Tapioca Pudding

I am starting to think that maybe memories are like this dessert. I eat it, and it becomes a part of me, whether I remember it later or not.
— Erica Bauermeister

Tapioca Pudding with Berries

I've been thinking about how many women in history have worn strings of pearls.  Jackie O., Princess Diana, Grace Kelly, Coco Chanel, and the list goes on.  Why?

 Recently I had a strand of pearls that were a gift from my husband many years ago break.  It has such good memories surrounding it I did not want to leave it broken. I have worn it over the years and always receive such warm compliments and reminds me of the great memories I have with my other half.  

Single pearls are lovely but a strand of them is classic.  Life's ups and downs are often like a strand of pearls. Each one is unique and beautiful but together it is and elegant and strong. It makes a statement. Sometimes the down's in life feel like the broken strand.  Maybe if we start too look to closely at the individual pearls we might see chips or blemishes or flaws.  We do this too often to ourselves when we hurt or life has pushed us to it's limit. We all have chips and blemishes but, it isn't until we step away and start to see that all of the pieces can be put back together and be made beautiful again that our hurt begins to heal.  

Vanilla Bean Tapioca 

 No doubt it is difficult, after all the hole might be small and at first the string might be weak but with time we learn to buy the strongest cord and we ask for help to put it back together again.  In fact most of the time we need help stringing back together the little pieces.

 In life we need help too, from others that's what makes us a stronger person.  We need those who are experts to teach us how to thread the pearls, or make the knots, or even just to tell us don't worry, it can be fixed, and it will be beautiful again.

 I  chose to pick up the pieces and have a friend help me put it back together. It's stronger and more beautiful to me now than before.  Why? Because I stopped looking at the little flaws and started looking at the big picture.  

Tapioca Pudding with Strawberries

Now I can look in the mirror and see the strand of pearls together lying flat against that little black dress and say I love your Beauty, every little flaw and every little blemish, because together you make Me shine.

Speaking of Pearls...Tapioca Pearls make Delicious Eating.  

Enjoy!

Recipe from:  Slightly Adapted from Bob's Red Mill classic Old Fashioned Tapioca Pudding

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup Small Pearl Tapioca
  • 3/4 cup Water
  • 2 1/4 cup  Whole Milk
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 2 eggs,separated
  • 1/2 cup Sugar,divided
  • 1 Vanilla bean, sliced in half and scraped or 1/2 tsp Vanilla Paste

Instructions

Step 1

Soak the 1/3 cup pearls in 3/4 cup water making sure it is large enough saucepan. (Around:  1 & 1/2 quarts can hold) DO NOT DRAIN TAPIOCA AFTER SOAKING!

Step 2

Add milk, salt, 1/4 cup sugar and lightly beaten egg YOLKS to Tapioca pearls and stir over medium heat until boiling. Then turn down heat and simmer uncovered over very low heat for 10-15 minutes.  Stir often and do not let come to  a boil again.  

Step 3

In a mixer using a whisk, or whisking by hand beat egg WHITES with remaining  1/4 cup sugar until soft peaks form.  Fold about 3/4 cup of HOT tapioca into egg whites slowly and then gently fold mixture using a spatula.  Fold mixture all together into saucepan slowly.  Stir over low heat for about 3 minutes.

Step 4

Cool 15 minutes then add Vanilla Bean or Vanilla Paste.  Serve warm or chilled with Fresh Berries of your choosing. You can also top with a little whip cream if you would like. 😋 

Berries and Tapioca Pudding

Peanut Butter Cookies

Empty?! You took all the cookies!”
”They were crying to get out of the jar... Cookies get claustrophobia too, you know.
— Charles M. Schulz

Peanut Butter Cookies

If I don’t want to chat, I pull out a jar of peanut butter.  Is that an introvert thing?

 I am thinking, yes. It must be since it started at a young age with me.

Something about having a mouthful of peanut butter as a kid made it okay, in my mind to not answer adults questions. 

Like, where did you get that wood to build your fort? 

Uh, what wood?

Usually came out as "Wart Word"?

And since the comprehension seemed to ensue lack of communication the questioning stopped.

  Not that the peanut butter eating stopped.  

It just got dragged out until a glass of milk was nearby and handy.  

The fort, as it was known to us but might have looked more like the few pieces of wood nailed to one side of my best friend's house was our containment area. 

The wood was free. Right? I think that was the real question pondering the adult's mind when we mentioned building a "fort." 

 But, who leaves out wood near a giant trash bin for the day and wants it back? So what if it was exactly the size of a perfect 2x4 and had no cuts or slashes or saw marks.  

My story stands.  The wood was free...

 Guilt feelings make my stomach curdle around in my tummy for the construction crew that came out and couldn’t find the extra "wood" that they had left outside those 30+ years ago.

 But, we needed to build our fort and we needed wood.

Where else do you hide a time capsule to be opened in one month.

  A month?!

 My goodness, a month!  They say dog years are short imagine pre-teen time?

Might as well have said, forever.

At  least 4 episodes of Cheers would have passed by then.

By the way: if you remember Cheers, sorry to be age dating. It was a good show, don't be sorry. Keep smiling, I am.😊

Time capsule⌛️ questions like:

 Who’s your best friend?  Obvious answer. You buried it with her.

What’s your favorite animal?  Dogs, whales, and horses. The question just wasn't precise enough.

What color do you love?  purple or maybe pink These were pre-teen required favorites.

What do you wish you could have? A car or a house for my Barbie.  This was way before pre-teens today who are no doubt asking for a smart phone. I was a bit behind schedule, what can I say?

  I am sure the list was at least that interesting.  

Then again making a time capsule was not quite as self fulfilling as hauling the "load" up the hill and pounding the nails with all the force one could muster into the wood.

Imagine being ten, a girl and banging  the crap out of wood.  Every nail had a bit of a twist.

  Yeah, a carpenter.  I now know the feeling.

 Of course the advantage of not needing to worry if it would collapse was,  a giant benefit. Benefit two, was, after working hard sweating in our bathing suits, (typical carpenter safety outfit)  

 splashing and jumping in the doughboy pool for the ultimate cool down

 after at least 15 minutes of work.

 I never said we were go-getters, just hard working thieves.  

And as every wood worker knows lunch is always around the corner and that might have meant   peanut butter cookies had been made. 

Or maybe cream puffs? 

Or chocolate cake?

  It didn’t matter, it all tasted good and went down with a glass of ice cold milk.  I swear we ate a sandwich first.😉 Maybe even a few cut up carrots.

 Either way the lopsided fort got built.

The builders found more wood.

And the time capsule got opened before the autumn leaves came down.

 All in a hard day's work as a kid because I stuck peanut butter in my mouth and stopped answering questions.  I think it's safe to say I like peanut butter.

 These cookies are just a testament to how much.  Thanks Dorie 😊 for the peanut butter cookie recipe.

Sorry builders for any wood that went missing 😖...I promise to bake you a batch of cookies if I ever meet you. 😉

 

Pre-Baked Peanut Butter Cookies

Dorie Greenspan's Peanut Butter Cookies (with a white radish twist of Reese's peanut butter chips)

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • pinch of grated nutmeg
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 1 cup smooth peanut butter (room temp)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs (room temp)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup of reese's peanut butter chips
  • extra sugar for rolling

Instructions

Step 1

Position racks in the oven into thirds and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.

Step 2

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and nutmeg.

Step 3 

With a mixer, beat the peanut butter, butter and salt together on medium speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.  Add both sugars and beat for another two minutes. One by one, add the eggs, beating for a minute after each egg goes in.  Turn off the mixer, and add all of the dry ingredients and pulse the machine a few times to start blending.  Next mix on low speed until the flour has almost disappeared into the dough.  Add the peanut butter chips and mix by hand to incorporate into the dough.

Step 4

Scoop out a level tablespoon of dough, roll it between your palms into a ball and dredge in sugar; place the cookies 2 inches apart on the baking sheets.  Dip the fork in the sugar and press against each cookie one way then the opposite way flattening the cookie and making a criss-cross pattern.

Step 5

Bake the cookies for about 12 minutes, until they're lightly colored but still soft.

Tips

  • weigh the dough of the first cookie ball if you want to have exactly all the same size of cookies
  • you can use any brand of peanut butter chips you like, I just prefer Reese's
  • You can freeze them individually and then place in a ziploc bag to bake another day.  Don't defrost just bake a few minutes a longer.

Enjoy with a glass of cold milk, dunked in some hot chocolate, tea or coffee.

 

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup Milkshake

Take what people give you. Drink their milkshakes.
— Wally Lamb

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter cup Milkshake

Summer ☀️is slowly fading and fall🍂 is coming to Seattle but that doesn't mean we can't have milkshakes as the sun still shines.  I know many of you who don't live in Seattle only know that it rains☔️ here all of the time and while that is the hype to keep the tourists at bay or at least keep them hanging out in Pike Place Market🐽🍇🍐☕️ our sunny days of summer are numerous and fantastic.  The autumn season brings cool evenings and mornings perfect sleeping weather.  Can you tell I wanted to sleep in this morning? Not happening yet as the daylight calls and the sun shines.

Not sure what happened to summer it seemed to come and be gone full of 

picnic planning 🐜, barbeques,

backpacking trips🎒🌲, outdoor movie nights 🎥,

and ice cream in a bowl 🍧 or on a cone.🍦

Therefore milkshakes before fall hits seemed like a good plan.  I tried a few flavors but I always come back around to something with chocolate.  Strawberry is out of my plan as it does not ever appeal to me.  Sorry to all of you strawberry milkshake lovers.🍓😖  I just don't understand you please convince me!

I don't eat ice cream in the cold months even if I have it in the freezer.  I am one of those rare people so I have heard that can let ice cream develop ice crystals if it sits in the winter at my house.  So it was important to use up any ice cream left in the freezer now before it gets too cold.  A good excuse to make a milkshake.

 Being that chocolate peanut butter ice cream is my favorite and I had dark chocolate peanut butter cups on hand (very dangerous) from Trader Joe's I decided upon the best of both worlds.  Vanilla ice cream and dark chocolate peanut butter.  

Can't go wrong with these flavors don't you agree?😋

Makes: 1 large shake or two small ones

Ingredients

  • 5-6 miniature dark chocolate peanut butter cups
  • 2 1/2 scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • heavy cream for topping

Instructions

Step 1

Place a milkshake glass or two small glasses in the freezer one hour prior.

Step 2

Whip heavy cream until white peaks and using a kitchen aid and whisk or hand held balloon whisk.

Step 3

In a blender place peanut butter cups, vanilla ice cream and milk in that order. Blend until mixed well and thickened.  If you want it thinner add a tablespoon of milk at a time until thinness is achieved.

Step 4

Pour shake into frozen glass top with whip cream and a peanut butter cup or chopped pieces. 

Enjoy! Happy National Chocolate Shake Day!

 

Tips

  • Trader Joe's mini dark chocolate peanut butter cups are the best
  • Do not add ice as you will water down the milk shake if you want it thinner add milk little by little
  • Buy the best ice cream you can or make your own
  • Freezing the glasses keeps the milkshake cold even after it has been blended