Posts Written ByFarmGirl

Blue fingers and cheese? Yep, Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake!

Blue fingers are a sign of blueberry picking season! And yea, you’re right, this isn’t blueberry picking season. So why in the world am I talking about picking blueberries?! Well, my family loves blueberries so, so, so much that we have to make sure we pick enough during the summer to have throughout the winter and spring; and that is usually at least 30 quarts. We have a little over a dozen high-bush blueberry bushes my dad planted when I was just a little girl. And every year, from July through August, they produce some of the best tasting blueberries! In order to enjoy them during the winter we simply freeze them. The same day we pick them we give them a good rinse, take off any stems and pour them into quart freezer containers or bags. We will just pull them out of the freezer whenever we fancy and today I fancied cheesecake. Oh yea, you read that right… cheesecake… with blueberries!!

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Maple Syrup is in Season! Sappy Sweet Tarts Recipe

When growing up I remember following my dad and brothers around carrying a bucket I was given to one maple tree, then another and another. I would watch them tap into the tree and set up all the lines. It fascinated me as I stood there watching the sap drip, drip, drip into the bucket. And then early in the morning, right before school, I would run outside on the heels of my brother to check on the sap buckets. Often those buckets would be overflowing and we would have to haul them up the big hill to our house! It was exciting more than it was work. In the kitchen, which was attached to the dining room where momma also schooled us kids, the stove would constantly be on. The sap that filled our huge stock pot would boil and boil throughout the day and turn the whole room into a sauna! lol Yea, I was guilty of drawing pictures in the condensation that coated the windows… part of art class of course. ;) I could tell that the syrup was close to bottling up when I could start smelling its sweetness waft through the house. There is nothing like the taste of pure maple syrup! With a nod to those sweet memories, I wanted to make a dessert that could capture that special taste and sweetness, and these maple tartlets that I playfully call sappy sweet tarts could not be more perfect. So, so, so good!

Sappy Sweet Tarts: Maple Syrup Tartlets

Yield: 24-26 tartlets

Sappy Sweet Tarts: Maple Syrup Tartlets

Ingredients

    For the Pastry Base:
  • 2 sticks cold butter
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • Milk
  • Maple syrup
  • Filling:
  • 1 stick softened butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. To make the pastry cut the cold butter into the flour and then add milk until a dough is formed. Form dough into a ball and place in freezer while you begin work on the filling.
  3. Beat together the softened butter, brown sugar, flour, and baking powder until thoroughly combined and crumbly. Add the vanilla, eggs, and milk and beat until thoroughly combined and the consitsency of oatmeal.
  4. Grease two shallow muffin tins with shortening.
  5. Take dough out of freezer and roll out very thinly on a lightly floured surface. Use a pastry cutter or pizza cutter and cut out large enough circles to fit your muffin tins. Four-inch diameter circles worked for me. They don't have to be perfectly round! Keep rolling out dough and cutting circles until all the dough has been used up.
  6. Pour a dash of maple syrup (about a teaspoon) in each tart and then evenly distrubute the filling into each tart.
  7. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until filling is golden. Tastes heavenly when served warm!
http://tasteofsunsugar.com/?p=454

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Grandma’s Chocolate Syrup

 something so good can be put together in a matter of five minutes then it just makes it that much better! My family loves chocolate and Grandma’s recipe for chocolate syrup is no exception. I personally enjoy the syrup just by adding it to milk for a glass of chocolate milk (maybe dress it up with some whipped cream :) ) or heating it up for a mug of hot chocolate. But there are so many other ways to use this syrup… my sister will pour it over cake and let it soak in! And then there is just the simple drizzle over ice cream or the stir it in for one of the best chocolate milk shakes! Yep, Grandma did good! :)

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Stitching Together My Grocery Tote Bag: Step by Step Sewing Project

Lately I’ve been finding myself filling up used plastic grocery bags to carry this and that around. Not exactly the most practical way to transport items, especially heavy ones (yes, experience has told me that one… oops). So to the sewing machine I went and in not much time at all I made an easy-to-carry tote bag, strong and durable, and even washable!

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Brunch with Pumpkin Pancakes and Custard!

You have some leftover custard from earlier maybe? Yea… I didn’t think so… but maybe next time you might want to plan in advance to set aside some of that custard for a sunday brunch. Think pancakes… hot-off-the-griddle pancakes… fluffy, light-as-air pancakes… think pumpkin pancakes! Yep, you read right… pumpkin! I was flabbergasted by how fluffy these babies are and the pumpkin flavor is perfectly subtle. A few scoops of pumpkin custard over your stack of pancakes and you have a brunch to die for!

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

Yield: 6 pancakes (depending on size)

Fluffy Pumpkin Pancakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 heaping teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 4 eggs, separated

Instructions

  1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in large mixing bowl.
  2. Combine the pumpkin, milk, and egg yolks in another bowl until homogenous (i.e. very well combined).
  3. Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour pumpkin mixture in the well and mix until combined.
  4. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt in a separate bowl until the whites form soft to stiff peaks.
  5. Fold the egg whites quickly and gently into the batter.
  6. Coat your preheated griddle with butter (I just partially unwrap a stick of butter and spread the butter on that way.) and then ladel the batter onto the griddle to the desired size of pancake.
  7. When the tops of the pancakes have bubbled up and resemble a holey swiss cheese, flip them over. The bottoms take less time so be careful not to burn them. You want a beautiful golden brown color on both sides. Serve with the usual maple syrup or put a couple scoops of warmed pumpkin custard over top! Soooo good!
  8. Tips: If you are making a larger batch, transfer the pancakes to a large baking dish and keep them warm in the oven at 200° until ready to eat. Also, leftovers can be easily put into plastic bags and frozen and then later reheated for another meal.

Notes

I multiplied this recipe by 5 for my family and had plenty of leftovers to carry through the week.

http://tasteofsunsugar.com/?p=192

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Warming the Home with Pumpkin Custard

Freezing your pumpkin in the fall means pumpkin goodness in the winter! My family tries to freeze as many quarts of cooked pumpkin puree as we can fit in the freezer. And today I am grabbing two of those quarts (roughly 5 cups) and whipping up some pumpkin custard! “What? Custard?” Yep, same stuff that goes in a pumpkin pie, but I’m not going to bother with a crust. Just scoop some of the custard in a bowl and load up on the whipped cream or even a scoop of ice cream and dig in! Sounds grand? I thought so!

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Why are Winter Squash Called Winter Squash?

I don’t know about you, but during the winter months I always look forward to enjoying a meal that makes you think it isn’t winter. And I can think of only one way that can happen, making a dish using some fruit or veggie that has been stored or preserved to keep its fresh and delicious goodness. Winter squash is a veggie (techincally a fruit, but we won’t go there right now) that warms up the kitchen, saturates the air with a sweet rich aroma, and satisfies the craving for a healthy, fresh-from-the-farm meal. Winter squash is considered a starchy food, but it is also very high in sugars and over time the starches will convert themselves to sugars, making the squash that much sweeter. How sweet is that?! They are called winter squash for the shere fact that, if stored properly, they can keep through the winter months until you are ready to eat them.

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