Blackberry Slump

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Blackberry Time

Every year about this time, here in southern British Columbia, the push is on to pick blackberries. Blackberries are a perennial and a relative of the raspberry. This plant grows wild along side our roads and in sunnier parts along the edges of fields and forests. They also bramble meaning they have a long vine that travels up fences and over other vegetation with very sharp thorns.

Make sure you cover yourself well if going picking. I saw one woman with a neat idea for a hands free bucket for picking berries.  She had an old belt and had cut the top off a milk jug leaving the handle which she looped through the belt. This allows for hands free picking.

blueberrypicking590

 

Blackberry Slump

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 6

INGREDIENTS

Dumplings:

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup whole milk

Berries:

  • 4 cups fresh or frozen (defrosted and drained) blackberries
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (depending on how sweet your berries and how sweet you would like your slump to be)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Whipping cream or vanilla ice cream for topping

METHOD

1. Make the dumplings: In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar.

Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour. Using a pastry cutter, two knives, or your clean hands, cut the butter into the flour until the flour resembles a coarse meal.

Add the milk all at once and stir until the flour is just moistened. Handling the dough as little as possible, form into a ball. Set aside.

2. Heat berries with sugar, cinnamon, lemon, water until boiling: In a 2-qt saucepan, add the berries, sugar, cinnamon, lemon juice, lemon zest, and water. Heat until boiling, stirring a few times so that the berries are well coated with the sauce.

3. Add chunks of dumpling dough: Once the berry mixture is boiling, tear off spoonful chunks from the dough ball and drop onto the fruit around the edges of the pot. You should have enough dough for 6 dumplings.

4. Cover and simmer: Cover the pot and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes, without peeking at the dumplings.

Place dumplings in serving bowls and top with berries. Serve with cream or ice cream. Serve hot or chilled.

** You can also interchange berries. Strawberries, blueberries.

Want to know more about blackberries?
The blackberry
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Basic White Sauce

https://i0.wp.com/f.tqn.com/y/southernfood/1/S/w/X/4/basic-white-sauce-gt-24.jpg

Basic White Sauce Recipe

This basic white sauce recipe can be used on it’s own or as the start to any number of French sauces, including supreme sauce. You can add cheese, chopped eggs, onions, all kinds of choices. Great on vegetables, as a base for macaroni and cheese, or gravy.

White sauce is very easy to make.

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup  water (More choices:  chicken stock, milk or cream)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

Melt the butter over low heat and stir in the flour with a wooden spoon. Cook while stirring for two minutes. Add the water or stock, two tablespoons at a time, whisking the mixture to a smooth consistency after each addition. When you’ve added about half the liquid, you can add the rest all at once.

Continue warming on low to medium heat until sauce thickens. Whisk as needed to prevent it from getting lumpy. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste.

http://www.easy-french-food.com/white-sauce-recipe.html

thyme

Almond Tea Cakes

financier au creme

Almond Tea Cakes

1 1/4 cup flour
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup ground almond meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
6 ounces unsalted butter
1 teaspoon almond extract

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
2. Begin by preparing a muffin or financier pan. If you are using a silicone pan, there is no need to grease. If you are using another sort of material, grease the pan with some soft butter.
3. Measure the flour, powdered sugar, almond meal, and salt into a large mixing bowl and stir together until completely mixed.
4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, and add in the four egg whites. Use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients into a smooth paste. This takes a little elbow grease.
5. Place the butter in a small, microwave proof bowl and melt in the microwave on high heat. Watch this carefully. Butter melts very quickly in the microwave and you should stop it half way through and give it a stir.
6. Add the butter to the batter along with the almond extract. Carefully stir the batter until all of the butter is incorporated and the batter is smooth.
7. Place several heaping tablespoons of batter into each mold. They should be about 3/4 of the way full if you are using a financier pan, and a little less if you are using a typically sized muffin pan.
8. Place the filled pan in the preheated oven and bake at 400°F (200°C) for 15 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 350°F (180°C) and bake for five more minutes. Turn the oven off and leave the financiers in the closed oven for two more minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool to warm before releasing from the pan.
*Makes 12 cakes.

Recipe Variations

Fillings: These cakes take especially will to having fillings added. Fill the molds half way, then add a tablespoon of jam, fruit or Nutella, before topping with another spoon full of batter.
Toppings: You can also top these with fruit or sliced almonds.
Chocolate: Personally I think this is going over board, but you can add in a handful of chocolate chips or chopped chocolate – for those who think dessert just isn’t complete without a little cacao.

Enjoy!

 

anyaflower218

Stuffing Meatloaf

stuffing-meatloaf-3

Stuffing Meatloaf


1 package Stove Top Stuffing mix, dry
1 c. warm water
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 package onion soup mix

Preheat oven 350°. Coat inside of bundt pan with cooking spray.

Place warm water, onion soup mix and dry stuffing mix in a bowl. Mix well. Let sit for 5 minutes to allow bread time to absorb water.

Add eggs and ground beef. Mix well. Best to get it blended by using your hands and incorporating it all together.

Place evenly into bundt pan. You can also put into muffin tins to make individual loafs.

Bake 1 hour or until no longer pink inside.

Remove and allow to rest 5 minutes before cutting into.

 

BarnStirringMoulage

Happy Easter Recipe

1311p61-cream-cheese-danish-braid-m

 

LEMON-CHEESE BAKE

INGREDIENTS

– Butter
– 1 Egg
– Fast acting yeast
– Vanilla extract
– Milk
– Lemon
– Flour
– Sugar
– Cottage cheese or ricotta cheese

DIRECTIONS
1. Warm your milk so that it’s lukewarm.
2. Add yeast to the milk, leave for a few minutes to bubble.
3. Add cottage cheese, sugar, egg, vanilla extract, lemon juice and zest. Mix.
4. Add melted butter and 1/2 flour to the yeast extract. Mix to form a dough.
5 Put dough on floured surface, knead a bit then put it back in your bowl and let it rise.
6. Add more flour on top before rolling out dough on floured surface. Put cottage cheese filling in the center of the dough.
7. Cut the outside edges of the dough and fold it in, so it almost resembles a braid.
8. Put the pastry on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and brush an egg wash on the top of the pastry.
9. Bake for 20 minutes until you see that it is a golden brown color.

ChickandflowersHappyEaster

Found on Tip Hero http://tiphero.com/lemon-cheese-bake/

No One Eats at the Table Anymore

In the 1950s ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s we all sat down at the table to eat at dinner time.

1950sdishes
What is the difference between dinner and supper?
Supper is a light evening meal – served in early evening if dinner is at midday or served late in the evening after an early-evening dinner. Either way, it is regarded as the last meal of the day. Dinner is the main meal of the day, served either in the evening or at midday.

Faithfully I tried to have dinner on the table every evening for my family but life happened. Husband worked late, kids at their games or a friends, and it disintegrated from there. We ate later or the kids weren’t hungry as they ate at their friends. Finally Husband just took his dinner when he got home from work and everyone else ate when ever.

messy-table3

Messy Table

The kitchen table became the dumping ground for mail,keys,phones,and whatever else needed a place. Once a week it got sorted to use for Sunday dinner.

 

My own children today don’t eat at the table in their own homes. Sad really because it is such a wonderful time when the family is all together we can laugh and joke and tell each other about our day. Instead I found myself having to talk to my children and make sure they ate which of course took more time. Not that I’m complaining but I was busy too.

Sunday_Dinner

Sunday Dinner

On Sundays I would have a sit down dinner. Went to a special effort to make a good meal with dessert for everyone to enjoy. If anyone dropped by they were invited too.

Picture above from The Practical Cook

https://thepracticalcook.wordpress.com/2011/06/28/a-case-for-sunday-night-dinner/

Unless you’re entertaining no one really bothers with dishes or silverware. All my children know how to use a knife and fork and know how to set a table but it’s become old fashioned. They will however have this skill if ever needed and maybe they will impress someone.

Gone are the days of everyone sitting at the table together.

Florentines With Cranberries

nadyia_florentines_1027185c

Florentines with Cranberries

Photo by Romas Foord

Florentines with Cranberries

The cranberries and chocolate caught my eye and I thought they would be a nice addition to my Christmas baking. They sound delicious.
You can vary this recipe to suit your tastes. When I investigated further there were variations on this recipe with quantities and temperatures.  I am going with the one I found first which I translated from German.

Translated from Kuechen Goetter
http://www.kuechengoetter.de/rezepte/Plaetzchen-Kekse/Florentiner-mit-Cranberries-1335786.html
The sour berries harmonize perfectly with these almond biscuits. While this portioning and baking requires a little practice, but the enjoyment compensates all.

Number of portions: 2-3 sheets

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Preheat Oven 400 °F or 200 °C

100 g cream (heavy) (1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon honey
75 g brown sugar (eg Demerara) (1/3 cup)
2 tablespoons vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (see link to vanilla sugar below)
30 g butter (2 Tablespoons)
40 g dried cranberries (1/4 cup)
100-125 g sliced ​​almonds (1/2 cup)
1 -2 tablespoons chopped pistachios (optional)
30-40 g of flour (approximately 1/4 cup)
100 g chocolate coating (optional) (4 oz)

Step 1 – The Preheat oven to 200 °C  or 400 °F

(But looking at other recipes they range from 350 °F to 375 °F.)
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Step 2  – Melt honey, sugar, vanilla sugar, cream and butter in a saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes.

Step 3 – Chop the cranberries (or other dried fruit). Take the creamy boiled sugar-cream from the heat and stir in cranberries along with the nuts.
Add the flour and mix until it forms a ball and fruit and nuts are well mixed.

Step 4 – Use teaspoons (maximum walnut size) add on the cookie sheet, leaving space between for the dough to melt. Press the balls with a wet finger or an oiled spoon back cautiously flat so they will brown evenly.
Bake for 8-10 minutes (or until the desired degree of browning achieved)
Bake in the center of the oven and make sure that the edges are not too dark.
Remove from the oven, wait a few minutes then pull the baking paper with the Florentines on to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
Store in airtight cans, they taste best fresh in the first week.

Step 5 – Optional: Melt chocolate in hot water slowly and brush the bottom of the completely cooled Florentines.

More Notes:
** You need to boil the cream-butter-sugar mix until it gets thick and turns caramel brown (stir the caramel mix the whole time or it’ll burn or boil over) or your Florentines will be very pale.

** You can change the fruit to candied fruit, cherries, raisins, orange peel, marmalade, lemon peel. The same with the nut combinations walnuts, peanuts, sunflower seeds etc.

** Vanilla Sugar from Food Network http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/vanilla-sugar-recipe.html

** Conversions are added but metric is hard to convert precisely but as the portions are unified in one system this is okay.

I live in a metric country  and in my youth I learned the Imperial Measurements. Canada did not convert to metric until 1970. Today Canadian youth understand the metric measurements.

My neighbours in the US are using US Standard Measurement based on the Imperial Measurement. Here is a link to a conversion chart.

https://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/convert/measurements.html

Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Florentine_biscuit

Cookies

New Twist

Winter is still upon us and nothing is better than a warm bread to go with your soups and stews.  Here is an easy recipe called Cottage Cheese Dill Bread.

The cottage cheese dill bread is a batter bread, not a yeast bread, so it only takes about 15 minutes to prepare and about 50 minutes to bake.  I can smell this now.

Dilly_Cottage_Cheese_Bread

From Chin Deep
http://chindeep.com/2010/04/06/cooking-together/

~ Cottage Cheese Dill Bread ~
2 cups unbleached, white flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup cottage cheese

2 eggs

6 Tablespoons milk

1/4 cup honey or sugar

4 Tablespoons melted butter

3 Tablespoons minced fresh dill (I used 3 Tablespoons dry and it turned out wonderful)

**Optional 1/2 teaspoon onion powder, and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1) Preheat oven to 350. Lightly butter a medium sized loaf pan.

2) Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium-large bowl.

3) In a small bowl, combine cottage cheese, eggs, milk, sweetening, and melted butter. Beat well. Add to the dry ingredients along with the dill,
and mix just enough to thoroughly blend. The batter will be a little stiff.

4) Spread the batter evenly into prepared loaf pan. Let it bake for 50 minutes, or until a butter knife inserted all the way into the center comes out clean.
After removing bread from oven, let stand 10 minutes before removing from loaf pan. Cool on rack an additional 30 minutes before slicing.
The cottage cheese dill bread is a batter bread, not a yeast bread, so it only takes about 15 minutes to prepare and about 50 minutes to bake.

Enjoy!butterfly_1

February is for Lovers

Lover’s, whether it’s a favorite aunt, uncle, grandparent, mother, father, spouse, boy/girl friend or your children, time to give them a boost and let them know you love them. I like February because I know spring is right around the corner.

HappyValentinesDayTL_TapestryIII

A simple Valentine treat.

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You will “love” simple white chocolate popcorn recipe for Valentine’s Day!
Prep: 10 mins Total: 10 mins
Ingredients:

12 ounces white chocolate
8 cups popped popcorn
1/2 tsp. salt
sprinkles
(optional) conversation hearts

Directions:

Heat chocolate in the microwave or a double boiler until melted.
Place the popcorn in a large bowl, and pour the melted chocolate over it. Then use a spoon to toss the popcorn gently until it is evenly coated with the chocolate. Spread the popcorn out evenly on a baking sheet covered with parchment, wax paper, or aluminum foil. Sprinkle evenly with the salt, then sprinkle with as many sprinkles and conversation hearts as you would like.

Let cool for 10 minutes or until the chocolate has hardened. Break up into small pieces then serve or store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

From Gimme Some Oven

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/

Cuban sandwich – on a stick

Quick and Easy. My kind of appetizer.

The house by the sea foodwaves

If you read my post about Cuban Sandwich I posted the other day you should know all about Cuban Sandwich.  I love this combo of ham, cheese and dill pickles.  The other day I had smoked ham from Christmas,  I had good cheese and I had dill pickles.  I had tooth picks.

I cut the ham, pickles and cheese in little bites and put it on the tooth picks, It looked like this.  A great snack for a cocktail party.

ham

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