Category Archives: Food

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

Dee: Last fall I was gifted a few small rhubarb plants by a lovely co-worker.  Replanting so late in the fall can be tricky, what with the winter kill and all.  However three beautiful ruby red stemmed plants emerged this spring making my husband a very happy man.  This weekend I was able to harvest a few stems for a scrumptious Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble.

2015-05-31 16.42.02

Here is the recipe I created for this husband pleasing dessert.

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble

Fruit filling

  • 3 cups chopped rhubarb
  • 2 cups sliced strawberries
  • 2 T flour
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt

Crumb topping (basically a delicious oatmeal cookie)

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In your baking pan, combine fruit filling ingredients and mix well.
  2. In a bowl, combine crumb topping ingredients and mix thoroughly with your hands until crumbly.  Sprinkle evenly over the fruit filling and bake for 45 minutes.


Berry Season

Dee: Truly, I love berries above all other fruit!  I love them just as they are, I love them sprinkled on top of anything, and I also love them baked into delightful treats for my taste buds.  I grew up in berry country.  Hello?  Knott’s Berry Farm?!  I never stood a chance when the boysenberry was being celebrated with an entire amusement park centered around it’s loveliness.

In early spring, on my way home from Fullerton, I’d stop off the freeway and  buy strawberries by the case for $5.00. You cannot do that here…sadly.  Also, have you ever noticed that there are no good pie places around here either?  I grew up with a Marie Callender’s never more than a few miles away.  I was able to satisfy my berry cravings seasonally with their fresh strawberry pie and year round with their mixed berry pie.  I love their mixed berry pie.  Which brings me to my Triple Berry Crumble.

2015-02-07 20.03.45It’s a mélange of seasonal berries topped with an oatmeal cookie.  Drooling yet?  Well, because I am a girl who likes to share, I am posting my “recipe” for my Triple Berry Crumble for you to enjoy and celebrate the splendor that is berry season.

Dee’s Triple Berry Crumble

  • Wash and dry about three (3) pints of mixed berries.  I like to use raspberries, blueberries and blackberries.  I have also been know to make this a quadruple berry treat by adding some cut up strawberries to the mix.  Use your favorites, be the architect of your crumble.
  • Sprinkle and stir in no more than 1/4 cup white sugar into the berries and about 1 to 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to thicken the juices.  You seriously do not need to add any sugar but there are times when the berries are a tad too tart, use your best judgement here. You also do not have to add the cornstarch but I like thicker juices so I add some.
  • The oatmeal crumb topping is heavy on the oatmeal because I love it so.  Experiment a little, go ahead, I give you permission to mess with perfection and adjust to your preferences.  I still do, sometimes I add about 1/2 cup or so of chopped walnuts or pecans.
  • You’ll need 1 cup softened butter (don’t even think about using anything but butter).
  • 3 cups of old fashioned oatmeal.  The five (5) minute variety.
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Mix all of the crumb topping ingredients with your hands until nice and crumbly then spread evenly over the top of the berries. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees until the topping is nicely browned and the juices are bubbling up through it along the sides and corners.
  • I like to eat mine while it’s still warm and heavenly.  This would be a good time to add a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream but really, the berries are delicious enough on their own.  Mike likes his berry crumble cold so I stow all leftover triple berry crumble in the fridge.

Happy baking!


Halloween Doughnuts

pumpkin cream cheese doughssaint

Monica: from West Town Bakery. I’m sure you’ve heard of the latest craze called cronuts. This was the bakery’s version but they call theirs doughssaints. This one had the crunchy crispy shell like a croissant and the cake-like inside of a doughnut. Inside was gooey pumpkin cream cheese filling.

I thought that this would be the last pumpkin pastry in my not official taste test but a coworker was kind enough to pick up one last doughnut for me from a shop that doesn’t open until after I’m already at work.

pumpkin from the doughnut vault

from the Doughnut Vault. This was a nice small size which was good for me and it wasn’t too sweet. I hope you have enjoyed my blog postings about these doughnuts. I wish I could have offered a taste of each one through the blog.

Weekend Doughnuts

Monica: This weekend I decided I shouldn’t limit my doughnut search to the city but I should visit the local doughnut shops near my home. On Saturday I did my usual routine, woke up and made breakfast, my sister and I took Zoey on our usual 2-mile walk and on the way home we stopped at one of the doughnut shops.

cider doughnut
We got a cider doughnut.
Pumpkin donut
and a pumpkin doughnut. (Note the Corelle plate from the 1970’s. It is indestructible!)

These were really good and were inexpensive. I almost regret only getting 2 doughnuts. After we devoured the dougnuts I went to the gym. I have to do that in order to eat all of these doughnuts.

On Sunday I went to another bakery on my way home from yoga class.

apple pumpkin doughnut

I got an apple pumpkin dougnut

iced pumpkin donut

and an iced pumpkin doughnut.

Both very good but I liked the ones from Saturday better because they weren’t too sweet.

The Quest Continues

Pumpkin Donut
Monica: Yesterday I went to Dunkin Donuts and got their pumpkin doughnut. It was okay and tasted about what you’d expect for a basic 98 cent doughnut. I find their other doughnuts to be too sweet so this might be the only doughnut I’d get from them.

Today I went to Firecakes Doughnuts to see if they had a version of a pumpkin doughnut and they didn’t disappoint.

Pumpkin Pie Donut

That is a pumpkin pie doughnut. It was very moist and the icing was perfect. I also loved the glazed pecans on top.

So far I would rate this one as my favorite with the one from Do-Rite being a close second.

Pumpkin Season

Monica: Last year when my mom was sick my sister who lives in Florida visited frequently. We would always stop at Starbucks or some other coffee place and we would always get a baked item. During my fifth or sixth piece of pumpkin bread or pumpkin muffin my sister said “you really like pumpkin.” And I thought about it and said, “yes I guess I do.” Last week I was at Dunkin Donuts getting coffee and I noticed they had pumpkin doughnuts so I had to get one. It was okay but I wanted more pumpkin in it. Then I had a brilliant idea. In Chicago we have seen a lot of fancy doughnut shops open recently and unfortunately all very close to my work location. I’ve done a very good job of avoiding them for the most part but occasionally I succumb to the call of a pistachio doughnut or a chocolate doughnut made with Valrhona chocolate. So my brilliant idea involves an unofficial taste test of pumpkin doughnuts at the fancy doughnut shops. On Monday I tried out this one:

Pumpkin Chocolate donut

That is a pumpkin chocolate chip doughnut from Glazed and Infused. It was good but too sweet for me. But I liked the taste of the chocolate with the pumpkin.

Today I got this one:
Pumpkin with Cream Cheese frosting donut

It’s a Pumpkin doughnut with cream cheese frosting from Do-Rite Donuts. I love the pumpkin seeds on top. This one is sweet too but not as sweet as the other one.

So now that I’ve committed to this unofficial taste test I will have to try out a few more different places that I can find. But I will have to space it out as it’s not good for me to eat all that sugar.

Let’s Talk Food

Lynette:  So I’m a foodie – meaning n.Slang A person who has an ardent or refined interest in food.  I love watching food TV shows (I’m a huge Top Chef fan), reading food blogs and biographies by chefs and fictional food books.  However, I wasn’t very creative or inventive when it came to cooking. My meal plan was always the same.  So late last year, I started actually looking at the recipes I’ve read about.  Time to change up my meal repertoire.  It’s all a part of my Learning New Things.

One of the blogs I’ve recently discovered is called Simply So Good.   Her name is Janet and her food looks delicious.  The post that made me want to ‘cook this’ was her Crusty Bread recipe.  It is amazingly simple and delicious!  Originally, I thought to myself I’ll try it but my bread won’t turn out like that.  But yes it did!  This recipe is SO easy, I’ve made it almost every week.  Not for myself but I’ve baked it for my family. It taste so much like the bread they serve at Panera.  I’ve yet to experiment with it by adding herbs, cheeses, raisins, etc. because it taste so delicious on it’s own. You have to try this.

Next up is her Chicken Tortilla Soup and Black Bean Salsa.   Double Yum!  This was one of the most delicious meals I’ve made in a long time.  I no longer buy packaged soups because of the high sodium content and now I can enjoy it the healthy way. There is some prep work and that’s ok.  I’m learning now that all meals don’t have to be cooked in 30 minutes or less.  I’m very, very pleased with the outcome.

There are more recipes from this blog I intend to try.  Here’s a link to the recipe index if you want to check it out.

Onto another blog called The Crepes of Wrath.  The Crock Pot Beer Chicken was calling out to me one day.  So here’s my result.  My pictures don’t look as good as the original, but the taste is great!  The chicken was so very moist and truly fell apart when I tried to lift it out of the crock pot.  My only drawback was that I don’t know anything about beer so I went to the store and bought a can of Miller’s I think.  Next time around, I think I’ll go to Trader Joe’s and get some Lindemans Framboise Raspberry Lambic Beer or some other flavor.  I tried this at a friend’s house, and it was so good.  It tasted more like sparkling wine rather than beer.  I think that would give a totally different flavor altogether.

The last recipe (with pictures) I want to share with you is called Grands! Chicken Pot Pie Puffs by Pillsbury.  Again, it’s super easy, quick and delicious.  My family ate it up within a few minutes.  My son ate his while standing in the kitchen then asked for more.  Here’s my version.  Next time, the only thing I would change is to make two batches or use two cans of biscuits.

These recipes don’t have pictures for it, but I wanted to share them.  I tried the Slow Cooker Pepper Steak by  I served it over rice.  I keep saying the word delicious.  And it was!  You’ll have to take my word for it and try it one of these day.   The last recipe is from a blog I read called Under The Tulip Tree.  The recipe is called Family Pancake, which is basically a dutch pancake.  Instead of cooking a stack of pancakes, I made this on a Sunday morning when everyone was home, and it was a winner.  And delicious!