How’s the week going. All good down here, spring has sprung, just wish the rain would stop. But being inside because of the weather, sometimes you get struck with cabin fever, like I did last weekend. Then we had unexpected visitors and hey presto, I needed a quick and easy desert recipe.
Quick and easy is important in cooking. You know over the next few months there’s lots of opportunity for entertaining. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year, and just those impromptu visits from friends, when you have to throw a meal together in a hurry using what you have.
However, I try not to be a slave to the kitchen. Standing over a hot stove cooking for hours is not my idea of fun. Nope, i’d never be a Masterchef cook.
Actually do you find you’re just OVER COOKING. I mean I’ve been married nearly 35 years and at times I am completely over coming up with ideas for meals that everyone will eat without protest! Mind you, that is where meal planning in advance comes in, because it really does take the brain power required out of the equation at the end of the day when you’re tired. Quick and easy is best!
My father was one of those cooks. He’d come up with all sorts of things, experiment. Mind you he wasn’t great on cleaning up afterwards – after he’d used just about every pot and pan in the kitchen – and we didn’t have a dishwasher. Now with our friends arriving, i needed a simple and easy dessert recipe, using what I had in the freezer and pantry.
Dessert for us is normally a bit of fruit and yogurt, however I wanted something different. I scoured the cupboards and came up with a tin of peaches in light syrup, and in the freezer I had a few sheets of puff pastry – that nicely rolled out stuff. Who wants to be rolling pastry! Too much like hard work!
I had the idea I’d like to cook some sort of fruit wraps in the pastry, but decided I would add a few other ingredients – jam and cream cheese.
So here’s the recipe.
Jane’s Fruit Wraps – how does that sound for a made up name!!!)
Ready rolled puff pastry – 1 sheet per person
2 x 400g tin of sliced peaches – drained and chopped roughly
2-3 Tbsp. of any type of berry jam (or you could use marmalade for a different taste)
2-3 Tbsp. of cream cheese (optional)
Turn oven onto bake/180deg C
Take out pastry sheets and let them defrost naturally
Prepare baking tray with a sheet of baking paper
Drain and chop the peaches
Add 2-3 tablespoons of jam and cream cheese (if using)
Mix together lightly. Don’t worry if cream cheese doesn’t break up much – just a little is enough)
Divide evenly between the sheets of pastry.
Fold corners in, overlapping and pressing down so that there are no gaps.
Tuck all edges and press so that nothing can escape.
Bake till pastry cooked/lightly brown – about 20-25 minutes. Do check the pastry is cooked at the bottom, as I had to add a few extra minutes
Can be served with ice cream or yogurt if you’re trying to be extra healthy!
My husband tells me they were delicious. You may be wondering why I don’t know how they tasted. Well, I left the second one on the bench to cool – silly me, because the dogs and cat thought the second one was delicious too!
I hope you make these, and do experiment with different fruit and jams. The moral of this recipe is that you can really make anything out of anything LOL. You don’t necessarily need recipes, all you need to do is have a dig around in your pantry and freezer and see what you’ve got. Play around with flavors and ideas until you come up with something. That’s half the fun…the other half is eating it – unless your pets get to it first.
One thing i might do differently next time, bearing in mind this post is about using what you have on hand, but I might use a peach or apricot jam rather than berry.
Some ideas for you:
A dip in a hurry – Mix plain unsweetened Greek yogurt with a drained tin of tuna/salmon and add a tablespoon or two of Thai sweet chilli sauce, or alternatively a large spoon of horseradish sauce – yum.
Homemade Pita chips – use those garlic or olive flavoured pita bread pockets. Toast them then break up into sizes to use with dip – or alternatively, cut with kitchen scissors then fry in a lightly sprayed fry pan.
Unexpected guests like the other day can cause mini-panic stations, and so over the years I have compiled a few dishes that I’m comfortable with cooking or have at least tried once before. I however, do tend to scour recipe books or recipes I’ve collected, and then again there’s the good old internet and Pinterest.
Here are some tips so that you’re prepared next time when visitors arrive out of the blue?
Tip – Do you know if any of your guests has allergies, or food dislikes? Make sure to check on this. No use trying to kill your guests.
Tip – ring in your kids! Bribe if necessary for them to give the house a quick vacuum, a swish and a swipe around the toilet/bathroom. Make sure clean hand towels and soap are out and of course toilet paper – imagine a guest in the bathroom and oops… embarrassing LOL
Tip – thinking ahead of times when you might entertain, if you see nice white dishes in the stores on sale, grab them. White dishes always go well with food, and are easy to decorate around and match with other patterns/colors etc.
Tip – have on hand in an ‘entertaining box’ which you can restock as required. Chips, jars of olives and pickles, sauces, tooth picks and paper napkins, seasonings for various dips, and maybe in the freezer a spare bag of ice.
Remember simple is best.