“Raspberry beret, the kind you find in a second hand store. Raspberry beret and if it was warm she wouldn’t wear much more. Raspberry beret I think I love her.” Come on sing it with me. Let me guess, you’re kind of wondering what the heck I’m singing a Prince song for? Well, Jena and I were working on a recipe shot for this little project we are doing. It’s top secret, so I can’t tell you, but we will let all our fans know very soon, so stay tuned. Anyway, while making a drink for the shot which had the herb known as burnet in it, Jena said “hey, why don’t we put raspberries in it and we can call it raspberry burnet?” Clever huh? So that is why I’m singing that song. You can’t help it, it just comes out of your mouth.
It’s a very easy drink, and quite refreshing. Fresh raspberries, burnet, fresh lime juice, and sparkling water with a little lemon lime soda. What’s burnet you ask? Burnet is a very cool looking perennial herb that tastes a lot like cucumber. Since craft cocktails using cucumber are in vogue right now, I thought making a drink with an herb that tasted like cucumber would be a little different. That and we had to use it so we could sing that song while we photographed it.
Think mojito without the rum and substitute the burnet for the mint. Prince was reported to not be a fan of alcohol, so Jena and I thought we would make the Raspberry Burnet Soda Pop non-alcoholic. Also, did you notice it’s called soda pop? That’s to allow for both sides of the age old question do you call it “soda” or “pop”? Everybody is happy. Besides, It reminds me of a time gone by. The old soda fountain, where they would add the flavoring and carbonation right in front of you before there was bottled soda. We both thought it would be good with vodka or even gin, but you can try that on your own. To make this soda pop, place about 4-5 fresh raspberries each in two rocks style glasses. Add about two sprigs of fresh burnet into each glass, topped with a teaspoon each of fresh lime juice and a teaspoon of simple syrup. You can buy simple syrup at a liquor store, or simply combine one cup of water and one cup of sugar in a small saucepan and cook on medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Let it cool, then transfer it to a bottle or jar to use when you have a recipe that calls for it. Muddle the raspberry burnet mixture with a muddler or the back of a fork. Add ice, then add sparkling water to three quarters full and top with lemon lime soda. Stir and serve. Enjoy your summer. P.s., don’t forget to play the song while you make it. You can’t help but be in a good mood afterwards. See you soon. Remember to cook with love and live to cook.
This simple and refreshing beverage has the tart flavor of raspberries and lime and the subtle flavor of cucumber that comes from the herb burnet. Prince would be proud.
Author: Little Rusted Ladle
Recipe type: Drinks
8-10 fresh raspberries
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
4 sprigs fresh burnet
2 tsp. simple syrup
8 ozs. sparkling water
2-3 ozs. lemon-lime soda
Divide raspberries, lime juice, burnet and simple syrup between two rocks glasses. Muddle raspberries and burnet with a muddler or the back of a fork. Fill to halfway with ice. Add water and lemon lime soda. Stir and serve.
If you’re like Jena and I, every summer means having to come up with some appetizer or dish to bring to a friend’s party at the last minute. Sometimes that’s not so easy. Between cutting the grass, planting flowers, getting kids to summer events, and the endless parade of weddings, graduation parties or family summer excursions, those dishes to pass can sometimes cause us stress. Forget about the concept of creating something people will remember, or trying to make it healthy as well. Until now that is.
Jena and I were working on a project for a client that involved creating a shot of multiple kinds of appetizers on different trays. We thought we were getting many choices, but only had a couple, so I had to come up with some more options and do it quickly. We had many ingredients to choose from, but nothing that seemed to really add any kind of visual excitement. Sometimes when in that kind of situation, you have to just trust your creativity and go with it. We had some cool dried apple crisps on hand, which were nothing more than dehydrated apple slices that were cut very thin and were very flat. My guess is they were weighted down to prevent curling. In addition to these, we had an assortment of cheeses, various dried fruits, nuts, and some fresh herbs. No breads were available and crackers seemed mundane, Dips or spreads were not an option because they needed to be finger foods. That’s when it hit me. Why not use the apple slices in place of a baguette slice or cracker and make a healthy, gluten free bruschetta appetizer? Kind of a portable salad.
With the apple slice chosen as the edible canvas, we simply needed some color, texture and smell and flavor to give this canapé some life. What goes good with apples? Cheese. Blue cheese to be more specific. So do nuts and lettuce. By putting a few crumbles of blue cheese on the apple slice, we added a big punch of flavor. A whole almond added texture and a nice crunch, a few crumbles of freeze dried raspberries added great color and some tartness, a slice of dried apricot for more color and some sweetness, and a few fresh herb micro greens for the smell and splash of green to finish it off. What a great combination of flavors. Simple, fancy, yet achievable. In order to re-create them for this article, Jena dried some thin apple slices in the oven overnight, which only took about 10 minutes to prepare. All the other items we found in the grocery store or our gardens. The micro greens can be an easy find in the spring by simply planting a packet of fresh basil or cilantro seeds in a pot of soil and watering them everyday. Make sure they are in direct sun. When they start growing, you can use them as garnishes for cute appetizers like these. Feel free to substitute other chopped fresh greens or herbs for the micro greens if you want. Like everything we do here, there are no rules, so do whatever you want. Just think with your tastebuds about what each ingredient will taste like.
A platter of these simple but healthy canapés is a beautiful statement for your next party. Your friends will be asking for the recipe. Tell them you got the recipe from LRL, or tell them you came up with it on your own. It doesn’t matter. You’ll be happy you delivered a fun appetizer that is perfect for the last minute summer party when seven layer dip from the deli just doesn’t cut it anymore. Enjoy the summer and don’t forget to cook with love and live to cook.
Earlier this week, Jim wrote a wonderful tribute to his mother with her strawberry pie recipe. Today I am sharing a recipe of my mother’s, baklava.
I have sweet memories of cooking this dessert with my mom. After making it by myself for the first time I can see why she needed the extra set of hands. The phyllo dough in the recipe is quite thin and dries so quickly. It can be quite challenging if you do not have a cooking partner. The aroma of cinnamon and cloves filled the air as it was baking in the oven and instantly I had memories of my mom making this on special occasions. Although sometimes she made it just because I requested it, thereby making it a special occasion! My mom, like many others, would do anything for me and I am so grateful she filled my life with all the memories of crafting and cooking together.
Mom didn’t cook a lot, but when she did it was fantastic! She was a very picky eater so everything she made was kid-friendly. Her most loved recipes were rotisserie chicken, dumpling soup, pork egg rolls, homemade alfredo pizza, rumaki, and of course my personal favorite, baklava. I think she would have cooked more if it didn’t create such a mess. She might have been on to something, as my syrup for topping the baklava boiled over creating the most ridiculous sticky situation!
This day five years ago I lost this amazing woman. Even before she became sick about four and a half years prior, I often thought to myself there is just no way I could handle it if anything happened to her. I need her, but as time moves on and new joys come into my life my heart is healing. It has been years since I have even tasted baklava. The first bite brought me to back to days of her and I together at home, and on a day like today I needed that. This Mother’s Day, do something special with your family, and maybe make it an extra special occasion by sharing in some homemade baklava.
If you look up the definition of Mother in Webster’s Dictionary, you simply get “female parent”. However, anyone who grew up with a caring and wonderful mother as Jena and I both did, would think that definition is ridiculous. Our mothers were so much more than that. So much so, that as a tribute to them both, Jena and I have decided to dedicate the most of April and May to them as well as every other mom who makes a difference out there. We are both writing separate articles about our moms, and including one of our favorite recipes of theirs. I was lucky enough to go first. So, without further ado, here’s a tribute to my mom Phyllis Jean Rude, who was my mom.
Phyllis Rude was not unlike many mothers of her generation. She was a stay at home mom, who raised my sister and myself with a lot of love. She didn’t have to be a stay at home mom. After all, she graduated near the top of her class from Marquette University as one of only a handful of women who graduated in the school of business. She was extremely smart and was well on her way to a professional career when she decided to trade her professional aspirations when she gave birth to my sister and I.
Growing up with a mother like mine was a joy. She was always there for me. She made us breakfast in the morning, she would see me off to school and make us lunch and dinner. Her cooking was almost always homemade. I remember her spending hours scouring through magazines. She’d cut out the ones that she liked and put them in file folders to be made another day. It was funny, because she usually made the same things over and over, so I’m not sure when she planned on making any of those recipes she cut out. There was one dessert that she made that I was always really excited about. Her fresh strawberry pie. Being a mother of the 50’s and 60’s meant she was barraged with convenience foods such as Campbell’s Soup, Hamburger Helper, Sloppy Joe Mix and the ever popular Jello. What made her fresh strawberry pie recipe so wonderful was the effort. Today you can buy fresh strawberries year round. They are bright red, big and often very good. However, back then, the only time she made that strawberry pie was during strawberry season, which was usually about three weeks to a month long. During that time, she would go out to the strawberry farm and pick quart after quart of the most incredibly juicy and sweet berries you can imagine. Since the strawberries were a seasonal and vine ripened fruit, there was literally only a day or two between when they were picked to when they had to be eaten or frozen, or the berries would get too soft or spoiled to eat. This meant that there were literally only three to four times a year that we would get that pie.
My moms strawberry pie wasn’t anything special in terms of the recipe itself. After all, everyone made it back then. I’m pretty sure Jello developed the recipe and thanks to good marketing and word of mouth, Jello sold a lot of product to moms looking for an alternate use to that jiggly gelatin dessert. It’s basically fresh berries in a graham cracker or pastry crust, with a syrupy strawberry jello mixture spooned over the top and refrigerated. I’m not a huge jello fan today, but as a kid, that pie was as close to heaven as I could imagine. I would eat three slices in a sitting with no problem. She’d make one, and it would be gone as soon as it was firm enough to cut. I remember sitting in the kitchen and watching her make that pie. She’s come home with the sun warmed berries. She’d immediately wash and stem them and start making the pie. She would keep enough berries for a pie and freeze the rest. I of course would be right next to her eating them as fast as she was stemming them. She would often say “if only you enjoyed picking them nearly as much as you do eating them.” She was right. I hated picking strawberries. All that crouching and looking under the leaves to find the hidden berries. I was often invited to help pick, but almost always declined in favor of playing with my friends. Why not, I got the berries and the pie anyway.
When the berries were stemmed, dried and ready, she would make the strawberry glaze, which was nothing more than water, sugar and cornstarch cooked in a saucepan, then strawberry jello mix stirred in and cooled until it was just thick enough to coat the berries. She said that if the mixture wasn’t the correct thickness or was too warm, it would soak into the crust and make a mess. There was no room for error with this pie. The pie was then refrigerated until the jello was firm. I think she used the graham cracker crust because she was sick of spending the time to make a pastry crust only to have me devour the pie in less than thirty minutes. I don’t blame her. Cool Whip was the topping of choice, but I usually didn’t need it. Heck, I didn’t need the plate. I’d eat it right out of the pie plate if she let me. She never did. Something about “other people” wanting some. Whatever!
I always smile inside remembering the many fleeting fresh produce treats of my childhood. However, the one that I am most fond of is that fresh strawberry pie. Because it was made with local berries picked at their peak. Mom would work hard to gather those berries, wash them, and spend time making those pies because she knew I loved them. As she got older, the number of pies she made dwindled. However, every time she made one, an boyish excitement was renewed. Last year I made her a fresh strawberry pie using the same berries from the same local farm. I didn’t pick them, because I hate picking strawberries, but they were just as good. There was a lump in my throat as I gave her that pie, because I realized I was now playing the part she had so many times over the years. That was the last strawberry pie we shared, and like all those of my childhood, I will always remember it fondly. She passed away last October, so this year will be the first Mother’s Day without her. She was a great mom who could have been anything she wanted to be. She chose to be a mother and I will always be eternally grateful for that sacrifice and for everything she taught me. Happy Mother’s Day to all of you moms out there who make all those wonderful memories for your kids. You deserve more than a day. Until next time, remember to cook with love and live to cook.
This classic strawberry pie is best when using farm fresh strawberries in season. You can substitute a fresh strawberry puree made with fresh strawberries and unflavored gelatin in place of the Jello.
Author: Little Rusted Ladle
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 8 servings
1½ c. Graham cracker crumbs
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
3 Qts. Fresh strawberries, washed, stemmed and cut in half lengthwise.
1½ C. Water
¾ C. Granulated cane sugar
2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1 Pkg. (3ozs.) Strawberry Jello mix
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and butter and str until moistened. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a 10" tart pan. Use a flat glass to make it even in thickness.
Bake for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.
Meanwhile, finely chop 1 cup of strawberries and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar and cornstarch. Bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, then add Jello mix and reserved chopped strawberries. Remove from heat and let cool until slightly thickened but still liquid.
Place strawberries cut side down side by side in bottom of cooled crust making one layer. Spoon half of the strawberry mixture over strawberries, making sure to cover all the berries.
Layer remaining strawberries over sauce and finish by spooning remaining sauce over berries.
Place level in a refrigerator until strawberry mixture has stiffened. Serve.
I am still way too into shabby chic — more then I should be. But hey, Its Mother’s Day. If there is ever a time to embrace it’s now. I want to share my sweet little table scape design along with a delicious healthy recipe. Avocados are wonderful used in decor and well as desserts. Try this Avocado and Key Lime Chia Pudding but don’t throw out the skins. Avocado skins when mixed with water over a low heat make the most rustic pink colorant.
We used the dip dye technique on a burlap table runner and found fantastic ombre results.
1. Start by adding the skins of two avocados to three cups of water over low heat for 1 hour.
2. Cut piece of burlap to desired length and width.
3. Roll the burlap and stick one end in for 3-6 hours.
4. Air dry.
One lesson I learned from my Mom is that you can never have too much dinnerware. The eclectic floral plates were collected from antique stores and estate sales around the state. We kept the centerpieces simple by casually laying roses down the center of our tattered barn wood table.
Enjoy the outdoors this Mother’s Day and treat your Mom to a rustic picnic in the woods!