Very Blue Blueberry Crisp
Jul 19th, 2015 by Kate

Blueberry crisp is one of our favorite desserts, and the kids have made it once for us. I just picked a large basket of blueberries and froze most of them so they can make it again for one of their Sunday dinners when they get back from sleepaway camp. Here’s the recipe, and a photo of one of their half eaten crisps. (And photos of the berries I just picked)

What you need:
For the blueberry filling
6-1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon flour or corn starch
1/4 cup sugar

For the crisp topping
6 ounces softened, unsalted butter
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup all purpose flour*
3/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
* subsitute finely chopped walnuts for flour if you want to to gluten free.

What you do:
1. Take out butter at least 1/2 hour before you want to start cooking to soften it. Don’t try softening in microwave…it just doesn’t work
2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
3. Mix blueberry filling ingredients in bowl, transfer to 8×8 baking dish
4. Cream butter and sugar together in large bowl until pale yellow & well blended
5. Combine flour, oats, baking powder and salt together in separate bowl
6. Add flour/oat mix to butter/sugar mix and use your hand to form into clumps
7. Spread crisp topping on top of berries in baking pan
8. Set timer for 45 minutes, may take up to 1 hour, but check at 45 minutes. Crisp is done when topping is golden brown and berries are bubbling through

Blueberry Crisp--half eaten before I could even take a photo!

Blueberry Crisp–half eaten before I could even take a photo!

Just picked organic blue berries from Thompson Finch farm

Just picked organic blue berries from Thompson Finch farm

Close up (they are just so blue)

Close up (they are just so blue)

Really Really Good Roast Chicken
Jul 13th, 2015 by Kate

Alas, the kids are still at sleep-away camp, but we did see them this weekend and I asked them what dinners they would be making for the the family when they got back. Max said his dinner would involve steak and crepes (I am not sure if he meant together…steak-filled crepes? or separately…steak and then dessert crepes. Alex said that her menu would focus on gruyere cheese because she missed it so much.) They asked me to post some of their favorite recipes, but this one is for Judy:

Really Really Good Roast Chicken:
(Max & Alex made this in March for us, served it with a green salad and mashed potatoes, and, of course, wine for the grown-ups.)

1 four-six pound roasting chicken (six is better because the left overs are “really really good”
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, peeled and sliced across 3/4 inch thick
3 cloves of garlic
1 lemon
1 Cup Chicken stock
fresh thyme if you have it (not essential, but nice)

What to do:
1. Wash hands.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove all the stuff in the chicken (giblets etc.). Rinse chicken inside and out under cold running water. Let butter and the chicken stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Dry chicken (with paper towels).
3. Place sliced onions flat in a heavy-duty roasting pan in two rows (they serve as the “grill rack” for the chicken). Roll lemon on hard surface with your hand to soften and then pierce lemon all over with fork. With side of knife gently smash garlic cloves to open. Put garlic, lemon and thyme (4 sprigs if you have it) along with salt & pepper in cavity of chicken. Cut 2 feet of kitchen twine and tie chicken legs together. Place chicken in pan on top of onion slices.
4. Spread the softened butter over the whole surface of the chicken (if you don’t let the butter and chicken sit at room temperature for 1/2 hour, this won’t work…the butter won’t spread). WASH HANDS. Salt & pepper the chicken and put in the oven and roast until the skin is deep golden brown (about 1 and 1/4 hours for 4 pound chicken; 1 and 1/2 hours for 6 pound chicken, but it always depends on your oven). To check to see if the chicken is done, prick the chicken near the thigh, the juices should run clear, and if you have an meat thermometer, the temperature in the thigh should be 190 degrees.
5. Remove chicken from oven and transfer to a plate/cutting board. Let sit for 10 minutes. You can make gravy from the drippings if you want but this chicken is so juicy that you don’t need to. The onions are also delicious (but beware they have absorbed so much chicken fat that they are a meal in themselves.
roast chicken

Easy Raspberry Sorbet
Jul 3rd, 2015 by Kate

The kids made this a couple dinners ago but since they are at sleep-away camp (and, alas, not cooking for the family for a while), they asked me to post the recipe. We use a Cusinart ice cream maker, and this recipe is based on a Cuisinart recipe, but any ice cream maker should work.

Ingredients: 2 Cups Water, 1 and 1/2 Cups Sugar, Pinch of table salt (NOT SEA SALT), 4 and 1/2 Cups frozen raspberries, thawed.

Make a simple syrup by heating the water and sugar together over medium low heat.
Stir once in a while and remove from heat when sugar is completely dissolved.
Add pinch of salt and let cool. When cool, add thawed raspberries and blend (we have used both a regular blender and an immersion blender: either one is fine).
After mixture is blended smooth. Remove 1/3 of the mix and strain through a fine strainer (using a wooden spoon or spatula to get rid of the seeds). THIS REALLY MAKES A DIFFERENCE–the first time I made it I didn’t strain it; when the kids made it, they followed the recipe and strained it, and it was much better.
Remove seeds from strainer and continue straining the remaining raspberry mix.
Refrigerate the mix at least 2 hours.
Turn on your ice cream maker!
Pour the mix into the frozen mixing bowl and voila, in 15-20 minutes you will have a soft, creamy rasberry sorbet.

You can do this with strawberries as well but reduce the sugar in the simple syrup by 1/2 cup. Taste the mix before you put it in ice cream maker and if still too sweet, add fresh squeezed lemon juice (but no more than 1 tablespoon).

Raspberry Sorbet

Raspberry Sorbet

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