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/

 

Red, White, and Blueberry Crumb Pie

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SweeterTogether #CollectiveBias

Red, White, and Blueberry Crumb Pie

You guys, summer is one week away.  It’s almost official.  And then we need to wring every last drop of goodness from the next three months before summer slips from our fingers.  While I’ll have awesome recipe and summer fashion over the next three months, I’m getting things started now with two quintessential ingredients in the all-American summer: pie and ice cream.

I mean did summer even happen if it doesn’t involve pie and ice cream???

EDY'S SLOW CHURNED

Let’s talk about the ice cream first, because to me ice cream should be eaten on as many summer days as possible.  And when we’re talking about EDY’S® SLOW CHURNED® Caramel Delight Light Ice Cream and EDY’S® SLOW CHURNED® Vanilla Light Ice Cream there’s every reason to indulge.

EDY'S SLOW CHURNED

EDY’S SLOW CHURNED Simple Recipes like Caramel Delight and Vanilla are made with simple real ingredients.  Plus, they are made with milk and cream that doesn’t contain rSBT and they don’t have any GMO ingredients. These are two things that are really important to me.  Plus they have no artificial colors or flavors.  I love that because artificial flavors, especially vanilla, taste super funky.

Shopping at Walmart

I picked up my ice cream at Walmart down the ice cream aisle and this month they are having demos so you can check out the ice cream in store.  Be sure to stop in!

So go ahead, enjoy that ice cream!

Red, White, and Blueberry Pie

And this pie too.  Because this pie, it’s summery and delicious and oh yeah, gluten free.  This is my first gluten free pie, and it turned out ah-mazing.  Let’s start with that crust that is as flaky and buttery as ever.  Even if you don’t like crust, I promise you will love it.

Then there’s the strawberry blueberry filling, celebrating the best, fresh summer fruit.  I really let the fruit shine through with just a hint of lemon and vanilla – no artificial flavors here either.

Red, White, and Blueberry Pie

I have to admit, the topping might be my favorite part.  It’s crispy and crunchy and buttery and sweet.  Coconut is the star here with big pieces of flaked coconut and some coconut oil.

Summer is just about ready for us and I think we should welcome it with pie and EDY’S SLOW CHURNED!

Red, White, and Blueberry Pie

Red, White, and Blueberry Crumb Pie

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 45 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

Crust

2 ½ cups gluten free baking flour

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon kosher salt

½ cup organic vegetable shortening

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, cold and cubed

2-5 tablespoons ice water

Filling

4 cups blueberries, picked over

3 cups strawberries, stemmed, hulled, and cut into bite sized pieces

½ cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

¼ cup cornstarch

Crumb topping

½ cup gluten free baking flour

1/3 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ cup flaked unsweetened coconut

¼ cup old fashioned rolled oats

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted

Instructions

Make the crust. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Add shortening and butter and mix in using fingers or a pastry cutter until mixture looks like coarse meal. Add water one tablespoon at a time until the mixture stays together when firmly pressed. This may also be done in a food processor.

Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to overnight.

After dough has chilled, roll a little more than half of it so that it is about ¼ inch thick and will fit into your pie plate. Place in your pie plate and back in the refrigerator to chill while you make the filling and topping. Refrigerate or freeze the remaining dough to make another pie or some homemade toaster pastries – yum!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Make the filling. In a large bowl, combine blueberries, strawberries, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and cornstarch. Stir until combined.

Make the topping. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, coconut, and oats. Add the melted butter and oil and stir until well combined and clumpy.

Remove the pie pan with crust from the refrigerator. Mound the filling in the crust, leaving behind most of the liquid, otherwise the pie will be soupy. Top with the crumb topping. Place pie on a foil lined baking sheet because it will bubble over.

Bake for 15 minutes. Without opening the oven, reduce the temperature to 375 degrees F. Bake for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour until the crust and topping are golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Allow pie to cool at least 1 hour before serving. Pie may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature 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.

http://piesandplots.net/red-white-and-blueberry-crumb-pie/

Cherry Garcia Bars #SundaySupper

Cherry Garcia Bars

I read this article the other day about how a father took his daughter to see Hamilton.  It wasn’t exactly about the uber famous musical, but instead about how it will be a lasting memory for the author and especially his daughter.

The article got me thinking about my relationship with Dad.  Mom gets a lot of the glory because we spend a lot of time together.  We cook, bake, clean, shop, take walks, and more together, while Dad is at work.  And sometimes Dad doesn’t get enough credit, though I do try to give him a fair amount.

While Dad and I have conversations in the evenings sometimes and occasionally watch movies together that don’t suit Mom, those memories tend to fade away, but the big outings we’ve had together and the events we’ve experienced stick with me in a meaningful way as the article described.

Cherry Garcia Bars

There was that time ten years ago he took me to Neiman Marcus (every dad’s dream, right?) to buy a few pairs of previously selected shoes.  As we walked into the shoe department he reached for one of the pairs I was about to buy … or rather he was about to buy for me.

As if in slow motion, I reached forward saying “Noooooooooooo,” but it was too late.  He had seen the price.  They remain one of the most expensive pairs of shoes in my closet.  After all three pairs of shoes had been rung up, the salesman put the receipt in the bag so Dad never had to look at the final total.

Oh, and then there was when he took me to see Kathy Griffin (also every dad’s dream, right?).  We had great seats, and I enjoyed the show, but imagine most of the Real Housewives and Kardashian references went in one ear and out the other.  He sat patiently though, taking pictures of Kathy and waiting with me to see if she would sign autographs after the show.

Not too long ago, we went to see Book of Mormon.  Mom typically goes to see plays with us, but the show was so popular when it came to town, I had to purchase tickets on the secondary market (Hey, StubHub!), and they were so pricey we decided to get only two front row tickets.

Cherry Garcia Bars

We both enjoyed the show so much.  Dad really does enjoy seeing plays and musicals, so this was a real treat and bonding experience for us.  The theater was packed, but being so close to the stage, we felt like we were the only ones in the room.  And with stress running high for both of us, it was a welcome relief in which we laughed over and over again.

While I do like when I can do something with both of my parents, I do think the times I do something with just Dad or just Mom tend to stick out in my mind more as wonderful memories that I wish I could relive.  So here’s to more bonding time with Dad.

And to these Cherry Garcia Bars.  When I pulled them out of the oven, they looked a bit … unassuming.  But the taste is out of this world.  The bourbon, maple syrup, and vanilla sing through like a beautiful symphony (which Dad and I also saw together.  He sat mostly patiently as I was riveted and he was … not 😉 ).  The cherries burst in with their juicy flavor.  And the shortbread crust.  OMG! I will be using that recipe again and again.

Cherry Garcia Bars

Cherry Garcia Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 18 - 24 bars

Ingredients

Crust

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup granulated sugar

Seeds from ½ vanilla bean

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Filling

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

3 large eggs

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons bourbon

Seeds from ½ vanilla bean

4 cups cherries, halved and pitted

¾ cup carob or dark chocolate chips

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan.

Make the crust. In a medium bowl, stir together butter, sugar, vanilla bean seeds, flour, and salt. Mix until combined. Pour into the prepared pan and press into an even layer. Bake about 17 minutes, until light golden brown.

While the crust bakes, make the filling. In a medium bowl, stir together sugar, syrup, salt, butter, eggs, flour, bourbon, and vanilla bean seeds. Mix until fully combined and lightened slightly in color.

Once the crust comes out of the oven, toss the cherries and chocolate or carob chips with the remaining tablespoon of flour until well coated. Pour the chocolate and cherries on top of the crust. Spread into an even layer.

Top with filling, making sure it soaks into all of the corners. Bake an additional approximately 30 minutes. They should be bubbling and may seem overly buttery … but wait. Allow bars to cool completely in the pan before cutting and serving. Bars may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days, or frozen, individually wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag. Thaw at room temperature about 1 hour.

Notes

Recipe adapted from The Wanderlust Kitchen

http://piesandplots.net/cherry-garcia-bars-sundaysupper/

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

Appetizers & Snacks:

Beverage:

Breakfast:

Condiments & Sauces:

Desserts:

Main Dishes:

Side Dishes:

Plus What Dad Really Wants for Father’s Day from Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper Movement

Join 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.

Vegan and Gluten Free Peach Coconut Crumb Bars

Vegan and Gluten Free Peach Coconut Crumb Bars

Can you tell I’m obsessed with peaches?  Here on the blog you’ll find tons of them.  From this peach cake which I make every summer to peach granola bars, peach crumb bars, peach oatmeal bars, peach breakfast bars.  I’m sensing a pattern.

I don’t know why, but I just love peaches.  Nectarines are cool too, but peaches are the star in my kitchen.  They are juicy and flavorful and summer in a tangible form.  I buy more peaches than I probably should, but when I see them at the store or Costco, I just can’t resist.

Vegan and Gluten Free Peach Coconut Crumb Bars

I eat at least one every single day in the summer, more if I can.  And then I bake with them.  I try to keep coming up with new and exciting peach recipes for you and these Peach Coconut Crumb Bars are going to be a huge hit with you.

They are a bit messy, but messy food tastes good.  These bars are easy to make, vegan and gluten free, and perfect to share with friends or bring to a party.

Vegan and Gluten Free Peach Coconut Crumb Bars

The base is pretty sturdy with the juicy filling where vanilla bean paste really makes those peaches shine, and then the sandy topping adds fun texture and flavor, especially since I added some flaked coconut to the topping.

While these aren’t quite health food, they fit most dietary concerns and are full of nutrition.  Whether you eat these for breakfast, snack, or dessert, be sure to make the most of peach season with Peach Coconut Crumb Bars.

Vegan and Gluten Free Peach Coconut Crumb Bars

Vegan and Gluten Free Peach Coconut Crumb Bars

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 24 bars

Ingredients

3 cups old fashioned oats (gluten free if necessary)

1 ½, plus 2 tablespoons cups all-purpose gluten free flour mix (I love Bob’s Red Mill)

½ cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup, plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

½ teaspoon baking powder

1 1/3 cups coconut oil, room temperature

5 cups peaches, peeled and diced

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Oil a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.

Make the crust. In a large bowl, stir together oats, 1 ½ cups flour, brown sugar, ½ cup granulated sugar, and baking powder. Add coconut oil and work into the dry ingredients using forks or fingers until well combined and mixture resembles sand.

Pour 2/3 of the crust mixture into the prepared pan and press firmly into the pan. Bake for about 13 minutes, until light golden brown.

While the crust is baking, make the topping. In a medium bowl, stir together peaches, remaining 2 tablespoons flour, remaining 2 tablespoons sugar, and vanilla bean paste.

Once the crust is out of the oven, pour the filling over it. Add the coconut to the remaining crust mixture and stir to combine. Sprinkle over the filling and bake an additional approximately 30 minutes until golden brown on top.

Cool completely in pan. Once cool, cut into bars and serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days. Bars may also be frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature about an hour or in the microwave about 30 seconds.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Texanerin Baking

http://piesandplots.net/vegan-and-gluten-free-peach-coconut-crumb-bars/

Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #BiteSizedBitsofJoy #CollectiveBias

Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the good old days … which for me is about ten or twelve years ago.  Still, that seems like a long time ago in a world that was incredibly different from the one we inhabit currently.

Cell phones made phone calls.  Social media wasn’t really a thing.  MTV played music videos.  Like I said – a different world.

 

Frosted Animal Cookies

 

Frosted Animal Cookies

It’s not to say that world was better than the one we experience today, but it was different and sometimes different is good.  While I can’t time travel to the past, I can recreate some of those fond memories.

I have been putting away my cell phone, limiting my time on it to between thirty and forty minutes a day.  It is like lifting a weight off my shoulders.  I am enjoying old school movies and TV shows.  I just watched Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for the first time and I feel like it’s about time to break out my West Wing DVDs for another viewing.

Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

I’ve also been picking up nostalgic treats, especially those from Keebler.  My mom loved Keebler cookies and often ate them when she was pregnant with me, so perhaps that is why I have such a soft spot for them.  Every time I pick up some Keebler cookies, I get to take a trip down memory lane and the cookie aisle at my local Kroger.

Shopping at Kroger

I like so many different Keebler cookies and am keeping my eyes peeled for the Birthday Cake Fudge Stripes, but today we’re celebrating Frosted Animal Cookies.  They are so fun with the bright colors and you all know I’m so up for anything with frosting and sprinkles.

But I wanted to do something more creative than just eat them right out of the bag … though I did a bit of that too.  So I made an Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake.  Ice cream cake is another one of those nostalgic treats that I haven’t had in forever, but I recently have been craving one, so this was the perfect time to get to work.

Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

I made the perfect yellow cake with some of the Animal Cookies mixed right in.  I layered the cakes with vanilla bean ice cream and a ton of chopped Animal Cookies.  I frosted the cake with ice cream and topped it with a bit of marshmallow fluff before finishing with more Animal Cookies and sprinkles!

The end result is everything my old school heart was craving.  The soft cake, the smooth ice cream, the crunchy cookies, and of course the sprinkles.  Not only is this a great way to revisit the past, but it’s an awesome treat for summer since it’s super refreshing.

Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

You have to check out this sweepstakes too!

Keebler Cookies at Kroger: Summer 2016

Pick up some Keebler cookies, make this cake, and relive all those awesome memories that it turns out don’t have to be left behind.

For more great ideas and inspiration, be sure to check out the #BiteSizedBitsOfJoy Social Hub http://cbi.as/3jch4 –coming soon!

Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

Animal Cookie Ice Cream Cake

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: 8-10 servings

Ingredients

Cake

3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pans

1 tablespoon baking powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups granulated sugar

1 ½ sticks unsalted butter, plus more for pans, room temperature

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

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

½ cup Frosted Animal Cookies, chopped

For assembly

2 pints high quality vanilla bean ice cream, softened

1 cup Frosted Animal Cookies, chopped

1 cup marshmallow fluff

11 whole Frosted Animal Cookies

Sprinkles

Instructions

Bake the cakes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter and flour 2 9-inch round cake pans.

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

In a large bowl, cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. I did this by hand but a hand or stand mixer will work. Beat in eggs one at a time, followed by vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with flour. Fold in the cookies.

Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool completely in pans. Cakes may be made 1 day ahead of time and stored in pans covered tightly with plastic wrap.

When you are ready to assemble the cake, remove the cakes from the pans and level the tops of them with a serrated knife. Line one of the cake pans with plastic wrap, leaving a fair amount of overhang. Place one cake in the lined cake pan. Top with 1 pint of ice cream, spreading it into an even layer. Top with chopped Animal Cookies. Press the cookies and ice cream lightly into the cake.

Place the second cake on top. Spread second pint of ice cream on top of the cake. Cover with plastic that is left as overhang and freeze for at least 2 hours and up to overnight. When ready to serve, top with marshmallow fluff and whole Animal Cookies. Finish with sprinkles. Slice cake using a large serrated knife.

Notes

Cake recipe adapted from Food and Wine Additional chilling time is necessary

http://piesandplots.net/animal-cookie-ice-cream-cake/

Red, White, and Blueberry Banana Bread

Red, White, and Blueberry Banana Bread

I know Memorial Day is almost here because we bought our flowers last week.  I’m looking at them on the deck as I type this.  They are in all the colors of the rainbow, soaking up the morning sun.

I hate to play favorites, because really I love them all, but there is a pink dahlia in the corner that is just gorgeous.  Of course, then there are the pansies, hibiscus, petunias … like I said, I hate to play favorites.

Red, White, and, Blueberry Banana Bread

Our trip to the garden center almost didn’t happen.  Last Friday was a beautiful day, the perfect day to go.  Not too hot, not to cold.  The garden center was pretty much empty, allowing us to look around without having to fight the crowds.

I really wanted to buy all the flowers.  They are just so pretty and the smell is intoxicating.  If only we could bottle that smell, especially for the middle of winter when it seems there is no hope left in the world.  While we didn’t buy all the flowers, we did a pretty good job.

Red, White, and Blueberry Banana Bread

But the weekend, Mother Nature and I were not on speaking terms.  It was so cold that there were wind chills.  And hail.  And snow.  It was gross.

The flowers took cover in the garage and seem to have made it through quite well.  Now they are outside, enjoying life and I am thoroughly enjoying their presence.

Red, White, and Blueberry Banana Bread

Since Memorial Day is right around the corner, I wanted to make a patriotic treat.  Enter Red, White, and Blueberry Banana Bread.  It is soft and moist and packed with banana flavor.  The supporting flavors from cherries, blueberries, and white chocolate, totally take this over the top and make is the best banana bread I’ve ever had.

Even better, I baked it in a 9 by 13 to change things up.  It is easier to get out of the pan than in a traditional loaf pan and it cut the baking time slightly.  This is perfect for breakfast, snack time, or dessert.  The whole family will totally love it.

Enjoy everything about summer with this Banana Bread as your go to treat!

Red, White, and Blueberry Banana Bread

Red, White, and Blueberry Banana Bread

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 16 servings

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

1 cup blueberries

1 cup cherries, pitted

1 cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Oil a 9 by 13 inch baking pan.

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

In a large bowl, stir together sugars, oil, eggs, vanilla, and mashed bananas until well combined. Stir in flour mixture, followed by blueberries, cherries, and white chocolate chips. Mix until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet in case it bakes over. Bake for 45-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Serve warm or cool completely in pan. Bread may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 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.

http://piesandplots.net/red-white-and-blueberry-banana-bread/

Churro Cupcakes #SundaySupper

Churro Cupcakes #SundaySupper
I turned 26 on my most recent birthday back in January.  But I think that’s a lie.  I think I’m secretly 80.  There’s some kind of Benjamin Button thing going on here.

When did all of my excitement come from things that would excite any grandparent?  I should be young and hip and cool, but instead, I’m constantly referring to things from back in my day.  You know like landlines (which I still prefer to use over my cell phone) and VCRs.  I know all the old music and TV shows and pop culture references that my peers think are something that has been made up for their amusement.

Churro Cupcakes

It seems the vast majority of my day to day happiness comes from things like watching the birds out the window, playing along with games shows, and talking to the TV during talk shows as though I am a valued part of the conversation.

And then there’s the fact that pretty much every time I move some part of my body cracks.  Knees, shoulders, back.  I sound like Rice Krispies – snap, crackle, pop.

I feel like I’ve been an old soul since I was born.  I never rebelled or partied.  I’ve never gone clubbing or been a part of the in crowd.  I’m a misfit who should have been born several decades ago apparently.

Sometimes I wish I was normal.  Just like everyone else, blending right into the crowd.  It would make things so much easier.  It would make life much more bearable because there are a lot of differences we still refuse to accept.

Churro Cupcakes

But then I remind myself that it’s okay, if not good, to be different.  To be me in spite of all the pressure, and there is plenty of pressure, to assimilate.  See, the people who assimilate are not the ones who change the world.  It is the ones who ignore the haters who create computers and Facebook and music.  And I choose to be one of those people, even if some days I have to wage an interior battle to remind myself of this.

Baking is another thing that makes me an old soul.  I enjoy home cooked meals and fresh baked goods that came from my oven.  And these Churro Cupcakes, they are sure to be a hit.

I’ve never actually had a churro, so I can’t compare them flavor wise, but I can tell you that these super cinnamon-y cupcakes are out of this world.  They are so good they don’t even need frosting.  Soft and melt in your mouth with tons of flavor, I could eat the cupcakes all day long.

But I had to make frosting for them because I do love frosting.  I topped them with a chocolate cream cheese frosting since many churros are served with chocolate sauce.  I was afraid the frosting was a little soft and would fall off the cupcakes, but it held up great.  It is super creamy and has the perfect balance of sweet and tart.

Together the combination is amazing!  And the cinnamon sugar on top is the totally necessary final touch.

While it might be cool to head out on the town tonight, I think I’ll give in to my old soul and enjoy a cupcake and movie on the sofa instead.

Churro Cupcakes

Churro Cupcakes #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 8 cupcakes

Ingredients

Cupcakes

½ stick unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ cup sour cream

Frosting

8 ounce cream cheese, room temperature

½ stick unsalted butter, room temperature

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup carob or cocoa powder

3 cups confectioners’ sugar

2-4 tablespoons milk, as needed

Topping

3 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 tablespoon ground cinnamon

Instructions

Make the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 8 wells in a muffin tin with paper liners.

In a large bowl, cream together 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 vanilla and egg. Mix in salt, cinnamon, and baking powder until distributed.

Add the flour and sour cream alternately, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until fully combined. Divided batter evenly among the lined muffin cups using a spoon or ice cream scoop. Bake 16-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan.

Once the cupcakes are completely cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl, beat together butter and cream until combined using a hand or stand mixer. Beat in the vanilla, cinnamon, and carob or cocoa powder. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar ½ cup at a time. If at any time the frosting is too thick, add the milk gradually until you achieve the proper consistency. Add more sugar for a thicker frosting and more milk for a thinner one.

Heap frosting on to cupcakes – it makes a lot – use it all! Top with a generous sprinkling of the cinnamon sugar after stirring the topping together in a small bowl.

Notes

Additional chilling time is necessary Recipe adapted from Baked by Rachel

http://piesandplots.net/churro-cupcakes-sundaysupper/

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

Para Empezar, Las Tapas (Appetizers/tapas) –

Postres (Desserts) –

Bebidas (Drinks) –

Plus Alcachofas al Ajillo – Garlicky Artichokes – and Spanish Tapas Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

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.

Triple Peanut Butter Blondies

Triple Peanut Butter Blondies

This past weekend, my parents and I got to do something really cool.  We went to the Fox Theater for Forgotten Harvest’s Comedy Night with Jay Leno.  First, the Fox Theater is an awesome spot.  It is jaw dropping gorgeous.  Alton Brown was there the night before for his tour, which I’d like to see, but my days of going out two late nights in a row are over never existed, so next time, Alton.  Next time.  But I did see his drone flyby of the theater and it is awesome.  Take a look.

Fox Theater

Next Forgotten Harvest is a local charity that rescues food that is going to be thrown away and gives it to those who are hungry.  What they are doing to help people out is remarkable.  This was their 24th annual Comedy Night.  They shared the story of a few families whose lives have been improved by their resources.

Jay Leno

After a couple live auction items, which raised $30,000 total, Jay Leno hit the stage.  Don’t get me wrong, Jimmy Fallon is great, but I still miss seeing Jay on TV every night.  He was as funny as ever and performed for about an hour and fifteen minutes without notes or even taking a drink of his water.  I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time.

As he was wrapping up his set, Jay donated $10,000 and offered tours of his garage to anyone in the audience who was willing to donate $2,000.  Very cool and very generous.  Jay truly seems like a great guy.  It was a great night from start to finish and I am so glad we were able to attend.

Triple Peanut Butter Blondies

I’m also super glad I made these Triple Peanut Butter Blondies.  They are a peanut butter lover’s dream come true.  The blondie is super dense, fudgy, and chewy.  Plus it’s loaded with peanut butter.  Then I added Mini Reese’s Pieces and peanut butter chips, along with white chocolate chips for balance.

Triple Peanut Butter Blondies

I didn’t love these hot out of the oven, but once they cooled, the peanut butter flavor intensified and the rich, gooey texture shined like the star it is.  Needless to say, as I was cutting these up, I kept taking taste after taste.  By the way, how is it that I don’t feel as guilty eating all those little tastes as I do eating a blondie when I clearly ate way more than one blondie???  Girl math???

Anyway, back to these blondies.  Make them.  Really.  They are crazy good.  Also, I made them gluten free and no one could tell!

Triple Peanut Butter Blondies

Triple Peanut Butter Blondies

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 18 blondies

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

¾ cup creamy peanut butter

1 ¾ cup packed light or dark brown sugar

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

½ teaspoon kosher salt

2 cups all-purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour (I love Bob’s Red Mill)

¼ teaspoon baking powder

1 cup Mini Reese’s Pieces

1 cup peanut butter chips

½ cup white chocolate chips

Instructions

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

In a large bowl, stir together butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar until combined. Add eggs one at a time and vanilla. Mix until fully combined.

Add salt, flour, and baking powder and stir until almost fully incorporated. Stir in Reese’s Pieces, peanut butter, and white chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake about 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan before cutting into bars. Blondies may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, or individually frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Baker by Nature

http://piesandplots.net/triple-peanut-butter-blondies/

Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake #SundaySupper

Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

I asked Mom what she wanted me to make for this Mother’s Day themed post celebrating her.  And she had nothing.  Not a single idea.

So I went ahead and chose something.  Something springy.  Something fancy but not too fancy.  Something Mom worthy, not that any dessert could really express how much I love Mom.

Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

So I decided on this Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake.  It isn’t as fancy and laborious as a traditional layer cake, but it has all those classic carrot cake flavors, with the addition of crumb topping.  You can never go wrong with crumb topping.

This is so perfect for Mom too because it is a breakfast food.  While I typically don’t eat lunch and dinner can be a crazy frenzy full of interruptions, each and every day, Mom and I have a relaxing breakfast together.

Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

We sit and watch Today and enjoy our breakfast whether it is oatmeal, a smoothie, or this cake.  That time is by far my favorite part of the day, especially this time of year.  There are so many sunny mornings, full of hope and promise, and enjoying an amazing meal with my favorite person is a great way to spend a half an hour.

The time sets both of us up for a great day ahead.  It gives us time to talk and plan our days and think and sometimes sit in silence that isn’t awkward at all.  You know you really love a person when you can sit in silence without it being awkward.

Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

So back to this coffee cake and why you have to make it for the person you love most.  It’s crazy moist and a little dense in the best way.  Full of carrots and raisins and a decadent cream cheese swirl, I think this has forever spoiled all other coffee cakes for me.  The only thing I would change is to add some nuts to the streusel topping.  They would add the perfect crunch.  I meant to do it, but then it slipped my mind.

Don’t let this recipe or Mother’s Day slip your mind.  Here’s to many more breakfasts with Mom!

Carrot Cream Cheese Coffee Cake #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Filling

1 8 ounce package cream cheese

½ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1 large egg

Cake

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

1 large egg

1 cup milk (I used almond coconut blend – use what you love)

2 cups grated carrots

½ cup raisins (I always use Trader Joe’s Jumbo Medley – it is fab!)

Streusel

½ cup all-purpose flour

½ cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

¼ cup pecans or walnuts, optional

Glaze

2/3 cup confectioners’ sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste

2-4 tablespoons fresh orange juice

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 inch round cake pan.

Make the cream cheese filling. In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, and egg until mostly smooth. A few lumps are okay.

Make the cake. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cinnamon, 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 vanilla bean paste and egg.

Alternately add the flour mixture and milk to the sugar mixture, beginning and ending with the flour. Stir in half of the cream cheese mixture, followed by the carrots and raisins.

Pour batter into prepared pan and top with the remaining cream cheese mixture. Use a fork or knife to swirl the cream cheese mixture into the batter.

Make the streusel. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter using a pastry cutter, a fork, or your fingers until it resembles coarse meal. Stir in the pecans or walnuts if using. Sprinkle streusel evenly over the cake.

Bake cake for 50-55 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan or serve immediately. Before serving, make the glaze. In a small bowl, stir together sugar, vanilla, and orange juice. Add more sugar or orange juice until you achieve the desired consistency.

Cake may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw in the microwave for about 1 minute.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Girl Versus Dough

http://piesandplots.net/carrot-cream-cheese-coffee-cake-sundaysupper/

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

Starters (Appetizers, Beverages, Breakfast):

Salads, Side Dishes, and Sauces:

Main Dishes:

Desserts:

Plus What Mom Really Wants for Mother’s Day plus Mom’s Favorite from Sunday Supper Movement

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.

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars #SundaySupper

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

Many of you probably know that I live in Michigan … and also that I wish I lived in California.

It’s not necessarily that Michigan is a bad place to live.  Okay, in the winter it’s just not my thing.  Living somewhere that makes me want to stay inside for roughly six months of the year seems like a bad way to live if you ask me.

But this time of year and into summer and then fall, assuming we don’t go directly from snow to 80s back to snow again, there is something quite nice about it.  The bright blue sky, the flowers, hummingbirds, trees, it’s all very nice.

There are many lakes in the area that are beautiful.  Ornamental flowering trees are very popular and stunning as they bust out overnight and then slowly transition into leafy behemoths.  It’s so nice to head out to some of the hottest new restaurants, in what has become a foodie town.

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

But at the end of the day, I don’t really think Michigan is where I belong.  I feel like my ambition, red lipstick, and Louboutins would fit in much better in California than here where I get odd looks as though I am from outer space … or maybe just California.

Still, I am here in Michigan … for now.  In addition to all those other nice things I mentioned, the coming of warm weather brings with it many wonderful foods: ramps, asparagus, blueberries, and of course cherries.

Michigan is the cherry capital.  While many varieties of cherries are grown here, it is perhaps best known for tart cherries.  I love finding fresh ones, but those aren’t quite out yet, so I picked up some dried tart cherries.  They make a great snack, but they are even better in these Carob Cherry Crumb Bars.

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

I must admit, I didn’t really feel like making these bars the other day and Mom didn’t think they sounded that good.  But I had signed up for this hometown celebration Sunday Supper and so I forged ahead.

I am glad I did.  These bars … they are incredible.  I think they may have been intended to be drier and more shortbread or cake like, but mine are ooey gooey and fudgy.  The bottom is a little shortbread-y, while the filling is practically molten with plump dried cherries in nearly every bite.  The top is a bit crumbly and sandy with the snap of carob chips.

Chocolate can absolutely be substituted for the carob.  Whichever you use, make sure you try these bars, because I promise you will love them wherever you live.

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars

Carob Cherry Crumb Bars #SundaySupper

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Yield: 9 large bars

Ingredients

1 ¼ cups dried tart cherries

2 ½ sticks unsalted butter

1 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup water

½ cup carob or cocoa powder

½ teaspoon kosher salt

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup flaked unsweetened coconut, toasted

2 cups plus 7 ½ tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 large egg

2 tablespoons pineapple vodka

½ cup carob or dark chocolate chips

Instructions

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter an 8 inch square pan. Line it with parchment leaving a 2-inch overhang and butter the parchment.

Bring cherries, 2 tablespoons butter, ¼ cup granulated sugar, and the water to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in an additional ¼ cup of granulated sugar. Set aside.

Whisk together carob or cocoa powder, salt, brown sugar, coconut, and 2 cups flour. Blend in remaining 2 ¼ sticks butter, cut into small cubes, using a pastry cutter, fork, or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Press 3 cups of this mixture into the prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, stir together egg, remaining ½ cup granulated sugar, and pineapple vodka until well combined. Stir in the dried cherry mixture as well as the remaining 7 ½ tablespoons of flour. Spread mixture over baked crust.

Stir the carob or chocolate chips into the remaining crumb mixture and spread over the filling.

Bake about 50 additional minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bars comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely in pan. Once cool, lift out of pan using parchment and cut into bars. Bars may be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen, individually, 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 Martha Stewart

http://piesandplots.net/carob-cherry-crumb-bars-sundaysupper/

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

Appetizers:

Beverages:

Breakfast:

Salads:

Sauces:

Side Dishes:

Soups:

Main Dish:

Desserts:

Plus Rhubarb Steamed Pudding and Favorite Regional Recipes from Sunday Supper Movement

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

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