Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fruit Tart Recipe by Colleen

Fruit Tart by Colleen
Here is a recipe for a Fruit Tart that is so good and so easy. Great way to use summer fruit. William took pictures.

This is also a fun thing for kids to help with - especially if you do the candy/chocolate version. Charlotte also suggested making chocolate mousse for the filling. I thought I would also experiment with melt a little bit of dark chocolate and whipping it into the cream mixture.

Cream Fruit Tart


1 1/4 cups grapham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter (can use a little less)

Melt the butter and mix it with the sugar and graham crackers. Press into pie or tart or springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Cream Filling:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/8 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons of softened cream cheese

Whip the cream to very soft peaks. Add in the remaining ingredients and whip a bit longer until still peaks. Spread onto cooled crust.

Fruit or chocolate layer:

You can do really whatever you like here. Sliced strawberries, raspberries, bananas, blueberries, sliced peaches (douse in lemon so they won't brown) kiwi, nectarines, etc. Any combo. Place on top of the cream filling and chill. Or you could do chocolate shavings, or sprinkles, or chocolate cookie crumbs, or crumbled heath bars or some other candy. Even M&Ms!
Really, creative impulses should be encouraged (also strategic use of ingredients already on hand).


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping by Jessica C.

Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping by Jessica C.

hi barbara,
thanks for the blueberry recipes! it is blueberry season here in south jersey too. i live a few short miles from this area's largest blueberry farms, in fact most of our 3 acres is wild blueberry. i just finished freezing 2 cases so we have some for smoothies, etc in the winter. i use a cookie tray with a rim, i put a pint loose on that and freeze them. after they have frozen individually, i put them in a freezer bag and they keep well.
i'll send you my fav blueberry muffin recipe. (see below)
jessica c.

Blueberry Muffins with Streusel Topping Recipe

Note: Coat the blueberries with a dusting of flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom. Also remember to evenly distribute the blueberries across the muffin cups.

Streusel Topping Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, slightly softened and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Muffin Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 cups (1 1/2 pints) fresh blueberries, stems removed

  1. For the topping, in a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cinnamon, and brown sugar. Add the butter pieces and combine the mixture with a fork until the topping resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place paper liners in muffin pans. In a separate medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  3. With an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. At low speed, beat one egg in at a time, then add vanilla, sour cream, and milk until combined. Add 1/3 of dry ingredients at a time and beat until just combined. With a spatula, evenly fold blueberries into batter.
  4. Scoop batter into muffin pans and fill each cup to the top. Sprinkle topping evenly over batter. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a cake tester or wooden skewer comes out clean.
Makes 24 muffins

[Blueberry coffee cake muffins adapted from Barefoot Contessa]


---jessica c.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blueberry Season Recipes & Suggestions

Blueberry Picking
It's blueberry season around here. We go to the the Sugar Shack between Keuka and Canandaigua lakes. It's a great activity for all ages. We picked a couple of pounds. That's a whole lot of fun for only $5.40.

Sarah asked me on the way home what do we do with all to the blueberries we pick each year. Here are my suggestions:
Eat as many as you can right away.  Pop a warm blueberry in your mouth and enjoy the sunny, sweet squish!
Wash and pick through them to remove stems and green berries. Lay them out in the sun to dry, then freeze them in a single layer to keep the berries from sticking together. Freeze, then put them in plastic bags, and return to the freezer to use on cereal, on ice cream or in recipes.
Make blueberry muffins for breakfast, and a batch for the freezer.  They freeze well.  These are jumbo size, but you can make bite-size ones too.  See The Best Blueberry Muffins recipe.
Make blueberry waffles for breakfast.  Tom adds them to the batter in the waffle maker at the last minute.
Make blueberry syrup to offer as an alternative to maple.  It's wonderful, if you've never tried it.  Bring 3 cups of blueberries and 1/2 to 1 cup of sugar to a boil, and cook until the blueberries are smooth and syrupy. Add a pinch of salt (1/8 t.) and grated lemon rind (use the rind of a whole large lemon).  Use right away or pour into a jar with a lid and keep in the refrigerator.
Make a Lemon Pound Cake to serve with fresh berries, and/or the syrup.  See Lemon Pound cake recipe.
Make Emily's Blueberry Cobbler recipe.
Make Christine and Chelsea's Easy Peach and Blueberry Cobbler.
Make Christine's Blueberry Peach Custard Pie.
Make Colleen's Rapture Lemon Bars, and use blueberries instead of raspberries.
Make a Lemon Tart with Fresh Blueberries on top.

What do you make with fresh blueberries?

I'm thinking I will try making blueberry jelly or jam this summer.  My uncle, Bud, used to make jelly and give me a jar when I'd see him.  It was such a nice gift.

If you have a recipe or technique to share, please do!   Just email me or leave a comment below.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Easy Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

Easy Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa
Our go-to meal recently has been this recipe for Fish Tacos.  It can be pulled together quickly if you have the ingredients on hand.  It is a light, but filling meal.
Use a firm white fish like Mahi Mahi or Halibut or Snapper
We discovered that Wegman's has Mahi-Mahi, one of our favorite fish.  But you could use any fish you love, as long as it has some firmness to it, like Halibut, as an example.
And we also discovered they carry Mexican style cheese, and what a difference it makes!  Look for it in the cheese case.  Or substitute feta.
For the salsa, be sure to use a ripe mango.  Fyi - you could also substitute peaches for the mango.

Easy Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa
For the fish:
4 - 6 ounces of fish per person
1 lime
Good quality ground cumin
garlic powder
salt and pepper
olive oil
Defrost the fish --- it takes longer than you think. Pat it dry, then place it in a ceramic or glass dish. Add salt and pepper, and generously coat the fish with cumin and garlic powders, and olive oil. Squeeze a lime over it, and let it marinate for an hour or so, as the filets defrost.  If the filets are fresh, refrigerate the fish as it marinates.
Bake it in a 350 degree oven for 20 - 45 minutes, depending on the thickness of your filets.  You will know it is done when it becomes firm when you press it, and it becomes opaque.  With this marinade and temperature, the fish comes out somewhere between being poached and baked.  If you prefer a crispier fish, you could grill it, and it will cook much quicker, maybe only 6-8 minutes per side.  Remember to never overcook your fish!  Underdone is better than overdone.

For the guacamole:
It's simple. Combine a ripe avocado, the juice of 1/2 lime, salt and pepper, some dried or fresh onion, some hot sauce, and chopped tomatoes, plus a teaspoon of good quality mayo to smooth it out.

For the mango salsa:
1 very ripe diced mango, about a cup
1/2 cup diced green house cucumber
2-3 scallions, sliced and diced, including some of the green tops
lots of chopped cilantro, about 1/2 cup
hot sauce, or a minced jalapeno pepper, to taste
salt and pepper
1 - 2 T. lime juice
1 T. extra virgin olive oil -- use the good stuff
Other toppings:
Shredded lettuce (we bought the bagged version)
Mexican cheese, crumbled (or use Feta instead)

Whole Wheat Tortillas, warmed in the microwave for 10-15 seconds

Assemble at the table.

Place a it all int he middle of a taco, fold and eat it all together.  Or you can serve the mango salsa on top.

The flavors all work together very well. The soft, warm nutty whole wheat tortilla provides the perfect envelope for the cheese, fish and the crunchy lettuce.  The mango salsa adds lots of flavor without overpowering the fish.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches, and Summer Beans

Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches and Summer Beans
I saw the idea for this combination in a Bon Appetit magazine recently, and modified it for the way we like to cook in the summer, i.e., keep it easy and cook as much as we can on the grill.  Especially when it is hot and no one wants to be in the kitchen.   You can do everything for the delicious summer meal., except the salad, on the grill.
Chops and Peaches Coming off the Grill and Resting
We had never grilled peaches before, but now we will!  They were an excellent side for the pork chops. 
Thick or Thin?
We bought our pork chops from Morgan's Market in Penn Yan--which is a great place for meats, if you don't know about it.  The butcher asked Tom if he wanted "thick or thin", and he said "thick".  We ended up with these monsters, and they were great.

Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches and Summer Beans
(loosely adapted from Bon Appetit, June, 2012)

For the pork chop rub:
1 pork chop per person
Garlic powder
Coarse grain mustard
Marjoram, fresh or dried
salt and pepper
For the peaches:
1 peach per person, washed and cut in half, stone removed, skin on
olive oil
For the beans:
a mix of yellow and green beans, washed and trimmed
olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh thyme, several sprigs
An hour or so before dinner, pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel, then generously apply garlic powder, a layer of mustard, salt and pepper and pack marjoram leaves on top.  Do this to both sides.  Let sit until the meat comes to room temperature, and it will be ready to grill.
Coat the halved peaches with olive oil.
On a large piece of aluminum foil, place the beans in the center, add olive oil, salt and pepper, and thyme leaves, then toss to coat.  Place a thyme sprig on top, and warp tightly into a packet to go on the grill.
Grill the pork chops for 24 minutes, 12 per side without moving them.   Add the beans with 10 minutes to go.  Add the peaches with 6-7 minutes to go.

Serve them together.

Add a nice summer salad of fresh greens, tomatoes and Parmesan with a balsamic - olive oil vinaigrette.

And toast the dog days of summer.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Only Olney Place

The Olney Place

The Olney Place is on Rt. 54, on the east side of Keuka Lake, midway between Hammondsport and Penn Yan, just a couple of miles north of our place.  It's where Froggy's used to be.

Owner Seth Olney has created a little oasis for convenience shopping and eating along Keuka Lake's east side. 

Open early to pick up a newspaper, as Tom often does, or to grab a tasty breakfast sandwich, Seth is always friendly and inquisitive as to what one is up to.  Since opening 5 years ago, Seth has worked hard to make it a special place.

Need to know something about the area's history, Seth more than likely will have the answer.  He likes to collect history of the area, through photos. And he seems to know everyone in the area. He is even considering running for Congress in 2014.

Olney's is much more than a convenience store, although it is very convenient. Otherwise, we'd have to drive all the way to the end of the lake (9 or 11 miles) just to get a newspaper, or an ingredient. 

My last run up to Olney's was with our grandson for fishing worms. He said that it should be called "The Only Olney Place."

Seth, the owner, also makes cinnamon rolls based on a family recipe.

It's a great place to get a quick meal -- for breakfast or lunch or after boating or gardening or doing chores.
Some of them are over the top.  Like the Eggleston. A hamburger with an egg.   But he also has a natural food sections and "green" section.

You can get gas for your boat from the dock.  And there are chairs and picnic tables for eating outside.  Ice cream, too.

A great selection of beer.
Even treats for dogs --which sell out fast.

It's a very popular stop for cyclists.  And for people needing WIFI. 

So, if you are in the area, check it out.

And tell Seth we sent you!