I have decided to build an ark. Yep. An ark. Because I am pretty sure it is never ever going to stop raining here in my part of Kentucky. Usually here in mid May, we are hovering around the 80′s and already worrying about drought. This year however, it has rained almost every day for almost 2 weeks and the temp, while pleasant, is most certainly not hovering near the 80′s. Right now it’s 62.
But!!! Being me, I will not be filling my ark with two of every animal. Nope. Noah already did that and I don’t want to be a copycat. There will be animals of course. I’ll have monkeys. I like monkeys. And cats. And platypus for comic uses. But no elephants unless one of you wants to offer poop scooping services. And you’d darn well better believe I’m leaving mosquitoes behind. And centipedes. Those things ick me out. They have got to be the most prehistoric bug ever. If some director wanted to make a killer horror movie, he/she would only need to have a few scenes with centipedes crawling over the tied up heroine. *shivers*
So what will my ark be filled with? Duhhhh man, this is ME. What do YOU think? CANDY!! Twelve (why stop at two) of every kind of chocolate, lemonheads and of course my current craze, fruity gummi candy. I may also throw some cheetos on the ark just cause.
But, if you’re one of those weirdos who wants their fruit with no preservatives and actually *gasps* REAL, try these cheesecake bars. I based them off of the ubiquitous blackberry pie bars that you can find everywhere online, including right here on my blog . The pie bars originally came from The Pastry Queen cookbook. These cheesecake bars are based on that recipe. They use the same crust but the filling is changed up. These are quite yummy. The crust is sweet and buttery and the filling is creamy, tangy and sweet all at the same time. Plus- they have crumbs on top. Butter, fruit, mascarpone and crumbs. Need I say more? They couldn’t be any easier to make so you know the drill… get to cookin’!
Berry Mascarpone Cheesecake Bars
Crust and crumbs-
3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, cold
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temp
8 ounces cream cheese, room temp
3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 16 ounce bag frozen raspberries, thawed and drained well
1 16 ounce bag frozen blackberries, thawed and drained well
Fresh berries to scatter on top (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 13×9 inch pan then line it with parchment paper and butter the paper.
Combine the 3 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar and the salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Set aside 2 cups of the mixture. Press the rest into the bottom of the prepared pan.
Bake crust at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until it is golden brown. Let rest while you prepare the filling.
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer, together the mascarpone, cream cheese and sour cream. Add the sugar and beat just until well combined. Add the eggs, vanilla extract and almond extract and beat well. Mix in the flour. Gently fold in the drained berries.
Spoon the mixture over the prepared crust. Sprinkle evenly with the crumbs that you held back earlier.
Bake at 350 degrees about 55 minutes. You want the top to be firm but still to have a little jiggle in the center third of the bars, just like with any other cheesecake. The crumbly top will be a nice light golden brown. This will firm up as it cools so don’t overcook it.
Let this cool for at LEAST an hour or so before cutting, but it’s preferable to cover it and let chill overnight. Use a sharp serrated knife that you’ve heated under hot water if you want to get clean cuts.
It’s become a challenge to find a video that will go with each blog post. Why do I do it you ask? Because I’m extremely strange first of all and also because once I start something. I become rather obsessive. This my friends, is why you get a really lame video with almost every post now hehe. I like to think of it as my being your doorway to new musical tastes. Or insanity. Whichever. You know you liked The Carrot Song.
I have a thing for berries also. I wait every year for them to show up fresh at stores for a decent price and not having the taste of…well… nothing at all. Out of season berries really suck donkey toes. So when I can’t get them, I use frozen. It’s not quite the same but it’s pretty darn close and it keeps me from going into “Lack of Berry Convulsions”, otherwise knows as LOBC. Don’t ask me how you pronounce that. Just roll with it cause you love me.
I like muffins. So does this lovely lady who happens to be one of my favoriteist (yes, that too is now a word cause I said so) people.
Muffins are yummy. They can have all sorts of bad for you things in them (not that my muffin today does; just saying) and yet you can get away with eating 12 of them because they’re muffins. Not cupcakes, not cookies, but muffins. And if you add fruit in them, you then earned the right to call yourself the healthiest cook ever. Or something. Do that rolling with me thing again. Continue reading →
…Hey blackberry, tell me what you see Tell me is it interesting Hey blackberry pay some attention to me Hey blackberry look at my bumblebee Hey blackberry you know he never stings And he only hums for me.
Now that you’ve read the title, I am sure you’ve figured out what this post is about, right?
You got it!!! It’s about LIVER!!!! Stuffed with Twinkies! Coated with Panko and deep fried.
Hmmm, how much do you want to bet that in a few weeks, you will be able to find a recipe for that somewhere on the web? Everything else in the world has been deep fried (I am fairly sure this is what happens to socks in the dryer. There is a secret chute and they are being taken to a 5 star restaurant somewhere and being served deep fried.), why not liver stuffed with Twinkies?
Darn it… now I want a Twinkie. Sans liver though.
Ok, before I gross everyone out completely, I should move on huh?
Quite a while ago, I printed out a recipe for Blackberry Pie Bars. I have seen the recipe in many places since then and many delicious sounding variations but the one I got came from here at Joy The Baker . They sounded utterly delicious and I love any excuse to make wholesome fruit slightly decadent hehe.
Finally…the last time I went to the store, I remembered to buy frozen blackberries. So today was the day for these. And I have to say… they’re amazing! Tender tart fruit mixed in a moist batter and topped with crumbs (I have a thing for crumbs. It’s a sickness.). You get a little bite of fruit, a bite of cake and some yummy crumbs (did I mention that crumb sickness thing?) in every bite. These are a little taste of Summer in the middle of Winter. The only thing I think I would do differently next time would be to take about another half cup of the crumbs and use them on top. The crust was a bit thick for my tastes and the topping a bit sparse.
So as I have said before, get to baking. You can thank me later. preferably with chocolate. Or Twinkies. No liver please.
Blackberry Pie Bars
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup sour cream
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon each of vanilla extract and almond extract
juice and zest from one small lemon
2 (16-ounce) packages frozen blackberries, thawed and drained well
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar and salt.
Cut the butter into chunks and cut it into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs.
Reserve 1 1/2 cups. Pat the rest of the crumb mixture into a greased 13×9 inch pan.
Bake for about ten minutes or until the edges have begun to get light brown. Set aside to cool for at least ten minutes.
In another large bowl, beat the eggs. Add the sugar, sour cream, vanilla and almond extracts, lemon juice and zest. Gently fold in the drained blackberries. Sprinkle the reserved crumbs on top of the filling.
Pour onto the cooled crust and bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until it is light golden brown.
Let this cool for about an hour. I didn’t listen to those instructions at first and what I got out of the pan was a goopy, albeit tasty as all heck, mess. LET IT COOL!
Eat. Thank me. Thank Joy The Baker. Thank God for Blackberries hehe
No, you may NOT reach in and snag a blackberry *smacks your hand* Make your own darn it!
I think that it has been established that I like pork. Maybe even love it and want to bear it’s oinky children. Though trying to imagine how said children would sound when laughing rather frightens me considering I tend to snort like a pig when laughing hard (maybe that’s not info I want out there on the web. Hmmmm…). As well as what their nose would look like. I don’t have the smallest schnoz in the world myself so join that with a piggy nose and Lord help the child socially. Plus, that only being able to cool down by rolling in the mud part could cause issues. I can see it now… “Junior, how many times do I have to tell you not to come into the house after you’ve been wallowing?!!!” But…but…*snort snort*… MOMMMMMM… I was hotttttt and…*snort snort*… you said no more 3 hour cold showers!” “No dear, no more cold showers. You’ll need those later when all the women see your nose. Now go get one of your brothers and the axe so I can make dinner”.
Maybe it would better if it were the children of a Llama. I don’t think I’d ever eat llama meat. Food for thought…. or dinner. *Snorts* I crack me up.
I started a pork loin roast marinating a few days ago. Yes, a few days. I like to do a two day marinating time usually and meant to make this last night but it didn’t happen that way. Why? Because I’m a lazy slug. What can I say?
I was worried that the three days would lead to an overly salty piece of meat with the texture of liver. I was pleasantly surprised when that was far from the case. We ended up with a pork roast that my husband ate I think 4 pieces of, I ate two pieces which is rare for me (unless I’m eating mid rare beef in which case just set a side of beef and a knife in front of me). Let’s just say that out of a four pound pork loin there is enough left for a sandwich. Add in the salsa that I made (which my husband actually tried…GASP!!) So yeah… it turned out. So if you’re a pork fan or like to have fruity relish/salsas with meat, this may be for you.
The marinade is an extreme adaptation of one from all recipes recipe. The salsa is me though as with 99.9% of the things we think we are creating, I am sure there are 500000000 variations online somewhere.
Roast Pork Loin In An Asian/Mex Fusion Marinade
With a Blackberry Peach Salsa
1 3 to 5 pound pork loin
1/2 cup lime juice
2/3 cup soy sauce
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 small jalapeno, sliced thin
1 6 ounce container blackberries
1 large peach, chopped
6 grape or cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered depending on size
1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
3 green onions, thinly sliced
Mix all the marinade ingredients in a large ziploc bag. Leave the lime halves in the marinade. Add the pork roast, turning to coat. Refrigerate for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. You heard me; 450.
Put roast in a foil lined pan. Again, why make more clean up for yourself if you don’t have to. I want to give a huge kiss to whomever invented foil. On a side note, remember when it was “Tin Foil” not aluminum foil. If you do, that means you too are old like me. Welcome to the club
Cook roast until it reaches an internal temp of 145 degrees; about 40 minutes. Start checking at 30 and frequently there after. It goes up quickly at that temp. But doing it this high, you get a nice crispy outside and a juicy inside.
While it cooks, make your salsa (can also be done earlier in the day)- mix your salsa ingredients. Taste for seasoning but remember all flavors will get stronger as it sits.
When pork is done, let it rest for about ten minutes before cutting. Drives me nuts when people cut meat the second it comes out of the oven. LET IT REST! The juices go back into it and make it that much juicier and more flavorful.
Slice as thin or as thick as you like and serve with the salsa.
If you’re reading my blog, chances are you’ve watched a show or two or five hundred on The Food Network at some time or another. Chances also are that you have very strong opinions on the hosts of those TV shows. Like Rachael Ray. She drives me batty. If I hear her say EVOO one more time instead of just saying extra virgin olive oil, I am going to reach through the screen and knock her upside the head with her garbage bowl. What’s with that bowl anyway? She tries to tell us that it’s a time saver. Ummmm…. how? I mean, really, how hard is it to walk to the trash can (that she prolly has right under a counter anyway) and toss some stuff in there as opposed to making more dirty dishes? And that thing that comes between two slices of bread? It’s a sandwich dammit, a sandwich! Not a freaking “sammy”!! Ok, sorry, I’m calm now.
Then there are the Neelys. All I have to say is get a room. You’re a cute couple but get a room. K? Thanks.
I am so not even giving an opinion on Sandra Lee. Kwanzaa Cake. Look it up on Youtube. That’s enough said right there.
But the queen of Food TV will always be Paula Deen. Love her or hate her, she reigns supreme there. Personally, I have mixed emotions when it comes to her. On the one hand, I love the majority of the food she makes. I mean, she uses ample amounts of butter, sugar and cream. Is there something in that NOT to love? But on the other hand it’s like I said. Mixed emotions. She seems so sweet and country and like you’d love to sit down with her and have a cup of coffee (not like Sandra Lee where you’d need a bottle of Vodka… and then a drink for yourself too) with her and gossip. By the same token, you would want to make sure your husband was locked up in a nunnery (heh. The mental image of my husband in a habit is pretty cool. Yeah; I need to get out more.) because Lord knows that if there is a male around, Miss Paula will be hitting on him. I swear, that woman makes Tiger Woods look virginal. Plus, I have lived in the south for well over 20 years now and I have never… I mean never, heard anyone use the word Y’all as often as she does or drawl quite as deeply unless they were trying out for a remake of Gone With The Wind.
But…like I said, her food is amazing if you like fat and calories. And you know you do. Quit shaking your head no and telling yourself that yes, you really DO prefer Tofu over heavily buttered biscuits smothered in jam. No one believes you. Since we both know that you want the biscuits, I’m here to supply you with some biscuit love, southern style. These are one of Miss Deens recipes and they are quite yummy. Cornmeal biscuits with a blackberry butter. Next time however, as much as I adore Blackberry jam (it’s rather a jam addiction of mine) I want to try making an Apricot Honey butter too. Mmmmm….
CORNMEAL BISCUITS WITH BLACKBERRY BUTTER
6 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons blackberry jam (I may have used more…just maybe )
1 teaspoon grated lime zest (don’t omit this; it makes the flavor of this spread)
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (one stick) butter, chilled
3/4 cup sour cream
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly grease a baking sheet.
To make the blackberry butter, mix together the softened butter, jam and lime zest. Stir.
To make the biscuits,in a large bowl mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
With a pastry cutter or fork cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Mix in the sour cream until the mixture comes together into a ball. I started with a large spoon but ended up just using my hands to finish so that I could get all the flour mixture hiding in the corners of the bowl.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat to a 3/4 inch thickness. Cut with a 3 inch biscuit cutter. Re-pat the scraps (be gentle with the re rolled scraps. They get tough if handled too much) and roll out and cut.
Put on the baking sheet and cook until light golden broth, about 15 to 18 minutes depending on your oven. Do NOT over bake unless you like really crispy hard edged biscuits.
Serve these steaming hot with the blackberry butter.