A few years ago, I planted one lonely thornless blackberry twig in my backyard. I nursed it and took care of it. But then I ran over it with a lawnmower….then I nursed it again. And now, I have 20 feet of blackberry bushes lining one full side of my backyard fence. It is a race between me, the squirrels, and the birds to see who can nab the blackberries first.
There may have been a time or two that I have stood in my backyard, gorging myself on these fresh thumb-sized blackberries. I’m too excited about the harvest and will eat so many that there isn’t any left to bring inside! I stare at my purple soaked fingers and sort of feel bad that I haven’t shared any with my husband… so naturally I have to lie and tell him that the birds got them… ALL. yes.. All of them. right out of my hands. It was a tragedy. Crying, Thrashing. Feathers everywhere. I promise I tried. They were ferocious….. But my purple lips and seeded teeth tell the real truth.
So needless to say I owed my husband some blackberry goodness. I gathered up a good bundle of blackberries and baked him this skillet gluten-free nectarine and blackberry crumble. He was pretty excited… mainly because he could add ice cream to it. I swear, that man would be happy with a dirt cobbler as long as you could put ice cream on it. 🙂
This recipe is my standard crumble topping. I use it on tons of different fruit crumbles. I added some lemon zest to the crumble to give it a light summery zip. You could easily swap out the fruit in this filling with peaches, raspberries, blueberries, etc. It is really easy to throw together for summer gatherings to use up all that fresh fruit produce that is flooding the markets. So give yourself and the ones you love a warm and awesome summer treat!
Gluten Free Nectarine and Blackberry Crumble
- 6 nectarines (Halved, pitted, and sliced with peel)
- 1 cup of blackberries
- juice from 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
- 1/4 cup maple syrup or honey
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot powder or cornstarch
Gluten Free Oat Crumble Topping
- 1 1/2 cups old fashioned gluten-free oats
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- 1/3 cup brown sugar or coconut palm sugar
- 1 teaspoon of lemon zest
- 5 tablespoons melted butter (plus a little extra to grease the baking dish)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9-inch cast iron skillet or 8X8-inch baking dish and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix all of the fruit filling ingredients. Spoon the fruit filling into the prepared skillet or baking dish.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the topping ingredients. Mix the ingredients until it is crumbly and moistened. Lightly sprinkle the oat crumble mixture over the fruit filling evenly.
- Bake for 40 to 50 minutes (or until the filling is bubbling and the crumble top is lightly golden brown). Remove the crumble from the oven and allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving. This is delicious with vanilla ice cream for dessert or plain greek yogurt for breakfast!
I still remember the first time that I tried rhubarb. It was probably 10 years ago. I had wanted to try it, but just hadn’t had the chance (I guess) living in suburbia Oklahoma and just didn’t have the inclination to go hunt for it.
But one summer night, I was out working a 12 hour shift doing field work for my Master’s degree and my husband was babysitting my littlest sister who was only 6 at the time. Since they are both the adventurous type, and neither of them really knew how to cook…. they decided to make me a rhubarb cobbler as a surprise treat for when I got home.
I was so surprised when I walked in the door and smelled that amazing smell. It was seriously the best cobbler I had ever eaten. (Maybe it was because I had just worked 12 long hours in the hot summer sun.) But it really was the perfect blend of tartness and sweetness. Just like my husband and my sister Olivia. Sweet and tart! 🙂 They began my obsession with this fabulous spring plant…ooooh rhubarb!
Since that first magical cobbler that they made for me ten years ago, I have had quite a love affair with rhubarb. Rhubarb is a perennial that will come back year after year when planted in a good location. My rhubarb plant always lets me know when spring is near, because it begins to sprout its long stalks and leaves when temps rise above 40 F.
Rhubarb can be used in so many recipes: tarts, cobblers, pies, salsa, sauces, and this amazing curd! Yeaaaaaaaaah. Curd doesn’t have to be reserved for citrus! This Rhubarb Strawberry Curd is hands down my favorite. I decided to add some frozen strawberries that I had in order to boost the pink color of the curd. Feel free to adjust the ratio of rhubarb to strawberries to suit your own tastes.
This Rhubarb Strawberry Curd can easily be used to fill a pie or tart crust for an easy dessert. The extra egg whites can be whipped up as a meringue for the top too! I went the easy route this time and I mixed mine in greek yogurt for a delicious breakfast and midday snack! Either way, I know that this will be a favorite for all you rhubarb lovers!
Rhubarb Strawberry Curd
- 2 cups fresh rhubarb, sliced 1/2-inch thick (about 5 trimmed stalks)
- 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/3 cup honey
- 4 eggs, yolks separated (reserve whites for another use)
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- In a heavy saucepan placed over medium heat, cook rhubarb, strawberries, water, and 3 tablespoons of honey for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently and smashing the fruit with the back of spoon. Mixture will begin to fall apart and look mushy. Turn off heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Transfer mixture to the bowl of a food processor and puree smooth. Set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl, cream the butter and the honey together until fluffy. Beat in the eggs slowly. Slowly add the rhubarb and strawberry mixture, whisking constantly until completely combined.
- Transfer mixture to a medium-sized, non-reactive saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and stir constantly with either a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the mixture has thickened to jelly consistency, about 10-12 minutes. Do not let the curd boil! Pull the pan off the stove before it gets to that stage. The curd is done when it coats the back of a spatula or leaves a clear path when pulled through the mixture.
- Remove from heat allow to cool for about 5 minutes. Pour curd mixture into a clean glass jar, but let it cool completely before you screw on the lid. You can even place the filled jar in the freezer (without the lid) for about 15 minutes and then remove from freezer and place the lid on the jar. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
Note – Recipe adapted from Dolly and Oatmeal.
I really have to admit that, honestly, this Chicken with Morel Mushroom Sauce is one of my favorite dishes that I have ever made.
Honestly. Ever. I don’t know whether the magic of the sauce is from the morels or from the sherry-based sauce..or the heavy cream. Who knows. It’s good. Real good.
I came home to a huge bag of fresh picked morel mushrooms on my doorstep! A friend of mine foraged for them and thankfully decided to share his treasure! These puppies can go for as much as $40 per pound! We are eating like royalty over here!
With such a large bundle of morel mushroom-delights, I decided to prepare a recipe that was provincial and special: a french morel mushroom sauce. This sauce deserves a trumpet of announcement. It deserves to be served in a bowl with amazing a crusty baguette, if you can have it. Sop it up. Don’t waste this sauce. With only 1/2 cup of heavy cream added at the end, the sauce is not heavy but it is substantial. I also think that adding champagne vinegar or lemon juice at the end really brings this sauce home with a small acidic kick.
Note – If you are unable to get fresh morel mushrooms, either substitute the mushrooms for equal quantity of cremini or shiitake OR go online and purchase about 2 oz of dry morels. If using dry morels, you will need to rehydrate them. In a small saucepan, bring 2 cups water to a boil over high heat. Turn the heat off and add the morels to the saucepan. Cover the saucepan and soak the mushrooms for 30 minutes to rehydrate. Remove the rehydrated mushrooms out of the soaking liquid using a slotted spoon, gently squeezing out the excess liquid back into the saucepan. Reserve the soaking liquid.
Chicken with Morel Mushroom Sauce
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
- 3 pounds of bone in chicken thighs or breasts (skin removed)
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup minced red onion or shallot
- 1 pound fresh morel mushrooms, washed and cut in half if large (this is how I wash my morels)*
- 1 cup dry sherry
- 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Champagne vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper up to one day in advance.
- Add olive oil (or butter) in a large skillet placed over medium-high heat. Add chicken to skillet bone side up, and cook about 6 minutes per side, turning once. Allow the chicken to become golden brown on both sides. Remove the chicken and place on a plate.
- Lower the heat to medium. If needed, add another tablespoon of olive oil and then add onion (or shallots). Sauté until soft and translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Then add washed morel mushrooms and sauté for a few more minutes. Use a slotted spoon and transfer the mushrooms to a separate plate. Add dry sherry to skillet and bring to a boil. Allow the sherry to reduce by half (about 2 minutes). Add chicken stock and chicken to skillet and bring mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover the skillet with a lid placed slightly ajar. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Check chicken after 20 minutes. After cooked through, transfer the chicken to a platter.
- Add the mushrooms back to the skillet. Add cream, vinegar, and thyme. Simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste. To serve, pour the sauce over the chicken on the platter. Sprinkle with additional cracked pepper and fresh thyme, if desired.
Notes – recipe adapted from here and here.
We all need a little treat now and then. For me, my favorite treat is always peanut butter eggs or dark chocolate peanut butter cups. Swooooooon. I don’t have them often, but when I do, I prefer the mini ones because I can have more than one and not feel so bad. I also am like a squirrel and like to save them, placing them in weird places in our house (hiding them from my chocoholic husband).
We hosted a huge Easter gathering at our house this year and had 30 people in our tiny and cozy little abode. It was a lot of fun because I had a game plan: only make stress free food! This would ensure that I could enjoy my family and not appear like a crazed woman. One of the stress free foods that I made were these amazing Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs.
My sister and I whipped up these easy peasy peanut butter eggs a day in advance. They didn’t take much time and they were a great tiny sweet treat for people to pop one, two, or five eggs into their mouth.
Did I mention that these Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs are made with only FOUR ingredients? FOUR. They are very very very easy to make and very very very easy to eat. Too easy. But hey, on the bright side, they are made with all natural ingredients and are only 70 calories per egg. Boom!
Homemade Four Ingredient Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Eggs
- 2 cups creamy salted natural peanut butter
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 5 oz dark chocolate
- Using either an electric mixer or a food processor, thoroughly mix the peanut butter, honey, and vanilla on high-speed for several minutes until the mixture turns into a thick ball of peanut butter dough. Depending on the time of year and humidity in your kitchen, a tablespoon of water may need to be added to the mixture so that it will come together like dough. You can also pull it out of the mixing bowl and work it by hand for it to come together at the end after mixing it.
- Place parchment paper or waxed paper on a rimmed baking sheet or inside several glass pyrex baking dishes.
- Take a tablespoon of the peanut butter dough and use your hands to shape into a ball or egg shape, if you are feeling eggy. Place the balls (or eggs) onto the parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue making the peanut butter eggs or balls until all of the dough is used. Depending on the size of your eggs, this recipe makes between 50 and 60 peanut butter eggs. Chill the peanut butter eggs in the freezer for 1 hour or in the refrigerator overnight.
- When you are ready to coat the peanut butter eggs in chocolate, place the chocolate into a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds, then stir. Microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring between until the chocolate is melted.
- Remove the peanut butter eggs from the freezer. Place one egg at a time into the chocolate and roll around until covered. Remove using a large fork placed under the egg and allow the excess chocolate to drip from the egg. Place the dipped egg on the parchment paper to harden. Store in the refrigerator until time to serve.
*Note – for a paleo-friendly version or for those that are allergic to peanuts, almond butter could be used instead.
Put me in front of a bowl of chips and salsa, and it would take the strength of ten mules on steroids to pull me away. I’m serious. Chips and salsa are my go to snack…
Not saying it’s a good thing. Just sayin that your hand maaaaaay get gnawed on if you go for a chip or scoop of salsa while I’m diving in. Seriously. I can’t stop this dipping train!
And now that tomatoes are so prevalent in my garden, it’s time to get this crazy SALSA train started!!!
I used fresh roma tomatoes, but other varieties are juuuust fine. Plus, I’ll tell you a secret. This recipe can even be made in the winter with (gasp) canned tomatoes. I have used some that I canned from my garden, but if you only have store-bought, go for the good kind! Muir Glen is my fave. The secret to this salsa is definitely good tomatoes AND lime juice.
I whip up my salsa using a food processor but if you love to chop chop chop, then feel free to dice away. I like to reserve my energy for diving head first into the salsa bowl. If you do end up chopping up the ingredients, your salsa will just be more chunky….which is what I’m going to be if I don’t get my face out of this bowl of chips and salsa soon!
Give me more!
Fresh and Easy Salsa
- 4 cups diced fresh tomatoes (about 15 roma tomatoes)
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 jalapeños (chopped and seeds removed if you want mild salsa)
- 1/4 bunch of cilantro
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
- Place tomatoes in bowl of food processor and pulse a few times until tomatoes are fine diced. Transfer tomatoes to a medium-sized bowl.
- Place chopped onion, garlic, jalapeños, cilantro, and lime juice to bowl of food processor. Pulse for 15 seconds or until everything is chopped fine. Transfer contents to the medium bowl with the tomatoes. Stir well and add salt to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can be made ahead of time.
This week, I was the lucky recipient of a metric boat load of bite-sized cherry plums from a friend’s plum tree in her front yard!!!
So, what would YOU do with sacks and sacks of fresh tasty plums? Well, besides pop them directly in your mouth…which happened a lot around here.
I decided to try something new….
Plum sorbet, ya’ll! Come and get it! It’s muggy and sticky outside. That means it is perfect weather for a tangy scoop of honey-sweetened Plum sorbet! And it’s dairy free!
You could easily replace the plums in this recipe with another in season fruit, like blueberries or strawberries or peaches! This is So delicious.
These plums that I used were perfectly tart and the honey provided juuuuust enough sweet balance. Also, I added a splash or two or three of champagne in the sorbet! Booze it up! Champagne or white wine in the sorbet provide the finished product a bubbly tang and help with the scoopability! Boom Boom!
Wait. This would be great as a Champagne Float! What? Yes please! If that is not a thing, it should be. Tip that pinky up, honey. Put your fancy hats on and get a big ol’ scoop of Plum Sorbet! Cheers!
- 2 to 3 cups sliced plums, pits removed
- 1/4 cup honey
- pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup champagne or white wine (or water)
- 1/3 cup water
- Add all ingredients to a blender or food processors. Purée until the mixture becomes smooth. Pour the plum puree through a fine mesh sieve to catch large pieces of skin. Place mixture into refrigerator for 30 minutes (or overnight) to chill.
- Place the plum purée into the bowl of a chilled ice cream machine and process according to the manufacturer’s instructions. It will take about 25 to 30 minutes. While the mixture is churning away, place a glass container into the freezer that will be big enough to place the processed sorbet into. After the sorbet is finished, either serve immediately or place into the air tight pre-chilled container and freeze for at least 2 hours to firm up. The wine will help keep the sorbet from getting icy and will assist with scoopability if serving at a later time. Allow to sit out at room temperature for about 5 minutes after removing from the freezer, then scoop away!
I’m constantly looking for easier and more efficient ways to do things. Must be the engineer in me. Well today, I have an amazing genius picnic tip.
Use an egg carton to transport deviled eggs. Genius!
This weekend we had a tasty picnic with friends to celebrate the 4th of July. My hubby and I rode our bikes to the park and brought along some snacks, including deviled eggs. My solution to transport the deviled eggs was to use the egg carton as the perfect transport container.
I placed separate muffin liners in the carton to make these a less messy picnic dish. I also decided to use nearly the whole egg instead of cutting them in half. I cut the top third of the egg off and scooped out the yolk. The yolks were then mixed with greek yogurt (instead of mayo), herbs, salt, and Dijon mustard. I then scooped the yolk mixture into a baggy, cut off the edge, and pipetted the mixture into each egg white. Fancy pants picnic dish!
I unfortunately do not have very many pictures of these puppies since I was running behind and had to rush to get these beauties loaded up in the egg carton and then head out on my bike to the picnic. But I will tell you that I will definitely be repeating this process for future deviled eggs that will be accompanying me to potlucks and picnics.
The only downside to this recipe is that deviled eggs go waaaay too fast. Womp Womp.
Herby Deviled Eggs (Grain Free, Gluten Free)
- 12 eggs
- 1/3 cup greek yogurt
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon minced chives (some reserved to sprinkle on top)
- 1 teaspoon minced parsley
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Place eggs in a medium saucepan and add cold water until the eggs are covered by 1 inch of water. Bring to a rolling boil. Remove saucepan from heat, cover, and then let stand for 11 minutes. Drain the pot and run cod water over the boiled to cool them.
- Meanwhile, place remaining ingredients into the bowl of a food processor and mix together. Reserve some chives and parsley for sprinkling on top.
- Peel all of the eggs. To transport easily to a picnic, make whole deviled eggs by cutting off the top third of the egg. Remove yolks carefully with small spoon or butter knife, leaving the whites fully intact. Transfer yolks to bowl of food processor with greek yogurt mixture. Process until smooth.
- For easy picnic transport, line egg carton with individual muffin liners. Place intact egg whites into each separate muffin tin liner. Place egg yolk mixture into a sealable plastic back (like a ziplock). Cut the corner tip off of the bag for easy pipetting into each egg white. Sprinkle with remaining herbs. Place plastic wrap on top of filled eggs and refrigerate up to 8 hours.