Family · Family Favorites · Holidays

Sweet, Sweet Blueberry Muffins

Warm, sweet blueberry muffins fresh from the oven with melted butter. Oh, my gosh..it’s the best.

The Sweet Blueberry Muffin recipe is one I found (who knows where!) during my college years. I was reading cookbooks like novels in those days. I first tried this recipe on my family when I cooked several items for Easter Dinner. I still remember the wonderful muffins and memories of Easter celebrations at the Farm.

SWEET BLUEBERRY MUFFINS

1 egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup salad oil
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or 3/4 cup frozen blueberries (thawed & drained)

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease bottoms of 12 medium muffin cups.
  • Beat egg; stir in milk and oil.
  • Mix in remaining ingredients, just until flour is moistened. Batter should be lumpy. Fold in blueberries.
  • Fill muffin cups 2/3 full.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes.
New Favorite

Blackberry Peach Coffee Cake

Fresh fruit…pies, cakes, coffee cakes or naked is my favorite dessert or breakfast treat.  This recipe, from Southern Living, caught my eye and with more beautiful peaches and a box of fresh blackberries, I had to try it.

My oven bakes a little hot, so the bottom is quite brown but still delicious.  This recipe will stay in my recipe box and perhaps a straight peach coffee cake will be in the plan for next summer!

BLACKBERRY PEACH COFFEE CAKE

Streusel Topping

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add granulated sugar and brown sugar, beating well. Add flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg; beat just until blended.

Cake:

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups peeled and sliced fresh firm, ripe peaches (about 2 large peaches, 7 oz. each)
1 cup fresh blackberries

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare Streusel Topping.
  • Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add granulated sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating until blended after each addition.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Pour batter into a greased and floured 9-inch springform pan (I used a small oblong pyrex baking dish).
  • Top with sliced peaches and blackberries. Pinch off 1-inch pieces of Streusel Topping, and drop over fruit.

 

  • Bake at 350° for 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 20 minutes or until center of cake is set. (A wooden pick inserted in center will not come out clean.) Cool completely on a wire rack (about 1 1/2 hours). Dust with powdered sugar. Garnish, if desired.

  • Peach Coffee Cake: Omit blackberries. Increase peaches to 3 cups sliced (about 3 large peaches, 7 oz. each). Proceed with recipe as directed.
Family · Family Favorites · Gluten Free · New Traditions

Peach Blueberry Crumble

Peaches are in season and I love a peach dessert.  I adapted a recipe from Barefoot Contessa to be gluten-free. It was delicious. The rice flour is lighter, therefore, you need to add about 25% more rice flour that the all-purpose flour called for in a recipe.  I’ve shown the rice flour and the all-purpose flour proportions in the recipe below. I also sprinkled sugar on top of the crumble to give it a little extra sweetness.

 

The Crumble served warm with good vanilla ice cream…it’s what I wish I were having for dessert tonight!

PEACH AND BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE

GF=Gluten-Free

2 pounds firm, ripe peaches (6 to 8 peaches)
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/8 cup rice flour (GF) OR 1/4 cup all-purpose flour (non GF)
1 cup fresh blueberries

Crumble:

1.25 cups rice flour (GF) OR 1 cup all-purpose flour (non GF)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 pound (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until their skins peel off easily. Place them immediately in cold water. Peel the peaches, slice them into thick wedges, and place them in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the blueberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into buttered ramekins or baking dish.

  • For the topping, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until it’s in big crumbles, then sprinkle evenly over the fruit.
  • Place the ramekins on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the top is browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe Adapted From Food Network, 2006 Barefoot Contessa

Family · Family Favorites

Fresh Peach Cobbler…summertime favorite

Fresh peaches are a summer treat!  I have fond memories, as a kid, of biting into a fresh peach and have the juice run down my arms and all over my face. I was a sticky mess, but loving that peach!

English: juicy peach half

Colorado peaches are some of the best and I’m lucky enough to live in the great state that produces them. To date, I’ve not seen Colorado peaches at the market but Costco has had wonderful peaches this summer. What better dessert to serve visiting family topped with vanilla ice cream! The recipe is from my tried and true Farm Journal Country Cookbook, 1972 a gift from the folks at Farm Journal many years ago when I worked in Agri-Marketing for an ad agency in St. Joe, MO. The cookbook has seen a lot of love and even though it’s spine is broken, it continues to support my love of good home-cooking!

IMG_0041

Our Book Club potluck was coming up, featuring the book Proof of Heaven a Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Afterlife by Eben Alexander, M.D.  Our potluck theme was ‘what would you have for your last meal?’  I tripled the recipe so I could have enough Cobbler for the Book Club and for visiting family.  It was hit with both groups. It’s delicious (even if I do say so myself) and a wonderful summer treat.

FRESH PEACH COBBLER

Peach Mixture:

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 to 1/3 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup water
4 cups sweetened sliced peeled peaches
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • Mix cornstarch, brown sugar, and water.  Add peaches and cook until mixture is thickened, about 15 minutes.
  • Add butter and lemon juice.  Pour into a greased 8″ round or square baking dish.

Batter Topping:

1/2 cup sifted flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons soft butter
1 egg, slightly beaten

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter and egg.  Beat until butter is smooth.

Drop spoonfuls of Batter Topping over hot peach mixture.  Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon white sugar.

Bake in hot oven (400 degrees) 40 to 50 minutes.  Serve warm, in bowls, with vanilla ice cream.

 

Adapted from Farm Journal Country Cookbook

New Favorite

Gooseberry Tart

Gooseberry bushes are prickly and the berries are tedious to clean but gooseberries lovers are willing to sacrifice for the greater good of a delicious, seasonal tart, pie, or cobbler.   My gooseberry picking buddy, Joe the Golden Retriever, was anxious to eat these sour gems again this year.  I decided to try giving a raw gooseberry to my grand-dogs as well with an equally positive response.  Who knew that gooseberries were a treat of choice for the canine crowd?

I love the slight sweetness of this crust and the creamy custard surrounding the cooked gooseberries.  My kids and their spouses, however, turned up their noses at my creation since they cannot fathom eating gooseberries.  Oh well…more for the rest of us.  Someday…they’ll wish they had a piece, right?

GOOSEBERRY TART

1 pound cleaned gooseberries
3 eggs
3.5 ounces of sugar
10 ounces heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pastry:

1.2 cups flour (or more to reach desired consistency)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup very cold, unsalted butter
1 egg yolk
a little ice cold water

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Make the pastry by processing the flour and sugar together.  Chop the cold butter into small pieces and add to the flour and sugar.  Pulse (or blend by hand) until the mixture resembles bread crumbs.  Mix the egg yolk with a little ice-cold water.  Add to the flour mixture and pulse until the pastry forms a soft ball.  Add ice-cold water if needed to achieve desired consistency.  Chill the dough for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Remove the pastry from the refrigerator and place on floured surface.  Roll to fit the tart pan and place in pan.  Pierce the bottom and sides of the pastry with a fork. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from oven and cool slightly.
  • Combine eggs, sugar, cream and vanilla extract.  Place gooseberries in bottom of tart pastry and pour egg mixture over the top.  Bake for 30 minutes until the center is firm.

Servings:  6-8

New Favorite

Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter and Chocolate combined are a beautiful match and this recipe was a ‘must try’ from Iowa Girls Eats.  I have to say that they are absolutely delicious even though my end result was not as attractive as I would have liked.  I’m chalking that up to baking at altitude (or attitude!).   IMG_2316

PEANUT BUTTER BROWNIES

For the Chocolate Sheet Cake:
1 cup butter
1 cup water
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sour cream

For the Peanut Butter Icing:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup + 2 Tablespoons milk
6 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup peanut butter

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine butter, water, and cocoa powder in a large saucepan then bring to a boil. Remove from heat then set aside to cool slightly.
  • Whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl then create a well in the center. Add cocoa mixture then whisk until smooth. Add sour cream then whisk until smooth.
  • Pour cake batter into a non-stick sprayed baking sheet (I used a 17×12) or jelly roll pan, then spread evenly.

IMG_2310

  • Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • For the Peanut Butter Icing: Whisk together powdered sugar, milk, melted butter, and vanilla in a large bowl. Add peanut butter then whisk to combine. Microwave for 30 seconds then stir if too thick.  Pour over warm cake then spread evenly. Allow to cool then slice and serve.

 

Family Favorites · My Roots · Vegetarian

Oh, the lowly radish sandwich…

Do you have a favorite childhood memory of food that, to most people, seems utterly ridiculous (and perhaps disgusting)?  Perhaps my lowly radish sandwich seems that way to you.

Growing up my Mother had a wonderful garden and I loved the fresh radish sandwich my Mother would make for me.  Simple but pleasing.  Today another walk down memory lane.  This radish sandwich is for you Mom!

LOWLY RADISH SANDWICH

Buttered bread of choice
Fresh sliced radishes
Salt

Yum!

Family Favorites

Honeyed Ham Steak

Honeyed Ham Steak was one of the first recipes I used early in our marriage. It was quick, economical, and easy to prepare after work. Pair with a starch and a vegetable or salad.  This time I served with Tangy Cauliflower (recipe to post Friday, April 26).

HONEYED HAM STEAK

Servings: 2-4
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon butter
1 fully cooked smoked ham center slice, cut 1/2 inch thick (1 pound)

  • Heat first three ingredients in skillet, over medium heat, until blended.
  • Add ham; cook 5 minutes on each side or until heated and browned to your liking.
  • Remove heat to platter; pour mixture over ham.
Family Favorites

Chicken Divine

Chicken Divine starts by roasting chicken breasts with savory rosemary making your mouth water, anticipating the great final dish to come.  This dish takes a while but you could easily bake the chicken breasts ahead of time.

I do not recall where I found this recipe but it’s been a family favorite for the past 20 years.  Pair Chicken Divine with a green salad, crusty bread and a nice glass of white wine.  Dinner is served!

CHICKEN DIVINE

3 whole chicken breasts
rosemary to taste
salt and pepper to taste
1 sliced onion
1 pound fresh or frozen broccoli
3/4 cup raw rice, cooked

CHEESE SAUCE:

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 cup grated, sharp Cheddar Cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

SAUCE:

  • Melt butter, add flour and stir until smooth. Cook 2 minutes. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Add cheeses and seasonings.

CASSEROLE:

  • Sprinkle chicken with rosemary, salt and pepper. Bake chicken at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Cool. Skin, bone and slice.
  • Cook broccoli in water with salt and onion. Drain.
  • Layer chicken, then broccoli, then rice in buttered casserole.
  • Pour cheese sauce over entire dish. Add more grated Parmesan on top if desired.

  • Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
New Favorite

Pear Cake…seasonal delight!

Pear Cake made with seasonal pears is a true treat.  This recipe, from http://www.usapear.com was a great find and delicious as a morning coffee treat or as a seasonal dessert.

PEAR CAKE

10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 pears, peeled, cored and wedged
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup milk

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a round baking pan with 2 tablespoons of butter.  Sprinkle with brown sugar.
  • Brush the pear wedges with lemon juice and arrange in the bottom of the baking pan.
  • Combine flour with baking powder, salt and cinnamon, Set aside.
  • Using a mixer, beat the remaining butter with sugar until fluffy.  Stir in eggs and vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture and milk alternating the ingredients slowly.  Continue to beat on low-speed after each addition.
  • Spoon batter evenly over pears in pan.
  • Bake for 30 minutes OR until toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.  (My oven required a longer baking time.)
  • Cool before inverting onto serving platter.  Decorate with walnuts or serve with whipped cream as coffee cake or dessert.

Recipe adapted from http://www.usapears.com; Starkrimson Pear Cinnamon Cake