I'd intended to call this post weekend recap but time flies and here we are nearing the start of a new weekend. It's been a busy and exciting week or so here and being the introvert that I am, I needed to take a few days to recuperate.
|Vanilla cupcakes with chocolate frosting I recently auditioned made their birthday reappearance|
I was a nervous wreck by Saturday morning, as we tried to figure out all the last minute details from the weather to timing, to all the little things in between - all the while hoping our secret was still safe! Happily, the planning and effort was worth it because wonder of wonders...we actually pulled off the surprise!! The birthday boy was shocked! It helps that my son is pretty laid back and undemanding. It's hard to believe but he literally did not ask about birthday plans and made little mention of his birthday beforehand. That made it easier to pull off the little surprise. All in all, I'm glad we did it and I hope he'll think back on it with a smile as he gets older...
On the heels of the birthday festivities, we celebrated Father's Day. These two events always converge and make for a busy weekend (not to mention plenty of prepping beforehand). Here's a little snapshot of our Sunday.
It involved strolling around a car show in our town early in the morning. Then, we came home for brunch. I made one of my husband's favorites, a Dutch baby pancake. Even though we have it very often, he always requests it! For dinner, I made crab cakes, served over some cappellini with lemon and caper sauce.
In between meals, I whipped up a little sweet treat for my husband (who has a major sweet tooth to match his personality), a simple berry crisp for one. It was thoroughly appreciated. I'm very lucky that my husband is a great person to cook and bake for!
June is full of celebrations. It's both exhilarating and a little exhausting at the same time! My son just wrapped up 6th grade - another milestone we happily toasted. And by "toasted", I mean we had more cake!
|A 6-inch version of our favorite chocolate cake|
I'll leave you with this recipe for a single-serve berry crisp that I cobbled together (working off the recipes I've used for individual apple and pear crisps). It's very easy, using frozen mixed berries (which I had on hand after making the berry compote) that you don't even need to thaw in advance.
For a single serving, I piled about a cup of the frozen mixed berries into a similar size ramekin (I wish I had a wider, slightly more shallow dish to use here). Toss the berries in a couple of teaspoons of sugar and cornstarch to sweeten and thicken the juice, along with a squeeze of lemon to perk things up. Then, pile on a streusel topping made with oats, flour, brown sugar, and butter. I say pile it on because everything will cook down in the oven.
It takes a bit of time for the crisp to cook up. I was experimenting a bit with this "recipe" and starting baking the crisp at 350 degrees; I found that a hotter 375 degree oven worked better. It will likely take 30-40 minutes or so but use the time parameter as a loose benchmark because it's best to look for doneness in the form of the berry mixture bubbling.
I think it's very important to make sure you have vanilla ice cream on hand to serve with your warm berry crisp! Because this dessert is a lot about contrasts...sweet and sharp, warm vs. cold, and crunch of the topping against the softened berries. The contrasts work really well together.
My husband, who is a wonderful equal-opportunity dessert enthusiast, said "fruit desserts are so good" as he was eating this. I was glad he enjoyed it, though he seems to enjoy just about everything that comes out of the kitchen! And I'm really glad I got to celebrate two of my favorite people this past weekend!
Berry Crisp for One
- For one serving (but easy to double, triple, etc.) -
For streusel topping:
2 tablespoons rolled oats
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon firmly packed light brown sugar
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the rest:
1 cup frozen mixed berries (I used a mix of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries; do not thaw)
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
Vanilla ice cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Make streusel topping: stir oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg together in a small bowl. Pour in the melted butter and, using your fingers, pinch ingredients together to make clumps. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
In a bowl, toss frozen berries with the sugar, flour, and lemon juice. Transfer to a ramekin set on top of a baking sheet. Top with the prepared streusel. Bake, until berry mixture is bubbling and the topping is golden, about 30-40 minutes.
Let cool slightly but serve warm, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!