Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Blueberry Bash

Mr Beauregard: I can't have a blueberry as a daughter.
--from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

It's true-- blueberries would make terrible daughters, but they are wonderful snacks. We learn more and more about the health benefits of blueberries all the time, and these tasty little berries can be enjoyed with every meal of the day. Let's start with breakfast, shall we?

Barbara Stein of Praying For Grace offer this yummy looking recipe for Blueberry French Toast at her cooking blog, Bless Us O Lord.
* * *
E. Caughron sends along this wondeful recipe for Blue berry Glaze she says work equally well on pancakes or cheesecake.

Blueberry Glaze:

1/2 c. sugar
2T cornstarch
1/2c. water
1T lemonjuice
2 c blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/4 t salt

mix sugar, cornstarch and salt in bottom of saucepan. Slowly stir in
water and lemon juice. Add blueberries. Bring to boil over medium
heat and boil 2 minutes or until desired thickness. Sam likes it
when the blueberries have "popped" and are not individual berries in
the sauce.

Barb, sfo has two recipes to share. First her Blueberry Coffee Cake and also a recipe for Blueberry Muffins. These are great simple recipes.

Hallie offers us this delectable entry. Wow! I love lemon with blueberry.

Lemon Dipped Blueberry Muffins:
1 cup fresh blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
6 tablespoons sugar
For the muffins, toss the blueberries with 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon zest in a bowl. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl and mix well. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture.
Whisk the milk, oil, and egg in a bowl until blended. Add to the well, stirring just until moistened. Fold in the blueberry mixture. Fill paper-lined or greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
For the topping, combine the butter and lemon juice in a bowl and mix well. Dip the tops of the warm muffins in the butter mixture and then in the sugar.
Makes 1 dozen muffins.

This tempting recipe and the above picture are from Cheryl of Time Really Does Fly...

This sweet little dish is just perfect for breakfast or afternoon snack. I use frozen blueberries because I like them cold, but fresh would be wonderful also.

In a bottom of a small bowl I put some yogurt – usually low-fat plain (I love Brown Cow Farm vanilla!), then on top the yogurt I sprinkle a nice serving of Cascadian Farm Honey and Oat granola (pretty much any granola would work), next some chopped nuts – pecans, walnuts, even cashews (whatever is in the fridge at the time) and finally the delicious blueberries top it all! The different tastes and textures are wonderful!

This recipe for Blueberry Streusel comes from Renee Moore...

Blueberry Streusel:

Streusel Topping
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (2 1/2 ounces)
1/2 cup light brown sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 pinch table salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, softened but still cool (1/2 stick)

1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (7 1/2 ounces)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool (1 1/4 stick)
2/3 cup granulated sugar (about 4 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
4 cups fresh blueberries, picked over (about 20 ounces)

For the streusel:
n standing mixer fitted with flat beater, combine flour, sugars, cinnamon, and salt on low speed until well combined and no large brown sugar lumps remain, about 45 seconds.Add butter and mix on low until mixture resembles wet sand and no large butter pieces remain, about 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer streusel to small bowl and set aside.

For the cake:.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position; heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9-inch round cake pan*(I used a shallow rectangle white dish and it cut neat squares) with 2-inch sides with nonstick cooking spray. Whisk flour and baking powder in small bowl to combine; set aside. In standing mixer fitted with flat beater, cream butter, sugar, salt, and lemon zest at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes; using rubber spatula, scrape down bowl.
Beat in vanilla until combined, about 30 seconds.

With mixer running at medium speed, add eggs one at a time; beat until partially incorporated, then scrape down bowl and continue to beat until fully incorporated (mixture will appear broken). With mixer running on low speed, gradually add flour mixture; beat until flour is almost fully incorporated, about 20 seconds. Disengage bowl from mixer; stir batter with rubber spatula, scraping bottom and sides of bowl, until no flour pockets remain and batter is homogenous; batter will be very heavy and thick.Using rubber spatula, gently fold in blueberries until evenly distributed. Transfer batter to prepared pan; with rubber spatula, using a pushing motion, spread batter evenly to pan edges and smooth surface. Sprinkle streusel evenly over batter.

Bake until deep golden brown and toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 55 minutes.

Cool on wire rack 15 to 20 minutes (cake will fall slightly as it cools).

Cool until just warm or to room temperature, at least 1 hour. Cut into wedges and serve.

Renee is fighting cancer and she passes this savory recipe on, given to her by a doctor who recommends eating blueberries to fight cancer.

Chicken Pasta Salad with Blueberries

1 cup red wine vinegar dressing
3 cups spiral pasta
2 cups (about 1 pound) cooked chicken, cubed
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup pea pods, trimmed, cut-in-half
1/2 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped red onion
1/4 cup red wine vinegar dressing
2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to directions on package. About 1 minute before it is cooked, add the pea pods. Drain and rinse with cold water. To a large bowl, add pasta and pea pods along with the remaining salad ingredients, except Parmesan cheese. Toss with 1/2 cup red wine vinegar dressing. Cover; refrigerate several hours or overnight to blend flavors. Before serving, toss with remaining dressing and Parmesan cheese.
Yield: 12 (1 cup) servings

Matilda takes the cake...Ooops I mean doesn't make a cake for her husband's birthday. She's going to try inventing a No Bake Blueberry Creme Pie. I hope she posts a follow up on this one to tell us if it works.

Another wonderful pie comes our way from Family Food For Feast and Feria, JenniferGM says this pie is comfort food for her family: Blueberry Meringue Pie. Yum.

Muffins, muffins, muffins...

Everybody loves blueberry muffins. Here are a few favorite recipes...

Jill from Kindred Spirits shares her recipe for Blueberry Orange Muffins. Those look terrific, Jill!

Sherry turns our attention to these delicious looking muffins.

And (drumroll please) I am very pleased to announce the birth of a new cooking blog. Mixing Bowls and Measuring Spoons is the collaborative effort of Michele, Robin and Celeste. Go see the recipe for Blueberry Muffins and look around a bit, too.

Meredith, from Sweetness and Light has a "recipe" for summer fun with blueberries here.

And last, but not least, Margaret slides into home plate at midnight as I am putting this together with a last minute entry at Come For Coffee, A Blueberry Coffee Cake. I'm glad you made it on time for the Blueberry Bash, Margaret.

Thank you all, for visiting.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Blueberry Scones

2 Cups flour plus more for dusting.
1 Tbs. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbs. sugar
3 Tbs. butter, cold, cut into pieces
1 Cup heavy cream
1 Cup fresh (not frozen) blueberries

Preheat oven 400 degrees.

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Using forks, a pastry blender, or your fingertips, cut the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles cornmeal. Make a well in the center and pour in cream. Fold together just to incorporate. If the dough seems excessively dry add a tablespoon of milk just so the dough holds together. Do not overwork dough. Toss blueberries in a little flour to dust them and fold into the dough gently, taking care not to bruise them.

Press dough on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle that measures 12 inches by 3 inches and is 1 1/2 inches tall. Cut in half. Cut each half in half again. Cut these four squares of dough along the diagonal so that you end with 8 triangles.

Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes until brown.

Lemon glaze: This lemon glaze is very good on these scones. The scones pictured above are just brushed with an egg white wash and sprinkled with large sugar crystals.

1/2 Cup fresh lemon juice
2 Cups confectioners sugar
Zest of lemon
1 Tbs. butter

Mix lemon juice and confectioners sugar together in microwave safe bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add zest and butter. Microwave 30 seconds on high. Whisk until smooth and drizzle over slightly cooled scones.


Monday, July 16, 2007


Text from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Volume I, by Julia Child:

"Ratatouille perfumes the kitchen with the essence of Provence and is certainly one of the great Mediterranean dishes. As it is strongly flavored it is best when it accompanies plain roast or broiled beef or lamb, pot-au-feu (boiled beef), or plain roast, broiled or sauteed chicken. Equally good hot or cold, it also makes a fine accompaniment to cold meats, or may be served as a cold hors d'oeuvre.

A really good ratatouille is not one of the quicker dishes to make, as each element is cooked separately before it is arranged in the casserole to partake of a brief communal simmer. This recipe is the only one we know of that produces a ratatouille in which each vegetable retains its own shape and character. Happily a ratatouille may be cooked completely the day before it is to be served, and it seems to gain in flavor when reheated. "

For 6 to 8 people

1/2 pound eggplant
1/2 pound zucchini
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons olive oil, more if needed
1/2 pound (about 1 1/2 cups) thinly sliced yellow onions
2 (about 1 cup) sliced green bell peppers
2 to 3 tablespoons more olive oil, if necessary
2 cloves mashed garlic
1 pound firm, ripe, red tomatoes, peeled, seeded and juiced (makes 1 1/2 cups pulp)
3 tablespoons minced parsley
Salt and pepper

Peel the eggplant and cut into lengthwise slices 3/8 inch thick, about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide. Scrub the zucchini, slice off the two ends and cut the zucchini into slices about the same size as the eggplant slices. Place the vegetables in a bowl and toss with the salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Drain. Dry each slice in a towel.

One layer at a time, saute the eggplant and then the zucchini in hot olive oil in an enameled skillet for about a minute on each side to brown very lightly. Remove to a side dish.

In the same skillet, cook the onions and peppers slowly in olive oil for about 10 minutes, or until tender but not browned. Stir in the garlic and season to taste.

Slice the tomato pulp into 3/8-inch strips. Lay them over the onions and peppers. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, or until tomatoes have begun to render their juice. Uncover, baste the tomatoes with the juices, raise heat and boil for several minutes, until juice has almost entirely evaporated.

Place a third of the tomato mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish and sprinkle over it 1 tablespoon of the parsley. Arrange half of the eggplant and zucchini on top, then half the remaining tomatoes and parsley. Put in the rest of the eggplant and zucchini and finish with the remaining tomatoes and parsley.

Cover the casserole and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, tip casserole and baste with the rendered juices. Correct seasoning, if necessary. Raise heat slightly and cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more, basting several times, until juices have evaporated leaving a spoonful or two of flavored olive oil. Be careful of your heat; do not let the vegetables scorch in the bottom of the casserole.

Set aside uncovered. If not serving immediately, reheat slowly at serving time or serve cold.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Single Malt Whipped Cream

A delightful discovery. I had no bourbon in the kitchen, so I substituted my husband's scotch (shhh......).

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1+1/2 tablespoons single malt scotch
1-2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beat ingredients together in an electric mixer on high speed until the cream is softly whipped. Serve with your favorite peach pie, and enjoy!