Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Banana Orange Mousse in Pastry, w/ Strawberry Sauce

Most of you know that I belong to a wonderful Community called The Real Women of Philadelphia.  Right now they are conducting their casting call for next years hosts.  I must confess, I would LOVE to be the Dessert Host :))   
I wanted to share with you my first entry into the dessert category. I was so happy with how the recipe turned out, I hope you enjoy it.  I have to tell you that adding the Philadelphia Cream Cheese to this mousse gave it a creaminess and richness that really puts it over the top :)  I will definitely make this recipe again and again:)

This is a take on a delicious retro comfort food, banana pudding. My grandma always made this for me and I still love it! With the help of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, this recipe kicks up banana pudding to a french pastry status and yet is so simple to make. If you like banana pudding, your going to LOVE this dessert:) 

  • 4 ounce(s) of Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 1 17.3 ounce package of puff pastry (2 sheets)
  • 2/3 cup(s) of Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • 1 tsp. of Finely minced orange zest
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tbsp. of water
  • 1 3.4 ounce package of Banana Cream Instant Pudding
  • 1 tsp. of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 cup(s) of Orange juice
  • 1 cup(s) of Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 cup(s) of Fresh Sliced Strawberries
  • 4 Ripe Bananas
  • 1 11.75 Ounce Jar of Strawberry Ice Cream Topping (the kind with strawberries in the sauce)
  • 12 whole fresh strawberries 
  1. Pre- heat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. unfold your puff pastry, you will notice that is is folded into thirds. Using a pizza cutter or sharp knife cut the sheet in half, and then follow the lines so you have 6 rectangles. Do this with both sheets to make 12 rectangles.
  3. With a fork beat together the egg and water. Brush the pastry with egg wash and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, add Philadelphia Cream Cheese and sweetened condensed milk. Beat until completely creamed and smooth (there should be no lumps)
  5. Add orange zest, orange juice, vanilla, and banana pudding mix to cream cheese mixture beat this on med for 2-3 minutes until mixture thickens.
  6. When pastry shells are finished cool them on a rack or cool plate. Once they
  7. Beat heavy whipping cream until stiff peaks form and gently fold into banana pudding mixture. Set in refrigerator until ready.
  8. To make strawberry sauce place the strawberry ice cream topping in the blender, blend until smooth.
  9. Push strawberry sauce through a strainer, or sieve, and put in a condiment bottle with a pointed tip.
  10. To assemble lay out your pastry top and bottom. Slice one layer of the ripe banana
  11. Pipe or spoon mousse on top of banana
  12. Dust top of pastry with powdered sugar and pipe, or spoon about 1 teaspoon of the mousse on top of that. This will hold the whole strawberry and a sprig of fresh mint (optional)
Squeeze your strawberry sauce in a squiggle pattern on your plate and place pastry on top of the sauce, serve and enjoy:)
 If you would like to see a video tutorial on how to make this recipe, here is the link

    Saturday, April 23, 2011

    Happy Easter

    During this most Holy of weeks, I wanted to take some time to wish you a Happy, and Joyful Easter.  I must confess that as a floral designer, this is a pretty crazy time of year for me. 
    But I still marvel at the beauty of Spring, and take time to appreciate God's ultimate sacrifice for us.  His Son.  So here are a few Easter wishes I have for you:)
    I wish you the grace that you need to make it through life's challenges

    I wish you Angels when you need them most. May the feathers of their wings kiss your cheeks to remind you of God's goodness and mercy.
    I wish you the innocence and curiosity of a child.  So that you will never stop learning and enjoying life's wonders.

    I wish you the beauty of Spring and all it's glorious wonders. May the warm sun shine on your face and leave a twinkle in your eyes.

    But mostly I wish you love, laughter, and  the joy of someone to share it with.  May God Bless you and yours this Easter.
    Hugs and hope,

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    Cooking Across Colorado

    This last weekend I attended a really fun event and I just had to share it with you:)  I belong to a really wonderful community on line called "The Real Women of Philadelphia".  At first I joined because it was all about the cooking and the recipes, but I have made lifelong friends with woman, who have really been there for me, women I'm proud to call sisters.  You may  remember one of my earlier posts, Creme duex Chocolate.  That was a recipe for RWOP,  and there are a lot of truly talented women in this community. This weekend several of us got together to cook and just enjoy food and friends.

    Here we are standing if front of the beautiful, majestic Rocky Mountains. Our lovely hostess was Rebecka Evans, she's in the pink shirt.  Does it get any better than this. Good friends, great food, in a gorgeous setting, wow!
    Here is Kim Doyle Wille's Caramelized Pork & Asian Slaw Cups.  They were so delicious, here is a link to her recipe and the instructional video 

    I made my Creme duex Chocolate for the event, and sent a jar home with each lady.  I hope they're enjoying it:)
    Here's the sauce on Nancy Judd's wonderful strawberry crepes, YUM!  Beautiful lady, Great cook!
    I was honored to to the flowers and help with the decor, this is the Dining room centerpiece:)
    Vintage style paper straws with flags, I just printed the little flags on my computer and attached them with double sided tape:)

    The drink table and appetizer table, before the drinks and food:))
    So after this weekend, I would advise you to get together with family and friends, cook, laugh, eat, hug.  It feeds the body, and the soul:)

    Saturday, April 09, 2011

    English Country Garden Basket

    With the onset of Spring, I really wanted to show you how to do my favorite floral arrangement.  For those of you who want to take on a more challenging floral project, this a fun, and beautiful arrangement.  It gives the illusion that you've brought flowers in from the garden. The water source is hidden under the flowers, but I promise, there is a water source :)

    The flowers used for this arrangement
    1 Dozen Roses 
    1 Bunch Lavender Stock (fragrant) 
    1 Bunch Stargazer Lilies (very fragrant) 
    1/3 Bunch lavender Misty filler
    1/3 Bunch dyed blue Misty filler 
    3 Curly Willow Branches
    Needed for this arrangement
    One Med-large low basket (or trug) with handle
    Scissors or shears
    1 brick of floral oasis (for fresh flowers)
    Fine gauge floral wire
    Ribbon for bow
     8-10 inch Plastic tray (the kind that are used under planters )
    We're going to start with a low basket (think of a basket you would use to gather flowers with). There is a plastic tray under the wet floral brick. These are the plastic trays you buy to put under flower pots. Soak your floral oasis brick until it is completely wet.

    Here is a close up of the basket, tray, and wet floral oasis
    Cut the  roses at an angle (just before placing it into the oasis, do not do this ahead of time), you are going to be cutting these in graduated lengths up the stem, so the roses will graduate up the basket.
    Place the heads of the roses in the one end of the oasis brick graduating the placement. Place the stems of the roses in the other end, this will give your flowers a water source but when we're done no one will see the water source and it will give the illusion that the flowers are just laying in the basket
    Place the blue misty filler in between the roses, the blue color will frame the roses and make the color pop.
    Next we're going to place the stargazer lilies over the center of the oasis brick. These flowers are so stunning and to make them even better, they're very fragrant.  I've cut the stems of the Stargazers so that the stems are about 4-6 inches long.  At least one inch will go into the oasis, so these will be sitting rather close to the oasis.
    Next we will be putting the lavender stock ( stock has a fragrance like sweet clover) and lavender misty filler into the stem end of the oasis.  This should completely disguise the oasis brick and still show the rose stems sticking out. You will need to use some of the filler between the lilies if any of the oasis is showing.

    The last thing we need to do is take three branches of curly willow and place one end of the branches into the oasis just inside one side the handle.  Drape the curly willow over the handle and use thin floral wire to attach it to the other side of the handle.  Then make a bow and cover the wire with the ribbon.

    Here is your final arrangement.  I  just love doing this arrangement, and I never tire of looking at the many variations of it :) For Halloween, I used orange roses, and black polka dot ribbon.  So I hope you enjoy making this, fragrant basket. It will make even the rainiest Spring Day, seem like a walk in the garden. Happy Spring :))