixes you can buy or get at a bar are loaded with sugar so unless I make it myself it's not something I can drink. Making an all-natural pina colada is easy peasy and so much more delicious. Here is the recipe I posted a while ago. It's simply rum, unsweetened coconut milk, pineapple and ice. Witt took my blender to work for an event with the residents at the nursing home (I doubt it involved pina coladas...) and I haven't seen it since. So I used my immersion blender and that thing can slice through ice! It was amazing. I recommend it for all mixed drinks and maybe also rocks.

Gypsy Slow Down

I wanted to enjoy our drinks outside with some appetizers after Witt mowed but it was too hot so we lasted about two minutes before we came inside. It looked nice though, so I took some pictures while the pina coladas melted.

Gypsy Slow Down

The last recipe I have for you is a strawberry cream pie sweetened with stevia. I love frozen cream pies. Having a husband who doesn't love sweets means that I don't bake desserts that often. Not that I'm incapable of eating something he doesn't, chocolate sauce on chocolate ice-cream anyone? but if I bake a pie that means that I have to eat that entire pie. And honestly, I'd rather just have a square of dark chocolate with my wine than a full dessert. But the other day I realized I had a bag of strawberries I had frozen from when the kids and I went picking. So I made a really easy strawberry pie with a basic no bake cheesecake recipe. I think if you try it you won't be disappointed. The strawberries give it a lovely tang with the creamy base. 

Gypsy Slow Down

Strawberry Cream Pie with Stevia

2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, stems removed
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cups stevia in the raw, divided
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup heavy whipping cream
8 ounces cream cheese

For crust:

1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup stevia

In a heavy saucepan heat strawberries, 1/2 stevia and water over medium heat until strawberries cook down, about 3 minutes. With an immersion blender (or in the food processor), blend strawberries and water until smooth. Simmer strawberry mixture until reduced down, about 5 minutes, set aside. In a mixture, beat whipping cream until stiff. Remove from bowl and beat cream cheese and 1 cup stevia until smooth. Add strawberry mixture and beat to combine. Fold in whipped cream.

For crust, heat cream and chocolate until it comes to a boil. Turn off heat and let it sit for 3 minutes until melted. Stir in stevia and mix until smooth. Set aside about 1/4 cup chocolate sauce to drizzle over top of pie. Grease a pie plate and pour in chocolate, tilting so it coats the sides. Place in freezer for about 5 minutes until firm.

Pour cream pie mixture into crust and freeze overnight. Drizzle with chocolate sauce and serve.

Happy Fourth of July!

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