Strawberry Blueberry Pie

Guys. I am sooooooo far behind. Summer is usually my time of frequent posts, desserts, gardening, and all of the fun things. I have spent my summer doing all of the usual things, with the exception of working a full time teaching job and a part time job at a craft store- yeah, cuz I need that temptation. SO, between the two things, I have had no life and blogging has sadly fallen to the wayside. BUT alas, I am FINALLY able to find time to blog again. In the next 2 weeks, I will catch up on my summer. By the time that is done, I will be starting my student teaching!!! Along with my regular foodie posts, I will be posting about activities and fun! Oh yeah, not to mention WEDDING THINGS! Not for me, but I’ve got plenty of them coming up to blog about! Woo Hoo!

Now that I have gotten that out of the way, now it is time for me to finally post my recipe for my strawberry blueberry pie that I made for the 4th of July….yeah. I’m way behind. But, it’s PERFECT for a picnic and even boasts red, white and blue!

To start, you will make a double crust pie crust. I always use the tried and true Betty Crocker recipe. You can find that HERE! I do add a tablespoon or 2 of sugar to the dough when making a sweet/fruit pie. But it’s not a necessity.

Filling-

1 qt strawberries cut

1 pint blueberries

1 cup water

1 tablespoon sugar

2-3 tablespoons flour.

Pre-heat the oven to 350.

  1. Rinse and cut strawberries into smaller pieces. Rinse blueberries.
  2. In a medium saucepan on medium-low heat, combine strawberries, blueberries, flour, sugar, and water.
  3. Stir regularly to keep from sticking to the bottom of the pan. It will begin to thicken and break down. Mine too about 20 minutes. While this is cooking, roll out the pie crust into the bottom of a pie tin/glass. Poke holes in the bottom and bake for 15 minutes to prevent the bottom from getting soggy.
  4. Pour the strawberry/blueberry mixture in to partially baked pie crust.
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  6. Roll out the rest of the crust, using a cookie cutter, I used a star, cut out pieces. Lay out your cutouts on top of the pie. I tried to do mine in some kind of circular pattern that allowed you to see the fruit underneath.
  7. Bake until the top crust is browned and the fruit is bubbling. Mine took 20 minutes.

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Sadly, this was eaten so quickly I was unable to get a picture of what it looked like done. Serve warm with nice cold vanilla ice cream!

 

Frosted Strawberry Raspberry Bread

My dad has this guilty pleasure- the frosted fruit bread from Shady Maple. It’s pretty awesome. With everyone home and my favorite guest joining us for the weekend, I figured I’d make an extra treat. I was going to make this recipe as muffins, but we didn’t have enough muffin papers sooo I changed my plans a bit and went for the full loaf. I am really missing my summer berries and decided to bite the bullet and just go get some to bake with and eat the next few days. If I do say so myself….I don’t think we’ll need to spend money to buy them anymore! 🙂

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

3/4 white sugar

1/4 light or dark brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup buttermilk (or 1 1/2 teaspoon vinegar and the rest milk, let sit a few minutes to make buttermilk)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

Dash of cinnamon

Chopped strawberries, raspberries or fruit of choice

Glaze- 1 cup powdered sugar 1/4 teaspoon vanilla 2-3 tablespoons milk (until reached desired consistency) Whisk all ingredients together, adding milk until you’ve reached a thick, glue like viscosity.

Pre-heat oven to 350, grease and flour a 9×5 bread pan

1. Whisk the egg and sugars until there are no brown sugar lumps.

2. Add in the buttermilk, vanilla and vegetable oil.

3. Slowly add in the flour, baking soda and salt. Add a dash of cinnamon.

4. Hand mix in the chopped fruit.

5. Pour into bread pan. I added some additional strawberries and raspberries on top. Loosely cover with foil so that the top doesn’t burn.

6. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake until a knife comes out clean. Mine took an hour and 5 minutes.

7. LET COOL. Remove from baking pan onto a cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet. Drizzle the top with the glaze. I added additional berries on top, because WHY NOT!?

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This same recipe can be used muffin size, just bake 16-20 minutes or until the tops are golden and a knife comes out clean. Other goodies to throw in include black berries, blue berries, and any combination with strawberries and raspberries! I would also dice/chop up the fruit a bit smaller and use the same batter in my mini-donut maker! YUM!

Babies! And Not Just the Chickens!

We have lots of “little” things around the gardens this week! I can assure you I am NOT growing one myself. Just wanted to clarify so that my mother doesn’t have a heart attack. 🙂 We are hitting that point in the summer where everything is really starting to grow. We have more than just green beans and strawberries coming in! Though, let’s face it, nobody is complaining about either of those things!

First, we’ll check in with the strawberries! They are due for another shoot cut off and bury day in the very near future! They are producing like crazy and it’s wonderful! I love going outside to pick breakfast FRESH every morning!

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Next, the mater plants. It’s like a forest. We have beautiful baby green tomatoes! By the time I get back from my mission trip the first week in August they will be ripe and ready to turn into SAUCE! 😀

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Baby watermelons are the cutest. They’re just adorable. Our watermelon plants are monsters this year and I have a feeling we will have some monster melons to go with them!

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We trimmed the pumpkin back a TON so that the main plant, some choice leaves and the blooms have been left. This helps ensure that the good stuff can go towards making PUMPKINS! 😀

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We’ve got fuzzy little sprouts on a number of our corn plants. Whether or not we get some real ears this year will be the real question! They’re growing like weeds and looking good so we’re hoping we get SOMETHING from them!

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Last, but certainly not least- the ACTUAL babies! THE CHICKENS! I don’t think I can quite call them babies anymore being that they have all of their big girl feathers. They aren’t quite laying yet but we should be getting our first eggs by the end of August! They also, after well over a month, have figured out that they can roost all together in a row on the hockey stick, seen in the first photo in the top right corner. They have all turned gorgeous shades of red, mahogany and brown. Women pay big bucks to have their hair dyed the colors of these girls. Their combs are turning red and their beaks are getting darker. They have totally made friends with Miller, through the fence of course.

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The gardens are producing, growing, and taking over. There is something humbling, earthing, and beautiful about being able to go outside and get fresh fruit for breakfast and fresh green beans for dinner.

Jeremiah 29:5 “ Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;”

Early Harvest and Storage Prep

The last of the potatoes are in! I’ve gotten a number of inquires from friends asking what I do to the potatoes after  we pull them out of the ground. Really, what do I do to the fruits and veggies in general.

If they are a ground plant like potatoes I first collect them in a colander. Then I rinse the mud/dirt off.

Once this is done I put the plug in the sink and fill it with warm water and about 1 cup of vinegar. With the potatoes still in the colander I put the whole thing in the sink and kind of swish them around with my hands. I let them sit for 5-10 minutes, pull the plug, rinse with water and let dry.

I usually just put paper towels under the colander and let them air dry. Place in a cool, dry place until ready to use them!

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For green beans, the process is a bit different! I collect in a colander and rinse them with water just like the potatoes.

I then throw them in a pot of boiling water for a minute or so just to blanche them. This helps clean them and gives them a nice bright green color!

I strain, let dry and cool a bit, and throw them in a freezer bag or container. Then, they are ready to make at any time!

Strawberries are tricky. I have yet to find the best secret to having them keep. I still don’t quite get how you can buy them in the grocery store, stick them in the fridge and they last a week. After we pluck ours, it’s a race against the clock to eat them before they get mushy and shriveled. If anyone has any tips on that I would LOVE them! As of right now, if we are not going to eat them right away I simply rinse the dirt off of them, and throw them in a freezer container. This way I’ll at least have a shot to cook with them, add them to ice cream or something!

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On the flip side, out pumpkin has its first blossoms and our tomato plants are fervently popping new little maters every day! I will probably be making my first jars of sauce by the end of July! 😀

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Our watermelon plants are slowly starting to creep out as well!

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I love this time of the season when everything is really starting to take hold and burst with growth!

New Additions

Eric had a brilliant idea. Our girls love roosting together in a row and the balusters we set up aren’t too long. So he put an old hockey stick for them. GENIUS! Of course they weren’t hanging out on it when I went out to take pictures.

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Our gardens have some new additions as well! We have our first baby beans starting to burst through!

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Eric’s tomato plant was the first of them to have a mater bud.

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And the strawberries are coming in strong!

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I plucked a few before work. I meant to take pictures of them but uhhh oops! They were delicious!

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Fresh Strawberry Blueberry Lemonade

IT’S HAPPENING! The strawberries are coming in!

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All of that tender loving care popping buds, rearranging shoots, weeding, watering and loving has paid off! To read more about taking care of these precious plants check out Root and Shoot. The buds on the plants are everywhere! The strawberries are coming in so S L O W L Y right now that we are only getting a few at a time.  What is a girl to do!? Well, they’re not lemons but I make lemonade! Pink lemonade that is!

Ingredients-

Strawberries

Blueberries

Pink Lemonade mix

1. In a large pitcher muddle cleaned and sliced strawberries with blueberries.

2. Add in pink lemonade mix and fill pitcher. I usually start with some warm water to help dissolve the powder then switch to cool. Give a good stir.

Throw in some ice, and serve in a mason jar with a good book!

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For those of you who like to make homemade lemonade, I’ve got you covered.

4 cups of water

2-3 cups of sugar depending on how sweet you like it

3 cups of lemon juice- a lot of lemons

1. Juice as many lemons as it takes to get 3 cups of lemon juice. You may need to strain after to remove pulp if you have that problem.

2. In a medium sauce pan combine sugar and water on medium-high heat until the sugar is dissolved

3. In a pitcher muddle strawberries and blueberries.

4. Pour the lemon juice and sugar water over the fruit

5. Stir well and refrigerate until cool.

As with the other recipe, throw in some ice cubes, serve in a mason jar and pair with a good book!

ENJOY!

Strawberry Scones with Lemon Drizzle

It’s become my thing that one day a week when I am home, I make some kind of dessert. This week as my mom and I looked through to see what we had in the baking cupboard she said “well we have strawberries but you can’t do much with them.” WHAT!? Strawberries are one of the most versatile fruits out there and can be put into just about everything. I’ve had the itch to make scones recently, so strawberry scones was decided upon. For the briefest of moments I considered throwing in mini chocolate chips but decided I’d stick with the light fresh taste of summery lemon.

Ingredients:

Scones-

3 cups all purpose flour

1 cup Bisquick

1 cup oats

1 1/3 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar

1 stick COLD butter

1/2 cup Crisco

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

4 teaspoons baking POWDER! (I will admit one time I made scones and I grabbed the baking soda instead of baking powder. Nothing will ever express how nasty they were. My friend from school was way too eager to tell the world of my epic baking failure)

1-2 cups chopped strawberries

1 lemon

Lemon Drizzle-

Juice of half of a lemon

1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Dash of ground, dry ginger

1/4 teaspoon honey

1-1 1/2 cup of powdered sugar

Instructions:

Chop strawberries. I left mine a bit on the chunky side. If you feel so inclined to dice them smaller, by all means. If you’re feeling really fancy you can throw in some blueberries too!

In a large bowl combine flour, oats, bisquick, sugar, baking soda and salt. Chop cold butter and Crisco into the dry ingredients with a hand pie crust thing. If you’re crazy a fork will do just fine. I’ve done it before when a pie crust thing wasn’t available.

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Once the butter and Crisco are pea sized pieces, add in the milk and juice of half of a lemon. Continue to work through.

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With your hands work in the strawberries. They will kinda fall out and not necessarily stick in the dough the best. Don’t fret.

Pre-heat your oven to 400

Flour a section of counter and dump the dough out. I cut my batch in half to make it easier to work with. Lightly flour the top of your dough and press with your hands to shape a rectangle about 1/2 of an inch thick. Using a sharp knife cut the dough into squares. Some people make a circle and cut like a small pie. I’m partial to the triangles myself. I did also cheat a bit and pull some berries from one part of dough and press it into a section I thought might be a bit lacking.

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Place triangles 1/2 inch apart on a parchment covered cookie sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes or until the edges and top start to get brown.

Lemon Drizzle

Whisk vanilla, juice of the other half of the lemon, powdered sugar, honey and ginger in a small bowl until it is thick enough to drizzle with the whisk or spoon.

Allow the scones a few minutes to cool before drizzling. Pair with a nice vanilla or breakfast tea, good book, and ENJOY!

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The great thing about this recipe is that it is very versatile. Remove the strawberries and lemon from the recipe and throw in chocolate chips. The oats are also optional, something I just like to add personally. Use milk and hazelnut coffee creamer to add a different depth of flavor. Beyond the main scone recipe this recipe can be as unique and personal as you!

Root and Shoot

We love our little strawberry patch. Thankfully it’s not so little anymore! How did we get our patch so big so quickly? The main thing is making sure the main plant is properly sunned, hydrated, and planted in good soil with the room to root and SHOOT! When your main plant does root and start budding, nip the flowers. Yes, the strawberries come from the flowers. I know this seems counter productive. Trust me. This ensures that the plant’s energy and nutrients are going to the plant itself. Last year we didn’t nip buds much and our patch didn’t expand as much as we had hoped. This year, their first few weeks of budding, we let very few berries actually come to fruition. We now have so many shoots we can’t keep up with getting them buried!

Let’s identify what a shoot looks like.

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All of those vine like things coming off of the plants are strawberry shoots! Sometimes the shoots get shoots before they are even fully established and producing. Cover them with soil leaving the tips where the buds are exposed. You can also clip the shoots and transplant them to control the patch or share them with friends. Once they are established, bigger and rooted, uncover some of the dirt and snip the “shoot.” This separates the new plant from the original one. This allows both plants to produce shoots, berries, roots and leaves without stealing energy and nutrients from each other.

Our berries are starting to come in a bit bigger with the warmer weather! Much sweeter as well. IMG_2635 IMG_2634

As you can see from the picture on the right we have a board running through our garden. It can also be seen in some of the pictures above. On the other side of the board is our green beans! This board helps contain the plants and keeps them from shooting over and taking over the garden. When left unattended and unconfined a strawberry patch could easily take over the entirety of a garden in a season or two!

Blooms Away!

The plants are a blooming! A few weeks ago Eric and I got our plants and seeds in the ground!

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Back when the maters, onion, taters, and peppers were just wittle baby sprouts!

The beds had been thoroughly limed, sanded, peat mossed and turned. We tilled and limed the beds in the fall so that the lime could soak into the ground. We limed again in March so that it could get into the ground enough that it wouldn’t burn the plants. PA soil is naturally not very acidic and needs some help. We added in the peat moss and sand at this time as well. It keeps the ground loose for the roots to grow into and adds nutrients. After we planted the tomatoes we added epsom salt around the bases to help them out a bit. They LOVE it. Once they really get going Eric found a natural pesticide somewhere that worked wonderfully last year.

We lay down a breathable, water penetrating plastic between and around the plants so we don’t have to weed. We hate weeding.

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The strawberry patch kicking butt! The big bright huge green one in the center is our all-star from last season.

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So. Many. Green Bean. Plants.

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Wide view of the first garden. The far section is a few rows of corn.

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Onions….not quite sure what we’re going to do with all of them but they’re coming in tall and strong! New addition from last year.

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Our potato plants have exploded and done way better than we could have hoped and expected. These are another new addition and I’m praying the taters under ground are just as big and awesome as the plants above.

Eric and I are in competition this year as to who can grow the better tomato plant and the better tomatoes. I post mine and he puts his in cages. Obviously my way is better. I will keep you updated as to who is in the lead and the most successful throughout the summer.

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Mater plants. The ones with the white are Eric’s. The ones in the back are mine.

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Wide view of the second garden with the pumpkin, watermelon plants and pepper plants.

The potatoes have just started blooming so hopefully by the end of next week we’ll be digging them up! Our strawberry plants have been producing like crazy already this year. Everything else will take most of the summer to maturate.

Super Summer Jello Pie

I LOVE SUMMER! Living in Pennsylvania, we had a miserable, cold, snowy, dreary, polar vortex winter. I loath the cold with every ounce of my being. Olaf and I could be best friends!

To kick off this is my Super Summer Jello Pie. I know, stay with me here. I saw a recipe for a jello/cheesecake pie on pinterest. It sounded awesome minus the fact that I’m not the biggest cheesecake fan in the world. So I tweaked it a bit. This would be perfect for a summer picnic/get together.

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick of butter
  • 2 packs graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cups chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup blue berries
  • Heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 pack of strawberry jello
  • 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla pudding mix

The greatest part about this recipe is that you can make the filling ANYWAY YOU WANT! I chose strawberry jello, strawberries and blue berries. There are so many flavors of jello and fruit combinations- you really can’t go wrong!

The first 4 things to do- get a mixing bowl in the freezer, get your heavy whipping cream to the bottom of your fridge (it’s the coldest there), melt your butter and your oven preheated to 325.

  1. Crush you graham crackers so that there are no chunks. To these add the whole stick of melted butter and 1/4 cup of sugar. Mix until well combined. Dump and smoosh this mix into a pie dish. Slide the crust into the oven for 10-12 minutes.piecool
  2. While the crust is baking get the water boiling for the jello. While you’re waiting for that to happen, start cutting up our strawberries. I left mine nice and big instead of dicing them up tiny. I left the blue berries whole.
  3. Pull the crust out of the oven, after mixing the jello together let them both sit out to cool. You need the jello to start setting but not completely firm for this to work.
  4. As everything is cooling pull out your chilled bowl and heavy whipping cream. With a stand mixer, handheld or whisk begin whisking the heavy whipping cream until it starting to thicken up and hold its shape.
  5. At this point I add a splash of vanilla, a dash of cinnamon, the powdered sugar and vanilla pudding mix. I don’t add too much sugar to the whipped cream because of how sweet the jello and fruit are. The vanilla pudding mix helps the whipped cream keep its body and hold up instead of deflating and turning back into a puddle of cream.whippedcream
  6. By now your jello should be the consistency of about syrup and the crust cooled. I added a thin layer of whipped cream on the bottom and then added my strawberries and blue berries.filled
  7. Slowly pour the jello into the pie dish over the fruit. The whipped cream will swirl up a bit. THIS IS OK! It’s kind of pretty AND yummy.
  8. Place in the fridge to finish setting up.
  9. Serve with your homemade whipped cream and some jimmies on top for a nice, cool, relatively healthy summer treat! 🙂

I’d post a picture of the finished product but SOMEBODY and his roommate annihilated it before I could get one! I think you’ve got the idea though.

Enjoy your nice SUMMER treat!