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In the 1980s-90s, my husband and I lived in a rural area called Blue Jay, located on the Ohio/Indiana border.  My husband had a huge garden and every kind of berry bush and fruit tree that does well in our area.  My favorites were the black raspberries and we got bumper crops year after year.  I used them in every conceivable way, but regret that I found this recipe after we had to leave our country home and all the wonderful berries.  It’s a quick, easy way to turn 1-½ cups of fresh raspberries into a delicious dessert with a little cake and lots of berries.

Butter is melted in the oven in a 9-inch pie plate.  Then cake batter is poured over the butter (no stirring) and berries are scattered on top along with a sprinkling of sugar.  The cake rises up over the berries to form a thin layer and is delicious warm from the oven or at room temperature.

Raspberry Mountain


¼ cup butter, cut into small pieces
½ cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
Dash of salt
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¾ tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup plus 2 Tblsp. milk
1-½ cups fresh raspberries
Additional 1-1/2 Tblsp. granulated sugar for topping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and melt butter in 9-inch pie plate   Heat until butter is melted but not brown.

Meanwhile, mix flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, salt and baking powder in bowl.

Stir in milk.  Pour this batter over the melted butter – DO NOT STIR.

Drop berries over top, scattering evenly over surface.  DO NOT STIR.

Sprinkle 2 Tblsp. granulated sugar on top and bake for 30 minutes @ 350 F degrees.

The butter and batter rise to make a thin top crust that is buttery, sugary and crunchy at the edges.

Delicious plain or with a bit of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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grapebite-top

I adapted this recipe from one on writes4food and changed a few things to make it a dessert rather than an appetizer.  The combination of flavors is wonderful.  I used these as a light dessert, but I can also see two or three of them on a plate with some fancy sandwiches for a tea.  They are neither difficult nor time-consuming to make, but a little messy.

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

GRAPE AND ALMOND BITES

  • 5.3 oz. pkg. goat cheese (cold from refrigerator)
  • 3 oz. cream cheese (cold from refrigerator)
  • 2 tsp. apple juice
  • 20 seedless grapes
  • ¼ cup plus 2 Tblsp. toasted sliced almonds, finely chopped.

grapebite-place
Use goat cheese and cream cheese directly from the refrigerator so it will be easier to handle.  In a small bowl, mix together the goat cheese, cream cheese and apple juice.  Take out a scoop of the cream mixture that is just slightly bigger than the grape.  In the palm of your hand, form the cheese into a ball and then press the grape into the cheese, pressing it into place to cover the grape completely.  Roll in chopped almonds.

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Place completed grape on a paper plate or waxed-paper-lined plate.

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Repeat with the remaining grapes and cheese mixture. Roll each cheese-covered grape in the toasted almonds to coat lightly. Place on plate, cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes to set the cheese.
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Yield: 20 Grape and Almond bites (depending on size of grapes)

I used 5 of the bites as a light dessert at lunch – 4 servings 

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bbrhutop

I found the basic idea for this recipe several years ago, but changed it around quite a bit to make it easier to prepare and to use what I had on hand.  Other than 10 minutes or so it takes to slice the rhubarb (use thawed frozen rhubarb if you can find it), it’s very quick to make, delicious and a bit different from anything I’ve ever had before. The fig bars give it a unique flavor.

When I picked up the rhubarb at my local Meijer store, the young man at the checkout asked me what it was.  When I told him it was rhubarb, he asked, “Do you eat it like celery?”  I told him it was extremely tart and better cooked in a pie or dessert (like this one).

RHUBARB BLUEBERRY DELIGHT

  • 3 cups prepared fresh rhubarb (about one pound)*
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 12 fig bars (Fig Newtons)
  • ½ to ¾ cup whipped topping, thawed (Cool Whip) or whipped cream

*Wash and dry rhubarb and cut down the center lengthwise if thick.  Cut into pieces approximately 1-½ inches long, removing tough skin and strings.

In a medium pan, combine rhubarb, sugar and water.  Bring to a boil over medium low heat.  Continue to cook for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until rhubarb is tender and a sauce has formed.  Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Set our 4 dessert dishes.  I wanted to use my vintage two-handled bowls which measure about 1-½ inches deep x 4-¾ inches across the top.

bwlsize

In the bottom of each bowl, crumble one fig bar.

1st crumbs

Top with cooled rhubarb/sauce.  Crumble a fig bar over the top of the rhubarb.

2ndcrumbs

Add one tablespoon of whipped topping/cream.

1stcream
Sprinkle ¼ cup of blueberries over each serving.

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Crumble a fig bar over the blueberries.  Top with one tablespoon of whipped topping/cream.

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Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to serve.

Makes 4 servings 

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I found this recipe in an old cookbook, Favorite Recipes of Indiana.  It makes a very good suppertime dessert – easy and quick to make.

APPLE GOO

  • 2 medium tart apples, pared and diced in small pieces (Golden Delicious, Granny Smith)
  • ½ to ¾ cup granulated sugar (depending on tartness of apples)
  • ½ cup chopped nuts
  • ½ cup chopped dates
  • 2 Tblsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 egg, beaten

In a medium bowl, combine apples, sugar, nuts and dates.  Mix flour with baking powder and salt; blend into apple mixture.  Stir in beaten egg.


Place mixture in a greased 8” baking pan.

Bake @ 350 for approximately 30 minutes until apples are done and top is golden brown.

Serve with whipped cream or topping.


Good warm or chilled.  4-6 servings 


My youngest son and his family (including their dog) come to visit every summer around the end of July.  He graduated from college, married his fiancee, moved to St. Louis and began his engineering career all within a month’s time in 1982.  This is my favorite picture of them taken quite a few years ago.  The girls have both graduated from college by now….


…and the dog, Brandy, passed away and has been replaced by Maggie.


Each year, there’s the decision of what to cook, particularly for the big family meal when everyone gets together.  It’s always blistering hot, of course, and I don’t want to spend all of my time in the kitchen.  This year, I decided to serve corn-on-the-cob from my local farm market and a Salad Buffet.  All but one of the salads have been posted previously on my blog and are old favorites:

  • Vegetable Pasta Salad.  This is an adaptation of the Tuna and Veggie Salad posted previously.  I omitted the tuna so I could have one plain pasta salad.

  • Thai-Inspired Chicken and Noodle Salad.  This is a new salad this year and we all like it very much.  It’s good either room temperature or chilled.

THAI-INSPIRED CHICKEN AND NOODLE SALAD

  • 8 oz. ( 4 cups) LoMein noodles (or thin spaghetti)
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup Teriyaki sauce
  • 1/3 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 3 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • few gratings of black pepper
  • 2 chicken breast halves, baked and shredded
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add pasta and cook until al dente according to package directions.  Drain pasta and rinse with cold water.  Transfer pasta to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, combine canola oil, Teriyaki sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, peanut butter, ginger and pepper.   Mix well until smooth.  Pour dressing over pasta and toss to coat evenly.  Gently mix in chicken, cilantro and toasted sunflower seeds.

This makes a big bowl of salad – 6 to 8 servings.

For dessert we had a sundae bar and then went out on the patio to work off the calories.  My daughter-in-law brought water balloons and small fireworks and the visit ended with a flourish.

Already, I’m wondering – what can I cook next year?


This recipe comes from two sources – the fruit portion is from a Crisco flyer, American Pie Celebration, and the cobbler topping is my favorite from Farm Journal’s Complete Pie Cookbook.  The Farm Journal stresses dropping the cobbler dough onto piping hot fruit.

CELEBRATION PEACH COBBLER

Fruit Mixture

  • 4 cups sliced fresh peaches
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • Dash of nutmeg

Cobbler Topping:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 1-½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
  • ½ cup milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Have a 9-inch square baking pan or 2-quart baking dish at hand.

To Make Fruit Mixture:
In a large saucepan, combine peaches, sugar, water and cornstarch.  Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until mixture comes to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring constantly for one minute.  Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg.  Pour into a 9-inch square baking dish or a 2-quart baking dish.

To Make Cobbler Topping:
Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.  Blend in the shortening until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Stir in the milk to make a soft dough.

Drop tablespoons of cobbler topping over surface of piping hot fruit mixture.

Bake @ 400 degrees F for 20-30 minutes until fruit is bubbly and topping is golden brown.

6 servings.  Serve in bowls with cobbler juices. 


This is a wonderful cobbler served warm.  I try to time it so it’s coming from the oven  to  cool for 20 minutes or so while we’re eating dinner.  It’s a lovely dessert  plain or topped with a little cream or whipped topping.