Seedless Black Raspberry Sauce

Last week I shared a post for homemade black raspberry jelly.  We have berries are out behind our house that are free for the picking – and boy are they plentiful this year.  I think all of the rain we had this spring has helped them grow.   It’s hard for me to rationalize leaving these  berries unpicked because they are loaded with healthy antioxidants and are super delicious.  My only problem is that my stomach doesn’t tolerate seeds well so I have to be a little crafty and work around them.

I’m not sure why I didn’t get around to making seedless preserves and sauces before now but all I can say is better late than never.

Seedless Black Raspberry Sauce

3 c. of berries

1 1/2 c. water

Put berries and water in a large saucepan and bring a full boil for 5 minutes over medium heat – stirring often.  Mash the berries in the pan as they soften while cooking them.  (This will yield about 2 cups of juice).

Once the berries have boiled for 5 minutes remove from heat.  Strain the juice through a doubled piece of cheese cloth and discard the seeds and pulp.

2 c. juice

2 tbsp. butter

3/4 c. sugar

1 tbsp. corn starch, plus 1 tbsp. water (mixed together)

1/8 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla

In a clean saucepan, melt the butter.  Add juice, sugar, salt, and cornstarch; bring to a boil on slow heat – stirring constantly.  Cook until liquid thickens.  Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour into container. Makes 1 pint.  Serve warm or cool.   Store in the refrigerator (stir thoroughly before serving, or warm for a few seconds in the microwave).

Use this as a topping on ICE CREAM, MILKSHAKES, PANCAKES, or vanilla YOGURT (like pictured).  One of these days I’m going to experiment and make a homemade black raspberry vinaigrette salad dressing using this sauce and when I do, I’ll share the recipe.

Imagine how happy you’d make a friend, neighbor, or co-worker if you presented them with a small jar of this.  Think Christmas…  I have froze bags of these berries so I can make fresh batches of sauce and jam throughout the cold winter months when ripe berries are hard to come by.

Pick berries and get into the sauce!

The Former Willard Psychiatric Center Tour Date 2015

SAVE THE DATE!!

Who:  Elizabeth Cady Stanton Child Care Center presents

What:  The  Former Willard State Psychiatric Center Tour – 2015

Where:  Camp Edgemere to purchase tickets @ $10.00 each.  Children under 10 – no charge.

WhenMay 16, 2015  9AM & 1PM

At 11AM  there will be a service at the Willard Cemetery memorializing  Lawrence Mocha.   Mr. Mocha (also known at the gravedigger) was a patient at Willard who  buried over a thousand other patients while he was institutionalized.  New York Times Journalist, Dan Barry, wrote an excellent article about Mr. Mocha.  To read his article click here.

Why: This tour is offered annually as fundraiser for  The Elizabeth Cady Stanton Children’s Center.

For more information contact (607)869-5533

Curious about what you might see while touring Willard?  Check out my 2011 tour of Willard here.

Willard Tour Date 2014 and Buttery Iced Shortbread Melts

I am often asked by my blog readers when the next tour of Willard Asylum for the Insane will be.  Well, mark your calendar folks!  The next public tour of Willard Asylum for the Insane is scheduled for May 17, 2014, 9AM, at Grandview.  Rain or Shine!  If you want a sneak peak of some of the things you might see on this tour than check out my post, A Day at Willard Asylum for the Insane.  The tour is $10.00 per person.

And since it’s been ages since I’ve baked and shared a sweet treat on my blog, I decided to share what my daughter now claims is her favorite cookie recipe – Iced Shortbread Melts.  These cookies earned their name because they are so sweet and tender that they really will melt in your mouth!

Buttery Iced Shortbread Melts

2 sticks of butter, softened

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add butter, sugar, salt, and vanilla. Cream ingredients together; add flour. Continue to mix ingredients until everything is blended. Form dough into a ball.

Place  dough on a piece of parchment paper that is coated with a light coating of flour. Roll dough out until it is about 1/4” thick. Use more flour if needed. Cut out cookies using a cookie cutter. Place cookies on prepared cookie sheet about 1 1/2” apart. Bake for about 8 minutes. Do not over bake. They will firm up after removing them from the oven. Allow cookies to cool completely on cookie sheet before moving them.

I made a thin batch of buttercream icing and dipped the top of each cookie in the icing.  I used some homemade colored sugar sprinkles to fancy them up.

These cookies would be perfect to serve at a ladies luncheon, bridal shower, or a tea party.

What is the last kind of cookie you made?

Lot’s of Sunshine and Blue Skies; No White Sandy Beaches

Yesterday we decided to break free from the bout of cabin fever we’ve been having and go for a walk.  The day was slightly warmer than what we’ve been accustomed to this winter, and the sunshine and blues skies were welcoming.  The best part of the walk, other than the fresh air, sunshine, and blue skies, was the pretty little bluebird that welcomed us to it’s habitat.  I tried to get a picture but it was too camera shy.  

There is no question the land is barren and there is little to photograph, but here is what Mother Nature had to offer us.

Signed,

Impatiently waiting for spring…

Getting into the Spirits

How do you convince a girl that loves her wine that she ought to give vodka, whiskey, and gin a chance?  Take her spirit tasting at Myer Farm Distillers on the west side of Cayuga Lake in Ovid, NY – that’s how!  

No, I’ve never been a “whiskey girl”.  But I have to admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the Blueberry Orange Vodka, John Myer Rye Whiskey, and Myer Farm Gin that I recently got the chance to sample at this fairly new Finger Lakes distillery.

Tastings were 3 for $3.00.  A fair price for (what I dare say are) some of the finest spirits I’ve ever tasted.  Of the three spirits I sampled, the John Myer Rye Whiskey was my favorite – “pour me another!”

The most unique flavor of the tasting goes to Myer Farm Gin which I actually enjoyed because of the delicious unique herbal finish.  There has to be something healing about this gin! 

And lastly, I would never turn down a screwdriver mixed with Myer Farm Blueberry Orange Vodka for brunch, or any other time for that matter – delicious!

One more thing worth mentioning. This distillery uses certified organic grain from their own farm which happens to be one of the largest and oldest currently operating in the Northeast.

So, if you are in the Finger Lakes Region and want to get into the spirits, I would suggest adding Myer Farm Distillers to your “must stop” list. 

Tin Can Tourist’s Return to the Finger Lakes Region

Last September I was elated to go to my first Tin Can Tourist Rally to ogle over the most vintage campers that I’ve ever seen in one place at one time.  And as you might imagine, I didn’t miss my chance to ogle this year either. 

This weekend Sampson State Park in Seneca County is playing host to yet another Tin Can Tourist Rally.   Today was the open house where the proud owners of these campers opened their doors and shared glimpses of them with the public.  If you have a interest in anything vintage, enjoy camping, or love the Finger Lakes Region Region, I can almost guarantee that you would enjoy this event.

Here are some of the great campers and vehicles that caught my eye at the open house.  Check out my pictures and tell which one catches your eye the most.

Thank you TCT for opening your doors to those of us that admire your wheels.  Happy Camping! 

Crockpot Apple Crisp

Fall is fast approaching here in the Finger Lakes Region and apples are a big thing in my neck of the woods.  And as luck would have it, New York State is the 2nd largest apple producing state in this country.  We have beautiful apple farms to go apple picking at, fun and tasty apple festivals to entertain us and help keep our bellies full, and this year I am hoping hubby and I can make our way to Wayne County for their 16th annual apple tasting tour which sounds like loads of fun to me.

So, in honor of our soon to be autumn, I decided to cheer it on with a  delicious warm and gooey apple dessert.

This dessert is perfect for those days when you don’t feel like turning on your oven, or if you need a dish simple dish to pass but don’t have a lot of time to fuss.  Top it off with a scoop of your favorite vanilla ice cream or dollop of homemade whipped cream and it just keeps getting better!

This dessert recipe is adapted from Food.com.   My adaptation appears below.  If you prefer the original recipe just follow the previous link.  This recipe makes about 6 servings.

Crockpot Apple Crisp

5 Cortland apples, peeled, cored, and sliced

1 c. old-fashioned oatmeal

1/2 c. brown sugar

1/4 c. granulated sugar

1/8 tsp. salt

3/4 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 c. margarine or butter, melted

Generously grease a medium sized crockpot with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, add all ingredients except apples; mix thoroughly.  Layer half of the sliced apples on the bottom of the crockpot and top the apples with half of the oatmeal mixture.  Repeat with remaining apples and oatmeal mixture.

Place the lid on crockpot and bake on high for 2-3 hours, or until apples are tender. I stirred the dessert a couple times while it was baking. Turn crockpot off and stir once.  Keep covered and allow dessert to sit until ready to serve.

This dessert is a winner in my book.  Fix it, and nearly forget it.  I shared this with my husband’s family and there wasn’t even a spoonful leftover.  I consider that a good thing!!

What is your favorite apple?

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Sunset

Hot and muggy summer days require a trip to one of my favorite state parks on Seneca Lake.

The park was surprisingly quiet on this particular evening, and the sunset was beautiful.

The seagulls even congregated to watch the sun drop after an extremely hot day.

Just like the lyrics in the Zac Brown Band country song – “toes in the water”

The sailboats begged for admiration.

Lodi Point State Park

The hot hazy day made the lake mysteriously alluring.

The sun finally decided to rest after a long day of working overtime.

What do you do to cool down after a hot summer day?  Do you have a favorite state park you like to go to?