Filed under: Dessert
I love camping. We are going next week and I am looking forward to unplugging for a short time. Part of the excitement is the anticipation and planning for the trip. I have to plan our menu for our time away. I try to make and freeze meals beforehand so I don’t have to do a lot of cooking while I’m there. Part of the menu is something I like to call “camp food”.
“Camp food” usually requires that it be cooked on a open fire. Our best-loved camp food is banana boats. Banana boats are simple to make and easy for kids to prepare themselves. An extra bonus is that the kids get to place the banana boats in the coals of the fire. (with adult supervision of course.) Kids love to put stuff in the campfire. These can also be made on a grill or in a backyard fire pit.
1 banana(with peel on) per person
1 bag of mini chocolate chips
1 bag of mini marshmallows
Optional add ins: coconut, chopped nuts
12 inch x 10 sheet of aluminum foil(one per banana)
Hold the banana curved side up. Take a sharp knife, shallowly split the peel down middle. Open the peel wide enough to stuff with chocolate chips and marshmallows. Make sure to push the chocolate chips and marshmallows down inside the banana. Close up the peel and wrap the banana in foil. Place the foil wrapped banana in the coals. Cook until chocolate chips and marshmallows are melted, approximately 5 minutes.
Remove from the fire and peel open foil carefully. The banana and the contents will be syrupy and hot. Use a spoon.
To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome than the most luxurious Persian rug. ~Helen Keller
Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul. ~John Muir
August 11, 2010
Texas sheet cake a.k.a. Cocoa sheet cake a.k.a Easy Chocolate sheet cake is a recipe that has been around for generations. It has been passed around at church socials and reprinted multiple times for church fundraising recipe booklets. This is a testament to the ease and simplicity of this recipe. A fudgey, moist crowd pleaser.
This is my go to recipe for summer potlucks. Total time from start to finish; 45 minutes.
Texas Sheet Cake/Easy Chocolate Cake
2 cups flour
2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter (1 & 1/2 sticks)
1 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl, set aside. Heat butter and water in a sauce pan over medium heat until boiling. Pour over the dry ingredients. Beat buttermilk, eggs and vanilla into the cake mixture. The batter will be thin. Pour into a greased 15x 10 inch pan. (You can use a 13×9 inch pan. Cake will be thicker.) Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1/4 cup cocoa
6 tablespoons milk
1 lb.(box) powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup nuts (optional)
Combine the first 3 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat. Heat until boiling. Turn off heat, pour in box of powdered sugar, vanilla and nuts. Mix until smooth. Spread on warm cake.
Can be served warm or cold.
June 18, 2010
In my Easter dinner post I said I would post the photos of the dessert that I was making and taking to my sister’s house. As you can see from the photos below there were a few steps involved. This is not the type of recipe I would recommend for a beginner cook but the process can be simplified. See below.
Just because I made everything from scratch doesn’t mean you have to. This could be prepared quickly with a few prepared, store bought ingredients.
Start with a prepared pound cake, a large box of instant vanilla pudding, your favorite berry jam, fresh berries and a pint of heavy whipping cream.
Whip together pint of heavy cream, 1 tablespoon powdered sugar in a medium bowl with an electric mixer on low speed. Increase speed until soft peaks form when beaters are removed.
Prepare the pudding as directed on the box.
While the pudding is refrigerating, slice the pound cake and spread one side of each slice with favorite jam. Begin assembly by laying 3-4 slices of pound cake at the bottom of a large bowl. Next, spoon over pudding and whipped cream followed by a layer of berries. Repeat until you have completed four layers. Top with remaining whipped cream and berries. Serve.
This is the perfect dessert for warm weather because you don’t have to use the oven. It also showcases the sweet berries of Spring and Summer.
April 12, 2010
I can’t think about this recipe for persimmon cookies without thinking of the home where I grew up and especially our persimmon tree. I have vivid memories of how it looked in the late fall on a landscape devoid of color. The leafless tree stood out against a drab backdrop. Its blazing orange fruit dangling on its branches like holidays bulbs hung from a Christmas tree.
When I was a child I never paid much attention to the tree with the strange looking, orange fruit. I had tried to eat an unripe persimmon once. Once. It was a lip puckering experience that I never want to repeat. However, I overcame my fear when I tasted my mom’s persimmon cookies.
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup Hachiya persimmon pulp(see below)
1 cup raisins, I prefer golden
1 cup walnuts, optional
Oven Temperature: 375 degrees
Combine all of the dry ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside. Cream together the shortening and the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the egg, beat until well combined on medium speed. Add the dry ingredients and the persimmon pulp alternately to the shortening mixture. Mix until combined. Add raisins and nuts. Stir on low speed. Drop by tablespoonfuls on to a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
Persimmons: There are two different type of persimmons. The Hachiya which is predominantly used for baking and the Fuyu for eating. When you are selecting the Hachiya persimmon make sure that it is very soft. If there is any firmness at all freeze them for a couple of days. When they thaw they will be soft enough to use. In order to puree the pulp pull the green blossom off the top of the persimmon and scoop the contents into a food processor or blender. Feel through the pulp for any seeds, remove and process the persimmon pulp until smooth. For this recipe use 4 persimmons.
November 16, 2009
Only nine days left until the official start of fall. One of the reasons I love fall is because it is also the beginning of apple season. Every year around the middle of September my family and I go up to the foot hills to pick apples. We picnic, eat caramel apples and gorge ourselves on apple turnovers. I’m sure you’re thinking we must make ourselves sick and you’re right we do. It is our way of celebrating fall and continuing an annual tradition.
The Easy Apple Strudel recipe is very easy to make, hence the name Easy Apple Strudel. I pretty much like to eat the strudel all day long. I start with some in the morning because it is great for breakfast. Then I have some with lunch, I count it as a “fruit”. Finally, after I eat dinner I have it for dessert. So you can see it is a multipurpose food. Even my kids like it although they say they don’t like baked goods with fruit. Whatever, kids.
Easy Apple Strudel
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg yolk and milk to make 2/3 cup, lightly beaten
Place all of the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Blend on medium speed until all ingredients are combined. Divide dough in half. Roll out half the dough on a well floured surface. Place it in a 15×10 inch jelly roll pan.Apple Filling:
5 cups peeled and sliced apples, any type of firm apple, I prefer golden delicious
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 tablespoons flour
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all of the ingredients except the egg white. Pour over the bottom crust. Roll out the rest of the dough and place on the top of the apple mixture. Brush the top of the dough with the egg white. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown and fruit is bubbling from the sides.
1 cup powdered sugar
2-4 tablespoons milk
Mix together and drizzle over warm crust.
September 12, 2009
Who knew that cherries were so good for you? It is hard to believe that such a tasty little fruit is a powerhouse of nutrients. What would you say if I said that by eating cherries you can decrease your risk of cancer, keep yourself looking young and get a great night of sleep? You’d probably say prove it. Well, I will.
Cherries contain phytochemicals also called phenolics. These phenolics protect your DNA against free radicals. Anthocyanins also found in cherries keep the body safe from an enzyme that has been proven to increase the risk of colon cancer.
Vitamin C is important in maintaining collagen which causes cell renewal and keeps our skin looking young and supple. One cup of cherries yields 16% of your RDA of vitamin C.
Sleep is so important to our good health. We need our 8 hours a night. You’re thinking, yeah right. Did you know that melatonin, a sleep inducing hormone produced in our bodies is also present in cherries. So maybe now you can get that 8 hours of sleep.
As a nation our health is such a concern for us today. It’s nice to know that we can make simple changes in our nutrition that impact our lives. It doesn’t have to be big change; in fact, it can be something as small as a cherry.
Two weeks left of the Montana cherry season. Order now.
See my post “A Guilty Secret” for a parfait recipe. Add cherries to ice cream, use in place of blueberries in a muffin recipe or dip in chocolate.
August 11, 2009
I have a confession to make. I have eaten the fruit and yogurt parfaits from McDonalds and liked them. They are surprisingly good. Not only are they good but they have inspired me to make them at home which I have done. They are simple to make and can be eaten for breakfast, as a mid-day snack, or a light dessert.
Just start with some vanilla yogurt (I like Lucerne), your favorite granola and any type of summer fruit, such as, peaches, nectarines, cherries (my husband’s favorite in the parfait), plums, pluots, blueberries and other berries that are in season.
First layer the fruit in the bottom of a bowl, make sure to cut into bite size pieces, next add some yogurt to cover, sprinkle over some granola and finally another layer of yogurt to cover. Enjoy!
July 21, 2009
Food is nostalgic. When I think of summer fruits I am instantly reminded of the fresh peach ice cream my parents used to make. I can still remember the heat of the summer day and the sound of the ice cream maker churning. The anticipation of waiting for the first taste of that cool and creamy confection was just about unbearable. But oh, how my patience was rewarded.
Making fresh peach ice cream is a fairly simple process and relatively inexpensive. Trust me it is worth the effort.
Ingredients (4 Quart):
2 whole cups milk
1 3/4 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups half and half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 cups heavy whipping cream
5-6 Ripe medium peaches, pureed in blender or food processor
Scald milk over medium high heat until bubbles form around edge of pan.
Remove from heat.
Add sugar and salt.
Stir until dissolved.
Stir in half and half, vanilla extract and whipping cream. Add 4 cups of pureed peaches.
Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
Freeze as directed by ice cream maker manufacturer’s instructions.
We dare not trust our wit for making our house pleasant to our friend, so we buy ice cream.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
July 17, 2009