Category Archives: Fruits

Blueberry Pear Scones

Hi, everybody! *Waves*

I am listening to the wonderful Robin Hood Soundtrack (by the way, I adore soundtracks), and I am ultra-happy to share a recipe with you for the first time in…well, never mind. Let’s change the subject.

Let’s talk about scones. Exciting creatures, aren’t they? That’s because they can take so many forms. Just Google it, and you’ll find endless possibilities…lemon poppy-seed, cinnamon chip, maple pecan, apple cheddar, potato, asparagus, raisin scones! 

Scones, glorious scones!

You might have guessed that we made Blueberry Pear Scones the other day. It’s true. My little sister and I thought it would be a good idea, found a recipe to prove it, and went to bake. And (insert evil laugh) severely alter the recipe. That included turning the cute scone triangles into lazy drop scones.

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Blueberry Pear Scones

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/8-1/4 tsp. cardamon

1 T. baking powder

1/2 cup coconut oil (I recommend that you chill it well first)

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup yogurt

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup pear, diced

2/3 cup frozen blueberries

Combine flour, salt, cardamon, and baking powder. Cut in coconut oil, then fold in honey, yogurt, eggs, and vanilla. Once everything is nice and combined,gently stir in the fruit. You don’t want those blueberries to thaw and make your scones purple! Immediately drop large spoonfuls of batter onto a greased cookie sheet. Make it like a big cookie. You should end up with 12-15 medium-sized drop scones. Bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until scones are lightly browned and “done” on the bottom. Serve warm and enjoy the combination of flavors!

Yield: 12-15 scones

Nutrition Facts: (per scone of 15) 191 calories, 8.4g total fat, 6.6g saturated fat, 25mg cholesterol, 94mg sodium, 26.9g carbohydrates, 3.4g fiber, 8.4g sugar, 4.6g protein

Our family enjoyed these scones! They were simple, had good flavor, and didn’t feel too heavy or rich. However, they needed more depth of flavor. I wish I had added more cardamon or some lemon peel, since the pear and blueberry flavor didn’t permeate the whole scone. Probably, we could have added more fruit to get more of that flavor.

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I did have one great success with these scones! I didn’t snack on the dough…something I usually do. It’s a chronic problem. I set a snacking “fast” until the end of March. I’ve loved it! It’s like non-optional self-control. Yes, it is hard, like when I’m making trail mix bars, but it’s worth it at the end of the day.

“Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

That’s an amazing verse. If you are a believer of Jesus, your body is a temple. The Holy Spirit dwells in you! He bought you for His glorify, so glorify Him with your body!

Looking forward to seeing ya’ll again soon. I have pictures on my camera of a certain green bean dish I made today. Ya’ll might just want to try it!

And honestly, if you don’t, I’ll still have fun posting it. This is like a cooking journal.

Until next time,

~rachel~

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Pear-Pecan Coffee Cake

Life is full of regrets. I wish I wrote down how I mutated this recipe from the original so I could truly share what I did with you. I wish I know how to get wonderful pictures of coffee cakes. I wish I didn’t have a green napkin under the plate and have to edit it out of one of the photos.

But life is also full of cheers. I’m so glad I made this coffee cake. I’m so glad God made pears and pecans. And I’m so glad God gave people minds and imaginations and creativity so they could come up with this incredible combination. I’m glad I got a chance to click a few pictures on that Sunday morning.

Since I can’t tell you what I did, I’ll tell you what you can do. Make the original recipe. What a novel thought! Why didn’t anybody ever tell me I could do that?

This particular recipe is from Taste of Home. Lots of good recipes there, by the way.  And if the original recipe happens to say walnuts, feel free to use pecans. That’s what we did.

Pear-Pecan Coffee Cake (aka Walnut Pear Coffee Cake)

1 cup chopped walnuts (or pecans!)

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 cup cold butter, cubed

2 medium ripe pears, peeled and sliced (about 2 cups)

2 tsp. lemon juice

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar (or substitute 1/2 cup honey)

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (we used whole wheat pastry flour)

3/4 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. salt

1 cup (8 oz.) sour cream

In a small bowl, combine the walnuts, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside for topping and filling

In a small bowl, toss pears with lemon juice; set aside. In another bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream, beating well after each addition.

Spread two-thirds of the batter into a greased 9-in. springform pan. Top with half  the reserved nut mixture, pears and remaining batter. Sprinkle with remaining nut mixture.

Bake at 350° for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Cool for 1 hour before cutting (Not really. Dig in whenever). Yield: 12 servings.

Note: I don’t normally like to use baking soda, so I would add an additional teaspoon of baking powder instead of the baking soda.


There you have it! Yes, I even changed up the original recipe to show you. No, I don’t feel guilty. As you can see, we somehow increased it and put it in a 9×13″ pan instead of a springform pan. You have to love it either way.

Seriously. This is one of the best coffee cakes I’ve ever had. The cake part wasn’t too sweet, but it was moist and it held together. The pears didn’t stand out as pears; they just subtly imparted flavor, sweetness, and moisture. As for the streusel topping, streusel toppings are always good. Is your mouth watering yet? It’s okay if it is. That means you should make this coffee cake.

Well, that’s all for now. Hopefully I’ll be back soon. I have scads of recipes to post.

Ever and always,

~Rachel~

For the Lord God is a sun and shield, the Lord will give grace and glory. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. Oh Lord of hosts, blessed is the man who trusts in You! Psalm 84:11-12

The Banana

Sorry, folks. Another photography post. In my next post, however, I’m going to tell you about a pear coffee cake. But you’ll have to be patient until then.

My good intention was to add this to The Pioneer Woman’s food photography assignment, but that, like many of my good intentions, went down the drain. The photography assignment is over, the winner is announced, and I am left with banana pictures.

I was taught in a photography course that every good picture has a purpose. So I must have a purpose for my bananas. My original purpose was the photography assignment. That works. But what now? Should my purpose be to make you feel inspired to load up on extra potassium? Should this picture make you feel gleeful, lighthearted, and overall cheered? Should it be to protest all the bruises that bananas have these days?

I guess my purpose now is to share with you my photography endeavors. The beauty of a banana – from a different angle. The dark end – on a third. A graceful c-curve sweeping your eye along the banana and up to that dark end. That’s why I like it. And why I don’t like it? I don’t think I had enough depth of field. You want to see a little more banana than you do.

A question: how could I make these bananas a healthy, golden yellow without being garish?

But for now, they’ll just have to do. Coming up next – Pear-Pecan Coffee Cake!

Ever and always,

~Rachel~

Pear-Cranberry Crisp

Don’t be afraid of pears. They are delightful in the utmost sense. That’s why we made a crisp with them. Not only a crisp, but a healthy crisp. The healthy part actually happened on accident but turned out rather nicely. It became our Sunday dinner dessert.

I started out using Pioneer Woman’s Pear Crisp, but you know I can’t follow a recipe. So this Pear-Cranberry Crisp is the result. And because I was dumping and pouring, it has to be a non-recipe.

I know this isn’t the greatest picture. I’m still learning about food photography. And sad to say, Pear-Cranberry Crisp isn’t the prettiest food in the world to begin with.

What you’ll need:

Pears

Cranberries

Apple juice

Honey

Cornstarch

Salt

Flour

Oats

Butter

Cinnamon

Walnuts or Pecans

Start with 4-5 pears, a cup or two of cranberries, and a greased 9×9″ baking dish. Peel the pears (optional, as you can see from the picture), then dice them or slice them, whatever you prefer. Throw them in the pan, add some cranberries, and just do what looks right. =) Now for the thickener. Mix about 1 T. cornstarch with 1/4 cup apple juice, then pour it over the pears. Drizzle in some honey. Sprinkle in some salt and cinnamon to taste.

Yay! The pears are all done! Set the pan aside and get out a bowl for the crispy topping. Measure out 1 to 1 1/2 cups flour, a couple cups of oats, and around 1/2 cup nuts. Mix it together and don’t forget to add more cinnamon! Now cut in 1/4 to 1/3 cup melted butter and some more honey. (Hint: the honey mixes easier if you heat it in the microwave first.) Taste it. A little dry? Add some more honey or butter. A little sticky? Add some more flour or oats.

When your crispy topping is perfected, sprinkle it atop the patiently waiting pears and cranberries. Stick it in an oven preheated to 350 degrees, and bake for about 30 minutes, or until bubbly. It’ll be best when it’s warm, and to make it even better, top it with whipped cream or a little vanilla ice cream.

Enjoy greatly!

~Rachel~

Banana Chocolate Chip Mini-Cakes

It started out as a Banana Chocolate Chip Cake, but since we had some adorable mini-loaf pans (translation: loaf-shaped muffin pan), I made mini-cakes. By the way, any posts this time of year containing lots of sugar…..well, just say it’s for harvest. Actually, it’s for the people harvesting. They like lots of food.

Aren’t those pans just…just wonderful? Talking about it makes me want to use them more. But if you don’t have these pans, just make a 10-inch bundt cake. Yes, you can.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

2 1/2 cups flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. mace

2 large, very ripe bananas

1 tsp. lemon juice

3/4 cup sour cream

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups sugar

3 eggs

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10-inch bundt cake pan or those little pan things.

2. Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and mace.

3. Puree bananas. Add sour cream and vanilla.

4. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

5. Add the dry ingredients alternately with the banana/sour cream mixture. Fold in mini chocolate chips.

6. Transfer batter to the prepared pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes if you’re using a bundt pan, or 20 minutes if you’re using the “loaf” pans.

7. Remove cake from oven and let it cool for 10 minutes before inverting it.

What is it about banana chocolate chip cake right out of the oven? There’s nothing like it. Nothing.

I hope you enjoy!

~Rachel~

Caramel Apple Pecan Pie

WARNING: This stuff is intense. Powerful. And I haven’t even tasted it baked yet!

I mean, how can a combination of so many wonderful things not be intense? Powerful? Really.

It’s a pie for a pie contest. For Morse Days. I wanted something that would appeal to a lot of people. Some don’t like coconut, some don’t like peanut butter, and I don’t want to enter a fluffy pie.

So I made it. You should make it too. No, you have to make it.

Start off with a pie crust. Unbaked, plain ol’ pie crust.

Apples. Peel them…

…And slice them. You’ll need seven cups. Like this, see?

Now the fun stuff. You’ll need 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 3 T. sugar, 1 T. cornstarch, 3/4 cup chopped pecans, and 4 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. I think all that cinnamon makes it intense. Powerful.

Now stir it up. Wow. Taste some. Wow.

Before you throw it into that pie crust, drizzle 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping over the bottom of the pie crust. Caramel and apples and pecans. Be still, my beating heart.

Now you can add the apples.

Drizzle 1/4 cup melted butter over all that. Yes, I’m serious.

Now for the streusel. I love streusel. Get 3/4 cup flour, 2/3 cup pecans, and 1/4 cup sugar.

Now add 6 T. soft butter. Stir it up. I love streusel.

Now sprinkle it over the pie. Did I mention that I love streusel?

Bake it at 350 for 55-65 minutes. Right when you take it out, drizzle another 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping on the top. If you don’t have any, make this recipe.

Please note: I haven’t tasted this pie baked. I don’t even know if it won the pie contest. I don’t know what it will bring at the pie auction. I may never get to taste it. But don’t let that stop you from making it.

Here’s the full recipe from Taste of Home, if you’re interested.

You are interested, aren’t you?

God bless you!

~Rachel~

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Watermelon Spinach Salad

I heart this salad. What more can I say? Fresh, sweet, tangy, on and on and on. Yum.

You’ll need:

Spinach. If you don’t have spinach, use that spring mix stuff – you know, the one with all the lettuces you can’t pronounce. That one.

Watermelon. This is a watermelon salad after all.  Chop it up into bite-sized hunks.

Raspberries. This salad MUST have raspberries. It loses its wonderfulness if it doesn’t.

Candied almonds. It’s easy – chop them up, throw them in a skillet with some butter, sugar, and salt…

And cook them over low heat until nice and browned and maybe a little crunchy. Stir so it doesn’t burn.

Now put all that together. Spinach, watermelon, raspberries, and almonds. Drizzle it with the dressing that’s with the rest of the recipe.

It might look something like this.

Doesn’t that make your heart go pitter-pat? If it doesn’t, make it and eat it. Then your heart will go pitter-pat.

Watermelon Spinach Salad

Salad:

1 package (6 ounces) fresh baby spinach, torn

2 cups seeded cubed watermelon

1 cup halved green grapes (oh yeah! we didn’t have grapes. It’s even better if you add grapes!)

1 cup fresh raspberries

1/4 cup sliced almonds (better candied!)

Poppy Seed Vinaigrette:

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. ground mustard

1/4 tsp. onion powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 tsp. poppy seeds

Om a blender, combine the vinegar, sugar, mustard, onion powder, and salt. Cover and process until sugar is dissolved. Continue processing while adding oil in a steady stream. Add onion and poppy seeds; process until blended.

In a large salad bowl, combine the spinach, watermelon, grapes and raspberries; sprinkle with almonds. Serve with vinaigrette. Yield: 8 servings (about 1 cup vinaigrette)

That recipe is from Taste of Home. Here’s the original recipe.

I always want to write “poppy seeds” as one word. Poppyseeds. Like it?

See ya’ll later! God bless!

~Rachel~

Fruity Yogurt

Yup. It’s fruity. It’s yummy. Would you believe, it’s yogurty? We make it frequently for a quick and easy (and yummy!) supper. Give it a try!

Do I even need to give directions?

Fruity Yogurt is simply…

Yogurt.

Fruit.

That’s where you get creative, my friends. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, pears, bananas, peaches, pineapple, mango, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, dates, raisins, honey, vanilla, cinnamon. The list goes on and on. (Or does it?)

This is a non-recipe recipe. I hope you can use it sometime!

And when you’re done cutting up all that fruit, this is what you get.

Isn’t it beautiful? I thought so too.

~Rachel~

Apricot Ice Cream

I must confess immediately: it’s not actual ice cream. We didn’t have any cream besides about a quarter-cup that was already whipped. But we had some wonderful fresh apricots. I don’t mean “fresh” as in “not frozen or canned;” I mean “fresh” as in “off-the-tree.” That’s the best kind, you know. Soft and dripping with nectar. Yes. Like this. Wow.

Here’s the recipe. By the way, a lot of cream would be best. Ice cream is better that way. Yes.

Apricot Ice Cream

3 cups fresh apricots, pitted

2 cups milk

Dash salt

1 T. cornstarch

1/3 cup honey

3 egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/8 tsp. butter flavoring, optional

Additional cream or yogurt

Place the apricots in a saucepan with a little water. Cover and cook until the apricots are tender.

Drain the water and puree the apricots in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Now whisk the milk, salt, cornstarch, and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil; remove from the heat. Whisk egg yolks in a separate bowl. Add part of the custard to the egg yolks, combine, then pour it all back with the rest of the custard.

Bring to a boil again and cook for about a minute. Remove from heat and add vanilla and a little butter flavoring.

Combine the custard and purred apricots. Chill. Place in an ice cream freezer and add additional cream or yogurt until you reach the desired amount. Freeze in an ice cream freezer according to manufacturer’s directions. Enjoy!

Yield: 1 quart

Note: you might want to add a little more honey if you like a sweeter ice cream. Or less if you like not-as-sweet ice cream. Or fewer apricots if you don’t like it super fruity. Or extra vanilla if you like that. Yeah. Whatever.

~Rachel~

Blueberry Kiwi Salad

This salad was a creation for our church youth group’s annual Valentine’s Banquet. A new and different combo, but yum! The dressing is especially good…you might want to keep some on hand for any salad. We do. =)

Blueberry Kiwi Salad

Spring mix lettuce

Kiwis, peeled and sliced

Fresh blueberries

Dried cranberries (craisins)

Sugared almonds (see recipe below)

Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing (see recipe below)

Big-bowl method: Place desired amount of spring mix in a large salad bowl. Top with desired amount of toppings. Drizzle with dressing just before serving.

Individual-plate method: Portion out spring mix on individual saucers. Top with 3 kiwi slices, small handful each of blueberries, craisins, and almonds. Drizzle with dressing just befores serving.

Sugared Almonds:

1 cup sliced almonds

3 T. butter

2-4 T. sugar

Salt to taste

In a skillet, melt butter. Add almonds, sugar, and salt. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Transfer to foil to cool. Break apart as needed.

Yield: +1 cup

Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing:

1 cup orange juice

4 tsp. cornstarch

1 1/2 cups salad oil

1/3 cup honey

1/2 cup vinegar

1/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp. salt

1-2 T. poppy seeds

1/2 tsp. almond extract.

Combine orange juice and cornstarch in a small saucepan; whisk until smooth. Heat in saucepan while whisking. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool slightly.  Add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth.

Yield: 3 1/3 cups (24 servings)

Multiple-choice poll: