Yes, I am a little crazy...I mean, it's like 100 degrees out and super humid so naturally I decided this was a perfect day to bake. I was going to be hot anyway, right? But I'm happy I'm crazy. Because boy did I come up with a treat!
You might recall earlier in January when I posted my recipe for Iced Blood Orange Shortbread Cookies. In that post I mentioned that the basis for any shortbread cookie I make is the same. Think of these as that cookie's tart, summery cousin. Baking on a hot day may be crazy, but enjoying the flavors of lemon and cherry in crisp buttery form makes it well worth it.
Every year for Mother's Day my Mom makes chocolate covered strawberries. I know Mother's Day is still a few weeks out, but I find myself craving her strawberries like crazy right now! I don't want to spoil my chocolate intake before the time comes that I have my hands on hers, so I got the idea to do peanut butter covered strawberries instead. I think I found a new favorite - perhaps my Mom and I can trade our versions this year!
My Poppop has always been a culinary inspiration for me. I owe many of my kitchen skills and knowledge to him. A while back when I was still in college and living in my first apartment he gave me this recipe. I made it a handful of times, loving how delicious and easy it was. Then it got tucked into a cookbook and over the years I just forgot it even existed.
Recently, I was going through my collection of cookbooks and came across the recipe. I immediately lit up and knew I had to make it ASAP! I told my Poppop I found it and planned on making it soon. And that's when I found out a little more about how he came to acquire the recipe some time ago.
Nothing inspires me to bake more than a rainy Sunday. I love being cooped up inside with the sound of rain tapping on the windows and the smell of baked goods in the air! It's so relaxing and home-y. And in the winter I feel it just adds a layer of comfort and warmth.
I'm all about any type of cookie. You just can't go wrong. But shortbread cookies hold a super special place in my heart. They're basically crunchy yet melt-in-your-mouth butter and I just love that. I use the same base recipe for my shortbread cookies every time but depending on my mood they either stay plain or get flavored. Being that it is winter and citrus fruit is at its prime, the mood struck for me to flavor them with the sweetness of blood orange.
It's always a bittersweet experience to know you are sharing a meal with a friend that you know will be the last for a long while. My good friend Tim is moving all the way to Texas and he requested that I bake for him one last time - how could I say no?! So we looked through ALL of my cookbooks and recipes (yes, I mean all) and he chose a dozen or so recipes he was attracted to. After going through all of them I landed on this sour cream & lemon pudding pie - plenty of sweet to offset the bitterness of saying goodbye!
Everyone at the farewell dinner loved it. To quote our friend Dave upon his first bite, "The feeling I feel right now is overwhelming, like congratulatory. Like when a friend has a baby." Thanks, Dave.
Ali is a Brooklyn based blogger and Certified Health Coach with the Institute of Integrative Nutrition, providing you with recipes to inspire you to cook more at home! She is a firm believer in knowing that eating healthy can be made easy and inexpensive if you simply know how to cook and understands that for the average person there needs to be balance between "healthy" and "unhealthy". Whether you are looking for easy weeknight recipes, delicious snacks, or want to try something new, Ali's recipes are easy to follow at all skill levels! For more info about Ali and her offerings, check out the About page.