Actually, this morning was the first morning where I actually did remember where I was the moment I opened my eyes. But that was because DH was right next to me in a bed that is significantly smaller than the king-size we’re used to. Being on the road for a weekend when you’ve just gotten home for a business trip results in a CRAZY Friday morning, complete with re-packing, scrambling to do the work that you should have done on the plane the night before but you decided to read that Fifty Shades book instead, and this week I had to have the cleaning ladies in since I have visitors coming the following weekend and am out of town again this upcoming week.

So another week has slipped by, although it was energizing from the perspective of meeting another office of new people and completing an impromptu presentation (via conference call) of my recent work to a meeting of senior leaders for critique (albeit it would have been nice for my boss to give more warning than an IM with “can you join this call now…please….thanks!”)

Is it too late to talk about Easter? DH and DomesticSis and I had a great one. It was a beautiful day and I managed to put something on the table that was quite delish. Duck L’Orange, leeks au gratin, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto, and a strawberry and cream tort.

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I am pretty proud of the duck, and it had the most amazing orange duck sauce…I froze the rest and am going to use it in orange chicken stir-fry throughout the summer. It was a 3 hour process to roast the duck and make the sauce, but so totally worth it. See Jacques Pepin’s recipe on Food and Wine‘s website for inspiration.

Of course, my favorite part of dinner was dessert. And since DH and DomesticSis and I ran a 5k as part of church that morning, dessert we had. It was a really easy way to use the “Ah-mazing” strawberries sold at the farmer’s market, which I imagine will still be in season for several weeks yet.

Strawberries and Cream Tort

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Shell
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp salt
8 tbsp cold butter
1 egg
2-4 tbsp ice water

Mix your dry ingredients in a large bowl. Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender, mixing until the butter is the size just a little smaller than dimes. With your hands, combine in the egg, working to bring the dough together. You may need to add water, 1 tbsp at a time, to get the dough to come together depending on the size of your egg. The dough should be a little crumbly. Once together, wrap it in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge to cool for at least 20 minutes.

Heat your oven to 350. Take you dough out of the fridge and roll it out on a pastry mat until it will fit your 10 inch tart pan. Put the pastry in the pan, pushing the dough into the fluted edges. Place foil over the dough and fill with pie weights. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the weights and foil and bake for another 15 minutes. Let cool

Vanilla pastry cream

2 cups whole milk
1 tbsp vanilla paste or 1 whole vanilla bean
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 eggs
4 tbsp butter

Heat the milk and vanilla beans in a saucepan over medium heat until the mixture starts to boil. In a heatproof bowl, whisk the sugar, cornstarch and eggs u until beaten. Slowly add in about 1/2 of the milk mixture, whisking as you are adding it, to bring the eggs up to temperature without cooking them. Then add the egg mixture to the saucepan and place it all on the heat, whisking frequently. Cook for about 4 minutes or until the mixture becomes thick (it will look like pudding consistency). Strain the pastry cream into a bowl, and cover with plastic wrap (place the plastic wrap directly on top of the pastry cream to keep it from developing a film) and cool in the fridge for about an hour.

To assemble your tort, spread the cooled pastry cream on the shell, then decorate with your strawberries. Serve that same day.

I need to go find the energy to get some running in as a diet full of carbs and lacking in green veggies is surely waiting for me. Enjoy the weekend!!

Beth

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