Monday, July 7, 2014

Strawberry Rhubarb Pretzel Parfaits

Hello Summer. 

Glad you could join us. You're still a bit unsure of what you want to do from one day to the next, but you're getting there.

But summahtime. The sun, life by the water - any body of water (kiddie pools included), and those fruity delicious cocktails with little umbrellas or honeycomb paper decorations in clever fruit shapes, attached to plastic drinking straws - the very ones that stab me every time in the eye if I'm not looking down as I drink.

And the music. The part that ties it all together nicely into one pretty little package. 

As I have mentioned before in blog posts of yore, music is such an integral part of my life. There's not a time when music isn't playing in the background. It's always there. It was there when love was found; it was there when love was lost. It was there when a bunch of close friends and I were hanging out in the empty parking lot of the grocery store where we often hung out on Friday nights; it was also there keeping me company when said friends were being complete idiots. It was there when major changes happened in my life. Like I said, it was just always there. Sometimes I think I was a DJ in my past life. I still have many of the crazy mixed tapes I used to make when I would lock myself in my bedroom for hours on end. And I will forever enjoy a living room dance party in the dead of summer on a random Tuesday afternoon as well as a Saturday night in the dead of the winter. 

Every now and again, I like to pull out my CD collection and take a walk down memory lane - as scary as it may be. Sometimes I'm totally transported back to a time when life was awkward, sometimes I'm transported to when life was totally amazing. I'll take a few and play them as I clean the house, bake, or even as I'm clicking away on the computer, like writing this blog post. (Playing right now? Nico and Vinz's, 'Am I Wrong'. Good tune).

Every year, I like to compile a list of songs for my summertime listening pleasure. Because my genre of music is so vast and all over the place, I often get requests for my lists, which is so funny to me, but music, like recipes and good advice, it should be shared. 

This year, I seem to have gone a bit old school with most of the tunes. I guess all the nostalgia had gotten to me. This is what I have compiled as of the moment I pushed publish. I'm sure it will continue to grow as the days get warmer and the drinks get colder. 

And be sure to nosh on these parfaits. Seriously, they scream summer. 

No. Seriously. They scream. It's best to eat them fast and pretend you're none the wiser. 

There She Goes - The La's
California Love - TuPac
Take Me Home - Cash Cash
Don't Look Back in Anger - Oasis
Gold - Britt Nicole
10,000 Trees - Stereophonics  
Song 2 - Blur 
Hollywood - Marina and the Diamonds
Lovefool - The Cardigans
This is the Last Time - Keane  
Sunshine - Matisyahu   
Loud - R5
Best Day of My Life - American Authors
All I Want - Toad the Wet Sprocket
Fancy - Iggy Azalea 
Little Numbers - Boy
Crave You - Flight Facilities
Good - Better Than Ezra
Cruel Summer - Bananarama
Breathless - The Corrs
Smoke and Mirrors - Paloma Faith
INOJ - Love You Down
Everybody's Changing - Keane
The Way I Am - Ingrid Michaelson
Obstacles - Syd Matters
Precious Little - Eleanor McEvoy
Rush Hour - Jane Wiedlin
Crazy For You - Henley
Sand in My Shoes - Dido
Little Things - Bush 
Brighter than the Sun - Colbie Caillet 
My Own Worst Enemy - Lit 
I Do - Lisa Loeb
Clarity - Zedd
Best Song Ever - One Direction
Sing - Ed Sheeran  
The Reflex - Duran Duran
Addicted 2 U - Martina Sorbara
Pompeii - Bastille
Slide - Goo Goo Dolls
Blue Monday - Orgy
Firestarter - Samantha Jade
Love Is On The Radio - McFly
Born to Fly - Sara Evans
Gives You Hell - All American Rejects
Sing - Travis 
99 Luftballoons - Nena
Lemonade - Alexandra Stan
She Looks So Perfect - 5 Seconds of Summer
It's the End of The World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine) - REM
Jaded - Melissa McClelland
Undone (The Sweater Song) - Weezer
Bad For Me - Megan & Liz
Photograph - Def Leppard
Enjoy the Silence - Depeche Mode
I Wish - Cher Lloyd


For the compote:

2 cups rhubarb, chopped into bite-sizes
2 cups strawberries, hulled and chopped 
1 cup granulated sugar 
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

For the pretzel crumble:

½ cup unsalted butter, melted
3 cups pretzels, broken into pieces
1 egg white
⅓ cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon all purpose flour

For the cream cheese fluff:
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

To make compote:

In a large saucepan over medium heat, combine rhubarb and sugar together and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in strawberries and lemon juice cook for another 10 minutes or until compote is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Transfer into a dish, cover and refrigerate for several hours. 

To make pretzel crumble:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Using a food processor, grind together 2½ cups pretzels, melted butter, egg white, sugar, and flour to form a wet dough. Press the dough onto the prepared baking sheet to form a rectangle. Break up remaining pretzels and push into pretzel dough. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and transfer to a rack to cool completely. Once cool, break apart into bite-sized pieces. 

To make cream cheese fluff:

Using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla, and heavy cream until fluffy and smooth. 

Begin layering components together, starting with the fluff, pretzel crumble, compote. Repeat steps.

Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour.

Sprinkle with reserve pretzel crumble before serving. 

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5 Responses to “Strawberry Rhubarb Pretzel Parfaits”

  1. Those look delish! Love the sweet + salty flavors in here. :)

  2. Mmmm! Those sound so good! Love your blog. It's SO cute! Thanks for all of the great summer music ideas.

  3. Such a pretty dessert and quite an impressive music list. Hope you are enjoying your summer:)

  4. 'She Looks So Perfect' is my "I'm alone in the kitchen, and I'm going to have a dance party while I bake" jam! You've got some great songs on that list!
    Lovely parfait, too!