Recently I was trying to decide what to make for dinner and I was Googling ingredients. I had some broccolini from the farmer’s market, some sausage Dom had grilled and I’d frozen, and I don’t remember what else and I was looking for ideas. I found a Jacques Pepin recipe that looked really good and when I popped it up on my kitchen screen I noticed there was an embedded video. I clicked play and of course within seconds there were four sets of eyes glued to the screen. Bella, Sophie, Ben, and Anthony watched the whole show as Jacques cooked a gorgeous menu.
What really caught Bella’s imagination was his dessert. He used store bought sugar cookie dough to construct a sort of tart base. After he’d baked it, he filled it with raspberries and then topped it with some seedless raspberry jam. At that point Bella interrupted the show to begin to imagine the tweaks she could make. She said she’d substitute strawberries (since she doesn’t like raspberries) and she would add cream cheese before putting the berries on. And she’d top it with her favorite pomegranate jam.
Well, that actually sounded pretty good so I told her we’d get the ingredients and she could make it for us one night. I bought the sugar cookie dough and some extra cream cheese but dragged my feet because, well, supervising such a project sounded like quite an endeavor.
Having a bunch of strawberries on hand from yesterday’s field trip, I declared today was the day. A perfect chance to make a special treat to welcome Daddy back from his trip to Denver for the Catholic Media Conference.
I had to help, of course. I did most of the dough rolling and shaping, though Bella did help me to crimp a lip around the edge (which disappeared when the dough puffed up during baking. I don’t remember what Jacques did that prevented that from happening.
I also did the mixing of the cream cheese. We added some vanilla and powdered sugar and whipped it up into a nice filling.
But Bella did most of the spreading. And she cut and arranged all the strawberries herself. She picked out all the prettiest berries and placed each one carefully with great artistry. Then she spooned the jelly on and used a pastry brush to spread it on.
It was beautiful. And the taste… oh my… to die for. Seriously as good as anything I’ve had in a restaurant. Everyone gobbled their serving and no one had to pretend their admiration. It was seriously good.
Bella’s already planning to make it again. And I think she’s got some ideas for tweaking the recipe. Because that’s what you do, right?
Oh and I forgot to mention that after watching Jacques work, all four kids were going through my cookbooks finding recipes that looked good. Sophie has declared that she wants to be a mommy and a cook. Ben wants to be a cook and a football player. My pickiest eater, he was bookmarking recipes in my Thai cookbook. I wonder if I let him make them would he eat them?
I’m wondering how long it will be till they are all taking turns cooking me dinner. Can’t wait.
Also…. Jacques’ Ragout of Broccolini, Beans, and Sausage? I tweaked it and it was amazing. I used our grilled sausages, sliced into rounds instead of the bulk sausage. I also added some red bell pepper and diced tomato because I had them on hand and needed to use them. I served it with some ravioli from the farmer’s market. Oh yeah. I’m making it again for sure.