Healthy or Hungover #8

Nimai Larson

All photos by Nimai Larson

When I stepped off the plane in Seattle one week ago, I was greeted with Nirvana's “Smells Like Teen Spirit” over the loud speakers. On the whole walk to baggage claim I started getting nostalgic and thinking about being a teenager in the '90s. MAN, being a teenager SUCKED!!! I remember all of my friends getting asked out to Homecoming (and other similar events that seemed enormous in importance at the time) until I was the only one left without a date. I was never asked out. Maybe because my shirt didn't say ABERCROMBIE and FITCH?? Or maybe my hair wasn't BloNde enough?!! Was I breaking out??? Was it because I wasn't a cHeeRleADer?!!! Or a Christian?? Or maybe because I had glasses AND braces AND headgear?!! I guess I'll never know.

One cool thing about being a teenager was the snacks. My friends and I would all sit around the table at lunch time trading Little Debbies for Fruit Roll-Ups and Nachos Lunchables for Pizza Lunchables. One package of paradise for another! I never got any of those snacks in my lunch bag because my parents were super into health food. But every once in a while, a girl at the table would trade me her Zebra Cakes for my Nutra-Grain bars. I LOVED THOSE DAYS! I would daydream about opening my pantry and having Iron Kids Crustless White Bread, Gushers, Swiss Rolls, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Skippy Peanut Butter, Fun Dip, Cheez Its, Handi-Snax, Cheez Whiz, Go-Gurt, Sour Patch, Blow Pops….but most of all, more than any other snack, I wished I could have POP TARTS. What a fun little pocket of food!!! I mean you could have fruit filling OR chocolate! Plain OR frosted!!! There are just so many choices, so many opportunities in Pop Tarts. As a teenager in the '90s, having a date to Homecoming could have been cool… But having the right snacks was WAY cooler!! So in the spirit of being a teenager, I am making Pop Tarts fit for an adult.

PoP TARTZ!

(Makes 6 BiG ones!)

FOR THE CRUST:

  • 3 Cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups Butter (3 sticks) (hell yeah)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 3 Tablespoons Half 'n' Half
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Salt

FOR THE FILLINGS:

  • 1/4 Cups Chevre Cheese in pieces
  • 3 Figs chopped
  • 3 Teaspoons Walnut pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon Maple Sugar
  • 6 Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes
  • 5 Fresh Basil Leaves
  • 3 Tablespoons Mozzerella shredded
  • Salt and Pepper to season

This recipe is going to make you get your hands dirrrRrrty, are you ready for that?!! I don't take my rings off to drum, wash my hands, sleep, garden, or wave at people. But when it comes to baking it's a different story – I'm haunted by the time my mom baked her wedding ring into a pie for my piano recital. What if I baked one of my grandma's prized golden rings into a dang Pop Tart and choked my friends to death?!! No rings y'all!!!

Combine the Flour, Sugar, and Salt in a large bowl. Then add the <3 BUTTER <3. Mix with your hands until the dough is crumbly. It should still stick together.

Not that the dough would even taste good yet but I definitely ate some.

Next, whisk your 2 Eggs and Half 'n' Half together and add to your crumbly dough to make it a bit wetter. So it looks like this:

Do y'all drink half 'n' half in your coffee?? The only thing better than half 'n' half in your coffee is whipped cream.

Divide your dough in half. Form each ball into a rectangle and roll out with a rolling pin on two separate floured surfaces. I never know how much flour to use and start worrying about the dough sticking so I end up with like a cup of flour underneath a handfull of dough!!!! Oh well! It's not the only time I over-think EVERYTHING.

Next I used this mysterious tool to trim the edges. Does it normally cut pizza? Or meat?? It's kinda spOOky!

Now as you can see, my dough didn't exaaaactly turn out to be a perfect rectangle. But I did a Frankenstein job of piecing the corners back together by taking the scraps and 'gluing' them (with water) to the jagged edges to make real corners. Baking is hard because it's so scientific! You can't just throw a bunch of shit in a Fry Daddy and hope for the best!!! At this point in the recipe, I was totaLLy freakin out!!! Like why are PoP Tartz so HARD??? Is it bad that I'm sprinkling sugar on the dough and eating it??! Do raw eggs kill you?!!! Who even invented these things?!! They're basically HoT pOcKetSS$SS! What if there's Not enough BuTTer?!! I want them 2 B done already!!! Who's up next on my '90s pLayli$t?!! I LOVE SHANIA TWAIN!!!! YOU'RE STILL THE ONE!!!!

PoP TarTZ don't stuff themselves y'all!!! So let's fill 'em! You've got 2 big rectangles of dough. Make each big rectangle into 6 smaller rectangles so you have 12 small rectangles of dough. Set 6 aside cuz those are for the second filling. The first six are getting stuffed with Chevre//Fig//Walnut//Maple!! How do you even pronouce “chevre”?? I'm too self-concious to say it out loud cuz what if I say it wrong in a faNcy restaurant? I've pronouned “torte”, “suave”, and “draught” wrong in fancy restaurants already… Am I just not meant to be claS$Sy in this life?!!!?!

Spoon little bits of Chevre on your doughs first.

Then slice up the figs and lay 'em on next.

I've read somewhere that figs boost the male sex drive?!! I guess cuz figs look pretty similar to you know what!! Or is my mind just in the gutteR?! That's not why I'm putting figs in this I swear… I'm just tossing in a little aphrodisiac to these PoP TartZ 😉 😉

Sprinkle the pieces of Walnut and the Maple Sugar on last.

MOVING ON! Let's fill the other 6 small rectangles with Mozzarella//Heirloom Tomatoes//Basil!

Evenly spread the Shredded Mozzarella Cheese on your next batch.

Slice about 6 of the lil heirlooms as thin as you can. It's so crazZzy how many different colors they are!!! Like are you a graPe or a tomatO?! Like why do some of them look like watermelonz?! Do you HAVE to use heirlooms or can you just use NORmAL tomatoes?! HEIRLOOMS ARE COOL I SWEAR!!!

So put 'em on your PoP TartZ!!!!

We're so close!!! Chop up your Basil leaves and lay them on toO!!! Add Salt and Pepper to taste.

Okay y'all….so I'm like not trying to like…seduce boyzzz or NEthang with my PoP TartZ but…..according to Beautyden.com Basil is totally used to “bewitch potential lovers”!!! Maybe if I woulda been wearing Basil Oil when I was 14 instead of nasty Plumeria Body Spray from Bath and Body Works I would have been able to trick some HOT DUDE into taking me to the Homecoming Dance!!!

To assemble the PoP TartZ, place the blank doughs on the top of the filled doughs. I sealed all of the edges with a little bit of water and used a fork to press in a pattern and fun 'XXX' decorations! I even had some extra dough so I made a HEART!!! “Truly Madly Deeply” by Savage Garden was totaLLY playing on my '90s Playli$t…. so I felt kinda RoMaNtiCCC 😉 😉 I remember dancing with my BIGGEST crush during that song at my 8th grade Halloween Dance!!! I was a HuLa girl!! I couldn't even believe I was dancing with my Big Crush… Actually my Big Crush was like 4 inches shorter than me. :/ :/ :/ In the middle of the song, I was feeling kinda “breeZy” around my butt and realized my Hawaiian sarong had become UNTUCKED and my Haynes Her Way undiez were ToTaLLy hangin' out!! I remember looking down at my Big Crush (who didn't seem to notice??) about to cry from embarassment but then remembered I was wearing MASCARA and didn't want to look like THAT GIRL. Even though I had no idea what THAT GIRL looked like yet. But now I know!!! Because I'm like, aLwaYs THAT GIRL!!!!

Let these chill out in the refrgerator for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pre-heat your oven to 350! I thought about a lot of FUN and different things I could do with PoP TartZ while I waited…..you could use them to make ice-cream sandwhiches! S'mores! Pour syrup on them like they're Pancakes! Melt cheese between them and have a crazZzy grilled cheese! Microwave them til they exxxplode! Dip them in chocolate fondue! Stick em on a popcicle stick! I don't know why, but you can! Throw 'em in a Fry Daddy!! Stuff 'em with ants and give them to your ex! Bake a ring into them and propose to someone! Stuff em with a ton of Cinnamon and prank your friends! THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS!!!!!!!

Now leave them to bake for 29-35 minutes or until PERFECT. These will be the Top of the Pops!!!! Your favorite PoP TarT since Britney!! The next time you crave some 90s snaxxx like Doritos 3D, Fritos Twists, Crystal Pepsi, Bubble Tape, Fruitopia, or Kraft Singles, make some PoP TarTZ instead!!! Maybe if my future kids are total DORKS like me I'll teach em how to get a date to the dance with these SeCreT WeApoNs 😉 😉

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