Blueberry Streusel Kuchen

BlueberryK-S (12) I had some beautiful farm market blueberries and decided to go to my favorite kuchen recipe which is adapted from a German version.  The original recipe called for quark, but I used ricotta.  Sour cream or yogurt will also work fine.  The cake base is covered with an easy, cooked blueberry sauce …. BlueberryK-S (8) …and topped with a delicious streusel … BlueberryK-S (10) This makes a lovely breakfast or dessert cake, served warm or room temperature.

BLUEBERRY STREUSEL KUCHEN

Blueberry topping

  • 1-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 Tblsp. cornstarch
  • 2 tsp. water
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Kuchen

  • 3 Tblsp. canola oil
  • 3 Tblsp. ricotta cheese, yogurt or sour cream
  • 3 Tblsp. milk
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup plus
  • 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour

Streusel

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tblsp. light brown sugar
  • 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 2 Tblsp. butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray or grease an 8-inch baking pan

To make blueberry topping: In a medium saucepan, place blueberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch and water.  Cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until sugar and cornstarch are dissolved and mixture just begins to bubble.  Remove from heat – stir in vanilla.   Set aside.

To make kuchen: In a medium bowl, place the oil, ricotta/sour cream, milk, sugar, salt and baking powder.  Whisk until blended.  Stir in flour just until mixed well.  Batter will be thick – spread batter in prepared 8-inch pan, using fingertips dampened with water to push the batter in place.

To make streusel: In a small bowl, mix together the flour, brown sugar and granulated sugar.  Mix in the butter until mixture is blended. Spread the reserved blueberry mixture on top of the batter and then cover with streusel. Bake @ 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes until cake is browned on edges and beginning to brown on top. Serve warm or room temperature.  Yield:  6 servings

BlueberryK-S (1)

Stars and Pinwheels QAL – Block 2 – Flying Fan

Apron-PH (2)

Susan of Desertsky Quilting has posted the second block in her block-of-the-month series, Stars and Pinwheels QAL.  The new block is called Flying Fan.  https://desertskyquilts.wordpress.com/2015/06/20/stars-and-pinwheels-qal-flying-fan/

This is an easy, fun block   I am using the blocks in this series to make a different project each month.  This month, I used four of the Flying Fan blocks – the original 12-inch block and three blocks I reduced to 7 inches (thanks to my Electric Quilt software).

I wear aprons all the time and thought a new one for the July 4th holiday was in order.  I like roomy aprons without strings at the neck or waist and with a good pocket.  I used a pattern which is adapted from a 1930s era apron I found in an antique mall.  https://lillianscupboard.wordpress.com/2011/05/19/a-vintage-apron-clone/

The 12-inch block is part of the design element at the top of the apron and a 7-inch block was lined and is used as a pocket.

Apron-PH (3)

I had enough fabric left for two potholders, using the 7-inch blocks.  I like to make “slipcovers” for oven mitts and pot holders (this is how I do it).   I’ve been using some good-quality mitts/holders for over 20 years, laundering the “slip covers” as needed and replacing them when they become worn.

Apron-PH (1)

This was a good block to use in these projects and I’m looking forward to next month’s block which should be a star.  I’m already thinking what I could put in the center of the star and what the new project might be.

Apron-PH (4)

Quick and Creamy Tomato Pasta Sauce

creamy sauce-T
The use of canned tomatoes and whipping cream was intriguing in this recipe.  I made the preparation even easier by using dried minced onions and minced garlic in a jar.  This is a mild, creamy sauce that is a nice change from the more robust kinds.  My daughters and I enjoyed this over fresh tortellini.

QUICK AND CREAMY TOMATO PASTA SAUCE

14 oz. can of crushed tomatoes (1-¾ cups), not drained
2 Tblsp. dried minced onions
½ tsp. minced garlic (from jar)
¼ tsp. each of dried basil, oregano and thyme
2 Tblsp. butter
2 tsp. light brown sugar
½ cup whipping cream

Salt/pepper to taste

4 servings of pasta, cooked

In a medium saucepan, place tomatoes, dried minced onions, minced garlic, and dried herbs.  Bring this mixture to a simmer and turn heat to medium low.  Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the butter and brown sugar and cook for 5 minutes longer, stirring.

Add cream, stirring until blended.  Add salt/pepper to taste.  Remove from heat and serve immediately over hot pasta.

creamy sauce-B

Five Good Vintage Finds

VintBuys

In the past week or so, I’ve had good luck in finding five vintage pieces to add to my ever-growing collections.  The first was from eBay – a 1930s era paper fan with artwork by Fern Bisel Peat (1893-1971).  I collect vintage scottie pieces and this one is in near-mint condition.

ScottieFan (2)

The back shows an advertisement for Triena children’s laxative (Allied Drug Products of Chattanooga) that was for sale by Farmers Mercantile in Nelagoney, Oklahoma.

ScottieFan (1)

I found three wonderful items in antique malls – a Homer Laughlin gravyboat ….

HL-gravy

….a Jadeite bowl with lip ….

Jadeite-lipbwl

…. and a set of chubby pre-WWII made-in-Japan bird salt/pepper shakers.  I’m particularly drawn to these birds which were sold in dime stores in the 1930s.

BluebrdSP

The last item, and the biggest bargain, was found in a Goodwill thrift store for less than $3.00.  This Roseville child’s plate is well worn and faded, obviously used a lot, which I prefer in my pieces.  There was one in almost identical condition selling on eBay for $25.

Rosev-sunbonnet

It’s unusual for me to buy this many pieces in a short period of time, even at good prices, but when I see them, I grab them.

 

Click on pictures to enlarge.

Your Choice Fruit Salsa and Crisps

I saw this recipe on spendwithpennies.com and adapted it to make a smaller amount and to use almost any kind of fresh fruit.  The fruit should be diced into ½-inch cubes to make it easy to scoop up with the delicious cinnamon crisps.  A lovely, summertime, light dessert.

AnyFruitSal (4)

YOUR CHOICE FRUIT SALSA AND CRISPS

Cinnamon Crisps:
4 10-inch flour tortillas
Cooking spray
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

Fruit Salsa:
4 cups of assorted fruit cut into ½ inch cubes (strawberries, blueberries, apple, pineapple, banana, peach, kiwi, etc.) – your choice

1 Tblsp. lemon juice
1 Tblsp. fruit preserves or jam (I used my homemade blueberry jam)

To make cinnamon crisps:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
Combine cinnamon and sugar
Spray each tortilla on top with cooking spray and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar.

Cut each tortilla into 6 wedges and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until light brown and crisp (watch carefully so the wedges don’t burn).

To make the salsa:
Combine the prepared fruit with the lemon juice and preserves/jam, tossing lightly.

AnyFruitSal (2)

Allow to come to room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving.

To serve:
Divide fruit salsa among four small dessert dishes and serve 6 cinnamon crisps with each dish.

AnyFruitSal (1)

Stars and Pinwheel QAL–Block 1 – Indian Star

IndianStar

Susan at Desert Sky Quilting is hosting a block-of-the-month quilt-along featuring stars and pinwheels.  The first block is Indian Star – an easy but interesting block offered in two options.  The first option is using squares and half-square triangles; the second option has flying geese patches.

Since I have back problems and don’t make large quilts any longer, I’m participating in this quilt-along by using each block as I make it into something I can use at home or into a project that will make a nice gift.  I made the blocks in both versions.

012

I used the first block to make a book bag for carrying my requisite 4-books-at-a-time back and forth to the library.  The back of the bag includes a vintage embroidery piece adapted from an old coloring book.

019

The second version was made into a project box which I designed to set on my sewing table with pockets on the inside to hold instructions and other essentials along with the fabric for the project.  I lined the bag with medium-weight canvas and added stiff interlining so the bag will set upright.

021

The embroidered panel is from one I found on the internet and good for me since I do almost all of my quilting on the machine.

015

This promises to be a fun quilt-along and Susan is meticulous about her instructions which makes everything easy and enjoyable.  Hope you’ll join us here.

 

Strawberry and Amaretto Tiramisu

Straw-Tira (3)

I’ve seen a few recipes for Strawberry Tiramisu online but went back to my original recipe which my family loves, substituting Amaretto for the Kahlua I normally use and adding fresh strawberries.  This might be our new favorite, certainly during the strawberry season.  It’s very easy to put together, not too sweet and a good make-ahead dessert.

Straw-Tira (2)

STRAWBERRY AND AMARETTO TIRAMISU

One package Italian lady fingers (about 12 lady fingers – I use Alessi Biscotti Savoiardi)
¼ to 1/2 cup Amaretto (to pour over lady fingers – they should be evenly moist)
One cup of fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced
4 oz. cream cheese, softened
15 oz. light ricotta cheese
2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed (Cool Whip)
9 fresh strawberry-halves for garnish

Place the lady fingers in a layer in bottom of 9-inch pan.  Pour Amaretto over the lady fingers.  Arrange sliced strawberries over lady fingers.  Set aside.

In a large mixer bowl, beat together the cream cheese and ricotta cheese until smooth.  Fold in whipped topping.

Spoon the cream cheese mixture over the top of the lady fingers and strawberries.  Place the strawberry halves over the top of the dessert, creating 9 servings.  Cover and refrigerate at least two hours or overnight.

To serve, cut dessert into 9 servings, including a fresh strawberry half.  Refrigerate leftovers.

Straw-Tira (1)