Blueberry Hand Pies

Blueberry Hand Pies

I am trying to soak up the last bit of summer, although to let you in on a little secret – I am really looking forward to fall.  Of course I can never get enough of those delicious Washington berries, and it makes me sad that my local fruit hut has already closed for the season – but fortunately there were still some stands at the farmer’s market selling blueberries and raspberries, so I snatched up a flat.  But I am looking forward to all of my fall favorites with apples and pears – and hopefully our fall will be as nice as our summer was – boy are we getting spoiled.

I actually can’t believe that an entire year has gone by since the International Food Blogger’s Conference – yes, it is that time of year – and I can’t wait.  Last year it was at a smaller venue so they had to limit attendance.  This year it looks like there are more than double the number of people attending – Seattle watch out.  I hope all the restaurants and bakeries in the area are ready for rush of people they will get next weekend – that is if there is any room in their stomachs after all the food sampling at the conference.  Last year I really got to try some amazing products – I am looking forward to seeing what is in store for us this year.

Summer would not be complete unless I made some type of hand pie.  This year I decided on blueberry, after seeing this recipe in Bon Appetit.  I made a few adjustments to the recipe (using the end of a fork to seal the ends together, and adding cinnamon), but other than that, this recipe was perfect.  The flakey crust was crisp on the outside, tender on the inside, and just buttery good.  They were even better when we had them right out of the oven, although we did not turn them away the next day, completely at room temperature.

So hopefully I will see some of you at the conference next week – I am not the most social or gregarious food blogger, so these things are not easy for me – but last year I met some really wonderful people.  I think it says a lot that I signed up again.  See you soon!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • All-purpose flour (for dusting)
  • 2 cups blueberries (about 10 ounces)
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large egg, whisked with 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 tablespoon raw sugar

Preparation

Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Add butter; pulse until the texture of very coarse meal. Add 1/4 cup ice water; pulse, adding more water if dry, until dough comes together in clumps. Form into a square, wrap in plastic, and chill until firm, about 2 hours.

DO AHEAD: Crust can be made 3 days ahead. Keep chilled. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes before rolling out.

Preheat oven to 375°.Roll out dough on a floured surface to a 15×12-inch rectangle. Cut into 6 rectangles.

Toss blueberries, lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Brush edges of rectangles with water; mound some blueberries in center of each. Fold dough over, and press edges to seal. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, brush with egg wash, and sprinkle with raw sugar. Cut slits in tops.

Bake hand pies, rotating sheet halfway through, until juices are bubbling and pastry is golden brown, 35–40 minutes (juices will run onto parchment). Transfer to a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Corn, Squash, and Green Onion Flatbreads

 

Corn, Squash, and Green Onion Flatbread

Less is more.  I keep trying to remind myself of that – although it is truly not the motto that normally I would quote.  Normally what goes through my mind comes from a very wise man in my life – my father-in-law – if it’s worth doing, it’s worth over doing…  Yes, unfortunately those are usually the words that describe my crazy life.  What can’t I just adopt less is more?  Maybe then I wouldn’t be so ridiculously exhausted.

It’s funny – eating is probably the only place in my life where that cute little three word saying makes absolute sense.  I have always subscribed to the everything in moderation theory.  I have never dieted in my life – I eat healthy, and I eat everything in moderation.  A little of this, a little of that – and I never deprive myself.  It seems to work for me, but I also exercise – I love being active, and then if I want to eat something, I do it – I just don’t overdo it.  I save that for everything in my life besides eating.

The other month I found this recipe in Cooking Light – it looked so fresh and simple, and it was on a piece of…wait for it…YES…NAAN!!!  I was immediately intrigued.  It seemed so obvious and simple, yet I never thought of it myself.  Isn’t that always the way?  Now that zucchini is in abundance, and fresh corn is easy to come by, I gave it a try.  It was super easy to make, and seriously, it was amazing.  My older daughter loved it almost as much as I did.  It really was the perfect lunch.  And look at it – with just a handful of ingredients – less really is more.  Less time, more substance.  What could be better?  I’ll tell you – if I could just adopt that technique everywhere.

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 (8.8-ounce) package whole-wheat tandoori naan bread
  • 8 green onions, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 (7-ounce) yellow squash, thinly sliced (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 1 cup fresh corn kernels
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2.5 ounces vegetarian part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2/3 cup)
  • 2 ounces vegetarian fontina cheese, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Preparation

Place rack in upper third of oven. Preheat to 400°.

Heat a grill pan over high heat. Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Add naan; grill 1 minute on each side or until grill marks appear. Place naan on a baking sheet. Add onions to pan; grill 2 minutes, turning once.

Rub cut sides of garlic over top side of naan. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil. Layer squash over naan, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Sprinkle corn over squash; top with onions. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon pepper and salt; top with cheeses. Bake at 400° for 8 minutes. Turn broiler on (do not remove flatbreads from oven); broil 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and thyme. Cut each flatbread into 4 pieces.

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Watermelon Refresco

Watermelon Refresco

I can’t believe summer is over, and school is starting this week.  My older daughter seems to be holding it together quite well right now – I hope it can last.  I know the first day is going to be tough when she shows up at the new school and it really hits everyone that they have been split-up.  Hopefully it is just for two years, and that she will get to reunite with all her friends in high school.  At least we can always hope.

As I mentioned before, I am pretty behind on my postings.  This summer was much busier than I could have ever expected, and it doesn’t look like it is going to slow down any time soon.  At least I was able to take a little break from work and spend some quality time with my family.  It is not often that I am back east when I need to be, but fortunately this time I was.  We will all miss my uncle tremendously.

It wouldn’t be summer without watermelon, and this year I found a new favorite drink thanks to Cooking Light.  I made two versions – one for the kids, and one for the adults – and it was a crowd pleaser for everyone.  And did you see that color?  I am feeling refreshed just looking at it.

Teddy always did love a good drink as he would sit on my mother’s porch overlooking the water.  So Teddy – this one’s for you…cheers.

Ingredients

  • 5 1/2 cups chopped seeded watermelon
  • 3/4 cup tequila (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur) (optional)
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/4 cups club soda, chilled
  • 6 lime wedges

Preparation

Place watermelon in a blender; process until smooth. Pour pureed watermelon into a sieve over a large bowl, pressing with the back of a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible; discard solids. Combine 3 cups watermelon juice, tequila (for adults only), Triple Sec (for adults only), lime juice, and salt in a pitcher; stir with a whisk. Gently stir in club soda. Serve over ice with lime wedges.

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Cherry Butter

Cherry Butter

I can’t believe summer is almost over…and I have just begun to post all of the wonderful things I made.  Unfortunately this was one of the busiest summers I have had as long as I can remember.  That doesn’t mean that I stopped cooking or baking, but I definitely was not able to keep up on my postings.  So, hang with me…the next few posts will be very focused on summer produce as I catch myself up.

This year we had another killer cherry season.  We had more cherries on our tree than I have ever experienced.  And the odd thing was, the birds were a little late to the party.  We were actually able to pick about 5 pounds worth before the birds got to them.  We also had some other fun visitors this year – the rats.  I think there was just one, and boy was he happy.  I think our neighbors finally had their fill though and I haven’t seen the rat for a while.

So this year I wanted to make jam with them – but that was before I found this Cherry Butter recipe in the Food in Jars cookbook.  Once I saw this, I looked no further.  I just loved the idea of making butter out of these amazing cherries, and as you can see, it was very much like jam consistency, without the pectin.  I can’t tell you the pride I had when I had jars of this cherry butter on the counter.  It is not often that I am able to can my own produce – normally it is from the farmer’s market.  I was beaming.

So even though cherry season may be over where you live – I leave you with this fantastic recipe for next year.  And if you want to come by my house and pick your own…feel free.  There should be plenty, if this year is any indication.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups pitted and chopped sweet cherries (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced

Preparation

Combine the cherries and 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a large pot and bring to a summer.  Reduce the heat to low and let it gently bubble, stirring every 5 minutes or so.  If it’s sticking to the bottom, lower the heat a bit more.  Cook like this to at least an hour, until the butter has reduced in volume and it has taken on a deep wine color.

Using an immersion blender (or working in batches in a blender), carefully puree the fruit.  Taste and add the remaining sugar if you feel it needs it.  Add the lemon juice and stir to combine.  If it doesn’t seem at all watery and the texture seems sufficiently  thick, the butter is done.  If not, continue to cook until the butter is thick and spreadable, keeping in mind that it will thicken a bit more as it cools.

When the butter is nearing completion, fill your canning pot with water and begin to bring it to temperature. Wash your jars and rings in warm soapy water and set aside. Put your lids in a small pot of water and heat (but do not boil) in order to soften the sealing compound.

When it has reached a consistency that is thick and spreadable, ladle the butter into the prepared jars. Wipe rims and apply lids. Screw on the bands and lower into the water. Process in the hot water bath 15 minutes. When time is up, remove from water and cool on the counter. When the jars are cooled, check the seal by pressing on the top of the jar. If there’s no movement, the jar has sealed. Store up to one year in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months

Makes 2 pints (yield varies depending on width of pot, cooking length and juiciness of fruit).

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Peanut Butter Bars

Peanut Butter Bars

Today is my Aunt’s birthday – she would have been 63 years old today.  My family is full of bakers – in every generation.  Bonnie was not really known as a baker, although she will always go down in history for winning the brownie bake-off two years in a row.  Unfortunately I had already moved to the west coast at this point, and I wasn’t able to participate in the fun – but my family took this competition very seriously.  This was not an easy contest to win, and I remember talking to her after she won – I could see her beaming all the way on the other side of the country.

As if it was bad enough to lose Bonnie, now my Uncle is sick.  Fortunately he has a ravenous appetite, which in our family is a really good thing.  My mother went to visit him today with a pile of chocolate chip cookies – she said he ate a few, and then hid the rest from all his visitors.  I laughed – since at this point, I think that is completely appropriate.

I couldn’t go tomorrow empty handed, so I thought long and hard about what I wanted to make him.  I wanted to make brownies, but I thought that something a little different was in order – peanut butter.  Who doesn’t love chocolate and peanut butter?  I remembered this recipe that my friend Kirsty posted – and I thought they would be perfect.  I adapted the recipe slightly below – and the sample bite I had today was exactly what I was looking for.  A nice peanut butter flavor with a chocolate chip in every bite.  They might not be Bonnie’s winning recipe, but they were made with love.  Just like hers.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 2 c flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips (milk chocolate or dark chocolate)

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9‐in x 13‐in baking dish and set aside. Beat the butter and peanut butter in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar; mix well. Next add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition. Finally mix in the vanilla. In a separate mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly incorporate the flour into the peanut butter mixture. Next stir in the chocolate chips. Then spread the batter into the greased baking dish. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or un􀆟l lightly browned. Cool, slice and serve.

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Dairy Free Blueberry Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar

Bluberry Muffins 1

I cannot believe that summer is almost over, and I feel like I have hardly had time to smell the roses.  Between visitors, swim meets, and a ridiculous amount of work – it’s no wonder.  The girls on the other hand have had quite a different experience, they have had the summer of their life.  Enjoying every day of summer that they can.  So – today’s post is from my daughter – she decided to help me out…I am still smiling.

We spend most of our summer at the pool, one day when we were walking down, we saw that the pool was closed and wouldn’t be open until later in the afternoon. So we started trudging home having no idea what we were going to do. We got home and looked in the fridge and remembered that we had these giant blueberries that we got from the farmers market. We called to our mom and asked her if we could bake something and we both had the same idea of what to bake- blueberry muffins. We got this recipe from the Kitchen for Kids cookbook. The recipe called for milk but we substituted that for coconut milk that way our dad could have some. These muffins are light, airy, and almost cake like. We also added a pinch more cinnamon because who doesn’t love more cinnamon. I love these muffins because they are super easy and tasty. I hope you like these as much as I do!

So there you have it – if a 12 and 8 year old could make these all by themselves (no help AT ALL from mom, not even clean up!), there is no excuse for you.  Thanks to my wonderful daughters for helping with the blog, and providing us a lovely breakfast this morning – I got to have my cake, and eat it too (for breakfast!)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease 9 muffin tins, or use papers.

Mix the flour, 3/4 cup sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl.  Set aside.

In a small bowl or cup, mix the 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar and cinnamon.  Set Aside.

In another bowl, use a whisk to stir the egg, coconut milk, oil and lemon juice until smooth.  Switch to a baking spatula and scrape into the flour mixture.  Stir to form a stiff batter.  Don’t over-mix.  Stir in the blueberries.  (Be especially careful not to over-mix frozen blueberries because the juice will make the batter green.)

Green a teaspoon to scoop the stiff batter into 9 muffin tins (or use an ice cream scoop) to about half-full.  Use a clean teaspoon to sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on top.

Bake about 20 minutes, or until the muffins are puffed and golden.  Cool slightly.  Eat while warm.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here: Dairy Free Blueberry Muffins with Cinnamon Sugar

Italian Bietole Chard Tart

Italian Bietole Chard Tart

I am starting to think that I need to go back to school to learn about my greens.  I actually considered myself an expert when it came to food, until I realized how little I knew about the leafy green vegetable.  Just take kale for instance, I had no idea how many variations there were of just kale!  My new market basket has really humbled me…

So each week we get at least 4 or 5 different leafy green vegetables, and usually there is one or two recipes in the box on how to use them.  My problem is that I can’t even tell the difference between the greens to know which ones to use!  So – the other week I got a recipe card for the Italian Bietole Chard Tart.  It sounded amazing, and I thought it would be a great way for the girls to eat these nutrient rich vegetables.  My favorite part about this tart was there was no crust to make.  You basically make a crust out of the bread crumbs and the cheese.  Yum.

So, I looked over the greens in the box that week, but I had no idea which one was the chard – we even brought them over to our neighbors (who I really consider to be an expert), and even he wasn’t sure what they were.  So, after staring at them for about 30 minutes, I just closed my eyes and chose one.  I couldn’t let this go on any further – and seriously, what is the worst thing that can happen, that we eat a different green?  I take this cooking thing way too seriously.

Whatever green I ended up using – it was perfect in the tart.  I don’t actually think it was the chard because I didn’t have to cook it nearly as long as the recipe said, but it was perfect anyway.  The girls even liked it, score!  The next morning, I warmed it up for breakfast – what a treat – nutritious and delicious.  It doesn’t get any better than this – leafy greens roulette – I can’t wait to play again this week…

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds Swiss chard, washed and dried
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350°. Bring 8 quarts water to a rolling boil and add 2 tablespoons salt. Roughly chop the Swiss chard, discarding the rough stems. Add the Swiss chard to the boiling water and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain thoroughly and set aside.

In a 12-inch saucepan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil over a medium flame until hot but not smoking. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until soft and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and the parsley. Let cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool.

Meanwhile, break the eggs into a small bowl. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of Parmigiano and, using a whisk, mix until the ingredients are well-blended. Add the egg mixture to the cooled Swiss chard and toss to combine.

Using the remaining olive oil to lightly grease a shallow 9-inch round or oval baking dish. Dust the bottom of the baking dish with 1/2 cup bread crumbs. Carefully place the Swiss chard and egg mixture into the pan. Dust with the remaining Parmigiano and then the remaining bread crumbs. Bake until the top is golden brown, about 1 hour. Serve hot or room temperature.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Italian Bietole Chard Tart

Pina Colada on a Stick

Pina Colada on a Stick

When my kids were little – I definitely had to do something that I know was wrong.  Use food as a motivator.  No, I didn’t bribe them with food – but if they had a “shout out” at night (when they would get out of bed and wake us up in the middle of the night, or come downstairs after it was bed time), we would take away dessert.  My girls were so obsessed with dessert – that they only seldom had “shout outs.”  Of course if there were multiple “shout outs” during the night, they would loose dessert for a progressively longer time.  I remember the worst was when I had to take away dessert for two weeks.  Those were a very miserable two weeks.  The begging was tough to watch, but I stayed strong and we got through it.

It definitely helped keep me motivated to make treats – because when there was something really worth eating, the likelihood of a “shout out” was slim to none.  Oh the games we play…  But hey, it worked, and we actually felt like we had trained them, we felt like geniuses.  I was always looking for healthy treats though – because my girls loved their fruit almost as much as they loved their baked goods.

Cooking Light printed this recipe for a fun twist on a pina colada.  The recipe in the magazine actually had alcohol in it, but I knew that my kids would go nuts for these – so I made these without alcohol.  This would have been the ideal dessert to make when they were younger and they were in that phase (minus the sharp sticks that is) – I am sure they would have slept well all week, just to get their hands on these.  The best part of course was the gelatin squares.  Boy were those refreshingly delicious.  Now if I could only figure out a way to motivate adults to behave well…then I would really be a genius.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 cup coconut cream
  • 1 (13.5-ounce) can light coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 2 envelopes plus 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 whole pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 72 chunks
  • 18 strawberries, halved lengthwise

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°.

Spread coconut on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 7 minutes or until golden, stirring after 4 minutes. Combine coconut, coconut cream, coconut milk, sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat (do not boil). Remove from heat; cover and let stand 20 minutes.

Place coconut water in a medium bowl; sprinkle gelatin over top. Let stand 5 minutes or until solid.

Strain coconut milk mixture through a sieve over a bowl, pressing to extract liquid. Discard coconut. Gradually add coconut milk mixture to gelatin mixture, stirring with a whisk. Return mixture to pan; heat over medium heat just until gelatin dissolves (do not boil). Remove from heat; stir in vanilla. Pour mixture into an 8-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill 4 hours or up to overnight. (The layers should separate naturally.)

Cut coconut mixture into 72 cubes. Thread 2 pineapple chunks, 2 gelée pieces, and 1 strawberry half alternately onto each of 36 skewers.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Pina Colada on a Stick

Sauteed Radishes with Peas and Mint

 

Sauteed Radishes with Peas and Mint

I love it when I find a new way to cook an old favorite.  I have been seeing radishes in my market basket almost weekly for the past couple of months.  For the most part I just pop them in my mouth and eat them as a snack – although sometimes when I am really in the mood for something special, I thinly slice them and place them on some French bread with butter - then I sprinkle some sea salt on top.  Yum.  It really doesn’t get any better than that.  That was before I realized that you could actually cook them…

When I saw the recipe in my market basket for the first time, I must admit I was skeptical.  I couldn’t imagine that they would taste good cooked – boy was I wrong.  Cooking radishes takes the bite out of them.  They are left with a wonderful flavor and an even better texture.  You can still taste the water inside of them, as they burst in your mouth.  This recipe really took them to another level though.  The mint really brought out the deep flavor of the radishes, and because I had some fresh peas to use, and peas are amazing with mint – I thought they would go well.  Oh did they ever.  I quickly ran outside to photograph since I didn’t want to miss this opportunity.  And hey, not only were they delicious, the colors were beautiful.  Bonus.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound radishes, trimmed and cut into wedges
  • 1 cup fresh shelled peas
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
  • Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

Method:

Heat oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Let butter melt and then cook a bit longer, until it’s a deep golden and beginning to take on a nutty smell, about 2 minutes total.

Add radishes and peas to pan and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 8-10 minutes, tossing frequently, until radishes are tender and tinged with caramelization in places. Let cool slightly and sprinkle with mint and additional salt to taste.

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Sauteed Radishes

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Rhubarb Simple Syrup

Stick a fork in me.  I am done.  I am so tired I can hardly see straight – but it has been too long since my last post, and I have a lot of good stuff piling up.  I haven’t been doing as much cooking and baking lately – although it did finally cool down in our part of the world.  Today we had our first real day of rain in over a month.  It was actually satisfying to me, as I hunkered down in my office to try and get through my piles of work.  It doesn’t help that I was so excited for the kids to be done with school, thinking that my life outside of work would relax a little, but then swim team squeezed it’s way into our lives, and our evenings have been even busier.  I keep thinking that things will change, but what I have realized is that this is the new normal.  I liked the old normal…

The other weekend I was at the farmer’s market, and they had the most beautiful looking rhubarb.  I am not a huge rhubarb fan, except for this.  Last year when I made my annual batch, I just couldn’t get the temperature high enough, and I finally ended up canning the jelly before it was completely ready.  I just lost patience.  The jelly still tasted delicious, but it was a little more syrupy than I would have liked.  I decided to try making a drink for the girls out of it – I mixed some of that very soft jelly with some club soda, and it tasted delicious.  The only problem was that there was still pectin in that jelly, which made the drink just slightly thick.  I knew there had to be a better way – and I realized if I just left the pectin out, that basically I would be making a rhubarb simple syrup.

Well, that’s exactly what I did – and what a treat.  It was the perfect remedy for a hot day.  I poured some of that simple syrup over ice, then topped it off with some club soda (or sparking water), and you have a rhubarb flavored sparkling drink that would make anyone feel like they were on vacation.  At this point, I will take what I can get…

Ingredients

  • 4 cups
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Preparation

Combine the rhubarb, sugar, and water in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer and cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the fruit is soft and the liquid has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes.

Set a fine-meshed strainer (or a coarse strainer lined with cheesecloth)over a large bowl. Pour the rhubarb through the strainer until most of the liquid is in the bowl. Press the solids a little with the back of a spoon to extract more syrup.

Carefully pour the syrup into a clean bottle, cover or cork the bottle and refrigerate. It should keep for quite some time in the fridge.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Rhubarb Simple Syrup