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Since I had rhubarb on the mind and a few pounds of it in my refrigerator I took memorial day to covet my blissful desire for all things sweet and tart. It also goes along with my competitive streak in the never-ending Marin vs. Pie Dough battle. 

The Contenders
Marin
Pros: Enjoys a challenge, Likes pihhhhh (insert Paula Deen accent here)
Cons: Equipped with a 90 degree sauna she likes to call a kitchen, and an extreme lack of patience

Pie Dough
Pros: Delicate physique, Cold-tempered
Cons: Delicious, Delicious, Delicious

This battle has raged since Fall of 2010 when I managed to bake 12 apple pies in 2 months using the exact same recipe and never came out with 2 pies that looked at all similar. Luckily for you this is not one of those posts. This instead is the story of blooming love. Of a sweet, crunchy, chewy, empanada filled with a dripping hot strawberry and rhubarb and his ever serving girlfriend. Me. Add a little whipped cream and we have a menage-a-trois that could rival a teenage-boys fantasy. Hmmm did I just go there? Ok, lets move on... 
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Strawberry- Rhubarb Empanadas
Recipe from laylita.com 









Sweet Pastry Dough
3 cups all purpose flour
¼- ½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 sticks butter or 16 tbs, cut into 16 pieces
2 eggs
2-4 tbs cold water

Preparation:

  1. Mix the flour, sugar and salt in a food processor.
  2. Add the butter, eggs and water until a clumpy dough forms.
  3. Knead the dough for a few minutes.
  4. Form dough into 2 balls, flatten into thick discs, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  5. Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas, use round molds or a small plate or cup as a mold, you can choose how large based on whether you want small or medium sized empanadas .
  6. Use the empanada discs immediately or store in the refrigerator or freezer to use later.

Filling
3 cups chopped rhubarb
3 cups chopped strawberries
1 cup sugar
2 tbs orange juice
1 tbs cornstarch
1 egg, yolk and white separated and lightly whisked
½ cup Sugar in the Raw

Preparation:

  1. Combine the rhubarb, strawberries, sugar, orange juice and cornstarch in a large bowl, mix well and let rest for an hour.
  2. Drain the liquid from the strawberries and rhubarb.
  3. To assemble the empanadas spoon the rhubarb and strawberry mixture on the center of the empanada disc.
  4. Brush the edges of the empanada disc with the egg whites.
  5. Fold the empanada discs and seal the edges, use a fork to help seal the empanadas.
  6. Lightly brush the top of the empanadas with the egg yolk; this will give them a nice golden glow when baked.
  7. Sprinkle the demerara sugar on the top of the empanadas.
  8. Chill the empanadas for at least 30 minutes, this will help them seal better and prevent leaks.
  9. Bake the empanadas in a pre-heated oven at 375 F for 30 minutes or until golden.
  10. Serve either warm or cold with whipped cream.

 
 
There's nothing quite like listening to A Prairie Home Companion Sunday mornings with a fresh cup of coffee and a stack of buttermilk pancakes. When this Sunday's jingle came beeboping into the kitchen there was only one thing on my mind - Rhubarb. This strawberry-rhubarb crumble is the first of many recipes that will find itself stumbling into your dreams.
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Don't let the elusiveness of rhubarb get to you. This Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble is easy for beginners but the perfect mix of sweetness with a slight tang of rhubarb.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble
Adapted from SmittenKitchen.com

For the topping:
1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons Sugar in the Raw
Zest of one lemon
1/4 pound (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
1 1/2 cups rhubarb, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 quart strawberries plus a few extras, hulled, quartered
1/4 cup Orange Juice (I like extra pulp) or fresh squeezed3 tablespoons chopped fresh mintJuice of one lemon
1/2 cup sugar
3 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch
Pinch of salt

Oven: 375 F          Prep Time: 45 minutes          Bake Time: 40-50 minutes

Filling: Toss rhubarb, strawberries, orange juice, lemon juice, mint, sugar, cornstarch and salt in a pie pan. 

Topping: In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugars and lemon zest and add the melted butter. Mix until small and large clumps form. Can be used immediately or refrigerated until needed.


Finishing: Crumble topping on top of fruit mixture and bake at 375 for 40-50 minutes or until the top browns and the fruit is bubbling.


NOTES
If you have trouble finding fresh rhubarb even while in season (April - September) you can request it from your local grocery store and they can usually have it delivered in a day or two no charge. If you are in a pinch try frozen, just make sure to dethaw and remove the extra moisture. 
 
 
Once I realized I wouldn't be attending Vet School this year I had to quickly think of ways to push my application into the "Accepted" stack. My main curse: Chemistry. The two dreaded C's pulling my science GPA down. So I applied to Georgia Perimeter College as a "Special Student" (wow doesn't that just make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside). Unfortunately I was applied wayyyy passed the deadline and when Memorial day arrived and I still wasn't registered for the class that started that week I began to get nervous. 

And so the phone calls began. Apparently hundreds of other students were worried about their classes because the phone lines were busy the whole day. After a 15 minute wait to the sounds of Beethoven I finally was able to talk to a man who very briefly told me there was no way I was getting into my class this week. 

Well here's the deal. I am only allowed to live at my parents house while I am taking classes. So obviously this man telling me I could not take this chemistry class was just not going to fly. I am already paying rent for an unoccupied room in Clemson, I cannot afford housing in Atlanta. And to be honest, I'm a little attached to my mom's KitchenAid Mixer. 

A few calls, another 8 sonatas, and a considerable amount of begging later and I had convinced a woman that this was "like, TOTALLY the only thing keeping me off the streets". Ok, I exaggerated a little, but I like a little dramatic flair in my life. Low and behold a few hours later I received an e-mail (I guess I can say - the LARGE e-mail), congratulating me on my acceptance and briefing me on instructions to register. 

General Chemistry II, Tuesday and Thursday mornings, 7am-9:45am, room 1260. SUCCESS!

The next morning I woke up early and got dolled up for my first day, so much so that I was accidentally running a few minutes late. When I finally made it to the classroom it was 7:05 and I burst in huffing and puffing to quickly take a seat in the third row. The teacher took down my name and asked me to say a few things about myself. I stood up and looked at the board.

Welcome to Biology!

Uh oh. 

Damn you Memorial Day Weekend.

Its Wednesday.