Monday, July 28, 2014

Blueberry Muffins with a Lime Glaze

It's blueberry season and I wanted to make something special with the blueberries we picked the other day.  These blueberry muffins are the best.
 Start by putting a cup of blueberries in a heavy pot and add 2 tsp. of sugar.  Cook until the berries start breaking down and then mash them with a potato masher.  Set aside to cool.  You can find the step by step recipe here:

I use a large ice cream scoop to transfer the batter to the lined pans.

Drop a teaspoonful of the berry sauce into the middle of each muffin.

Use a skewer to swirl it around in the batter.

Once they are all swirled, pop them in the oven.

Fresh from the oven and smelling really good.

I drizzled them with a lime glaze.

I took these to a dinner party last night.  When I go to a dinner party, I like to give the host something to enjoy for breakfast the next morning.  I sat these on the counter and though another dessert was served after dinner, people dove into the muffins. The first guy that ate one looked at me after he was finished and said...these are the real deal.  Yes, they are. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Savory Vegetable Goat Cheese Crumble

This is a great recipe for using up your garden bounty.  You can serve it as a main dish or as a side.
 Dice some garlic. I used 4 cloves.

 Slice a sweet onion.

 Saute them in a bit of olive oil just until they begin to soften.

 Add chopped vegetables of your choice,  I used red and green peppers, tomatoes and zucchini.  Eggplant is excellent in this dish but my eggplants are not ready to harvest yet.  Season the veggies with S&P.

 Add some fresh herbs.  I used basil, oregano and rosemary.  Use whatever you like.

 Put the veggies in small ramekins. These hold about 1 cup each.  You can see that the vegetables are not cooked the whole way through.  They will continue to cook in the oven.

 In a bowl, mix 1 cup of panko bread crumbs with 1/4 cup of flour, S&P and some parmesan cheese (1/2 cup).

Add 1/2 cup of cubed butter and cut it into the crumbs using a pastry cutter or two forks.
 Sprinkle some crumbled goat cheese over the vegetables.

 Sprinkle the crumb mixture over the goat cheese.

 Bake these at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes.  The juice should be bubbling.

 Let them sit to cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Amish

Yesterday was a beautiful day so we headed out to Amish country to shop.
Since I mention the Amish so much on my blog, I thought I would tell you a bit about them.

The Amish religion started in Switzerland.

The Amish speak 3 languages.  They speak English in school, Pennsylvania Dutch at home and Hoch Deutsch (high German) during worship.

Men never cut their beards though no mustaches are allowed.  Woman never cut their hair.

You can't convert to Amish.  There are roughly 180,000 Amish in the USA and they are not recruiting.  You are born into the religion and they accept very few converts.

Most Amish children only go to school through 8th grade.  After that, they are expected to work with their family.

Amish are allowed to ride in cars though they are not permitted to drive them.

Amish dolls do not have faces.

The Amish practice bundling.  When a man and woman are courting, they will be wrapped tightly in sacks and laid on a bed so they can develop intimacy without sex. Some have bundling beds which is a bed with a board down the middle to prevent intimacy.  

Because of inbreeding, many Amish have impairments but these are accepted in each community and are not frowned upon. 

As we were driving through Amish country, we saw a sign for Pick ur Own Blueberries and we did just that.  Picking blueberries is a lot of work!

I bought lots of tomatoes for sauce.

And rhubarb!  What a surprise, I thought the season was over.

In my attempt to eat as much corn as possible this summer, I bought another dozen. In Amish country, they give you 13 ears in a dozen.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Old Fashioned Peach Pie

I bought a bunch of Chambersburg peaches at the Amish market.  These are delicious cling free peaches and I love cooking with them.
 I peeled the peaches and sliced them.

 Then added 1 c. of sugar, 1/2 C. flour, a pinch of salt and the juice of 1/2 lemon.

 I made a pate' brisee for this pie.  It is a heavy filling so it calls for a substantial crust.

 I place my dough in 2 baggies and roll it out in the baggies which makes it easier to handle.

 I sprinkled the top with cinnamon sugar before I baked it.  It bakes at 425 degrees for the first 15 minutes and then you lower the temp to 350 and continue to bake it.  It bakes for about another hour but the true test of a pie being done is when you see the filling bubbling.  You can see some of the peach filling which seeped out of the pie on the lower front.  When the filling has thickened like this, the pie is done baking.

Sorry I can't show you a cut piece or tell you how this tastes because it is wrapped and ready to be given away.  I hope it tastes good!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Eggplant Pizzas

If you like eggplant, you will really like this recipe. I was going to make classic eggplant parmesan but came across this recipe and I am so glad I found it.
 Slice and eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds.  Sprinkle them with kosher salt and let them sit on paper towels for 30 minutes.   Meanwhile, make the sauce.  I, of course, forgot to take a photo of this step.  Cook 3 cloves of diced garlic in a bit of oil in a sauce pan.  Add 1 large can of diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 1 tablespoon of Italian seasoning.  Stir and cook over medium heat until the sauce starts to thicken.  Add S&P to taste.  Pat the moisture off of the eggplant, brush with a bit of olive oil, and bake them at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

 Remove the eggplant from the oven and sprinkle the slices with Italian seasoning.  Spread some sauce on each slice.

 Top the sauce with some shredded fresh basil.  Add shredded mozzarella and provolone cheese.  The better the quality of your cheese, the better the end result.

 I added a bit of shredded pepperoni too.  Place these under your broiler until the cheese bubbles and begins to turn golden.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

What I Bought

It's the height of summer here.  Hot and humid days are upon us.  Though I do not like this weather one bit, it does make me want to make jam.  I bought 8 quarts of blueberries at the Amish market and turned them into some blueberry/lime jam.  We ate a bunch of them plain too. Is it hot where you are?

I bought 4 large bags of bing cherries too.  Cherries are my favorite fruit.

Everyone was selling Ancient Sweets at the market.

Fresh beets which I pickled.

And more corn.  The corn is wonderful this year.  Are you eating corn on the cob yet?

I put my pumpkins out on my cooktop.

These tomatoes are from my garden. We are eating tomatoes with every meal.

I bought this rolling pin from and Amish guy that makes these and cutting boards.

I roasted the peppers.

If you have never made these, you should give them a try.  The are delicious.

Here is the recipe for the blueberry jam: