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!

TGIF – In Case You Missed Any of Them

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I thought I’d recap this week.  Just in case you didn’t have a chance to catch one of my posts, here is what you might have missed. 

A  recipe for Frozen Vanilla Peach Yogurt, and photo’s of pretty little flowers.

The start of a new baking project featuring a sourdough bread starter recipe.  And hopefully, I’ll be sharing my an update on the sourdough adventure with you this weekend.

And one of the best darned Kahlua Hot Fudge recipes that your ever going to get your hands on.

Happy Friday everyone! 

My Favorite Cream Cheese Recipes

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It’s summer, and summer is a busy time for all of us.  The day’s are longer but the time seems to slip by faster. 

I’ve been busy working on the Pink Paradise and I’m just about ready to share another update with you.  But first, I thought I’d  share three of my favorite cream cheese desserts. 

 

Mini Lemon Cheesecake with Peach Glace’ Topping (bottom left)

Chocolate and Cream Cheese Crostata  & Mini Cakes (bottom right)

Chocolate Covered Caramel Cheesecake Bars (top right)

What is keeping you busy this summer?

 

A Peachy Summer Dessert – Lemon Cheesecakes with Peach Glace’ Topping

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I couldn’t wait to buy my first quart of fresh peaches of the season because I knew exactly what I wanted to make with them. 

And while I’m not convinced they came from the Finger Lakes Region quite yet,  I am convinced they are from Pennsylvania – just over the border.

I strongly envy the folks in Georgia, or the South for that matter, who have fresh peaches far more often than we do here in New York.

This recipe is simple to make, yet so delicious. 

This cheesecake recipe was passed onto me by a co-worker quite a few years ago.  I substituted lemon juice for the vanilla extract that the recipe originally called for, and I cut the recipe in half.  *Warning – these are extremely dangerous to have in the house if you are lacking in the willpower department.

The peach glace’ topping is a slightly modified version of a peach glace’ pie my mom use to make every summer.

The two are a match made in heaven!

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Mini Lemon Cheesecakes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line 12 regular sized cupcake tins with paper cupcake liners.

1  (8oz.) package of light cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 egg, beaten

1-2 tbsp. of lemon juice (I use 2 tbsp. for a stronger lemon flavor)

12 vanilla wafer cookies

Place one vanilla wafer in the bottom of each paper liner.  In a medium sized bowl, add cream cheese, sugar, and beaten egg.  Mix until smooth and creamy.  Add lemon juice and mix thoroughly.

Pour batter into each paper liner; filling about 2/3 full.  Bake about 20 minutes until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.

Remove from oven and allow the cheesecakes to cool completely in the cupcake tin.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Peach Glace’ Topping

2 ripe peaches

1/2 c. water

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. butter

2 tsp. lemon juice

2 heaping tbsp. corn starch

Peel and dice one peach; set the other aside for later use.

In a small bowl, add sugar and cornstarch; mix thoroughly.

In a medium saucepan, add water, 1 tsp. of lemon juice, and diced peaches. 

Bring  to boil; continue boiling for 1 minute.  Temporarily remove from heat.

Remove half the boiled liquid from the saucepan and add to the bowl of sugar and cornstarch.  Stir quickly, and until all cornstarch and sugar are dissolved.

Return the saucepan to the burner on medium heat and pour the sugar mixture into the saucepan.  Stir constantly until mixture thickens. 

Remove from heat, add butter and 1 tsp. of lemon juice. 

Peel and dice 2nd peach and add it to the glace’; stir thoroughly.  Cool slightly before serving, or refrigerate until ready to use.

Homemade Whipped Cream

1 c. heavy cream

2-4 tbsp. powdered sugar

1-2 tsp. vanilla

Chill small bowl and beaters for 15 minutes in freezer. 

Add cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla to bowl.  Beat until stiff peaks are formed.  Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

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And lastly, don’t forget to spread the love on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook!

ENJOY!!!

 

Summer is… And a vintage camper update

Summer is hot – 100 degrees here today!  My baking has been replaced with sugar-free Popsicle’s.

Summer brings beautiful flowers, and with beautiful flowers comes bugs.  Some are more obvious than others.

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Summer is a time to work on projects that otherwise might be neglected.  Below is the latest picture of the Pink Paradise.

I’m hoping to get some trim work up in her when things cool down a bit.

The big change here?  Re-upholstered cushions.  I have to thank my father in-law for making them for me.  He graciously made the covers for me after I picked up enough off-white vinyl at the Gunlocke Company outlet store to cover all four cushions for $21 bucks – a true steal!

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Yea!  It’s finally starting to come together.  The stove has been thoroughly cleaned and put back together.  The wallpaper is up, and a television/entertainment center is in the works at the rear of the camper.  I’m saving that for the next post because I like to keep you guessing – lol…

What is summer to you? 

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Summer is whizzing by us like the speed of light; before you know it fall will be upon us.  And while I love the fall, it is one of my favorite seasons,  I love the summer too.  I’ve been trying to preserve as much of this summer as I can.   I’ve lost myself in a couple of good books, hubby and I have finally launched a sailboat we bought a few years ago and never managed to get into the water for one silly reason after another.  At some point in  life everyone comes to  realize that life is too short, and it’s just not a cliché you’ve heard a thousand times before.  You have to find the money, re-prioritize, and make time to enjoy yourselves.  And that is why our sailboat has finally made it into the beautiful water of the Finger Lakes.

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If you haven’t noticed, I have not spent much time baking or blogging this summer.  I  miss both.   While I have been taking lots of pictures, and I’ve written two freelance pieces, the extreme temperatures haven’t really given me much incentive to step into my kitchen and turn on the oven.   Since the extreme heat we’ve been seeing isn’t just a local problem I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. 

But there is good news. With a bit of relief from the high temperatures  I ventured into the kitchen today to let some of the creativity I’ve got bottling up inside of me out.  To me, there is nothing more inviting than berry and cinnamon filled scones baking in your oven, because of this, there was little debate on what I would make. And regardless of what time of day you make scones, you will not be able to resist sampling them to see if they live up to that wonderful aroma they have just sent wafting through your home.

Since we are in the heart of berry season I decided to mix things up a bit.  I opted to use blackberries and blueberries which seem to compliment each other quite well.  Warning – I did not use them sparingly….

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These scones are lighter in texture than some I’ve made.  I think they are perfect for a summer breakfast treat.

Black & Blue Scones

2 3/4 c. all-purpose flour

1/4 c. quick cooking oats

1/2 c. dark brown sugar

2 TBSP. granulated sugar

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 TBSP. chopped pecans

1 stick of (cold) margarine

1/2 c. milk

1/2 c. sour cream

1 c. blueberries

1 c. blackberries

Cinnamon & Sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease cookie sheet, or use parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add all dry ingredients.  Cut in cold margarine.  In a separate bowl, mix milk and sour cream together.  Make a well in the center of dry ingredients and add milk mixture.  Blend by hand until everything is mixed.  Fold in berries.  On a lightly floured surface shape dough into a 10” round piece, about 1” in thickness.  Using a pizza cutter, cut into even pie shaped pieces and place on cookie sheet.  Bake for 15 – 18 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean when inserted into center of scone. Sprinkle with cinnamon & sugar while warm.

One final note. I also found some time to work on a few gift tags while the temperatures have been too warm to spend in the kitchen.  Here is what I’ve come up with. These are a great addition to any treat you’re looking to give away.  Leave a personalized message on the back for the lucky recipient.

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Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Blondies, and Summer

I’m gearing up for summer.  Primping the lawn, planting my favorite veggies, looking for more flowers to brighten up our spaces, and trying to figure out what kind of furniture I want for our deck.  I’m anxious to BBQ, invite friends over, and have campfires.

A couple of years ago I decided we were going to celebrate my husband’s November birthday in the summer.  I invited a few couples over for an evening of fun on our deck.  To create an inviting atmosphere, we put up a canopy, decorated it with white lights, put candles on the tables, used china plates, real silverware, and glasses.  To make this an extraordinary  party, we moved a small deep fryer, and slushy machine out by our grill.   Hubby, who loves to cook and entertain, had all of the important tools right at his fingertips.

We made deep-fried foods as appetizers, and offered ribs, salads, baked beans, and rolls for the main course.  I made his favorite cake for dessert.  We whipped up wine slushies with Sangria and lemon-lime soda.  As you can imagine, they were a hit.  People relaxed, we chatted, laughed, enjoyed the outdoors, and ate, ate, and ate some more. 

Hubby and I are not bashful when it comes to planning parties and feeding people.  When we got married we catered our own reception.  Not only did we save a ton of money, but we offered our guests lot’s of good food that made them very happy.

Since I’ve been giving another summer BBQ some thought, I decided to work on a crowd pleasing brownie.   Warning – these brownies are delicious, but they are messy.  If you’re going to serve these to company make sure you have lot’s of napkins on hand.

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The recipe:

2 eggs, room temperature

1 stick of margarine, softened

3/4 c. creamy peanut butter

3/4 c. brown sugar

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract

2 c. all-purpose flour

1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line the bottom of a 7”X11” pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, add the first (7) ingredients.  Beat with electric mixer until everything is creamy. Stir in vanilla extract.  Add flour, one cup at time, mix thoroughly.  Fold in chocolate chips.  Pour batter into pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick comes clean when inserted in the center.  Cut when cool.

The only thing I can think of that would make these a little better – vanilla ice cream! 

Are you party goer? Or, thrower?