Fresh Cranberry Scones

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I really enjoy fresh cranberries, but they’re tough to find outside of the holiday season.  I will often buy a bag or two for the freezer when they’re available.  These scones are a refreshing treat—and especially tasty with a hot cup of tea.

2 ½ c. flour
½ c. sugar
2 t. baking powder
½ t. salt
½ t. ground cloves (or the zest of one lemon)
¼ c. cold butter, grated
1 c. whipping cream
¾ c. fresh cranberries, coarsely chopped
2 t. milk
2 T. sugar

Combine first 5 ingredients.

Add butter, mixing until crumbly.

Add whipping cream and cranberries, stirring just until moistened.

Turn dough out onto lightly-floured surface; knead 5 or 6 times—basically until mixture holds together well and can be shaped into 8” circle.

Cut disc into 8 wedges and place on lightly-greased baking sheet.  Prick wedges 3-4 times each with fork.  Brush with milk and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake at 425 for 18-20 minutes, or until lightly browned.

These are especially good warm.  They freeze well when wrapped tightly.

 

Green Tomato Bread

I don’t like green tomatoes.  I’ve tried.  Believe me, I’ve tried.  I’ve tried them friend, in chutneys, in salsas and in relishes.  I just can’t get into them.  I can eat them, but I don’t enjoy them.

Until this.

Thank you to my friend, Charlene, for sharing this tasty recipe.  It’s definite proof that if you add enough sugar to anything, it can be good.

This makes two standard loaves.

3 eggs
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 c. oil
1 t. salt
1 T. vanilla
2 c. grated green tomatoes, drained
3 c. flour
1 1/4 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
3/4 t. cinnamon
3/4 c. dried fruit of your choice, chopped to the size of raisins
1 c. chopped nuts, if desired

Beat eggs well and add sugar, oil, salt, vanilla and tomatoes.

Sift dry ingredients separately, then gradually add to tomato mixture.  Stir in raisins and nuts.

Pour into greased bread pans and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.

Crunch, Crisp, Cobbler or Crumble?

People often get crunches, crisps, crumbles and cobblers confused.  I mean, they’re all baked fruit desserts (not to mention they all begin with “c”), so I kind of understand, but there are some distinctive differences in what’s going on under or above the fruity filling.  Here is some clarification:

A crunch has both a crumb crust and a crumb topping.  The crust is often made of the same ingredients as the crumb topping, but pressed into the bottom of the pan before topping with fruit.

Both crisps and crumbles have a crumb topping sprinkled over the fruit before baking. Traditionally, a crisp included rolled oats which “crisped” while baking; a crumble did not. Over time, the lines have blurred on this one, and I think a crisp and a crumble are pretty much considered the same thing these days.

Now, a cobbler is a horse of a completely different color.  It has a biscuit topping that is dropped over the fruit.  When baked, the top of the dessert has a “cobbled” look, as in cobble-stoned street.  My hunch is that baked fruit desserts that use cake mix-type or even cookie dough toppings would also fall under the category of cobbler.

While we’re on the subject, I feel compelled to share with you my favorite-to-date crumb topping.  I use it in both crunches and crumbles, as well as on muffins, Dutch apple pies and over some coffee cakes.  You can certainly add nuts, if that makes you happy.  You can also make huge batches of this in order to set some back for the freezer.

1 c. flour
1 c. rolled oats
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. softened butter
1 t. cinnamon (if desired)

Mix thoroughly and do good with the results.

Rhubarb Crunch

 

My one-and-only sister, T.J., gave me a version of this recipe a long time ago.  During my years of baking for a local Farmers’ Market I made it hundreds of times for hundreds of people.  It was my best-selling fruit dessert.  I always thought that was kind of odd when there are so many folks who say they don’t like rhubarb.  I finally realized it was because those who do like rhubarb pounce upon every opportunity to enjoy it because it is often difficult to find already prepared.  In all of the years I took this tasty treat to Market, I can only remember bringing leftovers home two or three times.  One customer told me that this crunch reminded her of her momma’s rhubarb pie and her grandma’s oatmeal cookies all rolled up in one.  She closed her eyes and sighed as she told me this.  It was a compliment of the highest order.

1 c. flour
1 c. rolled oats
3/4 c. brown sugar, packed
1/2 c. butter, softened or melted
1 t. cinnamon
4 c. diced rhubarb
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
2 T. cornstarch
1 t. vanilla

Combine first five ingredients until crumbly.  Press half of mixture into square pan.

Spread rhubarb over crumb crust.

Cook remaining ingredients until clear.  Pour over rhubarb.

Top with remaining crumbs.

Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

This will freeze wonderfully once baked.

 

 

The 4-1-1 on Rhubarb

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It’s rhubarb season!!

We grow both red and green rhubarb at our place. Many people think that the green stalks aren’t ripe, but that isn’t true. They certainly aren’t as pretty as the ruby stalks of the Victoria plant, but they’re every bit as tasty.

Rhubarb freezes easily and beautifully. Just cut off the leaves, then wash and dice the stalks. I usually freeze rhubarb in batches of two or four cups so that it can easily be added to muffins, crisps and ruby sauce.

A lot of folks think they don’t like rhubarb due to shuddering childhood memories of its tartness, but it’s worth a re-visit. Even my husband has begun a mild appreciation of the stuff when combined with sweet, homegrown strawberries!

And remember: The leaves are toxic, so wash your hands well after handling!

Hawaiian Chicken

We ran across this recipe recently and decided to try it.  It will be coming out of the slow cooker in 3…2…1…

4 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)
16-oz. pineapple bits, drained
15-oz. can mandarin oranges, drained
3 T. cornstarch
¼ c. brown sugar
2 T. soy sauce
2 T. lemon juice
½ t. salt
½ t. ground ginger
pinch cayenne pepper
1 green bell pepper, cut in strips

Combine all ingredients except bell pepper.  Place in slow cooker.  Cook on low 4-5 hours or on high 2-3 hours.  Add bell pepper one hour before serving.

Serve over rice.

NOTE:  If this is put in your slow cooker frozen, be sure to add a couple of hours to the cooking time.