Fall is the time for plums and the time to get inspired to make brunch once the heat of the summer has gone. This is one of the easiest pastry recipes to make, perfect for a dessert-like finish to a delicious brunch.
Total time: 40 minutes to thaw dough, 10 minutes to prepare, 30 to 40 minutes to bake.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees
Ingredients (4 servings)
1 sheet puff pastry
4 tsps brown sugar (or white sugar if you don’t have brown)
4 tsps butter
Powdered sugar for topping
Thaw the puff pastry according to the directions. Don’t let it thaw too long or the dough will be difficult to work with. The recommended time is 40 minutes, so plan accordingly.
Cut the dough in half and then each half into half so you have four rectangles. Wash the plums and cut each into 4 pieces.
Place two pieces of plum on each rectangle, top each with 1 tsp sugar then 1 tsp butter. You can estimate the butter and the sugar. A little more or a little less won’t matter.
Fold the dough over the plums and seal, using a little water on your fingertips to get a good seal. Place on a foil lined baking sheet (some of the juice will leak out and the foil makes it easier to clean.)
Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the bottom is browned and the top is very lightly browned. When cool, sprinkle with powered sugar. Enjoy!
If you can get yourself to plan ahead in the spring, the heat of August won’t seem so bad if you have beautiful blue morning glories to remind you of the blue skies of autumn. I start the morning glories from seed, soaking each seed for about an hour, then nicking the seed coat with a knife to encourage sprouting. Because morning glory plants want to twine as soon as they are more than an inch old, I plant them in individual seed pots and put a wooden barbecue skewer in each pot to give them something to twine around. If you don’t keep a close eye on them, they will twine all around each other and then it becomes impossible to separate them. I like to plant varieties together to give a kaleidoscope of color. The two varieties here are Heavenly Blue and the variegated Flying Saucers.
I’m afraid my garden went nowhere this year due to some health problems, but with a garden, there’s always hope for next year! I absolutely love this plant stand, fairy house combination. Now I just need to find the right location for it.
Jelly Bean California Poppies
I love poppies of all kinds. There is just something about the papery colorful petals on the flowers and their simple look that really appeals to me. Over the years I’ve had varying levels of success growing California poppies, Eschscholzia californica.
Like many gardeners, I’m always trying to grow plants that aren’t native or suited to my particular region. I have friends in California who think California poppies are like weeds, but to me, they are beautiful flowers.
I do know they grow best when sown where they are to remain. They are very hard to transplant, because their drought tolerance comes from the tap root they put down, and moving them from a peat pot or a seed tray often results in damaging the fragile young roots. I read a tip I’m going to try this year- sow them earlier than recommended, about the time you would sow radish seeds in northern climates. I’ve ordered the two beautiful varieties above and will sow them by the end of March. We’ll see what happens! Keep your fingers crossed.
Posted in gardening
Update: Kindle is found! My husband found it down in a slipcover on the sofa in my office. (He’s a good guy.)
I am sad, and since my sad face is nowhere nearly as cute as this pug’s sad face, he’s representing how I feel. I cannot find my Kindle anywhere, though I have looked in every logical place. Illogical places too. I’ve been known to absentmindedly put things in the freezer, so I looked there. No Kindle is chilling with the cookie dough ice cream. This loss has made me realize two big drawbacks to ereaders. First, the silly things are so small and thin, they could be easily put down and not so easily found. I lose books too, but they just take up more physical space, so I usually track them down. The second drawback is that I’ve not just lost one book, I’ve lost a hundred. It’s as if a bookshelf in my house just got up and left me.
I realize I’m also upset because I’ve become very attached to the idea that I can do an emergency book purchase from my own home. When insomnia or nightmares hit, I can reach for my Kindle and find a new book right then. It’s become my security blanket. I grew up in a house without a lot of books, in a town without a bookstore, and when I was too young, a library I couldn’t get to on my own. I still have a lingering fear of lack of books, which may not be something Lucy from Peanuts ever labeled as a syndrome, but trust me, it’s real. So I’ll make it through tonight with some old favorite books near by, but tomorrow, I’m off to buy a new ereader. I think I’ll attach one of the those devices you put on your keys to find them, something that will beep at me, so we will never be parted.
Posted in books
I’ve shared a one hundred year old red velvet cake recipe in FROSTFIRE INN as a Valentine’s Day specialty in the restaurant, but I decided to adapt the recipe for another type of treat, which is a little less time-consuming to make and has a more modern cake taste.
For 12 cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare muffin tins by either greasing the pans or using paper sleeves.
Cream these ingredients together, adding food coloring a drop at a time to get your preferred color:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup buttermilk
red food coloring
In a separate bowl, mix:
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
Blend the liquid with the dry ingredients
When everything else is ready and oven is at the right temperature, combine in a small glass bowl:
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. white vinegar
Add to batter and quickly put batter into muffin tins, bake 17 to 20 minutes.
When cooled, frost with white frosting and add additional chocolate chips if desired. Some people use cream cheese frosting with red velvet cake, but I find it overpowers the delicate taste of the cupcakes, so I prefer a regular white frosting. Enjoy!