Tag-Archive for ◊ family friendly ◊

28 Aug 2020 Blueberry Upside-Down Coffee Cake

Just a reminder, there’s no coffee in coffee cake. Coffee cake is cake to be eaten with a perfect cup of coffee.  And that, my friends, is what a weekend quarantine breakfast is all about.  Throw in a good book or a good companion and you’re in heaven.

I’ve been making this cake for decades, except that I had forgotten all about it for the past five or six years. Somehow this recipe went missing from one of my 13 recipe binders.  I didn’t even notice. Then my daughter Hannah brought this coffee cake over as a first day of on-line school snack during the 2020 pandemic. I asked her for the recipe. To which she responded, with a disbelieving eye roll, “Mommmm, it’s YOUR recipe”.  Ooops.

So here it is, the replacement for the missing recipe, the best blueberry coffee cake on the planet, Blueberry Upside-Down Coffee Cake.

Hint #1: If there’s no need for a fancy display, then there’s no need to actually turn the whole cake upside down. Just carve out a slice and turn upside down onto your plate.  You can add whipped cream, or not, depending on your breakfast/brunch rules. 

Hint #2: Don’t skimp on the lemon zest. The lemon zest (and butter) is what makes this cake sing!

I like this cake much better than any cake cooked with blueberries mixed into the batter. Cooked blueberries mess with the texture of any cake. In this cake, the blueberries shine as a layer, and the buttery cake also shines as a layer. You get to enjoy both the cake and the blueberries without one interfering with the other. Win-win! Oh, and it’s supposed to be served warm, win-win-win!

Blueberry Upside-Down Coffee Cake

For the Blueberry Layer

  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 3-4 cups fresh blueberries (18-24 oz)
  • 1 ½ tsp grated lemon zest
  1. Get out your best 9×13 inch pan.
  2. In a small saucepan, melt butter.
  3. Stir in brown sugar and boil gently for 3 full minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Pour the mixture into the bottom of the 9×13 pan, spreading carefully to make an even layer.
  5. Pour fresh blueberries on top of butter/brown sugar mixture.
  6. Sprinkle lemon zest evenly over the blueberry layer.

For the Cake

  • ¾ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (310 grams)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. With an electric mixer beat together butter and sugar. Continue to beat until light and fluffy, approx. 3-5 minutes.
  3. Gradually add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Stir in vanilla.
  5. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl.
  6. Add 1/3rd of dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and beat well.
  • Add half of the milk and beat until all of the milk has been incorporated,
  • Add another 1/3 of dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and beat well.
  • Add remaining milk and beat until all of the milk has been incorporated.
  • Add remaining flour mixture and beat well.
  • Stir in lemon zest
  • Pour batter over blueberries in 9×13 pan. Smooth with a spatula.
  • Place pan in a 350-degree oven for 45-50 minutes.  The top will be well browned. Use a toothpick to check that cake in the middle of the pan has been cooked.
  • Remove cake from the oven. If inverting, let cool for 3 minutes. Run a knife along all sides to loosen the cake from the pan. Invert onto a large rectangular platter or cutting board. 
  • Serve warm, with or without optional whipped cream or pouring custard.
26 Jul 2020 Homemade Ketchup
-:: Fresh Homemade Ketchup ::-

Every year I plant tomatoes and every year, for a period of a few weeks, I have more tomatoes than any one family could ever use. I have some recipes on this blog that call for a lot of homegrown tomatoes: Fresh Tomato Lasagna and Tomato Tart jump to mind because we make them every summer. This year we have added two wonderful new recipes, Homemade Tomato Ketchup and Tomato Jam.

This is my recipe for Tomato Ketchup. The recipe originated with Saveur Magazine, was adapted by someone, and then adapted again by myself. I switched from using whole spices wrapped in cheesecloth to ground spices stirred in at the beginning. So much easier!

This ketchup is DELICIOUS. We even taste-tested, side-by-side with Heinz ketchup, this ketchup, and McDonald’s fries. Eight testers, and not one chose the Heinz over this ketchup. One tester even complained about the gluey texture of the Heinz ketchup, something she had never noticed before (OK, so that tester was me)… ?

The ketchup is EASY to make, but it does involve a lot of dishes and utensils: cutting board, sharp knife, stockpot, wooden spoon, a blender, a sieve, measuring spoons, and small bowl. But really…, that’s not too much for a six month’s supply of delicious homemade ketchup with no preservatives, no artificial flavourings, and no chemical thickening agents, is it?

Homemade Tomato Ketchup

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 pounds homegrown tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion peeled and chopped
  • 1-2 Anaheim chilies, seeded and chopped, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed or diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 -1/2 teaspoon chile flakes, optional
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 4 oz. (125 grams or 10 tablespoons) light brown sugar

To finish, optional:

  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2-3 tablespoons cold water

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Place all ingredients, except for the cornstarch and cold water, in a large stockpot.
  2. Simmer mixture over medium heat until tomatoes and chiles are soft and onions are translucent and limp, about 45-60 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat, and let mixture cool (because blending hot liquids can be dangerous and messy). Remove bay leaves.
  4. In batches (probably 3 batches, depending on the size of your blender and temperature of tomato mixture), place tomato mixture into a blender and blend until very smooth.
  5. Strain the ketchup through a fine-mesh strainer and return to the cooking pot (straining removes seeds and peels). Press on the solid pieces to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the solids.
  6. Once all the pureed liquid has been returned to the pan, cook over medium-low heat for an additional 30-45 minutes or until thickened to your preference.
  7. OPTIONAL: If your ketchup doesn’t thicken to your liking (some tomatoes have more liquid in them than other tomatoes), mix a slurry of cornstarch and cold water. Bring tomato mixture to a rapid boil and, stirring constantly, pour in the cornstarch slurry.  Continue to boil and stir for a full minute.
  8. Remove ketchup from heat and let cool.
  9. Ketchup can be stored in a sealed container (preferably glass) in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks and frozen for 6 months or more.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. Tomato Jam will be up soon!

27 Apr 2020 Blackberry Ribs
Blackberry Ribs on the grill

Blackberry Ribs, one of my family’s favorite BBQ dishes (a close runner up is my Triple Threat Chicken, also on this page).

Quantities are set for 3 lbs. of baby back ribs. I usually make a Costco batch, six pound of pork ribs with double the rub and double the sauce.

This is an easy recipe. Ribs are rubbed, baked in the oven, dunked in the Blackberry BBQ sauce and then finished on the grill.

To cut down on work and mess on BBQ day, ribs can be baked in advance, cooled, brushed with the Blackberry BBQ sauce and refrigerated.  On BBQ day remove ribs from refrigerator, bring to room temperature, then grill until warm throughout.

I like a fruity BBQ sauce, but it’s adventurous fare for some.  Some of your less adventurous eaters might register reservations before tasting, but after tasting, they’ll be fine, and happy!

On another note, one time I couldn’t find blackberries, so substituted blueberries, which worked fine, too

I’ve been making Blackberry Ribs since 2007. I found the original recipe on Epicurious.

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs. baby back ribs

For the Rub:

  • 4 tsp. chili powder added 1 tsp each of chipotle and ancho chili powders
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. sugar

For the Blackberry BBQ sauce:

  • 2 ½ cups fresh blackberries (12-18 oz)
  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup honey
  • 2 tablespoon fresh ginger paste or diced fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Tabasco (or to taste) or substitute desired quantity of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. salt

Instructions:

  1. Line baking sheets with foil, you’ll need two or three baking sheets.
  2. Place racks of ribs on foil-lined baking sheets.
  3. Mix rub ingredients together in a small bowl.
  4. Sprinkle rub ingredients onto ribs, putting most on the front meaty sides, and only a sprinkle on the back boney sides. Rub in.
  5. Let ribs sit for until they come to room temperature, or for about 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  7. Place ribs in a preheated hot oven, meaty side up, for 50 minutes. Prepare grill if planning to BBQ now.
  8. While ribs are baking, prepare Blackberry BBQ Sauce.
  9. Place all sauce ingredients into a blender and puree until smooth.
  10. Strain the puree into a heavy-duty medium saucepan. Discard all the solids collected in the sieve.
  11. Bring puree to a boil and simmer slowly for about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  12. Reduce the sauce to 1 cup. (Measure this by pouring sauce into a 1 cup measuring jug. If not reduced to 1 cup, return puree to pan and continue cooking. Measure again. Continue like this until sauce is reduced to the 1 cup mark. (NOTE: if doubling the recipe, reduce sauce to 2 cups) . If  sauce is too thick, thin with a splash of beer, bourbon, coffee, water, juice, Chambord…your choice, make it your own!)
  13. Season sauce to taste with salt, pepper, and hot sauce, if needed.
  14. Remove ribs from oven.
  15. When cool enough to handle cut rack of ribs into 1 or 2 rib portions.
  16. Brush ribs with sauce on all sides. Use only a little more than half the sauce. Save some sauce to brush onto rubs after grilling. (At this point, ribs can be refrigerated to be grilled later.)
  17. Place ribs on hot grill. (Adding soaked wood chips to the charcoal is a good idea, too.)
  18. Cover grill for smoke to infuse the ribs.
  19. Reheat remaining Blackberry BBQ sauce (OK to warm in microwave)
  20. Grill ribs until hot, turning as necessary.
  21. Remove ribs to serving platter and brush with reserved and warmed Blackberry BBQ Sauce

Share and Enjoy!

29 Mar 2020 Sourdough Bread
 |  Category: Breads  | Tags: , , , ,  | 2 Comments

I’ve heard there’s a yeast shortage in these days of Coronavirus Quarantine. I find that truly odd. I didn’t know there were so many people wanting, and able, to make their own bread. Yeasted breads were my Everest for a long, long time, most of my life, in fact. Recently, though, I have gotten into making Sourdough bread. I have posted my recipe below. If you need a starter and live nearby, text me. I will set out a jar on my front porch for you to pick up. Now let’s just hope you are able to get your hands on enough flour, which has been a challenge recently. If you can’t find bread flour, all-purpose can be substituted.

You’ll need a 5 or 6 quart covered Dutch Oven (although my daughter gets by with the smaller version) a Banneton Mold (order on-line) or substitute a greased and floured bowl. It might be a good idea to watch a few technique videos about stretching and folding if my description of the technique is not enough.

I make a few loaves of this bread each week. My adult children have standing orders. In the days past, when I used to be able to go out or host dinner parties, I would often serve a loaf. Everyone seems to love it.

PLAN AHEAD! This recipe takes a minimum of 3 days to make. You need to feed the starter, make the dough, age the dough, bake the dough, and only then can you eat the bread.

SOURDOUGH BREAD

  • 150 grams starter (fed 8-18 hours previously)
  • 235 grams water (I use slightly warm water)
  • 420 grams bread flour (OR 60 grams whole wheat flour PLUS 300 grams bread flour)
  • ¼ tsp diastatic malt powder (optional, helps with rising. Available on Amazon)
  • 11 grams salt

NOTES ON STARTER:

  1. Starter should be fresh, bubbling, and at room temperature.
  2. Before using starter, measure out 50 grams into another glass jar, stir in 100 grams of water and 100 grams of flour until well combined. Cover loosely and set on counter. Use this mixture to make next loaf but be sure to retain another 50 grams for the following loaf. It’s a never-ending cycle.
  3. NOTE: Starter should not sit out on counter more than 24 hours. Refrigerate until needed. Then feed. Leave on counter. Wait 8-18 hours. Make another loaf of bread, retaining and feeding another 50 grams of starter. Like I said, it’s a never-ending cycle.

TO PREPARE DOUGH

  1. In a medium mixing bowl combine room temperature, fed (8-18 hours previously), fresh, bubbling starter with the water and stir well.
  2. In another bowl combine flour, malt powder and salt, stir to combine.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.
  4. Stir with fork, hand, wooden spoon or spatula to hydrate the flour. Don’t use an electric mixer or a dough hook.
  5. Place dough onto a piece of baking parchment, flatten slightly, and dimple with fingers. Dust with more flour, if needed. Cover the dough with a bowl and let sit for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove bowl from the top of the dough. If dough is still wet, sprinkle with more bread flour. Grab two sides of dough and stretch, without tearing. Fold the dough back on top of itself. Turn dough 180 degrees, stretch and fold these two ends. Cover dough ball with mixing bowl and let sit for 15-20 minutes. Do this two more times and let set 15-20 minutes between each stretch and fold.
  7. After the fourth rest, shape the dough into a round, tuck in the bottom edges of the dough under itself until the top is smooth. Cover with the mixing bowl again and let rest 5 minutes.
  8. Place dough ball into a flour-covered 8 or 9-inch banneton mold. Allow dough to rise until it has visibly expanded and usually to the top edge of the banneton.
  9. Cover dough with plastic wrap in refrigerate for 12-36 hours to develop sourdough flavor (the longer in the refrigerator, the sourer the bread).

WHEN READY TO BAKE.

  1. Remove dough from refrigerator an hour or so before baking.
  2. Turn banneton mold upside down onto a piece of parchment paper. Wait for dough to flop out of the mold and onto the paper.
  3. Preheat oven to 475, with a 5- or 6-quart Dutch Oven IN the oven.
  4. When dough is out of mold, slash top with a razor blade or lame.
  5. When oven is hot and Dutch oven is hot, using the parchment paper, transfer the dough to the Dutch oven. Quickly replace the lid and put the Dutch oven with dough in hot oven.
  6. Bake 18 minutes at 475 and then remove lid. Continue to bake bread for another 16 minutes. Internal temperature of bread should be 205-210 degrees.
  7. Remove bread from Dutch oven and let cool to internal temperature of 90 degrees before cooking.

Thanks for stopping by my kitchen today. Have fun making, and enjoying, your own sourdough bread!