Thursday, December 1, 2011

Crisps

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The countdown is on - 19 days left until Christmas. Does that stress you out? Do you get excited to know how little days are left? For me, I'm excited. I am excited for everything leading up to it - like the Christmas parties, sending and receiving Christmas cards, the food, friends, family, the fresh smell of our Christmas tree, the house being decorated, and so much more.

I haven't done any baking or prep for Christmas dinner, yet, but am 'thinking' about it. I am going to try baking sugar cookies for the first time - if you have an easy recipe - please share.

What I have baked recently is blueberry crisp. I found a recipe on a blog that I like to frequent - 'How Sweet It Is' - I altered it slightly and it was scrumptious. We found it a tad too sweet, so I altered it again and made Blueberry Pomegranate Crisp. Oh my. I have both recipes posted. If you like sweet - use the first one - and you can add pomegranates to it if you like. If you don't like so sweet, try the second one. Both are topped with not whipped cream, not ice cream, but sweetened plain yogurt - my new favourite thing in the whole wide world right now.

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Blueberry Crisp

4 cups of blueberries - I used my frozen organic - but you could use fresh if you have them on hand
2 tbsp of raw sugar
1/2 tbsp flour
2/3 cup oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup flour
4 tbsp of softened butter

Pre-heat the oven to 375.

In a bowl sprinkle the the 1/2 tbsp of flour and 2 tbsp of sugar over top of the blueberries. Place the blueberries in either 4 individual ramekins (about 4-5 inch wide) or one 8x8 baking dish.

In another bowl add the oats, brown sugar and the remaining flour. Add in the softened butter, and either with your fingers or a fork, crumble the butter. The pieces of butter should be about pea size. Add the topping to the blueberries.

Bake for 22 minutes.

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We really liked this dish, but we found that the sugar on the blueberries made it a little too sweet, and the sugar on the topping was also a little sweet.

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I am hooked on pomegranates right now. I think that the seeds are incredibly beautiful little gems of goodness. The little gems (what I like to call them), are actually called 'arils'. I cracked one open the other day, and thought that I would be ladylike and instead of eating the entire thing right away, that I would spare some for another crisp. I had never baked with them before - and I am so happy that I gave it a try. You will have to give it a try to understand the delicious addition that they add.

Blueberry Pomegranate Crisp (version 2 - not as sweet)

3 cups of blueberries - fresh or frozen
1 cup of pomegranates arils - the gems inside
1 tbsp of raw sugar
1 tbsp of flour
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2/3 cup of oats
1/2 cups of flour
1/4 cup of softened butter

Pre-heat oven to 375.

Add the blueberries and pomegranates together. Sprinkle with the raw sugar and tbsp of flour. Place them in either individual ramekins or a 8x8 baking dish.

In another bowl add the oats, brown sugar and the remaining flour. Add in the softened butter, and either with your fingers or a fork, crumble the butter. The pieces of butter should be about pea size. Add the topping to the blueberries.

Bake for 22 minutes.

And that's it - a delicious dessert that takes minutes to prepare. The pomegranates sort of pop in your mouth - they are divine.

Now for the topping to top off this already delicious dessert. It takes a bit of time to set - but it is the easiest dessert, it's healthy, and your husband may also think that it is whipped cream.

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Lemon Vanilla Yogurt

2 cups of plain yogurt - my favourite is Astro Balkan Style - low sugar low fat
Zest of half a lemon
1/2 tsp of vanilla
1 tsp of raw sugar

Place a strainer lined with a coffee filter or cheesecloth in a bowl so that the liquid from the yogurt has room to strain. Place the yogurt into the filter and let sit in the fridge for at least 2 hours - even up to 4 hours is perfect.

In a bowl mix together the strained yogurt, lemon zest, vanilla and sugar together. And that's it. Ideally, if you have time to mix the ingredients together and then let it sit before serving, I find it tastes even better. Chris thought that it was whipped cream, and to me it tastes a little like lemon meringue pie.

Well that's my recipe for today. On the menu for tonight's dinner - leftover shepherd's pie and spinach salad.

I hope that you're all getting into the festive season.

Loves.

Enjoy!


2 comments:

Pilar said...

OH MY GOD. OH.OH.OH!!! This looks amazing, but I don't have a husband that can tell me its whipped cream, I'll imagine it though, oh Jacob Black... YUMMY Cheryl, always making amazing food, I think I will give this one a try, its a must.

Shannelle Alexander said...

Cheryl, beautiful pics, everything looks so delish! I found you by chance, while once again doing a search for Deb. No luck on Deb. I'm on facebook, I hope she is too!