Tag Archives: Berries

Blueberry Salsa


I agree…it seems strange but I thought, “Why not try it? I’ve got lots of blueberries!”  My family was not supportive of the idea so I waited until I was hosting a meeting at my house tonight to make it and have out for our snacks.

I don’t have much left and the plates were all clean when I rinsed them so it must have been liked by many!  One 9-year-old even made a point to come up and let me know that she really liked it and my handsome-fella admitted that it was indeed good.

It is easy and quick to throw together.

Blueberry Salsa

original recipe from Southern Living July 2010

Combine together in a 1.5 qt bowl:

  • 2 cups coarsely chopped, fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup whole fresh blueberries
  • 4 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 or 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced (I only used one as I knew it was a “tame” crowd coming)
  • 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper (I then cut probably about 1 Tablespoon more to add as I didn’t think the balance was right with all the colors)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Serve immediately, or cover and chill 8 hours.  Serve with tortilla chips.



Photo courtesy of Heather...blueberries not quite ready for salsa!

Photo courtesy of Heather…blueberries not quite ready for salsa!


Blueberry Cobbler


On Saturday morning, my fabulous four headed to the local orchard just a mile away to pick blueberries.  We knew it would be hot but we were ready for a quick, successful pick.  Within 15 minutes we had just shy of 5 pounds of blueberries and we were done.  (Our reasoning is that we live close enough we can come back!).

Blueberry picking at Linvilla

Blueberry picking at Linvilla


Headed home with plenty of blueberries for the week.

So now I have all these blueberries and need to find some things to do with them.  I found several recipes online and tonight Heather and I made one for our dessert—blueberry cobbler.  It was pretty simple and indeed yummy.  Next time we make it we noted to double the crust and then sprinkle the top with sugar before baking.

If you find yourself with an extra 3 cups of blueberries, try this recipe.  I think you will like it!

Blueberry Cobbler

originally from allrecipes.com as “Best Ever Blueberry Cobbler”

Preheat oven to 375°

Mix together:

  • 3 cups fresh blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/3 cup orange juice (all I had was Orange Peach Mango)

Pour the blueberry mixture into an 8 inch square baking dish and set aside.

In a small bowl, thoroughly mix:

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt

In a medium bowl cream together: (this is the doubled amounts as I said I would double it next time)

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar

Beat in

  • two eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Gradually add flour mixture, stirring just until ingredients are combined.

Drop batter by rounded tablespoons over blueberry mixture.  Try to cover as much of the filling as possible.

Sprinkle with sugar

Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until topping is golden brown and filling is bubbling.

Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Yep, it was good! (photo courtesy of Heather)

Yep, it was good! (photo courtesy of Heather)


Grilling Goodness: Chicken-and-Fruit Salad


The absolute best thing about our house is the ability to have dinners on the deck on a gorgeous evening.  Tonight was one of those evenings.  The trees still aren’t green in our view but the evening was perfect nonetheless.  We fired up the grill too in order to make another new recipe from the “Southern Living Ultimate Quick and Easy Cookbook” that I checked out from our library (I’m going to have to purchase one of these as I’ve rechecked it now three times and I want to copy way too many of the recipes.)

The Back Deck

Not the best picture of our deck but this gives you a glimpse at why it is so wonderful. This was from the end of April last year. Our deck is up in the trees.


Chicken-and-Fruit Salad

Plan Ahead- Chicken and Pineapple need to marinade for 6-8 hours.

Place in a ziploc bag:

  • 4 to 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (I like to prick my chicken with a fork to help the marinade ooze into the chicken a bit more)
  • 3/4 cup of Lawry’s Santa Fe Chili Marinade with Lime and Garlic (the recipe calls for a lime and garlic marinade….this was the closest I could find!)

Seal the chicken in the ziploc bag and chill for 6 to 8 hours, turning occasionally.

Cut into fourths:

  • one cored fresh pineapple

Place the pineapple into a ziploc bag and pour 1/4 cup of the marinade over the pineapple. Seal and chill for 6 to 8 hours.

Ready to Grill:

Remove the chicken from the marinade and discard the marinade.

Drain the pineapple.

Grill chicken 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until done.

Grill pineapple 2 to 3 minutes on each side.


Wash and prepare:

  • 1 head of romaine lettuce, torn into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 cups of strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup of raspberries

Once the grilled items are cooked as needed, cut chicken into strips and the pineapple into bite-sized pieces.

Arrange the lettuce, chicken, and fruit into bowls.

You could toss the fruit with some of the marinade before adding to to the salad or just let each person add extra marinade as desired.  We just added as desired as my girls don’t really care for dressing on their salad.

This was a great dinner and easy to prepare.  Everyone left the table happy….even the extra child that joined us for dinner!

Stuffing Cups- Easy one for Kids in the Kitchen


Want to help your kids learn to cook?  (AKA….do you hope in the near future to be able to say “child of mine, I’m running late today.  Will you please make dinner and have it ready when I get home.”?)  Then, like other parenting tasks we need to train them so they can know what is expected of them.  This recipe was an easy one for my 7 year old to help me with this week.  We ate it as our main dish but you could use it as a side to a roasted chicken too or rip up some of that roasted chicken and mix some into the stuffing prior to baking the stuffing cups in the oven.

If you are training your child to cook, remember to stay close by and offer assistance and guide them….nothing ruins dinner more than a trip to the ER.

Stuffing Cups

Heat oven to 350º

Melt in a large skillet on medium heat:

  • 1/4 cup butter

Add to melted butter and saute until crisp-tender (about 5 minutes):

  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • pepper and salt to taste

Stir in and bring to boil:

  • 1 1/2 cups water

Remove from heat and stir in

  • 1 6 oz package of stuffing mix for chicken (like Stove Top)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 egg, beaten

Mix lightly

Spoon into 8 greased muffin cups.  (I was able to get 9 good sized muffins out of it actually)

Bake 10 minutes or until the stuffing cups are heated through.

Note: We did not have any leftovers and there are just four of us.  So you may want to double the recipe if you have any boys over the age of 9 in your family or more than 4 people.  You could also put in some shredded, cooked chicken in the stuffing mix prior to spooning into the muffin cups.  This would make it go further and be a more hearty meal in itself.  These are also easy to wrap up and send to school in lunches—good portion control.


Yummy Breakfast Bread


We have to capture breakfast on many days as our time for a family meal.  So I am often looking for recipes that meet my requirements of easy and yummy for which we can use at breakfast time.  I found this recipe in the Women’s Day March 2013 issue while waiting at the dance studio for one of my girls earlier this week.  I had to actually hand write the recipe down as I don’t have a smart phone to take a picture of it!  I think I got everything written down correctly as it came out fabulously this morning.  We give it 3 1/2 smiley faces.  My 7 1/2 year old said that she didn’t care for the strawberry chunks yet she ate half of her serving so she did kind of like it.  The only drawback is that it takes 45 minutes in the oven and then you have prep time on top of that.  For a Saturday that isn’t a problem but on a weekday I would probably make this the night before as I am NOT a morning person.

Strawberry-Banana Bread

Heat oven to 350º

Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.  (I like to use shortening and then dust over it with flour)

In a large bowl whisk together (I actually did this the night before so I had less to do on Saturday morning)

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt

In a medium bowl lightly beat:

  • 4 eggs

Add to the eggs:

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 Tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 Tablespoon grated lemon zest (I’m sure this would be yummy, yet I didn’t have a lemon to zest.  Rather I put in almost a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice instead)

Whisk to combine the egg mixture.

Mash and stir into egg mixture:

  • 2 large, ripe bananas (about 1 cup)

Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and mix just until incorporated

Fold into the mixture:

  • 1 pound of chopped strawberries
  • (if you like walnuts in your house you can put in 1 1/2 cup chopped walnuts….but my family doesn’t care for nuts)

Pour the batter into the prepared dish and bake for about 45-50 minutes until a wooden toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  It took our bread 45 minutes.

Transfer to a cooling rack and let cool for 5 minutes

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together until smooth:

  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice

Spread the icing over the warm cake, then let cool completely.


Strawberry-Banana Bread

Easy Brownie Shortcake Dessert


Here is a fun little dessert that has to be healthy right since it has fruit on it????

Fruit makes it healthy...right?

Easy Brownie Shortcake

Prepare brownie mix

  • prepare as directed on the package
  • stir in 1/2 cup sour cream

Spoon into greased and floured 9-inch round pan

Bake for 45 minutes at 350° F.

Cool for 10 minutes

Remove from pan to wire rack; cool completely.

Mix  for the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups sour cream
  • 1 cup thawed cool whip whipped topping
  • 1 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Cut the brownie horizontally in half.  (Use a long knife and stick it horizontally into the center and slowly cut around the circle).

Stack the bottom layer on the serving plate

Place half of the filling on the bottom layer and smooth out.

Stack the top layer on top of that.

Top with the remaining sour cream mixture and then

  • 3 cups of mixed fruit—I used kiwi and strawberries

I kept this in the refrigerator until dinner and then put the leftovers in the fridge too….slowly the leftovers are disappearing throughout the day  🙂


How to Make Angel Food Cake Simply Sublime


My oldest will be 10 tomorrow and we are anxiously awaiting her official “double digits day”.  Since Dad has to work tomorrow evening, we celebrated tonight with her favorite meal: Steak and potatoes.  I realized that I luck out on her birthday as that is also my favorite meal.  She and I also don’t really care for birthday cake.  She prefers angel food cake…and I do to actually—score another win for me!!!

A few years ago I stumbled across a very easy lime syrup that when drizzled over angel food cake it is just so yummy, you will want some more (well, I have to admit the other half of our family would prefer chocolate cake for every celebration).

Since this is a 10th birthday and the birthday girl wanted angel food cake, I was able to come up with a solution that pleased everyone.  I “made” a number ten cake:

The angel food cake pleased the birthday girl and the pound cake pleased her Daddy and little sister.  I had various toppings for the cakes.  One was the sauce that I will give you the recipe for below; the other toppings included:

We had yummy Lemon and Lime Curd which just happened to be on sale this week at our local grocery store so I bought two!  (ya know…who can pick between lemon or lime).  Then we had our favorite whipped topping, some chocolate sauce, and cookies and cream sprinkles.  There was something for everyone.

Simply Sublime Syrup

Mix in a small saucepan:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water

Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

Once the sugar is dissolved, remove from heat.

You can then put it in a container and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Before serving you may want to add a little lime zest (about 1 teaspoon) to the syrup…but it isn’t necessary.

Serve up your angel food cake slices with some fresh fruit and drizzle a little syrup over and ….oh, yes… it is sublime.

It will make you smile!