Monday, July 29, 2013

BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE


Summer is a lovely time to take road trips especially when
the destination takes you to family.  Recently I travelled
through many miles of Saskatchewan, past wide open prairie and
lush fields of wheat, canola, peas and other grain I couldn't identify.
But I really wanted to get to Warman and granddaughters and of
course the keepers of the home.
I was so excited!


Summer is also berry and picnic time.
One cool and cloudy day while I was there, a group of people
who are involved in prison ministry met for an outdoor wiener roast.
It is always fun to see the covers come off the dishes and peek
at the food people bring to these events.
This lovely sweet came warm, right out of the oven and was it ever good!
The recipe comes from Annabelle who used blueberries in hers
but I made it with fresh Saskatoons.


During the month of July I make several trips to a neighboring 
Saskatoon berry farm to pick enough berries that I think I
will need until the next year's crop.
My granddaughters were able to experience their first picking ..
not in the wilds like I did at their age.
This was a comfortable and easy pick.


Plump, juicy berries are cooked in a filling and spread over the crust.


I have numerous similar recipes, but I was especially
impressed with this one because the shortbread crust is very tender.
In addition I appreciate a topping that does not overpower the
fruit filling which to me is the star of the creation.


BERRY CRUMBLE
(or BERRY PLATZ as some would say)

3/4 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, beaten

In a mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour and salt.  Cut in butter with
pastry blender or food processor until mixture is crumbly.
Reserve 1 cup crumb mixture; set aside.
Add baking powder and beaten egg to flour mixture and stir to combine.
Pat into greased 9 x 13 - inch baking pan.

½ cup sugar
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. lemon juice
2/3 cup water
3 cups blueberries or Saskatoon berries

In a saucepan, blend together sugar and cornstarch.  Add lemon juice,
water and 1 cup of the berries.  Cook just until thickened, stirring constantly.
Stir in remaining berries.  Spread over crumb crust.
Sprinkle reserved crumbs evenly over berries.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 35 to 40 minutes or until
crumbs are lightly browned.
Delicious served warm!
Yield: 10 to 12 servings

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

OF FOOD AND WEATHER

It has been a while since I have posted .. but not because I haven't
been cooking.  My time is divided between so many activities
I enjoy time in my garden and flowers .. I've had guests .. and of course
I am always trying new recipes.
My camera is always ready for food .. or the next storm.


I decided to try my hand at carving on a melon rind after seeing
some wonderful pieces setting out in the Cafe on the cruise ship.
This is by no means 'chef' quality but I had fun.


I made these for some special folks I had the pleasure of
meeting at a supper meal.  My niece was entertaining
rodeo friends from Texas on their way to compete in
the Calgary Stampede and I got to help.
The recipe for Buttermilk Biscuits is already on this blog.


Some of the dishes I have made recently were intended for
a post but if I think the recipe needs to be revised somewhat,
 I will do that and post it another time.
This raspberry trifle was delicious but I was not
satisfied with the cake part so the recipe will come later.


They say not to try a new recipe when you are having guests.
I certainly do not follow that advice at all times but I did make
an old favorite in this instance.
And the recipe is on this blog as well .. Saucy Chicken Pizza.


This is an old German recipe that has been handed down for
generations in my background. I remember them from years ago
and I always thought they must be very difficult to make.
I discovered a small recipe and here are the first "Maultaschen'
that I have ever made.  I'm spited because I feel like I have
missed out on a delicious 'German ravioli' dish!
I served it with sausage gravy and since the filling has eggs,
it was a perfect breakfast meal.
The recipe will come after I experiment a bit more.


I planned on posting this snacking bread I made yesterday
but once again I feel it could use a slight improvement.
It is delicious as is but it can be even better with some additions.


These were a bit fussy to make with the raspberry and blackberry
filling wanting to escape.  It did quite a bit during baking
so this is another recipe I need to work on.
The dough is wonderful and I can't wait to make it again
in another form so the filling stays intact.


Tonight was another formidable one!


This was one menacing cloud that seemed to be coming
directly over my yard.


The air is very calm and still ... in the distance I know it is not so.


It is now so close .. what will it bring?
The weather warnings forecast a severe storm with wind and hail.


The storm clouds clawed their way over with fierce wind and driving rain.
Two miles to the north on this exact location, it came down and
 a mobile home was flipped. An RV was blown over a
fence and onto the highway.  Huge trees in Lethbridge were
uprooted.  My yard was spared but it was so close!


Beautiful and awesome .. but what potential for destruction!
I pray the weather patterns will settle into something more peaceful.
Hope to be back soon with a food post.


Thursday, July 11, 2013

OATMEAL FUDGE BARS



Having a picnic?  Needing a dessert for a crowd?
These fudge-filled bars will please the chocolate lovers that
crave a sweet snack to munch.


Begin with an old fashioned oatmeal crust for a base.


Spread with a thick yummy chocolate filling.


Sprinkle with reserved crumbs ... bake .. cool ..
and they are all set to feed a crowd.



OATMEAL FUDGE BAR

2½ cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup butter or margarine

In a large mixing bowl, blend flour, baking soda, salt and sugars.  Cut in butter until
mixture is crumbly using a pastry cutter or food processor.
Reserve 2½ cups crumbs; set aside.

2 eggs, beaten
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups quick-cooking oats

Add eggs, vanilla and oats to flour mixture; stir to combine thoroughly.
Press evenly into greased 12 x 16-inch or 11 x 17-inch baking pan.
Spread with filling to within ½-inch of edge.
Sprinkle with reserved crumbs.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until
topping is golden brown.  Cool and cut into bars.
Yield: 48 two-inch bars

FILLING

1½ cups chocolate chips
2 tbsp. margarine
¼ tsp. salt
1 (14-oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp. vanilla
½ cup chopped pecans

Combine chocolate chips, margarine, salt and condensed milk in medium
saucepan.  Cook and stir over med-high heat until chocolate is melted.


Sunday, July 7, 2013

A FOREVER FEAST, LOSSES IN CONTRAST



Looking back on this week, I was brought face to face with losses ...
... in life  ...  and in substance.
I think of my friend who dealt with the death of her elderly father.
Another friend lost a grown son who leaves behind a wife and children.
Nineteen firemen did not survive the fire they were fighting in Arizona.
And there were others.


As I watched this coming turbulance out the window, it was inevitable
that another storm of significant proportions was approaching.


 I wished that the clouds were not directly on course
to pass overhead, but they were.


The ominous white trailing the lighter grey clouds that were moving
swiftly came staight into the yard.


On this picture you can see the there appeared to be three depths or
 levels to the storm .. one bank of cloud is passing close to my window.

They came ..they hit the ground ... and bounced  .. and rolled.
Like tennis balls flying around without any rackets to stop them.
It is a sound like no other ..  hundreds of rocks pounding the roof and siding ..
striking the windows .. hurling their might to the earth. 


Graciously there was a limit to the monsters that came first and looked
 like tennis balls. After the initial onslaught the chunks of ice
were more in number but smaller in size.


The day before I took this picture of the neighbors lush  and promising
field of canola.


After the storm, the plants were stripped of most of the color
and yield potential.


Most times when I am certain that my beloved flowers are going to
be taking a hit, I place a covering over them.
For some reason I was too engrossed in watching the clouds
to remember my plants.


And so they took a hit without any protection.
Restoration will happen unlike some other areas where
 the damage was much like a threshing machine had passed over.


Hours earlier this field of corn stood tall and verdant.


It is over .. finished .. a border of hail stones not yet melted
lies along the road.  The sky is brilliant blue .. a perfect backdrop
for the beautiful white clouds.
Life goes on .. not quite the same as before.

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet will I rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Habakkuk 3:17,18 NIV

Monday, July 1, 2013

CANADA DAY COOKIES


In commemoration of Canada Day ..
ten provinces and three territories from sea to shining sea.


So my cookie cutter isn't the perfect shape ... or else my
hand is not as steady as I would like ...
I had fun making these maple leaf cookies for Canada Day.


The dough is very soft and loses a bit of the out line in the baking.
When the shapes become too tedious, go for the simple rounds,
and sprinkle the icing with coarse red sugar.


I would love to share these with my Canadian daughters and their
families in the United States.
Wishing you all a wonderful day!

CANADA DAY COOKIES

3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup sour cream
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together thoroughly.
Add beaten eggs and vanilla; continue beating until fluffy.
Blend dry ingredients and add to creamed mixture alternately with
sour cream.  Chill until firm.
Divide dough in half and roll out on floured surface to 3/8 inch thickness.
Cut with cookie cutter into desired shape.
Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until
edge is slightly golden.
The tops should not be browned or cookies will be dry.
Ice cookies with a glaze.

Glaze: Blend 2 cups powdered sugar with 2 tbsp. milk until spreading
consistency adding more milk if glaze is too stiff.