Posts tagged blueberries

Coconut mangoberry buckle

Coconut mango strawberry buckleI saw this posted on King Arthur Flour’s blog and figured I had to give it a try. The original recipe for Peachberry Buckle called for a mixture of peach and blueberries. But since I’d just gone strawberry picking with my daughter, that’s what I used.

 

Beside swapping out the blueberries, I jazzed up the flavor of the buckle in a few others ways, too. I added in coconut to the crumb topping and coconut extract to the batter. As for the peaches…I layered in mangoes since I had one that was perfectly ripe and just begging to be eaten. The buckle ended up as a cool mix of summer flavors that you can eat hot with ice cream (like a fruit crisp), or cold for breakfast as a coffee cake.

 

Recipe

Servings: 8 big slices

Prep time: 20 minutes + baking

 

Ingredients

Cake

4 tbsps. butter

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. coconut extract (opt.)

1 1/2 tsps. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. nutmeg

2 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1 cup regular, 1 cup white whole wheat)

1/2 cup milk

1 cup berries, divided (blueberries, sliced strawberries, blackberries, raspberries…)

 

Filling

1 large mango, sliced

 

Topping

4 tbsps. butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. ginger

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1/4 cup shredded coconut

 

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. For the cake, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in eggs and vanilla and coconut extracts.
  3. Next, stir in the salt, nutmeg, and baking powder.
  4. Stir in half the milk, then half the flour, then the rest of the milk and the last bit of flour.
  5. Divide the batter in half and smear onto the bottom of the lightly greased 9″ cake pan (I used my springform cheesecake pan).
  6. Layer the mango slices and half of the strawberries on top of the batter. Mix the remaining strawberries into the rest of the batter and drop in spoonfuls onto the layer of fruit.
  7. For the topping, cut the butter into the rest of the topping ingredients until it resembles large crumbs. Sprinkle over the batter.
  8. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the top is just browned.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4th of July eats

Do you need to make something last-minute for a barbecue or picnic tomorrow? I’ve got you covered: here are a few ideas perfect for picky eaters–and even more adventurous taste buds.

Watermelon limeade. Forget the lemonade and go green. I like to mix whatever other fruit I have on hand–whether it’s strawberries, raspberries, or watermelon to sweeten the limeade so I don’t have to use quite as much sugar.

Pink lemonade cupcakes. Speaking of lemonade, what about putting the pink lemonade concentrate into your cupcake batter instead of a pitcher like this idea from Putting It All on the Table?

Homemade sno cone syrups. Try this idea for DIY cherry and lemon-lime syrups to stir into crushed ice–or into your sno cone machine, if you’re lucky enough to have one like Casey Barber at Good.Food.Stories.

Blueberry salsa. Mix a burst of sweet fruit into pico de gallo for a tasty chip dip.

Strawberry frisee salad. Add some Thai flare (and strawberries) to make this colorful salad from Garlic Girl.

Perfect potato salad. Everyone has there favorite potato salad recipe, here’s mine. (The secret is to whisk the hard-boiled egg yolk into your sauce.)

Shrimp skewers. Break out the bamboo sticks for these skewers that you can put together quickly. At Cafe Johnsonia, she made her skewers on the stovetop, but you can throw yours onto the grill.

Portobello burgers. Looking for beefier flavor in your burgers? Then skip the meat counter and head right to the produce section. Brushing the portobello with olive oil as it cooks will help it get slightly crisped on the outside and tender on the inside.

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Magic smoothies

A few weeks ago I noticed someone posted on a picky eater dilemma on Facebook–when you give your kids a smoothie spiked with spinach, do you tell ‘em about it…especially if they’re liking said smoothie packed with one of nature’s premiere superfoods?

Full disclosure: I love, love spinach. Regular lettuce has no heft and doesn’t fill me up, but give me a bowl of fresh baby spinach (or let me sip it down) and I’m happy. My kids, well, I’m working on that.

I don’t believe in sneaking veggies into foods. After all, you want kids to like veggies, right? Well if they don’t even know what they’re eating, how will they know they like them? But, I do believe you can be a little creative in your veggie presentation. And St. Patrick’s Day offers a perfect chance to convince your kids to try this veggized version. Explain to your younger kids that you’re going to make a magic smoothie–it’s going to change colors from Leprechaun green to pink. My youngest has a fascination with leprechauns ever since one of her teachers convinced her the little guys existed by moving all of the desks around in her classroom on the holiday and claiming, “The leprechauns did it.”

So if you want to weave some sort of leprechaun lore into your smoothie prep, by all means. Frankly, I’ve found the best texture for a spinach smoothie comes from mixing the spinach with applesauce, water and Greek yogurt before adding in the berries. If you mix everything at once the spinach doesn’t always get blended well enough (as much as I like spinach, no one likes a big leaf hanging out in their smoothie). I add in the berries at the end. Sure enough my green smoothie becomes pink with just a few pulses. Whether you want to tell your kids the color change is magic, the leprechauns did it, or just serve them up spinach smoothies without telling them what’s inside, well that’s up to you. I will say that first time my tween saw me making this smoothie her reaction was “Ex, gross there’s spinach in there.” I asked her to give it a try and she balked, sipped, then declared, “Oh mom, I can taste the spinach that’s nasty.” Well, I made again and she didn’t say anything, just slurped away. When I was making it today I didn’t try to hide the spinach–and she didn’t ask about it–her only question, “Mom, where’d you put the straws?”

Ready to whip up some veggized spinach for your kiddos?

Recipe

Servings: 4-6

Prep time: 5 minutes


Ingredients

1 cup fresh baby spinach, loosely packed

3/4 cup plain yogurt (preferably Greek)

1/2 cup apple sauce

1 cup water

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries

2 cups water

1 tablespoon agave or honey

lemon (optional)

Directions

  1. In a blender, pulse the spinach, yogurt, apple sauce and 1 cup water together until thoroughly combined. The mixture should be a bright green.
  2. Add the fresh or frozen berries along with another cup of water and the honey or agave. Pulse again.
  3. Pour in more water to get the consistency you want. Blend until smooth.
  4. Optional: squeeze 1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice into the smoothie, pulse and serve.

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Bakery Blueberry Muffins

A lone bag of fresh blueberries in the freezer inspired me to make one of my kids’ favorite after school snacks–blueberry muffins.

But making blueberry muffins without them turning, well blue, can be tricky. If the batter is too thin then the berries end up sinking to the bottom of the muffin cup and you end up with a layer of blueberry in your muffin. And if it’s too thick? Then the blueberries break apart as you’re trying to stir them in.

This muffin recipe fixes both problems with a heaping tablespoon of baking powder to keep the blueberries from sinking. It’s also a stiff batter that you can still stir the berries into, without them getting mushed (just stir gently!).

Instead of fresh blueberries, I like to use frozen ones. I find that the blueberries tend to stay intact better as I stir if they’re more solid. Over the summer, I’ve been buying extra blueberries to use through the winter, but you can still find fresh ones at the store, at least for a little while. Freeze ‘em yourself or buy frozen to make these muffins.

Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes + baking

Servings: 12 muffins

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 Tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

6 Tablespoons butter

1 egg

2/3 cup milk + 2 Tablespoons

1 Teaspoon vanilla

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together in a food processor. Add the butter, cut up, and process until it has the texture of cornmeal (alternatively, you can cut the butter in with a pastry cutter). Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  3. In another bowl mix together the milk, egg and vanilla.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry mixture until fully incorporated. The batter will be thick.
  5. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter being careful that they don’t break apart.
  6. Add batter in spoonfuls into 12 muffin cups lined with paper or baking spray. (I like big blueberry muffins so I usually only have 10.)
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until just browned.
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Harry Potter’s polyjuice potion

It’s polyjuice potion time! What’s great about this magical concoction is…get this..it can be any color you want. Yup, before putting together my brew I checked on Harry Potter wikia and the color of the juice changes based on the person you want to become (dutiful HP readers would remember this). Gregory Goyle and Bellatrix Lestrange? Gross color, worse flavor. Mafalda Hopkirk (remember from the Ministry of Magic) was much more appealing. And Harry Potter‘s? Pure gold, of course.

So when it comes to crafting your version, have fun with the flavor and color. But I do have a few tips on making it taste fizzy and appear out of the ordinary. Pull out your caldron (that would be blender for us muggles) and start mixing.

1)1:1 juice to crushed ice ratio

Photo credit: Harry Potter wikia

I used grape juice to give the drink a bit of sourness. And instead of ice cubes, I chose crushed ice so that I didn’t have to blend it all the way. To me, polyjuice potion should be a bit crunchy instead of smooth so I pulsed 3 cups grape juice plus 3 cups crushed ice briefly.

2)Add yogurt

I added one container of berry yogurt to give the potion some creaminess and thickness. (You can use as much yogurt as you want just make sure only to pulse and not purify your concoction.)

3)Pop in berries–and spinach

My kids love smoothies so I wanted to make this one unique. Again, I thought having bits of various ingredients would make the drink feel more Harry Potteresque instead of smoothy-ish. I added 3/4 cup blueberries and 1/2 baby spinach and barely blended it so that the chunks of dark green and purple stood out. Finally, in the bottom of each glass I put in three blackberries so that when my kids were slurping up the last bits they’d find something unexpected.

Blueberries and spinach ready to be pulsed

4)Omit hair & lacewing flies

Yes, real polyjuice potion has the person’s hair in it that you want to turn into–along with some other ingredients I didn’t have on hand:), but I decided to forgo this step and instead sit back with my kids and watch Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince while downing our potion.

Your turn–what flavors would you put in your polyjuice potion? And what Harry Potter character would you most like to be?

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