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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Blueberry/Oatmeal Crumble

We're smack-dab in the middle of blueberry season here in Massachusetts!  Don't pass up the opportunity to visit a farm and pick your own... or head to your local farm stand or farmers market and pick up a quart or two.

And then you can make this Blueberry/Oatmeal Crumble!

We like blueberries so much in this house that the blueberries that I thought I had on hand had dwindled by the time I was ready to start baking with them.

So I did the next best thing and used blueberries and strawberries.  Any and all berries work well!

Today's Playlist:
  • "Salute Your Solution"...The Raconteurs
  • "Short Skirt/Long Jacket"...Cake
  • "Ain't No Rest For the Wicked"...Cage the Elephant
  • "Lyin' in the Name of Love"...Joe Louis Walker
  • "Star"...David Bowie
  • "The Denial Twist"...The White Stripes
  • "Animal"...Neon Trees
  • "Beverly Hills"...Weezer

Blueberry/Oatmeal Crumble (About 6 Servings)
  • 6 cups blueberries (or any combo of berries)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup sugar
 Topping ingredients:
  • 1 cup rolled oats (Not quick-cooking! Use extra-thick rolled oats if you can find them)
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (or melted butter)

Gather your ingredients.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

(I didn't have the 6 cups of blueberries that I needed, so I used 3 cups of blueberries and 3 cups of (sliced) strawberries.)

Place all of your topping ingredients except for the coconut oil into a medium bowl and stir to combine.

Once combined, add the coconut oil (or melted butter if you don't have coconut oil).

Stir until thoroughly mixed.

I need to plead with you here:  please do not use quick-cooking oats!  Use good old-fashioned rolled oats; if you can find extra-thick rolled oats, even better!  Rolled oats make the topping extra-crunchy.

Place the berries into an 8-inch square pan.  Sprinkle 1/3 cup sugar and the cornstarch on top.

Stir to combine.

Sprinkle the topping onto the berries.  Smooth with a spoon until it's evenly distributed.

 Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the topping has started to brown.

If you serve it warm, topped with ice cream, it makes a nice dessert.

Or serve it warm or cooled down, without ice cream, for breakfast!  I love a versatile recipe, hehe.


Thursday, July 14, 2016

Caprese Garlic Bread with Heirloom Tomatoes

I feel so unimaginative...this is only my second blogpost this month, and once again it's a Caprese/Heirloom Tomato recipe.

I went to our local Farmers Market yesterday.  I took one look at the heirloom tomatoes, and decided that being stuck in a Caprese/Heirloom tomato rut isn't such a bad thing!

Today's Playlist
  • "Sixteen Saltines"...Jack White
  • "Push"...Matchbox Twenty
  • "No Rain"...Blind Melon
  • "It Goes On and On"...The Avett Brothers
  • "Sick Boys"...Social Distortion
  • "Walk Away"...The Dropkick Murphys

Caprese Garlic Bread with Heirloom Tomatoes (4 servings)

  • 1 mini-baguette (about 10" long), split horizontally
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 large (or 2 small) garlic clove
  • 5 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 3 medium-sized heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction
  • 1/4 cup fresh shredded basil leaves
  • salt & pepper, to taste

Gather your ingredients.  Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

You can either buy the balsamic reduction or make your own.  (To make your own, bring 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce to a simmer; stir occasionally until reduced by half {about 6 to 8 minutes}).

To make the garlic butter:  Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in your microwave for 30 seconds on HIGH.  Crush the garlic directly into the melted butter and stir.

Slice the baguette in half lengthwise.  Place cut side up on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Brush with the garlic butter.

Arrange the mozzarella slices on top of the bread.  Bake for about 15 minutes in your preheated 400-degree oven, until the cheese is melted.

While the bread bakes, slice your tomatoes and basil.

Remove the bread from the oven and immediately top with the sliced tomatoes.  Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the tomatoes.  Season with salt and pepper.

 Sprinkle with the basil.  Slice and serve.

I wish I had remembered to take a picture after I sliced this, but it disappeared before I had a chance!


Saturday, July 9, 2016

Grilled Eggplant Caprese Stacks

There is just so much to love about summer! ( I really wanted to type that in all caps, but I didn't want to shout at you.  Well, I do want to shout it.  But I didn't want to hurt your eyes.  Tell me you understand what I'm saying and that I'm really not just babbling.)

Here's just ONE thing I love about summer:

Caprese Eggplant Stacks!!

You could make these any time of year, but they are especially good in the summer with fresh-picked tomatoes. If those fresh-picked tomatoes happen to be heirloom tomatoes...well, let's just say that if you happen upon a bin of local heirloom tomatoes at your supermarket--or better yet, at a local farmers market--don't pass them by!  

Today's Playlist
  • "Hang On To Yourself"...David Bowie
  • "Times Like These"...Foo Fighters
  • "Cannon"...The White Stripes
  • "I'm Yours"...Jason Mraz
  • "City Of Angels"...The Distillers
  • "Bro Hymn"...Pennywise
  • "Buddy Holly"...Weezer

Grilled Eggplant Caprese Stacks (yields 8 to 12 stacks)
  • 1 large or 2 small Italian eggplants
  • olive oil, for brushing the eggplant
  • 4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 oz. ball of fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite pesto
  • coarse or flaked sea salt (Maldon sea salt flakes are perfect)
  • balsamic vinegar, for drizzling
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons

Gather your ingredients.  

Use whatever type of pesto you love best, whether it's homemade or bought from a store.  I had already made my pesto in advance.  If you want to make homemade pesto,  Click here for my recipe.  

Prep your ingredients--slice the tomatoes, mozzarella and eggplant into slices about 1/4" thick.

Roll up the basil leaves and slice them into ribbons.

Grill the eggplant:  brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil. Grill about 3 to 4 minutes per side with your grill on medium/high heat.

While the first side of the eggplant is grilling, I begin assembling the stacks.

Place the largest slices of tomato on a platter.  Sprinkle with the sea salt.

Check the eggplant and flip the slices when they have visible grill marks and have started to soften slightly.

Layer a slice of mozzarella onto the tomatoes.  If you're lucky the mozzarella slices are slightly smaller in diameter than the tomato slices.

Spread a heaping teaspoon of pesto onto the mozzarella.

Place an eggplant slice onto your tomato/mozzarella stacks.  The hot eggplant will soften the mozzarella.

This is why I use Italian eggplant instead of large eggplant; the smaller size fits nicely onto our stacks instead of overwhelming them.

Place a final (small) slice of tomato on top of the eggplant.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

You could also use a balsamic reduction instead of vinegar.  Your choice!

Sprinkle with the basil ribbons.

You can serve these immediately, while the eggplant is still warm, or refrigerate them and serve them cold.