Tag Archives: fruit

Raspberry lemonade bundt cake

You know what the best thing about rainy days is? A total excuse to stay inside, vegging on the couch, indulging in terrible Netflix marathons (thank you Bitten). But really, when it’s raining and I found out they turned one of my favorite sci-fi books into a tv series, what more can you expect?! Also, in the world according to me, you need at least one of those days a month. At least. There you go, feel free to quote me the next time someone tries to make you feel guilty about a day spent making BFF with your tv and your couch.

And now here with this post, you all are going to think I am just the laziest. I mean, I made a cake with a cake mix! <gasp> And yes, I do know how easy it is to make a cake from scratch (go on, take a gander at that apple & lime cake I made for you a while back, I’ll wait). But let me paint a picture for you…

A girl with a foodie bent rushes into the grocery store to pick up exactly two items. Just two. And rushes is key. After a long day, she wants nothing more than to get home, get dinner on the table, and get outside. Racing through the store on a mission for corn meal, she lands in the baking aisle. And there, brightly festooned with the word SALE is a lemon cake mix. A brightly yellow cake that screams sunshine and summer and oh, it’s on sale, that means it’s good. And it’s so yellow, you can just imagine the burst of brightness that will dance on your tongue when it hits that first tastebud. Yeah, so that’s what went through my mind, and so promptly without a second thought grabbed the mix. And then like so many impulse buys, returned home, only to look disappointedly at the package, and thought, “huh, what am I going to do with that?”

Well, here’s what you do. You make a cake so delicious and moist and light and sweetly tart that it is like a burst of sunshine and summer in your mouth. So yes, you know what? Sometimes it is ok to make a cake with a mix.


Raspberry lemonade bundt cake from thePenandthePan

Raspberry lemonade bundt cake

Adapted from the Quick Fixes with Cake Mixes cookbook

1 lemon cake mix
4 eggs
½ cup milk
¼ cup oil
½ cup sugar
1 – 8 oz package of cream cheese
juice of one lemon
1 ½ cups fresh raspberries
1 tablespoon flour

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour one large or three medium bundt pans and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together cake mix, eggs, milk, oil, and sugar on low. Add cream cheese and lemon juice and increase speed to medium, beating 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, toss the berries with flour until well coated. Gently fold berries into mixed batter by hand. Pour batter into prepared pan(s). Bake for 50-55 minutes for a large bundt pan or 40-45 for smaller.

Cool cakes before removing from pan. Turn cakes out onto platter and dust with powdered sugar. Store uneaten (yeah, right!) cake in refrigerator.


Blueberry lemon cream pie

Ooof. We are in the midst of some serious muck here guys. I mean I am up to my ears in mud, some courtesy of Mother Nature and some of my very own creation. After a gorgeous thaw over Easter weekend, we were treated to some hardcore (but gorgeous) snow.


Crazy snow

Said snow melted right quick, helped along by a lot of sunshine and a little rain. And that left us with the biggest mud puddle you ever did have the pleasure of mucking through. It made the yard chores on our list that much more difficult, but a heck of a lot of sloppy fun.

Himself and I managed to make our own little mud pies too. I’ve had my seeds and my garden plan laid out for ages, but with one thing and another only got around to planting now. Sigh. I’m at least three weeks behind where I wanted to be, but at least there was some fun and a lot of cooking crammed into those weeks. But, just look at these. Each of those wee little blocks holds a seed that I’m going to turn into a delicious recipe. No presh, though, right?!


I guarantee there’s no mud in this delicious, fluffy pie I want to share with you. I whipped (literally) this pie up for G’ma’s birthday and it was a huge hit! I can’t wait to test it out with other fruits too! A little orange raspberry just may be in Himself’s future. In fact, I’m not sure who loved this pie more, Himself or G’ma. It makes me pretty sure you’re going to adore it too!


Blueberry lemon cream pie

Blueberry lemon cream pie

Adapted from luckyleaf.com

1 graham cracker crust
1-8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup sugar
1-21 oz. can blueberry pie filling
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
Lemon zest curls

In a large bowl, beat together cream cheese, lemon juice, and sugar until smooth. Mix in pie filling by hand, being careful not to break the berries. Gently fold in whipped topping.

Spoon blueberry mixture into pie crust. Top with lemon zest. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Cranberry almond muffins

You guys! My mind has been blown with this muffins. Oh sure, they taste amazing, but the real thing is that you can freeze the batter. With just Himself and I in the house, muffins never really get eaten before they start to get a little less than awesome. This technique totally changes that. Not to mention just made getting out the door in the morning, never an easy task, just that much smoother!

Do I seem a little too excited just over muffins? Ok, you caught me! As I sit typing this, drinking the strongest coffee (maybe contributing a little to the excitement) Himself is (finally) getting up, and we’re going on a field trip today! This weekend has been all things spring, and today is no different. Friday, we picked up our baby chicks – three black australorps and two ameraucanas. That night, I made a very important “scientific” discovery. It is impossible to be in a bad mood with baby chicks on your lap. The evidence is below, as long as you ignore the wonky lighting that I attempted to disguise with Instagram. We have a heat lamp on them, and the red light throws everything off.

Chick collage_medium


I also got my email notice from the Smart Gardener website that it is high time to start some of my seeds indoors. Wheeeee! We’ve got the mini greenhouse set up inside and the outside one all ready to go. In fact, this little flower got a little sunburnt yesterday lounging inside the greenhouse.

And for today’s spring extravaganza, we’re going on that field trip I mentioned. There’s a great farm just east of Hibbing called Mr. Ed’s Farm. Today they’re having an open house so you can visit the baby lambs (squeeeee!!), but also we’re going to pick their brain about year round greenhouses. Himself has plans all laid out for ours, but it never hurts to gain some expertise. Mr. Ed’s farm has a great subterranean greenhouse, that I am terribly covetous of.

So, as we get ready to run out the door, you should get ready to pop the aforementioned muffins in the oven. You’ve got enough for tempting Sunday brekkie and grab-and-go for the rest of the week. Plus the cranberries bursting in the batter will transform that delish sweetness into something you believe could just possibly be slightly good for you.


Cranberry almond muffins

Cranberry almond muffins

Adapted from the Joy of Cooking

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup sour cream
5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
⅔ cup dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 -1 ¼ cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 400°. Whisk together dry ingredients. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together eggs and sour cream. Add butter, sugar, and almond extract. Mix in dry ingredients, followed by cranberries. Batter will be thick, but be careful not to overmix.

Spoon into paper lined muffin tins, filling tins about ¾ full. Bake at 400° for 13-15 minutes or until tops are just golden.

Let cool slightly and serve immediately. Muffins are best the day of cooking.

To freeze muffins, fill paper lined muffin tins as directed. Cover muffin pan with plastic wrap and freeze tin. Once muffin batter is thoroughly frozen, remove paper cups from tins and place in a freezer bag. When ready to bake, return frozen batter filled paper cup to tin and increase the bake time by about 5 minutes.

Fruity white chocolate drops

Last weekend was a pair of those glorious days where everything just falls right into place. After accomplishing all the things on Saturday, we were left with more than enough free time. I’ve already mentioned that baking is a kind of relaxing activity for me and since Sunday I had nothing that needed to get done that meant I had all the time in the world for baking, baking, baking and a thankful audience in Himself and his co-workers.

Ooodles of hot tea, a floury mess covering all my kitchen surfaces, and cookies fresh from the oven strewn across the kitchen table. Sounds like a perfect Sunday to me. The only problem is keeping Himself from too much quality control. 🙂

Now it’s been a good, long while since I baked cookies, but there was a time when it seemed that was all I did. So it was really nice to dive back in, page through my cookie cookbooks, and adapt away. Now we all know that cooking is an art, and baking a science, but these cookies can be easily adaptable to your on-hand add-ins. The fruit in these cookies was just a dried fruit mix of apples, apricots, and plums that I snipped up with my kitchen shears, but cranberries or raisins would be equally tasty. If you do go the raisin route, I would recommend using vanilla extract and milk chocolate chips. Either way, these soft, chewy cookies are sure to be a hit.


Fruity white chocolate drops

Fruity white chocolate drops

Adapted from The Biggest Book of Cookies

1 ¼ cup + 2 teaspoons flour, divided
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup butter, softened
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
½ cup sour cream
¾ cup dried fruit, chopped or snipped with kitchen shears
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl, sift together dry ingredients, reserving 2 teaspoons flour. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar until fluffy. Add egg. Add half of the flour mixture and sour cream, mixing well. Add remaining flour and sour cream, mixing well.

Toss fruit with remaining 2 teaspoons flour. Add fruit and white chocolate chips to batter, stirring until combined.

Drop dough by rounded teaspoon onto cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 10 minutes. Let cool completely before removing from pan.

Jammy muffins

We’ve had the most beautiful string of fall days lately. Weather like this just reinforces to me why we moved up here. Even on the cool, rainy days that crisp, fresh smell in the air makes me so happy. Those days are perfect for staying in your pj’s all the live long day, curling up with a cup of tea, a good book, and one of these jammy muffins.

These muffins are adapted from an old cookbook of my mom’s, the Sleepy Eye Municipal Hospital Cookbook. Sleepy Eye? Yes Virginia, there is a Sleepy Eye. “What the heck am I talking about?, you must be wondering.” Well, it’s a phrase I remember seeing plastered all over a billboard when we would visit my Aunt Verna’s Farm. So, anyway, enough with the digressing. Over the years, I’ve been amassing quite a collection of old cookbooks. There are some seriously weird recipes in these things, like olives paired with jello or peanut butter and ketchup. Gross or not, I am strangely fascinated by it, so the collection keeps growing. And then there’s the occasional winner like these jam muffins. A few updates and voila! These muffins are like a cross between a biscuit and a muffin. The muffin itself is barely sweetened, but the jam makes up for it.

The recipe says mix just until moistened, and it means it. If you over mix, the batter will get sticky to handle. It’ll still taste ok, but be hard to get into the muffin tins. You’re going to have to get your hands dirty to form these muffins. Don’t even worry about it, you see, the reason I know this, you guessed it, I was once guilty of over-mixing too (and chalk me up for guilty of using up all your commas there too).

The beauty of this recipe is that you get to put some creativity into play. Mix and match the flavors of the jams and extracts. I made two different kinds here for you – lemon extract paired with blueberry jam and then plum jam and almond extract. Yum! It’s a small recipe, just 12 mini muffins per batch, but is completely scale-able.

Speaking of yum, this girl has got to dash. I’m off to buy G’ma and I some sandwich loaf from the Sunrise Deli. If you never had sandwich loaf, this is the place to get it from. And don’t worry, if you’re not in the beautiful, chilly north, I’m working on scaling down a sandwich loaf recipe just for you.


Jammy muffins

Jammy muffins

Adapted from the Sleepy Eye Municipal Hospital Cookbook

1 ¾ cup flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
2 Tablespoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
⅓ cup butter, melted
¾ cup milk
1 egg
2 teaspoons extract – pair with the jam
Favorite jam

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line mini muffin pan with baking cups or lightly grease tins. In a small bowl mix dry ingredients, including sugar.

In another bowl, beat egg. Add milk, then melted butter, and finally extract of choice. Make a hollow in center of flour mixture; then add milk mixture. Stir only until moistened. Fill muffin tins just ½ full. Spoon 1 teaspoon of jam on top of batter. Add just enough batter to cover jam.

Bake muffins about 17 – 19 minutes, until tops are golden.

Makes about 12 mini muffins.

Blueberry basil scones

I’m a big fan of basil. Big.

Since moving dates have been a little up in the air this growing season, I thought, “Why not herbs?” I mean, they’re easy to grow, easier to harvest, I can freeze or dry them, and best of all, they look awfully pretty in the garden.Blueberry Basil Scones

A good idea, right? Well yes, until you find basil overflowing the garden, the freezer, and even my countertops. I’ve had basil on pizza and pasta, of course, but mixing it with sweet berries was new to me. New, but soon to be an old habit, because this is amazing, my friends.

The sweet and the savory come together in a perfect mix. The scone dough is courtesy of Marian Heinz, who gifted me with the perfect recipe. It is a little sticky coming together. Be patient, it’s well worth it. I’ve found the best way to make scones is to sandwich the dough between two pieces of well floured parchment paper and then cut into desired shapes. So do this, do it now.

Simple Scones

2 cups flour
½ cup sugar (to bring it to the next level, try vanilla sugar. I’ve got a jar going, that I just keep replacing with fresh white sugar.)
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 stick (8 Tbsp) cold butter
1-½ cup blueberries dried
¼ c basil, loosely packed
½ cup half and half
1 egg

Preheat oven to 400º. Chiffonade basil and set aside.

Mix dry ingredients together. Cut in butter. When making scones and biscuits, I like to freeze my butter first and then grate it into the flour mixture with a cheese grater. At this point, I like to just stick my hands and mix away. You can be more civilized, a pastry cutter works well too.

Add blueberries and basil to the flour and butter mixture. It will coat the pieces so that they don’t all stick together.

Whisk together half and half and enough yogurt to make ¾ cup of liquid. Beat in egg. Add to dry ingredients, mixing just enough to incorporate.

Transfer dough to floured surface, adding more flour if too sticky. Pat out to desired thickness and cut into rounds or wedges.

Bake at 400º for about 15-18 minutes or until just lightly browned.


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