FOOD MATTERS

Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.

 
                        

Celebrating Two Blog-years with Velveteers and an Aromatic Giveaway

Pistachio and Strawberry Tartlettes Top View 2

Oof! I can't believe it! It's been two years already! That is... since I started this blog as a means to express my interests in food and writing.. add to that, now, photography! :)

So, what do I have to say about the last year?! Soooo much! Milestones reached and crossed, experiments tried, failed and understood, creations that stretch my imagination and skill, devoured and appreciated. Being part of the Daring Kitchen has pushed me beyond my comfort zone, stimulating me to create and innovate and it has all been such a fantastic learning platform.

Strawberry and Ginger jam

But, most of all, this blog has brought me in touch with some amazing people and inspiring food bloggers. I finally surrendered to the pressures of social media, but, that has only opened more doors and brought me ever so closer to these incredible people. I am now on Twitter and have a Facebook Page.

Everyday, as I trawl through my favorite websites and drool over their award worthy photos, I am inspired to make new things, experiment more, discover my latent talents and become better.

So, in this post, I want to thank all those people who have been such an influence in the making and growing of this blog. Most of all I want to thank YOU readers for your kind patronage, warm compliments and helpful feedback and comments....Oh! and Keep them coming for many more years!! :))

Pistachio and Strawberry Tartlette single

And, now onto the Velveteers. This month, we chose a Summer dessert theme showcasing the fruits of the season combined with nuts. I salute the upcoming warm months with cool Pistachio and Strawberry Tartelettes.

It's still Spring here and the season for fresh berries of all kinds. I was particularly attracted to the lovely, enticing red of the strawberries in their prime. So, I picked up a couple of pounds of the fresh fruit and let it sit in the fridge for a couple of days while I let my mind stew over ideas. It took all my faculties just to save some from Mr. FSK, who insisted that the fruit was best eaten as is! :O

Pistachio and Strawberry Tartlettes

When inspiration struck, it was for a simple tart with a pistachio crust with a filling made of layers of homemade strawberry and ginger jam and yogurt and topped over with candied pistachios. Simple, Sweet and Summer-y! :)

I added the ginger to the jam to cut into all the sweetness from the fruit and the sugar. It turned out to be very strawberry with a mild hint of spice that just about balances the fruitiness.


And, finally, the giveaway - the part, for which, you all put up with all that verbosity above! :). To celebrate the 2 year mark and a wonderful start to the third, I am gifting a pack of Saffron Threads and Saffron hinted Red Sea Salt to one lucky winner anywhere in the world.

Leave me a comment, by May 31, telling me what you would like to see more of in the blog. I will choose one winner (using the random number algorithm) and announce the same in the first week of June! Thanks for all your feedback!:))


Pistachio and Strawberry Tartelettes
(makes 3-4 three inch tartelettes)

For the Pate Sucree crust:

3/4 cup sifted flour
1/2 stick butter
2 T pistachios
1 T granulated sugar
3 T powdered sugar
1 egg yolk, beaten
pinch of salt
milk, as needed

For the filling:

Homemade strawberry & ginger jam (recipe below)
3/4 cup strained yogurt
5 T whole milk
4 T powdered sugar

Grind the pistachios with the granulated sugar to make a fine powder. Sift together the pistachios, powdered sugar, salt and flour. Cut butter into the mixture until you get a crumbly mixture. Add the yolk and add as much milk as needed to just about gather into a ball.

Pat in a round about an inch high and refrigerate for atleast 2 hours. When ready, roll the dough out to 1/8 th inch thickness. Cut out circles large enough to fit your mold. Press the dough into the mold being careful not to pull or stretch. Do NOT cut off the excess overhangs. Freeze for 30 minutes (ensures no shrinkage while baking.)

While the tart firms up, preheat the oven to 400 F. Cut off the excess overhangs before popping the tarts into the oven. Cover with foil and place weights and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for a few minutes, until golden. Remove and cool on rack.

For the filling, whisk together the milk, yogurt and sugar. Set aside. When the tarts are cool enough, spread a generous teaspoon of the jam at the bottom of each tart. Fill to rim with the yogurt mixture. Top with slices of strawberry and chunks of candied pistachio.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours and serve.


Strawberry & Ginger Jam

1 lb (1/2 kg) strawberries
1/4 sugar (or less, depending on how sweet the berries are)
3 inch chuck of ginger, in chunks
1 tsp salt
3 T pectin
juice of 1 lemon

In a sauce pan, heat the lemon juice, sugar and salt until it starts to liquefy. Add in the strawberries and chunks of ginger. Bring to a boil, skimming off any foam that comes to the top. Continue cooking for another five minutes. You can now fish out the ginger pieces if you want. I left mine in 'coz I don't mind them...

Add the pectin when the mixture is at a rolling boil and bring to a boil again. Continue cooking till the mixture thickens to a jam consistency. Pour into jars immediately and seal.


Pistachio and Strawberry Tartlettes Top View

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Velveteers was started by Aparna, Asha, Alessio and Pam, who are passionate about different cuisines and food in general. Each month, we will attempt a new dish and share our experiences and the recipes we used. If you’re interested in joining the Velveteers, please feel free to drop by our food blogs and leave a comment and drop me a line at asha@forkspoonnknife.com.

Do, check out what the other Velveteers have created:

Alessio - http://recipetaster.blogspot.com/

34 comments:

  1. Congratulations! Such an achievement.

    And the tarts look divine! Please post more baked goods. I'd love to see more!

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  2. Congratulations on your two year anniversary!! Added to your great culinary repertoire, some lovely pictures too to make the mouth water!!

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  3. Congrats on ur 2 yrs of blogging! Tart looks crispy n yum!!

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  4. happy blog anniversary asha! so glad to have found you via this space. hope one day we can meet for real and share some of these delicious looking tarts!

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  5. Happy Blog anniversary and congrats on hitting such a memorable milestone.Sincere wishes to you to hit many more wonderful milestones like this.
    What I would like to see -
    1.For a new wave blogger like me, tips on photography would be nice! I have not a clue when it comes to that.
    2.A no-bake,only-cook recipes would be nice now and then.

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  6. Congratulations!!! Wish you many many more :) Love the strawberry and pistachio tartelettes...I'm going strawberry picking tomorrow and this is a fab idea..

    I'd love to see some more sinful desserts on your blog!!

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  7. Congratulations Asha, you have a great space here. I'm happy to read and eat with my eyes (only vegetarian, natch!) whatever you put out here. :D

    This is the "just a tart"? Its gorgeous. If I ever come over, I'm camping at your place for this and more.

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  8. Congratulations on the 2 yrs of delicious goodies and wonderful recipes!!!

    I would like to see more of:
    1. Vegetarian recipes
    2. Monthly photography tip

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  9. Happy two year bloggiversary! I have been following your blog for a while now and absolutely love it! Keep up the good work.

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  10. Congratulations on your two year blogiversary!!! Your tartelettes are absolutely beautiful!

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  11. Congratulations on a fabulous two years! The tarts look scumptious. Of course, I always enjoy seeing desserts the most.

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  12. Congrats on the strawberry pistachio tartlets and your two year anniversary. I love the photos you include.

    I'm not sure I'd suggest anything I'd like to see more of. I enjoy your blog as is.

    I have a secret tip for you though... You used ginger in your strawberry jam. I use lemon for exactly the same reason... to cut the sweetness. Strawberry Lemon Marmalade (which isn't really a marmalade) is absolutely delicious, not too sweet, and you can't tell what's in there! Sneaky!!

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  13. congrats Asha, love your blog and the enthu you bring to it and wishing you many many more.

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  14. This looks like a very elegant tartlette. I'm not sure what I would like to see more on your blog, perhaps more Indian recipes? I think you're doing a great job!

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  15. pistachio and strawberry is certainly an unusual combination! i wonder how it tastes...? difficult to imagine.

    i have to say it would be really interesting to see more indian food. so often we all find newly-created recipes from the same magazines, books, etc. so it's nice to see family recipes.

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  16. Hi Asha first time to your page and am actually drooling at those finger licking mouth wateringly gorgeous pictures. you are asking what we want to see more in your blog my answer is more of you and your awesome kitchen experiments. love your blog Asha.

    now Congrats on your blog turning 2. thats a remarkable achievement. We wish to see more such food filled years from you.

    love the concept of velveteers and came to your page following Aparna. love these tartlets. happy blogging dear.

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  17. Congrats on the achievement Asha..I am so glad I met you thro twitter and have been following your blog!It would be nice to see more of indian food made easy for people who think its difficult..

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  18. I'd like to see more photography tips--I'm lost as far as pictures go! Happy 2!

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  19. Congrats Asha!!! :) i'd like to see more more more desserts photos :) i love all desserts :)

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  20. congratulations asha! glad to have met you and twittering with you... you're doing a great job, happy blogging!

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  21. Congratulations Asha! Ever since I discovered your beautiful blog, I've seen you grow and just amaze me with your versatility and great writing and of course wonderful cooking skills! Let me say, I don't think there is anything I'd ask you to change in your blog! Keep up the good work.

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  22. Hi there! I am loving the summery desserts, although I would love to hear even more about your region and its particularities. Since we are rather spread out across the country, it is helpful (and interesting!) to hear about your shopping experiences, what ingredients are particularly good in your area, that kind of thing.

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  23. Great recipe and beautiful pictures! I would love to read about a taking food pics.

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  24. Mmmm...those look delicious!

    How about more Indian food on the blog?

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  25. I have been on your blog quite a few times and love your recipes!

    I'd love to see more dessert items, and lots more vegetarian dishes, please. :)

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  26. these tarts look amazing, so beautiful, thanks for sharing xx

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  27. O our blogs are almost of the same age! I will be two (well obviously my blog, not me) in just about a week or so from now!
    I really wouldn't know what to ask for on your blog as I love it just the way it is!

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  28. What a precious milestone, and well done FSK! You've come a deliciously long way, and I'm glad we met! The tarts are gorgeous!

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  29. Two years, yayyy, congrats!! Your food photography is just amazing for someone who started such a while ago. I know I'd LOVE to hear your photography tips and tricks :)
    And personally I'd enjoy more Parsi food recipes .. am very fascinated by them.

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  30. Happy Blogbirthday :) I'd like to see more photography tricks, your photos are beautiful..

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  31. Happy Birthday, Fork Spoon Knife! I love Persian food, so I'm always happy to see one of you Persian recipes posted!

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  32. Congrats! Those look so yummy! I would love to see even more desserts!

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  33. congrats!

    i'd love to see some tips on your photography. it's stunning.

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  34. Nice tarts Asha :-) Looks like we used both strawberries :D
    What would I like to see more over here? Cardamom! lol

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