Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal

Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal

When I’m coming up with new recipes for the blog, I’m torn between two things. On one hand I want to provide new and exciting recipes. It’s fun to challenge myself in the kitchens and make new and exciting recipes. I love to try old classics that I haven’t yet conquered in the kitchen. In addition, my creative juices get flowing when I bake up a mash up of two of my favorite dishes combined, like Lemon Meringue Pie Cookies. And then there are the crazy recipes I come up with out of nowhere and think sound exciting and rather tasty. I think you all appreciate new recipes and I love making and tasting them. You never know when you might discover a new favorite.

On the other hand, I have my favorite recipes and I know all of you do as well. Those things you make over and over again and can’t get enough of. We all have different favorites. For me, it’s Peach Blackberry Pie, Blueberry Buckle, and Pumpkin Whoopie Pies among others. You might also have noticed I love granola bars and Rice Krispies Treats and have shared many different variations of the two.

Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal

It’s tough striking a balance between these two ideals, but I do try. Take this Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal. Baked Oatmeal is another one of my favorite go-to breakfasts. It’s easy to make, versatile, and comforting. Plus, leftovers last in the refrigerators for a few days, so it’s perfect for those busy mornings when you have not a single second to make breakfast. But I’ve never made anything with fresh figs here on the blog.

I tried fresh figs for the first time last year and fell in love with them. They have a unique, slightly strong flavor that is a bit of an acquired taste. A taste I have grown to like more with each bite. I simplified this baked oatmeal, so it is extra easy to prepare. I recommend getting the dry ingredients ready the night before and placing them in a plastic bag so there’s no hassle in the morning.

Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal

Cherry season has unfortunately rolled to a close, so feel free to use frozen, thawed cherries for the bottom layer, which adds a sweet, jammy contrast to the perfectly cooked oatmeal with just enough bite left to it. The figs on top add a bright flavor that works perfectly with the cherries and vanilla bean paste in the oatmeal mixture. Oh, and this is gluten free and vegan, so long as you use gluten free oats and non-dairy milk, like I did. I know you’ll enjoy this new and exciting, yet classic and comforting favorite as much as I did!

Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal

Fig and Cherry Baked Oatmeal

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

2 cups old fashioned oats (gluten free if necessary)

½ cup walnuts

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 cups milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened Vanilla Coconut Milk, use what you love)

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

2 cups cherries, fresh and pitted or frozen and thawed

4 fresh Mission figs, quartered

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place cherries in the bottom of an 8 inch square baking dish.

In a medium bowl, stir together oats, walnuts, baking powder, and cinnamon. This may also be combined in a zipper bag the night before.

Add the milk and vanilla bean paste to the oat mixture and stir to combine. Pour over the cherries. Arrange the figs decoratively on top. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly brown and bubbling. Serve warm. Oatmeal may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. May be served cold or reheated in the microwave.

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Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

If you haven’t noticed I’m rather obsessed with the combination of peanut butter and jelly. I already have granola bars, cookies, bars, and puppy chow peanut butter and jelly recipes here on the blog. It’s a classic flavor combination that will never, ever go out of style. I forbid it!

The possibilities of new peanut butter and jelly recipes are endless. You are never going to see me stop posting peanut butter and jelly recipes here on the blog.

Luckily, Peanut Butter & Company is just as obsessed with peanut butter and jelly as me. With back to school season here, Peanut Butter & Company challenged some bloggers to create a new, unique peanut butter and jelly recipe.

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

I got thinking about the possibilities and settled on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but not just any peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Oh, no! This is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with Rice Krispies treats instead of bread. That’s right! I said it. Rice Krispies treats instead of bread!

Brace yourself for the awesomeness of buttery, sticky, crunchy, marshmallowy Rice Krispies treats surrounding creamy peanut butter and flavorful strawberry jam. I was pleasantly surprised at how well the flavors and textures paired, especially the pop of flavor from the jam. This treat is going to be your new favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Plus, Peanut Butter and Company has generously offered to give one lucky reader 1 jar of Smooth Operator peanut butter, 1 jar of Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter, 1 jar of Seriously Strawberry jam, and 1 jar of Awesome Apricot preserves. Now that I’ve tried their jam, I can’t decide if I like it or the peanut butter better! So flavorful – like eating fresh fruit.

To enter the giveaway, answer the question: What creative peanut butter and jelly recipe would you like to try?

To earn additional entries:
Follow @piesandplots on Twitter. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Like Pies and Plots on Facebook. Come back and let me know you’ve liked me in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Follow Pies and Plots on Pinterest. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Follow @piesandplots on Instagram. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Subscribe to Pies and Plots via email using the form at the top of the page on the right hand side. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

IMPORTANT: This giveaway is open to residents of the US only.

The giveaway ends Friday, September 5, 2014, at 11:59 pm EST.

The winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on random.org. The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

As a member of Peanut Butter & Co.’s Yum Squad food blogger club, I received product and the giveaway in exchange for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Rice Krispies Treat Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

Total Time: 11 minutes

Yield: 9 bars

Ingredients

1 10 ounce bag marshmallows (mini or jumbo)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

4 ½ - 5 cups Rice Krispies

½ cup Smooth Operator peanut butter

½ cup Seriously Strawberry jam

2 tablespoons peanut butter chips

Instructions

Generously butter an 8 inch square pan. Set aside.

In a large, microwave-safe bowl, combine marshmallows and butter. Microwave on high in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until all of the marshmallows and butter are melted.

Add the Rice Krispies a few cups at a time and stir until fully coated. Continue adding Rice Krispies until the mixture is gooey, but there is not a lot of marshmallow in the bottom of the bowl. Pour half of this mixture into the prepared pan. Press it down into an even layer with buttered hands or spatula.

Spread the peanut butter in an even layer over the treats. Spread the jam into an even layer over the peanut butter. Carefully spread the remaining Rice Krispies mixture over the jam. Press down slightly using buttered hands. Sprinkle with the peanut butter chips and press into the treats.

Cool completely in pan before slicing and serving. Treats may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Notes

Additional cooling time is necessary

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars #SundaySupper

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

Every time I hear the words “back to school” a chill goes down my spine. I’m so thankful those dreaded days are over forever and ever for me. Even so, the commercials about school supplies, the talk on the news, the upcoming sightings of those big yellow school buses. It’s enough to make me want to cry. But then I remember, for me summer is endless and nonexistent all at the same time. If I want to take a day off in the middle of the week just to go shopping I can, but with a blog and big writing dreams, the work is never far away, especially in this age of social media and smartphones.

If you didn’t already guess or know from reading my blog, I didn’t exactly like school. This time of year was perhaps the worst of all. After roughly two and a half months off, going back to the classroom seemed nearly impossible. How could I give up freedom and fun for early mornings and “learning?”

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

In the weeks leading up to the first day of school, the anxiety would creep in as teacher assignments and schedules would come in the mail. Books and uniforms needed to be ordered, supplies purchased. I put off as much as possible until the last minute. I didn’t care if all of my folders had to be neon green as long as it meant I didn’t have to go shopping until the day before school began. Mom did a lot to help me out and relieve the pressure as well, giving me as much of the summer as possible.

Luckily, I never had summer assignments. I feel so bad for the kids who are given reading lists and projects to do over the summer. At the end of one school year, I didn’t even know who the teachers would be the next, so they couldn’t give me assignments. Score! We only get summers for so long, we should get to enjoy them.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

On the first day back to school and many days during the school year, I’d find a note from Mom in my lunchbox or purse. It provided comfort to me, much like little treats like these Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars will provide a fun and comforting treat before, during, or after school.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

These easy to make, no-bake treats are healthy, yet definitely a sweet treat! Full of oats, natural sugar, protein packed peanut butter, flavorful dried blueberries, and Fruity Pebbles and peanut butter chips for a special surprise, these are sure to be a hit for kids everywhere and make going back to school a little easier!  There’s no actual jelly in them, but that classic flavor comes through thanks to the blueberries and Fruity Pebbles.  Plus, as long as you use gluten free oats, these are gluten free!

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars

Peanut Butter and Jelly Granola Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

Yield: 12 bars

Ingredients

¾ cup creamy peanut butter

½ cup honey

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

1 ½ cups quick cooking oats (gluten free, if necessary)

1 ½ cups Fruity Pebbles

½ cup dried blueberries

½ cup peanut butter chips

Instructions

Line an 8 inch square pan with parchment. Set aside.

In a large microwave safe bowl, add peanut butter and honey. Microwave on high for 1 minute. Stir and microwave on high an additional minute. The mixture should be bubbling; if it is not, microwave an additional 30 seconds. Stir in the vanilla.

Add oats and Pebbles and stir until fully coated. Add blueberries and peanut butter chips and stir until evenly distributed. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press down firmly. Refrigerate for about 2 hours to firm before cutting into bars.

Bars may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen, wrapped individually in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up 6 months. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour or in the microwave about 30 seconds.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!
Back to School Beginnings

Back to School Lunches and Simple Suppers

>Chicken Schnitzle from Panning the Globe

 

Back to School Sips

Back to School Super Snacks

Back to School Sweets and Treats

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET.  Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Cherry Pie Bars

Cherry Pie Bars

I have always loved when my aunt, Debbie, comes to visit. Since I can remember, I’ve looked forward to her trips to see my parents and me and spend time with us.

She’s my cool aunt. You know, the member of my family, other than my parents, that I look up to, admire, want to spend time with. I distinctly remember her past visits fondly. They involved lots of shopping, watching movies, and going out to eat.

Cherry Pie Bars

I think my all-time favorite visit of hers was a long time ago when we spent a day painting our nails purple, eating pretzel nuggets right from the bag, and watching Spice World. I told you it was a long time ago! I sometimes wish I could transport back to that day.

It had been a very long time since Debbie came to visit, so late last year I asked her if she’d like to take a trip here and go to the Justin Timberlake concert with Mom and me (more on that fabulous show next week!). She said yes! It just took Justin Timberlake to get her to visit; no one can say no to Justin! While it seemed like the concert was eons away at the time, it came up super quickly.

We didn’t waste a single moment of the long weekend. The time flew by and was full of talking, a day of shopping, and some baking! We had to get in the kitchen for some bonding time.

Cherry Pie Bars

We made Cherry Pie Bars. Blackberry Pie Bars are one of my favorite recipes, so I was excited to mix them up with cherries. They did not disappoint. The crisp buttery shortbread with the creamy vanilla filling, and those juicy, sweet cherries is an irresistible combination. Plus, they are equally tasty warm from the oven or cold from the refrigerator. We could not stop eating them!

Even better than the bars was the time spent with Mom and Debbie in the kitchen talking and baking the day away. It’s a memory forever treasured in my mind. I really hope Debbie’s next visit is soon . . . even if it doesn’t involve Justin or Cherry Pie Bars.

Cherry Pie Bars

Cherry Pie Bars

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 18 bars

Ingredients

Shortbread

Zest of 1 orange

Zest of 1 lemon

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

3 cups all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

3 sticks unsalted butter, cold, cubed

Filling

4 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup sour cream

¾ cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

6 cups fresh Bing cherries, washed, dried, stemmed, and pitted

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously butter a 9 by 13 inch pan.

In a large bowl, stir together orange and lemon zest, sugar, flour, and salt until combined. Add butter and work in with your fingers or a pastry cutter until the butter is about the size of peas and has been well distributed.

Reserve 1 ½ cups of the shortbread in a small bowl. Pour the remainder of the shortbread into the pan and press it in firmly. Bake 15-20 minutes until light golden brown.

While the crust cools, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, sour cream, flour, and vanilla bean paste until fully incorporated. Fold in the cherries. Pour the filling over the baked crust and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with reserved crumb topping.

Place the pan on a baking sheet larger than the pan to catch any drips (mine dripped a lot) and bake for an additional 45-55 minutes, until light golden brown. Cool at least one hour before cutting. Bars may be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped individually in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator about 1 hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

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Greek Wedding Cookies + Debbie Matenopoulos Cookbook Review and Giveaway!

Greek Wedding Cookies + Debbie Matenopoulos Cookbook Review and Giveaway!

This giveaway is CLOSED! Congratulations to Linda on winning :)

We’ve all been told eating a Mediterranean diet is healthy for us, but sometimes it’s hard to know where to begin. That’s why I was so excited to get the chance to review Debbie Matenopoulos’ cookbook It’s All Greek to Me and be a part of her blog tour! Right on the cover, it notes it’s the way to “transform your healthy the Mediterranean way with my family’s century old recipes.”

I loved reading the introduction. In it, Debbie notes she never when to cooking school, but learned everything she knows from her mom. I think the best way to learn how to cook is just as Debbie did. Growing up with food, working with it on a daily basis, and learning to cook little by little through tradition is so important. It sets us up for a life of delicious and healthy eating.

Debbie Matenopoulos It's All Greek to Me

She learned to eat seasonally and focus on organic, free-range, and hormone free foods from her mom, who taught her this before it was trendy. Debbie also shares the schedule on which Greeks tend to enjoy their meals. It is quite different from what we have become accustomed to here in the US, with lunch being the largest meal, desserts enjoyed in the afternoon, and dinner only a light meal.

Following the introduction are basic cooking tips and an index of ingredients common in the Greek pantry and many of the dishes in the book. This was incredibly interesting to read. From the medicinal properties of cinnamon and garlic to Debbie’s favorite honey and vinegars, this is part of the book I will reference often, even when I’m just experimenting in the kitchen on my own.

Greek Wedding Cookies

The book is broken into sections with appetizers, basic sauces, salads, savory phyllo pastries, soups, stews, and one-pot meals, seafood main dishes, meat and poultry main dishes, vegetables and rice, sweet pastries, cakes, and cookies, and the extras. In between some of the sections is a feature on part of Greece. While they were all interesting, I loved reading about the Athens Baker Boys as well as how they read coffee cups kind of like reading palms in Greece.

Of course, I also have tons of pages flagged with recipes I want to try. Mom and I are dying to try the garlic sauce with potatoes. She once had sauce like that at a restaurant and has always wanted to recreate it. The lentil soup and baked cod with lemon garlic parsley sauce are also calling my name and sure to be on the dinner table soon. And the desserts, oh my, the desserts. I want to try them all, but I can’t stop thinking about the classic walnut cake.

Greek Wedding Cookies

Greek Wedding Cookies

Today, I have Greek Wedding Cookies for you. You’ll want to make these right away while you order a copy of the book and wait for it to come. I did make a couple changes to the recipe based on what I had in my pantry. I used regular sticks of butter instead of whipped, almond meal instead of grinding the almonds myself, and bourbon instead of cognac, and they turned out perfectly. Mom kept saying how they look just like the ones in the book! They are the lightest cookies, with a hint of crunch before they dissolve in your mouth, leaving the most pleasant vanilla flavor. I kept reaching for more and more, because they are just so good. The ingredients listed below are as written in the book; I included my adapted instructions.

Because I know you’ll love this book, the publisher has been kind enough to provide me with a copy to giveaway!

Greek Wedding Cookies

To enter, answer the question: What is your favorite Greek food?
To earn additional entries:
Follow @piesandplots on Twitter. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.
Like Pies and Plots on Facebook. Come back and let me know you’ve liked me in an additional and entirely separate comment.
Follow Pies and Plots on Pinterest. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.
Follow @piesandplots on Instagram. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.
Subscribe to Pies and Plots via email using the form at the top of the page on the right hand side. Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.
IMPORTANT: This giveaway is open to residents of the US only.
The giveaway ends Monday, August 4, 2014, at 11:59 pm EST.
The winner will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on random.org. The winner will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!

Greek Wedding Cookies + Debbie Matenopoulos Cookbook Review and Giveaway!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 40-50 cookies

Ingredients

2 cups slivered blanched almonds, toasted and coarsely ground

1 pound whipped unsalted sweet cream butter, room temperature

2 large egg yolks

½ cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 3 cups for coating

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 tablespoons cognac

4 to 5 cups all-purpose flour

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.

In a large bowl, cream butter, egg yolks, and ½ cup confectioners’ sugar with a hand or stand mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy, about 6 minutes. Reduce to low speed and add in almonds, vanilla, and cognac, before raising the speed back to medium-high and beating for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Reduce speed to low again and add the flour one cup at a time. Start with 4 cups, add more as necessary until the dough comes together and is soft and not sticky. I used the recommended 4 ½ cups. Knead the dough by hand for about a minute to make sure all ingredients are incorporated.

Scoop out heaping tablespoons of dough, form them into half-moons and place on the baking sheet. Cookies do not need to be too far apart as they will not spread, but they should not be touching. Bake for 15-20 minutes until the cookies are pale yellow. They should not be brown. Cool about 5 minutes on sheets before placing remaining confectioners’ sugar in a bowl and rolling each cookie in it until fully coated. Allow cookies to cool completely. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Notes

Additional cooling time is necessary

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Disclaimer: I was provided with a review copy and the giveaway of It’s All Greek to Me, but all opinions, as always, are mine.

Greek Wedding Cookies

Individual Pluot Crisps

Individual Pluot Crisps

Yesterday was the hottest day of the summer so far. Temperatures climbed into the nineties, the sun blazed in a cloudless blue sky, low humidity rounded out the gorgeous weather trifecta.

Some people complained about the heat of the day, but after the winter we had, most did not. The heat felt like the nicest warm blanket, the sun like pure energy. I stood in the driveway, looked to the sky (don’t worry, I had sunglasses on), and soaked it all up. Though I’m not a love of living in Michigan (California here I come . . . one day . . . preferably soon . . . like before the next snowfall), this day, this summer has temporarily changed that. I did not complain about the heat; rather I am hoping Mother Nature sends more of it our way. After all, following the worst winter ever, she kinda owes us!

Individual Pluot Crisps

Along with the heat, summer brings a plethora of stone fruit. The flavorful, juicy fruit quenches my thirst and revitalizes my body. Especially Frog Hollow’s organic Flavor King Pluots.

These pluots are to be treasured. Not too big, their size is deceiving, as they pack huge flavor. The texture of a plum is combined with the flavor of an apricot to make them great for eating out of hand and even better for baking. The flesh is rather soft and sweet, while the slightly tough skin adds a pleasant tartness.

Individual Pluot Crisps

Individual Pluot Crisps

Frog Hollow challenged me to bake something with them with leaving the skin on. I am used to eating stone fruit with the skin, but not baking with it. I also wanted a light easy to make summer dessert.

So I make Individual Pluot Crisps. Each halve of the pitted pluot is filled with the best crumb topping that you won’t believe is vegan and gluten free! Oats and granulated sugar bring texture to the party, while cinnamon packs a flavor punch. The topping combines with the juicy fruit for a not too sweet treat. Oh, and that skin? It blends right into the fruit. You won’t even know it’s there. I know you want some of these pluots in your life, so head over to Frog Hollow’s website and order some. And if you’re a fruit lover like me, be sure to follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram too!

Individual Pluot Crisps

Individual Pluot Crisps

Individual Pluot Crisps

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients

2 Flavor King Pluots, washed and halved

¼ cup old-fashioned rolled oats (gluten free, if you like)

2 tablespoons flour (gluten free, oat flour, even almond flour will work)

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the halves of the pluots flesh side up on the tray.

In a medium bowl, stir together oatmeal, flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Drizzle in oil and stir until clumps form. Divide topping among pluot halves. If there is any leftover, place it in a mound on the tray and it will be a yummy, crunchy addition to the dessert.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until topping is golden brown and fruit is juicy. Serve warm with ice cream, if you like.

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Disclaimer: I was provided with fruit by Frog Hollow Farm, but all opinions, as always, are mine!

Old Fashioned Sour Cherry Pie #SundaySupper

Old Fashioned Sour Cherry Pie

You can never go wrong with a classic. There are tons of fashion classics I always turn to. From red lipstick and smoky eye shadow to little black dresses and cashmere sweaters to stiletto pumps and leather handbags. There are some things pretty much all of us have in our closets and turn to over and over again.

Roses are classic flowers, a welcome sight in any vase or garden. We all have a favorite classic movie, song, and book. They may depend on the generation we’re from, but we can all agree on some. Like Forrest Gump, Thriller, and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Old Fashioned Sour Cherry Pie

These things are all classics with good reason. They have withstood the test of time, proving their awesomeness over and over again. They bridge age and generational gaps and give us happiness and comfort.

The amount of classic dishes in the food world is nearly endless. Grilled cheese, burgers, pizza, spaghetti and meatballs, tacos, ice cream, brownies, and even Old Fashioned Sour Cherry Pie.

Old Fashioned Sour Cherry

Old Fashioned Sour Cherry Pie

I’ve eaten classic cherry pie tons of times, but it was always made with canned or frozen cherries with lackluster crust. I knew I needed to make my own. This summer I counted the days until sour cherry season began. The moment I saw the ruby red beauties at the farmers’ market last weekend, I snapped them up and ran home to pit them. They’re actually pretty easy to pit, as with a little squeeze, the pit pops out. Cherry pitters are just going to tear these delicate fruits to pieces.

Oh man, is this pie a delicious classic! The golden brown, flaky crust melts in your mouth, yet stands up to the slightly juicy cherry filling. The filling isn’t too sweet, letting the flavor of the cherries shine through. It’s no wonder cherry pie is such a classic!

Old Fashioned Sour Cherry Pie

Old Fashioned Sour Cherry Pie #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 8 slices

Ingredients

Crust

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup vegetable shortening

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cold, cubed

4-5 tablespoons cold water

Filling

6 cups fresh sour cherries, pitted

1 cup granulated sugar

Zest of 1 lemon

¼ cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon bourbon

2 tablespoons butter, cold, cubed

2 tablespoons milk (I used almond, use what you love), for assembly

2 tablespoons granulated sugar, for assembly

Instructions

Make the crust. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and salt until combined. Add shortening and butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Add 4 tablespoons of water and pulse to combine. Squeeze some of the dough together and see if it holds. If it does, the dough is good to go, if not, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until it holds together. Pour the dough onto plastic wrap, wrap tightly, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

Once the crust has chilled, divide it in half. Roll half of it on a floured surface so that it fits your pie pan. Place it in the pan. Roll the other half so that it is slightly larger than your pie pan. Once rolled, fold it gently and carefully place it in the pie pan. Return to the refrigerator while you make the filling.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Make the filling. In a large bowl, stir together cherries, sugar, lemon zest, cornstarch, and bourbon. Remove the crust from the refrigerator. Set the top crust aside. Spoon the cherries into the pie pan, leaving as much juice behind as possible. Do not add much juice or the pie will be soupy! Dot the top of the cherries with the 2 tablespoons of butter.

Place the top crust over the filling and crimp the edges tightly shut with your fingers. Brush the top with the milk and sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place pie on a foil covered baking sheet to catch any drips (and it will drip!).

Bake for 15 minutes. Then reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F without opening the oven. Bake for about an additional hour, rotating halfway through if necessary, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling vigorously. Cool completely in the pan before slicing and serving. Pie may be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days at room temperature or in the freezer, wrapped in quarters in foil and parchment and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes.

Notes

Additional chilling and cooling time is necessary

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Don’t forget to check out the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Beverages

Appetizers

Sides and Accompaniments

Main Dishes

Desserts

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Blueberry Banana Bread

Blueberry Banana Bread

There’s nothing worse than an unexpected 6 am wakeup call. We recently had some visitors in our attic of the furry four-legged kind. To be specific, red squirrels seem to have an affinity for the living quarters above our house.

These squirrels are tiny and adorable. We are part of the problem in feeding them for our viewing pleasure. It’s hilarious to watch them do just about anything to get their hands on a peanut. This includes chasing regular squirrels at least twice their size. Providing them with food is not an invitation to chew through our siding, however. This year they even had little squirrel babies! Too cute!

Blueberry Banana Bread

They’re taken up residence in the attic before and been removed before. Most of the time they live up there quietly and neatly. That’s right, they’re neat. But not too long ago, came a string of days where each morning they rose with the sun and started chewing or digging . . . or doing other things, which would wake me up. I don’t like being woken up. Girlfrand needs her beauty sleep :)

After calling around, we found a humane removal company that would relocate our little critters. They took away one very calm little squirrel and one very rambunctious little guy. Then the other squirrels got smart and began eating the peanut butter out of the trap. Genius squirrels live in our yard! The problem has been solved . . . for now.

Blueberry Banana Bread

With all those early wakeup calls, I needed an extra delicious breakfast. I’m obsessed with summer fruit so Blueberry Banana Bread definitely fit the extra delicious bill. Insanely moist on the inside with a dense crumb and intense banana flavor, the slightly crunchy outside provided a texture contrast. The pop of color and flavor from the blueberries was more than welcome. Add a little peanut butter and you’d have a treat for you . . . or a squirrel!

Blueberry Banana Bread

Blueberry Banana Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves, 8 generous slices

Ingredients

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup vegetable or canola oil

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

7 large ripe bananas, well mashed

2 cups fresh blueberries, washed and picked over

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil 2 loaf pans and line the bottom only with parchment. Place the loaf pans on a sheet tray for easy removal from the oven later.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a large bowl, stir together sugar, brown sugar, and oil. Stir in the eggs one at a time until well combined. Stir in the vanilla and bananas. Add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Fold in the blueberries until distributed.

Divide the batter equally between the loaf pans and place in the oven. Bake for about 1 hour, rotating halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the center of each loaf comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. If the loaves are getting too brown, tent with foil. I recommend doing this between 30-40 minutes into baking. Cool loaves in the pan for about a half an hour before removing and allowing to cool completely on a rack or serving tray. Bread may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 4 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in the microwave for about 1 minute.

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Peach Upside Down Cake

Peach Upside Down Cake

Developing recipes is one of the most fun, yet most nerve-wracking parts of my job. I love getting creative in the kitchen. But I totally cross my fingers whenever I put one of my creations in the oven. Clearly I make recipes I think and hope will turn out, but I can never be sure.

When Frog Hollow Farm asked me to develop a recipe using their certified organic peaches that they would share on their site, I jumped for joy.

Peach Upside Down Cake

Their peaches are crazy good and I knew baking with them would only intensify their sweet flavor. I knew the results would be fabulous . . . well, I hoped.

So I went to the drawing board and decided on Peach Upside Down Cake. The cake is easy to make and came out way better than I even imagined. First of all, it’s beautiful with all those caramelized peaches on top. I was worried they’d get stuck in the pan, but Mom’s magic touch and bravery when turning it out of the pan left it completely intact and stunning.

Peach Upside Down Cake

Then there’s the flavor. The sweet, soft peaches enhanced with a bit of cinnamon, blend seamlessly with the classic, butter cake. This timeless recipe is a summer essential made even better by Frog Hollow’s wonderful peaches. I recommend you head over to Frog Hollow’s site to order some organic peaches (don’t forget to like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter as well – they post some beautiful pictures from the farm on Instagram and Pinterest too!) and then make this cake!

Peach Upside Down Cake

Peach Upside Down Cake

Peach Upside Down Cake

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 8 slices

Ingredients

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 cup granulated sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs

½ cup milk (I used almond, use what you love)

4 medium peaches, pitted, peeled, and sliced

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ cup packed dark brown sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan. Line the bottom only with parchment and butter the parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour and baking powder.

In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer would work as well. Mix in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time and beat until once again light and fluffy. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. I did three installments of flour and two of milk. Mix until just combined.

Arrange the peaches into a pretty pattern in the bottom of the prepared pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar. Pour the batter evenly over the peaches.

Bake for about 45 minutes, rotating halfway through if necessary, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool cake in pan for about 20 minutes, before carefully inverting onto a cake stand or serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature. Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen in pieces, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for a couple hours or in the microwave for about 30 seconds.

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Disclaimer: I was provided with peaches from Frog Hollow, but all opinions, as always, are mine!

Flag Cake #SundaySupper

Flag Cake

I’ve never had a picnic. It’s something I’d like to try once, but I have mixed feelings over it. On one hand, it sounds so romantic. The perfect, sunny day with just a bit of a breeze. A big blanket and an expertly packed basket full of an array of food and all the necessary utensils. The people I love surrounding me. Perhaps a lake in the distance. A butterfly floating by us, as we sit comfortably on our blanket.

But then there’s what I fear is reality. A stray shower that pops out of nowhere, accompanied by gusty winds. A tattered blanket that’s not nearly big enough to protect me from the dirt and grass below. Not so tasty food on paper plates with plastic utensils. And the bugs. Oh the bugs. Bees, flies, the stereotypical ants, parading off with our food. Our bodies aching from sitting on the hard ground.

Flag Cake

Flag Cake

Maybe an indoor picnic would be more my speed! Air conditioning, no bugs (hopefully), a refrigerator and pantry steps away. Yeah, indoor picnic it is.

Regardless of it you want an indoor or outdoor picnic, you have to make this Flag Cake. Really, you have to! It’s one of the best things I’ve made in a long while. In fact I ate it two nights in a row – I honestly can’t remember the last time I did that. It’s a vanilla bean butter cake topped with vanilla bean frosting. Then to make the flag part of the cake, I used blueberries and on Mom’s genius suggestion Swedish Fish. The fish look so cute on the cake and both the fish and the berries add a pop of flavor. Your Fourth of July party needs this cake!

Flag Cake

Flag Cake

Flag Cake #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 24 servings

Ingredients

Cake

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

1/3 cup cornstarch

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups almond milk

Frosting

8 ounces cream cheese

1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

3 – 3 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar

1 cup blueberries

50 or more Swedish Fish

Instructions

Make the cake. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan and line the bottom only with parchment. Butter the parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. I did this by hand, but a hand or stand mixer will work as well. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla bean paste. Alternately add flour mixture and almond milk, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. I did three installments of flour and two of milk.

Pour batter into prepared pan, smooth into an even layer and bake 40-50 minutes, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with only a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan.

Make the frosting. Beat cream cheese and butter using a hand or stand mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla bean paste, followed by the confectioners’ sugar, added one cup at a time. After 3 cups are added, taste the frosting to see if it is sweet enough. Spread frosting over cooled cake.

Use blueberries to create a large square/rectangle in the upper left corner of the cake. Use the Swedish Fish to create the stripes in the flag. Make the blueberry area as large as you like, and make as many stripes as thick as you like. The flag is your creation! Cover cake tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three days.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Additional cooling time is necessary

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Don’t forget to check out all the other Sunday Supper dishes!

Beverages

Appetizers

Mains

Sides

Salads

Sandwiches and Wraps

Sweets

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Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.