Summer Berry Compote

 

summer fruit compote

 

Finally.  Finally summer has descended upon Milwaukee after weeks of gloomy, rainy chilliness.  Summerfest is going on literally two blocks from my place  (seeing the Head and the Heart tonight….love!), and we headed over on opening night….only to leave after a few brave hours of shivering in sweatshirts and jeans.  We couldn’t even drink a beer-it was so cold, and that’s saying a lot.  Especially in Milwaukee.

But not anymore.  There’s a nice balmy breeze, blue skies and lots of sunshine.  I got a crazy sunburn/don’t-worry-it-won’t-tan-because-I -only-burn-line during my lakefront walk with Scout yesterday.  (Only to have the line declare itself while out at a fancy dinner date in a beautiful new dress with a different neckline…awesome.:))  We’re going to do a several mile bike ride in a few hours, and I’ll be sure to slather on my SPF.  And I’ll do it excitedly.   My tomato plants are starting to explode. Because summer is finally here.

This summer compote is perfect for using up fresh berry produce now that berries are everywhere (and at a decent price!)  I used mine here on some steel cut oats, but this compote would be just as delicious over ice cream or in a yogurt parfait.  It’s so simple to throw together, and you can use whatever combination of berries you like.  You can also use frozen berries, too.   And, one more thing:  the compote can be saved and refrigerated for a later use. Enjoy.

 

summer berry compote

 

 

Summer Berry Compote

Servings: about 1 and 1/2 cups compote

 

Ingredients

1 teaspoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Pinch of cinnamon

12 ounces of fresh berries: I used a combination of raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries.

For serving:  steel cut oats, ice cream, yogurt, etc.

 

summer berry compote

 

 

Instructions

1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter.

2. Add the honey, lemon juice, and cinnamon, bringing the mixture to a boil.

3. Add the fruit, mixing to combine.

4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes or so.  (To make the compote a bit thicker, just let it cook for a bit longer, stirring occasionally.  To get mine the consistency I desired, I let mine simmer for about 10 minutes because I wanted it thick and syrupy.)

 

Source:  Barely adapted from Cooking Light as part of my monthly contribution to the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection.

 

June 29, 2014 - 12:59 pm

Mandi - Yum! Thanks for this reminder on using berries that are ripening so quickly these days! I like to put berry compote on french toast.

June 29, 2014 - 1:05 pm

srlacy - Oh my! The compote on French toast would be so good-what a great idea!

July 1, 2014 - 7:52 pm

Carol at Wild Goose Tea - I try not to be jerked around by the weather, but my heart just singes when it’s sunny out. I am so glad you are experiencing that now. This is such a simple recipe, but you know simple doesn’t have a thing to do with the richness of the flavor or the jewel tone beauty of the berries. It would be scrumptious on any of the suggested
‘carriers’.

July 5, 2014 - 12:05 pm

Joanne - The warm weather is really hitting the spot lately. Makes me want to be outside 24/7. WIth lots of sunscreen on, of course.

This fruity compote sounds so lovely for spooning all over everything and getting a bit of summer flavor in every bite!

July 14, 2014 - 9:09 am

Mona - I love that this compote contains no refined sugar and it sweetened with honey only. I don’t normally add butter to a compote or fruit sauce but I’m betting that this makes it a little more rich so can’t wait to try addition.

Ruby Slipper Smoothies

Rube Slipper 2 The Curvy Carrot

 

When I saw this recipe on Cooking Light, I knew I had to make it….for the sole reason that the name intrigued me a bit.  I grew up loving the Wizard of Oz…to the point where one year my sister went as Dorothy and I went as Glinda the Good Witch (costumes, including a shellacked crown and scepter, were provided by my seamstress and costume-designing genius mother.)

There’s this place in Milwaukee, where once a month (usually after some me-time, like a massage), I will walk to and buy a fresh juice.  There are tons of options, but I always find myself drawn to the ones with beets in them.  But I’ve never tried a beet in a smoothie format.  So, away I went.

It’s a wonderful smoothie.  Not too sweet, not too “beet-y”-just really fresh-tasting and smooth.  And, it’s really healthy, too.  I wouldn’t mind having this for breakfast every day.

Now, click your heels three times and realize that you had the power all along.

 

 Rube Slipper 4 The Curvy Carrot

 

 

Ruby Slipper Smoothies

Servings:  2 large smoothies

 

Ingredients

1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/2 cup fresh raspberries

1/3 cup sliced and cooked beets (I used a mixture of golden and red)

1/4 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon honey

1 tablespoon vanilla protein powder

1 tablespoon chia seeds (optional)

1 cup ice cubes

 

 

Rube Slipper 1 The Curvy Carrot

Instructions

1. In a blender, combine all of the ingredients and blend until smooth.  Serve immediately.

 

Source:  Adapted from Cooking Light as part of my monthly contribution to the Cooking Light Bloggers’ Connection.

June 26, 2014 - 8:29 pm

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar - Ha! Like you, I just saw the title and was like “yep, totally need to make this!!!”. Great recipe :)

July 1, 2014 - 12:16 pm

Annie - These are insanely gorgeous! I love these photos so much. I make a lot of smoothies but I have been hesitant to try beets because I don’t want it to be too “beet-y” either :) You may have just convinced me though. Love it!

July 2, 2014 - 11:25 pm

Joanne - It’s the color of these that is intriguing me! So bright and magenta…how could it NOT be delicious, looking like that!

July 8, 2014 - 2:43 pm

marta@platedujour.com - Lovely pictures :)

Butterscotch Cake Pops

Cake Pop 1 The Curvy Carrot

My sister is getting married in less than one month.  The countdown has officially begun.

Recently I went back to Indiana to host her bachelorette party.  She wanted something classy, elegant, and non-bachelorette-party-ish.  I hope I was able to pull it all off.  She wanted a Champagne theme-we all wore black and she wore a gold, sequined dress.  She looked beautiful.

I’m not a party planner by any means.  I love desserts and finger foods.  I think the tone of any party can be set with what kind of food is served.  But I had a vision in mind so I rolled with it.

Sam and I have this thing (among many of the hundreds of sisterly things we do) whenever I come back to Indiana.  We head to the nearest Dairy Queen, go through the drive through, and both order butterscotch-dipped vanilla cones.  She’s ten years my junior, but we’ve done it ever since I can remember.  So, when trying to think about what flavor I should make the cake pops, butterscotch was the obvious choice.  I made this cake several years ago when I turned 30, but I remember it well-especially the frosting.  Dear Lord.

Here’s the deal.  I made the whole recipe, but I definitely had enough leftover “cake pop dough” to make double the amount of cake pops that I ended up with (about 50).  I ended up freezing the remainder of my dough for future use (or for nights where I want to secretly eat it out of the bag while watching a chick flick…shh).  If you don’t need that many cake pops, I suggest only making half of this recipe.  And, just like I’m not a party planner, I’m definitely not a cake pop master, either.  With the help of my mother, we were able to develop a system of rolling, chilling, dipping, and drizzling with only a few casualties.  I’ll include some of the tips I found helpful here, but, by all means, if you have other tips or suggestions for fellow readers, please leave a comment to help us all out!

 Cake Pop 4 The Curvy Carrot

 

 

Butterscotch Cake Pops

Servings: about 100 cake pops  (see my intro above if you would like less)

 

For the butterscotch cake:

2 and 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened

2 and 1/2 cups dark brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons canola oil

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons dark rum

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 and  1/2 teaspoons salt

1 and 1/2 cups sour cream

For the butterscotch frosting:

1 pound unsalted butter (32 tablespoons or 4 sticks), softened  (Yep, a pound.  You read it correctly.)

2 cups dark brown sugar, packed

1 cup heavy cream

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoons dark rum

3 cups confectioner’s sugar, or more depending on your desired consistency.  I found three cups to be perfect.

For assembly:

Three 12-ounce bags of candy melts for cake pop shells (I used Wilton’s white candy melts)

One 12-ounce bag of candy melts for candy drizzle (I used Wilton’s black candy melts)

8 teaspoons shortening

Cake pop sticks

Sprinkles, for decoration

 

Instructions

 

1. For the cake: Preheat the oven to 325F degrees and butter/flour two 8″ round cake pans.

2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter with the brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

3. Add in the oil until well combined.

4. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary.

5. Beat in the rum and the vanilla.

6. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

7. Add the flour mixture to the batter in two additions, alternating with the sour cream.

8. Divide the cake batter among the pans, filling about 2/3 full.  **Make sure to clean out your mixer bowl.  You will need it to make the frosting (see below.)

9. Bake the cake at 325F degrees for about 60 minutes, until it is golden brown and a cake tester inserted emerges clean-I found that in my mother’s oven, I needed to bake mine for about 70 minutes.  Just check every 5 minutes or so if you are finding your cakes are taking a bit longer to cook through.

10. Transfer both the cake to a wire rack to cool completely.

11. For the buttercream:  Melt 8 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until it turns deep golden brown and fragrant, about 6 minutes.

12. Add the brown sugar, cream, and salt, stirring constantly until the sugar dissolves.  Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly, and cook for 3 minutes longer.

13. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, and beat it at high speed until the bowl feels cool to the touch, 8-10 minutes.

14. Beat in the rum.

15. With the mixer running on medium speed, add the remaining butter, one tablespoon at a time, beating until incorporated.  Continue to beat the mixture until it is smooth and creamy.

16. Add enough confectioner’s sugar to the mixture to achieve a thick and spreadable consistency.  Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

17. For the cake pops:  If you have already chilled your butterscotch frosting, set it out at room temperature so that it reaches a spreadable consistency.

18. In a large bowl, combine the cooled cakes and butterscotch frosting, using either your hands or a potato masher to mash them together to form a malleable dough.  (You can adjust the amount of frosting here if desired-you may not use it all.)

19.  Using a cookie dough scoop or your hands, roll the dough to form individual cake pops.  Place them on a baking sheet, inserting a cake pop stick into each one.  Once you have filled the baking sheet with cake pop balls, I find chilling them in the fridge for a bit helps firm them up.

20.  In a double boiler or in a bowl set over simmering water, combine three 12-ounce bags of candy melts with 6 teaspoons of shortening.  Let the mixture melt until smooth, stirring occasionally. *If you find that the mixture is too clumpy, remove it from the heat for a bit or add in a small amount of additional shortening.  You want the candy melts to drip in a steady stream off of a spoon.

21.  Using a small spoon to help scoop the melted candy melts over the cake pops, gently roll each cake pop in the melted candy, twisting each one until smooth. Place the cake pops directly on your baking sheet.  (Some people like to put an unmelted candy melt on the bottom of each cake pop to ensure a smooth surface.  It’s up to you.  I did not.)  Let the candy harden and cool before proceeding to the decoration step.  Repeat with the remaining cake pops.

22. For decoration:  Repeat #20 with your decoration candy melt color, using only 2 teaspoons of shortening this time.  Using a spoon or pastry bag/tip, drizzle the candy melts as desired over each cake pop (this is when having two people-one to drizzle, and one to twist the cake pop-comes in handy).  Immediately decorate with sprinkles.  Let cool.

 

 

June 19, 2014 - 3:18 pm

Annie - These are beautiful and sound so good. I bet Sam loved them!

June 19, 2014 - 6:13 pm

Jessica @ Sweet Menu - Good golly! They are perfect! I would have loved to have these cake pops at my wedding. And butterscotch is just the best!

June 19, 2014 - 9:00 pm

Karis - What gorgeous cake pops and I love the idea of using a butterscotch cake!

June 22, 2014 - 10:50 am

Helen @ Scrummy Lane - These are beautiful! I was interested to see that you made the butterscotch flavour just with brown sugar and butter. :-)

June 24, 2014 - 9:18 am

Joanne - How could your sister NOT have loved these?! They are the most gorgeous and classy cake pops i’ve ever seen!!

June 24, 2014 - 7:35 pm

Carol at Wild Goose Tea - What a fun fun treat. You decorated them beautifully.
And the recipe appears to be one that would taste mighty
good too!

July 1, 2014 - 1:09 pm

zerrin - Oh my goodness! These look amazing!
Pinned!