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

Basic White Sauce

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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

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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

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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/

Florentines With Cranberries

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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

Time for a Tropical Interlude.

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If I ever won a million dollars I would have two homes and one would be in tropical style. To beat the winter blues here is an easy tropical recipe to cheer you up.

 

Author: The Wanderlust Kitchen
Serves: 4
friedrice
PARADISE FRIED RICE

Ingredients

4 cups cold cooked rice
2 Tbsp. Peanut or vegetable oil
¼ cup cashew pieces
½ cup chopped onions
¼ cup golden raisins
1 Egg, beaten
½ cup pineapple tidbits
¼ cup chopped scallions, divided
2 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 tsp. sugar
Cilantro for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Use your fingers to crumble up the cold rice and break up any clumps.
Heat the oil in a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat.
Once hot, add the cashews, onions, and raisins. Let cook for 1 minute.
Add the beaten egg and cook for 1 minute while stirring to scramble the egg.
Add the pineapple pieces, followed by half of the chopped scallions. Add the rice, fish sauce, and sugar, and cook, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes or until the rice is warm.
Mound the rice on a serving platter and garnish with the leftover scallions (and cilantro if desired).

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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Pear Tarte

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The Tarte Tatin is a typical French recipe that originated (perhaps unintentionally) in the 1880s and consists of fruit—usually apples—that is cooked in butter and sugar, and then baked with the crust…

In the original recipe the apples/pears were put in first then the dough was put on top This is an excerpt from History of the Tarte Tatin

“Take a good chunk of butter and knead it vigorously.  Spread it over the bottom of your copper dish, and cover generously with a layer of sugar. Cut up pippin or calvile apples, and place them carefully into your dish. Put as many layers as the dish will hold. Cover the apples with a thick layer of sugar. Separately, prepare a dough with flour, butter, and water. Roll it out as thinly as possible, about 1 millimeter [3/64″]. Cover the apples and trim the dough  around the dish. Cover with the lid which must not touch the dough. Bake as mentioned above. Once done, cover the tarte with a serving dish and flip it upside down. Eat warm”

Recipe from Delicious Recipes

Pear Tarte

Yields 1, 9 or 10-inch tart Ingredients Crust:

  •  1 stick cold butter, cubed
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup plain, Greek yogurt

Filling:

  • 5-6 pears (bosc)
  • 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1 teaspoon candied ginger, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

  1. In a food processor, pulse together flour, sugar and salt.
  2. Slowly add in cold butter and pulse until mixture is crumbly and butter is the size of peas. Then add in yogurt and pulse until ball of dough forms.
  3. Turn out and roll into a flattened disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Peel and halve pears and place them in a large bowl. Sprinkle with lemon juice (to reduce browning) and 2 tablespoons sugar and toss to coat.
  5. In a large, oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat, melt 6 tablespoons butter (make sure butter evenly covers skillet) and evenly distribute ¾ cup sugar. Stir to incorporate and cook until sugar dissolves.
  6. Add pears and coat well with sauce. Continue cooking until sauce caramelizes and turn a dark, amber color. About 15 minutes.
  7. Preheat oven to 375º F.
  8. Carefully arrange pears so they’re cut-side up in skillet, rounded edges facing out, with as few gaps as possible. Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg and candied ginger.
  9. Remove dough from fridge and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll dough to a ¼-inch thickness that is approximately 1-inch larger than your skillet.
  10. Place skillet on a baking tray (to catch extra liquid) and place dough on top of pears. Use a fork to carefully tuck excess dough inside the edge of the skillet.
  11. Place tray in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.
  12. Remove skillet from oven and let cool 5-10 minutes. Run knife along the edge of the skillet to loosen crust.
  13. Cover with a large Pyrex dish or serving plate and use both hands, and thick oven mitts, to flip the skillet over. It’s okay if some crust or pear sticks, carefully rearrange and let cool.
  14. Serve with ice cream or crème fraiche.

 

Enjoy!