Saturday, December 23, 2017

Easy Strawberry Cream Cheese

I've been a label reader for years.  I normally check the ingredients on everything before I buy it.  I never worried about the strawberry cream cheese because all it should contain is cream cheese and strawberries, right?  Nope.  Silly me to trust multinational food conglomerates to have my best interests in mind. 

Notice all the extra ingredients in this store-bought brand..... Xanthan gum, guar cum, carob bean gum, whey protein concentrate, whey.  Then you also have color added and "natural" flavor.  Good Grief!

I checked a block of plain cream cheese.  Many fewer ingredients.  I think I can probably live with Carob Bean Gum.  

So, I asked myself.....Why not make my own strawberry cream cheese?  Here's how I did it.

Put 4-5 frozen strawberries in a food processor.

Give them a whirl.  You may want to let them thaw just a little bit.

Add a block of softened cream cheese that has been cut into 4 pieces.  You may also want to add 2-3 tablespoons of powdered sugar, depending on the sweetness of the strawberries.

Process it until it is the consistency you like.

Put it in an air-tight container and store in the frig.

This is so much better tasting than the store-bought kind.  One bag of frozen strawberries makes several batches.  Come to think about it, I have never checked the ingredients on frozen strawberries.  Surely they only contain strawberries?  Sigh.  I better go check.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Winter Walk and Frost Flowers

Winter has finally arrived.  Last night it was in the teens and today the high temp is supposed to be in the 40s.  However, that did not keep Sally and I from going on our morning walk.  This is Sally.

She is patiently waiting for me to get my shoes on.  Once that is accomplished, we are off.  We usually head out to the road through our front meadow.  We mow this 2-3 times a year, but always leave clumps of grasses to add interest in the fall and winter when the wildflowers are not in bloom.

The cat usually tags along, as well.

This morning the grass was frosty and we could see some deer trails through the frost.

I also noticed some small icy clumps in the grass.  I've learned these are called "frost flowers".

Here's a closer look at one.

Sometimes these form into "ribbons" and are really beautiful, like this one.

There is a row of cedar trees across the road from us.  The female trees have berries, like those below, which are a dusty blue color.  Beautiful!

Finally, I love this picture I took a while back of the road that goes by our place.

It reminds me of the old John Denver song, Take me Home Country Road.