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.