Happy 4th Birthday, Pintesting, with a Giveaway!

It’s Pintesting’s Birthday! It’s so hard to believe that it’s been four years since I took the brave step into the blogosphere. This has been one of the most amazing adventures and I’m so glad that I can share it with you.

Happy 4th Birthday Pintesting

The Pintestings:

From my very first post, I’ve loved testing, reviewing, rating, and sharing Pinterest pins. Some had amazing results and others were. . . well, Pinterest fails. But this is exactly why I started Pintesting – so that Pinners would have a place to see if a certain idea, recipe, craft, or whatever really worked. And so the adventure began and has no end in sight.

Over the past years, I’ve tested nail art, crafts, and some DIY products.

Some of the beverage pins that were tested included coffee drinks, butter beer, wine spritzers, sangrias, and infused water.

International cuisine from Ireland to Italy, Mongolian Beef to Beef and Broccoli, Mexican and Tex-Mex, French to Greek, and more have caused piles of dishes that you never see. Do you think that ease of clean-up should be a Pintesting category? Hmm, that might be something to consider.

Some of my favorite and most memorable include:

And this year I’m going to be doing more home improvement, crafting, and maybe even gardening Pintestings; which I’m extremely excited about.

Without you, NONE of this would have made a difference so THANK YOU for seeing what Pinterest Pin I’m testing. Your likes, comments, and shares mean so much more than you can imagine.

The Giveaway!

So now it’s time for the present, because what’s a birthday without presents? I’m giving away five autographed copies of the cookbook with my first published recipe; Caprese Crostini! All you have to do to win is enter the Rafflecopter drawing below. Five winners will be chosen at random on February 14th because I love you all that much.

My Recipe in the Zumba Lovers Cookbook

*The giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada.

Congratulations Winners!

CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR FIVE WINNERS!

  • Brenda
  • Molly
  • Kristen
  • Kandi
  • Elaine

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Peach and Cherry Tarts

It’s time to Celebrate! Summer is a time of celebrations. There’s Independence Day (and Canada Day for my Canadian friends), Labor Day, and many birthdays of friends and family – including MINE (yes, I still get excited about my birthday, don’t you?). Summer is a great time to party it up! As much as I LOVE to make and eat cake, after a while I just need something different.  Too many cakes + bathing suit season = disaster.So when I found this Pin for a simple but delicious looking Peach and Cherry Tarts by Jo from Jo Cooks, I was all over it.

Pintesting Peach and Cherry Tarts - ORIGINAL PIN

Fresh peaches and cherries have been calling to me in my grocery store for a while now. I’ll walk past them, and the smell of those peaches calls me over, enticing me. “You know you want to buy us… We are your husband’s favorite…” It’s like the siren’s song. Then there are all of the wonderful health benefits to eating fresh fruit. Add the simplicity of the recipe… okay, let’s get started!

peach-and-cherry-tart3

The Pintesting:

The recipe called for puff pastry, fresh peaches, fresh cherries, mascarpone cheese, cream cheese and a little sugar. I couldn’t find the mascarpone cheese, so I went with all cream cheese and a little milk and vanilla to help sweeten and loosen up the mixture.
Peach and Cherry Tart - Ingredients - Pintesting

Puff pastry comes frozen, usually in two sheets folded in thirds, and requires thawing before using. The instructions say to thaw overnight in the refrigerator or 30 minutes on the counter. Since I was making this early in the morning, I chose to thaw it overnight so I’d have one less thing to worry about before coffee. Seriously, who does ANYTHING before coffee? Exactly.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Puff Pastry - Pintesting

The pastry should unfold once thawed. However, mine was stuck together in two solid rectangles of dough. What to do? I just dusted the counter with a little flour and rolled it out to its intended size.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Roll it out - Pintesting

Once the dough was the right size, I cut it into thirds and put the pastry onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Cut into thirds - Pintesting

Now for the sweetened cream cheese. As I said before, I couldn’t get mascarpone cheese so I went with all cream cheese. Mascarpone cheese is a bit softer than cream cheese, so I added a little milk (maybe a teaspoon) and a little vanilla (1/4-1/2 teaspoon) to loosen and lightly sweeten the mix.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Sweet cream cheese - Pintesting

Mix together until smooth.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Mixed - Pintesting

Divide onto the pastry sheets…

Peach and Cherry Tart - Divide - Pintesting

…and spread it evenly.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Spread evenly - Pintesting

Slice the peaches thinly and pit and half the cherries. I like that you don’t need to peel the peaches. A note about fresh peaches; look for fruit that is just ripe but isn’t too soft. Peaches bruise easily and turn into mush if they’re too ripe. They should be firm enough to handle without indenting with gentle pressure.

I love fresh cherries but don’t care for the lovely purple hue they turn my fingers while slicing or pitting them, so I sliced the cherries under running water. That fixed the problem before it became one.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Arrange fruit - Pintesting

Arrange the peach slices on the pastries and the cherries down the center.

Pintesting Peach and Cherry Tart

Bake at 425 for 20-25 minutes. (My convection oven compensates automatically, thus the temperature difference.)

Peach and Cherry Tart - bake - Pintesting

Done! That’s it. I brought these into work to be a morning tasty treat to celebrate my birthday. Make my own birthday treat? Yes! That’s just how I roll. Making people happy with food makes me happy.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Finished - Pintesting

So this is how the Peach and Cherry Tarts looked when I set them out mid-morning. They didn’t last long, though. Everyone loved the fresh taste from these that wasn’t super sugary.

Peach and Cherry Tart - Served - Pintesting

Oh, and those oddly shaped rolls on the left side are my way of using the other puff pastry sheet.

Bonus Recipe:

  1. Cut the puff pastry sheet into quarters and put a row of four miniature candies down the center of each section; I used Hershey Kisses and Rolos because that’s what I had on hand but you can use any kind of miniature candies. (Note: this is a PERFECT way to use up Halloween candy that didn’t get passed on to trick-or-treaters. You know – that extra bag that you got “just in case”.)
  2. Brush all the edges with egg wash and fold the pastry over in thirds like a letter. The egg wash will help seal the pastry so the chocolaty goodness doesn’t leak out.
  3. Place it seam side down on a parchment-lined sheet pan tucking under the edges.
  4. Brush the whole pastry with egg wash to make it brown and shiny and beautiful.
  5. I baked these with the tarts and they came out perfectly. Yes, there are only three. Yes, I made four. Don’t judge – I was testing for doneness.

The Pintesting Results:

Overall Rating: 4.55 Pins

5 Pins Overall

Accuracy: The recipe was thorough, well-written and simple to follow. I had to substitute for the mascarpone cheese, but that didn’t take away from the recipe at all. The tarts turned out fantastic. I love how the fruit took the spotlight and made a wonderfully fresh and naturally sweet dessert (or in our case, mid-morning snack) without a lot of added sugar. It was really spot-on with the recipe and presentation. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins

Difficulty: There are only 6 ingredients in the recipe, and normally they’re easy to find at my grocery store. (Sorry mascarpone.) When I make this again – and I definitely will – I’ll thaw the puff pastry on the counter rather than use the overnight method. A puff pastry novice might have been put off by the dough that wouldn’t unfold. And while I didn’t think that thinly slicing the peaches, and pitting and halving the cherries was any trouble, others at my office didn’t seem to agree. “Sure, it’s simple for YOU”. Of course, these are the people that think that I float through my kitchen and sing as I cook and bake, while woodland creatures come and do the dishes and clean my house. All I can say to that is… I wish!

Princess Wannabe

Yeah… In the real world, this gets 4 Pins.

Rated 4 Pins

Time: I whipped this up before work – including getting ready and without the help of any woodland creatures. The whole thing took about an hour. If I hadn’t had to roll out the puff pastry, it might have taken a little less time, so I’m giving this 4 Pins.

Rated 4 Pins

Cost: With only 6 ingredients, or 7 since I subbed the mascarpone by adding milk and vanilla, the total cost was still around $10, and we had extra cherries for lunches and snacks. 4 Pins.

Rated 4 Pins

Practicality: This recipe is simple, cost effective, delicious, healthy, and (in my humble opinion) quick and easy tart. It works equally well for dessert, brunch, lunch, or any other food option. 5 Pins

Rated 5 Pins