Strawberry-Rhubarb Cobbler

What can be wrong when you have a dish of hot cobbler and warm cream in front of you? With the availability of frozen fruit, you can make any cobbler anytime you want!
Serves 6

Ingredients:
16 ounces of frozen strawberries, whole or halved
16 ounces of frozen rhubarb
1 cup plus 3 Tablespoons of sugar
6 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 egg
¼ teaspoon of salt

Directions:
Set the frozen fruit out to thaw. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat an 8 inch square baking pan with non-stick spray or grease and lightly flour the pan.
In a large bowl, combine the fruit with 1 cup of sugar, 2 Tablespoons of butter, the cornstarch and vanilla. Blend well. Pour into your prepared baking pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, the egg, salt, 3 Tablespoons of sugar and the remaining butter. Mix until crumbly (I like to cut it with 2 knives) and sprinkle over the fruit.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbling and golden brown. Serve warm with evaporated milk or ice cream.

Pumpkin Pecan Muffins

Ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
1 cup milk
2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except the flour. Beat until well blended. Slowly add flour while continuing to mix. Do not over mix. 

In a lightly greased or lined muffin pan, spoon in batter to 2/3 full.

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes or until golden and inserted toothpick comes out clean.  Cool completely.

OPTIONAL TOPPING:

1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup pecans, chopped
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

In a small bowl, combine everything. Using a pastry blender or two knives ‘cut’ ingredients to mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter before baking.

Cinnamon Dumplings

Yield: 12

Ingredients:

1 and ½ cups of all-purpose flour

2 and ¼ teaspoons of baking powder

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

¾ teaspoon of kosher salt

2 cups of sugar

6 Tablespoons of unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 large eggs

1 and ½ Tablespoons of whole milk

4 cups of apple cider

Crème Fraiche or Cool Whip

Instructions:

Sift together the flour, cinnamon and salt and set aside.  In a large saucepan, over medium heat, stir together the ¾ cup of water and the sugar. Cook over low/medium heat without stirring for 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, cut the butter into the flour until it’s crumbly. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, 1 whole egg and only the yolk from the other egg. Make a well in the flour and pour in the milk/egg mixture. Stir gently with a fork until blended.

Back at the stove, once the sugar has been cooking for at least 10 minutes, stir well and cook another 4 or 5 minutes. Remove from heat and slowly whisk in the cider until well blended. Return to the heat and bring just to a good simmer.

Divide your dough into 12 parts and roll each into a ball. Drop these into the simmering cider syrup. Turning the dumplings once or twice, cook them until they triple in size. It may take up to 20 minutes to cook all twelve.

Place each dumpling in an individual serving bowl and drizzle with the remaining cider syrup. Top with crème and serve at once.

Ways to Make Homemade Ice Cream

If you want to serve ice cream for dessert, it’s easy enough to run to the store and pick some up. However, there’s nothing like homemade ice cream. The question is, how are you going to make it? You could use an expensive electric ice cream machine or even an old-fashioned hand-crank machine but there are other ways to make homemade ice cream. Consider using one of these methods the next time you have a hankering for that cold, sweet treat.

Roll the Can – Gather two coffee cans, a 1-pound and a 3-pound. Mix together your favorite ice cream base and set it aside. You will also need 10 cups of ice, 1 1/2 cups of rock salt and duct tape. Put the 1-pound can inside the 3-pound can. Pour the mixture into the smaller can and then place the lid on the can. Be sure to seal the can with duct tape. Layer ice and salt around the inner can and then place the lid on the outer can. Place kids on opposite sides from each other and allow them to roll the can back and forth between them for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes check the ice cream. If it has not begun solidifying, have them resume their game. Recheck every 10 minutes until the ice cream is done.

Bag the Ice Cream – You can make ice cream in a similar fashion as with the can. Instead of using cans, however, you will use zip top bags of different sizes. Place the chilled ice cream base in the smaller bag (1-quart) which is then placed inside the larger bag (1-gallon). Add ice half-way ups the larger bag and about 1/2 cup of salt. Make sure the smaller bag is completely covered and zip up the bag. Wrap the larger bag inside several layers of plastic grocery bags and tape it closed. Shake the bags for at least 10 minutes and then check it. If it isn’t thick enough, pour the contents out of the bag and place it in the freezer until ready.

Start with Store Bought – Maybe the only thing you can find in the store is vanilla but your family wants something more exotic. Allow the store-bought ice cream to soften. Add whatever flavorings or additions you like. Chocolate chips, chopped fruit, cookie dough are different items you may want to add. Use your imagination and you’ll have a one-of-a-kind almost homemade ice cream your family will love.

Use a Blender or Food Processor – Place frozen fruit, cream, sugar and vanilla in a food processor or blender. Blend it for five or so minutes and the result should resemble ice cream in no time.

You don’t have to purchase store-bought ice cream when you really want homemade. Try one of these four methods for making homemade ice cream and you’ll have a sweet treat that’s good to eat. Some of these methods are quick, easy and something the whole family can have a part of the making.

Unusual Versions or Flavors for Homemade Ice Cream

ome ice cream stores may have 31 flavors, but there are many more available if you care to give them a try. What are some of the most unusual flavors of homemade ice cream you’ve ever tried? If you’re adventurous, you may want to see if one of these unusual ice cream flavors suits your taste buds.

Not everyone likes the same tastes and this is true when it comes to eating ice cream. One person may prefer simple vanilla. Others may like chocolate and someone else may eat only cookie dough. With all the possibilities of unusual ice cream flavors available, you could probably try a different flavor every day for at least half a year and there would still be some you hadn’t tried.

The fruit lover may want to try one of these tantalizing tastes:

Mango sorbet would be a welcome change-of-pace for someone who generally eats orange sherbet. If you still want a citrusy taste, why not add blood oranges or tangelos to the mix?

Raspberry gelato made especially for vegans is made without dairy products or an ice cream machine. Instead, you would take cashews and grind them finely and use maple sugar to sweeten the gelato. Freeze it in a metal pan.

Perhaps you like the flavor of coffee or tea. Try one of these unusual flavors:

Take your favorite flavored coffee that has been cooled. Add it to your plain ice cream base to get a coffee flavored ice cream.

Chai tea is enjoyed by many people. You can use cooled chai tea as a part of the base to get chai tea ice cream.

Chocolate is a common ice cream flavor. Why not add Nutella, which is a combination of hazel nut and cocoa instead? Add a little Guinness to your chocolate ice cream base for something that’s truly unique.

Corn on the cob ice cream may be something you’ve never tried before. Make a plain ice cream base and then liquefy the corn before it is added to the base. This will be a whole new way to enjoy corn!

Haggis is a traditional sausage. Someone has come up with an ice cream recipe using this unusual flavor. Many people won’t even try haggis, and it’s a good chance this may be one ice cream flavor that isn’t eaten by anyone except the die-hard haggis fan.

You may enjoy sweet potato pie at Thanksgiving. Why not give sweet potato ice cream a try. Whether you choose to pair them together is up to you, but it could be interesting.

There are so many different flavors of ice cream possible. In fact the only thing that that can limit the flavors you serve your family is your imagination. If you’re adventurous, take a look through magazines, cookbooks, on the internet or on television to find new unusual ice cream flavors.

Chocolate Hazelnut Truffles

Looking for a delicious snack to satisfy your sweet tooth? Look no further than these decadent chocolate hazelnut truffles. The best part? Dates and a touch of maple syrup add just enough sweetness without adding any refined sugar.

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: n/a

Yield: 15-18 truffles

Ingredients:

½ c. raw hazelnuts
12 Medjool dates, pitted
2 T. cocoa powder, unsweetened
2 T. coconut flour
1 T. coconut oil, melted
1½ T. pure maple syrup

1 t. pure vanilla extract
¼ t. coarse salt

Optional Coatings:

¼ c. hazelnuts or almonds, ground
¼ c. coconut flakes, finely shredded

2 T unsweetened cocoa powder + ¼ t. each cayenne pepper and coarse salt

Directions:

  1. Place pitted dates in a small bowl filled with warm water. Set aside to soak for 10-15 minutes.

  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with wax paper and set aside. Pour each selected coating, if using, onto a separate shallow, rimmed plate and set aside.

  3. Add hazelnuts to a food processor and process until finely ground.

  4. Remove the softened dates from bowl and drain off any excess water. Add dates and cocoa powder to food processor and blend until smooth, approximately 3-4 minutes. Scrape the sides, as necessary, to ensure mixture is thoroughly combined.

    Tip: Add a few drops of water at a time, if necessary, to achieve a smooth consistency, but don’t add too much.

  5. Add coconut flour, coconut oil, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and salt to the mixture and process until combined.

  6. Remove the dough from the food processor and divide into 15-18 equal-sized portions. Roll each section of dough into a ball before rolling in the selected coatings.

  7. Once coated, place on prepared baking tray and place in the refrigerator to chill for several minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Creamy Instant Pot Rice Pudding

This creamy, custard-like rice pudding is so delicious and easy to make, it just might become your new favorite dessert. It is wonderful on its own with a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and maple syrup or with some fresh berries and whipped cream. For a truly decadent treat, serve warm with some homemade Blueberry Maple Compote.*


Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes + time to come to pressure
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. Arborio rice, rinsed and well drained

2½ c. almond milk, divided

2 T. maple syrup
1 t. real vanilla extract
1 t. ground cinnamon
¼ t. salt
2 eggs

Optional toppings and garnish:

Fresh berries
Whipped cream
Warm berry compote
Ground cinnamon
Real maple syrup
Cinnamon sticks

Directions:

  1. Add olive oil to Instant Pot and press the “Sauté” button. Adjust heat setting to normal. Add rice and stir until coated in the oil and lightly toasted, approximately 2 minutes.

  2. Turn Instant Pot off and add 2 cups almond milk, maple syrup, vanilla extra, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine.

  3. Add lid and lock into place. Press the “Manual” button and adjust setting to high. Set cook time to 10 minutes and set the pressure valve to “Sealing.” After a brief pause, the Instant Pot will automatically start building pressure.

  4. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the remaining almond milk in a medium-sized mixing bowl and set aside.

  5. When the cook time is complete, turn the Instant Pot off to prevent scorching. Allow pressure to release naturally for 15 minutes, and then release the remaining pressure manually.

  6. Unlock and remove lid and transfer one heaping spoonful of the hot rice mixture to the beaten eggs and stir to combine. Repeat with another spoonful of rice before slowly whisking the tempered egg mixture into the Instant Pot.

  7. Press the “Sauté” button and adjust the heat setting to normal. Stir the mixture continually until the pudding thickens and the egg is thoroughly incorporated, approximately 3-4 minutes.

  8. Turn the Instant Pot off and immediately remove the cooking container to prevent scorching. Allow pudding to cool slightly before serving or transfer to a storage container and press a layer of plastic wrap across the surface before placing in the refrigerator.

  9. Serve warm or chilled topped with fresh fruit or warm berry compote and a dollop of whipped cream, if desired. Enjoy!
Poached Pears with Honey Mascarpone Cream

This elegant and easy dessert looks so much more complicated than it actually is!
The key to success with this recipe is to choose a naturally firm pear varietal, such as the red Anjou used here. You also want to use pears that are not quite ripe for this dish. Softer pear varieties and/or overly ripe specimens have a tendency to turn to mush while cooking, so it pays to choose carefully while shopping.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25-30 minutes
Serves: 6

Poached Pears Ingredients:

3 c. Riesling or other sweet white whine
1/3 c. honey
3 whole cinnamon sticks
2 t. whole cloves
3 whole star anise
6 firm pears, peeled
dash ground cinnamon, for garnish

Honey Mascarpone Cream Ingredients:

8 oz. mascarpone cheese, softened to room temperature
3 T. half & half
3 T. runny honey
2 t. pure vanilla extract
2 t. organic orange zest

Directions:

  1. Combine white wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, cloves, and star anise in a large skillet with high sides. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the honey is melted and the spices become fragrant, approximately 5 minutes.

  2. In the meantime, halve the pears and carefully remove the seeds with the tip of a potato peeler or small spoon.

  3. Carefully add the pears to the simmering poaching liquid. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until the pears are tender. Do not overcook.

  4. While the pears are poaching, place the softened mascarpone cheese and half & half in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until light and airy. (If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a hand-held mixer to blend). 

  5. Add the honey, vanilla extract, and orange zest and whip until combined. Place in the fridge to chill before serving.

  6. Remove pears from heat and cool slightly. Serve immediately with a spoonful of the honey mascarpone cream and a dash of cinnamon. Top with a drizzle of the poaching liquid, if desired. Enjoy!