What started as a cloudy-coolish day turned into a rip-roaring sun-filled afternoon! We spent the day at our usual spot on Lake Washington, positioned just north of the I-90 bridge for maximum viewing pleasure...the Blue Angels couldn't miss us! The Blues and I have "a moment" each year at Seafair...after several fly-bys...there's the slight tip of the wings, I look up and wink and the blue-eyed pilot winks back...what? Call me 50 shades of Crazy but I'm sure it happened! As those beautiful blue F-18's roared overhead we enjoyed a scrumptious picnic with chicken from Ezell's (if you haven't had Ezell's chicken then you have missed the Eighth Wonder of the World!), Potato Salad, Deviled Eggs (this link takes you to my Spider Egg recipe that I make for Halloween, just don't put on the olives or the "legs" and you'll have the best tasting Deviled Eggs ever...or so I'm told!), fresh fruit, hummus, 7-layer dip, chips, pickles and Lemon Cookie Tarts for dessert...oh, we also had Salted Nut Bars as our dessert's dessert.
It was quite a feast...by the time we were finished the marine layer had disappeard and the skies were bright blue...I took about a hundred pictures...and these were my two best shots!!! For 20 years we've been watching the Blue Angels fly over Lake Washington - it's always the first weekend in August and the highlight of my summer!
Now, about those tarts...they are dang good! Cookie shells filled with store-bought lemon cured, topped with fresh raspberries - but you could fill the cookie shells with a lot of different things, they are very adaptable!
Sweet cookie dough is flattened with the back of a tablespoon to form the shells. When they bake, they puff up a bit so after baking they are flattened again and then left to cool. So easy to do and they freeze well at this point so you can make the shells ahead of time and have them on hand to fill with fresh fruit or pudding or ice cream for unexpected guests!
Lemon Cookie Tarts - Adapted From Food.com
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 cups flour
2 jars Lemon Curd (or cherry pie filling or chocolate pudding or fresh fruit!)
2 pints fresh raspberries
In a food processor or an electrix mixer, combine sugar, powdered sugar and butter and beat until creamy. Add in oil, egg and extract and mix well. In a small bowl, combine baking soda, cream of tartar and flour and whisk together. Add flour mixture to sugar and butter mixture and mix until just combined. Remove from bowl and turn out onto plastic wrap. Form a ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Spray or grease mini-muffin pan. Measure 1 tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball and place one ball into each hole of the mini-muffin pan. Using back of a tablespoon, press dough up the sides and down in the bottom, making a uniform "dent" in the center.
Bake at 350 degrees for 9 minutes or until dough is slightly firm but not yet set. Remove from oven, cookie shells will be puffy. Working quickly, use the back of the tablespoon again and press gently making a shallow indentation in each shell. Don't let them cool or they will be harder to shape. Return to oven for an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until edtges of shells are firm and golden. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Carefully remove from pan and trasnfer to cooling rack. Cool completely before filling. Can be made to this point and then frozen, but thaw to room temperature before filling.
Place a small amount of lemon curd into each shell, add one fresh raspberry. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. (I mashed the remaining raspberries I had and then spoon them over the tops of my tarts.) Makes 30 tarts.
Photos below taken by Aaron Lavinsky of The Seattle Times. Love those Blues!
Boats tied to the log-boom in anticipation of the Hydro races, Mt. Ranier in the background and the Blues overhead...it was truly a "pinch me I'm dreaming kind of weekend!"