Wednesday, June 5, 2019

When Refrigerator Eyes Are Smiling: Berry Cake

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...

It's strawberry season!
 ...and how lucky that strawberries
fit my patriotic color scheme so well...

My favorite Ohio farm to pick berries locally is
Barrett's Strawberry Farm in Leesburg, Ohio
Here is the address and phone number:
11434 Fairfield Road
Leesburg, Ohio 45135
Berry season starts in mid to late May and
 goes until the berries are gone.

Barrett's Strawberry Farm
 has a Facebook page too.

The couple that run the farm and their family
 could not be sweeter...
and I truly enjoy making the trip 
to their farm every spring.

I was so tickled to share with them
 that the strawberries from their
farm were made into
award winning jam last summer... 
they were tickled too.

Here are the recipes from Fox19:

Red White and Blue Grilled Chicken and Berry Flat Bread
Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Sparkling Strawberry Sangria

Strawberry Shortcake Cake
Yellow Bakery Cake
Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen

Yellow Cake

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

3 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup milk (2% or whole)
4 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup pineapple juice (6 fluid ounces-1 small can)
1/4 cup vegetable oil

Preheat oven 350 degrees. Place rack in middle position.
Grease and line cake pans with parchment paper.

Measure the flour, salt, baking powder, set aside.

In a microwave safe large glass measuring cup or bowl, add milk, butter, heat until warmed and butter melts. Add the pineapple juice and oil, give a quick stir and set aside.

Mix together the sugar and eggs, beating on medium 3-4 minutes until mixture is light yellow, glossy and airy.

Add the flour mixture to the egg/sugar mixture, mix well, and be sure to scrape the sides of the bowl. Add 1/2 of the warmed liquid mixture, mix until combined and scrape the sides of bowl and add the remaining liquid. Batter will be thin, do not be alarmed.

Pour batter evenly into two parchment lined and greased 8
or 9-inch cake pans. (Or use a greased and parchment lined 9x13 baking dish to serve a crowd easily)

Bake cakes on middle rack of oven, 28-30 minutes or until cake is set and very lightly browned around edges and a toothpick comes out cleanly.

Bake 9x13 cake 35-37 minutes or until cake is set and very lightly browned and a toothpick comes out cleanly.

After 3 minutes, run a paring knife around edges to loosen any sticky cake from the sides. Turn the cake out onto a cooling rack, removing parchment paper. Allow cake to cool completely before adding whipped cream and berries.

Strawberries- 2-3 cups cleaned, sliced. Add 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar. Let berries macerate for at least 20 minutes to release juices. (This step can be done ahead)

Whipped Cream
1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat on medium until thick and fluffy.

Once cakes have cooled, top with whipped cream and berries.  For a stacked cake, place a yellow cake round on a platter.  Top with whipped cream and a layer of berries, top the berries and whipped cream with the second cake round.  Dust with confectioner’s sugar.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.   Serve extra berries and whipped cream on 
the side if desired.  Enjoy.

Red White and Blue Grilled Chicken-Berry Flatbread
Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing
Karri Perry, Blue Ribbon Kitchen

Flatbread- homemade pita or store-bought
Grilled chicken
Sliced Strawberries-cleaned
Goat cheese crumbles
Sliced almonds
Arugula or mixed greens
Citrus Poppy seed dressing
Pinch salt

(Can use store bought flatbread)

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup warm water-less than 110 degrees
2 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon granulated roasted garlic
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

Measure water, add yeast, sugar and oil, let sit 2 minutes.
Mix flour, salt, and granulated roasted garlic
Add the liquid mixture to the flour. Stir until dough forms. Cover and let dough rest for 1 hour.
Divide dough in half; roll 4 pitas about 1/4 inch thick. Place pita rounds on a greased baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake in a 450 degree preheated oven on the lowest rack for 5 minutes. Move pitas to the top rack for two additional minutes to brown tops.

Place hot pitas in a clean towel to cool. When room temperature, seal pita flatbreads in an air tight container or zip-top bag.

Citrus Poppy Seed Dressing

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 Tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
Pinch of salt

Mix well with a whisk emulsifying the mixture. Drizzle dressing on mixed greens.

Grilled Chicken
Marinate 2-3 chicken breasts in 1 cup Italian salad dressing and 2 Tablespoons of honey for 1 hour.

Grill chicken until thoroughly cooked to 165 degrees internally. Let chicken rest and then slice.

For Flatbreads:
Dress greens-set aside
Top each flatbread with grilled chicken, goat cheese, sliced strawberries and blueberries, sliced almonds, top flatbreads with dressed greens. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt.

Sparkling Charisse Sangria
Blue Ribbon Kitchen, Karri Perry

1 part: pink moscato
1 part: pink lemonade
Frozen peaches
Diced honey crisp apples
Add Sprite or Club Soda for bubbles, just before serving.

Garnish with fruit.

Best Wishes and continued success to my on-air friend Charisse Gibson, who is taking on a new adventure in her home state of LouisianaCongratulations Charisse!!  xo

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