Blueberry Broccoli Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing


Hello there– Dinner last night was out under the maple tree– chicken enchiladas, beans and this salad– with the MOPS (mothers of preschoolers) Moms.  I can’t remember laughing so much…!  And amazing stories (Lisa!!) of births and love and life with kids!!

Loved the salad– easy and pretty healthy (to balance out the sour cream enchiladas and chocolate cake!)  And you can throw it together in about 10 minutes.  Add chicken and it would be a perfect summer supper.

BLUEBERRY BROCCOLI SPINACH SALAD WITH POPPY SEED DRESSING

Salad:
5 cups baby spinach
1 large heat broccoli, cut to bits
1  cup blueberries
1 avocado, cut into chunks
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1/4 dried cherries (or cranberries)

Dressing:
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. tarragon vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
1 tab. sugar or honey
1 tsp. poppy seeds
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Layer the spinach and other salad ingredients into a pretty bowl.

In a container with a tight fitting lid, shake together the oil, vinegar, honey, poppy seeds, salt & pepper until they are all thoroughly blended.  Pour over the salad when you are ready to serve it up.  Enjoy!

Swedish Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce


Hi all– Mom came for breakfast last week and we sat down to these pretty pancakes. We spent the morning talking through every little thing.  And the pancakes were thin and tender and just sweet enough under that pile of berries and cream.  Great way to start the day.

Got the recipe from Mollie’s blog– The Frugal Hausfrau.  Mollie is forever posting recipes i can’t wait to try!  Love her sense of humor and straightforward helpful instructions and the wide variety of recipes she sends out.

SWEDISH PANCAKES WITH BLUEBERRY SAUCE

Blueberry Sauce:
1  1/2 cups blueberries
1/4 cup orange juice
2 tab. sugar
1 tsp. cornstarch
1/4 cup water

Whipped Cream:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla instant pudding mix

Pancakes:
1  1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk or whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 eggs
butter for the grill.

To make the blueberry compote, mix together the 2 tab. sugar and the cornstarch in a saucepan until there are no cornstarch lumps.  Then set the pan on medium-high heat and add the orange juice, water and 1/2 cup of the blueberries.  Cook stirring 3 or 4 minutes until the blueberries start to pop and he mixtures thickens.  Stir in the remaining blueberries and cook a minute more.

Whip the cream, powdered sugar and instant vanilla pudding mix (to set the whipped cream) with an electric mixer (the whisk attachment works best) until it is stiff and creamy.  Set it in the fridge until you are ready to eat.

For the pancakes, stir together the flour and salt. Then mix in the milk, cream and eggs until it is all blended.  Melt a tsp. of butter on the grill and then cook the pancakes over medium heat about 2 to 3 minutes on each side until they are lightly browned.  Set them on a baking sheet as you finish each one and put them in the oven on the lowest temperature to keep them warm.  Makes about 10 large thin. pancakes.

To serve them, fold 2 pancakes into fourths on each plate, and top with blueberry compote and whipped cream.  So pretty!

Thanks Mom for always having time to drop by for a meal and a talk.  You’re the best!

Pear Berry Cake


Hey there– Don’t you love using up leftovers in a way that doesn’t taste like–well– leftovers??  We had some pears and berries languishing in the fridge from the weekend.  Mixed them into a little cake for friends.  I’d say the berries were much improved by a wrapping of sweet tender cake!

PEAR BERRY CAKE
1  1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. amaretto or almond extract*
3/4 cup canola oil
2 pears, peeled, cored and cut to bits
2 cup mixed berries**
1/3 cup sliced almonds

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the vanilla, amaretto and oil.  Stir in the pears into the stiff batter and then gently fold in the berries.

Then scoop the batter into a 9″ or 10″ springform pan (or cake pan). Sprinkle the almonds on top and then bake it in a 350 fahrenheit oven for 25 to 30 minutes more until the cake is cooked through and a sharp knife inserted to the cake comes out clean.

*I use amaretto because I can buy a big bottle for $7 at the market (so much less than almond extract.)
**I used leftover strawberries, blueberries and blackberries from a breakfast we had here a few days ago (see the Books & Breakfast post! )

Lemon Blueberry Cream Cake

Hi all– Recently we had an Sunday afternoon shower for adorable Lisa, who’s getting married in May.  It was a room full of friends, with “aunts-ish” advice for the new bride and and chances to hear all the details for her story and of the wedding ahead…   And there was cake (of course).  Tart lemon, sweet berries and whip cream to tie it all together.  A dear day together.

LEMON BLUEBERRY CAKE
1 lemon
1 lemon cake mix
canola oil
3 eggs
water
2 cups blueberries (about 12 oz.)
1 small lemon instant pudding (3.9 oz. size)
1 cup milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream (16 oz.)
2 tsp. powdered sugar
2 tsp. instant vanilla pudding
garnish: lemon slice & mint

Grate the lemon peel off and set aside.  Then juice the lemon that is left and set that aside as well.

Mix up the lemon cake mix using the instructions on the box– my mix used 1/3 cup oil, 3 eggs and for the water.  I filled a one cup measuring up with the lemon juice and added water to make the 1 cup asked for.  Then fold in the grated lemon peel and the blueberries.

Pour the batter into a 9″x 13″ baking dish (or a large 10 to 11″ spring form pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Put it into a 350 oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the cake is golden and firm to the touch.
Take it out of the oven let let the came cool completely.

Then whisk together the lemon pudding mix with just 1 cup of milk for a couple minutes and then spread it over the cake.

With an electric mixer (the whisk attachment works best!), beat together the whipping cream, powdered sugar and vanilla pudding mix (to stabilize the cream, help it hold up) until it is well set.  Spoon the cream over the lemon pudding layer and set the cake in the fridge for an hour or more to set up.

Garnish with little lemon slices and something green (mint) and cut big beautiful slices!  Enjoy!

Blueberry Filled Lemon Cake

 

Hello all–  Made this little cake to take along to our Sunday morning group that meets before church.  We’ve been together every week since we were newly weds– 43 years!  And let me tell you, these are my people.

We’ve celebrated babies, and kid’s wedding, then grand-kids together.  We’ve held each other up through cancer and divorce, job loss and problems with our children.  There were camping trips and banana-gram nights, movies and late nights talks over the dinner table together.  When one family lost their family business we chipped in to get their daughter through her last semester of college.  And now we are walking with dear friends through brain cancer and hospice.  There’s more, but I’ll stop– can’t count all the hugs and prayers or the laughter and sorrows shared.

I just wanted to say all this because I’m hoping you have “your people” too.  People who know you deeply and share your faith, who bring meals when you’re down and walk with you in joy and difficult days.  God has them for you– he can help you find them.

 

BLUEBERRY FILLED LEMON CAKE
2 medium lemons, peel grated & juice squeezed
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups fresh blueberries

glaze:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

 

Grate the zest off of the two lemons.  Then cut them in half and squeeze out all the juice.  Set both the zest and juice aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until well blended.  Then stir in the sour cream, oil and vanilla.  Next , mix in the flour, salt and baking powder.  And finally, stir in all the lemon zest, 1/4 cup of the lemon juice and the blueberries.  Just stir enough until it’s all thoroughly combined.

Spoon the mixture into a 9″ springform pan (or cake pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Then pop it into a 375 degree oven for 45 to 55 minutes until it’s cooked through and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

While the cake is still hot, mix together 1/4 cup of the remaining lemon juice with 1/4 cup sugar.  Stir until the sugar all dissolves.  Then dribble the sugar over the top of the cake and let it sit for 30 minutes to cool before you serve it up.

 

Mixed Berry Cobbler

Hello all–  Wonderful time with friends last night– went to dinner at IL Amerikano for dinner, sort of Mexicanish-American food.  I took full advantage of their spiced French fries with cilantro ranch dressing!!  And then we all headed back to our house for this berry cobbler– warmed in the oven with a plop of vanilla ice cream — accompanied by good conversation.  The best kind of Saturday night!


MIXED BERRY COBBLER

Berries:
6 cups mixed berries
(I used blueberries, blackberries & strawberries)
2/3 cup sugar
1 tab. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt

Biscuits:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 tab. cornmeal
2  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup buttermilk*
6 tab. butter, melted
1/2 tsp. vanilla


In a large mixing bowl stir together the berries, 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt.  Nestle the berries into a 9″ square (or deep round) baking dish.  Pop them in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes.

While they are baking, make the cobbler (biscuits) to set on top.  Mix together the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  Then stir in the buttermilk, melted butter and vanilla.  Mix it up to make a stiff dough.

Drop the the dough by spoonfuls onto the hot berries and turn up the oven to 400 degrees.  Bake for 15 to 17 minutes until the cobbler is golden.  Serve it warm with ice cream.  Perfect!

*If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, pour a tablespoon of cider vinegar in a measuring cup and fill to 1/3 with milk.  Let it sit a couple minutes to thicken.

Blueberry Crisp

 

Hey there– I have a baking buddy named Jenna. She’s the best!  We’ve whipped up muffins and cakes for a mountain retreat, and baked a tableful of eggs and sweets for a brunch with friends,  and last week she just texted and said– let’s get together and bake!

So Saturday mid-day we were in the kitchen trying a couple new baking recipes.  Here’s our first try– Blueberry Crisp–sweet and gooey with that crunchy topping!  I think you’ll like it!!

BLUEBERRY CRISP
4 cups fresh (or frozen & thawed) blueberries*
1 tab. cornstarch
2 tab. sugar
1/2 tsp. grated lemon peel
1 tsp. lemon juice

topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
a handful of oats to sprinkle on top

In a mixing bowl, combine the blueberries, cornstarch, sugar, lemon peel and lemon juice.  Turn it all into a 9″ deep pie dish.

To make the topping, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, salt and cinnamon in a mixing bowl.  Then cut the butter into small cubes and add it in.  Cut it all together with a pastry blender (or two forks).  Break up the topping with your fingers and sprinkle it onto the the blueberries in the baking dish.  Sprinkle of few oats over the top to make it prettier.

Pop it all into the oven at 350 degrees, until the top is golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes.

Delicious eaten hot with a big scoop of ice cream!

*I only had 3 cups of fresh berries on hand, so I defrosting a cup of frozen berries and threw them in.

Lemon Blueberry Breakfast Cake

Hi there all– Up in San Francisco this week– hanging out with our kids.  Watched Brian play the tuba in the 4th of July parade, sang “Down By the Bay” 27 times with fun grand-girl Mae, sat and talked over coffee with Jessica, saw Ani & Brian’s remodel in process and amazed at baby Lois’ new trick–creeping!

So have nothing new cooked up to show you.  But do have a lovely lemony cake I made a few weeks back.  Sweet summer blueberries and wrapped up in a tender grazed cake.  I think you’d love it!

LEMON BLUEBERRY BREAKFAST CAKE

Streusel:
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)

Cake:
2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
2  1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
1/4 cup canola oil
1 egg
2 tab. lemon juice
grated lemon peel from one lemon
1  1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tag. lemon juice

First make the streusel.  Mix together the 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup flour.  Then with a pastry blender (or two forks), cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Set aside.

To make the cake, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the milk, yogurt, oil, egg, lemon juice and lemon peel.  Next, gently fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the mixture into a 9″ cake pan (or 10″ tart pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle the prepared streusel over the top of the cake. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes.

Let the cake cool for a few minutes and make the glaze.  Whisk together the powdered sugar and the lemon juice.  Drizzle it over the cake.  Enjoy!!

Cornmeal Waffles

Hello friends– Got a new waffle iron Larry last month for my birthday!  So this weekend we broke out for it’s inaugural bake-up–  Ready for Saturday night supper!

Larry read the instructions and got it all set up (he’s good at that) and I mixed up this cornmeal batter.  Great with Alfie’s home-tapped syrup (thanks again Alfie!!) and any fruit you find in your kitchen.

CORNMEAL WAFFLES

1 cup flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups buttermilk*
2 eggs
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup canola oil

Stir up the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Then mix in the buttermilk, eggs, honey, vanilla and oil.  with a whisk until it is all blended.

Cook the batter in your waffle maker according to the maker’s instructions.  (We spray ours with cooking spray and cook on medium heat for 5 or 6 minutes per waffle.)

Makes five golden delicious waffles!

*If you lack buttermilk in the fridge (like me!), Pour 2 or 3 tablespoons of cider vinegar into a measuring cup and add milk to make 2 cups.  Let it sit a 5 minutes to thicken before you mix it into the batter.

Jessica’s Morning Oatmeal

 

Good morning!  We were staying with our kids recently and Jessica pulled this dish of oatmeal from oven, hot & fruity & just a bit crunchy.  Add some warm milk and it’s the loveliest breakfast.

So I brought that recipe home and here’s my version– the best baked oatmeal yet!  (and we’ve eaten our share of baked oatmeal, let me tell you…)

JESSICA’S MORNING OATMEAL
2 cups oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 cup kefir or buttermilk
1 cup water
1 egg
3 tab. unsalted butter, melted & cooled slightly
2 tsp. vanilla
1 pound fruit (pears, nectarines, blueberries)*
garnish:  a pitcher of cream (or milk) to serve/more syrup (optional)

In a bowl, mix together the oats, almonds, baking powder and salt.  Set aside.

In another bowl, stir up the maple syrup, buttermilk, water, egg, vanilla and 1/2 of the melted butter.  Set aside.

Cut the fruit to small chunks and spread it on the bottom of a 9″ square of 9″ deep round making dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Spoon the oat mixture over the fruit.  Then carefully pour the liquid mixture over the top of it all.

Bake the oatmeal at 375 degrees for 35 to 45 minutes until the oats are cooked through.  Drizzle the remaining butter over the oatmeal and serve with cream and syrup if you want a little more sweetness.

*I used 2 nectarines, 1 pear, 1 cup of blueberries (all unpeeled–easy!)

Blueberry Broccoli Avocado Salad with Poppyseed Ranch Dressing

Hi all– Should I apologize for the extra long title of this salad??– I just wanted you to know the yummy components and plus also the lovely dressing on top!

Took this salad along to my brother’s house for our Easter dinner.  And liked it so much we had it again last night!  It’s bright and fresh and I can say it works well with Easter ham or a slice of mushroom pizza!

BLUEBERRY BROCCOLI AVOCADO  SALAD

Salad:
5 cups of your favorite salad greens
1/2 cup broccoli, chopped
1 avocado, chopped
1 cup fresh blueberries
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1/4 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
1/4 cup pecans, chopped

Poppyseed Ranch Dressing:
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. tarragon vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. poppy seeds
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper

Layer the salad ingredients in a pretty bowl.

Then stir together the ingredients  for the dressing until they are thoroughly blended.  It makes more dressing than we needed on our salad, so there’s more in the fridge for another day.

Blueberry Topped Cheesecake


Hello all–  It’s pretty entertaining to watch my Larry eat a piece of cheesecake.  He appreciates that it’s rich and creamy– and you only need the tiniest bite to get that burst of flavor.  Plus he wants to make it last as long as he can.  I’m more of a gobbler.  So when I’m scraping the last crumbs off my plate, Larry is just beginning to nibble it away.  Honestly.

And this blueberry topped cake is really nibble-worthy.  It’s especially soft and creamy (I think it’s the sour cream)– and I got the recipe from my sis, the baker– so you know it’s a good one!

BLUEBERRY TOPPED CHEESECAKE

Crust:
1  1/2 cup graham crackers, crushed
2 tab. sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

Filling:
24 oz. cream cheese (3  8oz. blocks)
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1  1/2 cup sour cream

Topping:
1/3 cup blueberry fruit spread
3 cups blueberries*

Crush the graham crackers in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, until they are fine crumbs.  In a bowl mix together the crumbs, 2 tab. sugar and melted butter.  Press the mixture into a 9″ springform pan (or deep pie dish).

For the filling, use an electric mixer to thoroughly beat together the cream cheese and 1 cup sugar– until it is fluffy and not gritty.  Then beat in the eggs, vanilla and sour cream.

Spoon the mixture over the crust and put it into a 350 degree oven for 60 to 70 minutes until it is set (and just slightly jiggly in the pan– it will firm as it cools).

With a thin knife, cut around the edge of the cheese cake to release it from sticking to the sides of the pan. Let it sit at room temperature for an hour.   Then set the cheesecake into the fridge for at least an hour until the are ready to serve it.

To make the blueberry topping, melt the blueberry fruit spread in a saucepan on low heat on the stove top.  Then mix in the berries and spoon let it cool before you spoon it over the cheesecake.

*I used frozen blueberries, but fresh would be better when the season rolls around!

Lemon Blueberry Muffins

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Hi all– It’s pretty quiet around here.  Christmas tree down–check.  Clutter picked up and stashed–check.  Gifts all stowed in cupboards and closets–check.  Kids all gone & settled back in their own homes–check.  Sort of missing the hub-bub of ten people filling up our little house.

Here’s one Christmas week leftover still waiting to be shared.  Citrusy, sweet muffins were our quick breakfast one morning– sort of add a little sunshine on a gray sky day.  Add a mug of tea.  Perfect.

LEMON BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 1 large lemon)
1/2 cup milk
grate peel from 1 large lemon
1 cup blueberries (6 oz. pack)
a little extra sugar

img_6041

First take the lemon and grate off all the peel. Set aside.  Then juice the lemon and strain out the seeds.  Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Next mix in the eggs, oil, lemon juice and milk.  Last, fold in the lemon peel and blueberries.

Spoon the batter into a muffin tin lined with paper liners (makes about 10).  Dust the tops with a slight sprinkle of sugar.

Bake them up at 350 degrees for 20 to 22 minutes, until they are slightly browned on top and firm to the touch.  Delicious warm with a big mug of tea.

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Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

IMG_3121Hi friends– This is not the first blueberry cake to cross paths with this blog.  It’s an old favorite of mine and when I saw this streusel-ly version I jumped right on it.

I’m taking it to “Snack’n’Yak”.  Our group at church skips class time this first Sunday of the year.  We all just bring food and catch up after the busy Christmas break– hear all the news about kids come home for Christmas, about celebrations and about plans ahead for the New Year.  I’m looking forward to it…

BLUEBERRY STREUSEL COFFEE CAKE

Streusel:
1/4 cup melted butter (4 tab.)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped fine

Cake:
1/2 cup sugar
6 tab. canola oil
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1  1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cup blueberries, divided*

Glaze:
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tab. milk

To make the streusel, melt the butter in the microwave.  Then stir in the 1/2 cup flour, brown sugar and walnuts.  Set aside.

For the cake, stir together the sugar, oil, sour cream, milk, egg and vanilla.  Then mix in the flour baking powder and salt.

Scoop the batter into a 9″ or 10″ cake pan than has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle 1 cup of the berries one the batter.  Then with your fingers, sprinkle the streusel over the top.  Take the remaining blueberries and distribute them over the streusel.

Pop the coffee cake into a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes until it is firm to the touch and cooked through.

While the cake is cooling, whisk together the powdered sugar and milk for the glaze.  Add one tab. of the milk first and if it seems too thick, add a bit more.  Drizzle it over the cooled cake and you are ready to eat it up!

*I used Trader Joe’s tiny organic frozen berries.  I like how they look pretty on a cake.

IMG_3107

Blueberry Frozen Yogurt & Cream Cake

 

IMG_1443Hi friends–  When the kids were little and Larry and I were thinking about going out to get ice cream cone we had a little code — “What do think about going out for some frozen dairy dessert?”  –so we could talk it over without kid’s opinions on an ice cream outing added into the conversation.

And this summer dish is a perfect plate of “frozen dairy dessert”– without the ice cream.

The minute I saw this creamy frozen cake in an old magazine, I knew I just had to put one together as soon as it felt like summer around here.  So last week when my young moms group came for dinner, I had it tucked away in the freezer.  Oh, the sweet berries, the coolness on a warm night, the tart yogurt underneath and the cream. I do love cream.  And the lovely thing is that it’s rather large, so we’ve been nibbling on slices all week since.

BLUEBERRY FROZEN YOGURT & CREAM CAKE

Crust:
2 cups vanilla cookie crumbs*
1 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

Frozen Cake:
2 1/2 cups blueberries (plus a bit more for garnish)
1 cup sugar
16 oz. cream cheese (2 packages), room temperature
3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided in 2 parts
2 cups unflavored or vanilla yogurt (16 oz.)
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Crust:
In a large bowl combine the cookie crumbs, walnuts, and brown sugar.  Stir in the butter until it’s all well coated.

IMG_1472Turn the mixture into a 10″ springform pan (any 10″ pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray  Set it into the freezer.

Frozen Cake:
With a food processor or stick blender, puree the 2 1/2 cup blueberries and the sugar.  Set it aside.

In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together the cream cheese for about 3 minutes until it’s creamy.  Then beat in 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar and yogurt.  Add the blueberry & sugar mixture and fold it in as well.

In yet another bowl, beat the whipping cream with 1/4 cup of powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.

Then fold the whipped cream into the blueberry mixture.

Spoon it all into the prepared curst and pop it bake into the freezer for at least 4 hours.

When you’re ready to serve it, take it out of the freezer for about 10 minutes to thaw just a bit.  Garnish with safe leaves** and more berries.

Warning:  I had to cut this with a butcher knife because it was still pretty frozen– that’s OK, it was super delicious and lasted nicely on the plates.

*For the cookie crumbs, I just bought a 69 cent package of Maria cookies and went after them with a rolling pin!
**I used leaves from the berry vines in the yard.  Mint leaves a bright a pretty too.  Just make sure they aren’t a poisonous variety if you’re extracting  them from your yard, like I tend to do.

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Blueberry Crumb Cake

IMG_0905Hi all–  So many reasons for cake these days–We had Mother’s Day, in our family lots of May birthdays, graduations, showers, retirements and end of school celebrations.  It’s going to be a cake-filled few weeks for us here!

So here’s a pretty little cake that is just sweet enough. It’s filled with ripe juicy berries and topped with the crunch of those toasted almonds.  I hope you like it…

BLUEBERRY CRUMB CAKE

Crumb Topping:
1/3 cup flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup toasted almonds**
powdered sugar for dusting

Cake:
1/4 cup canola oil
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup unflavored yogurt
1 cup blueberries*
2 more tab. flour

IMG_0914To make the topping, stir together the 1/3 cup flour and the 1/3 cup sugar.  With a pastry blender (or 2 forks) cut in the butter until it’s resembles coarse crumbs.  Set aside.

For the cake, stir together the oil, 2/3 cup sugar, and egg.  Then mix in the flour, baking powder and salt.  Next mix in the milk and yogurt.  In a separate bowl toss the blueberries in the 2 tablespoons of flour just to coat them.  Then fold them into the cake– do not mix them too much–they are tender, you know.

Spoon the batter into an 8″ square or round pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
Sprinkle the crumb topping over the cake.  And then the drop the toasted almonds all over the top.

Pop it into a 350 degree over for 40 to 50 minutes. Dust it with powdered sugar through a sieve once it’s cooled a bit.  Luscious served warm with coffee or cooled for dessert later with a plop of whipped cream.

*I used frozen blueberries.  Leave them frozen until the last minute and then toss them in flour to keep them from sinking and also to keep them from coloring the batter purple as you mix them in!

I like the organic tiny frozen berries from Trader Joe’s for baking.  A cupful is so many berries to flavor the cake through.

**Toasted almonds found already toasted and ready to use at Trader Joe’s  (raw almonds would work well too)

Blueberry Cream Cake

DSC01233Hi all– Been wanting to make this blueberry cake for a while, but thought, “just wait until summer, when the market is spilling over with those fresh blueberries”.  But finally, I could wait no longer, so I nabbed a package of frozen berries and it came out just fine– creamy and fruity, not too too sweet.  It was luscious.

BLUEBERRY CREAM CAKE

Cake:
1 white cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 cup water
1  1/2 cup blueberries*

Cream on top:
1 pint heavy whipping cream (2 cups)
1/2 cup powdered sugar
3 oz. package instant vanilla pudding
1 cup blueberries

Make the cake according to the directions on the package.  My box used 3 eggs, 1/2 cup oil and 1 cup water.  Beat with a mixer for 2 minutes.

Then fold in the blueberries.  Spoon the batter into a 9″ x 13″ pan — or a large 10″ springform pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake the cake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.

Let the cake cool completely.

Beat the whipping cream and sugar with a mixer until stiff peaks form.  Then stir in the pudding mix.  And finally carefully fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the cream and berries over the cake– If you’re not serving it right away, set it into the fridge til you’re ready…

*It’s winter here, so I used frozen berries, so three notes– Don’t defrost them before you drop them in the batter or they will turn the cake blue-ish!
And the cake will take 10 of 15 minutes longer to cook with the frozen berries tucked inside.
The berries I got were rather large– If I had trundled clear over to Trader Joe’s for their small organic frozen berries, they wouldn’t have sunk to the bottom of the cake!

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Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

DSC00388Hello there– Fresh warm muffins–a little post Christmas breakfast with the kids, crumbly, fruity muffins, not too sweet and nice and hot from the oven.  I hope your breakfast includes muffins on your table these days too.

WHOLE WHEAT BLUEBERRY MUFFINS
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup brown sugar + a little for topping
3 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup canola oil
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
1  1/2 up blueberries*

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the 2 flours, 1/2 cup brown sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the oil, milk and egg.  Finally, gently fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the stiff batter into 10 to 12 muffin pans lined with paper liners– And sprinkle a bit of brown sugar onto the top  of each one.

Pop them into a 375 degree oven for 18 to 20 minutes until they are browned and firm to the touch.  Scrumptious hot from the oven with a smear of sweet butter and a mug of tea.

*I used the small organic frozen berries from Trader Joe’s– don’t defrost them ahead.  Just stir them in frozen, so they don’t color the batter.  Fresh berries would be grand if it were summer!

Peachy Avocado Salad

IMG_1261Hello all–  Love this bright salad– wakes up everything else on your dinner plate.  We’ve been throwing peaches in salads a lot lately– seems they’ve been especially sweet and juicy this year.  Those sweet peaches and blueberries are just right against the salty feta and that tangy tarragon dressing–smoothed out with luscious ripe avocado and those nibbles of edamame.  Summer perfect.

PEACHY AVOCADO SALAD
4 cups greens
1 ripe peach, pitted & cut in chunks
1 avocado, pitted & cut in chunks
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 cup edamame, shelled
1/3 cup herbed feta
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tab. tarragon vinegar
1 tap. sugar
salt & freshly group pepper to taste

In a pretty bowl, layer the greens, peaches, avocado, blueberries, edamame & feta.

Then in a container with a tight fitting lid, shake together the oil, vinegar, sugar, salt & pepper.  Pour it over the salad just before you’re ready to eat.  Enjoy!

Blueberry Orange Broccoli Salad

IMG_1475Hi there– Big birthday dinner around here this week.  Jobay turned 3!!  It was tons of fun –hot dogs for all! (Jobay’s fave), all the best kind 3 year old presents and Pin the Tail on the Donkey– I didn’t realize how good a 3 year old can be at cheating on that game!!

Along with the hot dogs, there were some salads on the table, including this fruity broccoli salad– fresh and sweet.  We gobbled it down to the last blueberry…

BLUEBERRY ORANGE BROCCOLI SALAD
2 crowns of broccoli, cut into chunks (about 7 cups)
1/4 cup red onion, minced fine
2 oranges, peeled & cut into little chunks
1 cup fresh blueberries
2/3 cup walnuts, cut into chunks
1/3 cup sugar

dressing:
1/3 cup unflavored yogurt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
2 tab. honey
2 tab. cider vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt

Start with the walnuts.  We’re going to candy them.  Put the nuts and sugar in a small skillet and stir them over medium heat until the sugar melts to a caramel color and coats the walnuts.  Spread them over a sheet of foil on a heat proof counter.  Let them cool.

Then the dressing.  In a large mixing bowl whisk together the yogurt, mayo, honey, vinegar and salt.

To the dressing, mix in the broccoli, onion, orange chunks and blueberries.  Set the the bowl into the fridge to chill of an 30 minutes or more.  When you’re ready to set it on the table, stir in the candied walnuts.  Delish!

IMG_1533Jobay our birthday girl– She had more fun celebrating!!