Strawberry Rhubarb Apple Crisp

This recipe was given to me by a friend and I usually make it in early summer when strawberries and rhubarb are in season.  I have a bumper crop of rhubarb, apples are in season and a bag of frozen strawberries from last year in the freezer needing to be used.

Topping:

1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar

1/3 cup rolled oats

3tbsp whole wheat flour

1tsp cinnamon

2tbsp soft butter (you can use margarine)

Combine all of the topping ingredients and set aside.

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Fruit:

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2/3 cup sugar

3tbsp all purpose flour

2 cups sliced apples (I left the peel on, but peel if you prefer)

2 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced  (halved is ok too)

Combine sugar and flour.

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Add fruits and toss to coat.  Spoon into a baking dish.  I usually use an 8 cup casserole dish or square baking pan.

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Sprinkle topping evenly over the fruit.  Bake at 350F for 40 minutes or until fruit is tender.

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Serve warm or at room temperature.  We have it warm with vanilla ice cream on top.

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Peaches and Cream Muffins

I think peach season is probably over in most areas by now, although you can still get them at the grocery store.  We had a basket of peaches that had a few left in the fridge almost past their prime.  When you have over ripe fruit make muffins!

I was pressed for time since the peaches were spoiling fast and it was a week night.  I found a recipe that was short and seemed fairly quick to whip up.

This recipe is adapted from a Taste of Home recipe, I had to change it a little because the batter seemed really dry.  These turned out really good.  I got 12 regular-smallish sized muffins out of the recipe.

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In a small bowl mix:

1 egg;  1/2 cup sour cream; 1/4 cup milk; and 1/4 vegetable oil

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In another, larger, bowl mix:

1 &1/2 cups all purpose flour; 1/2 cup sugar; 2tsp baking powder; 1/2 tsp salt

Stir wet ingredients into the dry ingredients just until moistened and then stir in 1 cup of chopped peaches.

Place in greased or paper lined muffin pans and bake at 350F or about 20  minutes.

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They should be lightly golden on top and a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

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Cool for about 5 minutes in the pan and then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

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I also found another Peaches and Cream muffin recipe from the website that I like, mennonitegirlscancook.ca, that has a streusel topping.  I am going to try that one later when I have more time.  It sounds moist and really good.

A very proud girl and her dog

This morning we went to the annual Westie Fun Day.  That is an event we go to every fall to help raise money for a West Highland White Terrier rescue group.  This awesome group rescues these little white dogs who are abused, mistreated, sometimes from puppy mills (bad bad places) or sometimes families have to surrender there dogs to the group for various reasons. Westies in Need take those dogs and give them medical and emotional help when needed and find them foster homes and forever homes.  This event helps raise money to make this possible.

Max is our Westie and he has had a few issues, but he is our boy and we love him.  We have done a lot of work with him and he has come very far.   When Evie was born we were not sure what would happen.  We were very guarded and cautious.  He was unsure of her at first and kept a safe distance, but as she grew (she was taught from a very early age about dog safety) he learned to trust her and now he loves her and she loves him.  Now they just make eye contact and he rolls over for a belly rub.

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Evie was very proud today because Max won a ribbon (third place) for best Westie in costume in the photo contest.

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more Westies, see the bagpipers in the background, they pipe for the Westie walk. Nothing calms a Westie like bagpipes!

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Max was a little bit subdued this year, normally he is running and barking at dogs and strangers, he really doesn’t like strangers.

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a safe place by dad’s feet

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and under a vendor table

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He was a celebrity after all

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that is him in the pink sparkly tiara

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very proud

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westie cupcakes

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a special cupcake with a westie sitting on a pink and purple flower!

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the winners circle official photo, good thing she wore her pearls and was ready for photos

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Max is now sleeping on his bed (new buckwheat kernel stuffed bed…uber comfy), he is pooped after a busy morning.  It was a little stressful for him but he was really a good boy, he didn’t bark  at anyone and even let a few strangers pet him.  I think he was the oldest and slowest today.  Max’s favourite treats are baby carrots, bell peppers and blueberries and he is having a few this afternoon once he is done his nap!

Frugal Faux Pesto…aka basil pesto

I cannot really call this pesto as there are no pine nuts, or anything replacing them.  We really like pesto, but got used to making it without one of the main ingredients when Evie was in daycare, there was a child there with a severe pine nut allergy. Of course we couldn’t substitute walnuts because like most schools/daycares there is a no nut policy due to allergies.  Now we still make it this way, which we are ok with, because pine nuts are expensive.

We went to the local farmer’s market to get some nice fresh basil and we got a big bunch for the same price we would have paid for a little sprig at the grocery store.  It smelled soooo good.  We also got some local garlic braided with pretty dried flowers.  Evie can’t stop picking at it.  

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Pick off the leaves, wash and dry, need about 2-3 cups

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4 cloves minced garlic

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about half cup grated parmesan

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Blitz all of this in a food processor a few times, then blend more, while pouring in a constant stream of olive oil.  I used somewhere between half cup and a cup of olive oil.  Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste.

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We kept some pesto for our supper sandwiches and Evie took some to school to dip her bread in for lunch.

The rest we will freeze to use later.  Probably for a dressing for pasta salad for a school lunch.  To freeze pesto I place a sheet of cling wrap over a mini muffin tin and fill the cups with the pesto.  The plastic wrap will make it easier to remove from the tins then wrap individually and place in a container or zip top bag.  That way you can pull one out at a time.

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For supper we made sandwiches on one of our favorite breads, foccacia would also be good.

grilled chicken, avocado and a tomato from our garden. You can omit the chicken for a veggie version

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Sweet Potato Burritos

We used to have at least one vegetarian (better if vegan) meal every week.  We kind of slid off the wagon for a bit, but now we will adding at least one vegetarian meal back into our meal schedule.  We are still trying to plan a meal schedule.  This was our vegetarian meal this past week.  Since these made quite a few, about 16, I wrapped and put some in the freezer for another meal or lunches.

Here is what I did.

Heat in a pan,

2-3 tsp oil

1 finely chopped onion

4 cloves minced garlic

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add 3 cans of kidney beans, about 6 cups (drained and rinsed), mash these in

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Stir in 2 cups of water and heat until warm

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Remove from heat and add 4 cups mashed sweet potato (next time I would use less, maybe 3 cups)

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3tbsp chili powder, 2tsp cumin, pinch cayenne, 4tsp prepared mustard, 3tbsp soy sauce

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Divide mixture among warmed flour tortillas top with a little cheese and roll up into burritos.
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Place the rolled burritos into a baking dish and bake for about 10-15 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted.
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We served these with guacamole and sour cream for dipping.

To freeze I placed the cooled bean mixture into a room temperature tortilla top with some grated cheese and roll then wrap in foil. Place the foil wrapped burritos into a zip top freezer bag.

I am not used to freezer cooking, but to cook these I will thaw in the fridge during the day and place them wrapped in foil on a baking tray and cook at 350F until they are hot in the middle. I am thinking this will take about 30 minutes. They may need to be unwrapped for the last 10 minutes to let the tortillas crisp a little on the outside, but this really doesn’t matter.

Zucchini Muffins

We have an abundance of zucchini from our garden right now.  The most recent one we picked was huge, 7lbs, of course we had to weigh it!

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I think it grew overnight.  We made some zucchini muffins for the freezer.  This is a recipe that was given to us by someone a very long time ago and we make it when zucchini is in season.  This recipe gives two dozen muffins or you can make loaves.  

3cups flour
2 cups sugar
1tsp baking powder
3tsp cinnamon
1tsp salt
1tsp nutmeg

Mix the above ingredients together in a large bowl.
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In another small bowl whisk together:

1 cup oil and 4 eggs
then add 2 cups of grated zucchini (grated with the peel on and do not drain)

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Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in wet ingredients and stir just until combined.

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of course for fun we add 3/4 cup chocolate chips.

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Place in muffin tins and bake at 350F for about 18-20 minutes until done.

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If you are making loaves bake for about an hour. Test to make sure it is baked all the way through.

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These freeze well also. If I freeze the loaf I slice and wrap the individual slices before freezing.

Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Tomorrow is back to school, so we have been baking and cooking to have breakfast and other meals ready to make the school week a little easier.  This is a muffin recipe that we make regularly and adapt it all the time to add different ingredients.  Here is what we usually do:

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In a large bowl add 1 and 1/2 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup of rolled oats, 1/2 cup sugar, 2tsp baking powder, 1tsp baking soda and 1/2 tsp salt.  I also add 2-3 tbsp of flax meal. Mix well.

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In another bowl whisk 2 eggs until frothy, 1/4 cup cooking oil, 1/4 cup milk, 3 medium overripe bananas, mashed (about 1 cup and a bit).

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Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients along with half a bag of chocolate chips.  Stir with a wooden spoon just until moistened.  Do not over mix (batter will be lumpy) or your muffins will be tough.

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Bake at 350F for about 18-20 minutes.

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These freeze well also.  We wrapped some individually in clingwrap and then placed in a container, so we can pull them out as we need them for breakfast or lunchbox.