Whole Grain Summer Berry Cobbler

Cobbler is one of my favorite desserts. Totally. I think I could create a whole recipe section based completely on my cobbler variations.

I know in the last post I was talking about all the things I can not eat. Cobbler is definitely one of the things I can not eat. Or at least not very often. Indulging once a week or once every two weeks is probably the max.

Anyways, today I was craving hot sweet fruit and a crispy biscuit crust. I knew I needed to make a cobbler, even if it meant giving it away the next day. Which is what I fully intend on doing by the way. Before bed I’ll wrap it up in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge where it can hang out till I can find a happy home for it in the morning.

This cobbler is a little different then normal, because I used all whole grain flour and a bit of whole rolled oats. I also cut the sugar down a bit. Not that I could tell at all, it was still the sweetest thing I have eaten all week!

This kind of dessert is great for a last minute party or potluck offering. You probably have all the ingredients in your house and almost any fruit can be substituted in for the berries I used here. Get creative! Blackberries and peaches? Strawberries and rhubarb? Plums? You get my drift.

Top a generous serving with ice cream and you will be in everyones good books.

Warm up and top with yogurt (or heck, ice cream again) for breakfast and your husband may give you funny looks, but really, whats better then dessert for breakfast? Yeah…nothing.

Whole Grain Summer Berry Cobbler
( adapted from The Joy Of Cooking )

1 cup Whole Grain Flour
1/3 cup Whole Rolled Oats (any kind would work, but thats what I like)
2 tbsp Sugar
2tsp Baking powder
5 tbsp Cold and Hard butter or margarine
1/2 cup Milk

6-8 cups Fresh Fruit, cleaned and cut appropriately, I used 4 cups blueberries and 3 cups raspberries
3 tbsp Cornstrach. This makes your fruit thicker and jam-like, if your fruit is super juicey add an extra tablespoon
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon  (optional…I did not use it this time..)

1. Combine fruit with cornstarch and sugar and cinnamon if desired.
2. Pour into an 8×8 or 9×9 square casserole dish and set aside for a minute.
3. Turn oven on and preheat to 375 degrees F.

4. Combine all dry ingredients in a medium/large bowl.
5. Cut in butter till course crumbs form and no large butter chunks remain.
6. Stir in milk and quickly combine to make a cohesive dough. If the dough is super wet still, add 1 or 2 tbsp flour. Dough will be sticky.
7. Using two spoons, scoop little balls of dough and drop over the top of the fruit. There should be enough dough to almost entirely cover the top of the fruit. There will be tiny holes between dough. That is ok. You can smooth out dough with a angled spatula if you really want.
8. Brush dough lightly with milk and sprinkle 2-4 tbsp sugar over the top. This gives it a nice crunch.
9. Bake at 375 for 45-55 minutes. Check at the 45 minute mark. Cobbler crust should be browned nicely and slightly crunchy. Fruit will probably be bubbling around the edges of the pan. Yum.
10. Cool 10 minutes on the counter and serve warm with ice cream, yogurt, whipping cream or by itself. Also great cold or reheated the next day.

(To reheat, either microwave individual portions, or pop the whole pan in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15 minutes)

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The Best Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

Today I went to cycle fit (or some people call it spin class). I have been going since January once or twice a week. Its is a major cardio workout. Every time I tell Gary I have never sweat so much in my life. Except that one hot yoga class. That takes sweating to a whole new level. I was literally drenched.

I know. This is totally the best way to start a cookie post…talking about sweat. Appetizing.

The thing is, I need to work out. Often. Daily if possible.

I also bake daily. That means I eat baking daily. Spin Class is necessary.

True life.

I am soo tempted to make croissants right this moment. It is an all day commitment. And I don’t even like croissants.

I just drank 20 ounces of chai tea and ate two of these cookies, and an apple dipped in natural peanut butter. I am a snacker. Speaking of snacking, I totally need to go to Trader Joes asap. They have the best snacks eveeerr.
The Best Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
(Based on Oatmeal, Chocolate Chip and Pecan Cookies from Smitten Kitchen)
1/2 cup softened butter or margarine
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1) Cream butter and sugar together till light
2) Add salt, vanilla and eggs and mix for three minutes scraping down the sides of the bowl after one minutes
3) Mix flour and baking soda together. Add half the flour and mix till combined. When just combined, add the rest of the flour.
4) Stir in oats and chocolate chips.
5) Roll into heaping tablespoon sized balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets.
6) Bake in a 350 degree oven. Bake for 10-15 minutes ( mine were perfect after 12 minutes) . Let cool 2-4 minutes on the cookie sheet then cool completely on wire racks.
Options: Add nuts (2cups, decrease oatmeal to 1 cup), Add orange zest ( 2 tsps), Add 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/8 tsp cloves with the flour. Doing all these additions will create the same cookies found on Smitten Kitchen. I prefer mine much more plain so I didn’t do any of them!


When "Bake Zucchini Cake" is on Your To-Do List, Your Bound to Get at Least One Thing Done

I need lists. I am probably the biggest procrastinator you know. I can waste too much time on Facebook, Pinterest , and blogs that I get nothing done for hours!

So I make lists. Every morning while I eat breakfast and check Facebook, I make my list of things that need doing that day. Usually there is at least one house cleaning item, dinner, some yard work and some impossible task that getting written down day after day and never actually gets done. ie. paint the living room, clean the fridge, go to the bottle depot ( I hate going to the bottle depot…is like…wahoo I am going to bring in all these bottles and cans I have been saving all this time and get some money and then I can feel awesome…and then you go and empty out the sticky bags and take all the lids off the bottles and sort all the different sizes and then bring them up to the counter and they ring it through…”and you get $4.67 back today, don’t spend it all in one place!” gee…thanks…)  . Anyways, that was a little side note.

So yesterday I started my day by making a list…

 Yeah, its messy…but really who else was supposed to read it? For about 30 seconds I considered making a nice neat one and fakin’ it for the picture…but this is real life. 
I like how I felt the need to clarify that I only “sort of” needed groceries. Meaning, of course, that I only needed eggs and cinnamon sticks. 
By the end of the day, I had completed all of the things on my list except cleaning the upstairs bathroom, and reprocessing my unsealed pears. 
I did find it funny that I added “Bake zucchini cake” to the list. Because really…since when did I need to remind myself to bake? It probably would be better if I forgot once in a while. Haha..not likely. 
Anyways, I made the zucchini cake. This was my second time and my oh my..its just so tasty. Just a little chocolatey, and a little zucchini-y and perfectly soft and tender and moist and really really great for breakfast. (But really, what cake isn’t?)  Um on the topic of eating cake for breakfast, just the other day, somebody was quite shocked that pie is a regular breakfast item at my (and my parents!) house. I think I have a dessert problem. 
Ugh I keep getting off topic! So I made the cake. And its really really good. And you should totally make it. 
This is what it looks like. Kinda plain, I know. The actual recipe says to top it with chocolate chips, but you know me..always trying to cut down on the sugar, so I left them out. 
Actually I just forgot. And I found it totally tasty this way. 
This recipe I found through Tasty Kitchen  and is actually from another girl/lady’s blog, so when that happens I don’t generally like to post the recipe on my blog. So here is the LINK . I have not spent too much time on this blog yet, but it looks interesting! She even took step by step pictures! Yay. 🙂 

Citrus-Mint Granita

I have a fabulous husband. I do.

This is Gary milking our cows for the very first time! 

I was their too…It was evidently a chilly day. 

 He’s great. Sometimes he brings me tea ( large earl grey doubledouble from Tim Hortans) or calls me from the Starbucks line to ask what I want. Sometimes he leaves me little notes telling me he loves me or brings me a card and a new plant to try and keep alive. But lately, the best, nicest, thing he does for me? Lets me sleep in through milking.
     As some of you know, a couple of weeks ago ( ? I have no actual idea how long it has been…it feels like forever!) we started milking cows. Our own cows. So obviously we are responsible for seeing that these lovely cows get milked every single day, twice. We milk at 5:30 am and 5:30 pm. So getting up at 5:30…sucks. Well actually its not that bad. Its usually beautiful in the morning at that time. But sleep is definitely lacking. So last night, he said I could sleep in! yay! and sleep I did. I didn’t hear the alarm go off, I didn’t hear Gary getting ready to go outside, I didn’t hear him come back in the house or crawl back into bed. I just slept slept slept till 9:30 am. It was lovely!
( how many times did I say lovely in that paragraph?)

     So now that I am refreshed and well rested, I can do some blog posts! Today is a dreary day but I am bundled up sitting on a big comfy couch on my back porch. with a blanket and my laptop. I am very blessed to have such a good life.

So basically, I have a recipe today! I made grapefruit/tangerine/lemon and mint sorbet/granita yesterday. Its delish, sweet and refreshing. I am going to call it Citrus-mint Granita. Because you could totally use any kind of tangy citrus that you wished.

This recipe is really simple. really. 
Citrus-Mint Granita
1 1/2 cup water
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup fresh squeezed citrus 
( I used 1 large pink grapefruit, 2 tangerines, 1/2 a lemon, I added some of the grapefruit and tangerine pulp too) 
A small handful of fresh mint. ( I used about 1/3 of a cup whole leaves) 
1) Put water and sugar in a pot over medium heat and stir occasionally until all the sugar is melted.
2) Add mint and fruit juice and stir. Bring to barely a boil then take off heat. Here I had a bit of a problem. One recipe I was reading said to put this all in a blender…so I did. Only hot hot juice in a blender equals hot hot juice all over your kitchen. Don’t do that. Your clean floors will not be sticky and thats not fun. 
3) Pour hot mixture through a fine strainer and take out all the chunkies. 
4) Put bowl of juice/fruit/mint mixture in the freezer until solid. I stirred mine once in a while to make it lose and icy. Next time I will pour into my ice cream maker. I think it will be more sorbet-like that way. 

Checkerboard Cake

So I am just going to start this off by letting you know that over the next 6 weeks or so my posting ability is going to be quite limited. Or I should say, I think it might be.

I may have mentioned before that my grandparents own a produce-store-that-actually-sells-everything store. And because they sell everything, of course they have a bit of a home baking operation going on. There is a great lady who has been doing the baking (in my grandmas certified kitchen) for 14 years!
14! FYI that is a long time.
Anyways, she broke something in her hand about a week ago and will be wearing a cast for 6 weeks. Obviously somebody has to step in a bake the pies and the bread and the sweet loafs and the cinnamon buns and the muffins and the cookies. Naturally, I offered. So last week I spent 2 days in the kitchen with the broken hand baker and she taught me the ropes. Basically, she doesn’t use recipes…and is super woman and can work harder and faster then anyone I know.

I think the whole time she was probably shaking her head at me as my pie dough ripped or my loafs got stuck in the pan or I spill flour/sugar/raspberries/etc. on the floor.
Anyways, I think I can do it, and I think it could be fun. I look forward to when I can do it by myself and crank up the radio and just get in to my baking world ( my favorite place to be! ).
I do have to mention that when her hand is healed, I will not be sad to give her her job back. I am sure it is going to be very tiring.

Especially becauseeeee ( changing the subject completely) Gary and I have to move. Well we don’t have to move, but we are moving. We get to start milking cows in May ( wohoo! this is Gary’s life long dream) on our own little dairy farm. Only it wont be our own cause we can only afford to rent a barn with a milking parlour etc. In BC it costs a lot to get started milking cows. Most people are either born into a dairy farm one way o another or start with the help of a program in place by the milk board. The problem with the milk board program is that if we put our name on the list…we could easily not get to start milking cows for 20 years!

So I need to stop rambling…but to summarize everything into point form:

a) In may we get to start milking cows ( ahem….12-15 cows…YES I am going to name them!)
b) On april 15th we are moving to a house much closer to the farm we will be renting then the house we live in now
c) I will get to milk cows too ( Sorry I shouldn’t say get…like its a pleasure to get up at 5:30 to go milk the cows…but hey..I will get an early start to my day!)
d) I am baking for the next 6 weeks 3 days a week for the Yellow Barn.
e) I am currently baking 2 9×13 cakes to attempt to make a checkerboard cake. Ok I didn’t talk about that before but I am now 🙂

Has anyone ever made a checkerboard cake? Do you even know what it is? Basically you make a chocolate and a vanilla/white cake. and then you cut it in a special way and put the pieces back together to make a checkerboard look when you cut into it.

With that great description I am sure you are all saying OHHHH I get it. or probably not..

This is what the top of mine looked like:

Next time I would have much more yellow icing and not run out so I could do more decorations 🙂
I did the words by printing a page off the computer in writing that I liked and then placing wax paper on top and basically copying the writing with my melted white chocolate (with a touch of yellow food colouring) 
and THIS was the inside! Surprisingly enough, this is the only actual picture I have of the inside of the cake..
I know, I know, way to be a good blogger. 
But I was cutting and serving and admiring my cake! 
Ok I am sorry this is taking me forever to post! I have been super busy baking for the yellow barn and starting packing our house! 🙂 
Ps. can I just say, I am sorry I talk so much!
I think its because my husband talks sooo much too that I don’t always get to say the millions of things I want to say and so then I end up saying them all on here and I could just write for ages and ages
I am sorry 

Better-Then-Crack Brownies (for real)

Ok, so have you ever made something that is sooo good that you want to eat the whole pan?
I mean, I make things I like all the time, but LOVE and want to eat every last crumb of? That doesn’t happen very often, or at least I don’t let it happen very often or else I would be 300lbs. by tomorrow.
I have to admit though…3/4 of this pan is gone and I have eaten every last crumb. 🙂
I made these once before but for somebody else so I only had 1 piece. (thank goodness)
This time I made a 9×9 pan rather then the 9×13 pan that this recipe calls for.
I found this recipe on How Sweet It Is. Which is my new favourite blog by the way. So many delicious treats that look amazing! I have made quite a few and they are always always always delicious!

So you know what this is??

Brownie ( well I actually used chocolate cake but…same difference)
Peanuts
Peanut Butter Cups
Rice Krispies coated in peanut butter, chocolate and butter

yum

yum

and yum

I never know if I should post the recipe here or direct you over to How Sweet blog.. but today I think I am going to post it here…

Better-Than-Crack Brownies

1 – 9×13 size batch, Brownies
1/2 cup Salted Peanuts
1 cup chopped Peanut Butter Cups ( I used 6 cups for a 9×9 and that was plenty)
1 1/2 cup Milk Chocolate chips ( you could totally use semisweet…I used half semi and half milk)
1 1/2 cup Creamy Peanut Butter
1/2 tablespoon Butter
1 1/2 cups Rice Krispie Cereal

1. Bake Brownies till set and basically done.
2. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped Peanut Butter Cups and Peanuts. Put back in oven and bake for a few more minutes. Basically till brownie is 100% done and the PB Cups are melting.
3. When they are done, melt Peanut Butter, Chocolate Chips and Butter in a medium sized pot. Stir over medium/low heat until completely melted and combined.
4. Remove from heat and stir in the Rice Krispie Cereal. ( both times I have made this I added about 1/2 cup more cereal. I am sure it doesn’t matter but I just like the krispyness 🙂 )
5. Spread over the Brownie base evenly.
6. Chill till the chocolate is set and not goopy or runny. (about 2 hours)
7. YUM eat and share ( so you don’t gain 100lbs like me 🙂 )

Breaking the Rules

I am breaking my own rules. But thats ok, because I’m the boss around here.

This is not a healthy recipe. At all.

I hope you wont be offended if I wreck your healthy eating plan on January the 10th. I’m sorry.

A while back I found a recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip on this awesome blog called How Sweet It Is.

Currently it is in my top 5 favourite blogs. (along with Joy The BakerThe Pioneer Woman (obviously), Sugar Plum, and Sugarcafter)

Anyways, a while after the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip was posted, a wonderful list of variations showed up. Variations like Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Snickerdoodle, and Double Chocolate Chip. Naturally, I had to try them all.

Who doesn’t love cookie dough? and in dip form? delish!

I made 1 regular batch and divided it into 3 and made the peanut butter vaiation and the double chocolate variation along with the regular chocolate chip. We ate them with Teddy Grahams, Animal Crackers and pretzels, but a spoon would also work perfectly fine. They were all amazing, but the peanut butter one was my favourite.

By the way, my spell check says the favourite is spelled without a “u” but I am Canadian so it is spelled with a “u”. I am sorry if its annoying.

I whipped this together on Saturday night and I didn’t take a picture. It was really tragic.
The bowls are empty. I am sorry. 😦
There are lots of pictures on the How Sweet It Is blog. Please check them out!

Here is the recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip ( and variations)

1/2 cup Butter
1/3 cup Brown Sugar
8 ounces Cream Cheese (1 block)
1/2 cup Icing Sugar
1 teaspoon Vanilla

1. Melt butter in a small pot and stir in brown sugar. Stir till brown sugar is dissolved and mixture starts to bubble, Remove from heat to cool and add vanilla.
2. Cream icing sugar and cream cheese together until blended.
3. Add butter/brownsugar mixture to cream cheese and blend on low speed until combined.
4. If you would like regular chocolate chip cookie dough dip, stir in 3/4 chocolate chips and serve with animal crackers or pretzels or fruit or a spoon 🙂

Variations:
If you would like to make 3 different flavors from 1 batch, divide batter into 3 equal portions before adding chocolate chips.

To make 1/3 recipe of 3 flavours:
 Peanut Butter Cookie Dough: add 1/4 cup peanut butter and 1/4 cup chocolate chips
Snickerdoodle Dough Dip: add 1/2 tablespoon Cinnamon
Double Chocolate Dough Dip: add1/4 cup cocoa powder and 1/4 cup chocolate chips

To make a full batch of any of the flavours:
Regular Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough: add 3/4 cup chocolate chips
Peanut Butter Cookie Dough: add 1/2 cups Peanut Butter and 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Snickerdoodle Dip: add 2 tablespoons Cinnamon

Give it a try! and Check out How Sweet It Is Blog! .

I will make this again soon ( and take pictures)
Double Chocolate Dough Dip: add 1/2 cup Cocoa, and 1/2 cup Chocolate Chips.