Treasure Finds

I actually discovered a little treasure of a bookstore on Charlotte Street, here in Brisbane called ‘Archives’. It’s a handsome second hand bookstore. I have to admit, as much as I love the smell and feel of brand new prints, I also share a love for the lovely old browned page of a book someone else in the yesteryear has enjoyed and managed to treasures all these years.

I also checked out another new cafe, Belissimo! with god awful cakes and excellent coffee (that’s a piccolo latte I’m having, my absolute favourite) . I ordered a lemon meringue cupcake with a ‘curd’ surprise in the middle whereas my friend had a white chocolate raspberry mud cake. Both a waste of our money. Both the cakes were dry like as if they have been left in the fridge for a month and the curd tasted like lemon detergent. I found it pretty strange that a joint that made such good coffee was messing up the cakes. Pity. But I signed up for coffee appreciation classes with them and can’t wait till I try it out.

In other treasures I have uncovered, is a 20 minute raspberry cream cheese tart recipe which I made today. The the filling was a Paula Deen (Food Network)recipe and the raspberry sauce was my own.

I used Sara Lee frozen raspberries which were going on discount at $3.99. Not one to say no to discounts I took the liberty to get me a few boxes to last the next few weeks and needless to say I use raspberries in everything except curry. In fact I even experimented with making Raspberry tea yesterday night and maybe I will post a recipe once I have perfected it.

And look! They turned out pretty great and obviously with a 15 min tart you buy your tart shells which always are in the frozen food section at your grocers. I like to use the ‘Pampas’…. mostly because that’s the only brand they have at my supermarket.

They were pretty darn good and I think they could be quite healthy (don’t quote me on that) if you perhaps choose low-fat cream cheese or something like that. I am not familiar with that area of practice since I always go full-fat with milk cheese and butter because I believe it makes my skin glow and my hair shine.


The Starting Chef




Makes 12 tarts

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 12 frozen Pampas tart shells
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup cold water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Bake tart shells for ten minutes and let it cool.

Combine the raspberries, sugar, and orange juice in a saucepan. Whisk the cornstarch into the cold water until smooth. Add the mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the desired consistency is reached. The sauce will thicken further as it cools. You can sieve the sauce if you have time but I like it with the seeds.

 Beat cream cheese with a handheld electric mixer until fluffy. ( I used a whisk and it was fine) Add sugar and vanilla, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Spoon cream cheese mixture over half baked tart shells. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow tarts to cool completely. Serve with raspberry sauce on top.