Blueberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Have you guys been taking advantage of all the glorious blueberries that are in season right now? I need to make some time for a trip up to our local pick-your-own-blueberry place soon. We’ve also got our Chincoteague Blueberry Festival coming up in the next couple weeks. We always make a “girls trip” of it with my best friend and her daughter.

It’s not very big in terms of most folks idea of a festival, but there’s always lots of unique vendors and great blueberry-centric things to try. Not to mention a blueberry vendor from New Jersey that sells them by the box. I usually buy one and freeze half of the berries, and then we brew a blueberry beer with the other half. Good stuff!

So, this coffee cake. Tender, moist cake is studded with juicy fresh blueberries and chunks of cream cheese throughout, then topped with a delicious crumble topping that is the signature of any good coffee cake. I’d imagine it would also be wonderful with raspberries or strawberries as well. Perfect for any breakfast or brunch get together – as well as a sweet treat for after dinner. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Source: adapted from Taste of Home

Perfect Buttermilk Pancakes

I love making breakfast for my guys. Usually during the week it’s something quick – like oatmeal, or Nutella toast and yogurt. But on the weekends I like to do something special like biscuits and gravy, waffles , or these pancakes.

They’re absolutely perfect – basic ingredients (if you don’t consider buttermilk a basic ingredient – you should) that come together quickly in one bowl. The batter pours well and cooks up beautifully. It makes quite a few pancakes, but leftover pancakes can be frozen and reheated in a warm oven or the toaster for a quick, homemade breakfast.

Deliciously light, moist, and fluffy. Blueberries or bananas can easily be tossed into the batter for a fruity twist. Or, two words: chocolate chips. It’s easily one of our favorite breakfasts, and something that I think we all look forward to on the weekends. I know your family will too!

Source: adapted from Allrecipes.com

Homemade Strawberry Syrup

It’s the end of March, officially spring, and there’s 6-inches of snow on the ground outside my front door right now. While I love snow, I’ve had my fill of snow cream for the year. It astonishes me that it can be 70 degrees one day, and 20 the next!

One thing that does have me feeling like spring are the delicious strawberries I’ve been getting at the store recently. While snow might be still blanketing the ground here – in warm, sunny Florida it’s strawberry season! So whenever I see any berries from the sunshine state  in my local grocery store, I can’t pass them by without picking up a package. I haven’t had bad berries yet!

Most of the time they just get gobbled up, before getting the chance to be transformed into something else in a recipe. But, I did get a chance to make this delicious strawberry syrup a couple of weeks ago. It’s perfect over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, stirred into a cold glass of milk, served over hot Belgian waffles, or mixed into a cocktail to give it a fruity twist. It’s also wonderful to toss with some fresh sliced strawberries and then pour into a graham cracker crust for an easy, but delicious dessert.

The batch I made barely lasted a week, and I’ve already made it a couple of times since then. It’s so wonderfully versatile, and it’s nice to have that burst of fresh strawberry flavor in my refrigerator anytime I’d like!

Source: adapted from StrawberrySue.com

Paczki

For me, Heaven on Earth is frying a ball of dough and then stuffing it with pastry cream. So I naturally fell in love with these traditional Polish doughnuts when I came across them on Nikki’s site a couple of years ago. They’re often made around Lent, to use up all the rich things hanging around the house – stuff like butter or lard, sugar, and eggs.

I wanted to make them for Fat Tuesday last year, but never got around to it. This year I did, and I know that it will be a tradition from here on out in our house. The dough is tender, yet denser than a traditional doughnut. A bit of vodka is added to the dough, which evaporates during cooking, but prevents too much oil from being absorbed into the dough during frying. They’re then filled with a rich pastry cream or fruit filling, and dusted with a bit of powdered sugar before serving.

They’re best eaten the day that they’re made, so don’t dilly-dally in enjoying them. Take some into work to share with your co-workers, or to a Mardi Gras party. Just don’t let them go to waste! This recipe makes about 25 doughnuts, which is plenty to enjoy and plenty to spread the love too. A great weekend project!

Source: adapted from Epicurious and All Recipes via Seeded At The Table