Thursday, August 1, 2019

Blackberry Pie and Blackberry Jam Cake: Best of Show Winners

Hey friends... Here are the 2019 Best of Show Recipes!! Enjoy.

2019 Ohio State Fair, Best of Show: Blackberry Pie
Karri Perry,

Baking temp: 375
Time: 60 minutes
Yields: 9-inch pie

Pie Dough
2 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 ½ teaspoon salt
½ cup Crisco shortening -either butter flavor or original is fine
8 Tbsp (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
6-8 Tablespoons ice cold water and vodka mixed 50/50

5 cups rinsed fresh blackberries
1 cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup arrowroot
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Garnish- Brush with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon/sugar before baking

Step 1: Mix together flour, sugar and salt, set aside.  Make pie dough by cutting the butter and  shortening  into the flour, sugar and salt. (Use a pastry blender, food processor or stand mixer with the paddle attachment)   Add liquid a little at a time…Once dough comes together, shape into 2 equal disks and let rest, covered tightly, at least one hour in the refrigerator before rolling the dough.

Step 2: Roll out 1 disk of prepared dough to ¼ inch thick, fill pie plate, and crimp the edges.  Set aside in refrigerator.  Roll out the second disk of dough and cut out 25-35  2-inch decorative leaves* to cover pie or roll the disk as one solid piece to serve as the top crust.  Return the prepared dough to the refrigerator until ready to assemble the pie.

Step 3: Stir together the sugar, arrowroot, cinnamon and zest, set aside.  In a medium bowl, add the fresh rinsed and patted dry blackberries.  Drizzle the lemon juice over the waiting berries.  Pour sugar mixture over the blackberries and gently fold to lightly coat the blackberries.

Step 4: Fill pie shell with the blackberry mixture.  Add dough cut-outs of decorative shapes to the top of the pie if desired, or apply a full top crust, being sure to vent the pie by making  4-5 slits in the pie dough.  Brush the top of the pie with milk, and sprinkle lightly with a cinnamon sugar mixture.

Step 5: Bake in preheated 375-degree oven, on the lowest rack for 60 minutes or until the filling is bubbling in the center and the crust is golden.  Allow to cool before serving.

*Decorative pie-crust or pie dough-cutters in leaf and other shapes are available at Williams-Sonoma, Cincinnati-Cake and Candy, occasionally available in the baking aisles of craft stores.  Cutters also available online and on eBay for retired sets.

2019 Butler County Fair, Best of Show: Blackberry Jam Cake

Karri Perry,
Special Thanks to the Roudebush Family, 1976 family reunion recipe of Ms. Albert Snyder of Minerva, Kentucky. 

Baking temp: 350 degrees
Time: 35-40 minutes
Yields: 1 three-layer cake

2 ¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup butter softened-unsalted
½ cup shortening
6 eggs lightly beaten
2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon allspice
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
2 cups seedless blackberry jam

Caramel Frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
½ cup milk-room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
3-4 cups confectioner’s sugar
1-2 tsp additional of heavy cream or milk to thin if necessary

Step 1:  Line three 8” or 9” cake pans with parchment rounds and spray with a non-stick cooking spray, on the bottom and on the sides of the cake pan.  *Yes, it is necessary to do both the spray and the parchment or the cakes will never come out of the pans…trust me on this.

Step 2: Mix together the flour, salt, cocoa powder, spices, and baking powder, set aside.  In a small bowl, measure the blackberry jam and stir to loosen the jam, set aside.  In a medium bowl cream together the butter, shortening  and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes).  Add the eggs and mix.  Add ¼ of the milk and ¼ of the flour mixture alternating between the two, until all of the ingredients are combined.   Mix in the blackberry jam.

Step 3: Pour the batter evenly into the prepared cake pans.  Bake cakes on the middle rack of a pre-heated 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly from the center of the cake.

Step 4: Let cakes rest for 3 minutes in cake pans, then run a paring knife around the edges of the cake pans (cakes  will need to have a paring knife used to loosen the edges) Invert cakes onto a cooling rack and remove the parchment paper from each cake to allow heat to escape.  When parchment is removed, you may notice bits of jam that have settled at the bottom of each cake layer—this is normal and will become delicious jam bites in the final product.  Allow cakes to cool to room temperature before frosting.

Step 5:  Make the caramel frosting: In a heavy-bottomed sauce pan, over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar, bring to a boil.  Allow to boil for 1 minute.  Turn heat off, and carefully add the milk, stirring well to combine.  Turn the heat back on and return mixture to a boil and then turn off heat. Let mixture cool to warm.

Step 5: When ready to frost the cake:  In a large bowl, with an electric mixer, mix the warm caramel sauce with the confectioner’s sugar, adding ½ cup at a time until the desired frosting consistency is reached.  If frosting becomes too thick, add milk or cream 1 tsp at a time to thin.

Step 6: Using a platter or cake plate, frost and stack each layer, frosting in between, on the tops and sides of the cake.  Using an off-set spatula and working quickly with the warm cooked caramel frosting is helpful in creating a beautiful cake.  ** If frosting gets too thick or begins to harden while working with it, add a small amount of milk to thin.

Garnish with fresh blackberries.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Hooray for the Red, White and Blue!! Easy July 4th Food and Decor!

Blue Check Table Runner: Hester and Cook

Drinking glasses on left, Cake Stand: 
Target; Drinking glasses right: Ball Canning Jars;
Gingham Napkin: Pier 1; Paper Plates Stars: Wal-Mart; 
Paper Fans, Flags: Michael's; Tins, Wicker Paper Plate 
Holders; Vintage-thrift, antique store finds.

It's almost July 4th and I put together a collection of
my most popular July 4th foods and easy decor ideas!!

I hope you'll take a look...these are the easiest
 dishes with the biggest wow-factor!!

There is still plenty of time to put together
a fabulous Fourth of July picnic...I promise.

Lets start with the food...
I always say dessert first...
--There is so much patriotic goodness to share
with you...
I can't wait!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Cheers to Dad! Root Beer Float Fun & FREE Printables; Peanut Butter Pie

Celebrating Dad!

Father's Day weekend is upon us and just in 
time I have some pretty cute Dad's Day Root Beer Float
fun to share with you.
Simply print out the ties, color and cut out...attach with
tape or a dot of glue...and you're ready for a fun root beer party!!
Cheers to dad!!  (Printable ties below)

Another FUN way to have a little celebration is with S'mores!!
We couldn't LOVE dad S'more??... Right? --and even easier...s'mores
in the oven...that's right, skip the mosquitoes...and
make a crowd sized batch of s'mores
right in your kitchen!!  Details below...

This Father's Day, my husband asked for mulch... 
not glamorous...but totally practical... 
and I think by asking for mulch, 
he's also looking for extra helping hands to
put all that mulch out... so we know what we'll
be doing this Sunday afternoon.  By 4 PM we will
only too happy to sip a root beer float
after a hard day's work.  

Happy Father's Day to all the dads, and granddads this
June 16th...including my very own mulch-loving
husband and my dad (the kid's grandpa)...being a dad or
a granddad, it's an important job...and they do it well.

What are your Father's Day plans??  
It's probably better than putting out mulch!!

Need a peanut butter pie recipe??

I have one for you... this version (pictured) has
a chocolate graham crust... if you scroll down, I made a
brownie bottom crust for Fox19 last year...both are
delicious and both pies would put a smile on dad's face!!

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

When Refrigerator Eyes Are Smiling

Of all the questions relating to
food and baking that I get asked... 
the most frequent question 
I hear might surprise you...

 The question I hear from the 
open refrigerator in our very own kitchen.

"Mom...we are out of butter?"...
"Because I don't see it...!!"


"Mom... Do we have ketchup?? 
I don't think we have any!..."


My 14 year-old son has a "condition" 
we lovingly refer to as: "refrigerator eyes" 
He's had a case of "refrigerator eyes" 
ever since he started playing 
with LEGO toys,
I'm guessing he was 3 or 4 years old.

Will can stand in the kitchen, 
with refrigerator door wide open,
he will be positioned directly
 in front of the milk...
and he won't see it.

...Same for the ketchup and butter... 
Will almost always tells me he is S U R E,
 100% sure, we are 
out of very important food staples
--quite regularly, in fact... and... magic,
I point out the missing item.... and he smiles and 
grins...and says a sheepish "Thanks mom"

I have recently started to reply to his
many food-related mysteries with...
"If I come and find it...
you'll owe me one complaining."
--to which he replies..."I will look again..."
...and the second look usually gives
 Will what he was searching for.  Oh boy...

Which brings us to this past weekend, 
Will and I were antique hunting... 
he looks for coins usually,
I search for odds and ends...
Sometimes I have a list, or a
 particular item in mind
...other times...I just like to see what's there...

It's great fun to have a shared
 hobby that the two of us enjoy.

I showed Will a picture of what 
I was searching for this trip...

It was a particular vintage
 tin I had on my
radar for quite some time now...
We looked high and low... 
and my sweet boy,
the one with the 
beautiful blue refrigerator eyes... 
he spied the tin I had been searching for!

You'll see the tin in these photos... 
I put together a collection
 of patriotic-colored
 vintage tins for the 
upcoming July 4th holiday...
and Flag Day is next week too... 
Honestly, from Memorial Day through 
Labor Day... it's pretty patriotic at my house...

Will spotted the Campfire Marshmallow tin... 
and I am so thankful he did,  -- it
was just what I was looking for...
and special because I will always remember 
how thrilled, how absolutely
 excited he was to find it for me!

His smile was a mile wide...
and I can tell you for
sure, I missed the tin completely...
tucked away on 
a bottom shelf, 
nestled behind taller tins...

Truly, a needle in a haystack.

Will told me I owed him a hug 
for finding the tin... and I was
happy to oblige... I'm not sure how 
long teen-aged boys 
accept hugs in public from their moms... 
so I jumped at the chance...I always will.

Next time Will can't find the milk...
maybe he'll owe me a hug 
instead of a chore.  ;)

I think the elusive Campfire
 Marshmallow tin is
a lot like the things we end 
up searching for in life...
it's on our list... and it doesn't
 have to be a "BIG" something...

Sometimes we have a list a mile long, 
a list we eagerly check off...
 We know what we want, 
we know exactly how to proceed.

...and other times, we know
 there is that 
that 'thing'  that's out there, and while
we might not know exactly what
that something is, 
we know for certain,
we will know it when we see it.

Whether you find your something or not...
sometimes the journey of searching, 
especially with someone you love
is just as special.  Maybe finding our
"something" is more about
 the adventure of searching.

Speaking of a special something...
I have some recipes for you!!

No chores...just hugs in the form 
of delicious summertime recipes!!

And if you were searching for a 
delicious bakery style yellow cake...??
Your search is over...
and the secret ingredient: pineapple juice!!

Vanilla-y and balanced...Check
a perfect crumb...Check...

Check out the Strawberry 
Shortcake Cake recipe below for all the details...