Baby Boomer Babbling-er-Musings

I'm from the baby boomer generation. I have a mop of white hair, courtesy of my gene pool. And a botox-free face that sports frown lines in the forehead and around the eyes. Love handles instead of a waistline. Can't say I'm exactly crazy about any of these old age indicators but I accept them with grace. And now I've lived long enough now that I ponder on a lot of things, new and old.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Klutz in the Kitchen

"Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries."  When my friend, Marci, told me she had served these to guests in her home, well, my breath caught.  Did she just say Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries?  She gushed that her guests were appropriately impressed with her culinary talents.

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

“May I have the recipe?” was my immediate response as I licked my lips in anticipation of a cheesecake stuffed strawberry (or two) puffing out my cheeks like a squirrel stuffing nuts for the wintertime.

No, was her her response, you may not have the secret of my recipe.  It was obvious she was appalled that I would even ask.  If she shared the recipe with all, then it would become commonplace and no longer be special.  No amount of cajoling could convince her to impart the details of this old family secret recipe.  I begged.  I pleaded.  I dropped to my knees.  I cried.  I had no shame.  She stood above me, arms crossed, unmoved by the sight of my quaking, sobbing body heaped on the floor.

Alright, none of this true.  Except for the part that my friend, Marci, made Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries and her guests were delighted with them.  

However, this scenario could be what will happen to you if you ask me how to make Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries.  Down on your knees!  Beg!  Plead!  Okay, another lie.  I’m having fun with this.

Here’s what Marci said you will need:

1 large container of fresh strawberries
1 12-oz. tub cream cheese spread (not the brick of cream cheese)
1/2 cupPowdered (10x) sugar
1 tsp vanilla flavoring

Here is how I did it.  I dumped the powdered sugar into the mixing bowl with the cream cheese.   Does anyone have any idea how big a mess a klutz in the kitchen can make with powdered sugar?  Did you know that if you don’t mix it well with a spoon first, the mixer will cause a white dust cloud the size of an Oklahoma dust storm?  Did you know that if it spills on the floor and you step on it, it looks like the abominable snowman has paid a visit?  No answer required for these rhetorical questions.

That’s when I pulled out my trusty yet tiny Shop Vac That Could.  It's little, only a one gallon size, but it is powerful and gets the job done!  Now that the mess is cleaned up, let's stuff those strawberries! 

Step One:  Slice a bit of the bottoms off your strawberries so that they will stand tall like a continental soldier from the Kingdom of Cheese.

Step Two:  Hollow out the top of the strawberry using a paring knife.  I’m happy to report there was no blood shed.

Step Three:  In a small mixing bowl, add the cream cheese spread and powdered sugar and mix well until creamy.  I used a hand mixer (in that dust cloud I mentioned earlier).  Then I added more powdered sugar and did a taste test until it had just the right amount of sweetness to send me into a swoon.

Step Four:  Add the vanilla flavoring and mix well.

Step Five:  Put the cream cheese mixture in a plastic baggie and snip one corner.  Squeeze the mixture from the baggie's corner opening into the strawberries.   It's fairly important to make sure that the baggie is sealed shut before you squeeze or you will be licking the cream cheese mixture off your hand.  Yes, licking.  No way I was going to waste it.  Yes, I washed my hands before continuing.

There was still some mixture left over in the baggie so I took a grape from the fridge, cut a tiny piece off the bottom so it would stand up on its own and then topped it with the cream cheese mixture. No, I didn't try to hollow out a grape but the thought did occur to me.  Trust me when I tell you, dahlin', that it was simply delicious.

Of course, it would take way too long to cut the bottoms off all those little grapes.  So holding a grape in one hand, I topped it with some of the cream cheese mixture and popped it into my mouth.  One after another.  And another.  And another.  You get the idea.

When done, did I lick the spoon?  Yes.  Did I lick the beaters?  Yes!  Did I lick the bowl?  YES!  Did I suck the last bit of the left over cream cheese mixture out of that corner opening in the baggie?  You bet your sweet cheesecake stuffed strawberries I did!

When I served this the first time to my own guests, they were appropriately impressed with my culinary skills.  If you try this recipe I promise that your guests, too, will be crying on the floor, begging for the recipe.

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I’ve also been reminiscing, pondering, and musing on these topics:
One my early dates with the hubby
My first lesson on biscuit making
The lost art of letter writing
Cups for hot mochas.Say Good Night Gracie.
My first visit to the library with my Mama
Driving Mama over the Edge
It’s a Little Off the Wall
Crushing on The Professor
The Avocado Tree
From Baby Food Jars to Peanut Butter Jars

Christmas Memories
Theory of Pancake Relativity
Betcha Can't Pop Just One

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