This summer my little boy is rapidly becoming so much bigger. He hardly fits on my lap, doesn't cry when I leave, gets funnier and funnier, and seems so - well - much bigger, so much so that the grandparents refer to him as little moose. The boy's become little moose to the dog, who, at the beginning of the summer really looked like a polka-dot moose. Such a fat dog that he's on a diet - when I told my kid that I hand't lost any weight this summer, without missing a beat, he replied completely serious, "maybe you don't need more than two cups of kibble, it worked for the dog. You know?"
Sending my son away from me this summer raised lots of stuff for lots of people. None of that stuff pertains to the kid-let and me, but everyone struggles with their own issues. Spending the summer on my own raised my own issues of independence and complaining - I can do whatever I want and I have nothing to complain about. Who knew that both would feel so liberating? Who knew that complaining could be so tiring? It's so much easier to appreciate what I've got and love who I do. So. much. easier.
The time away also allows me to really miss the boy; to develop a real appreciation for motherhood, for my son, and for myself. It's allowed me to think. Really, really think about what I'm doing and where I'm going. Granted, I'm looking forward to him co ming home so much that it makes my chest ache. I'm looking forward to third grade, to the drama of it all. The soccer season, the assemblies, the newness of the learning, the beauty that this age facilitates. He's lovely and funny and he's growing into a pre-teen and it's wonderful. They grow so fast - so cliche, I realize.
In honor of my moose, I decided to make the chef a Goat Cheese and Berries Tart. It just seemed so easy and yummy - who doesn't love that?
Goat Cheese Mousse
7 oz heavy cream, cold
4 oz goat cheese, at room temp.
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
zest of 1/2 lemon
Whip the cream to medium stiff peaks and keep it chilled while preparing the mousse. In a medium bowl, whisk together the goat cheese and sugar. Add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Fold together the whipped cream and goat cheese mix.
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 stick butter (I know, confused me too. Cut the stick in half) at room temp.
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Cream together butter, 2 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and a bit of vanilla. Slowly add the remaining flour and sugar, mixing well. Add the egg yolk and vanilla. Flatten into a disk and place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Roll out between parchment paper into 6 inch rounds, roughly 1/8 inch thick. Place inside tartlet rings, then prick the dough and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. Let cool.
Fill the cooled tart shells with the mousse, top with fresh berries.
It seems like lots of work. Really, this took me 15 minutes tops to pull everything together before I baked them off. No joke. Easy, peasy.
I think the chef will like them. Don't you?