Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake.

What is a girl to do when a bestie friend comes home after a long time away?!

Well…. run over and visit and hug as soon as possible!  Right?!

But you can’t go empty handed!

So – what to bake to take?  I needed something quick, but yummy, that my sweet friend Janet and her Mom and Dad would enjoy…

I had some amazing fresh blueberries in the fridge I had recently bought at a local farm market, so I decided to make a blueberry cake.

And OH was it yummy!  (I know because I kept half for hubby and me and took half to them.  She is that kind of friend!  The best kind – that you can take half a cake to – LOL!)

I arrived just in time to serve it to them for dessert!

Oh the joy of friendship!  Oh the joy of baking and sharing!

Make this for yourself!  Make this to give away!  But make this amazing Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake today!  (oh dear – am I still rhyming?! )

Welcome home sweet Janet!  Looking forward to our time together.

Here is the recipe I made as I adapted from LifeLoveandSugar:

Blueberry Streusel Coffee Cake

Ingredients:

Streusel:

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 6 Tbsp. salted butter, melted

Cake:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. salted butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (light sour cream works fine)
  • 1/4 cup milk (I used Skim)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries

Glaze:

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. milk

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare an 8-9 inch cake pan by greasing bottom and sides with shortening and then placing a circle of parchment paper in the bottom.

Prepare streusel by combining ingredients in a medium bowl with a fork.  Set aside.

Prepare cake batter by beating sugar and butter in electric mixer for 3-4 minutes until light and fluffy.  Add sour cream and milk  until well incorporated.  Add egg and vanilla.  Finally, add baking powder, then flour just until thoroughly combined.

Spread half of the batter in prepared pan.  Top with half of the streusel mixture, then  3/4 cup blueberries.  Repeat batter, streusel, then 1 cup blueberries.

Bake for approximately 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then remove from pan.

Prepare glaze by  by combining powdered sugar and milk until a glaze consistency is achieved.  Add more powdered sugar or milk as needed.

Drizzle cooled cake with glaze, and top with remaining 1/4 cup fresh blueberries.

Serve warm or cold – plain or with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream!

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Easy Grilled Sweet Corn on the Cob

Easy Grilled Sweet Corn on the Cob.

It is Fresh Sweet Corn on the Cob Season in our part of the world!

Corn is a vegetable we rarely eat – except in the heat of summer when it is fresh and sweet and bought the same day it was picked from a local farm stand.

After being in Arizona for a week recently, where it seemed everything we ordered had grilled or roasted corn in it (even a delicious deconstructed Caesar Salad), I had corn on the brain.

We had always boiled our sweet corn on the cob, but I fell in love with the magically charred kernels we experienced on our Southwest trip, so we decided to grill it this time.

O.M.G!  We LOVED it!  Oh how easy!  Keep the heat outside by using the grill.  And save clean up time with no pots of boiling hot water.

When I buy corn on the cob, even though is only the two of us now, I buy a full dozen.  We usually only eat about half of it, so we cut the rest off the cob and either freeze it in Ziploc bags for a fresh corn treat in the winter or save it for using in other recipes or reheating another day that week.

Here is how we did it.  Quick, easy, and oh so delicious!

By the way – I think the mistake many people make with corn on the cob is OVERcooking it.  Sweet corn on the cob truly tastes its best when you just cook it long enough to heat, but retain its wonderful sweetness, crunch and flavor.  Also, don’t look for the biggest ears of corn.  They could likely be tough.  Look for smaller, young, tender ears, and buy them from the farm or farm market – not the grocery store, where it could be several days old.  There is nothing like eating corn the day it is picked!

Roll it in some butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper for even more yumminess, but when you get fresh, sweet, seasonal corn, it barely needs anything else!

Here is how we made it.

Easy Grilled Sweet Corn on the Cob

Ingredients:

  • 1 dozen fresh ears of corn on the cob

Directions:

Heat grill to approximately 450 degrees F.

Husk corn, and clean of the silks as best you can.  Rinse under cold water.

Place cleaned ears of corn directly on grill for 5 minutes.  Turn and grill for another 5 minutes.

Serve immediately with sweet butter, salt, and pepper.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Roasted Vegetables

Roasted Vegetables.

You know those times when you get to the end of what you bought for the week and before you get to the grocery store and only have a handful of this and a chunk of that and a sliver of this in the fridge?

One day last week, I wanted to make a vegetable, but only had a bit of this and that.  I had a quarter of a small head of purple cabbage, a bulb of fennel, a half a bag of carrots, a small bag of golden fingerling potatoes.

So I tossed these together with a sliced onion and a few bulbs of garlic, drizzled it with some wonderful olive oil our son and daughter-in-law brought us back from their honeymoon in Greece.  I sprinkled it with salt and pepper and some chopped fresh rosemary.  I roasted it in a 400 degree F oven for about a half hour, and it turned out amazing!

You could throw in any vegetables you have left in your vegetable crisper at the end of the week.  Roasting vegetables makes them taste so amazingly delicious!  They become caramelized and tender and mellow.

I tried fennel raw chopped up on a salad, and have to say it was a bit too strong for my taste.  Maybe I added too much.  But when I roast it, I seriously cannot get enough of it!  It transforms and mellows the flavor into something absolutely divine!

What combination of vegetables do you like best to roast?

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Chilling White Wine

Frozen Grapes in Pinot Grigio

Frozen Grapes in Pinot Grigio

Chilling White Wine.

I recently learned about this great tip for keeping your white wine chilled without watering it down.

Freeze a bag of grapes, and use them as “ice cubes.”

At the end of your drink, you have a wonderful treat of wine soaked grapes to enjoy!  And your wine stays full flavored to the very end.

I am definitely more of a red wine girl, but I sometimes enjoy a light Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc or a crisp, buttery Chardonnay in the summer.

Dropping in a few frozen grapes makes it even more of a treat.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Caramel M&M Cookies

Caramel M&M Cookies.

Have you tried the new Caramel M&Ms yet?

O. M. Geeeee!

I would never have believed the Mars Candy Company could made an M&M better than my favorite – Peanut.

My sons love the Peanut Butter M&Ms, and I know they make Crispy and Pretzel and Dark Chocolate, and of course the good old standby – Plain – but these Caramel M&Ms….

They are just the Rock Stars of the family!  The cat’s meow… The bee’s knees.. The bomb dot com!

Once hubby talked me into buying a bag and we tried, I knew I had to make cookies out of these little gems of heavenly deliciousness!

And they did not disappoint!  I made them for a picnic this past weekend, and it’s a good thing I took them all, because I might not be able to resist these babies!

I used my standard chocolate chip cookie recipe – replacing the chocolate chunks with the Caramel M&Ms.  Simple – but oh so delightful!

Give them a try!  Let me know if you agree.

Caramel M&M Cookies

  • Servings: 4 dozen large cookies
  • Print

Ingredients:

4 sticks (1 lb.) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
4 eggs
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
5 cups all purpose flour
2 9.6oz bags Caramel M&M Candies

Directions:

With electric mixer, beat butter and sugar together until completely incorporated. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat until light and fluffy. Add baking soda and salt, and mix another minute. Gradually add flour and beat until well incorporated, but do not overbeat.

Fold in Caramel M&M Candies.  Refrigerate dough for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 375 degrees F. With your hands, form a cookie dough ball about 1-1/2 inches in diameter.  Place on baking stone. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Do not overbake. Allow to cool on baking stone for 5-10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

#MadewithM

I am not being paid by M&Ms to promote them, though I wish I was!  

Homemade Old-Fashioned Glazed Donuts

Homemade Old-Fashioned Glazed Donuts!

Seriously…….
could anything be more decadently delish?!

A tender ring of fried sweet dough
drenched in a glorious glaze?

I couldn’t resist making these,
and they did not disappoint.

Every once in a great while,
I allow myself to be treated to a donut….
a wickedly wonderful waste of calories.

But since it is only Hubby and me at home,
a dozen donuts AND holes
are way too much sugary goodness!

So after enjoying one each
(and a few holes – which are completely calorie free  – right?)
I shared the rest.

That really is my joy in baking…
giving it away.

Hopefully creating a brief smile…
a tiny treat or surprise for a loved one or friend.

These are soooooo worth making!
They are easy and quick to make.

I hope you will treat yourself and those you love!

Homemade Old-Fashioned Glazed Donuts

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cup  cake flour  (no cake flour?  no problem!  make it easily by the cupful – take one level cup of all-purpose flour, remove two tablespoons, and then add two tablespoons of cornstarch back in)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup  sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup  sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Canola oil, for frying

For the glaze:

  • 3 1/2 cup  powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup hot water

Directions:

In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar together until sandy. Add egg yolks, and mix until light and thick. Add dry ingredients to the mixing bowl in 3 additions, alternating with the sour cream, ending with the flour.  Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

On a floured surface, roll dough out to about 1/2 inch thickness. Use a donut cutter to cut out approximately 12 donuts and holes.

Pour 2 inches of canola oil into a heavy bottomed pot with a thermometer attached. Heat to 325°F.  Fry donuts a few at a time, being careful not to overcrowd the pot. Fry on each side about 2 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Let drain on a paper bag to soak up the excess grease.

For the glaze:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl with a whisk until smooth.  Dip each donut into the glaze. Place on a wire rack above a sheet of waxed paper to catch any excess glaze. Let sit for 20 minutes until glaze is set.

Best served the day they are made, but may be stored in an air tight container at room temperature for a few days.

Cheers & Sugary Sweet Hugs,
Jodi

Recipe found at:  Huffington Post’s “The Greatest Homemade Doughnut Recipes You’ll Ever Find.

 

Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans & Corn

Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans, and Corn.

I love legumes, and I am really growing to love quinoa.  I recently tried this new salad for dinner that was so so delicious, filling, and healthy.

A one-cup serving of quinoa is packed with 9g proteins, 5g fiber, and 20g carbohydrate. Red quinoa is also rich in magnesium, manganese, copper, iron and phosphorous. It contains high quantities of lysine, an essential amino acid.

Legumes like black beans and edamame are also high in protein and fiber, and avocado is extremely nutrient dense.

To eat something that is so easy, so healthy, so pretty, and so delicious is a win-win in my book!

Are you a legume lover?  Quinoa connoisseur?  I’d love to hear your favorite ways to enjoy!

Red Quinoa Salad with Avocado, Black Beans & Corn

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Red Quinoa, cooked in broth and cooled
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup corn, frozen, roasted, or fresh off cob
  • 1/4 cup Sweet Vidalia or Green Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup edamame (optional)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Cilantro, fresh chopped, to taste
  • 1 tsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cherry tomato (optional) for garnish

Directions

Cook quinoa, and set aside to cool.

Toss vegetables together gently.  Drizzle with lime juice, vinegar and oil.  Season with salt, pepper and cilantro.  Gently toss.

Spoon quinoa onto plate.  Top with a generous scoop of vegetable salad.  Garnish, as desired, with quartered cherry tomato.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

 

Fresh Red Raspberry & Blueberry Pie

Fresh Red Raspberry & Blueberry Pie.

Are you looking for an amazing fruit pie that is tart and sweet and bursting full of fresh fruits of the season?

I haven’t baked a pie in a while, so I thought it was high time I treated hubby to something he would love being that it is Father’s Day weekend and all.

He would choose pie over cake or cookies approximately 99.5 times out of 100 – conservatively speaking.

I had some fresh red raspberries and some fresh blueberries in the fridge, but not enough of either to make a whole pie, so I decided to try combining the two into one pie.

I researched some recipes and then decided to combine things I liked about different ones into my own creation – including using tapioca instead of cornstarch as the thickening agent for this pie.  Grandma always used tapioca in her berry pies, so there is no other way in my book!

This pie turned out perfectly thickened and so full of fresh berry flavors.  It was a complete hit with Hubby – especially when topped with a melting scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

If you are looking for a new twist on berry pie, I hope you’ll give this recipe a try!

Fresh Red Raspberry & Blueberry Pie

Ingredients:

  • Double recipe for Pie Crust
  • 2 cups fresh red raspberries
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup + 1 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1/4 cup tapioca
  • 1 Tbsp. flour
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated lemon peel
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract of paste
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 1 Tbsp. milk or water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Line a 9 inch pie plate with bottom pastry.

In a bowl, combine berries, 1 cup sugar, tapioca, flour, lemon peel, vanilla, and cinnamon.  Gently stir, and pour into pastry lined pie plate.

Top with remaining pie crust cut and wove into lattice.

Brush with milk or water, and sprinkle with remaining 1 Tbsp. sugar.

Bake at 400 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Roasted Potatoes and Fennel

Roasted Potatoes and Fennel

Recipes like this one I am sharing today are ones where I really wish I had the ability to share “smell-a-blogavision!”

The amazing aroma that filled my kitchen and nose when I roasted this fennel and potato recipe is too divine for words.  Seriously!

So after the euphoria of the fragrance faded, and I began typing this post, I was trying to find a word worthy to describe it.  It was THAT amazing!

In my “research,” I found that fennel is actually used as an essential oil and  in aromatherapy.  Well…. there you have it!  I was not kidding about how awesome it smelled!  Apparently, sweet fennel essential oil helps nourish and restore an optimal mind and outlook. It is believed to bring strength and courage in the face of adversity.

Have you cooked much with fennel?  Besides smelling like heaven, it has great health benefits too.  It is wonderfully crunchy and sweet when served raw  in salads or silky and succulent when roasted or braised.  It has an interesting licorice-like flavor.

Now… before those of you who are not licorice fans skip over this recipe….. STOP!  You have to give it a try!

When you roast this amazing celery-like root vegetable…. O. M. G!    I don’t have the words for the amazingness.

Mixed with some simple sliced potatoes and seasoning, it makes for a simply glorious addition or highlight to your dinner.

We had ours with some grilled chicken and a simple cucumber and tomato vinaigrette salad one day last week.

I will be making this again and again.  I adore it!  Hope you do too!

Roasted Potatoes and Fennel

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 small/medium potatoes (I used Yukon golds), sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 large fennel bulb, cut in half and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  Spread sliced potatoes and fennel in an even layer on a stoneware baking dish or baking pan.  Drizzle with the olive oil, and season with salt, pepper and rosemary.  Roast approximately 40 minutes, tossing 2-3 times during roasting, until golden brown and tender.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

I’ve Fallen Madly in Love…. with Biscotti

I’ve fallen madly in love… with Biscotti!

I’m not sure why?  But all of the sudden, I can’t get enough of it.

It all started with an “impulse” purchase (dang hungry shopping!) – where I picked up a small package of almond flavored biscotti.

I’ve never really been drawn to biscotti – thinking it rather dry and bland tasting, but oh was I wrong!

Dry?  Maybe… but in an amazingly crispy, crunchy way.

Bland?  Far from it!  So full of flavor and texture.

And when served with coffee (or red wine) 🙂 – and dunked – Wowza!

The word “biscotto” means “biscuit” or “cookie.” Biscotti are named according to their method of baking. The root words “bis” and “cotto” literally mean “twice” and “baked.” When Italians first created biscotti in the region of Tuscany many centuries ago, they were careful to bake the cookies twice, in order to form their unique shape and allow the cookies to develop their signature crisp texture.

So after purchasing the almond…… and then the orange pecan…… I decided it was time I try to bake my own biscotti.

I considered what I had on hand and chose to try a Starbucks Copycat recipe of Dried Tart Cherry and Walnut.

I’m not sure I achieved the correct shape, but I’m pretty sure I nailed the flavor!

Hubby, who would normally not choose biscotti…. well – let’s just say he definitely liked them.  We won’t talk about how many he ate when he found them cooling, but suffice it to say, they were a hit!

Here’s the recipe I tried, and I cannot wait to try more flavors.

This could be a very dangerous love affair!

Cherry Walnut Biscotti

Ingredients:

1 stick  butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup dried cherries
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Beat butter in electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Add sugar and continue beating for about 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla.

Add baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and mix.  Add flour just until blended.

Mix in walnuts, cherries and  orange zest by hand.

Turn the batter out onto a floured work surface and divide in half.  Shape each half into a log 12 inches long and 1 1/2 inches in diameter.  Transfer to baking sheet.

Bake 20-25 minutes until golden brown. Place baking sheet on wire rack and let logs cool for 10 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut the logs into 1/2 inch wide slices, and carefully place the slices back onto the baking sheet.  Bake for another 10 minutes. Let the biscotti cool completely on the baking sheet. Store in airtight container.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi