Peachy Simplest Summer Salad

IMG_0764Hello friends– We are ringing the last sweet days out of summer here.  So when the grand-girls and I passed by a farm stand, we stopped for a basket of summer ripened peaches and they ended up in this simple juicy sweet salad.  Thought you might like it too…

PEACHY SIMPLEST SUMMER SALAD
6 cups of your favorite greens (we like red leaf lettuce)
2 peaches
1 cup blueberries
1/3 cup olive oil
3 tab. tarragon vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
1 tsp. honey
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

Jut layer the greens, peaches and blueberries on a pretty plate.

Then shake the oil, vinegar, sugar, slat & pepper in a container with a tight lid until it’s thoroughly blended.

Pour the dressing over the salad just before you serve it up.   That’s it!  Sweet & simple.

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Blueberry Yogurt Cake

IMG_0815Hello from here–  Enjoying a quieter weekend here– Got up this morning on a sunny Saturday and popped this in the oven  for our dessert tonight.  And there’s some leftover on the plate in the kitchen that would be warm and toasty around the edges heated up for breakfast tomorrow.  (kind of blueberry pancakes in cake form– is that enough justification?)

BLUEBERRY YOGURT CAKE
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tab. cornstarch
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup yogurt
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries*

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Stir together the four, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and sugar.  Then mix in the eggs, yogurt and oil.  Finally fold in the blueberries.

Spray a 10 cup bundt pan with cooking spray and scrape the batter into it.  Pop it into a 350 degree oven for 35 to 40  minutes,  until it’s golden and firm to the touch.

Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes and then turn it out from the pan onto a pretty plate.

I would totally eat this for breakfast– but served with whipped cream and more berries it would make a perfect summer  dessert.

*You can use frozen berries, but do not defrost them before you stir them into the batter, or they will discolor the cake.  And the cooking time will be a few minutes longer.

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Blueberry Oatmeal Pancakes

IMG_9476Hi there- Sunday night pancakes!  When our kids were small, just about one hundred years ago, we’d often have Sunday night pancakes to start off the week.  And now that we have our Micah and Jodi along with 3 little girls staying for a bit, it’s back to pancakes.

It’s pretty nostalgic (and also delicious) for me flipping them on the grill.  Good to have a full Sunday night table again…

BLUEBERRY OATMEAL PANCAKES
1 cup flour
1 cup uncooked oatmeal (quick oats)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup unflavored yogurt
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup oil
1 pint (little more than a cup) blueberries
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, oatmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the yogurt, milk, eggs, oil and vanilla.  Last fold in the blueberries and walnuts.*

Pour out the batter by 1/3 cupfuls onto a medium hot griddle sprayed with cooking spray.  These are a little thick** so cook them til they’re golden and cooked through.  Makes 12 to 14 medium sized pancakes.

Serve them hot with lots of syrup or powdered sugar– or as my grand-girls prefer, with both (and maybe a few sprinkles) !

*I used and extra big handful of walnuts, because I love those things.
**If you want thinner pancakes stir in a couple more tablespoons of milk.

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Blueberry Cobbler

IMG_9396Hello Summer Lovers–  The blueberries are back in town!  Cobblers, muffins, pancakes… are all crying out for some sweet blueberries.  So this is the least I could do.  It’s also one of those summer excuses to serve more ice cream!  Win win.

BLUEBERRY COBBLER

Filling:
6 cups blueberries
2/3 cup sugar
1 tab. cornstarch
pinch of salt
1  1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 tab. lemon juice

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 blueberries, 2/3 cup sugar, cornstarch and pinch of salt.  Toss in the blueberries to coat them well.  The stir in the lemon zest and juice.

Scape all the berries into a 9 or 10″ pie pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  And bake them at 375 degrees for about 25 minutes, until the berries are bubbly around the edges of the pan.

The last 10 minutes the berries are cooking, prepare the biscuits.  Stir together the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, cornmeal, baking powder and salt.  Then add in the buttermilk, melted butter an vanilla.  Mix just until there are no dry pockets of flour.

When the berries come out of the oven, increase the temperature to 425 degrees.

Then drop the biscuit dough by spoonfuls on top of the hot berries.  Pop it into the oven at 425 for 15 to 18 minutes, until the biscuits are golden.

Let it sit 15 minutes or so and serve warm.  Of course, it’s best in a bowl with a huge scoop of ice cream.

*If you are buttermilk-less, just put a splash of cider vinegar in the bottom of your measuring up and fill it up to 1/3 cup.   Let it sit a few minutes until it thickens.

IMG_9382This picture shows just half a recipe. Baked the other half in a separate pan and took it to a friend…

Blueberry Bran Muffins

IMG_8289Hi all– I was going to you all this recipe several months ago.  Back then, I made these cozy muffins for my group of young moms who get together every other week.  I was rushing around getting the breakfast together and completely forgot to put eggs in the batter.  They came out of the oven rather sad and crumbly.  But this group has been together a long enough that by now they are happy to uncomplainingly eat mistakes, bless their hearts.  We’re way beyond crumbly muffins…

So here is a new batch, where I actually read the recipe!  They turned out just fine.  I think you might like them if you have friends come for breakfast.

BLUEBERRY BRAN MUFFINS
1 cup flour
3/4 cup wheat bran
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup buttermilk*
1 egg
1/4 cup oil
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries**

Mix together the flour, bran, salt, sugar and baking powder.  Then stir in the buttermilk, egg and oil.  Finally, carefully fold in the blueberries.

Spoon the mixture into 10 muffin cups lined with paper liners and bake it up at 425 degrees for 18 to 20 minutes until the muffins are nicely browned and firm to the touch.

*If you don’t stock buttermilk (like me), just put 2 tsp. of vinegar into 3/4 cup milk and let it sit a couple minutes to thicken.
**And if you use frozen berries, don’t defrost them– or they will be mushy and color the batter blue!  Just cook frozen berry muffins 3 or 4 minutes longer.

Blueberry Lemon Bread

IMG_7843Hello all–  I dredged this recipe out of the old family favorites– my mom would make it when we were 4 kids at home.  And with an anniversary just past, it made me remember our wedding, 39 years ago.

It was big–nearly 700 people.  And my amazing mom, baked ahead for weeks with the help of a friend’s big freezer– all kinds of breads and sweets, including this lemon bread.  It was a homemade wedding–my seamstress of a sister sewed up my dress for $25.  And I drew the invitations for a friend to print.

I don’t know why I’m going on like this.  But the lemon bread got me to remembering…

It’s sweet and so lemony with the glaze on top– and with this recent addition of blueberries adds another bit of sweetness.  I think you’d like it.

BLUEBERRY LEMON BREAD
1/2 cup canola oil*
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1  2/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
peel grated off 1 lemon
6 oz. blueberries (about a cup)

Glaze:
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup sugar

Stir together the oil, sugar, eggs, and milk.  Then mix in the flour, salt and baking powder.  Finally blend in the lemon peel and blueberries.

Spoon the batter into a standard bread pan (I like to use two smaller 7″ pans) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake it in a 350 degree oven for 35 for 40 minutes until it is firm to the touch.

While the bread is still hot from the oven, stir together the lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar.  Drizzle it over the hot lemon bread and let it cool in the pan and soak up all the glaze.

This lemony bread just begs for a mug of tea and a book.  Enjoy!

*The original recipe–from my mom– calls for 1/2 cup butter, melted in place of the oil.  So if you want a richer loaf, butter it is!  (I think the oil is A-OK).

Blueberry Dutch Baby

IMG_6853Hello there–  Love this cheerful baking dish full of blueberries and custard.  You put it together in just 10 minutes and while it’s baking, you can put on some music, build a fire in the fireplace and throw together a salad, maybe a little bacon.  Sunday brunch.

BLUEBERRY DUTCH BABY
2 tab. butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flour
3 tab. sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
pinch of salt
6 0z. blueberries (about 1 1/4 cup)
powdered sugar for dusting

IMG_6821Melt the butter in the microwave.  In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk.  Then whisk in the milk, flour, sugar, vanilla and salt.

Pour the melted butter into a 9″ baking dish sprayed with cooking spray, covering the bottom of the dish.  Then spoon in the egg batter on top of the butter and top with the blueberries.

Pop it into a 425 degree oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Dust it with powdered sugar straight from the oven and eat it up while it’s hot and puffy!

Baked Blueberry Oatmeal

IMG_5533Good morning– Love this big friendly dish of oatmeal– so creamy, so warm and cozy.  Baking oatmeal is my favorite when I’ve got family in to stay.  And right now (oh joy!) my sis, Lulu, is here clear from Kosovo!  I can’t tell you how I’ve missed that girl!

But back to the oatmeal–  It’s perfect to get up and sleepily put on the tea water, throw the oatmeal ingredients into the dish and pop it in the oven to bake, while you go pull yourself together for the day.  In about 30 minutes you should both be ready…

BAKED BLUEBERRY OATMEAL
1 cup old fashioned whole oats
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup milk
1 egg
2 tab. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup blueberries (or blackberries or raspberries)*
Fruit for topping if you like — bananas, peaches, more blueberries…

IMG_5520In a mixing bowl stir together the oats, walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, salt and brown sugar.  Then mix in the milk, egg, melted butter and vanilla.  Finally fold in the berries.*  Pour it into a 2 quart baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.   Bake it up at 375 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes–

*if you use frozen berries (like I did), it may take a couple minutes longer to cook.

Nectarine, Blueberry and Crispy Ham Salad

IMG_3802Hi all–  Last week we had a big eating weekend.  Out for Chinese, then out again for Lebanese food the next night.  Spaghetti with friends and a  big shower brunch.  Ugh.  So Sunday night Larry suggested, “How about salad dinners this week?”  Sounds good to me.  Quick and cool is always good in August.  Here’s Monday night’s dinner…

NECTARINE BLUEBERRY AND CRISPY HAM SALAD
1 cup ham, cut to small pieces
2 tab. olive oil
4 nectarines, cut to polite little pieces
1 cup blueberries
1 can cannellini (small white) beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 head red leaf lettuce
2 cups baby arugula

Dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup tarragon vinegar
1 tsp. seedy brown mustard
1 tab. apricot preserves
1 tab. sugar
salt & fresh pepper to taste

Drop the ham bits into a hot pan with the olive oil and cook until they crisp around the edges.  Layer the lettuce, arugula, cannellini beans, nectarines, blueberries and then the ham on a large platter.

Shake together the dressing ingredients in a jar with a tight lid until it’s well blended.  Pour over the salad just before you set it on the table.

Light summer supper.  Hope you enjoy it!

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Blueberry Hazelnut Up-side-down Cake

IMG_3669Hello there– I grew up eating “pineapple upside down cake.”  You know.  The one topped with the pineapple rings with all those bright red cherries.  But I’ve discovered just about any fruit will make a lovely up side down cake– apples, peaches, pears, plums.  I’ve enjoyed quite a few of these things when summer fruit it sweet.  So here is the blueberry hazelnut version.  Sweet enough for dessert, but it works just fine as a morning coffee cake too.

BLUEBERRY HAZELNUT UP-SIDE-DOWN CAKE
1/2 cup hazelnuts, cut in half (or walnuts, pecans, almonds…)
1 full cup blueberries (or more!)
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla

Spray a 9″ or 10″ cake pan with cooking spray.  Then melt the butter and pour it all to cover the bottom of the cake pan.  Sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter and next cover that all with the hazelnuts and then the blueberries.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Mix in the milk, oil, egg and vanilla.  Scrape all that cake batter into the pan over the blueberries and hazelnuts.  And bake the whole thing up at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until the top is browned and firm to the touch.

As soon as you take the cake out of the oven, set a large plate over the top of the cake pan and flip it so that the cake falls from the cake pan down onto the plate.  If a little of the blueberry topping sticks in the cake pan, scrape it our and spread it onto the cake with a rubber scrapper.

This is delicious hot or cooled and it’s always better with a big spoonful of whipped cream!  Hope you enjoy it!

Blueberry Cornmeal Pancakes

IMG_1667Hello Pancake Pals–  If you’re like me you could eat pancakes for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  These came off the pan on a Sunday afternoon, hot & sweet.  I really liked the slight crunch of the cornmeal and the juiciness of the blueberries.  And, of course, all that maple syrup.

BLUEBERRY CORNMEAL PANCAKES
1 1/4 cup flour
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
1/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk*
1 egg
2 tab. canola oil
1 cup fresh blueberries

IMG_1670Stir together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Then mix in the buttermilk, egg and oil.  And finally add in the blueberries.  That’s it.

Then pour them buy about 1/3 cupfuls onto a griddle sprayed with cooking spray over medium heat.  Make about 16 medium yummy pancakes.

*If you have not buttermilk, just add a couple tablespoons of cider vinegar to milk and let it set a few minutes to thicken.

Blueberry Lassi

IMG_1240Hi all-  I get my share of good Indian/Pakastani food when we visit our kids in SF. And they are the ones who introduced me to Mango Lassis.  I always have blueberries in the freezer (Thank you Trader Joe’s) so when I saw this easy recipe, I couldn’t resist a new lassi flavor…

BLUEBERRY LASSI
2 cups blueberries
2 cups unflavored yogurt
1/2 cup milk
2 tab. honey
1 tsp. vanilla

OK, this is easy.  Put everything in a blender and blend til smooth and foamy.  Drink it right away.  Breakfast!

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Blueberry Oatmeal Bread

IMG_0322Hello all– Here’s another way to get your morning oatmeal.  Bake it up with some blueberries and pecans.  It was good hot from the oven, but I liked it best the next day toasted crispy around the edges in the toaster oven— slathered with honey and served up with  a mug of Lady Grey Tea.  Hot toasty oatmeal–a warming breakfast!

BLUEBERRY OATMEAL BREAD
1 cup blueberries
1 cup oats
1 1/2 cups flour, plus 1 tablespoon
1 1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 eggs
½ cup canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup pecans (I actually put in a whole cup because I love pecans!)

In a small bowl, mix the blueberries with 1 tab. of flour to keep them from sinking in the batter.  Then in a large bowl, stir together the oats, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Next mix in the yogurt, eggs, canola oil, vanilla and pecans.  Finally, gently fold in the blueberries.   Spoon the batter into a 9″x 5″ loaf pan (or two smaller pans) sprayed with cooking spray.     Cook at 375 degrees for 45 to 50 minutes until the top is golden brown and firm to the touch.

Blueberry Cake

IMG_9152Hello there– Do you have a cake recipe that you make again and again because it’s easy and quick, it’s homey and tender, just sweet enough?  This one is mine.  I love it hot from the oven and the blueberries and pecans give it the right amount of sweetness and texture.  Delish.

BLUEBERRY CAKE
3/4 cup sugar
5 tab. canola oil
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2  tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. amaretto
2/3 cup buttermilk*
2/3 cup pecans, chopped
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)**
powdered sugar

Stir together the sugar, oil and eggs.  Then add in the flour, baking powder, salt, vanilla and amaretto.  Next mix in the butter milk.  Stir in the pecans.  And finally lightly mix in the blueberries–don’t stir too much or you may turn the batter blue!  Spoon the batter into a 9″ cake can or springform pan and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  When it’s cooled, sprinkle on powdered sugar through a sieve.  Eat it for breakfast plain or pile on the whipped cream for a simple dessert.

*I used regular milk with a splash of cider vinegar–let it sit a couple minutes to thicken.
**Frozen berries tint the batter as they defrost, so stir them in gently just until mixed in.

Blueberry Cobbler


Hi there– Summer blueberries are just waiting in those little plastic boxes at our Sprouts store.  So this week I picked up a few cartons and baked a sweet and juicy cobbler for dinner when our folks came by.  With vanilla bean ice cream, it’s a great end to a summer meal.

BLUEBERRY COBBLER
1 1/2 cups flour
3 tab. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. butter
1/2 cup sour cream
6 cups blueberries
3 tab. flour
1 cup sugar

Mix 1 1/2 cup flour, 3 tab. sugar, the baking powder and salt.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or food processor.  Set aside.  Then combine 1 cup sugar, 3 tab. flour and blueberries in a bowl.  Pour the berries into a 9″ square baking dish and break the dough into chunks and sprinkle it over the berries.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes until the cobbler on top is browned.  Serve it up warm with ice cream.  Oh yummm.

Lemon Blueberry Dutch Babies


Hey friends–  Why do they call these things “dutch babies?”  I don’t know.  But I do know they are pretty delicious.  Good for a weekend breakfast or even a Sunday night supper with bacon or ham and a little salad.  I tried these out on Laurel who’s home for a visit and she said they were A-OK.

LEMON BLUEBERRY DUTCH BABIES
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup flour
1 tab. freshly grated lemon rind
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tsp. butter
1 pint blueberries
powdered sugar

Melt the butter in the bottom of a 3″x13″ baking dish.  (Or divide the recipe into smaller individual dishes).  Whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, lemon rind and salt.  Slowly pour the mixture over the melted butter and pop it into a 400 degree oven for about 30 minutes until the dutch baby is puffed up and browned around the edges.  As it comes out of the oven sprinkle on the blueberries and dust it all with powdered sugar shaken through a sieve.