I'm not one for baking...really. It scares me. My method of cooking involves lots of improvising and guestimating. I've shared before the disasters that ensue when I try this with baking. The one thing that I can put together is a tart. Basically you just have to manage baking a crust, and whatever loveliness you add to the top is pure money.
One of my very favorite sweet recipes was the Nutella pear tart I posted a couple years ago. Ironically it was also posted in February...I guess a tart feels like a romantic dessert, huh? Except that I ate the whole thing by myself. In one afternoon. Bless me.
Since dairy is still out of the picture for now, I wanted to try a butter-free crust. Justin's Hazelnut Butter has replaced Nutella in my pantry this year, so basically this recipe is vegan by default. I saw this video for making a "press-in the pan" olive oil crust and adapted the recipe slightly by using almond milk instead of cow's milk. Oh my gracious, this crust is heavenly. It is very flaky but also pretty dense, kind of like a shortbread. It is my new dairy-free crust of choice.
VEGAN STRAWBERRY TART
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 cup mild olive oil
2 tablespoons almond milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
*Crust recipe adapted from this site.
-1 cup Justin's Hazelnut Butter
-1 pint fresh strawberries
Method:1. In a mixing bowl, stir together flour, salt, and sugar. In a small bowl, whisk olive oil, almond milk and almond extract.
In other news...You can see a recap of the Springfield Collective launch event we held last Saturday over on the Paper Muse Press blog. Paper Muse Press is an online paper goods shop, but they are headquartered in my home town. They were the generous sponsors who provided our guests with the cutest custom pads to jot notes during the business speed dating. They also gave gift cards to everyone. It's so exciting to get to work with such an amazing local shop-LOVE!
If you haven't checked out their site, take a few minutes to peruse their shop for custom invites, stationery and more. They are currently running a promotion in which you can get 3 free customized samples to try out their designs or even upload your own designs. Just enter "3FREE" at checkout. The promo includes free standard shipping too.
Another bonus of this event was that I got to meet and work with the fabulous local photographer, Katie Day who shot pics of the event. (Yes, that's her real name. The happiest name ever, right?) If "networking" with creatives means hanging out with fun, quirky people then I'm hooked.