Berry Cream Cheese Danishes

I’ve been feeling nostalgic lately, more so than usual. I miss my friends; all of them. A lot of them are in New York, New Hampshire, one in Colorado, two in South Carolina, Vermont, Connecticut, a few in California, and even Rhode Island and Massachusetts. My family is only 45 minutes away and yet I don’t see them enough. I want to be able to see them after work, or have them over for dinner. I dream of having these big dinners at my house and everyone will come over, always being surrounded by laughter and love. Just hanging out. In the old days, if there was nothing to do, Greg and I would just go for a drive. I miss our drives.

I miss Keene; my life there. My old job, my old gym, going for a drive to Jaffrey to see the mountain views, and always knowing that my favorite coffee is just a short walk away to Brewbakers. Maybe on the way I’ll stop at the farmer’s market where I used to volunteer and get some fresh flowers and chocolate milk. Seeing familiar faces on every turn, smelling the breakfast cooking in the air from the local diner, and people watching from the window of my cute little studio apartment. I was always cooking and playing music in there. I loved walking home to it everyday. When I think of it, I still think of it as mine, like it is not something lost or in my past. But it is. Granted, I was lonely sometimes, but it was special. There is no other place that makes me feel the way Keene does. It is small but bustling and fulfilling.

I never thought I would live in Boston, yet here I am. I have a job at a great company with inspiring people. I try good food all the time (although none of it compares to food in Keene, truly and surprisingly). I have met a few good friends, and a handsome and amazing boyfriend. Joining a yoga studio has allowed me to be a part of a community, which is important. I love all these aspects, but I miss my people.

How do I fix this?

I’m trying to cook more. Now that it’s brighter out, I can take better pictures. Once I’m back from Germany, I’d like to see my friends more. I don’t know how to make this happen. How can I make enough money to have a multiple houses all over the world? We all have these big, crazy, happening lives now. It’s hard to get on the phone sometimes or keep up a conversation over text. This has me thinking about college life. How did college prepare me for life? It didn’t, it’s the furthest thing from “adult life.” In college, I was surrounded by my friends 24/7 in class, after class, at work; we’d meet up for a drink, we’d get breakfast together, go for a run or a walk, get dinner together. Side note, I don’t remember anything I learned in college except from my social experiences and working on the student newspaper.

I can’t wait to move to a new apartment with a patio and dining room. As I said in a recent Instagram post, my trip to Germany will be a refreshing experience of much needed change of scenery, inspiration, and motivation.

Anyways, here’s a recipe. These made me so excited I jumped up and down as I watched them puff up in the oven.

You’ll need:

  • Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry Sheets (comes with 2)
  • 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 tbsp. sugar
  • 6 oz. raspberries
  • 1 quart strawberries, sliced
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 lemon

Preheat oven to 400.

In a bowl, mix the cream cheese, vanilla extract, 4 tbsp. of sugar, and 1 tsp of lemon juice. On a flat surface, lay the puff pastry and cut into three separate strips; then cut through the middle to make six individual pieces (they will look like pop-tarts, about 4” x 4”). Use a fork to make a ½” border around the edge of each piece. Make five or six pricks in the middle to keep from rising. In the center, scoop 1-2 tbsp. of the cream cheese mixture within the border marks.

Sprinkle the raspberries with 1 tsp sugar and 1 tsp lemon juice in a pot over low heat for only a minute or two, before too much juice forms.

Using a slotted spoon or fork, place the raspberries over the cream cheese. Pour remaining juice over the strawberry slices (set aside in a bowl) and let them soak it up. Place in layers on the cream cheese. If the strawberries didn’t get much flavor from the raspberry juice, sprinkle with sugar and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice over them. This adds a beautiful tartness.

Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and carefully slide each pastry on. Bake for 10 minutes.

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