Monday, August 31, 2009

The Season's Last Blueberries!

My Aunt Ruthie made our last blueberry pie of the season - and it was WONDERFUL! Even though it was 60 degrees and raining up here in the Catskills - it tasted like summer - and we didn't want it to end!

Summer's last Blueberry Pie
1 (9 inch) pie shell - baked
1 (8 oz) cream cheese
3 Tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 quart blueberries (to be divided)
2/3 cup water

1 cup sugar
3 Tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water

In a medium bowl, thoroughly blend cream cheese with 3 Tablespoons sugar, salt milk, and vanilla extract. Using the back of a spoon, carefully spread this cheese mixture over bottom and sides of baked pie shell, bringing it well up on the sides.

Wash and drain blueberries.

Simmer together for 3 minutes - 1 cup blueberries and 2/3 cup water. Blend and add to boiling mixture - 1 cup sugar, 3 Tablespoons cornstarch, 1/3 cup water. Boil one minute stirring constantly. Cool.

Save out 1/2 cup choice berries; put remaining 2 1/2 cups berries in baked pie shell. Cover with cooked mixture, and garnish with the 1/2 cup berries. Refrigerate until firm - about 2 hours. Serve with sweetened whipped cream.

Enjoy the last days of summer - Fall is on the way!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Raspberry Rugelach from the Gingerbread House!

If you tuned in Monday - you read all about one of our favorite neighbors up in White Lake - "Mrs. Margaret". This is her "Gingerbread Cottage", and just like in the fairy tales - Yummy things stream out of that door!

"Mrs. Margaret" is on the right and her sister, Marie, is on the left. These two lovely ladies not only made Israel salad the other day - they made a delicious batch of Raspberry Rugelach. How lucky were we?

Rugelach is a traditional European Jewish pastry, in a small crescent-shape made of cream cheese dough with a filling of nuts, raisins, and cinnamon or raspberry jam. Her sister Marie makes these delicious cookies and everyone enjoys them. On this visit, she got into the kitchen and baked up some delicious rugelach...

1 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp of salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup seedless raspberry preserves
3/4 cup dried apricots

1. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter with cream cheese until blended and smooth. Beat in vanilla extract, salt, 1 cup flour, and 1/4 cup sugar until blended.
2. With spoon, stir in remaining flour. Divide dough into 4 equal pieces. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours or overnight.
3. To prepare Filling. In medium bowl, with spoon, stir walnuts, apricots, brown sugar, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons white sugar and 1/2 cinnamon until well mixed.
4. Line 2 large baking sheets with foil and grease foil.
5. On lightly floured surface, with floured rolling pin, roll 1 piece of chilled dough into a 9 inch round, keeping remaining dough refrigerated. Spread dough with 2 tablespoons raspberry preserves. Sprinkle with about 1/2 cup apricot filling, gently press filling onto dough. With pastry wheel or sharp knife, cut dough into 12 equal wedges. Starting at curved edge, roll up each wedge, jelly-roll fashion. Place cookies on foil-lined cookie sheet, point-side down, about 1/2 inch apart. Repeat with remaing dough, one-fourth at a time.
6. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
7. In cup, mix remaining 2 tablespoons sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon. With pastry brush, brush rugelach with milk. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar.

8. Bake rugelach at 325 degrees F on 2 oven racks about 30 to 35 minutes until golden, rotating cookie sheets between upper and lower racks halfway through baking time. Immediately remove rugelach to wire racks to cool. Store in tightly covered container.

*****You can eliminate the apricots and use chocolate chips or change the jam to strawberry. Or not use any jam and just use the cinnamon/sugar and chopped walnut creative!!

Thanks "Mrs. Margaret" and Marie for sharing your yummy recipes with the "Klique"! Come back any time to share more!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Gingerbread - More than a Cookie!

We are back up at White Lake again and loving the last bit of summer with its cooler temperatures. My parents have some dear friends up here - and one of my favorites is "Mrs. Margaret"! As a child I would come to the lake and LOVE to see the "Gingerbread Houses". Two such houses exist in our little community, one of which belongs to "Mrs. Margaret". Looking at these houses I am sure one could wonder if a fairy godmother or a witch could live in such a story book home. Thank goodness for us - they are both occupied by lovely families!

"Mrs. Margaret" spent one of her summer days cooking with her sister and took some photos for me to share with the "Klique".

Her sister Marie is a great cook and makes some interesting and different food that her family enjoys. She was a teacher/principal in NYC and has retired to Florida. Marie comes home to White Lake, for a few weeks every summer to enjoy the cool Catskill mountain air and to bond with the family. One of the activities that she enjoys is to cook and reminisce about life growing up in the 50's and 60's.

This Israeli salad is very basic and simple in ingredients, but the flavors meld and it is very refreshing and yummy. If you are on Weight Watchers, it would be 0 points if you use the splenda.

Use 1 or 2 cucumbers (remove the seeds) chopped chunky
3-4 chopped chunky ripe tomatoes
handful of fresh parsley (chopped)
half of a large vidalia or other sweet onion chopped
1 whole lemon (squeezed)
sprinkle of kosher salt
sprinkle of pepper
sugar or (1 packet splenda)
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Put all ingredients into a large bowl,stir, cover and refrigerate for 1 hour. After you make it once and you like it, you can always adjust the different ingredients to your taste. You can also add other ingredients...such as green and red pepper, garbanzo beans, chopped zuchinni, carrots...etc....

Thanks "Mrs. Margaret" for sharing your recipes. You are our "Fairy god Friend" in our favorite "Gingerbread" House!

Check back this Wednesday for another of the sister's recipes!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Upside Down Peach Muffins!

I really should have called this post "A Peach of a Sister-in-Law"! This is my Sister-in-Law, Chandi. We recently went to Minnesota to visit my hubby's side of the family and got to stay with one of my favorite friends - Chandi. She and her hubby, Joel, just bought their dream home and are refurbishing it. Joel is an artist with his woodworking tools and you can just tell the house is so happy that someone who loves her so much bought her! One morning we got to wake up to these yummy muffins baking in the oven. After one bite - I knew I had to share them with the "Klique". Thanks Chandi for the great week, the yummy muffins and letting us love on that sweet family of yours!

Upside Down Peach Muffins

First prepare the custard cups (approx.18 small size)

6 T butter
1 c brown sugar
3 cups chunked peaches, canned or fresh

Distribute these ingredients amongst the custard cups. For me, the amounts are approximate. I just put a little dab of butter and a spoonful of brown sugar in each cup, I don't actually measure it.

For the batter:

2 c flour
1 1/2 c sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 t salt

Mix dry ingred. then add:

1/4 c butter, melted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c milk

Top the cups with batter, place cups on baking sheet and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or till browned on top.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Remembering Woodstock!

The 40 Year Anniversary of " Woodstock' is being celebrated this month in Bethel, New York and,no doubt, many other places. As people reflect back on the year 1969, some remember that as the year that Neil Armstrong walked on the moon, that Sesame Street was broadcasted for the first time. That was the year that Nixon announced the withdrawal of 25,000 troops from Vietnam. However, the people in Bethel, New York always recall 1969 with the memories of 'Woodstock". My parent's cabin is in Bethel, N.Y. and just last week 17,000 people attended a Dave Mathews Concert on the grounds that was once Woodstock.

Peace out!
PEACE - LOVE- AND MUSIC still exist and people still flock to the original site. However, there is now a beautiful museum on the grounds which is called Bethel Woods Center for the Arts. This Museum was made possible by local businessman Alan Gerry, who purchased the property along with 1,700 surrounding acres, to build the beautiful arts center and return music to the "hallowed" ground of Yasgur's farm.

Last week, I took my girls to show them what this "Woodstock event" was all about. All of us got an education as we sat in the theater and witnessed Woodstock like we were actually there. If you are in the area I highly recommend stopping by and reliving this life-changing event. Visit their website at

Peace, Love and Happiness!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Carrier Street Cookies!

My mother grew up very near this house on Carrier Street, in Liberty, N.Y. The home was owned by the Cooper family and the welcome mat was always out. It was purchased by Allan Berube and run as a bed and breakfast, until his untimely death.

The bed and breakfast, when in operation, was a welcoming sight and maintained so nicely by Mr. Berube. He inquired of my mother some of the history from the home and my mom was all too happy to share her fond memories as well as the cookie recipe Mrs. Cooper often made for the children in the neighborhood.

Once Mr. Berube learned of this lovely cookie, he made bags for his guests and attached a copy of the history for his guest to enjoy. The page states: Carrier house is near the site of the old Liberty railway depot. Hoboes, who used to hang around the train yard, came up Cooper Ave. to Carrier and New Street, offering to sharpen scissors and do other work for food. These cookies are from a recipe Bobi Benton ( Ruth Wheeler's Sister) gave me. These were her favorite childhood cookies that Mrs. Cooper shared with neighbors and the hoboes who knocked on her door in the 1940's.

Hobo Fortune Cookies (because they had the good fortune of eating them!)

Sift: 1 1/2 cups sifted all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup Crisco
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup light molasses
1 cup sugar
1 egg

In mixer, mix wet ingredients. Add dry ingredients to batter. Stir in 1 cup rolled oats. Shape into balls and dip in extra bowl of sugar. Bake at 350 for 8 to 10 minutes. Makes 36 cookies.

P.S. If you are wondering about the huge chicken in the yard of the guest was purchased by Mr. Berube from the local dairy queen when it went out of business. I bet it made anyones stay "Sunny Side Up"!