Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Sweet Taste of Volunteering

Before our youngest child started middle school, my husband and I agreed that it would be a good idea for me to stay home, so long as finances allowed for it.  After all middle school is not for the weak and never has been.  As part of this plan, I volunteered to work in the school office every Tuesday.  What started out as a plan to keep up with my daughter turned out to be so much more. For the last 3 years I have used the staff as my guinea pigs - ahem, I mean testers - for many of the recipes for my blog.  They did not seem to mind being forced each Tuesday to have a sweet treat. Unfortunately, getting honest feedback from them was tougher than nails as they were never critical - I think they were afraid if they gave honest feedback I might stop bringing treats.  Anyway, I digress.  Most of the days I had planned out what I would bring because it was something that had been floating in my head all week.  But then there were those days where I was really busy and completely blocked for creativity.  Those were the days that I had to open up the fridge to see what I had and use my inner "Chopped" skills. Funny how I feel those tend to be my best desserts.  It's like I'm being creative and don't realize it until the finished result.  Now, three years later, our daughter is ready to move on to high school.  It has been an honor and privilege to work in the office with some of the finest ladies I know.  I will miss them dearly and I am proud to say that buttering (or sugaring) up the staff just in case my daughter got in trouble was not needed.  She made it through with a strong shell and, thanks to some of her amazing teachers, a solid focus for the future... I'm jus' sayin'!

One Pot (food processor) Cheese Tart

Preheat oven to 350ยบ

In my food processor I combined the following for the crust.

9 bakery style (non-frosted) sugar cookies
2 Tbs. melted butter

Blend until combined
Pat into an 8 inch tart pan, all the way around and up the sides.
If you use a bigger tart pan just use more cookies and a tad more melted butter.
Don't wash the processor bowl out, just free it from any excess crumbs you may have lingering on the sides.

Place the following in the food processor .

1 8 oz. Brick of Cream Cheese (Room Temperature)
1 Egg
1/2 Cup of Sugar
1 Tbsp. of Vanilla

Whirl until creamy. Spread evenly over crust. Place tart pan on a cookie sheet. Bake in oven for approximately 25-30 minutes. It will be done when it only has a slight movement to the middle but the sides are firm.  Cool completely before topping with your favorite sliced fruit. I used mangos and strawberries as they came in my co-op produce basket this week. I also melted a little peach jam and brushed it on top of the fruit to give it a little glisten. This is also a good tip if your fruit is not very ripe or sweet. However, I feel perfectly ripe fruit is the way to go on this tart.

I would love to see what your favorite fruit combos are - keep me posted.

Many cupcake flavors were taste-tested over 3 years.

I will miss Tuesday afternoons - These ladies made volunteering so fun. 


  1. You even packaged them up for each person. YOU ARE AMAZING and I know that there is a whole office staff that will miss you seriously.

    You're a good person, girl.

  2. Ahh thanks but i probably miss them more. That particular day it was easier for me to individually wrap them for delivery. I did not do that every time lol!