Fresh Fruit Tart

Hey everyone – I’m back! I apologize that I haven’t been posting for a minute (more like 8 months), but I’ll get to that in a second. I wanted to share my favorite Fresh Fruit Tart recipe with you all, as it’s the perfect time to whip up this delicious summer treat before we officially enter the fall season (p.s. where did the summer go?!).

fresh fruit tart

Now about my absence – the beginning of 2017 was a bit hectic, as we relocated to our home state of Vermont, and I began a Paralegal position at my favorite company of all time, Ben & Jerry’s. It was a very fast transition, and blogging kind of fell to the back burner. Once things became settled in Vermont, I had a period of time where I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to blog (part of my quarter-life crisis, I think), and therefore, lost all motivation to blog. I just wasn’t seeing the blog as something that I was excelling in – my page views weren’t strong, no opportunities were arising, and it was a lot of time and effort I felt that I was putting into absolutely nothing.

Recently, I had somewhat of an “Aha” moment, where I realized that I should be blogging for myself, and not necessarily for anyone else. If blogging makes me happy, why should I stop? And that’s why today, I decided to finally post. I made this fruit tart back in January (I think?), and it has been sitting in my draft folder, waiting to be written. I was super proud of this fresh fruit tart because A. it was delicious, and B. I was really pleased with how the photos came out. Learning how to use my camera is a daunting task, but I’m learning more tricks with the more photos I take.

So, after lots of blabbering, here is my Fresh Fruit Tart recipe! If you try it out, please let me know what you think of it, or send me a photo. I love to see others trying out recipes that I love and create.

*Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addition*

XO,
Becky Lee

fresh fruit tartfresh fruit tart

Fresh Fruit Tart Ingredients:

For the crust:

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream (cold)
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter (cold and cubed)

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces mascarpone, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (room temperature)
  • 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the topping:

  • Fresh berries of your choosing – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.

Directions:

  1. Whisk the heavy cream, egg, and vanilla together in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, confectioners’ sugar, and salt together in a bowl.
  3. Using a pastry cutter, cut in cubed butter into your dry mixture until the mixture is crumbly.
  4. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients.
  5. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and flatten into a 1-inch thick disc. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
  6. After at least one hour, remove your dough and roll out into a circle. Place into a greased 9-inch tart pan and press the dough down into the pan and up the sides until it is even all around. Freeze the dough in the tart pan for one hour.
  7. After your dough has been freezing for one hour, preheat your oven to 400°F.
  8. Bake pie crust for 20 minutes. Allow the crust to cool completely before assembling.

For the mascarpone cream filling:

  1. Using a KitchenAid (or any other handheld or stand mixer), beat the mascarpone for 1 minute on medium-high speed. Then, add the heavy cream very slowly with the mixer on low. Next, add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Spread into cooled crust. Refrigerate until ready to garnish with fruit.
  2. Garnish the tart with fresh fruit of your choice, and enjoy!

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Christmas Pajamas

christmas pajamaschristmas pajamaschristmas pajamaschristmas pajamaschristmas pajamaschristmas pajamaschristmas pajamaschristmas pajamas
As we are now into December, it is only right to begin the Christmas countdown. And the best way that I know is by wearing Christmas pajamas. Yes, I’m one of those crazy people who forced my poor boyfriend and dog to wear matching Christmas pajamas. But guess what, I don’t think they actually felt that forced. I mean, c’mon, they’re from The Company Store – they are SO cozy!

Jacob and I decided to get our Christmas cards done early this year, so we pulled out the trip-pod and took a couple of photos (and by couple I mean couple hundred.) We aren’t the most photogenic folks, ok?

Otis was clearly the star of the show, I mean look at that face. After the photos were taken, it was time for him to sulk and/or take a nap. You can tell he looked all too enthused.

Now throw on your Christmas jammies, grab a cup of cocoa, and snuggle up!

Happy holidays!
XO,

Becky Lee

 

*Shop Our Christmas Pajamas here*

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Cherry Linzer Bars

homemade cherry linzer bar recipe homemade cherry linzer bar recipe homemade cherry linzer bar recipe homemade cherry linzer bar recipehomemade cherry linzer bar recipe

It’s December, which means it’s time for holiday baking! I’m sure you can all imagine how excited this makes me. Recently, I won a baking competition held at my work. It was quite fun – we had to supply 6 dozen of a dessert of choice (I made my Naughty Brownies, of course). And as the winner of this competition, I received a prize, which was a Good HouseKeeping Holiday Cookbook! I was, of course, eager to bake a recipe from this cookbook. And the first to catch my eye was this homemade Cherry Linzer Bar recipe.

I have never made these before, so my first attempt wasn’t too bad, though I would make a couple of adjustments my next time around. First off, maybe go light on the hazelnuts, or possibly substitute the hazelnuts? I think I expected these to taste more like jamb thumbprints, so when I took my first bite, I was a bit alarmed by the nutty aftertaste. However, if you’re a hazelnut fan, I think these are a winner! I did bring them to work, and my co-workers didn’t complain – so I’d say that’s a win. Overall, I’d say this is a great holiday cookie – great texture, the perfect amount of sweet, and they look super festive with a dusting of powdered sugar!

Check out this Good Housekeeping Recipe here. I did do a couple of things differently – first, I just used a Cherry Jelly (which I don’t think made much of a change in taste). I also do not have a food processor, so I used my trusty Ninja blender. I think it still did the job – my hazelnuts were completely ground up, so I was happy to realize I may not actually need a food processor. And I think I would like to experiment with a bit less hazelnut, substituting with flour. I’d also like to have even more of the jam mixture – there were some bites that just lacked that delicious cherry goodness. So, a second jar of cherry jelly would definitely be necessary for my next batch.

If you give this recipe a try this holiday season, please leave me a comment below of your thoughts!

Happy December!

XO,

Becky Lee

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Suede & Dutch Braids

suede and dutch braidssuede and dutch braidssuede and dutch braids suede and dutch braids suede and dutch braids suede and dutch braids
This autumn, I’ve been all about the suede and dutch braids.

Suede has been an essential for me this fall. When I spotted this dress on sale on Forever21.com, I knew I had to put it in my shopping basket. Suede is super versatile, but I think it works great for the fall time especially. Pair suede with a white turtle neck or sweater, some black tights, and brown booties- you’ll be set! This is currently my favorite outfit as it’s so comfortable and simple.

Since I’ve recently taught myself to dutch braid, it has pretty much been my favorite hairstyle when I haven’t washed my hair in a day or two. Think of this braid as the french braid’s cousin. Instead of crossing pieces over, a dutch braid requires you to cross pieces under each other. While it takes some practice, once your fingers and arms have mastered the motions, you’ll be able to braid without even looking in a mirror. Please leave a comment below if you’d like a tutorial on this hairstyle – I’d love to post more hair tutorials!

Enjoy the rest of fall and keep warm!

XO,

Becky Lee

 

Outfit Details:

Dress: Forever 21
Turtle neck: Forever 21
Otis’ Coat: Carhartt

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Homemade Baked Donuts

homemade baked donut recipe homemade baked donut recipe homemade baked donut recipe homemade baked donut recipe homemade baked donut recipe

Looking for a super easy homemade baked donut recipe for National Donut Day? I’ve got you covered.

I had no idea that National Donut Day was today, but apparently there are now TWO National Donut Days. I can’t say I’m complaining in the least. So I decided it was time to finally share my favorite donuts that I’ve ever made.

I have been dying to make homemade baked donuts for the longest time, so I finally got myself a few donut pans and went on the hunt for a good recipe. When I found a recipe by King Arthur Flour, I knew I had to give it a shot. Here is the recipe that I used for my homemade baked donuts. This recipe is so easy, and you most likely have every ingredient in your kitchen. Plus, the prep time and bake time are so quick! They’re the perfect treat if you need something quick to whip up, and are a bit more impressive than that boxed brownie mix in your cabinet.

Now, on to the fun part – the glaze! Now, you can choose whatever type of glaze you’d like, or even stick to just a simple cinnamon sugar coating. But I went for chocolate glaze, because I can never say no to chocolate. For my baked donuts, I made this really simple glaze recipe and then garnished with some fun autumnal sprinkles!

Homemade Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 3 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

In a bowl, whisk together powdered sugar and cocoa powder.
Slowly add in milk and vanilla; stir to combine.
Whisk glaze mixture until smooth.

Happy Baking!

XO,

Becky Lee

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Lovermont

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A couple weekends ago, Jacob and I went back home to Vermont. We made it just in time for the foliage (this weekend there was snow in VT!). We had such a great time visiting with family and playing with the pups. If you’ve never visited Vermont before, I highly recommend that you do. There is something truly special about Vermont, and I’m not sure that I can pinpoint one thing in particular. Stunning views, vibrant colors, and amazing people. That’s why I Lovermont.

XO,

Becky Lee

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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

pumpkin whoopie piespumpkin whoopie pies pumpkin whoopie pies

I have been talking about Pumpkin Whoopie Pies for as long as I can remember. Growing up, trick-or-treating consisted of visiting the ten or twelve houses on our private, dirt road in the middle of nowhere Vermont. But before we got a sugar buzz off our king-size Hershey bars, we stopped at the neighborhood Halloween party. I faintly remember things like wasabi peanuts (weird, I know) and savory dishes, but the one thing I could never forget was the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. I remember looking forward to these sweets more than the actually Halloween candy each year, and they have been one of my favorite treats ever since the first bite.

pumpkin whoopie pies pumpkin whoopie pies pumpkin whoopie pies

I decided it was finally time that I take a swing at my own recipe* for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies this fall. I can say with much confidence that this recipe is my favorite that I’ve posted since I started this blog about a year ago.

These did not last long in our household. While I did give some away to friends and threw a few in the freezer, I ate three or four (I can’t even remember) within a few hours of them cooling. So needless to say, these are amazing. These are really, really amazing. Also, they are super easy! Trust me, they’re a one-bowl wonder.

pumpkin whoopie pies pumpkin whoopie pies pumpkin whoopie pies

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tbsp pie spice (if you don’t have this, use a dash or two of cinnamon, cloves, and ginger)

For Filling:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease your baking sheets.
  2. Combine the oil and brown sugar. Mix in the pumpkin and eggs.
  3. Add the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and pie spice. Ensure to mix well.
  4. Drop large teaspoons of dough onto baking sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. While your cookies bake, prepare the Whoopie Pie Filling: Beat egg white and mix with the milk, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 cup of the confectioners’ sugar. Mix and then beat in the shortening and the remaining cup of confectioners’ sugar. Beat your filling mixture until light and fluffy.
  6. Allow your cookies to cool before adding the filling – spread a heaping amount of filling on to one cookie, topping with a second cookie.
  7. Store cool Whoopie Pies in the fridge or freezer (if they last that long).

*Based on this recipe

Let me know in the comments if you try out this recipe – I’d love to know your thoughts!

Happy Baking!
XO,

Becky Lee

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Autumn Walks

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One of our favorite autumn walks is Railroad Run in downtown Saratoga. It’s a half-mile trail that takes us about a half-mile to get to. So by the time we’ve arrived to the trail and walked home, you can imagine how Otis feels (aka pooped!). This trail is always full of bikers, dog walkers, and runners. It’s the perfect trail for anyone who lives in Downtown Saratoga, because it’s quiet and so peaceful. We decided to head down to the trail one warm afternoon and snap a few photos. I was really happy with how they came out (thank you, Jacob!).

Check out more about the Railroad Run trail here.

autumn walks autumn walks autumn walks autumn walks autumn walks autumn walks autumn walks

 Happy Fall!

XO,

Becky Lee

What I’m Wearing:
Watch: Michael Kors
Vest: TJ Maxx
Sweater: Gap
Jeans: Levi’s
Boots: Target

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Homemade Mac & Cheese

There’s something so cozy and comforting about warm foods. I think one of my favorite things about the leaves changing and temperatures dropping is the fact that I can really start using my oven for any meal. Over the past few weeks, I had been craving some heavy carbs, so I thought it was only fair to whip up probably one of my most nostalgic (and indulgent) warm dishes for fall. This is my homemade mac & cheese recipe!homemade mac & cheesehomemade mac & cheeseThis is the homemade mac & cheese recipe that I grew up eating. My favorite part was always the crushed Ritz crackers my mom would always garnish on top – they would turn perfectly golden brown. Of course, we didn’t have any on hand when I decided to make this, so unfortunately I don’t have photo documentation as evidence. However, I highly HIGHLY recommend adding a few Ritz on top of your mac & cheese before you put it in the oven. It adds the perfect, buttery crunch. This recipe is so simple and quick – it’s really the perfect dish to enjoy during the autumn season. And a side note, I am obsessed with black pepper! As you can tell, my bowl of mac & cheese was covered in pepper. Just the way I love it!
homemade mac & cheese homemade mac & cheese homemade mac & cheese
Ingredients

  • 2 cups macaroni
  • 2 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated onion (optional)
  • Ritz Crackers (optional)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Boil water and cook noodles – set aside.
  • Blend milk into cornstarch in a saucepan. Add butter, onion, mustard, worcestershire sauce, and pepper.
  • Bring milk mixture to a boil.
  • Once your mixture is boiling, reduce heat and add the cheese. Whisk until fully combined.
  • Pour mixture on top of the noodles and mix to combine.
  • Add crumbled Ritz crackers on top (make sure you try this!).
  • Bake for 20 minutes and enjoy!

 

Happy Eating!

XO,

Becky Lee

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Lazy Fall Afternoon

lazy fall afternoonlazy fall afternoonlazy fall afternoonlazy fall afternoonlazy fall afternoonlazy fall afternoonlazy fall afternoonlazy fall afternoonlazy fall afternoonlazy fall afternoon

This past Sunday was a true lazy fall afternoon. Otis, Jacob and I love when we can have cozy afternoons, especially during the cooler seasons. My favorite thing, probably ever, is to be in bed with cozy slippers and Otis with an electric blanket and my laptop. Also, leggings and baggy sweaters are probably my favorite outfit of all time. It’s all about being comfortable and cozy during fall. And yes, Otis can jump up on our bed and is currently snuggled up in all of the blankets and pillows as we speak.

I hope you’re all enjoying this beautiful fall weather and enjoying everything autumnal!

XO,

Becky Lee

Slippers: Forever 21 (currently out of stock)
Sweater: Banana Republic
Leggings: LC Lauren Conrad
Nightstands: Made by my Dad!

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