Cobblers, Desserts, Fruit

Engagement Blueberry Cobbler

Simplicity at it’s finest–this Engagement Blueberry Cobbler is bound to be a hit and may even encourage your dinner guest to put a ring on it. 

Engagement Blueberry Cobbler

Engagement Blueberry Cobbler

Engagement Blueberry Cobbler

On July 13, just a few years ago, I whipped up an old stand by dessert, blueberry cobbler, to take to Ellie’s apartment as an accompaniment to veggie burgers and grilled asparagus. The food was delicious, the company was top notch (my best friend Rachel was there; it was very romantic), and by the end of the evening, I had a pretty diamond ring on my finger. I can’t say for sure that the blueberry cobbler is what made Ellie realize he better put a ring on it, but it’s not that hard to believe. This dessert can be pretty persuasive. 

Engagement Blueberry Cobbler

The recipe comes from my oldest and most loved cookbook, “More with Less“, a wonderful collection of recipes from various Mennonite communities. The recipes are all incredibly simple and, more often that not, a little strange. But amongst recipes for salmon loaf and scrambled eggs with egg noodles (actually, I really like that one), is a delightful recipe, simply called “Quick Fruit Cobbler”. The batter is flour, sugar, milk, baking powder, and salt and tastes wonderfully like vanilla cake. The fruit component is whatever you desire, fresh or frozen. I’ve made this most often with blueberries and I think once with peaches. But blueberries, for sure, are my favorite. On the day if July 13, my best friend Rachel and I had gone blueberry picking. The blueberry farm was aptly located right on Ellie Lane; the stars were so obviously aligned for us that day. 

Rachel was the one to encourage me to add more berries than what the original recipe called for; after I dutifully added the two cups, she kept saying, “a little more….more…more, okay”, until we arrived somewhere around three cups. True to most things in life, she was right and the extra fruit was perfect.

Freshly whipped cream is totally optional and absolutely encouraged. 

Engagement Blueberry Cobbler
Serves 6
Print
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
50 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup sugar
  2. 1/2 cup flour
  3. 1/2 cup milk (whole, skim, almond, whatever)
  4. 1 t. baking powder
  5. 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (1/4 t. table salt)
  6. 3 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8 square baking dish
  2. Combine in a bowl the sugar, flour, milk, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine.
  3. Pour flour and milk mixture into greased dish.
  4. Scatter the berries over evenly.
  5. Bake for 40 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
Adapted from More With Less
Adapted from More With Less
The Baker's Log http://www.thebakerslog.com/
Desserts, Drinks, Fruit

Roasted Strawberry Milkshakes

Ashley Rodriguez’s Roasted Strawberry Milkshakes take a classic treat and makes it a little more interesting, but just as delicious. 

Roasted Strawberry Milkshakes

Roasted Strawberry Milkshakes

Roasted Strawberry Milkshakes

Remember last spring when I was obsessed with going strawberry picking? It was my favorite activity and I even rejoiced when Ellie Rae would refuse to nap, because that just gave me an excuse to drive twenty minutes to my favorite strawberry patch and pick more. I must have gone through an identity crisis this year, because I only went once. I even promised the owner that I would be back many times. This past Saturday I went to the farmer’s market, frantically glanced at all the vendors, hoping she wouldn’t be there to call me on my bluff. She wasn’t there; I hope she’s okay. 

All that to say, this Roasted Strawberry Milkshake is made with store-bought berries, something I say with zero disdain, because people who look down on store-bought anything annoy me. But let’s be honest and say that strawberries from Publix may taste (just slightly) less delicious than one’s freshly picked, but that is the perfect opportunity to swoop in and roast them, because like we talked about here, roasting strawberries can cover a multitude of sins and really enhances and magnifies their flavor. 

This milkshake recipe is by Ashley Rodriguez, of the lovely blog, “Not Without Salt“. She first wrote about it on her blog and then Food52 featured and adapted it on their site last June. I took inspiration from both recipes and met them squarely in the middle. The result blew me away and made me wonder why I am not making milkshakes after dinner every night? So easy to make and such a fun treat. I especially loved this version, with the roasted strawberries which tasted almost too savory on their own, really shine when blended with the vanilla ice cream. Yum!

Roasted Strawberry Milkshakes

Roasted Strawberry Milkshake
Serves 2
Print
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
30 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. For the roasted strawberries
  2. 1 lb strawberries, cut in half lengthwise
  3. 3-4 tablespoons of sugar, depending on the sweetness of the berries
  4. 4 thinly slices of lemon
  5. For the milkshake
  6. 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  7. Roasted Strawberries
  8. Milk, as needed, to get desired consistency
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with silpat or parchment.
  2. Toss the strawberries with the sugar and scatter them on the baking sheet. Lay the lemon slices evenly on top.
  3. Roast for 30-40 minutes, until the berries soften and begin to crisp around the edges. Remove from oven and cool. Save any juices to add to the milkshake.
  4. To make the milkshake
  5. Combine the ice cream and roasted berries to a blender. Blend until totally smooth, adding a bit of milk, if necessary, to thin it out.
Adapted from Ashley Rodriguez
Adapted from Ashley Rodriguez
The Baker's Log http://www.thebakerslog.com/
A Slice of Life

Summer Reading

I’ve read some really great books this summer; some have been around for awhile, some are new-ish releases (very impressed that my library had some of these) and all I would recommend to read, at least once. 

Books Worth Re-Reading

You guys know I love re-reading. If I finish a book and immediately want to re-read it, that’s a good sign. 

American Wife // This was my first Curtis Sittenfield novel and I think I am a fan for life now. Loosely based on Laura Bush’s life, this book is about a girl name Alice who finds herself married to a staunch Republican with grand political plans.  

Olive Kitteridge // This came highly recommended to me by my aunt and cousin. Though it took me about 100 pages to really start enjoying the story, once I did, I couldn’t stop reading it. Olive Kitteridge is a retired teacher, married to Henry and a mother to her adult son, living in a small town in Maine. There are lots of characters in this book and the author does a wonderful job fleshing them out and making you fall in love with each of them.

The Help // You probably don’t need a synopsis because you read this in 2009 like any wise person would. Set in the early 1960’s in Jackson, Mississippi, the stories of three different, yet connected women, intersect in the midst of racial struggled. Absolutely loved it.  

The Martian // Astronaut named Mark Watney is believed to be dead on Mars. Much to everyone’s surprise, he is alive and now needs to figure out how to stay alive for the next 500 or so days, before he can be rescued. I loved the format of this book; if you don’t read it, at least watch the movie. 

Books I’m Glad I Read

I’m glad I read these and definitely recommend them, even if you just read them once. 

Astonish Me //  I was surprised by how much I liked this book. The story revolves around Joan, a former ballerina who left New York City as fast as she could, once she discovers she is pregnant. Now a mother to a son with an undeniable talent for ballet, she has no choice but to return to her first love. I should have guessed the plot twist, but I didn’t.  

The Lake House // Alternating between past and present, The Lake House is about solving a mystery from the 1930’s: the youngest son of a prominent family goes missing and his body is never found. I will say this book keeps you on your toes–so many unexpected twists and I loved that.   

The Nest // I’ve heard mixed reviews about this, but I really liked it. Four siblings with a host of problems and all with their own reasons on why they need their share of the family heritance (they refer to it as the Nest) right now.  Some language and content that I could have done without, but it was a fun summer read.  

Ready Player One // In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. Luckily, most people spend their days in the virtual world known as OASIS. A decades long contest is ongoing and Wade Watts is determined to win, along with his four online friends. I really want Ellie to read this. 

Whistling Past the Graveyard // In the summer of 1963, nine-year-old Starla Claudelle runs away from her strict grandmother’s Mississippi home. Starla’s destination is Nashville, where her mother went to become a famous singer, abandoning Starla when she was three. Walking a lonely country road, Starla accepts a ride from Eula, a black woman traveling alone with a white baby. A sweet and heartbreaking story, but with a wonderful ending.