#FoodieExtravaganza: Midsummer Eve

foodieextravaganza-300

Laura of Baking in Pyjamas challenged us to create a dessert that is Midsummer Eve themed. I’m not going to lie, I had to Google “Midsummer Eve.” All I knew was that the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, falls on June 21st in the Northern Hemisphere. What I didn’t know was that in some countries it’s an official holiday! In Sweden, celebrations involve dancing and singing around a florally decorated maypole. In Scandinavia, people clean their homes and decorate them in flowers. In Denmark, traditional foods include pickled herring and strawberries.

Thankfully, Laura’s instructions were to make a dish that meant “midsummer” to us. To answer her call, I immediately thought ice cream! Though really, any time of year is good for ice cream in my book.

I found myself in possession of a massive amount of mint when the grocery store was sold out of the small packages. I’d only needed a couple of tablespoons to mix into Greek yogurt for some lamb burgers. (A recipe that is still under development here in order to be photograph-able) As such, you’ll be seeing a couple more minty recipes on the blog over the next couple of months.

Mint Gelato for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook (1)

But back to the recipe at hand. Fresh mint gelato. Egg-free gelato.

We are within walking distance of a very delicious gelato shop and our sweet teeth know it! I think I’ll be making ice cream much more often now so we can enjoy a cup for a fraction of the cost.

I didn’t have any chocolate in the house when I made the gelato but found that the fresh mint really did need another flavor to balance it. I decided to use some of my farmer’s market yield of berries to make a sauce. The brightness of the fruit was exactly what the gelato needed; better than chocolate even! To make the berry sauce I put some fresh (frozen works, too) berries in a small saucepan with a little sugar over medium heat until syrupy then gently mashed them with the back of a spoon to achieve the texture I wanted.

Egg-Free Mint Gelato

Ingredients:

  • 1 C sugar
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 C whole milk
  • 2 C heavy cream
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint

Steps:

  1. Whisk together sugar, corn starch, milk, and heavy cream in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir constantly until the mixture starts to bubble and thicken.
  2. Place a large bowl in an even larger bowl of ice water. Pour gelato base into the bowl to cool. Put the mint in the gelato and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove the mint. Place the gelato base in the refrigerator at least 4 hours to chill completely.
  3. Place gelato in ice cream maker and follow the directions for your ice cream maker.
  4. Serve with either a berry or chocolate sauce.

*This recipe is adapted from Leigh Anne at http://www.yourhomebasedmom.com/fresh-mint-gelato/*

Mint Gelato with Berry Sauce for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook (2)

Be sure to check out these other midsummer treats:

Blueberry Slab Pie by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Carrot Vanilla Custard by Sneha’s Recipe

Chocolate Fondue with Strawberries by Making Miracles

Dark Berry Gelato by Baking in Pyjamas

Kladdkaka by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Mango Souffle by G’Gina’s Kitchenette

No Bake Lemon Cheesecake by Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Nordic Walnut Cake with Coffee Icing by Food Lust People Love

Simple Peach Crisp by Cooking with Traci

Swedish Cheesecake with Strawberries by Caroline’s Cooking

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

Blueberry Bars

It’s PCS (permanent change of station) season here in the military community and a lot of our friends are packing up and moving on to their next great adventure.

I recently made these Blueberry Bars for a going-away party. We were celebrating after an indoor soccer game, and in retrospect I probably should’ve chosen cherry pie filling instead of blueberry because they wear red as a team. But, it’s July and July is National Blueberry Month. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!

Blueberry Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 C room temperature butter
  • 1 3/4 C sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 C flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 can blueberry pie filling, or whatever flavor you desire!

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add in eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla. Beat until combined. Mix in the dry ingredients until combined.
  3. Spread all but 1 1/2 C of batter into greased 9×13″ cake pan. Spread the pie filling on top and then spoon on the remaining batter.
  4. Bake 40 minutes.

*This recipe is adapted from Alicia at http://www.everydayhomecook.com/2011/08/fruit-squares/*

Blueberry Bars Blueberry Bars

Update May 2017: While this electronic update is occurring end of January 2018, these updated photos are from May 2017! Wow. I made these bars for a church picnic and they were a huge hit. These blueberry bars are incredibly easy to assemble and perfect for bringing to any potluck. You can change the filling with your favorite pie flavor or a fruit that better fits the season.

blueberry-bars-pin.png

A dusting of powdered sugar never hurts!

bb bars (sugar)