Blueberry Ice Cream

Blueberry Ice Cream

My Mom and Daddy were visiting this week from Tennessee and my father is a big snacker. He’s also a big ice cream eater, so I thought it would be nice to whip up a batch. I had a bunch of blueberries in the freezer that I had frozen over the past few months and thought it would be fun to put them to use in Blueberry Ice Cream! I had never had this before, but what I came up with was really wonderful! Alexis really loved it and my Mom and Daddy seemed to like it too. I certainly loved it! It has a wonderful blueberry flavor that is a refreshing change from standard ice cream. Sometimes it’s nice to mix things up!

What You’ll Need:
4 cups of blueberries (Note: I had frozen the blueberries, but fresh blueberries will work just as well. You’re looking for big, normal sized blueberries, not those tiny frozen ones that you find in the freezer section.)
1 tablespoon of sugar
2 tablespoons of water
1 pint of half and half
1 quart of heaving cream
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 can of evaporated milk
1 cup of organic cane sugar

In a medium sized pan cook blueberries, 1 tablespoon of sugar and 2 tablespoons of water until sauce forms. (Note: You can cook it further until the blueberries break down or let them retain their shape. I chose to let them retain their shape so that there were lovely bits of frozen blueberries that popped in your mouth when you ate the ice cream. It’s a matter of personal choice.) Remove from heat and let cool completely before using in ice cream mixture. The easiest way to accomplish this is to put them in the fridge.

Mix cooled blueberry mixture, half and half, heavy cream, condensed milk, evaporated milk and sugar and stir to mix. Pour into your ice cream maker and freeze according to your machine’s directions. Serve immediately for soft serve ice cream or place in the freezer to let it set up to a harder state.

Blueberry Ice Cream

Note: I really loved the color this ice cream turned out to be! I used a large ice cream maker for this recipe. You can substitute any fruit you like for the blueberries. Strawberries are a personal favorite and peaches as well. You could even do a mix and make things really interesting!

Cherry Pie

Cherry Pie

Let’s talk cherries! What’s better than a fresh cherry pie? One thing is for certain though, the next time I make this little gem I’m going to have one of these! (Hint, hint again birthday fairy! Or perhaps in my case since he’s male the Birthday Elf! ;o)) Stained fingers aside, you can’t beat this pie. If you like fresh cherries, try it…You’ll fall in love!

What You’ll Need:
3 1/2 to 4 pounds of fresh cherries, pitted
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons of corn starch
1/8 teaspoon of salt
1 double pie crust (boxed or recipe)
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon of organic cane sugar

Preheat oven to 425 F.

In a large stock pot mix cherries, sugar and salt and cook until a sauce forms. (About 5-10 minutes. The cherries don’t have to be completely cooked, because they will finish cooking in the oven.) Stir in corn starch and cook for about 2 minutes to thicken. Remove from heat.

While cherries are cooking press a pie shell into a pie dish and trim the edges. When cherries are done pour them into the pie dish lined with the pie shell:

Cherry Pie Filled

Top the pie with another shell and cut vents or shape(s) to let out steam:

Cherry Pie Ready to Bake

Brush the top of the pie shell with beaten egg and sprinkle with one tablespoon of sugar.

Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown.

Pitted Cherries Ready To Be Made Into Pie Filling

Red, White and Blue Shortcake

Red, White and Blue "Shortcake"

I use the term “shortcake” here loosely at best, thus the quotes. The topping is constructed more like Baklava, though in truth I’ve never had, nor made Baklava. This is also my first time using phyllo dough. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be, but it was a bit of a learning curve! I will be using it again in the future. I have a lot of yummy ideas as to what can be done with phyllo so look for it again in the future! 😉 Regardless this fun little dessert, is delicious and is fun in the 4th of July holiday sense. Try it and see!

What You’ll Need:
1 package of phyllo dough, thawed
2 sticks of butter, melted
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 large star cookie cutter or 1 large star shape cut from aluminum foil and a very sharp knife
1 package of strawberries, sliced
1 package of blueberries
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
Whipped cream

For The Star “Shortcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Lay one layer of phyllo dough flat on a big piece of aluminum foil. Brush entire surface with melted butter and then sprinkle surface with sugar. Add another layer of phyllo dough and place it over the first layer, brush with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Repeat these steps until you run out of butter and sugar. (Note: Your top layer should be buttered and sugared as well. You may have some left of phyllo dough, but it can be refrozen according to the package.)

Using your cookie cutter or star shape and sharp knife cut out star shapes and place the stars on a baking sheet that has been lined with a silicone baking sheet or parchment paper. Bake stars for 5-10 minutes or until golden browned. Keep an eye on them as they can go from a lovely golden brown to burned in about 2 seconds flat! Remove stars from the oven and let cool completely. (Note: You could easily do this the night before. Also the scraps from the stars can be cooked and eaten too. 😉 )

For The Berry Mixture:

In a large bowl mix berries and sugar. Let sit in the fridge for at least an hour or until syrup forms.

To Assembled the Dessert:

Layer berries onto a small dessert plate, top with a “Shortcake” Star and a dollop of freshly made whipped cream.

Notes: Again raspberries could be used as they are red too, but if you’ve read Dianne’s Dishes for a while you know my opinion of those! ;o) You could also add a layer of Sabayon or custard on top of the berries and beneath the star, which I think I’m going to try next time. And if you’d like to make it on another occasion any summer fruit would be great! Peaches come to mind immediately. It’s an easy recipe to mix up!

Mixed Berry “Shortcake”

Mixed Berry "Shortcake"

This is a short cut to “shortcake” that is simple and delicious. My mom used to make this quite a bit during the summer months growing up. Just bake up a pie shell, crumble, throw in some berries and top with whipped cream. You’ll have dessert in no time!

What You’ll Need Per Person:
1/2 cup of sliced strawberries
1/2 cup of blueberries
1 tablespoon of organic cane sugar
1 cup of pie crust, baked and crumbled
Whipped Cream

Slice strawberries and add blueberries and sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes to one hour in the fridge or until syrup forms.

Bake pie crust and crumble.

In a single serving bowl top crumbled pie crust with berry/sugar mixture and whipped cream. Repeat for each person. Serve immediately. How simple is that?

Notes: I don’t care for raspberries, but you could easily add those in with or instead of the blueberries and strawberries. Blackberries would also be good, as would peaches. Mix it up. You can serve the pie crust warm or at room temperature. Either way is delicious.

Strawberry Granita

Strawberry Granita

Strawberry Granita Sometimes it’s nice to have a cool treat that is light and fruity, without the dairy and big calorie content. Coming in at about 65 calories a servings, granita is just the thing! It’s a basic, easy, relatively healthy little dessert. I made up a strawberry batch since we’ve got tons of them right now in the garden. It’s cold, fruity and delicious!

What You’ll Need:
1 cup of water
1/2 cup of organic cane sugar
3 cups of strawberries

In a medium sized pot cook water and sugar over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Remove simple syrup from heat and let cool to room temperature. Place strawberries in a food processor or blender and process until smooth. Add simple syrup and process or blend until mixed. Pour mixture into an 8 X 8 glass dish and place in the freezer.

Check every 20-30 minutes and scrape with a fork. The sides tend to freeze first so scrape them toward the center. Repeat this step until completely frozen (1-4 hours depending on your freezer).

This can be made several days in advance of when you want to use it or the same day. Store in an airtight container. Makes about 8 servings.

Notes: You could use pretty much any fruit you like. Orange juice would work, so would pineapple, or blueberry, or well you get the point. This mixture would also make excellent popsicles. Just pour the liquid into the popsicle mold and freeze. For an adult treat stir in 1/4 to 1/2 cup of light or coconut rum.

Spinach and Fruit Salad

Spinach and Fruit Salad

This is an oldie, but a goodie. With all the strawberries coming in in the garden it gives me the chance to make a lot of old strawberry favorites! My sister actually gave me a recipe similar to this when I was pregnant with Alexis and I craved it! Not surprisingly you’re looking at 4 of Alexis’ favorite foods now right there in the bowl (spinach, strawberries, blueberries and almonds…throw in some chicken, tomatoes and mozzarella here and there and the kid is in heaven! In fact in her mind she could survive on those alone, but that’s neither here nor there.)

The original recipe called for champagne vinegar (which I couldn’t find/wasn’t sure about using when I was pregnant anyway) and just strawberries paired with the spinach and almonds, but over the years I’ve tweaked it. Sometimes I use sugar in the vinaigrette, which the recipe called for and sometimes (and most of the time in fact) I use honey instead. I’ve tossed in cashews instead of almonds or used both of them at once. I’ve even used walnuts and paired it with apples and blue cheese. Feta works as well and any kind of fruit that strikes your fancy would be good, though I usually stick to just strawberries and/or blueberries and/or oranges.

Regardless of how you toss it (yeah I just went there! ;o)) this salad is the perfect meal for a summer time dinner or even lunch! It’s also another one of those that is easy and fun to play around with, making numerous yummy variations as you go!

What You’ll Need Per Person:
2 cups of baby spinach, washed and drained (Note: Even if the bag says it’s triple washed or whatever WASH it! You don’t know who has touched it or what conditions it has gone through despite of their claims. Unless you saw it washed with your own eyes don’t take the chance!)
1 cup of strawberries, sliced
1/2 cup of blueberries
1/3 cup of almonds (whole, slivers, slices, whatever you like)
1 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoon of vinegar (I prefer apple cider vinegar, but you can use whatever vinegar you like)
1 tablespoon of organic cane sugar or honey

Toss together spinach, strawberries, blueberries and almonds until incorporated. Mix olive oil, vinegar and sugar or honey to make a dressing. Drizzle over salad and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes: Due to the vinegar in the vinaigrette this salad wilts if stored so don’t make it too far in advance and realize that leftovers won’t store well and will end up a big wilted mess. I usually make it no more than 30 minutes in advance. Also I prefer more vinegar to oil, but if you prefer more oil equal the ratios or switch them around. It’s all according to personal taste.

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake is another of those recipes that takes me back to childhood summers. There are so many different ways to make the recipe. Some people use Angel food cake for a base, while some like Pound Cake and my Mom even sometimes served it with pie crust that had been baked and crumbled! I’ve used all of the above at some point in time, but anyway you slice it (oh dear lord, did I just say that?) it’s delicious none the less! Especially with fresh, just picked strawberries!

What You’ll Need For The Strawberry “Filling”:

Note: There is no exact measurement for this, but a general rule of thumb is roughly 1/3 cup of sugar per 4 cups of strawberries. If you want it sweeter add more sugar, if you want it less so add less. Tweak it until it comes out the way you like it.

Strawberry Caps

Wash berries and cap them. Cut into round slices or quarters. (I generally slice smaller berries in quarters and larger ones into round slices.) Pour sugar over and stir. Place in the fridge to let syrup form for 30 minutes to an hour at least. The longer they sit the better they get.

Strawberries Quartered for the Strawberry Shortcake

What You’ll Need For The Shortcakes:
3 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
1 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 tablespoon of baking powder
1 cup of trans-fat free shortening
1 cup of buttermilk
1 stick of butter, melted
Organic cane sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Mix flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder until incorporated. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter or a fork until flour mixture becomes pea like. Stir in buttermilk until dough forms and roll out with a rolling pin. Cut into small rounds as you would for biscuits and place on a baking sheet that is lined with a Silpat or parchment paper. Brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar to coat. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool.

What You’ll Need To Put The Shortcakes Together:
Cooled Shortcakes
Chilled strawberry and sugar mixture
Whipped Cream

Cut a shortcake in half and lay the bottom of the shortcake on a plate or bowl. Spoon on some of the strawberry sugar mixture on top of the bottom piece of the shortcake and then top with a dollop of freshly made whipped cream. Top with the remaining piece of shortcake and enjoy!

Kerry Apple Cake With Caramel Irish Cream Sauce And Whipped Cream

Kerry Apple Cake With Caramel Irish Cream Sauce And Whipped Cream

Here is another one of the Irish recipes I made to try yesterday. The cake itself is an Irish recipe I found a while back (with a few tweaks as always! ;o)) and I came up with the sauce myself. The cake is good warm or cooled and it has a wonderful cinnamon kick!

What You’ll Need For The Cake:
1 and 3/4 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup of organic cane sugar
4 eggs
The zest of one lemon
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of sea salt
1 teaspoon of baking soda
1 teaspoon of baking powder
2 cups of unbleached all purpose flour
2 apples, chopped into small cubes

Kerry Apple Cake

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cream together butter, sugar, eggs and lemon zest until creamy. Stir in cinnamon, nutmeg, sea salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add flour and stir until just mixed. Stir in apples and mix until incorporated throughout the batter.

Pour into a Bundt pan that has been sprayed with nonstick spray and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until cake is golden brown and sticks clean with a toothpick.

Turn cake out onto a plate as soon as you bring it out of the oven.

Let cool or eat warm, it’s good either way!

Kerry Apple Cake

What You’ll Need For The Sauce:
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons of natural brown sugar
1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup of Bailey’s Irish Cream with a hint of caramel (or regular Bailey’s is fine too!)

In a medium sauce pan add ingredients and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes and let cool before serving.

Drizzle over each slice of cake and top with whipped cream.

Irish Apple Duff

Irish Apple Duff

This was a recipe I found 10+ years ago. I was either living in Huntsville, Alabama or Knoxville, Tennessee at the time. I had never tried it, though it sat in my recipe box all that time and I came across it from time to time when I was searching for other recipes and I would look at it fondly. When I decided to do the Saint Patrick’s Day feast I decided it was time to pull it out of the box! I don’t remember were it originated, but the end product was delicious, tweaks and all! It’s very reminiscent of an American apple dumpling in ways, but different too, and most importantly, oh so delicious!

What You’ll Need:
1 package of puff pastry, thawed
4 Golden Delicious apples (or apples of your choice)
Natural brown sugar
1 egg, beaten
Organic cane sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400 F.

Take both puff pastry sheets and cut them in half across the middle giving you 4 pieces of puff pastry.

Core apples and place an apple in the middle of each piece of puff pastry. Push puff pastry up around the edges of the apple about halfway up each apple.

Place about 2 teaspoons of brown sugar in the bottom of each apple core hole. Top with raisins leaving about a cm opening at the top of the core hole.

Top with more brown sugar and pack tight. (It’s probably about 1 tablespoon total for each apple bottom and top. It isn’t much in the grand scheme of things. The apple does most of the sweetening.)

Brush the outside of the puff pastry with an egg wash and dust with sugar. The pastry will slide down as it bakes, so don’t be alarmed.

Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour until apple is soft and pastry is golden brown.

Serve plain or with whipped cream.

Note: If you wanted to use 2 packages of puff pastry, you could completely cover each apple in a bundle. It would take roughly one sheet to entirely enclose an apple and it would be good that way too!

Blueberry Eggrolls

Blueberry Eggrolls

When Jamison and I first got married we lived in Huntsville, Alabama and there was a Chinese restaurant that we frequented often. They had dessert egg rolls that were filled with pineapple and cream cheese. I made them a few years ago and thought of them again today when I was making the Vegetable Egg Rolls.

I thought about making some since I had some left over egg roll wrappers, but I realized I didn’t have any pineapple on hand since I rarely keep canned fruit and I haven’t gotten a pineapple lately. I saw some blueberries in the fridge and my mind kicked into gear and these lovely little goodies were the result!

What You’ll Need For The Blueberry Filling:
2 cups of blueberries
1 cup of organic cane sugar
The juice of one lemon
The zest of one lemon

What You’ll Need For The Cream Cheese Filling:
1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup of organic cane sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla

What You’ll Need For the Blueberry Eggrolls:
Blueberry filling
Cream cheese filling
Egg roll wrappers
Peanut oil for frying
More organic cane sugar for dusting

To Prepare Blueberries:

In a saucepan over medium heat cook blueberries, sugar, zest and water until they turn jelly like, stirring occasionally to make sure they aren’t sticking. Cool to room temperature. The blueberries will become thicker as they sit.

Blueberries Cooking

To Prepare Cream Cheese Filling:

Cream together cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth.

To Make The Blueberry Egg Rolls:

Blueberry Eggrolls

Preheat oil to 350 F.

Place approximately 1 tablespoon of blueberry filling and 1 tablespoon of cream cheese filling in the center of an egg roll wrapper. Fold using the same directions as the Veggie Egg Roll recipe.

Drop rolls into oil two at a time and fry for 1-2 minutes. Remove from oil and drain on paper towel. Sprinkle with organic cane sugar and serve hot.

Blueberry Eggrolls