Fake Trophies

Whew! What a week. We made it through the end of the school year insanity. Miss A has successfully finished preschool and next year will be a full-time kindergartener (I get teary just thinking about it.). And Mr. N is off to 4th grade; although rather reluctantly as he will very much miss his teacher from this year. I have a feeling she will be one of those that he will remember his whole life.

Then this weekend we had yet another performance. This time it was Miss A’s turn. star spangled

She completed another year of gymnastics (she’s been in for a few years now) and this year she got to perform in the program’s version of the “Olympics.” strong girl

She was so excited for her big day. Nana and Papa came, as did Grammie and Boom Boom (my dad as he’s referred to by the kids) and my aunt and cousin (who Miss A adores) came to see her big day. She was a regular ham for the audience as she waited her turn (apparently a flare for the dramatic runs in the family)…little ham

And then it was utter focus and determination. Running

She even made it up to the ceiling on her rope climb which ceases to amaze me. Rope climber

It was such a fun afternoon and Miss A was so happy. Although she was quite concerned that her trophy was “fake.” I think she was expecting a real gold medal. The plastic variety was rather a disappointment. Ha! trophy winner

And there’s no rest for the weary. This week we have summer activities starting and then we’re preparing for a bit of fun. Why is it that fun always requires so much preparation? Ah well, that’s why we have tasty desserts to get us through and make up for “fake” trophies. So this week we bring you a few French dessert treats – Sables (butter cookies) and Mousse au Citron (lemon mousse). We’ll leave the French chocolate delicacies to the masters – and those that like chocolate. 😉 lemon curd

We borrowed our recipes from Joy of Baking and Saveur and didn’t really deviate. The only real difference was in the shape of our sables. From what we read, and if you are an authority on the matter feel free to tell us otherwise, traditional sables have a fluted edge and are circular. Ours, however, are not fluted, nor are they circular. lemon mousse making

Both recipes are very easy to follow. The biggest thing to remember is to have enough time set aside to chill your lemon curd. We made our cookies while the curd was in the fridge. sifting flour

Ah yes, and the cookie dough must have time to chill as well. Really that is the only time consuming aspect of these two desserts. lemon curd and egg whites

How do you like our shapes? You may recall the dragon fly from our adventure with Mongolian cookies. cookie shapes

We served ours together and the butter cookies went nicely with the tangy lemon mousse. They can also easily be served separately. The kids enjoyed eating the cookies throughout the week. And look who tried to sneak into the photo shoot! Another ham for the camera? Or just after some of that creamy decadence!mousse and cookies

As for how they ranked? Well, the sables were right on the mark. They are exactly as you imagine butter cookies. The kids enjoyed them more than Mike and I though. We prefer a chewier and softer cookie. Mr. N and Miss A ranked them 3 spoons and 9 spoons, respectively. Mike gave them a 3 spoon vote because he thought they were perfectly executed. I gave them 2-1/2 because while good, they just aren’t my kind of cookie. Sables

The mousse, which shouldn’t be a surprise given our obsession with lemon bars, went over much better across the board. The mousse is wonderfully tart and full of fresh lemon flavor. It is, however, a heart attack in a cup, so we didn’t eat very much. Just enough to know we loved it! Mike ranked it at 3-1/2 spoons, Mr. N and I gave it the full 4 spoon vote and Miss A, returning to our normal scale gave it 3 spoons. She liked the cookies better – and at least these weren’t fake! mousse au citron

Now don’t worry, these desserts don’t end our French cuisine adventure. We have a few more recipes in store, but we may bounce around a bit first. Until then, should you want the recipes here you are: Mousse au Citron and Sables. We’ll be back next week with a simple, but delicious treat. Have a great week everyone! Lemon Mouse and butter cookies

Blast from the Past

Hi all! While we’re on our little siesta, we thought we’d share a few of our older posts that some of you may not have seen or may have forgotten. I also thought it would be a good time to share with our new subscribers and readers what we’re all about here at Eat, Play, Love. Basically, our journey started out as a way to teach Mr. N and Miss A (our kiddos) about various cultures and traditions around the world while opening all of us up to new foods and cooking techniques. It’s always a whole family affair. We take turns picking a country our U.S. state and then we find traditional or popular local recipes to try. Often times the kids will be involved in the cooking which gives us a chance to share some facts about the particular country or culture, and have some fun along the way. logo-final

We don’t claim to be experts either in culture or in cooking, but we do put forth our best efforts to make the recipes authentic and to review them honestly. You can read more about our spoon rating system here. You’ll notice as we go along that Miss A’s spoon ratings tend to be the most subjective ranging from 0 to 514 at times. We really don’t mind as long as she’s giving the different foods a chance, which is something both kids have been amazing at doing. From time to time, we’ll also share special occasion recipes, travel adventures and random recipes we just happen to love, but the majority of what you’ll see here is all about cooking around the world.

So here’s an old post from back in May 2011, shortly after we started the blog. This recipe just happens to be one of our favorites and has been made more than once. Enjoy! Continue reading

Just Desserts – The Dessert Basket

Today is the last post from our Chopped Challenge 2013. And what better way to celebrate and spread some cheer than with desserts. I hope you’ve enjoyed following along as much as we enjoyed the event. I have to say this last round was just as delicious as the rest and was by far the kids’ favorite. Our ingredients for the dessert basket came to us from Dawn at First Look, Then Cook – Mangoes, Pretzels, Bacon and Agave Nectar. Dessert basket Continue reading

Good Things in Small Packages

This is our final birthday post of the summer. We’ve been finished celebrating for a few weeks now and are just about ready to get back to our international and stateside cooking…just in time for school to start. Where did this summer go?! (Well, maybe we have some idea where this summer went.)

Miss A’s swim lessons.

Anyway, as many of you may remember, the kids get to request a special birthday meal and dessert as part of their birthday celebrations. Mr. N requested Sesame Chicken and his rather elaborate homemade birthday cake. Well, Miss A took it a little easier on me this year. She wanted pasta in a cheesy sauce and a cherry crisp. Pasta sauce and pies/crisps are totally in my wheel house. They are the two food groups that I LOVE to cook and often do without a recipe. They are totally in my comfort zone. Continue reading

A Piece of Cake

First and foremost, thank you all for your wonderful comments to Mr. N. He was very excited to hear them all. He had quite a fabulous birthday week and we still have more celebrations to come, so he’s not done yet! Ah, to be a kid again.

As promised tonight we’re going to bring you the special dessert for Mr. N’s birthday dinner. Here’s how it came about: “I think I want you to make me a cake this year mom.” Continue reading

Pass the Tea Please

Tonight we wrap up our Armenian adventure with an interesting little dessert. I don’t think we’ve ever done a cookie on one of our international and stateside adventures. In fact, I think the only cookies that we have showcased on the blog are my mom’s from the holidays and Miss A’s birthday cookie request.

So when we came across the recipe for Armenian Cookies, we knew we had to give them a shot. Plus they gave me a chance to use my stand mixer and I like excuses to use my stand mixer. We started by creaming the butter and sugar.  Continue reading