Well, life for all has been a challenge since we were last here. Hopefully by the time this is published, this awful virus that has taken so many, will have vanished as quickly as it came. Personally though, I have to admit, I’ll be going back out with a bit of trepidation.
So, what have I been doing being home all the time? First off, I, along with many other women, was sewing LOTS of masks that got distributed to local hospitals and various other agencies in need. And secondly, I was in the kitchen a lot. Having a sweet tooth, I found myself baking much more than I usually do. And I’m sure you can all relate to not having the exact ingredient you need to try a new recipe. Here’s my story…
I pulled out one of my favorite cookbooks that are all apple recipes with the intent of making my favorite apple bread. Marking the page was a recipe I had obviously cut out of a magazine sometime in the past 40 years. It was for a fruit crumble using blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. I love blueberries and 99% of the time I buy fresh but on a whim one day I bought a bag of frozen blueberries. After tasting them, the only thing I could use them for was a dessert where sugar would be added. So anyway, not having any berries other than these frozen things, I winged it. I shared some with a friend – more like a trade…I needed elastic for the masks, so left her some dessert. I received a text that evening with an OMG that was delicious!
The next thing I did was another ingredient substitute. I had made some almond butter in my Vitamix using vegetable oil and a tiny bit of sesame oil, as I didn’t have any canola oil. I thought it came out great. Then a day or two later I get a craving to make peanut butter cookies. I had a recipe for a ‘classic peanut butter cookie’ and of course, having no PB, made my substitution with the almond butter. Shared with another friend who said she couldn’t stop eating them. Grand success!
While I’m aware that these are not items one would normally be preparing out on the water, you can make them ahead at home and bring it with you. The recipes for both my creations are below. Enjoy!!
Summer Fruit Oatmeal Crumble
1/2 cup of light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. of salt
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1/4 cup of chopped pecans (or walnuts)
1/2 cup of old-fashioned oats (I had quick cooking and it was fine)
1-1/2 tsp. of orange zest
1/2 cup of cold unsalted butter
6 cups of blueberries
OR the original recipe was 2 cups each of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tsp. of lemon juice
2 Tb. of all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. of cinnamon
Preheat the oven to 350°.
For the topping: Place sugar, salt, flour, nuts, oats and zest in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until blended. Add butter and mix on low until small clumps form.
For the filling: In a large bowl, toss together the berries, sugar, lemon juice, flour and cinnamon until fruit is coated evenly. Spread evenly into an 8-inch square baking dish. Spread the topping over the fruit in an even layer. Place the dish on a baking sheet and bake for 40-50 minutes until the top is nicely browned and fruit is bubbling. Remove from the oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream or just have by itself. So good!
My Almond Cookies
1 cup unsalted butter
1 cup pure almond butter, preferably homemade (**see below)
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2-1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. of baking powder
1⁄2 tsp. of salt
1-1⁄2 tsp. of baking soda
Preheat the oven to 375°
Cream the butter, almond butter, and sugars together in a bowl; beat in eggs.
In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; stir into butter mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Put dough in refrigerator for 1 hour.
Roll dough into 1-inch balls (I just used a small scoop and didn’t roll into balls) and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball with a fork, making a crisscross pattern. Bake for about 10 minutes or until cookies begin to brown. Let cool and store as you would any homemade cookie. Makes about five dozen…I got less because the batter was to die for…
** My Vitamix homemade almond butter – Soak 4 cups unsalted almonds overnight in 4 cups of water. Next day, drain the almonds, rinse and place in Vitamix with 1/4-1/3 cup of vegetable oil and 2 tb. of sesame oil. Follow directions for using the blender for nut butters adding a little more vegetable oil if mixture seems too dense. Store in refrigerator.