Today is a happy day.
We are almost on the verge of signing apartment lease and Varun is one step closer to staring a daycare next week. Both of these things are a nightmare in San Francisco especially if you have recently moved to the city, are used to larger apartments at a cheaper price and need something right now and can’t really fight with others for an apartment or be on a wait list for ever. There are wait lists here, not just daycare but for everything – pediatricians, school information sessions, gynecologists, dentists. Moving to this city after having kids and figuring things out is a nightmare.
But today, we are not as anxious and stressed out.
To celebrate, I made us a tart. A low sugar tart with sweetened ricotta and purple carrots. The colors of purple carrots are inviting. The center is pale creamy or orange. Just look at those colors. They taste great caramelized with sugar. Ricotta is always a hit. And crunchy phyllo is always welcome.
Simple flavors that come together in a colorful plate. They reminded me a bit of Indian carrot pudding – gajar ka halwa– just a lot less sweet and cream. I topped it with more fresh fruits before serving to pump up the color and dessert factor. Though it was splendid as is. Vanilla ice-cream or fresh whipped cream would be another good side to this.
Purple Carrots and Ricotta Tart Recipe
- 2 Purple carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon butter to grease the baking sheet
- 2 + 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 tablespoons ricotta cheese
- 1 tablespoon raisins (optional)
- 5 phyllo dough sheets, thawed overnight per directions
- 3 tablespoon oil ( or butter) to grease the phyllo sheets
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Grease a cookie sheet with 1 teaspoon butter.
2. Toss the carrots with 1 tablespoon of sugar and layer them in a single layer. Bake for 10 – 11 minutes till tender. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Lower the oven temperature to 350 F
3. In the meantime, whip the ricotta cheese with sugar and raisins (if using). Set this bowl of ricotta aside.
4. Prepare the phyllo sheets. Use oil or butter to grease the sheets and layer them on a shallow pie pan. Cut the sides leaving some hanging to fold over on the edge of the pan.
5. Spread ricotta cheese at the bottom of the phyllo sheets. Layer the carrots in a circular pattern.
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes till the tart edges are golden brown. Cool.
Serve with more fresh fruits, fresh cream or with vanilla ice-cream.
Don’t you feel hungry when you are at home all day?
It happens to me all the time. I want to nibble on something here and there. A bit of this and that. We have stocked up on a lot of fruits and veggies just so that Varun and I can snack healthy. Varun enjoys his fruits but not vegetables. I am trying to introduce veggies back in his diet.
Carrots with hummus, celery sticks with peanut butter, cucumber sandwiches is what I have planed for this week. Serving carrots in avocado boats filled with hummus or cheese and baby tomatoes as flower seems to make it more appealing for him. So far he has had carrots, cucumber and cheese but hasn’t touch the hummus or celery. Baby steps.
To make this more adult friendly and filling, I made cucumber sandwiches. A fresh take on using guacamole and cucumbers and making them into finger food. They are perfect with good fat, veggies and a satisfying crunch. Made ahead, they are perfect as appetizers or h’ordeuvres for a party.
Fresh home guacamole is always best ( no preservatives) but store-bought one can work in a pinch. Especially during these busy holiday weekends when we are trying to do multiple things – shop for gifts, deck the halls, setup the tree, bake, attend gatherings etc.
I had them with my cuppa yesterday and they kept me full till dinner.
Any variety of cucumber works though I think English would be lovely. Zucchini rounds work as an alternative.You can top the guacamole with nuts or smoked salmon or even tofu to make it more filling and for that added boost of protein and vitamins. I suppose goat cheese, finely diced sun-dried tomato and anchovies would make a festive party filling.
Give them a try today. You probably already have everything you need in your fridge already!
Cucumber Guacamole Sandwiches Recipe
- 1/2 Cucumber or Zucchini sliced into rounds
- 2 – 3 tablespoon pesto (optional)
- 1 Ripe Avocado
- 1/4 – 1/2 habernaro chilli pepper
- 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
- 1 – 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Handful of fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped
- Salt to taste
1. Slice the cucumber or zucchini and arrange on a platter. Smear wee bit of pesto on half of the round. You don’t want the pesto to overpower the taste but a bit enhances the flavors. Set aside.
2. Cut and de seed the avocado. Mash its pulp in a bowl. Add rest of the ingredients. Mix well. Taste and adjust salt and lemon juice per taste.
3. Add a dollop of guacamole on the pesto smeared rounds. Cover with remaining rounds.