Wannabe Martha

Still trying to figure out which Martha

How To Turn Your Healthy Fruit Tray Into Something Even Better

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You make this dip, that’s how.

I’m rather not fond of most fruit dips – they’re either too sweet, or gloopy; or they taste like the cream cheese or sour cream. Sometimes people put weird stuff in it, so most of the time I just end up passing on it.  Fruit dip should be a silky, sweet-with-a-bit-of tang affair.  It should complement the fruit, not compete with it.  Mostly, though, it should make you willing to come to blows for the last little dollop.

This one here is all of that – totally deeeevine, dahling.  Also you can be brain dead and make it.  It’s good on other things too (like muffins and graham crackers and nilla wafers).

  • 1 8oz pkg cream cheese AT ROOM TEMP (I’m not kidding about this, either)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed (I used light brown sugar)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla bean paste (see note below)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks (see other note below)

Beat the cream cheese until it’s extremely smooth and creamy.  If you think you’ve beaten it enough, go back and beat it some more.  NO LUMPS.  Add the brown sugar and beat until it’s no longer grainy.  Add the vanilla bean paste and beat some more.  Scrape the bowl down often.  You don’t want lumps of anything and you can’t beat it once you add the whipped cream.  Fold in the whipped cream with a spatula.  That’s it.  You just make a little bit a heaven.

The afore-promised NOtes:

Note #1 – Vanilla Bean Paste.  I really paused before calling this out because I didn’t want to sound all snooty and like an ingredient-snob.  Truth is, though, unless you really don’t want the specks of vanilla bean, this stuff can’t be beat because it’s hugely cheaper than the beans themselves.  I bought a ginormous bottle of it on Amazon and it’s worth every penny.  Of course, you can buy it in reasonable quantities, but I’m not exactly reasonable in all things.  You do use it in the same quantity as extract, but you just won’t get the same look (no specks).

Note #2 – The whipped cream.  We didn’t whip the cream.  Instead we poured 1/2 cup of cream into a mason jar, screwed on a plastic lid (I buy these by the gross, too) and shook it for about 2 minutes.  I didn’t sweeten the cream. but you can add sugar and vanilla and shake it and get really excellent whipped cream.  We wanted very soft peaks, and this was an easy way to control.  Also if you have small children you can put them to work.  I saw this on Pinterest or FaceBook or something and have been dying to try it – turns out it works (which can’t be said for the notion that you’re not peeling your corn correctly – tried that and major FAIL).

So there you have it, a luscious, silky fruit dip – and you can jazz it up if you like – a little cinnamon (emphasis, little) would be lovely for a fall dip; even some almond extract would be nice.  Dark brown sugar would probably yield a more robust flavor, but I like it as is.

There’s a little left in the refrigerator, but it’s seconds are numbered.

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Friday Public Service Announcement

There actually are no empathic metamorphs.  OK, there are some born very rarely on the planet Krios.  So if you’re not from there, then I guess you’re kind of SOOL.  Also you need to get the timing right.

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Having Some Thoughts…

Always dangerous, I know, but this one isn’t so bad.

I’m thinking about hosting a virtual pot-luck meal.  No, I don’t have it completely thought out, but after Heather posted her eggplant parm link in my combox and Els linked to this insanely tasty looking dessert a couple weeks ago, and then I actually made the Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs last night (still drooling), it occurred that maybe we could do a virtual sharefest.

Maybe once a month or quarter and rotate the categories so we can have an opportunity to share our families’ favorites.

I haven’t quite figured out the best way of making it happen – could list the categories, get folks to sign up, and then the participants can e-mail me the recipes and I’ll post them all on a set date – the 1st Sunday of the month perhaps?

I’m thinking of categories including, but not limited to:

  • Appetizer
  • Salad
  • Main Dish
  • Side dish
  • Dessert
  • Beverage

Watch me get all spun up and do Themed Potluck (Game Day Snacks; Fourth of July Picnic, etc.)

OK – gotta go to work.  Ping my combox if you’re interested, and if enough want to play, then I’ll get something started (or possibly we can even rotate hostessing?)

[Ed. I took out something like 800 “maybe”s.  This is what happens when one types on the fly, rather that taking a calm, deliberate, well-thought out approach.  Le Sigh.]

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We’re Probably All Going to Starve

Well, that might be a slight exaggeration.  Truthfully, other than a pot of chickpeas, I got nothin’.  Also, I don’t really care that there’s nothin’ (its the latter than has me most worried).  Of all the things with which one can be afflicted, apathy is one of the most disheartening precisely because you don’t even care that you’re completely disheartened.

Does that make sense?

This morning I woke with a profound case of don’t-give-a-crap-itis.  I pawned off the transportation of Iseult to her carpool onto her sister.  Then I thought about making coffee for an hour or so.  Then I debated the merits of showering over just lumbering into the office to face yet another day of gut-twisting work.  Somewhere in there I turned on the pot of beans.  They’re draining now, and I feel somewhat pressured to do something with them (so naturally, there’s a bit of antipathy towards them now).

The fact is that this week is going to suck big time – it’s MONTHLY STATUS REPORT season, which means I’d pretty much rather be struck down with typhoid than have to be at work.

Well, now that I’ve got this pity party well underway, is anyone else lurking in misery, or am I flying solo here?

Plus – is anyone cooking anything good?

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