April 2016 archive

Rhubarb Almond Tart

Growing up we always had a huge garden and that garden always had a growing rhubarb bush. I never appreciated the rhubarb bush. Me and my sister would always have to pick a bunch for canning and the rhubarb jam or whatever it was that my dad made was always super sugary and never tasted very good. As we became older it became more of a joke to eat the tart stalks. And as an adult my dad would always offer me a good bundle but I always thought of them as a weed. I’m allergic to strawberries so making a rhubarb pie was never a high priority of mine. 

I just never jumped on the rhubarb bandwagon until a few days ago. Instagram user Vibrantandpure made a rhubarb cheesecake brownie with rose water.  I wanted to make the cheesecake brownie but Mr Porcupine thought it was a bit complex and couldn’t decide if the flavors would go together. So we went for something simpler rhubarb and almond. The rhubarb lattice was what originally caught my eye and I was for sure going to make that part. I really like making pretty and cute things. 

To make this rhubarb almond tart you’ll need:

Puff Pastry– mine measured 12x 12 in. A sheet of premade puff pastry would work too. 

For the frangipane filling:

2 Tbls butter 

3/4 cups almond meal 

3/4 cups brown sugar

1/2 tsp almond extract 

Punch of salt. 

Rhubarb lattice top:

5 long rhubarb stalks 

1 cup water 

1/2 cup granulated sugar
To prepare the rhubarb lattice slice the rhubarb length wise with a mandolin slicer or to the thickness of 1/16inch. 

I tested my lattice pattern before cooking the rhubarb slices. I wanted to make sure I cooked the pieces I was planning on using. I also used this time to even my edges. 

Add the sugar and water to a pot and bring to a boil. Add a few slices of rhubarb and cook for 30 seconds. The rhubarb will be like undercooked pasta. Remove the rhubarb and place on a paper towel to dry. 

Instagram user NorthDixieKitchen has a cute video on how to do your rhubarb weave. Set the rhubarb weave aside and work on your frangipane filling. 

A frangipane filling is an almond pastry cream perfect for tarts and other pastries. Usually there is rum in the mixture but we don’t have rum in the house. So no rum in the filling. 

In a small sauce pot over medium heat melt the butter and cook until brown.  Mix together the almond meal, egg, sugar,almond extract and the brown butter. Transfer your filling to your puff pastry sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 350F. At this point I took mine out and placed my rhubarb lattice on top. Pressed in a bit and baked it again for another 5-7 minutes. I’m sure it would be just fine if you waited till the puff pastry and filling were done baking to place you rhubarb lattice on top. 

Let cool for an hour before enjoying. 

The color of this rhubarb tart is so bright and vivid I’m sure this dessert would wow anyone. 🙂 

Vacation starts soon. And we are counting down the hours. I’ve got us almost all packed, the house is clean and the puppy sitter is all set to watch our babies. We are excited! 


Shark Week

Every 4th of July a friend and close neighbor has a yard sale. A few years back I started joining her but only selling crafts. Mostly embroideries. And they sell! So I’ve started prepping and making goods for this years sale! 

Shark week shark!   
He’s pretty adorable. 

Shark eyes are weird. They look lost and soulless. Poor sharks.   

 A few years back I screen printed these sharks! They are perfect for the back of this embroidery!  

He’s excited for this summer. 🙂 and why no shark emoji! Pfft.   

Soft Pretzels

You know how Facebook has a On This Day feature where it shows what happened in the past. Some people don’t like it but I usually love it. It shows me all the things I’ve made that weren’t blogged. A lot of food items. A lot. 

4 and 6 years ago I made pretzels around this time. Of course I was all like I gotta make pretzels.  

I used Alton Browns soft pretzel recipe. The only variation that happened was I used less flour. I used 3 3/4 cup flour instead of the 4 1/2.  I’m not surprised. Flour is one of those things that’s hard to get right unless you are weighing it. And at this point I don’t have a scale so everything is by cups not weight. If I had added all of the 

Every measuring cup holds a different amount. So you have to deal with that too. So much to think about when it comes to flour! 

My dough set to rise. 
  To make the pretzel shape I cut my dough in equal size bits. I was just eyeing the size of my dough bits but you can weigh out each one if you want a precise pretzel. I like my pretzels different sizes. Some times you want a small one and other times you want all the carbs. 

Roll out each dough bit into a rope. I usually roll until it starts looking like a worm. A long thick worm. 
  Hold each end and cross over each other. Press gently into the pretzel dough. 

 Add each pretzel to boiling water for about 30 seconds. Alton says to do it one by one but I’ve totally done three at a time and they’ve come out just fine. You can just call me a rebel. Remove from the water and brush with an egg yolk wash and sprinkle with salt. I decided to get creative with my salt. From left to right I used saltcream sea salt, red Hawaiian salt and black lava salt. Honestly the salts didn’t change much. It still tastes like salted pretzel. 

  Alton baked his for 12-14 minutes and I had to bake mine for 20 minutes. 

And perfection. I ate mine with Dijon mustard but if I had horseradish I would have used that too. I love that spice.   Just the right amount of crunch on the outside and the inside is so soft and delicious. I might have to make more soon.  

WIP Wednesday 

I haven’t felt like blogging. In two weeks we go on vacation. I feel like I am already on vacation mode. 

I have been sewing. A bit. A tiny bit.  

This is what I am calling my Pat Bravo Plus quilt. All of the fabrics are from various Pat Bravo lines. 

 Mr. PorcupineStew has been calling this one a girly quilt. I’m not sure I understand that. He loves the brightest pinks and all of the horse prints that I have but this is girly. 

Either way I don’t mind. I love it!  
I added flowers to my back window. Don’t mind the view out there- it leads to an alley. The flowers are nice to look at instead of that alley.      

Anyways. I’m excited for vacation and I’m not sure how much I’ll blog before then. In my mind I am already packed and ready to leave. I do have a food post for this week but no other crafts are planned yet. 

I’ll be posting mostly on Instagram and you can catch up on what’s happening over there. 🙂 



WIP Wednesday

I’m just going to admit it. I am horrible at working on my la passacaglia. As you can see I haven’t gone far since the last time I check in.   
This is what happens when you let it sit for months at a time. The papers start falling out and you lose your spot. 

I guess I’m just glad I occasionally work on it. 



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