Archive | June, 2015

Fruity Shortcake Breakfast

30 Jun

no pics… Didn’t think to take one till we were half done and by then I was too busy eating! Yummmm!
Ok, so my sister’s Ideal Protein diet basically says she can only have fruit and bread at breakfast. With all the fruit in the house, she really, REALLY wanted strawberry shortcake. We have fond memories of when we were kids, going out and picking a boatload of berries, coming home and after processing them, having a HUGE strawberry shortcake dinner! And I don’t mean for desert, I mean we had the mother of all strawberry short cakes, and that was dinner! It was fun, silly, made friends look at us funny but smiling the whole time, it was great!
So, with two boxes of raspberries, a box of strawberries, peaches, nectarines etc in the house, and she just recently passed to this new phase of the diet when she can have fruit again after a year of no fruit, bread, or anything sugar related…. Yeah, she wanted to celebrate with strawberry shortcake! But it has to be for breakfast, lol.

Well, what I made was a bit of a twist on the classic shortcake we remembered as kids. I did make my own biscuits, and we did use Cool Whip, sort of… Lol, but there was more fruit than just raspberries, and the biscuit recipe had to be modified a bit too.
So, mom used the basic biscuit recipe in the old Betty Crocker’s Picture Cookbook, the one that’s published in a three ring binder. It’s a classic, and along with the old Joy of Cooking, our standby, especially for baking. The biscuit recipe in there calls for;

2 cups flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

Sift these together, then cut in-

1/4 cup shortening

Then stir in-

3/4 cup buttermilk

Bake 10-12 minutes in a 450 degree oven. 
Now this makes wonderful biscuits, but we didn’t have milk, not even sweet milk (which I am pretty sure is what mom used to use, we almost never had buttermilk in the house. I think she used regular milk with a teaspoon of lemon juice maybe?) What I did have was one of the Yogurt, Vanilla and Almond drinks from the Ideal Protein line. So since I have used almond milk in the past, I thought I would try it, if nothing else it would add a little protein to the biscuit, right? It seems to have worked! 

One note though, I misread the recipe and baked them at 400 rather than 450. They did take longer than the ten minutes, I didn’t time it properly, but I think it was closer to 15. This may need some experimenting, since many of these Ideal Protein things seem to curdle at higher temps, so dunno if that was a happy accident or what. The one thing I would do different is add a little bit more baking soda. If anything, the biscuits were a little dense. 

And a bit big, lol. I just divided the dough into quarters, rolled them into a ball and pressed them flat to 1/2 inch, for a rough round biscuit. Rustic, but with two of them in the bowl more than we really needed. Half that size would have been plenty. Oddly enough, the shake didn’t overly flavor the biscuit as much as I thought it would. It did give them a nice sweetness perfect for shortcake, but surprisingly little of the flavor of the shake, or maybe the berries and all just masked it. At any rate, these made a great base for the shortcake!
Next is the “Cool Whip”. Again in a bid to add a little protein to an otherwise rather sweet meal, I decided to fold a small 5.3 ounce tub of Tillamook Farmstyle Greek Yogurt- Key Lime into half of the 8 ounce tub of sugar free Cool Whip. Careful not to stir too much, just gently fold them together to keep it as light as you can. This gave the whipped topping a little more body, and a pleasant subtle lime bite that was perfect with the fruit. I will definitely do this again! I’ll bet any flavor will do, and the plain yogurt would be just as good.
Then for the berries… Well, I like raspberries better than strawberries, so I used both. Then when piling the berries on the biscuit, the berries kept sliding off… So I used a little of the raspberry jam I made yesterday to paint the biscuit and keep the berries from sliding off. Worked like a charm! I also used some partly mashed peaches for the same reason. The mix of peach, raspberry and strawberry was really good!
So basically, once I got the biscuits out of the oven, I placed one in the bottom of the bowl, a dollop of jam over the biscuit and a handful of berries. Top that with a big spoonful of whipped topping, a second biscuit, more jam and fruit, another big spoonful of whipped topping and top it off with some whole berries!

Whicked, decadent, and a surprisingly good breakfast, I must say! We will definitely be doing this again! The fruit may vary with the seasons (blueberries should be ripening now, later some blackberries and huckleberries would be spectacular, or canned peaches or apple pie filling in winter? Or maybe a cranberry compote…) but this may become our favorite breakfast for a special occasion, or at least when the fruit is freshest!

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A Jammin good time…

29 Jun

so this last weekend we did our usual Farmer’s Market shopping, and ended up getting a whole bunch of fruit- two flats of raspberries, another of strawberries, a couple of mangoes, nectarines, peaches… Lots of fruit. And since I need more freezer jam… This is the result!
   

Oh, and after the mini disaster with the freezer last week (emergency defrost of the freezer downstairs, don’t ask), we also had two huge bags of re-frozen cranberries, chopped apples and a bag of rhubarb that had to be used. Through em all in a pot and made a kind of Apple Cranberry conserve kind of thing, properly canned and everything! Lol. No pectin necessary for this one, it gelled on its own just find.

 
Anyway, back to the jam… For me I made a batch of Mango Pineapple Banana jam, sweetly tropical flavored, and some Peach Melba (peach/nectarine and raspberry). My sister is on the diet where sugar is a no-no, so for here we made enough of the Melba for a batch for her but used stevia to sweeten. As it turns out, with the Ball brand RealFruit Insant Pectin we use, the Stevia sets up to a very firm gel, better than the sugar does. 

Then we also did a “mixed berry” spread for her, starting with one of the jars of Apple cranberry, and adding strawberry and raspberries. Turned out really good! Hope she likes it, as there are three jars of it for her 😉 We got the blue kids and screw caps to easily distinguish her Stevia sweetened jams from my more traditional sugared ones.

In the interest of saving the info for later reference, here is what we used;
Peach Melba-

For the fruit mash, it was about two thirds peaches and nectarines, and a little over a third of raspberries. I think the actual ratio is less important than how much of each fruit you have and what needs to be used first, lol. Even a small amount of berries seems to flavor the peaches nicely, but I prefer more berries in mine. 

One note- we used a couple of peaches that were still rather hard. My old fashioned heavy wire potato mashed didn’t so much as crush these as kinda rough chop them. I might resort to the cuisinart food processor if I did that again. The fully ripe ones mash well though, so ideally I would use the squish owe ripe ones. But you use what you have… Lol

For the sugared version, I used the following ratio;

5 cups fruit

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 cups sugar

6 tablespoons pectin
For the Stevia sweetened version, a small batch-

1 2/3 cup fruit

1/4 cup Stevia

2 tablespoons pectin
Actually, I mixed them both and portioned them out so we could compare side by side the two jams. Oddly, I kinda like the stevia better. It highlights the fruit more without being too sweet. And there is no aftertaste like stevia often imparts.

Anyway, for both, I mix and mash the fruit in one bowl, adding the lime juice (usually use lemon, but we got a bag of seconds limes that were really good and sweet, perfect for this!). In a separate bowl I scoop in the sugar/stevia first, then add the pectin on top, and mix with a fork, being sure to break up any lumps. This is important, because any lumps in the sugar and especially in the pectin are hard to stir out later.

Then I dump the auger mix into the fruit and give it a quick stir to incorporate, then set the timer for three minutes. Stir, stir, stir, scraping down the sides occassionally for those full three minutes to makes sure it all dissolves!

Once that is done, pack it in your jars, wait at least an hour (I usually leave em on the counter over night), check to make sure they gelled the way you wanted them to, and freeze!
Believe it or not, this is about ones year’s supply of jam for an my pb&j sammiches 😉

  

Around 20 jars of summer fruit goodness 🙂 I’ve got strawberry, strawberry rhubarb, , raspberry, peach Melba, mango pineapple banana, and some mixed fruit from the old fruit in the freezer… May still do some blackberry when that comes into season, and am picking black-cap raspberries now that might end up in a jar, but all in all a good start for the year!