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The night we disconnected…and reconnected, plus a killer turnover recipe

January 15, 2011

The news from the homefront is this: THE CHILDREN ALL SURVIVED UNPLUG NIGHT.

It was rough. There was boredom. Several complaints and some whining….

All of which was followed by more boredom, complaining, and whining.

But there was also a lot of reading. The girls continued their chicken research using such items as books and magazines. There was wrestling. A perfect pinon fire. And men in the kitchen.

I was feeling pretty lousy–that allergic reaction I had last week really shocked my system, and I’ve been exhausted and cranky ever since. So Chris and Soren took over dinner prep, and the girls set the table while I schlepped around tidying up, fielding snack requests, feeling blah, and taking mostly blurry pictures.

And though the kids were certainly not quiet, everything felt so much more….serene, somehow. The electrical haze we have all been living in had drifted away.

We enjoyed bacon and spinach crepes with a creme sauce for dinner (the sauce was a recipe that Soren developed in a vegetarian cuisine class he took last fall). They were amazing. Then, for dessert….Chris and I made strawberry rhubarb turnovers. Oh. My. God. These are unbelievable. We’d never made anything with puff pastry before, and I’m glad we finally got around to it!

Here’s the recipe, revised a bit from one I found online:

  • 1/4 cup water, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pint strawberries (or two bags frozen)
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen rhubarb (we used a whole bag)
  • 6 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese (we didn’t have whipped, used regular instead)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs, divided
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup chopped pistachios (we omitted these)
  • 2 sheets frozen puff pastry, from 1 (17-ounce) package, thawed according to package directions
  • Powdered sugar, for garnish


In a small saucepan, combine 1/4 cup water, strawberries, rhubarb and 3 tablespoons of the sugar and heat over medium-high heat. Let mixture simmer for 20 to 30 minutes or until thickened and fruit has broken down, like a thick jam. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Mash with a fork. When cool, strain off any extra liquid. (Can be prepared in advance.)

Stoke the fire that older daughter has named “Jessica.”

In a small bowl, add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and vanilla. Stir with a small fork to combine. The sugar will absorb the vanilla.

Kick overly inquisitive kids out of the kitchen when you almost trip over them.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine the rhubarb-strawberry compote with the cream cheese, sour cream, 1 egg, lemon zest and pistachios.

In a small bowl, beat the remaining egg and add 1 tablespoon of water.

Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Applaud yourself for buying parchment paper last week, despite husband’s attempt in-store to dissuade you from doing so. Working quickly with the dough, unfold the sheets. Cut each sheet into 4 equal squares. Place a scant 1/4 cup filling inside each square and wet the outer edges with egg wash. Fold the pastry over to form a triangle and seal with a fork. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with the vanilla sugar.

Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving. Try to steal bites from the kids as you sit on the couch playing a very surreal game of Pictionary.

Then head to bed…with a book rather than a laptop. 🙂

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