Summer Fruit Crisp #SundaySupper

Summer Fruit Crisp - a vegan and gluten free dessert the whole family will love!

A couple weeks ago, we were having a normal summer day.  Mom and I spent some of the day chilling and watching a movie (A Hologram for the King with Tom Hanks if you are wondering, and it was rather good), then we made dinner and ate and as we were cleaning up the house seemed suddenly rather hot.

The air was running but upon further investigation, it was only the fan and not the actual unit that was running.  I’m not certain about this sequence of activities since I am unfamiliar with how an air conditioning unit works, but that’s what I’ve been told.

Summer Fruit Crisp - vegan and gluten free

It was around 8 o’clock at night and with temperatures in the 90s still, we weren’t really keen on spending the night without ac.  #firstworldproblems, I know.

So we got to Googling and phone booking.  Yes, we still have phone books in the house.  Mom called around five places and only one could come out.  You would think there would be more 24/7 service out there, although since this incident I’ve seen numerous commercials for such heating and cooling places.

Summer Fruit Crisp - vegan and gluten free

So, the technician, who had finally been relaxing at home after a long day at work, got the call and arrived at our house around 10.  Within an hour, he had mercifully fixed the seventeen-year-old machine.  In fact, he seemed like a pretty smart guy.  He didn’t have the necessary part but managed to use other parts to make it work.  We ae very thankful to him.

Within a few hours, the house had cooled back down and life easily returned to normal.  What is so interesting to me, is that I love summer.  Love it!  If you know anything about me, you know this, but if you know me personally, you also know that I love air conditioning.  In fact, if you ever come over to my house, bring a jacket, you’ll probably need it.

Summer Fruit Crisp - vegan and gluten free

Of course, if you come over to my house, you’ll also be given dessert of some kind.  Like this Summer Fruit Crisp.  It’s every summer fruit I love packed into one gluten free, vegan dessert.  We’re talking peaches, nectarines, plums, blackberries, cherries, and blueberries.

Because I don’t want to say goodbye to summer desserts just like I don’t want to say goodbye to summer, I freeze desserts like this crisp regularly.  In fact, I freeze almost all of the desserts I make.  Most of the time they come out as good, if not better, than when they were fresh.  Only very, very rarely do I find one that just doesn’t make the trip to the deep freeze and back well.

Crisp is something you might not think to freeze, but you totally should.  I freeze it in plastic Glad containers.  It keeps for up to three or even four months.  When I am ready to eat it, I definitely enjoy sampling it cold, but I also really love placing it on a plate and warming it in the microwave.  A little ice cream on top doesn’t hurt either.

Summer Fruit Crisp - vegan and gluten free

A tip about freezers and why I think the things I freeze survive so well is that I keep my freezers (yes I have two), super-duper cold.  My upstairs freezer is set at -6 and the one downstairs is set on the coldest setting, which I think is even colder than -6.  This allows foods to freeze quickly and stay very frozen and therefore super tasty.

Don’t let summer go.  We can still eat Summer Fruit Crisp when it is snowing out!

Summer Fruit Crisp #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

Topping

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)

¾ cup oat flour (gluten free if necessary)

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

½ cup pecans

5-7 tablespoons melted coconut oil

Filling

6 cups mixed summer fruit (peaches, nectarines, cherries, plums, blueberries, and blackberries in any combination)

Juice from 1 lemon

2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/3 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Make the topping. In a medium bowl, stir together oats, oat flour, salt, sugars, cinnamon, and pecans until mixed. Add 5 tablespoons of coconut oil and stir. Add additional oil 2 tablespoons at a time until all ingredients are coated and clumps form. Set aside.

Make the filling. In a large bowl, stir together fruit, lemon juice, cornstarch, and sugar.

Pour the fruit filling into an 8-inch square pan. Top evenly with the topping. Place on a lined baking sheet in case it bubbles over and bake for 30-40 minutes, until golden brown on top and the fruit is bubbling.

Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 days. The crisp may also be frozen in plastic containers. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in the microwave for 1-2 minutes until warmed through.

http://piesandplots.net/summer-fruit-crisp-sundaysupper/

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

Condiments

Main dishes

Sides

Snacks

Dessert

Beverage

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.

Peach Layer Cake

Peach Layer Cake

Did you watch the Olympics?  Tell me I’m not the only one who was completely and totally obsessed and riveted from start to finish.

I watched swimming, track and field, beach volleyball, gymnastics, archery, wresting, judo, badminton, table tennis, and more.  All day long.  We’re talking twelve hours a day.  Not that I just sat on the couch and did nothing, but it was on all day and I kept up.

Peach Layer Cake

Of course, with all this watching, I spent much of the last two weeks wondering if secretly somewhere inside me is a gold medal award winning swimmer … even though I can’t swim.  Also if it’s too late to get into rhythmic gymnastics, because I feel like I could actually do that.

Alas, it’s now all over and I don’t have, and it’s pretty safe to say, never will, a gold medal.  Even so, I really only want the Olympics back on.  I need something to watch, something to cheer for, and I don’t want summer to come to an end.

Peach Layer Cake

This is just another sign, along with the incessant mentioning of out “fall like weather” this week that doesn’t particularly seem fall like to me in the slightest, that doom … I mean fall … is impending.

There is something hopeful about the Olympics and summer, and I think we could all use more of that feeling right now with all that is going on in the world.

Peach Layer Cake

So I’ll just have to hang onto summer and find hope in this Peach Layer Cake.  It’s a different kind of layer cake.  A giant 9 by 13 layer cake with tart cherry jam in the middle and Italian buttercream on the outside.

The cake is soft and almost fall apart moist, loaded with fresh peaches.  The jam adds a nice tartness, but it is really that buttercream, that steals the show.  If you have never had or made Italian buttercream, don’t be intimidated by it.  It’s really not that hard to make and it is the BEST frosting you will ever have I promise.

Peach Layer Cake

It tastes like ice cream and whipped cream had a baby and were flecked with lots of vanilla bean seeds.  It’s light and airy, melts in your mouth, and not too sweet.  In fact, it doesn’t even need cake, but it’s not considered okay by most people to eat it by the spoonful right out of the mixer bowl.

Seriously though, make the cake, make the frosting.  It is gold medal worthy.

Peach Layer Cake

Peach Layer Cake

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 24 servings

Ingredients

Cake

4 cups chopped peaches or nectarines, white or yellow

2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

4 large eggs

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

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher salt

4 cups all-purpose flour

Frosting

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

½ cup water

2 tablespoons honey

5 large egg whites

1/2 + ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

1 jar tart cherry jam, for assembly

Instructions

Make the cake. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. butter 2 9 by 13 inch pans, line with parchment leaving overhang to pull the cakes out later, and butter the parchment. If you only have 1 pan, bake one cake, let it cool a bit, remove it, and bake the second in the same pan.

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer would also work. Beat in the vanilla, followed by the eggs one at a time, until once again light and fluffy.

In a medium bowl, stir together the cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour. Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the butter mixture, stirring until just combined. Fold in the peaches and divide the batter evenly among the two pans. If you only have one, pour half in and bake the other half when it’s done.

Bake the cakes 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan.

Make the frosting. In a small saucepan, stir together the sugar, water, and honey. Cook over medium high heat, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves. Then insert a candy thermometer and cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F. Alternately, you may use a small bowl of ice water to test a small amount of the hot syrup as it cooks. If it forms a soft ball in the water, it’s ready to go.

Meanwhile, in the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on high until stiff peaks form. Once the syrup and egg whites are ready, turn the mixer down to medium low and slowly drizzle the syrup in. once all the syrup has been added, turn the mixer back up to high and beat for about 13 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy and cool.

Add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time to the running mixer – watch your fingers! Once all the butter has been added, if the frosting is soupy refrigerate it for about 15 minutes, then beat it again and it should come together. This always happens to me. Beat in the vanilla bean paste.

Assemble the cake. Using the parchment overhang, remove one cake. Place it on a serving platter and use the frosting to make a boarder around the edge of the cake to hold in the jam. Spread the jam over the rest of the top of the cake. Place the other cake on top. Frost with the remaining frosting.

Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Cake may also be frozen in pieces, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about 1 hour.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary

Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen

http://piesandplots.net/peach-layer-cake-2/

Flourless Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies #SundaySupper

Flourless Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies

I used to be a bacon addict.  Weekend mornings meant Mom was either microwaving a batch or we were headed to McDonald’s for a fast food sandwich (always on a hamburger bun for me).

Then I went through a very odd phase where I ate bacon and a baked potato most nights for dinner.  Definitely not the healthiest time in my life.  Luckily it didn’t last long.

Flourless Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies

Now bacon isn’t among my favorite foods.  I enjoy it every now and then, typically not more than a couple times a year.  But when I saw this Sunday Supper’s theme of bacon, I knew I wanted to participate with a sweet and savory combo.

Peanut butter is one of those foods I crave and I thought it would pair really well with bacon.  I cooked up a pound of artisan bacon, though now I cook it in the oven instead of the microwave.  Mom and Dad ate most of it, but a fair portion was reserved for these cookies.  I also saved the bacon fat and roasted some sweet potato fries in it.  Best.  Decision.  Ever.

Flourless Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies

Back to the cookies though.  They are my all-time favorite, super peanut buttery, peanut butter lovers’ cookies.  These are naturally gluten free and have so much more peanut butter flavor than any other cookies out there.  Plus, they are a breeze to make.  No big mixers.  No chilling the dough.  Just cookies asap.

Flourless Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies

I amp up that peanut butter flavor with Reese’s Pieces.  And then there’s the bacon.  The bacon flavor permeates the entire cookie.  The crispy pieces are a great contrast to the super soft, slightly underbaked cookies.  Oh, and then the melty Reese’s Pieces take the cookies totally over the top.

Flourless Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies

I definitely recommend these hot from the oven or reheated in the microwave.  A mound of marshmallows on top is a great choice too.

I definitely see more bacon in my future, even if it’s just in these cookies.

Flourless Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies

Flourless Peanut Butter Bacon Cookies #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 9 cookies

Ingredients

1 cup creamy peanut butter

1 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

½ cup Reese’s Pieces

½ cup crumbled crispy bacon

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cookie sheet with parchment.

In a medium bowl, stir together peanut butter, sugar, baking soda, vanilla, and the egg until fully combined. Stir in the Reese’s Pieces and bacon.

Scoop approximately golf ball sized mounds of dough onto the cookie sheet. Bake about 20 minutes, until light golden brown, serve warm or cool completely on the pan. Cookies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature 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 microwave about 30 seconds.

http://piesandplots.net/flourless-peanut-butter-bacon-cookies-sundaysupper/

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

Bacon in Appetizers

Bacon for Breakfast

Bacon for Dessert

Bacon for Dinner

Bacon in Beverages

Bacon for Lunch

Bacon as a Side Dish

 

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.

The Future Now with Demi and Nick

The Future Now with Demi and Nick

I wasn’t a giant Jonas Brothers fan.  In fact, I don’t know if I can name a single Jonas Brothers song.  Not one.

But Nick Jonas has proven himself as a delightful performer and songwriter recently.  And Demi Lovato has always been one of my favorites because she is so real and honest.  And her songs are pretty catchy.

When I heard Demi and Nick were touring together, I knew I had to go for a fun summer night out.  Mom went with me, and while it wasn’t quite her scene, we both really appreciated the great songs of both performers and their clear talent on the stage.

Nick Jonas

The night began with Mike Posner, who is actually from Detroit so the stadium was packed for his opening set.  Mom and I caught the end after being stuck in traffic.  I heard his two most popular songs “Cooler than Me” and “I Took a Pill in Ibiza.”  He totally brought the house down and his band was stellar.  I was glad to see at least some of his set.

Before too long Nick took the stage.  He sang mostly his more recent songs, though they are really awesome with catchy beat and lyrics that still tell a story.  “Bacon,” “Chainsaw,” “Levels,” “Chains,” and “Jealous” were some of my favorites.  Mom and I were both unfamiliar with his song “Who I Am,” but as soon as he began singing it, we both fell in love with it.  You know a song is good when you have never heard it before

Nick Jonas

After Nick performed for a little more than half an hour, Demi took the stage.  She opened with “Confident,” which is one of my favorite songs.  It has such an empowering message.  As she worked her way through hits like “Neon Lights,” “Give Your Heart a Break,” and “Heart Attack,” the crowd sang along to every single word.  This crowd was clearly full of Nick and Demi fans.


Nick Jonas

A slower set from Demi ended with “Stone Cold” as Nick joined her on the piano.  This may have been one of my favorite moments from the show.  It was so beautiful and powerful.  Nick played a couple more songs before Demi joined him for “Closer,” and then sang a couple more songs herself, finishing out the night with “Cool for the Summer.”

Demi Lovato

The show was a bit bare bones with the only real set design pieces coming from flashy lighting.  And it was a huge disappointment to us that together Nick and Demi barely played an hour and a half.  Especially when two headliners are a part of a show, two hours is the bare minimum they should play.  I left wanting much more. 

I think opportunities to perform a cover or two or bring Mike Posner back out to perform with them in front of his home crowd were missed and would have made the show longer and more special.  Nick and Demi are both great performers and have a realness about them that shined through when they spoke to the crowd.  I loved and appreciated that, I just wanted a little more from them.

Mom and Me

Blackberry Cornbread Buckle #SundaySupper

Blackberry Cornbread Buckle

Summer is quickly slipping from my fingers and I am not okay with it.  I don’t want it to go away.  This is such a lovely time of year and I am so thankful for it.  For the walks with the flowers and the birds singing.  For the fresh fruit and vegetables.  For the fun clothes and shoes.  The bright colors, sunshine, and warmth.

And now with the Olympics, what more could I ask for?  I couldn’t.  it is just so wonderful and that’s why I’m already starting to dread what is coming.  Fall and … ew … winter.  Life just feels so different then.  It is less hopeful and harder, even if the only thing that has really changed is the season.

Blackberry Cornbread Buckle

How is this possible?  I mean really.  If everything else stays the same, the difference between June and January is still immense and difficult to grasp and deal with.

I never felt this way when I was in school, and I think I finally discovered the reason.  As a student, I relished summer.  I loved every moment of it for all the reasons I do now, as well as the obvious I didn’t have to go to school thing.

Blackberry Cornbread Buckle

Once fall (really the end of summer) came and I had to return to school, it didn’t matter if it was sunny or cloudy, rainy or snowy.  I just trudged into the building and out of the building and slept and ate in between.  I actually hoped for snow since it would mean a day of freedom, likely watching movies and TV.

So not only do the seasons affect how I see the world, but the world affects how I see the seasons.  Life is really quite an interesting thing sometimes.

Blackberry Cornbread Buckle

Since I am buying more fruit than I could ever possibly eat, as though that will stave off winter for longer, I love to bake with it.  Cornmeal isn’t something I typically bake with, but when this Sunday Supper theme was corn, I knew exactly what I was going to make.  Blackberry Cornbread Buckle.

I have made Blueberry Buckle many different times, as it is one of my favorite recipes, but I think this one bested it.  Not only because the cornbread base is so delicious, tender yet hearty with that nutty corn flavor, but also because it rings more as a true buckle.

The cornbread rises in some spots, buckles under the fruit and crumble in others.  It is a symphony of ever changing textures and flavors, each bite a little different than the last.

Let summer take you on many more adventures, including this Buckle!

Blackberry Cornbread Buckle

Blackberry Cornbread Buckle #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 35 minutes

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

Fruit

4 cups fresh blackberries

½ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Cake

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3 large eggs

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup cornmeal

2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder

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

Topping

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup old fashioned rolled oats

1/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ stick unsalted butter, melted

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pan as well as two ramekins or bowls.

In a medium bowl, stir together the blackberries, sugar, vanilla, and ginger. Allow to macerate while you make the cake.

Make the cake. In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Mix in the vanilla and salt, followed by the eggs, one at a time. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work as well.

Stir together the flour, cornmeal, and baking powder. Alternately add the flour mixture and the milk, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir just until the batter comes together.

Spread most of the batter into the 8-inch pan, filling no more than half way. Divide the remaining batter among the ramekins. Top each of the three vessels with an even layer of the blackberries.

Make the crumb topping. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, and butter until clumps form. Distribute the topping over the fruit in all three vessels.

Bake ramekins for about 40 minutes. Bake larger cake for about 1 hour 15 minutes, until toothpicks inserted in the center of the cakes come out with a few moist crumbs.

Serve warm or allow to cool completely in the pans. 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 in the microwave about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Janeofmanytrade via Food52

http://piesandplots.net/blackberry-cornbread-buckle-sundaysupper/

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

Appetizer

Breakfast

Salad

Main Dish

Side Dish

Dessert

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.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

Black Forest Sheet Cake

Do you have a hidden talent?  Mom and I have debated this quite a bit lately having watched America’s Got Talent and the hidden talent competition on the Today show.  And it was decided that we do not have hidden talents.

But as suggested to me by Kim The Ninja Baker I do have a hidden talent.  And my friends that talent is pitting cherries.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

I pit cherries.  Lots of them.  Cherries for smoothies, cherries for pies and cakes and sauces on top of ice cream.  Cherries in kale salads and paired with cottage cheese.  Probably over a hundred, maybe two hundred, cups every summer.

I did have a stainless steel cherry pitter that I was using, but I used it so much that I broke it.  That’s right, I snapped the metal cherry pitter right in half.  So now I just do it by hand.  Split open the cherry and pull the pit out.

This is easy to do with sour cherries in particular because they are soft, but once you get in the groove with any kind of cherry, it’s not so bad.  I told you how I pitted nine cups of cherries for the popsicles last Sunday in twenty minutes.  This is my summer routine.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

And I never mind doing it.  Not only because cherries are so delicious in so many different things, but because it is a relaxing, mindless activity that washes stress away and makes me feel better as I get in the rhythm.  Just make sure you double check cherries if they are going into the blender.  Better safe than sorry when it comes to wayward pits being blended into oblivion.

I pitted more cherries for this Black Forest Sheet Cake.  After seeing all the black forest masterpieces on the Great British Baking Show, I was inspired.  I took a classic chocolate cake and made it with carob of course, but cocoa powder will work just fine.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

Then I topped it with a thick and jammy cherry compote and a rich chocolate/carob glaze.  The end result is a rich, messy cake that is totally irresistible.  The cake is deep and dark and packed with that classic chocolate flavor, intensified with coffee.  The cherries are sweet, the perfect foil, and the drippy glaze rounds the whole thing out.

Do yourself a favor and pit some cherries and make this sheet cake.  Your next summer get together will be even better with it for dessert.

Black Forest Sheet Cake

Black Forest Sheet Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 18 servings

Ingredients

Cake

2 cups granulated sugar

1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour

¾ cup carob or cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 large eggs

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

1 cup brewed coffee, cooled

½ cup olive oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Cherry Compote

4 cups Bing cherries, pitted

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ cup granulated sugar

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Glaze

¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons milk (I used almond, use what you love)

1/3 cup carob or cocoa powder

1 stick unsalted butter

1 box confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Oil a 9 by 13-inch baking pan and lightly flour it.

In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, flour, carob or cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, coffee, oil, and vanilla. Pour into the dry ingredients and stir until a thin batter is formed. Pour into the prepared pan and bake 30 -35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

While the cake bakes, make the compote. In a small saucepan combine the cherries, lemon juice, sugar, and cornstarch over medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until it comes to a boil. Continue to boil, still stirring frequently, for 3 or 4 minutes, until the mixture has thickened significantly. Set aside.

Make the glaze. In a medium bowl, stir together the milk and carob or cocoa powder. Add the butter and microwave for 1 minute. If the butter is not melted, microwave in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until fully melted. Add the vanilla and slowly stir in the sugar until a thick yet spreadable glaze is formed.

Spoon the cherry compote over the baked, but still hot cake. Spread it into an even layer. Spread the glaze evenly over the cake. Serve warm or cool completely in pan. Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or frozen, wrapped in pieces in parchment and foil and placed in zipper bags for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction

http://piesandplots.net/black-forest-sheet-cake/

Summer Fruit Pie #SundaySupper

Summer Fruit Pie

Mom and I were debating the foods, desserts really, that are the true joys in life.  We ended up agreeing that there’s nothing like an awesome pie with flaky, crispy, golden brown crust and overflowing, gooey fruit filling and a layer cake with tender, moist cake and fluffy frosting that melts in your mouth.  I think the cake needs sprinkles too, but that’s where our agreement would end.

Sure cookies are great, blondies, and brownies too.  I love a nice scoop of ice cream and even a popsicle.  Tarts and waffles and pancakes and cinnamon rolls have their high points as well.  But really, it’s all about perfect cake and perfect pie.

Summer Fruit Pie

The two are American classics.  The foods we dream about, and hope to see in bakeries and on restaurant menus.  They make our mouths water and no matter how full we are, we always have a little extra room for a piece a pie or cake.

I don’t actually make cake or pie that often.  In fact I haven’t made a layer cake since December.  I need to change that!  But I have made two pies so far this summer.  One had crumbs topping and berries and there’s a piece sitting in the freezer that I now desperately want.

Summer Fruit Pie

And then there’s this.  Summer Fruit Pie.  I wanted to make a pie that just has all the fruit I love during these warm months.  I used a mixture of sweet, sour, and rainier cherries, blackberries, and yellow and white peaches and nectarines.  Use whatever you love in whatever combination you like.

The end result is that crispy, flaky, golden brown crust that is to die for and a juicy, tender filling where there is so much fruit that it falls out when you pull a slice out of the pan.  This celebrates summer’s bounty as well as the perfect pie.

Summer Fruit Pie

By the way, this is the perfect pie because it tastes good and was homemade and is perfectly imperfect.  When Mom and I were assembling this pie, the crust was cracking and we had to press it back together, but it tasted amazing in the end.  So when you are making this pie or another pie or any meal, dessert or otherwise, have fun and in the end it will be just great.

Summer Fruit Pie

Summer Fruit Pie #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Yield: 8 slices

Ingredients

Crust

2 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cold and cubed

½ cup pure vegetable shortening

3-7 tablespoons very cold water

2 tablespoons milk (any variety, I used almond)

2 tablespoons coarse sugar

Filling

8 cups summer fruit

½ cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons bourbon

¼ cup cornstarch

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

Make the pie crust. In a large bowl stir together flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Add the butter and shortening and mix until the dough resembles coarse meal. I like doing this with my hands or two forks, but a food processor will work too! Add 3 tablespoons of water and mix. Add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time until the dough comes together when pressed.

Form the dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.

After the dough has chilled, flour a large surface and divide the dough in half. Roll one half of the dough into a large round that will fit into your pie pan. Once it is rolled, place it in the pie pan. Roll the other half and reserve it for the top. Refrigerate while you make the filling.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Make the filling. In a large bowl, stir together the fruit, sugar, bourbon, cornstarch, and cinnamon. Use any combination of fruit you like. I used 1 cup sour cherries, 1 cup rainier cherries, 1 cup Bing cherries, 1 cup blackberries, and 4 cups of white and yellow peaches and nectarines.

Remove the crust from the refrigerator and add the filling. Be sure to leave the vast majority of the liquid in the filling behind or the pie will never set.

Top with the other half of crust and crimp the edges however you like. Cut slits in the top and brush with the 2 tablespoons of milk. Sprinkle with the 2 tablespoons of coarse sugar. Place the pan on a foil lined baking sheet because it will bake over.

Bake for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 350 degrees F, and bake for an additional 1 hour. Check the pie halfway through to see if it needs to be turned or covered with foil. The pie is done when the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling.

Allow pie to cool at room temperature for at least 2 hours before slicing. Pie may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen in quarters, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in a 350 degree F oven for about 30 minutes.

Notes

Additional time is necessary for the dough to chill and the pie to cool.

http://piesandplots.net/summer-fruit-pie-sundaysupper/

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

Starters:

Breakfasts:

Beverages:

Condiments:

Sides & Salads:

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.

Tips on Going Gluten Free

Triple Berry Crisp - Vegan and gluten free, this is the quintessential summer dessert or breakfast!

Vegan and Gluten Free Triple Berry Crisp

So many people are gluten free today whether it’s due to Celiac disease, a sensitivity to gluten, or simply wanting to be healthier.  It’s clear this isn’t just a fad or phase, it’s a lifestyle and for many people it is not a choice.

When you go gluten free, however, that can be daunting and scary as you wonder what on earth you will eat.  Luckily just because you are going gluten free does not mean you can’t eat delicious foods that are the same if not better than the ones you are used to eating.  I post many gluten free recipes here on my blog and some of them are among my favorites.  Gluten Free Monster Cookies, anyone???

Homemade Drumsticks - Fun and easy to make, gluten free, and way better than store bought!

Homemade Gluten Free Drumsticks

Let’s talk about exactly what gluten is.  It’s a protein found in grains such as rye, barley, triticale, and wheat. These grains are found in many common foods. Wheat, for example, is commonly found in salad dressings, soups, cereals, pasta, and sauces—just to name a few. Barley is commonly found in food coloring and malt vinegar. Rye is found in cereals, and, of course, in rye bread. Triticale is also in common foods like cereals, pasta, and bread. It’s important to note that wheat has different varieties and derivatives, which also affect those who need to have a gluten-free diet. The varieties and derivatives of wheat include wheat berries, durum, emmer, semolina, spelt, kamut, and more.

Like mentioned before, gluten is no longer a trend or a buzzword. Having problems with wheat isn’t only limited to people with celiac disease, which is an autoimmune reaction to gluten. When a person with celiac disease eats gluten, the immune system reacts as if the gluten was a poison. The immune system tries to destroy the part of the small intestine that absorbs nutrients, causing malabsorption of nutrients. The symptoms of celiac disease vary greatly and include intestinal difficulty, constant fatigue, anemia, and headaches. People can experience these symptoms and not have celiac disease; instead, they could have a wheat allergy or a non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Vegan and Gluten Free Peach Coconut Crumb Bars

Vegan and Gluten Free Peach Coconut Bars

Diagnosing celiac disease or a wheat allergy can be done through a blood test. What I found really interesting when personally being tested is that those preparing for a blood test are required to eat foods with gluten in order for the blood work to detect the presence of gluten or wheat. However, while non-celiac gluten sensitivity doesn’t have a formal diagnosis, the condition is usually determined by ruling out celiac disease yet still experiencing the symptoms. People with sensitivity to gluten also observe whether there’s any improvement in symptoms after following a gluten-free diet, and if so, following a gluten-free diet is the only treatment that keeps symptoms at bay.

But let’s go back to how to adjust to a gluten free diet.  It may seem daunting to change your diet to one that’s gluten-free, especially since gluten is found in many common meals and treats. However, there are still many options and more down the pipeline for gluten-free foods right off the shelf. Gluten-free meals are more common these days, and San Francisco-based company Hampton Creek is bringing some awesome new gluten free products to the market.  They are making classic salad dressings like ranch, Italian, and Caesar along with some fun new varieties like Just Goddess.  You know I have a sweet tooth though, so Hampton Creek’s gluten free desserts include cookies, brownies, and cakes.

Gluten Free Monster Cookie Bars

Gluten Free Monster Cookie Bars

It’s great to rely on foods that you know and love in gluten free form to make the transition easier.  Many candies, potato chips, and corn chips are automatically gluten free.  There are gluten free pretzels, cookies, crackers, and more.  So many stores have amazing gluten free sections these days.  Just be sure to read any and all labels to make sure products are really gluten free.

My favorite is to make gluten free desserts from scratch.  I do this for my hair stylist and his family regularly since they are gluten free.  The easiest and most reliable way to do this is to use an all-purpose gluten free baking flour.  That way you don’t have to worry about mixing flours and gums.  You can take any recipe and swap out the all-purpose flour for gluten free all-purpose flour.  How easy does that sound?  I’ve made cookies, pies, cakes, cupcakes, crisps and more that are all gluten free and no one would ever know the difference.  Also, remember that fruit, vegetables, meat, and fish are all gluten free.  They are great foods to rely on and pick up on every trip to the grocery store.  Right now I can’t get enough summer fruit: peaches, cherries, blueberries, and more can make a dessert all on their own.

With these tips, hopefully going gluten free won’t seem so daunting.

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by a guest contributor but all opinions, as always, are mine.

Paleo Cherry Blondies - A healthy, gluten free dessert that you will LOVE!

Paleo Cherry Blondies

Rice Krispies Treat Birthday Cake #SundaySupper

Rice Krispies Treat Birthday Cake

I make a birthday cake for you … well not for you, for America.  Because it’s America’s birthday tomorrow and if there is any birthday that deserves an awesome birthday cake it’s obviously America.  So happy birthday, America, I think you’re going to love this cake.

And you, my readers, are too.  Because, you see, this isn’t any ordinary birthday cake.

Rice Krispies Treat Birthday Cake

I get it; it’s summer and hot and tomorrow is the Fourth and you need a last minute dessert and making a traditional layer cake is so not going to happen.  I totally hear you.

Rice Krispies Treat Birthday Cake

But while this layer cake looks totally normal on the outside, on the inside, it’s Rice Krispies Treats made with Red, White, and Blue Rice Krispies.  And it’s totally amazing!

The “cake” is the softest, gooiest, BEST Rice Krispies Treat you will ever have.  I promise.  It’s just so good.

Rice Krispies Treat Birthday Cake

But then I made seriously irresistible vanilla bean buttercream frosting to fill and cover the cake.  I could eat that frosting by the spoon.  Okay, so I did eat some of it with a spoon, but on the cake, it’s even better.

With the cereal treats and the fluffy buttercream, this is pretty much the cake of my dreams, and dare I say better than a traditional birthday cake.

Rice Krispies Treat Birthday Cake

This is so easy and fun to make, so there’s no excuse to celebrate America’s birthday and some seriously good food this Fourth of July or any day in fact.

Rice Krispies Treat Birthday Cake

Rice Krispies Treat Birthday Cake #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 17 minutes

Yield: 18 servings

Ingredients

Treats

1 box Red, White, and Blue Rice Krispies

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

1 16 ounce bag mini marshmallows

Frosting

2 sticks unsalted butter, super soft

1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste

1 box confectioners’ sugar

Instructions

Make the cereal treats. In a large microwave safe bowl combine butter and marshmallows. Microwave until fully melted. Start with 1 minute, stir and then continue microwaving in 30 second increments until fully melted. Stir in the Rice Krispies, reserving a few for decoration.

Once the treats have been stirred together, pour them into a round vessel of your choice. I used a large saucepan lined with cling wrap. Press the treats down very firmly. Allow to cool completely, at least 1 hour.

When ready to assemble the cake, make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat butter and vanilla bean paste until combined. I did this with a hand mixer, but a stand mixer would work as well. Slowly add the sugar and beat it in. If the frosting is too thick, add a bit of milk. Mine was perfect without the milk. Beat the frosting for 2-3 minutes once all the sugar has been added to make it super fluffy.

Using a serrated knife, slice the treat in half horizontally. Place the bottom half on your serving plate. Heap some frosting on it and spread it into an even layer. Place the top half of the treat on top and use the remainder of the frosting to cover the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with the remaining Rice Krispies.

Cake may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

http://piesandplots.net/rice-krispies-treat-birthday-cake-sundaysupper/

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

All-American Appetizers

America the Beautiful Beverages

Raise the Flag Breakfasts

For the Red, White and Blue Salads and Main Dishes

Oh Say Can You See 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.

Triple Berry Crisp

Triple Berry Crisp - Vegan and gluten free, this is the quintessential summer dessert or breakfast!

Regrets.  Whether we like to admit it or not, we all have them.  Some of us (me) have more than others.  They are the what ifs of life.  The torturous thoughts that taunt us as we contemplate what may have happened, may have been different, may have changed had we just done one teeny tiny thing differently.

They keep us awake at night, invade our dreams, and sometimes make us cry.  They drive us crazy, making our minds spin as we run different scenarios trying to come up with different outcomes.

Perhaps the worst part of regret is that until we invent that time machine, there is literally nothing we can do about our past mistakes.  No matter how much we think about them, how many times we go over what we did and could have done instead, no matter how hard we wish we could make another choice, we can’t.  It’s as simple as that, we can’t change the past.

Triple Berry Crisp

 

Triple Berry Crisp

And sometimes that is a very hard pill to swallow.  Last week was one of ups and downs for me.  I had a wonderful dinner out with friends (more about that on Fashion Friday) and went shopping with Mom.  But in the midst of these wonderful things, one of which ranks in one of the best nights of my life, I have two terrible regrets.

The first is losing my evil eye ear cuff at dinner.  Yes, it was probably bound to be lost or break sooner or later.  A tiny, dainty gold cuff bent in and out of shape to fit around my ear, but I can’t stop going over the ways I went wrong with it that night.  I shouldn’t have worn it.  I should have put it on better.  I should have noticed it hanging in my hair.  I should have looked at the pictures of me better.  Mom should have noticed it.  I should have looked for it sooner.  On and on and on.

Triple Berry Crisp

More than missing it terribly and feeling horrible that I lost it, there is nothing I can do.

The other is a favorite dress.  The prettiest dress I’ve ever owned or probably could imagine owning.  It had a torn seam, so I took it to be repaired, but somehow they pressed on it too hard and caused some of the structure of the dress to mar the fabric.  This wasn’t really my fault.  There’s not much I could have done differently, but I’m still sad.  I’m still trying to think of ways to fix it.

Triple Berry Crisp

And these are just my regrets from the past week … imagine in we started tackling the past years :0

One thing I don’t regret is making this Triple Berry Crisp.  It’s vegan, gluten free, and oh so delicious.  The peak of the season berries are juicy and sweet while that crisp topping is just irresistible.  Plus, this crisp is just as good cold from the refrigerator as it is hot from the oven.

Triple Berry Crisp is a comforting summer dessert or a fun breakfast.  Either way, add some ice cream, you won’t regret it!

Triple Berry Crisp

Triple Berry Crisp

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

Filling

2 cups strawberries, hulled and quartered

2 cups blueberries

2 cups blackberries

2 tablespoons cornstarch

½ cup granulated sugar

Topping

1 cup old fashioned rolled oats (gluten free, if necessary)

¾ cup oat flour (gluten free, if necessary

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

¾ cup pecans

7 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Make the filling. In an 8 inch square pan, stir together berries, cornstarch, and sugar.

Make the topping. In a large bowl, stir together oats, oat flour, salt, sugars, and pecans until combined. Add the oil and stir until clumps form.

Pour the topping over the berries in the pan. Smooth into an even layer. Place pan on a baking sheet in case the crisp bubbles over.

Bake for 40-50 minutes until golden brown on top and juices are bubbling. Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Crisp may also be frozen in airtight containers for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave in 30 second increments until warm.

http://piesandplots.net/triple-berry-crisp/

 

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