Blackberry Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies #DarkRecipes #SolarEclipse

Are you in the path of totality for the solar eclipse today? If you are, I am so incredibly jealous!

The pastor of our church actually headed out of town back to her home state of Nebraska where her family farm will experience the magic and wonder. I’m kind of wondering why we didn’t think to make a vacation out of the once-in-a-lifetime event.

I’ve been nervous though about protecting my children.

the boys

I know the approved solar eclipse glasses are not exactly kid approved – definitely not toddler approved! My children don’t exactly keep things on their faces anyway.

My mom shared some great pinhole projector ideas, one of which involves making one of out a box large enough to stick your head into. That definitely seems like the safest bet for my rascals – just stuff their head in a box and that should protect their eyes!

The local library has an event going on and I was super pumped to go to it. But the more I thought about it, the more I figured it probably wouldn’t be the safest idea. Could I really keep an eye on my two high-energy boys amidst a sea of over 100 people and get a chance to view the eclipse through glasses? I have to go with the non-selfish vote of “no.”

Our balcony doesn’t get sunlight in the morning, when the partial eclipse is supposed to happen for us in SoCal, so using a colander to project the shadows onto the ground isn’t going to work well, either.

We might be able to go to the playground. It’s not like my children look up at the sun on a regular basis anyway. And they are so young that they’re not going to understand the beauty of the event. Only problem for me is that I won’t have glasses (I was counting on using those provided by the library!).

Watch it be cloudy anyway and all my fretting is for nothing.

If you haven’t caught the eclipse frenzy you can fake it with some dark recipes. Kind of like that big football game you pretend to care about just for the food. Thanks to Sue of Palatable Pastime for coming up with and hosting this event!

Blackberry Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp chocolate extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1/2 C cocoa powder
  • milk, if needed
  • blackberry jam

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with silicone mats.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, sugar, chocolate extract, and salt until smooth.
  3. Add in the flour and cocoa powder and beat until the dough comes together. If it is too dry, add in a tablespoon or two of milk.
  4. Roll 1 tablespoon of dough into a ball, place on a prepared baking sheet, flatten slightly, and press your thumb (or a small spoon) in the center.
  5. Bake 15-17 minutes, until set. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Once cool, fill thumbprints with blackberry jam.

*This recipe is adapted from Grishma and Vikas at http://www.feastie.com/recipe/zaika-zabardast/blackforest-thumbprints*

Blackberry Chocolate Thumbprint Cookies for #DarkRecipes #SolarEclipse

Be sure to check out these other Dark Recipes for the Solar Eclipse:

Chinese Mooncakes (Snow Skin Mooncakes) by Caroline’s Cooking

Deep Dark Chocolate Brownies by Palatable Pastime

Eclipse Pizza by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Homemade Moon Pies by Family Around the Table

Ramen and a Martini from the Abyss by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Sweet Dark Cherry Crepes by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Triple Chocolate Cookies by The Freshman Cook

#BundtBakers: Strawberry Bundts

4ae7b-bundtbakerspost

I have been sitting on this cake for months! And that is not an exaggeration. Tammy of Living the Gourmet is hosting and announced the theme of “Strawberry Bundts” back in spring and I baked this beauty in early June.

#BundtBakers is a group of bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient.

We eat strawberries by the pound here. They’ve been my kids’ favorite food/fruit for well over a year now. With a weekly Farmers Market across the street dishing out California fresh berries year round, we’re never without these red beauties.

And yes, this is my fourth strawberry recipe since my “break“. Told you we like strawberries around here!

boys want cake

When I think of using strawberries in a creative way I immediately go to balsamic vinegar. So, is that really creative? Meh. It’s a delicious combination either way.

This cake has a lot of moving parts. Cake. Frosting. Drizzle. Berries. And is it all worth it? Yes! Will I do it all again? Yes! I have some of the frosting in the freezer and Firecracker can’t stop talking about baking a strawberry cake with Tilly when she comes to visit. (Update: He forgot all about baking anything once she was here. We kept busy creating his Homeschooling corner, hanging artwork that’s been leaning against the wall for the past 16 months, going to the beach and the tide pools, and even sewing!)

Strawberry Balsamic Bundt Cake for #BundtBakers from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Strawberry Balsamic Bundt Cake

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 C dark brown sugar
  • 1 C granulated sugar
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
  • 3 C cake flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 C buttermilk

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 1 lb fresh strawberries, chopped
  • 1 C + 6 tbsp sugar, divided use
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 egg whites
  • 3 sticks butter, softened

Ingredients for the garnish:

  • 1 lb fresh strawberries, finely diced
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract

Ingredients for the drizzle:

  • 1/2 C balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp dark brown sugar

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Heavily grease a bundt pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla, mixing until fully incorporated after each addition.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the mixer, alternating with the buttermilk. Pour batter into prepared bundt pan. Bake 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out cleanly.
  4. For the frosting, put the chopped strawberries, 2 tbsp sugar, and balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the berries are soft, 5-8 minutes. Let cool slightly before transferring to a blender to puree until smooth. Chill.
  5. Also for the frosting, whisk the egg whites and the remaining sugar in a large heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk consistently until a thermometer measures 160 degrees F and the sugar is dissolved. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 8 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium and add in the softened butter 2 tbsp at a time, until fully incorporated, and frosting is thick and smooth (it will most likely curdle during the process, just keep going and keep trusting!). Add in the cooled strawberry puree until fully incorporated.
  6. Make the garnish: Stir together the diced strawberries, sugar, vinegar, and vanilla in a bowl. Let macerate 20-30 minutes.
  7. For the drizzle: Reduce the balsamic and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat down to 4 tbsp. Set aside.

*This recipe is adapted from Annie at http://www.annies-eats.com/2013/06/07/strawberry-balsamic-cupcakes/*

Strawberry Balsamic Bundt Cake for #BundtBakers from Sew You Think You Can Cook

You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have created this month:

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Poke Bundt by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Freeze Dried Strawberry Bundt with Cream Cheese Glaze by Sweet Sensations

Jam Strawberry Bundt Cake by Bizcocheando

Lemon Strawberry Poke Bundt by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Neapolitan Zebra Bundt Cake by All That’s Left Are The Crumbs

Strawberry Balsamic Bundt Cake by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Strawberry & Cream Bundt Cake by Patty’s Cakes

Strawberry Crunch Bundt Cake by Cookaholic Wife

Strawberry Bundt Mousse Cake by Sneha’s Recipe

Strawberry Bundt Cake with White Chocolate Ganache by The Queen of Scones

Strawberries & Cream Naked Bundt Cake by Living the Gourmet

Strawberry Key Lime Cheesecake Bundt by The Crumby Kitchen

Strawberry Orange Bundt Cake by I Love Bundt Cakes

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Here it is, the third and final recipe made with the 8 quarts of strawberries we picked while staying with my parents in Wisconsin in June.

kids berry picking

1 quart was turned into Strawberry Honey Sorbet. 1 quart was turned into No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream. Almost 2 quarts became this incredible deep dish strawberry pie. The remaining half of the strawberries were gobbled up by mostly my kids.

My mom really wanted to make pie with the strawberries. I’m not the biggest pie fan. I have a thing against warm fruit. But I’m getting better, I’ll at least give it a go on occasion. But, of course, I had to try the stunning pie I watched her make with her grandsons!

pie filling

These strawberries were quite different than those I get from the Farmers Market here in California. They’re different from the Florida Strawberries you can find in the winter months (depending on where you live). These berries were small, dark, and slightly tart. They also let off a lot of juice. My mom likes her pies to be a little on the “runny” side compared to the average pie eater and we ended up having to take the boy’s {clean} Tylenol syringe to syphon off some juice.

berry picking

The recipe for the pie dough was handed down from my grandmother and it’s my mom’s all time favorite crust. Unlike myself, my mom opts to make her dough over buying one from the freezer section. After watching her make the crust in a matter of minutes, I really don’t see why I couldn’t do that from now on, too.

pie dough

Fresh Strawberry Pie

Ingredients for the crust:

  • 2 C flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 C vegetable oil
  • 1/4 C milk

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 7 C sliced strawberries
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 – 3/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter, cubed

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Make dough: Whisk flour and salt in a large bowl. Create a well in the center. In a measuring cup, combine the milk and oil. Pour into the flour and mix until combined. Form into two balls. Roll one of the pieces of dough between two sheets of wax paper into a large circle. Place in the bottom of a pie pan, patch up any tears.
  3. Make the filling: Combine ingredients in a large bowl. Adjust sugar to taste depending on the sweetness level of your strawberries. Spoon the filling into the pie pan, leaving excess juice behind. Dot with butter.
  4. Roll the remaining pie dough between two sheets of wax paper. Option to cut out stars for topping the pie, or simply lay the top crust on top with a couple of slits in the center.
  5. Bake 40 minutes, covered with foil. Bake another 30-33 minutes, uncovered, until golden and bubbly.

Fresh Strawberry Pie | Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

We had a lot of fun with photography while the boys were playing in the backyard, going “old school” and putting the pie in the literal window to cool. Trust me, had the kids been inside, that pie would’ve been placed on top of the counter out of reach.

cell phone photos

And seriously, my all-time favorite photo of this pie is the one taken on my iPhone through the Instagram app. Check it out here! And if you don’t already, give me a little follow to keep up with our crazy life in between blog posts.

#BundtBakers: Untraditional Bundts

4ae7b-bundtbakerspost#BundtBakers is a group of bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bundt cakes with a common ingredient or theme.

Except that this month, Colleen of Faith, Hope, Love & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice is breaking that mold and challenging us to think outside of the bundt pan. To bake something in our favorite cake pan that isn’t cake!

I didn’t know if I was going to sign up for this one given my summer blogging break but one of my best friends from college shared a Facebook video with me. Her timing couldn’t have been more perfect! The video was for a fajita bundt cake. Yes. Fajitas. In a bundt. It looked so fun, we just had to try it!

Picture your bundt cake. But instead of a rich cake center, imagine fajita seasoned chicken and veggies. Instead of a cake crust to cut through, imagine tortillas. And instead of frosting and sprinkles, imagine sour cream and cilantro.

The dinner was so fun and would definitely be a show stopper for company.

Chicken Fajita Bundt Cake (cut) for #BundtBakers from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Chicken Fajita Bundt Cake

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts, sliced
  • 2 bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tbsp fajita seasoning
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 9 flour tortillas
  • 1 1/2 C shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 C sour cream
  • 1 lime

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss together the chicken, bell peppers, onion, fajita seasoning, olive oil, and salt. Bake 30 minutes.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 360 degrees F.
  4. Brush a bundt pan with olive oil. Tuck 5 tortillas into the pan, add the remaining 4 tortillas behind the first layer. Put half of the cheese into the tortilla-lined bundt pan. Top with the cooked chicken mixture, tomato, cilantro, and remaining cheese.
  5. Press tortillas over the cheese. Bake 25 minutes.
  6. Flip out the fajita cake.
  7. Mix sour cream with a little lime juice, to taste. “Frost” the “cake.” Garnish with chopped cilantro and lime zest.

*This recipe is adapted from Tom at http://twistedfood.co.uk/giant-chicken-fajita-donut/*

Chicken Fajita Bundt Cake for #BundtBakers from Sew You Think You Can Cook

You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have created this month:

Bacon, Zucchini, Raisins and Cheddar Bundt Cake from I Love Bundt Cakes

Cheesesteak Bundt from Cookaholic Wife

Cherry Bundt Breakfast Danish from Faith, Hope, Love & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Chive Potato Filled Cheeseburger Meatloaf Bundt from Food Lust People Love

Classic Vanilla Flan Bundt from All That’s Left Are The Crumbs

Pasta Chicken Bundt from Sneha’s Recipe

Soap Bundt Cake from La Mejor Manera

Spinach Pasta Surprise from A Day in the Life on the Farm

#FantasticalFoodFight: Ice Cream

unnamed

Fantastical Food Fight has done it again, a food fight worthy of returning to my blog.

I’m laughing a little bit because my uncle teased me for blogging so much after declaring I was taking a break. (Thanks for being a true fan, Uncle Lar!)

The kids and I spent the end of June at Lake Geneva with my parents while my husband was doing a two week stint at the Pentagon. While on our trip, we went strawberry picking in Bristol. A lot of strawberries! We used those strawberries to make pie, sorbet, and no-churn ice cream.

Because I was at my mom’s house, sans ice cream maker, I had to go with a no-churn method for ice cream making. Luckily this food fight allows no-churn varieties of ice cream!

No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream

Ingredients:

  • 1 qt frozen strawberries
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 pt heavy cream

Steps:

  1. Place a metal pan in the freezer to chill (we used a bundt pan!).
  2. Thaw strawberries 10-20 minutes.
  3. Place strawberries in a food processor and pulse until pea-sized. Add the condensed milk, vanilla, and a pinch of salt. Pulse until combined.
  4. Using a hand mixer, beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks are formed.
  5. Fold 1 C of the whipped cream into the ice cream base then pour that into the remaining whipped cream until blended.
  6. Pour into the chilled pan and freeze 2-5 hours.

*This recipe is adapted from Food Network at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchen/no-churn-strawberry-ice-cream-3364490*

No-Churn Strawberry Ice Cream for #FantasticalFoodFight from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To check out these other Fantastical Ice Creams click here:

 If you would like to join our Fantastical Food Fight, you can learn more on our informational page.

#SundaySupper: Simple Mixed Drinks for a Refreshing Summer

Before my husband discovered the Moscow Mule last year, a Pimm’s Cup was his drink of choice for about two years.

While he’s currently in a “dry season” due to training for World’s Toughest Mudder, I think he’d like to celebrate his race, not with the customary beer, but with something a bit more refreshing.  (Not immediately, mind you, it’ll be a miracle just making it back home after the 24 hours of conquering the WTM course!)  Given that our house is currently void of vodka, I think I’ll remind him of this beauty.

The Pimm’s Cup is perfect for sharing with today’s #SundaySupper Simple Mixed Drinks for a Refreshing Summer! Thank you to Christie of A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventure for hosting this event.

The Pimm’s Cup has been a popular English summer drink for the past 46 years. It is the official drink of the Wimbledon Tennis Tournament. Fun fact, the finals are next weekend, so you might as well gather all the ingredients and pretend you’re in London watching the match, but from the comfort of your much-less-expensive couch.

This recipe is intended for individuals ages 21 & up. Please drink responsibly.

Pimm’s Cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 part Pimm’s No. 1
  • 2 parts lemonade
  • 1 part gingerale
  • cucumber slices

Steps:

  1. Combine all ingredients and serve over ice.

Pimms Cup

Classics with a Twist

Make Mine a Mocktail

Simply Different

Tasty and Tropical

Very Vino

For even more inspiration check out these Simple Mixed Drinks for a Refreshing Summer by Sunday Supper Movement

Sunday Supper MovementJoin the #SundaySupper conversation on twitter on Sunday! We tweet throughout the day and share recipes from all over the world. Our weekly chat starts at 7:00 pm ET. Follow the #SundaySupper hashtag and remember to include it in your tweets to join in the chat. To get more great Sunday Supper Recipes, visit our website or check out our Pinterest board.

Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement

#IceCreamSocial: Strawberry Honey Sorbet

Hello, Summer. You’ve been here 10 days and it’s high time we’ve had an Ice Cream Social to celebrate your arrival. After all, July is National Ice Cream Month.

The Festive Foodie Events Planning Group (formerly Holiday Fun with our Blogging Friends) is having said Ice Cream Social with all treats frozen. We’re talking ice cream, frozen yogurt, gelato, sorbets, ices, affogatos, malts and shakes, ice cream cakes, ice cream pies, ice cream sandwiches, sundaes, popsicles, etc. If it’s frozen and it’s a treat, bring it on to the party! Thank you Sue of Palatable Pastime for hosting!

19399035_10104959073808201_7818881682960017989_nThe boys and I went strawberry picking with my mom the Thursday before last and brought back 8 quarts of strawberries! That’s a lot of strawberries. Particularly when they’re super tiny. These Wisconsin strawberries are half the size of those I get from the Farmer’s Market back in California.

Using about 7 cups of strawberries, Mom (with a little help from Treat) baked a beautiful pie. We filled two freezer quart bags to be used in both an ice cream and a sorbet. And there was a 48 oz container remaining for our daily Vitamin C intake.

On a beautiful (and only slightly chilly) Monday morning, Firecracker woke up asking to make ice cream. I checked my potential blogging opportunities and decided to tackle the sorbet first.

There’s a slight chance we busted my mom’s little blender, so I’m not sure if the no-churn ice cream we want to make will end up happening. I’ll need to get on that quite soon before we head back to sunny SoCal!

After lunch the sun came out and outside play called for some Strawberry Honey Sorbet. This treat melts quickly, especially in the sun, but it’s quite refreshing! Sweetened only with honey, I didn’t feel too guilty about letting the boys dig in!

Strawberry Honey Sorbet (kids) | Sew You Think You Can Cook

The three ingredient recipe was inspired by a Facebook Video my mom found.

I encourage you to have a taste of summer by whizzing up your own, three-ingredient sorbet.

Strawberry Honey Sorbet

Ingredients:

  • 1 qt frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 C water
  • 1/2 C honey

Steps:

  1. Place ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.
  2. Transfer to a freezer friendly dish, cover, and freeze at least an hour.

*This recipe is modified from Pierce at https://www.buzzfeed.com/pierceabernathy/3-ingredient-mango-sorbet?bffbtasty&ref=bffbtasty&utm_term=.fmrJbAWaw#.kpa9N6Edq*

Strawberry Honey Sorbet for #IceCream Social from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other frozen treats for your next Ice Cream Social:

Chocolate Mousse Ice Cream by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Cowtipper Shake by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Easy Nutella Popsicles by All That’s Jas

Fresh Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

No Churn Cherry Vanilla Ice Cream by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks

Old Fashioned Cola Float by Family Around the Table

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip No Churn Ice Cream by Cooking with Carlee

Raspberry Ripple Ice Cream by Red Cottage Chronicles

Sour Cherry Ice Cream with Chocolate Chunks by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Strawberry Frozen Yogurt by Palatable Pastime

Strawberry Honey Sorbet by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Strawberry Peaches & Cream Popsicles with Gingersnap Crumbles by Tip Garden