Making Blackberry Galette

Blackberry GaletteHello, friends.

Let’s talk about blackberry galettes, shall we? Way back in the beginning stages of the blog, I was terrified to make a pie. I would dream of one day making a beautiful lattice pie with perfectly cooked apples or berries inside. People would gasp and I would be proud. Unfortunately, my luck with pie crust hasn’t always been great. There has always been something about pies that terrify me. Don’t ask me why. It wasn’t until a year later that I would stumble across this recipe for a thing called a “galette” that I would begin my journey to pie making nirvana.

A galette or a “crostata” if you want to be super fancy, is essentially an open faced pie. The best part about a galette is that the edges can look terrible, even horrid, and once it bakes it will look absolutely stunning. Seriously! The galette works the rustic look quite well. Just like a pie, you can use a plethora of different fruits. I’ve used cherries, grapes, and strawberries in the past. I hope to adapt recipes with peaches and one with apples. Hopefully sooner than later!

Taking that first bite into the galette is a far different experience. You have this perfect combination of warm fruit filling to buttery crust ratio. A galette is definitely my preferred way of making a pastry. In my opinion the presentation is equally as impressive and it doesn’t have to look perfect. If I have no idea what to do with fruit in my fridge, I 9 times out of 10 make a galette. It’s the perfect party good. Easy to serve and even easier to enjoy. Add a scoop of ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream on top and you just can’t beat it.

Blackberry Galette

Ingredients:
For the dough:
1 1/3 c. all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. fine sea salt
1 large egg
Heavy cream, as needed
8 Tbsp. unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
Juice & zest of one Meyer lemon
For the filling:
3 cups blackberries
½ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
Juice & zest of one Meyer lemon
3 to 4 tablespoons cornstarch
For the whipped cream:
2 to 3 Tbsp. sugar
1 c. heavy cream

Directions:

Step 1. For the dough: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt. Set aside. In a liquid measuring cup add the egg and lightly beat with a fork. Add enough heavy cream until the mixture reaches 1/3 cup. Whisk together to combine. Set aside.

Mixing Galette Crust

Step 2. Add the chilled cubes of butter to the flour mixture and begin cutting the butter into the dough using a pastry cutter or just your hands (if you’re feeling really rustic). You are looking for pea-sized morals of butter and the for the mixture to look like moist sand. Add in the lemon juice and zest. Slowly drizzle in the egg/cream mixture (up to ¼ cup) and mix to the dough begins to come into shape. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface. Flatten into a disc and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour. (Note: dough will last in the fridge up to 3 days.)

Galette Dough Crumbs

Step 3. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. For the filling. In a medium mixing bowl combine the berries, sugar, salt, lemon zest, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Stir to combine. Set aside.

Blackberry Galette Filling

Step 4. Once the dough has rested take it out of the fridge and allow to soften up a bit so it is easier to work with. Roll the dough out until it reaches 12-inches in diameter. Take the filling and place it in the center of the dough. Spread it out, leaving roughly a 1-inch perimeter around the doughs edge. Begin folding the edges of the dough over the berries. Brush pastry generously with leftover egg and cream mixture. Sprinkle remaining sugar on the crust. Bake for 35 – 45 minutes or until the crust of golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Allow to cool before serving.

For the whipped cream. Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Doing this will allow the cream to stay cold and create stiff peaks quicker. Place the sugar into a mixing bowl and add the heavy cream. With a hand mixer or metal whisk, whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks, about 7 to 9 minutes. Add the vanilla extract in one tablespoon increments until desired taste is reached. Store in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, whisk for 10 to 15 seconds to reincorporate the air back into the cream.

Cheese Puffs: A Rumford Complete Cookbook Recipe

cheese puffs 3

Looking through the Rumford Complete Cookbook again this month, I was looking for a different kind of recipe to try. I found this one on Cheese Puffs and thought it sounded good, so I tried it out. They are yummy!!

A great side to a meal or a fun snack!

The Cheese Puffs recipe is on pages 56 and 57 of the Rumford Complete Cookbook. Below is a photo of the recipe that is in the book.

Here is my version of the recipe with some updates:

Cheese Puffs

Ingredients:
2 eggs
3/4 c. flour
1/2 c. shredded cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. Rumford Baking Powder
1/2 cup milk – I decreased from 1 cup in the cookbook recipe, as it was too liquidy to fry.

vegetable oil, for frying
Deep Fryer to fry puffs in

Directions:
In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and mix together with the milk. In a separate bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt and pepper. Add the cheese and mix. Then add to the egg/milk mixture. Stir everything together well. Drop spoonfuls into deep fryer and fry until golden brown. Drain and serve.

These tasted like a fried cheese bread. The kids loved them too! We enjoyed them with marinara sauce and ranch dressing for dipping!

Top 5 Father’s Day Food Ideas

When you were 3, you gave dad a family portrait. When you were 9, you gave him a necktie. Now you’re all grown up, and finding something that dad will really like is much harder to do! You can mix and match these Father’s Day food ideas and make a party dad will remember.

It’s pizza time!

Load up your pizza with toppings that your dad likes best! Our pizza dough is easy to make and easy on the wallet too. Pair it with a tossed salad and your Father’s Day dinner is done.

Pizza Idea for Father's Day

Let’s grill!

If your dad is more of a barbecue type, then he is going to love our homemade cola barbecue sauce. There are many different notes in the sauce, making it hard to pin down exactly what’s in it. Don’t give away your secret though, just bring dad a second helping of our sweet and tangy baby back rib recipe.

Grill Out for Father's Day

Spice it up!

When your family is a fan of kicking it up a notch, you need to bring the heat. Our spicy shrimp and sausage jambalaya has just the right amount of garlic and smoke flavor to balance out the spicy flavor of your favorite hot sauce. You can serve the jambalaya up with a side of our homemade corn bread for a sweet complement.

Jambalaya Spicy Father's Day

Get saucy!

This slow cooker recipe for pulled pork is so good! We’ve got honey and soy sauce flavors in our barbecue, perfect for a sweet pulled pork sandwich. Serve with a side of our melty mac and cheese and you’re all set!

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Take a dip!

Our Marvelous Mex Dip refreshing on hot summer days. Dunk some Fritos® into this colorful dip with bell peppers, corn, jalapeño and green onions. You’ll be the toast of the party!

Marvelous Mex Dip

No matter which recipe you choose from our list, one thing is certain: when you make it from scratch, you can control the flavors and your family will feel the love.

Strawberry Pound Cake Parfaits

Pound cake is confectionery perfection. A slight exaggeration? I think not! What isn’t beautiful about a dense, moist, buttery cake? The amount of butter and eggs might frighten the weak, but you’re strong. I know when you take that first bit you’re going to forget all about the numbers and just be transcended into pound cake nirvana.



Grandma's Pound Cake

The pound cake recipe actually comes from my Grandma Crawford. Back in the day, my Grandma Crawford was known around her church and neighborhood for her baked goods, especially her pound cakes. My father tells as a kid growing up of friends and family coming to door with ingredients in hand, asking Grandma Crawford to make one of her pound cakes. And of course in true Crawford fashion, she did. For this particular recipe, I adapted her Butternut Pound Cake, which happens to be my mother’s favorite cake. I’ve made another one of my Grandma’s beloved pound cakes before, her Cinnamon-Apple Pound Cake, which happens to be my favorite cake. Both are indescribably good for their own reasons.

The original recipe is found in an old spiral notebook, handwritten by my mother. The pages are worn and the writing is slowly beginning to fade, but I knew I wanted to use Grandma Crawford’s recipe. This cake bakes beautifully, forming a perfectly golden crust on the outside and a soft yellow inside. With summer upon us, I wanted to take apart in this season’s strawberry harvest. The tartness of the strawberries complimented the sweetened cream and the rich pound cake beautifully. I decided to serve these parfaits in mini trifle bowls that belonged to my Grandma Crawford (to keep in theme!) Grandma Crawford unfortunately passed away when I was fairly little, but if she was here today, I know we would talk sweets and bake delicious pound cakes together! Maybe even a parfait or two.

Strawberry Pound Cake ParfaitsStrawberry Pound Cake Parfaits

Ingredients
For the Pound Cake:
½ pound unsalted butter, room temperature
½ cup shortening
3 cups sugar
5 eggs, room temperature
1 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons butternut flavoring or vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons Clabber Girl Baking Powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon Clabber Girl Baking Soda

For the whipped cream:
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)

3 cups of sliced strawberries

Directions
Step 1. For the pound cake. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F, Grease and flour a 15-cup bunt pan. In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter and shortening until combined. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time.

Note: For room temperature eggs quickly, add them to a 4 cup liquid measuring cup and fill with lukewarm water. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes.

Step 2. In a 1 cup liquid measuring cup, combine the evaporated milk and butternut flavoring or vanilla extract. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. In thirds, alternate adding the flour mixture and evaporated milk mixture to the butter and egg mixture, making sure to end with the flour. Transfer batter to the greased and flour pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool for 30 minutes in pan, then remove from pan and let cool completely.

Step 3. For the whipped cream. Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes. Doing this will allow the cream to stay cold and create stiff peaks quicker. Place the sugar into a mixing bowl and add the heavy cream. With a hand mixer or metal whisk, whisk just until the cream reaches stiff peaks, about 7 to 9 minutes. Add the vanilla extract in one tablespoon increments until desired taste is reached. Store in an airtight container for up to 10 hours. When ready to use, whisk for 10 to 15 seconds to reincorporate the air back into the cream.

Step 4. For assembly. Slice the pound cake into cubes, about the size of a nickel. In a parfait glass or trifle bowl, start with the cubed pound cake and layer it with strawberries and whipped cream, repeat this process until you reach the top of your glass. Serve immediately.

Strawberry Pound Cake Parfait Close Up

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

One of my favorite summer desserts is homemade Strawberry Rhubarb Pie! I am a big fan of fruit pies, so this is one I make every summer when we can harvest the ingredients right from my own garden. The combination tartness from the rhubarb and sweetness from the strawberries is just SO delicious. Paired with the crust from the pie making it truly a summer dessert must have!

strawberry rhubarb pie4

Our strawberries in the garden and producing well! We have a decent size patch and the end of May/most of June we enjoy strawberries fresh from our own patch. This is the second year for our rhubarb plants and they are producing good stalks as well for us to harvest! What better way to use both the strawberries and rhubarb than in a pie!

strawberry rhubarb pie full

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Ingredients:
Crust:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. Clabber Girl Baking Powder
1/4 tsp. salt
10 Tbsp. butter, cold and cut into chunks
4 oz. cold water

Filling:
2 Tbsp. Clabber Girl Corn Starch
2 cups fresh rhubarb, chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
3 cups fresh strawberries, sliced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 egg white
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla

Directions:
Pie crust:
In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the chunks of cold butter and mix the butter into the flour using a pastry blender. Continue to do this until the mixture looks like bread crumbs or small pieces of butter. Add the cold water and stir it into the mixture so that it all sticks together. Clump the dough all together to form a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-2 hours. You want the dough chilled and cold, but not hard.

Roll out the dough to a 13 inch circle on a lightly floured surface. Save some dough for your top lattice strips. Lay the circle of crust dough in your greased pie dish. Roll out the remaining dough and cut into 1 inch wide strips for the lattice top and leave aside until fruit in the pie crust.

strawberry rhubarb pie filling

Pie Filling:
Whisk Clabber Girl Corn Starch together with 1/4 cup water until well blended. Combine with the rhubarb and sugar in a medium pot and heat until thickened. Then add to strawberries. Add the vanilla and stir all together. Then let sit for about 30 minutes for your filling to thicken. Pour the fruit mixture into the pie crust. Add the butter chunks on top.

Arrange the crust strips in a lattice pattern over the fruit mixture and press the strip ends into the crust. Brush the egg whites onto the top of the crust strips and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees F. for about 35 minutes or golden in color. Let cool for filling to settle and thicken.

Cinco de Mayo Party: Margarita Bar

Cinco de Mayo is fast approaching and while everyone else may be thinking tacos and churros, I’m over here thinking about the salty, sour, and tart perfection of the Classic Margarita. As many of us gear up to celebrate, we often find ourselves focusing on the food and not the drinks. And it’s hard to fault that game plan, as the food is the star. This year however, I wanted to change things up and focus on the drinks for once. Because let’s face it, what’s a good party without a good cocktail? But then again, why settle for just one. While I love a classic lime margarita, I also love the versatility of it. There are so many variations on that drink it can make your head spin. But how to pull off multiple different flavors and combinations and still stay on theme?

Easy…enter the Margarita Bar.

Margarita Bar Cinco de Mayo

Behind every tasty and delicious margarita is good tequila and fresh ingredients. Like I said before, there are a TON of different flavor combinations that you can make, some of the ones that I came up with are featured in the pictures throughout this post. I went with 5, but you if you go with just 3 flavors you’re still headed in the directions of an amazing Cinco de Mayo party!

Here’s the low-down on how to make a margarita bar for Cinco de Mayo:

Simple Syrup:

This is where you’re getting the sweetness in the drink from, especially in drinks that are highly acidic (like a classical margarita), and the simple syrup helps balance the sweet and tart/sour flavors. To make simple syrup you just need equal parts water and granulated sugar. Place in a pot on medium heat and simmer until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool before using.

Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita
Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita

Fruits/Juices/Herbs:

Whatever flavor combinations you decide on, this part is key to making a tasty margarita. If you’re just using juices and herbs you’re all set to throw everything in your shaker, shake, strain into a glass over ice and enjoy. If you’re using fruit, like the Strawberry Jalapeno Margarita then you can muddle the strawberries, jalapeno and mint together or blend everything into a puree like I did. This will give you a slightly thicker margarita, but nevertheless delicious.

Tequila:

This to me, is what makes a margarita a margarita. I prefer to use silver tequila in my drinks, especially for a classic margarita or the Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita so I get the drink color I’m looking for.

Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita
Cucumber Jalapeno Margarita

Grand Marnier:

Is your drink still really tart from all the lime juice? Grand Marnier will help cut that too with some add sweetness. Triple sec or any other orange liquor will work, so go with your preference. Not all margaritas call for it, so it’s really up to you if you want to include it in your drink, but I’d really suggest making the trip to the liquor store if you don’t have it on hand as it can make a world of difference in the outcome of your cocktail.
Once all your ingredients are a go, it’s time to figure what you are going to serve. You can premix a large batch or have all the ingredients ready to guest can make their own drinks. Whichever direction you decide to go in, here’s a list of some of the essentials you’ll need on your Margarita Bar.

Pitches/Wine Carafes/Drink Dispensers:

Whether you’re going with large batches or single serve, you’re going to need a few of these for the beverage table. Premix large batches with all the liquid ingredients (the Lemon Basil Margarita is perfect for this) and serve in a large drink dispenser for guests to pour their own. If you want your bar a little more interactive, use full or half carafes to fill with different juice flavors for guest to choice from.

Lemon Basil Margarita
Lemon Basil Margarita

Drink Shakers:

Give everyone a change to be a bartender for a night! If you’re doing a serve yourself bar, litter your beverage bar with drink shakers for guest to use. Have one on hand just in case if you’re premixing, you never know if you might need it and it’s good to have on hand.

Ice Bucket & Scoops:

These are a must have. Even if you decide to go with drink dispensers, don’t risk pre-icing your drinks and watering that flavor down. Have ice available for guest to add to their cup before pouring themselves a drink. If you’re going for a self-serve make your own drink kind of bar than you can’t pull that off without a lot of ice. Not only do party goers need it for their drinks, but for the drink shakers as well. Be sure to have a bag of ice on hand just in case your ice dispenser can’t keep up too, you’ll thank me later.

Coconut Lime Margarita
Coconut Lime Margarita

Glasses:

You are going to need lots and lots of glasses! If you’re anything like me, than I doubt that you have a secret stash for tons of margarita glasses lying around. No worries though, I used all kinds of different glasses. I think it adds to the charm of a Margarita Bar, plus you don’t have to dish out any money to buy all new glasses just for the party. Pilsner and rocks glass, as well as some mason jars worked perfectly for me!

Little Plates/Shallow Rimmed Bowls:

You can not have a margarita without salt. Okay, you actually can. But you definitely can’t ditch the salt when hosting a Margarita Bar so little plates or shallow rimmed bowls are perfect for this. You can use ones that go with your theme colors or just stick with white like I did. Be sure to have one out for each margarita flavor you are going with or just a couple if you’re sticking with just one salt for all the flavors (kosher salt worked for me, but you can buy margarita salt too). The salt that you’re rimming your glass with is just another area where you get to impart different flavorings and put a spin on your margaritas to kick them up a notch (like the cayenne salt for the Mango Orange Margarita), so get creative if you want.

Mango Orange Margarita
Mango Orange Margarita

Bowls:

You’re going to want bowls of various sizes. This is perfect for garnishes if your serving out of drink dispensers and a must have to serve lime wedges needed to rim your glass with before dipping into the salt. If you’re going with a make your own bar, then little bowls are just right for all the herbs and various fruits you might be using.

Festive straws that match your theme are a great thing to have on the bar, as well as plenty of cocktail napkins. Little chalkboard signs are a great way to label the different drinks if your serving out of drink dispensers. If you can nab some larger chalkboard signs, write out the recipe for the single serving drinks that are available so party goers can make their own.

Once you have all the essentials gathered, it’s only a matter of displaying the bar in a way that is uniquely you. Keep it casual in the kitchen or set up a whole beverage bar station that is sure to be a talking point. Whatever you do, when throwing a Margarita Bar, have fun…and enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookie No-Churn Ice Cream Sandwiches

I love chocolate chip cookies. I haven’t met a person who doesn’t love the buttery crumbs of a freshly made cookie. This chocolate chip cookie recipe comes from my mother’s index of recipes. This recipe is one of the few foods that will always bring me happiness, time and time again. Nowadays, when I’m feeling stressed or anxious, I whip up a batch of these cookies and my worries, much like the plate of cookies, quickly begin to vanish. There is something so comforting about biting into a warm chocolate chip cookie. It’s a memory thing.

Growing up, my mother would make my brother and I these cookies as an after school treat. Right off the bus, we could smell the wafting sends of melted butter and gooey chocolate. Running into the kitchen, these buttery beauties were cooling slowly on the counter. My mother would put a few cookies on a plate, hand my brother and I each a glass of milk, and the two of us would begin eating as many cookies we could possibly stand until our stomachs ached. Its memories like these that come from these cookies that will always leave a lasting impression on me.

No-churn ice cream is a popular trending in the blogging/home cooking scene. Like myself, who doesn’t have enough cabinet space to hold all my plates let alone an ice cream machine, this no-churn recipe is the way to go. Just three simple ingredients and six hours of waiting and you have a creamy and sweetly decadent dessert that can be great on its own, topped with hot fudge, or sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies. Hey! Now that’s a good idea.

Chocolate Chip Cookie No-Churn Ice Cream Sandwiches

Ingredients
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. butter, soften
2/3 c. shortening
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 c. flour
1 tsp. Clabber Girl baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 (12-oz. bag) semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 c. Heavy Cream
1 (14 oz.) can Sweetened Condense Milk
2 Tbsp. Vanilla Exact

Directions

For the ice-cream: Place a metal mixing bowl and metal whisk into the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Take the bowl and whisks out of the freezer and add the heavy cream. Begin to mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form, about 7-8 minutes.
Add the sweetened condensed milk and mix with a large wooden spoon or baking spatula until fully combined. Stir in the vanilla extract. Transfer to a 9×13 baking pan. Place in the freezer until set, about 6 hours.

Ice-Cream-1

For the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, beat together the brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and shortening until the mixture is incorporated and light in color. Add in the eggs and vanilla extract and mix until combined.

Cream-Sugar-and-Butter

Slowly add in the dry ingredients: flour, baking soda, and salt. Allow to mix on low at first, then gradually increase speed as the mixture begins to come together. Stir in the semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Combine-Dry-Ingredients-For-Cookies

Using a tablespoon, form the dough into little spherical drops (about 1 ½ tablespoons). Spread the dropped dough 2 inches apart. On a 9 x 13 cookie sheet, 12 drop doughs fit perfectly.


Cookie-Dough-on-a-Sheet

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the bottoms is a light golden brown color. Let cool completely.

Cookies-on-a-Sheet

 

For the sandwiches: Add one scoop of set ice cream onto one the bottom of one cookie. Sandwich another cookie on top and serve immediately.

Chocolate Chip Cookie No-Churn Ice Cream Sandwiches

Recipe yields: 24-30 cookies or 12-15 sandwiches.