Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gourmet Mixed Berry Tart with Ricotta Cheese- Free Recipe!

Oh yes, it is just as yummy as it looks! This is a mixed berry tart with strawberries, red wine, wild summer black and red raspberries, and homemade ricotta cheese.

Here is what you need:

     ~ single 9 inch pie crust
     ~ 1 and a half cups ricotta cheese
     ~ 1 and a half tablespoons vanilla
     ~ 3-4 tablespoons of sugar to taste
     ~ 1 and a half cups of frozen Strawberries
     ~ half of a cup of red wine
     ~ 1 cup grape juice
     ~ 5 tablespoons corn starch
     ~ 1 cup mixed fresh raspberries and blackberries
     ~ tart pan with removable bottom (for easy removal & is optional)

Start with making your pie crust according to your pie crust recipe. Lay your pie dough in the tart pan (or your 9 inch pie pan) and bake for the time and temp that your pie crust recipe directs.

While your pie crust is baking, you are going to start on the fillings. Fist you will mix the ricotta cheese and vanilla in a separate bowl. Then add the 3-4 tablespoons of sugar to the cheese mixture to your liking. Set aside.

In a small sauce pan, put your strawberries and wine over medium heat until the alcohol simmers away. Next add the grape juice and the corn starch. Continue to simmer and stir constantly to make a very thick sauce for the tart topping. Remove from heat once the thickness reaches a pudding like consistency. Set aside to cool.

Your pie crust will be done by now and will have started to cool off. Grab the ricotta mixture you set aside and spread it on the bottom of the cooked pie crust shell. Then gently smooth on the thick strawberry sauce you prepared on the top of the ricotta layer. Finish off by sprinkling the cup of fresh mixed berries evenly over the whole tart. And try not to eat it all in one sitting!

This tart was such an amazing treat. Chloe got her own little tart, AND she even helped daddy make it! The tart seemed to be so light and fresh. Adam and I paired this desert with a Pennsylvania port from West Hanover Winery. It was a Chambourcin Sweet Port from 2005 aged 12 months in oak. It was a great pairing and made the late-night gourmet snack a little on the romantic side.

The ricotta that we used in our tart is homemade, which makes it smoother- so it really tasted like thick whipped cream. Mmm, yum! If you want to know how to make your own ricotta, you will just have to stay tuned for yet another post! Hope you get a chance to try this Tice recipe creation soon!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Starting with a Fast Favorite

I would like to start by honoring one of my recent new favorite artists, Cathy Nichols. She has imagery and color that is indulgent and so beautiful to look at. I literally fell in love with her work the very first time I ran across it. She definitely earned the term 'fast favorite'. When I look at her trees, leaves and shapes in her paintings it reminds me of scrapbook paper...however, yes, I know- it is paint...I think. I am not a painter, but with her bright details and whimsical content I just wish I had thought it up and painted it myself!

This is a few of my absolute favorites from Cathy's collection:
Cathy Nichols:  Sanctuary
Cathy Nichols: harvest moon
Cathy Nichols: Hello Summer 3
She has inspired me to do some drawings in color pencil, soft pastel and scrapbook paper. Her work has provoked me to use color, or should I say bright color, in a way I normally would not dare. Cathy Nichols fine art continues to be very inspiring to me. Here are some of my color pencil studies I did that are directly inspired by her work:
Makings of Shanna Tice: Dr Seuss in the Trees 

   Makings of Shanna Tice: Hansel and Gretel
Makings of Shanna Tice: Bird house
I am excited to have exercised this part of my artistic brain. I have been so addicted to my crochet and craft work that fine art seems so distant to me. I am so very glad that there are artists out there that can light my fire in that direction!

Cathy Nichols is one of my fellow Etsians and has her own Etsy shop you can check out:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 me!

This is my first official blog post ever. I am excited to have made a commitment to share my makings with everyone who is interested! I thought about it after much deliberation and consideration that this IS a good idea. I have heard many yeah's and nay's on whether or not having a blog about crafting and such would actually be a good idea or worth the time. After pondering a bit, it occurred to me that I would love to have a diary of sorts that would log some of my patterns, scrapbooking ideas, art & craft "how to's", details in the adventures of a Tice recipe creation, and even features on some of my favorite artwork and artists. This way, not only would my family and friends have a place to go to find fun ideas for their next meal or craft project, but so would anyone else in the world! Why not?!