Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sand Buckets

My niece had a beach themed birthday party this year and I loved how her mud pies turned out so much that I made some myself…

All we did was use my Flower Pot Mud Pie recipe with graham crackers instead of Oreos, layer them into little buckets and decorate the tops with sea shell candies.

I think I’ll make them this winter for a bit of summer in February…

sand buckets 01sand buckets 03

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Roasted Beets & Greens

I grew beets again this year in the garden and they actually grew!!! Then I wasn’t sure what to do with them??? Luckily I found this recipe, made a few changes and really enjoyed it! Now I’m hoping my second crop of beets makes it…

  • 1 bunch beets with greens
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2-3 potatoes, roughly chopped
  • 2-3 carrots, peeled and cut
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wash the beets thoroughly, leaving the skins on, and remove the greens. Rinse greens, removing any large stems, and set aside. Place the beets, potatoes and carrots in a small baking dish or roasting pan, and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. If you wish to peel the beets, it is easier to do so once they have been roasted. (I didn’t peel mine…)

roasted beets 01

Cover, and bake for 45 to 60 minutes, or until a knife can slide easily through the largest beet.

When the roasted beets are almost done, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onion, and cook for a minute. Tear the beet greens into 2 to 3 inch pieces, and add them to the skillet. Cook and stir until greens are wilted and tender.

roasted beets 02

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Toss together and season with salt and pepper.

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the beets turn everything red!!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Norwegian Blueberry Tea Cake

Thirty pounds of blueberries is a lot!!! In my search to find recipes I stumbled on this one. When I read it, I didn’t see how it could work; flour, sugar, spices, blueberries, extracts and one egg. Wait, only one egg? No milk, water, oil… I wasn’t sure it could work. But the author of the blog assured us that it would. It looked yummy in the picture and I wasn’t out much in the ingredient department, so I gave it a shot.

She was so right! The cake turned out lovely! Not your average fluffy, light, boxed cake mix kind of cake but a delightful slice of cake that is perfect with a hot cup of tea and a good book!

Thanks Poppytalk! You were right!

Norwegian Blueberry Almond Tea Cake
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch each of ground nutmeg & cardamom
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup fresh blueberries (frozen would work well too - don't defrost)
1/4 c sliced almonds (I left the almonds out because I didn’t have any and it was still good)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, mix together the sugar, flour, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, cardamom & nutmeg. Break an egg into the center of the dry mix along with the vanilla and almond extract.

blueberry cake 01

Stir well until the mixture comes together into a thick, heavy batter. Carefully stir in blueberries and almonds.

blueberry cake 02
Butter and flour a 8" round cake tin and dump in batter, using a scraper to add all the dough into the tin. You can try to spread it around, but don't worry if all of the batter doesn't run towards the edges - it will head there while it bakes.

blueberry cake 03

Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the top of the cake is golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Let cool completely before cutting. Serve with ice cream and fresh berries. (We are ours just the way it was and enjoyed every bite!)

blueberry cake 04

Friday, August 26, 2011

Blueberry Ginger Jam

A huge blueberry picking day means lots of blueberry recipes… Here’s another one for a delightful jam with ginger, both fresh and candied. I had a bit this morning on my English muffin and it was very tasty!

english muffin 01

Here is the recipe from Food In Jars… Click HERE to get there!

I love that it sits and lets all that ginger just permeate all those blueberries all day long! And she was right… it would be much easier if you put them in cheesecloth! Those little suckers are tricky to find!

blueberry ginger jam 01

And don’t wear white while canning blueberries… they stain! : o(

blueberry ginger jam 02

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Maple Brown Sugar Blueberry Cheesecake

This may just be the most delicious no-bake cheesecake I’ve ever had! I made up the recipe myself after being inspired by a batch of blueberry maple jam from Well Preserved. I whipped up a batch with just a few of our 30 pounds of u-pick organic blueberries. We served it on pancakes for breakfast this morning and I was smitten!!! The marriage of blueberries, brown sugar, and maple syrup were a match made in heaven! And HERE is the recipe for the soft set no-pectin jam. As I was snatching yet another spoonful out of the jar in the fridge I knew that it just needed to be on cheesecake… but not just any cheesecake.

blueberry cheesecake 01

What would my cheesecake need? Brown sugar… and mason jars!


1 cup of graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 tablespoons melted butter.

Crush graham crackers (about 6 whole) into fine crumbs.

blueberry cheesecake 02

Mix in brown sugar. Add butter and mix until well combined.

blueberry cheesecake 03

Press about 1/4 cup of crust into bottom of 5-6 mason jars. Place in fridge while making cheesecake.

blueberry cheesecake 04


12-14 oz softened cream cheese (I used 14oz for a little more tang)

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Put cream cheese in large mixing bowl. Take about 1 Tablespoon of the brown sugar out of the measuring cup and place it in a small bowl before adding the remaining brown sugar to the cream cheese. Beat until almost completely smooth, add the lemon juice and continue to beat until smooth and creamy.

blueberry cheesecake 051/2 cup whipping cream

1/2 Tablespoon instant clear gel (as a stabilizer)

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the sugar you set aside and add the clear gel. Whip the cream until it just starts to get thick. Add the sugar/clear gel mixture and vanilla. Whip until very thick.

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Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.

Top the crusts with about 1/3 cup of the filling. Smooth the tops.

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Top with a layer of the maple blueberry jam.

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Chill for about 1/2-1 hour in freezer or 2-3 hours in fridge before serving.

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quick & Easy Pickled Carrots

I first heard about these from my sister’s blog. After she brought them to one of our Sister Days, I just had to make some for myself. The recipe is quick and easy and makes just enough (1 pint jar full) to enjoy yourself or to share.

Wash, peel, cut and boil your carrots. You may want to pack them into the jar first so you know how many you’ll need.

pickled carrots 02

Re-pack tightly into a jar.

pickled carrots 01

Make brine and pour over carrots.

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Let sit at room temp until cool. Store in fridge.

pickled carrots 04

For the full recipe from David Lebovitz, click HERE.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Caramel Apple Enchiladas

This is a super easy dessert that is a fun way to end a Mexican themed dinner! The caramel sauce is a recipe I got from my friend Peggy when we lived in Arizona.

All you need is:

Apple Pie Filling (I made mine out of zuchinni that I adapted from this recipe. Just cook the filling in a saucepan and add a bit of cornstarch to thicken if you need to. Remember to add the cornstarch to cold liquid and stir until smooth before pouring into the hot filling.)

Flour Tortillas

Caramel Sauce (see recipe below)

Whipped Cream

Cinnamon sugar (opt)

apple enchiladas 02

Grease a casserole dish and preheat oven to 350.

Roll pie filling into the tortillas and place seam down in baking dish.

apple enchiladas 03

Bake covered for about 15 minutes or until heated through.

Remove and serve immediately topped with caramel sauce and whipped cream.

apple enchiladas 04

Caramel Sauce:

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup corn syrup

2 Tablespoons butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

In medium saucepan, combine all ingredients except vanilla. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Boil for 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Cool slightly to thicken. Store in fridge.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Perfection

When I saw the post from Cookie Sundaes in mason jars from Chica & Jo (click HERE to see their original post), I just knew I had to have them! And I knew just the recipe for cookie dough to use… Sweet Anna’s Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe!

First I mixed up a batch of the cookie dough (see recipe HERE).

Then I just pressed a bit of cookie dough into the bottom of the greased jars.

cookie sundae 01 Baked them on a cookie sheet at 350 for about 15 minutes or until light golden brown.

cookie sundae 02Let them cool for about 5-10 minutes and then place onto small serving plates. Use caution because the jars are still hot!

Add a scoop of ice cream, some chocolate syrup and a bit of whipped cream.

cookie sundae 03  And that is what we call chocolate chip cookie perfection!

As an added bonus since I only had four of these adorable mason jars (a problem which I have since remedied…) I had some cookie dough left over to make some giant cookies! These are also perfect when served with a glass of cold milk!!!

cookie sundae 04cookie sundae 06cookie sundae 05