Blueberry Peach Cobbler

I never can remember how cobbler is supposed to be made, so I typically have to Google cobbler recipe. Well. This time I’m writing it down. This came out great. I “adapted” the Paula Deen peach cobbler recipe and this is MY version. I used fresh fruit, so I could have added water (but I really didn’t). If you use frozen fruit, drain it well and cook off any excess liquid.

4 cups of fresh peaches, peeled and cut into small pieces.

1 cup blueberries

2 c sugar, divided

1 c flour (I used whole wheat flour and Protein flour but AP would work.)

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 c rolled oats

Cinnamon (to taste, or omit)

1 cup milk

4-6 tbsp butter or coconut oil

Bring fruit and 1 cup of sugar to a boil, reduce heat and simmer at least 10 minutes. Remove from heat when liquid is syrupy and let cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 350 and melt butter in a 2 or 3 quart baking dish in the oven.

Combine dry ingredients. Pour milk into dry ingredients and stir well.

Pour the flour mixture into the baking dish. Spoon the fruit into the baking dish, including syrup.

Wet and dry ingredients will swap places in the baking process.

Bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes.

Serve warm…or not. With whipped topping or ice cream…or not. 🤣

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Banana Oat Protein Muffins

I’ve been on a savory breakfast kick lately and I’m positive that will continue but I had 3 bananas left from my weekly banana stash so I decided to invent a recipe.

These are not super sweet so if ypu want to “up” the sweetness, you can sub dark brown sugar or add some honey. Oh, and the protein powder I added is just a basic whey-free protein powder by Purium. Feel free to reach out to me if you want to get some, or sub in your favorite. I do NOT know if whey protein will change any of the chemistry.

Ingredients:

1 cup rolled oats

1 cup protein flour

1/4 cup chia seeds

1 /4 cup Purium MVP vanilla protein powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) butter, room temp

1/2 cup demarra sugar

1 egg

3 ripe bananas, mashed (approx 1 cup)

Dash of cinnamon

Directions:

Sift flour, protein powder,, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine with oats and chia.

Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg.

Combine bananas with cinnamon.

Alternate adding banana mixture and dry ingredients to butter and egg. Combine well but do not over beat.

Preheat oven to 400. Grease muffin tins. Fill tins 2/3 full.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center cones out clean. Cool on a rack.

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The Battle For Crust

I can honestly say I have struggled with pie crust for years. Too dry, too wet, sops up too much of the pie filling, burns to the bottom of the pan…you name it…I have battled against it. Pie crust causes me angst and I just can’t avoid it.

But….a few weeks ago, I discovered a crust recipe from an old Frieda Arkin article in a VERY OLD Boston Globe clipping my mom/dad had saved that has now become the base of my own successful pie crust recipe. Now mind you – I’ve only tried it twice so it may not be perfect but I came as close to the same process both times and it has come out pretty dang good both times.

Frieda’s recipe uses margarine. I just can’t. Even though her recipe says it will be fine, I just can’t. I use margarine sparingly. I use butter and Crisco/vegetable shortening when baking because margarine…well, I just can’t. And, I do a weird thing with my bench flour that I’ll describe in the recipe.

Let’s just say to make pie crust, ensure everything possible is COLD. Start there. And use a food processor for cutting the butter into the flour. So much easier. So remember to put the food processor bowl, blade, and water in the fridge at least for 30 minutes prior to making this. Ensure your unsalted butter is frozen and your vegetable shortening has had some freezer time too.

Ready?

This recipe makes enough for 2 crusts – I have not tried cutting it in half for a 1 crust pie. I assume it will work.

2 sticks of unsalted butter, cold or frozen, cut into small chunks

3 tbsp vegetable shortening (you can use butter flavored or not)

2 cups of AP flour

Whole wheat flour for bench flour

1/2 tsp salt

2-3 tbsp sugar (depending on the filling)

1/4-1/2 c ice water

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the dry ingredients using one or two pulses. Drop the butter and shortening into the dry ingredients and pulse until the mixture looks like small gravel or tiny pearls.

Start the food processor mixing and stream in cold water until the dough just comes together. You may need 1/4 cup, you may need 1/3 cup…you may need the whole 1/2 cup. The dough should be dry (not sopping wet) but tacky to the touch.

Dust a pastry board (or whatever surface) with whole wheat flour. I use Bob’s Red Mill organic whole wheat bread flour but any whole wheat flour will do. Dump the contents of the processor bowl onto the pastry board and knead until you have pulled together all the dough into a 5-6″ disc, about 1″ thick. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Several hours is good too.

When it’s time to make the pie, dust the pastry board with more WW flour and place the chilled dough (unwrapped) on the board. Cut disc in half.

Roll using a rolling pin to the desired size. Flip onto the rolling pin and place into pie plate. Press lightly to shape dough to the pie plate.

I’ve only used the 2nd disc of dough for lattice topping. If you want a full 2nd pie crust, roll out the dough to exceed the side of the first crust. Fill the pie plate with filling first, then either use water or a bit of egg to coat the edges of the bottom crust. Lay the top crust over the pie and crimp using a fork.

Bake following the timing for whatever pie you are making. I wrapped my crust edge with foil to prevent burning but that will completely depend on temperature and length of baking.

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Low Fat Granola

I don’t actually know how much fat is IN this granola aside from the fact that there is no ADDED oil or dairy so any fat is fat that occurs naturally in the ingredients. And I’ll add the disclaimer that I don’t think it’s “diet” granola based on some of the ingredients 🤣. But here we go.

1/3 c agave nectar (can sub maple syrup…I don’t really like maple syrup, but the consistency is about the same)

1/4 c honey

1 c oats (rolled, not quick)

1/2 c pumpkin seeds (or sunflower seeds). I used roasted and salted but raw would be ok too.

1/2 c unsweetened coconut

1 cup dried berries (i bought premixed organic cherries, blueberries, raspberries, and cranberries)

1/3 c dark chocolate chunks

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tsp hemp hearts

Spray a bar pan with cooking spray and preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Combine agave and honey in that bottom of a bowl.

In a zip top bag, combine berries, coconut, oats, and chocolate chunks. Zip the top and shake to evenly distribute. Pour into the bowl with the agave and honey.

Spread evenly on prepared pan. Sprinkle chia seeds and hemp hearts on top.

Bake for 20 minutes, stirring once. Let cool and transfer to a storage container. Makes approximately 4 cups.

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Rant

Roman’s 12:2 and Matthew 5

I’m sure those of you who don’t believe will stop reading after the first line. But if you feel ANY anxiety…if you feel ANYTHING at all, stop now and go read both Romans chapter 12 verse 2 and then Matthew chapter 5. 

You have to know that a loving God looks at us fighting and sniping, accusing, name calling, chest puffing, brow-beating….all the sh*t that we are doing and he IS SAD. You may also wonder WHY a merciful God “lets” all this happen. I’ll explain it in 2 words. FREE WILL.

The God of love and mercy does not force you to believe. And some of you don’t. That is you, exercising your free will.

Some of you believe, and still beat your breast claiming to be RIGHT and knowing of impending doom quoting Revelation…and I say you are imposing your interpretation of His word to fit your own need.

It’s about time we should all stop, get right with KINDNESS and CARING. Humble ourselves and be a servant as Jesus was a servant. Stop pretending we are “right” because we all have faults…

Don’t think I’m talking to you? You are probably exactly who I’m talking to…

If you are on line (you are reading this so I know you are), there are fantastic resources available. Bible Gateway. Through The Word. YouVersion and so many more. Don’t just say you are praying for people. Those are just empty words. Get in The Word and truly pray the Bible.

Even better, shut your phone (or computer) off and OPEN A REAL BOOK (there are actually printed Bibles out there…you may even own one or two…)

If you can’t see that both the left and the right, the blue and the …. whatever the other color is … the donkeys and the elephants are caustic, you may be part of the problem. If you think that because you shout louder on social media that someone will change their mind….or that capital letters and strong words makes you bigger better smarter and more American than someone else…well… BLESS YOUR HEART.

I’ve never considered myself an empath but all y’all are giving me heartburn…and back spasms.

My dream is that a year from now I will look back on this and say, “Remember when everyone was being assholes to each other?”

Let’s make that dream come true, people. Learn a book.

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It’s Been Such A Long Time

I have wanted to blog for a while but life has been a bit hectic. I’ll explain that some other time. And typically, I blog what I’m baking. Today I happen to be baking the same thing I bake every other week…Salad Dressing Cake (the chocolate cake made with oil and vinegar…it’s here some where search for salad) because mom finished her cake two days ago and life isn’t the same without chocolate cake.

I’ve been baking a lot of yeast breads but it’s almost 80 degrees out today, so not much of a baking day….I have a couple of things I’m thinking of making to clean out the fridge…..but nothing exciting enough for a blog.

I did want to document how lately, mon has been different. She is less challenging about some of the things we’ve put in place to keep hear healthy. But she has also not been playing the piano without being prodded and she keeps telling me how interesting it is that she moved here to the same place I moved.

Quite honestly, I have stopped correcting her because, well, it doesn’t matter what the actual events were. She isn’t going to remember even if I do correct her, and I can tell that she gets upset if I correct her. So why upset her?

Instead, I bake her chocolate cake and try to smile.

A brief reminder here…I do not blog to receive pity, nor am I asking for help in any way. I know the path I am walking and if you are reading this, maybe you are on the path or maybe you see the path in your future…or maybe you are a friend who likes to be tortured by my ramblings. So, I accept your love and words of encouragement but please know that writing is cathartic for me and that is all…

On the “daughterly” side, recently there have been a lot of tears. After 40-50 hours of work, 5-7 hours of preparing and feeding mom, a few hours of doing her laundry, shopping for groceries and toiletries, cleaning up, getting her into bed and knowing WAY too much about bodily functions that no child ever expects to know about their parents, sometimes im exhausted. And overwhelmed. And emotional.

I’ve got Jim here, helping me every step of the way. Without him, I probably would cry a LOT more and would probably be 100% hermit. If you are caretaking full time and don’t have a Jim, I don’t know how you do it. Having a partner to keep you sane is vital, I think.

Also, having a pastime…a hobby…a preoccupation helps too. Mine is CrossFit. I’m not skilled, but I’m consistent. I can’t lift heavy things but I keep working toward a higher goal. I want to be healthy. Whatever that looks like.

For now, I will leave you with a picture I love. Hangs in our dining room.

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Carrot Applesauce Raisin Protein Muffins

Long time followers know I sometimes just make recipes up. And this is one I just made up because I had a bunch of carrots and some applesauce just hanging around. Instead of rotting the carrots and wasting the applesauce, I thought I would make up a muffin recipe. I didn’t use an existing recipe as a base. I just thumbed through some quick bread recipes to see how much baking soda and baking powder to use.

The recipe ISN’T gluten free but if you have Bob’s Red Mill or Arrowhead Farms (or King Arthur) 1:1 GF flour, you can sub it for the entire amount if you want.

The recipe is dairy and oil free. If you would prefer to use eggs and butter, you can. I imagine it is 2 eggs and maybe 1 stick of butter.

1 cup protein flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tbsp pie spice (or, combine cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice)

1/2 c coconut sugar

1 tbsp chia seeds

2 c shredded carrots

1 c applesauce

1 c raisins

1 c aquafaba (liquid from garbanzo beans…an egg substitute)

1/2 c water

1 tbsp vanilla

1 tbsp agave nectar

1 tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray. Recipe makes 12 small or 6 large muffins.

Combine all ingredients, ensuring all the dry ingredients are incorporated.

Scoop mixture into muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 22-25 min or until golden.

This would probably make a 9×5 loaf too. That would bake for approximately 55 min at 350.

I promised myself if they came out icky I wouldn’t post the recipe so they are good!

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Where Do You Get Inspiration From?

I spent the weekend observing via Instagram and some YouTube live moments a competition hosted by Masters Fitness Collective. Masters athletes in the CrossFit world are those of us over 35. Not to belittle anyone in the 35-49 age groups but…

What inspired me the most were the 55-65 and the 65+ athletes. Why? Because I fall in one of those age groups? Not at all. Because everyone in those age groups ROCKED their workouts.

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These women were inspiring, and they made me want to compete. Now, let’s just say although the words “masters athlete” are used in conjunction with what I’m doing…I am not at this level yet. HOWEVER, I know how motivation works. And, I am motivated. I want to be able to pick up heavy things. I want to be able to pull myself off the ground (As I age, this makes a difference! If you fall, can you get up?)

So while I don’t think I’ll be at next year’s Masters Fitness Collective Competition, I want to set that as a goal. If the remainder of this year goes the way I want it to, I might be able to afford some 1:1 Coaching that can get me moving in the right direction.

Why am I blogging about this? Because I feel as if stating the goal out loud makes me more accountable…and that’s key for staying motivated.

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Love Letter to the Past

I’ve been having a hard time lately. I watch you and see someone I don’t know. I watch you change in a way that hurts my heart. I want to shake you and make you yourself again. It’s hard.

Sure, people look and see how “happy” you are, but you’re not. Or maybe I’m not.

There’s a part of my heart that hurts when I think of the past. There’s a part of my heart that would give up everything just to go back 15 years and just do stuff over.

I wish for a concert of Kern, or Gershwin, or Brahms, or Aquino…voice and piano, sometimes two voices.

No need for large audiences. Just the two of you. And the light-hearted, but always charming, always enchanting, always beautiful concert…of you two.

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Berry Butter Struesel Cake

I promise to return to healthy recipes after the holiday. Who am I kidding? I don’t promise that at all.

I made this cake with a part of a recipe in my Doubleday cookbook for a 2 egg Butter cake. I changed it to fit my needs and my pantry because I’m out of vanilla (GASP). It’s looking good and the batter tastes great.

1 3/4 c cake flour

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla powder

1/2 c butter

1 c sugar

2 eggs

1/2 c milk

1/2 vanilla bean, scraped

1 c blueberries

1 c cut strawberries

Struesel:

4 tbsp cold butter

1/3 c flour

1/2 c sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla powder

Mix the milk and vanilla bean.

Sift flour, baking powder, salt, and vanilla powder. Set aside.

Cream butter. Add sugar gradually. Add eggs, beating well after each addition.

Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to the butter and egg mixture.

Pour into a greased 9 × 13 pan. Top with berries.

Make the struesel. Combine dry ingredients. Cut the butter into dry ingredients using pastry blender until mixture looks like small pebbles. Sprinkle over berries.

Bake for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.

I think it would be tasty with some vanilla ice cream or nice fresh whipped cream.

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