Blueberry Rhubarb Delight (with Fig Bars)

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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.

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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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A Summer Supper from Leftovers

sunflowerAfter cooking dinner for guests on Sunday, I had some leftover grilled chicken and some pasta – very small amounts.  I also had one large ripe peach and a little bit of rhubarb from my garden.  I thought if I put all of the small amounts together in the right way, I might have a nice supper for myself.

I used the peach and rhubarb along with some staples to make a Fruit Betty.  I found this recipe in a 1976 Redbook cookbook which I had gotten way back in the day for subscribing to Redbook magazine.  It’s been a good source for me all these years, although I had never made this dish before.

While the dessert was cooling, I put together a simple  salad with the chicken, pasta, some onion, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil and one of my favorite dressings.

It was a very easy, fast and tasty meal.  I might have to come up with these particular leftovers again sometime.

RHUBARB AND PEACH BETTY

  • 1-1/2 cups fresh rhubarb, cut in 1″ pieces
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh peach slices
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 slices white bread, cut in 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 Tblsp. granulated sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

In a medium bowl, combine rhubarb, peach slices and 1/2 cup granulated sugar.

In a small skillet over moderately low heat, melt the butter.  Add the bread cubes and raise heat slightly, toss cubes with butter and heat until golden brown, stirring occasionally.  Watch the bread cubes so that they don’t get too brown.

Place half of the fruit in a 4 to 6 inch buttered baking dish.  Top with half of the bread cubes.  Repeat layers.  Sprinkle top with 1 Tblsp. granulated sugar.

Bake uncovered @ 375 degrees F for approximately 40 minutes.

Serve with half-and-half cream. 

withcreamI really enjoyed this dessert.  It’s good warm from the oven or at room temperature and the cream is perfect to temper the tartness of the fruit.  Actually, I have more leftovers to contend with since the recipe made 3 servings, but I don’t mind a bit.

CHICKEN AND PASTA SALAD FOR ONE

  • 1 cup cooked pasta
  • 2 oz. grilled chicken breast
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped sweet onion
  • 4-5 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Red Wine Dressing
  • 2 Tblsp. fresh basil for garnish

RED WINE VINEGAR DRESSING

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (I like Hellman’s Olive Oil Mayonnaise)
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 Tblsp. red wine vinegar
  • Sprinkling of salt
  • Grating of black pepper

Whisk together all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.

Toss together the pasta, chicken and vegetables.  Add the Red Wine Vinegar Dressing and garnish with fresh basil. 

chpastaforoneThis is a very good light salad.  Of course, any vegetables and herbs could be substituted – this was what I happened to have in the refrigerator.

Being frugal and using up all the leftovers is a pretty good idea.

Rhubarb and Friends Cobbler

topbwlFor many years, I tried various cobbler recipes without being completely satisfied.  Then, in 1996, I found a recipe for cobbler in one of my favorite cookbooks – The Farm Journal Pie Cookbook, and they stressed that the filling should be piping hot when the dough is spooned onto it.  I’ve made many cobblers with all kinds of fruit since then and have always been pleased with the results.

On this beautiful June Sunday morning, I was debating what to fix for dessert for myself – no company for dinner this week.  My decision was based on what I found in my refrigerator:  a recent cutting of rhubarb from my garden, a couple of Granny Smith apples, and a small amount of fresh blueberries.  I wanted to make something that would be good for dessert today but also taste good a couple of days from now – not too rich, not too much fat.  I think this cobbler made from the rhubarb and its friends in the refrigerator was just right.  It will be my dessert well into next week.

RHUBARB & FRIENDS COBBLER

Fruit Filling:

  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tblsp. cornstarch
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1-1/2 cups rhubarb, cut in 1″ pieces
  • 2 cups tart apple,  peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 Tblsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, mix the granulated sugar, cornstarch and water.  Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for one minute.  Remove from heat – add the rhubarb, apple slices, blueberries, butter, cinnamon and nutmeg – stirring gently to blend.  Pour this mixture into an ungreased one-quart casserole dish.

Dough:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tblsp. granulated sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening (Crisco)
  • 1/2 cup milk

In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients.  Cut in the vegetable shortening and then stir in the milk with a fork.  Drop by spoonsful onto the hot fruit filling.  Place the casserole dish on a flat pan to catch spills and bake @ 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes.

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Serve in bowls with cobbler juices and whipped cream/topping or ice cream.

Yield:  6 servings 

One of my Mother’s Day gifts this year was a set of vintage two-handled soup bowls.

soupbowls

I might not be making much soup this summer, but the bowl is just the right size for a serving of cobbler.

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Strawberry-Rhubarb Upside-Down-Cake

For 20 years, we lived in the country where my husband grew all kinds of fruits and vegetables.  One of my favorites was rhubarb, so when we relocated to a smaller house and yard almost 7 years ago, I planted some rhubarb and have some to use throughout the summer – plenty for one person.  But in 1989 when we had a lot of home-grown everything, I tried some different ways of using rhubarb and won a ribbon for this cake at the Ohio State Fair.

STRAWBERRY-RHUBARB UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE

  • 6 Tlbsp. butter
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1-3/4 cup sliced rhubarb
  • 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup shortening (Crisco)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • Whipped cream and fresh strawberries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Melt butter in a 9″ skillet.  I like to use a 50+ year-old cast iron skillet for this.

Stir in brown sugar.

Lightly mix together the rhubarb and strawberries.

Arrange the rhubarb and strawberries over the top of the butter/brown sugar mixture.  Note:  Don’t do as I did once and try to increase the amount of fresh strawberries – it makes the topping too juicy.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.  Set aside.

In large bowl of electric mixer, cream shortening, sugar and egg.  Add dry ingredients and milk alternately, starting and ending with dry ingredients, beating after each addition.  Add vanilla and blend.  Spread batter over the fruit.

Bake for 35-45 minutes until top of cake is golden brown and cake tests done when a toothpick is inserted in the center.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto large serving plate.  If some of the fruit sticks to the pan, just scrape it out while it is still warm and add to the top of the cake.

Let cake cool to room temperature and serve with some whipped cream and a couple of fresh strawberries.

This makes a really nice summertime dessert.