Monday, July 7, 2008

Boopy Bop

Tonight will be the second training session for my dog Betty Boop. She is gearing up to be a therapy dog for the Good Dog Foundation. This means that after 10 weeks of training (and hopefully passing the training) she will be a certified therapy dog. We will then volunteer as a "team" and visit patients twice a month in the hospital. It is well documented that dog visits have helped patients a great deal with mood and physical therapy.
Any dog lover knows how they brighten our day. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to guide her through this training. So far she has been excellent, although she takes issue when the other "dogs in training" try to sniff her to say hello. If any of you have a dog that you think has potential, look into the Good Dog Foundation

I tried another fantastic recipe over the weekend. It is the perfect summer dessert and a must try. You will impress your guests and yourself (as I did being not the best baker in the world). It comes from The Silver Palate Cookbook by Sheila Lukins and Julie Rosso- one of my favorite and most used cook books. It's called Pavlova - and when you tell the little ones that it is named after a famous ballerina- they love it. The only pic I have is of the before-before the fruit and whipped cream- it is Very forgiving if you are not the best decorator of desserts. My sister Maggie and her "gals" made and brought over the best looking patriotic sugar cookies which I have posted on July 4th.

4 egg whotes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 cup granulated sugar
4 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 275 F
1.Combine egg whites,salt and cream of tartar in a bowl.
2.Beat till the whites hold a stiff peak.
3.Continue beating as you add the sugar, a few tbsps at a time until egg whites are stiff and glossy.
4.Beat in cornstarch, then the vinegar and vanilla extract.
5.Spoon meringue gently into a buttered 8 -inch cake pan.
6.Bake until firm and lightly browned- about 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Cool slightly and unmold- cool completely.
7. Make whipped cream.
8.Cut up strawberries ( I used peaches too) and sprinkle with sugar and Grand Marnier( I omitted the GM and squeezed half a lemon on the fruit as well).
9. Spread on top of the meringue.
10.Add the whipped cream on top of the fruit. I had some colored decorator sugar and sprinkled that on top to add some color.

You will have no leftovers.

Serves 4-6 but I got 10 small pieces out of it.
This can be easily doubled for a bigger crowd.

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