Raspberry & Black Pepper Vinaigrette

Shocker, it is another raspberry recipe haha.  I wanted to use my overflow of raspberries in some different ways other than just in sweets, so I decided to take on a vinaigrette.  I do a ginger soy dressing that I really enjoy so I just used that recipe and removed a few items and added a few in its place in hopes that it would resemble a vinaigrette. Cracked black pepper was added in as I love the bite of it with berries, and I do believe it worked out quite well.

I once again have used my Blendtec for this, but you can use whatever you have on hand (hand mixer, blender etc.).  This recipe is good for about 4 mason jars full, so you can make some for yourself and share a little with friends.

Raspberry & Black Pepper Vinaigrette

2 cups olive oil

½ cup apple cider vinegar

½ cup balsamic vinegar

1 clove garlic

1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

1 tbsp fresh chopped basil

¼ cup agave nectar syrup

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ tsp salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper (or more if you want it to have more bite)

1 cup raspberries

1. Add all ingredients together and blend till smooth.

2.  Run through sieve to rid of the seeds. And enjoy.

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Raspberry & Cherry Popsicles

Continuation of raspberry madness here.  It is finally summer  in the Lower Mainland, and there have been some fairly hot sunny days sprinkled in here and there. So, popsicles (or poc’les as my favourite little lady Memphis likes to call them) were in order.

As mentioned in the previous post, I have an abundance of raspberries from the backyard on hand and decided to add in some BC cherries while they were still readily available.  I have made a few versions of popsicles so far this summer, but these ones have been my favourite so far as I like a nice tart pop in flavour.  These were also Ryker approved as he finished his own and part of mine as well.

Raspberry & Cherry Popsicles

1 cup cherries, pitted

1½ cups raspberries

1/3 cup raw cane sugar

1/3 cup water

1.  Blend til smooth (I used my monster Blendtec for this task)

2.  Strain seeds out.  Pour into popsicle containers.

3.  Freeze and enjoy! Easy 🙂

Raspberry Coconut Macaroons

Ok folks, you are about to get bombarded with some raspberry concoctions, as our raspberry bushes received an abundance of rain during the spring and are quite plentiful.

First up are Raspberry Coconut Macaroons.  These little cookies are quite fun as they come out a bright magenta colour.  You can create a more marbled effect if you like by not blending the raspberries in all the way.  I used our blendtec blender which made the process move along super fast, but if you don’t have a ridiculously expensive and loud blendtec blender, a food processor will work just fine 😉

There are a few versions of these out there (I believe Smitten Kitten being the originator), and after tasting mine I’m pretty sure all versions are probably quite delicious.  Ideally, you want the outsides to have a slight crisp to them and a lovely chewy middle.

Raspberry Coconut Macaroons

2½ cups unsweetened coconut

½ cup raw cane sugar

2 egg whites

½ tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

¾ cups raspberries

1. Preheat oven to 325º

2.  Food process coconut until it is crumbly.  Add egg, vanilla, sugar & salt.  Then pulse in the raspberries (if you desire a marble effect, leave raspberries in chunks).

3. Place 1 tbsp scoops onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Bake about 25 mins.  Remove from oven and let them sit for about 10 mins before transferring to a wire rack.  Store in a cool place.

Makes about 2 dozen

Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

Alright folks, it has been quite sometime since I have done a post on this page! But, I recently made some super delicious bars that inspired me to get back in the swing of things here.  I have also been busy on my other page The Mane Squeeze, which is focused more on hair, fashion, beauty and all of that good stuff.

Anyways, the Rhubarb in my backyard was almost on the brink of going past its prime but I caught it in time with a reminder from Richard.  I’ve never actually cooked or baked with Rhubarb before, but my mom always did as we had some in my backyard growing up as well.  I decided to mix it up with some strawberries (not from the backyard, but still local :)) and try out some crumb bars topped with a cinnamon and nutmeg glaze.  All I can say is yum! I had to send the majority with Richard to work out of fear of eating them all.

Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

Filling:

1½ cups unsweetened rhubarb, chopped

1½ cups strawberries, sliced

1 tbsp lemon juice

½ cup white sugar

2 tbsp cornstarch

Crust:

1½ all purpose flour

1½ quick cook oats

1 tbsp flax seeds

1 cup packed brown sugar

½ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

¾ cup butter, softened

1 egg

Glaze:

¾ cup powdered sugar

2 tbsp milk

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

1.  Preheat oven to 350ºF.  In a saucepan combine rhubarb, strawberries and lemon juice.  Cover and cook over medium heat until tender, stirring occasionally.

2.  Combine the white sugar and cornstarch, and stir into fruit mixture.  Cook until mixture comes to a boil and mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and set aside.

3.  Combine all of the crust ingredients in a bowl, except for the egg.  Beat at a low speed until mixture becomes crumbly.  Reserve 1½ cups of crust mixture, set aside.  Beat in 1 egg into the remainder of the crumb mixture.

4.  Line bottom of a 9×13 greased pan with the egg crumb mixture.  Then spread the filling evenly across the crust.  Then sprinkle the reserved crumb mixture.

5.  Bake for 30-35 mins or until golden brown.  Let the bars cool completely.

6.  Combine all of the glaze ingredients in a bowl and drizzle over the bars.  Enjoy!

Blueberry & Lemon Oat Bars

The blueberries in my backyard are still in full force, but there has been a recent battle with the crows on who gets to consume them.  So while the creepy crows were away, I snuck in to pick some.  Side note: Did you know crows  possess a human facial recognition ability?…creepy.

I decided I wanted to go the route of a blueberry oat bar, because I figured you can’t really go wrong with that combo.  I also wanted a little zing to these so I added in some lemon for a pop.

Watch out for this blueberry mixture….it stains…I really have to start wearing my apron. 

And Voila! These taste great just as they are, but I also really liked them after they had sat in the fridge for a little while 

Blueberry & Lemon Oat Bars

1½ cups all purpose flour

1¾ cups rolled oats

¾ cups packed brown sugar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

¾ butter – cold and sliced

filling:

3 cups blueberries

1 lemon

2 tbsp cornstarch

½ cup granulated sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 375º.  In a bowl mix flour, oats, brown sugar, salt and baking soda.  Cut in butter and mix till crumbly.  Set aside 2 cups of mixture for topping.  Take remainder and press into a greased 9×13 pan.

2.  In a saucepan, stir in blueberries, juice of the lemon, cornstarch, and granulated sugar.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.  Spread blueberry mixture over the crust in pan.  Then sprinkle remaining crumble mixture over top and lightly press into blueberry layer.

3.  Bake 25-30 mins or until golden brown.  Let them cool in pan before cutting into.

Makes about 24

Per Serving

Calories 130      Fat 6g      Carbs 18g      Protein 1.5g

Strawberry Cupcakes

I was invited to a potluck style party and my first initial thought of what to bring was my go-to potluck dish, a Caprese Salad.  But I have been trying to challenge myself lately and didn’t want to just rely on my go-to, and since I had been on a roll with baking lately I decided to give cupcakes a go.  I wanted a fresh flavour since the party was falling on a hot summer day, so I chose strawberries as the star.  I have never made cupcakes before, but they turned out pretty good and I got to use an electric hand mixer, so it was winning all around.

Fresh out of the oven!

The best part, licking the beaters :).  For these cupcakes, I made a buttercream icing and then last minute decided to toss in some diced strawberries, yum.

The finished product! I don’t own any fancy icing stuff, so these just have icing slapped on top with a spatula, but I’m not picky.

Strawberry Cupcakes

½ cup unsalted butter – softened

½ cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ cup lowfat vanilla yogurt (or whichever flavour you fancy)

1½ cup all-purpose flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

½ cup strawberries – diced

Strawberry Buttercream Icing

½ cup unsalted butter – softened

2 cups of icing sugar

2 egg yolks – beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

2 tbsp milk

1/8 cup strawberries – diced

1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Line muffin tin with liners.

2.  With an electric hand mixer, beat  butter and sugar until it is fluffy.  Beat in egg, yogurt and vanilla until mixture is smooth.

3. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then blend them into the wet mixture until smooth.  Fold diced strawberries in.

4.  Fill liners with mixture, it should fill each one up about halfway.  Bake for about 20-25 mins or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Move to a cooling rack.

5.  For the icing, cream butter till soft with an electric hand mixer.  Gradually add half of the icing sugar, beating till fluffy and smooth.  Add egg yolks, vanilla and salt, blend well.  Add the rest of the sugar and milk, beat till smooth.  Add strawberries, blend in till mixture is a nice light pink and strawberries are distributed throughout.  Place in fridge for about 15 minutes.

6.  Once icing has set, and cupcakes have cooled, ice them as you please and enjoy

Makes 12 cupcakes

Apple Berry Crisp

Growing up, my mom made many a delicious dessert crisp, and I find that it is one of the easiest desserts to execute but seems like it had a bit of effort put into it.  I still had some raspberries left in my backyard and the blueberries are coming in like crazy now, as well I had some apples to use up in the fridge as well, so here it is, an Apple Berry Crisp.  That is the beauty of this dessert, you can virtually throw any kind of fruit in, add a super easy crumble topping and pop in the oven.

 I also feel that vanilla ice cream is a necessity to accompany this dessert.

 Apple Berry Crisp

3 apples – peeled and thinly sliced

1 tsp cinnamon

¾ blue berries

¾ raspberries

2 tbsp granulated sugar

½ cup rolled oats

1 cup brown sugar

½ cup all purpose flour

¼ tsp salt

6 tbsp butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Layer apple slices along the bottom of a lightly greased baking dish. Sprinkle cinnamon on top.

2.  In a bowl toss raspberries, blueberries and granulated sugar together.  Spoon berries on top of apples.

3.  In a bowl mix oats, brown sugar, flour and salt.  Stir in melted butter until mixture is crumbly.  Sprinkle mixture over apples and berries.  Bake for 45-50 mins, or until topping has browned.

Per Serving

Calories 269      Fat 10g      Carbs 43g      Protein 3g