Blueberry Pie Bars

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blueberrypiebars

Blueberry Pie Bars

My friend, Betty, served this dessert the other day for bridge.  They are more like a dessert bar (in my opinion), but however you serve them, they are scrumptious!

Sorry about the picture, I had have of it eaten before I shot the picture.  It is so, so goooood.

Crust and crumble Topping

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt, opt.

Filling

  • 1 large egg
  • Heaping 1/2 cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt; or sour cream (lite is okay)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose

Blueberry layer

  • 12 ounces (2 cups) blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar (or 1/2 cup, if berries are sour)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare an 8 x 8-inch square pan.  I would line it with parchment paper with wings so when ready to take out of pan to cut, it comes out of the pan easier.  Then spray parchment with cooking spray.  After baking and cooling, lift the wings up and put it on a cutting board and slice.

Crust and crumble topping – In a large, microwave-safe bowl melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.  Add the sugars and whisk to combine.  Add the flour, optional salt, and stir to combine.  Mixture will be very dry and sandy with some larger, well-formed crumble pieces.  Set a heaping 3/4-cup crumble mixture aside.  Transfer remaining mixture to prepared pan, and using a spatula or your fingers, hard-pack the mixture to create an even, smooth, flat crust, set aside.

Filling – In a medium bowl, add the egg, Greek yogurt, sugar, vanilla, and whisk to combine.  Add the flour and whisk to combine.  Evenly pour filling over the crust and jiggle pan to help distribute it or smooth it with a spatula; set aside.

Blueberry Layer – In a separate medium mixing bowl, add all blueberry layer ingredients and toss to combine.  If sugar hasn’t dissolved fully or still has crystals, that’s okay because it liquefies while baking.  Evenly distribute blueberry mixture over the filling.  Evenly sprinkle with the reserved heating 3/4 cup crust mixture.

Bake for about 60 minutes, or until edges are bubbling quite vigorously and there’s some bubbling in the center.  Crumble topping should appear set and very pale golden.  If using fresh berries instead of unthawed, baking time will be reduced, at least 10-15 minutes, possibly less.  Watch your bars, not clock, when evaluating doneness.  Place pan on a wire rack and allow bars to cool for at least 1 to 2 hours (overnight is even better) before slicing and serving.  If you try to slice bars before they’ve cooled completely, they’ll be extremely messy and could fall apart.  Bars will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 1 week, in the fridge for up to 10 days (they’re good slightly chilled if you like chilled pie), or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Serve with a mound of ice cream, as you can see in the picture.

Serves 6 to 8.

“God can help me to see the inner beauty in others.”

 

 

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Pear Bread

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pearbread

Pear Bread

This recipe makes up two of the most beautiful, delicious quick breads.  These were are treats at the senior center last Tuesday.  More pears from my friends tree.

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups finely chopped peeled ripe pears
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

In a bowl, combine eggs, sugar, oil and vanilla; mix well.  Combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda and salt; stir into the egg mixture just until moistened.  Toss pears with lemon juice.  Stir pear and walnuts into batter (batter will be thick).

Spoon into two greased 9 x 5-inch loaf pans.  Bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

“To find God, we must be willing to seek Him.”

Rustic Pear Tart

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rusticpeartart

Rustic Pear Tart

Our good friends, Peg and Harve, had an abundance of pears on their tree this year, so I took a few off of their hands and this is what I made.  I have to say, those pears were so sweet and juicy!  And this tart is so easy to make, you will have a dessert ready to eat in 35 minutes.  (Although you will need to cool it a little before eating it.)  Absolutely delicious!!

  • Pastry for single-crust pie (9 inches)
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups sliced, peeled, fresh pears
  • 1 to 3 tablespoons sliced almonds

On a lightly floured surface, roll pastry into a 10-in. circle.  Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

In a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup sugar and flour; add pears and toss to coat.  Spoon over the pastry to within 2 inches of edges.  Fold up edges of pastry over filling, leaving center uncovered.  Sprinkle with remaining sugar.

Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.  Sprinkle with almonds; bake 5 minutes longer.  Using the parchment paper, slide tart onto a wire rack to cool.

Serves 6 – 8.

“A friend’s presence in the midst of suffering provides great comfort.”

Salmon Loaf with Creamy Dill Sauce

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salmonloafwithcreamydillsauce

Salmon Loaf with Creamy Dill Sauce

I fixed this last night for supper and we felt like we were eating a gourmet meal.  Absolutely delicious!!  I just sauteed some asparagus to go along with it.  Perfect compliment to the salmon.

  • 1 (16-oz.) can salmon
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup coarsely crumbled soda crackers (12 crackers)
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 tablespoon grated onion (or 1 teaspoon dried)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Grease a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan.  Line bottom and ends with aluminum foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang; grease foil.

Drain liquid from salmon into a medium-size saucepan; stir in butter and milk; heat until butter is melted.  Stir in crackers; let stand 5 minutes.

Flake salmon; remove bones and dark skin; fold into cracker mixture.  Beat eggs yolks in a small bowl until foamy; blend into salmon mixture along with parsley, onion, lemon juice, Worcestershire, salt and pepper.

Beat egg whites in a medium-size bowl until soft peaks form; fold into salmon mixture; pour into prepared pan.  Put filled loaf pan in a shallow baking pan, then place on oven shelf.  Pour boiling water into outer pan to a 1-inch depth.

Bake in a moderate oven (350 degrees) for 40 minutes, or until a thin-bladed knife inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove pan from water to a wire rack.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Loosen loaf from pan; lift out with foil strips onto a warm serving platter; remove strips.  Keep warm while making sauce.  Serve with Creamy Dill Sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

Creamy Dill Sauce

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a medium-size saucepan.  Stir in 2 tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon dill weed, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.  Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute.  Stir in 1 1/2 cups milk slowly; continue cooking and stirring until sauce thickens and bubbles, 3 minutes.  Makes 1 1/2 cups.

“When God comes to call us home, may He find us serving Him.”

Grape Juice Pie

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Grape Juice Pie

Not too sweet, slightly sour, but oh so good!

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/3 cups grape juice (I used 100% Concord grape juice)
  • 1 egg. slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 baked (9-inch) pastry shell
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

Combine sugar and cornstarch in a 2-quart saucepan.  Stir in grape juice; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly.  Cook 1 minute.

Add a small amount of hot mixture to egg, mixing well; stir egg mixture into remaining hot mixture.  Add butter and lemon juice; return to heat.  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly; boil gently 1 minute.  Cool.  Pour into pastry shell; chill thoroughly.

Combine heavy cream and sugar, beating until light and fluffy.  Spread on pie; chill.

Makes 8 servings.

“Time management is not about clock watching, it’s about making the most of the time we have.”

Ultimate Plum Torte

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Ultimate Plum Torte

This dessert has received many rave reviews.  It is the ultimate fall dessert.  It’s heavenly, scrumptious, outrageously good!  Serve slightly warm with real whipped cream on the side.  Make this for your next party and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

I had very sweet plums so I used 3/4 cup sugar, but if your plums aren’t as sweet, you might want to use the 1 cup of sugar.  I also sprinkled 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar on top before baking.

  • 3/4 to 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup flour, sifted (5-oz.)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt (optional)
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 purple plums, halved and pitted
  • Sugar, lemon juice for topping

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream sugar and butter in a mixer bowl.  Add flour, baking powder, salt and eggs and beat well.

Spoon batter into a springform pan of 8, 9 or 10-inches.  (I used 9-inch.)  Place the plum halves skin side up on top of the batter.  Sprinkle lightly with sugar and lemon juice, depending on the sweetness of the fruit.

Bake 1 hour, approximately.  Remove and cool; refrigerate or freeze, if desired. Or cool to lukewarm and serve plain or with whipped cream.

(To serve a torte that was frozen, defrost and reheat it briefly at 300 degrees.)

Tip:  To freeze, double-wrap the torte in foil, place in a plastic bag and seal.

Serves 8.

“There’s nothing like the beauty of a loving heart.”

 

Chicken Meatball and Orzo Soup

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chickenmeatballandorzosoup

Chicken Meatball and Orzo Soup

This soup has the most amazing broth!  Very comforting on a chilly day.  Those days are coming soon and I urge you to try this soup.  You won’t be disappointed.  Yum!

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley

For the chicken meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1/3 cup Panko crumbs
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, Panko, Parmesan, oregano, basil, parsley, and garlic powder.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.  Stir until well combined.  Roll mixture into 3/4-to-1-inch meatballs.  You should get around 25 to 30 meatballs.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add meatball, in batches, and cook until all sides are browned, about 2-3 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate; set aside.

Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the stockpot.  Add the garlic, onion, carrots and celery.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender. about 4-5 minutes.

Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil.  Stir in orzo and meatballs;  reduce heat and simmer until orzo is tender and meatballs are cooked through, about 10-12 minutes.  Stir in lemon juice and parsley; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Yield:  4 large servings.

“God-the Perfect Father-will never let us down, leave us, or stop loving us.”