Monthly Archives: September 2012

Berry Good.

Meet Berrie. He’s spunky, inquisitive, adventurous, incredibly smart, a little grumpy, a bit spoiled and definitely adorable.

He enjoys mirrors, seed balls, messy baths, nomming on computer keys, hanging out on noggins and chirping at cats. He’s a cute little lovebird we recently had the pleasure of bird-sitting.

Berrie was named after the colourful fruit that his feathers resemble. His soft face looks like it was dunked in a bowl of white raspberries or pineberries. His tail feathers are splashed with blueberry and his wingtips with blackberry.

I just want to eat him up!

But that would be weird and wrong…

…So I made these Berry Baby Bundts instead inspired by his yummy name.

Berry Baby Bundts

Makes 6 – 8 mini bundt cakes

Source: Adapted from my family recipe.

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
Zest of 1 full lemon
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup strawberries, hulled and chopped
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blueberries

Note: You can experiment with whatever kind of berries you like. Currents, blackberries, pineberries, cranberries, gooseberries, etc. Just choose a few favourites and have fun!

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and position a rack in the center. Butter and flour your mini bundt cake forms and set them aside.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar then blend in the eggs, lemon zest and milk. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt then add it to the lemon mixture and mix it until it’s smooth. Make sure to scrape off any little bits of zest that stick to the beaters and reintroduce them to the mixture. Lastly, fold in the berries briefly and carefully making sure not to burst any.

Fill a large pastry bag without a tip with the batter and pipe it into the prepared mini bundt cake forms until each is filled about 3/4 of the way. Bake them for 15 – 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean and the tops are a light golden brown. Turn them out onto a cooling rack and enjoy!

And The Winner Is…

Victoria of Victory is Sweet, you are the proud new owner of From the Family Kitchen! Congratulations!

Please email me at hotpolkadot (at) live (dot) com to claim your prize and give me your mailing address.

I enjoyed all your touching stories about family recipes and memories. Thank you to everyone who entered!

From The Family Kitchen.

This recipe is adapted from a long-time family favourite. Whether we were gathering for Christmas dinner, Easter lunch or just a casual dinner party, my Oma would be lovingly coerced to bring Cherry Delight. Failure to bring said dessert would result in chiding and lots of disapproving head shakes. I wouldn’t go as far to say that Oma would be denied turkey, but maybe not the choice slices.

For as long as I can remember Oma would make it in her tried and trusted vintage baking pan. The kind made of tarnished waffle-textured tin. We’d all wait patiently as the tea and coffee was poured and the heirloom spoons were distributed and fought over. We’d sit there salivating as the pieces were carefully sliced and passed around. We weren’t allowed to eat until everyone had their fair share, until piece after piece was passed down the table. My aunt always scraped off the cherry topping from her slice and handed it over to the closest wide-eyed cherry lover. My uncle eats his layer by layer. Oma always had a sliver and I would usually have two.

Graham cracker crust, simple cream cheese filling, topped off with cherry pie filling. Easy, fast, basic. To anyone else it’s just another no-bake cheesecake, nothing special. To us it’s an institution, a tradition, a phenomenon.

Many of the recipes I share with you are adaptations of family recipes. Opa’s Chocolate Chip Cookies. Grandma’s Grasshopper Pie. Oma’s Lemon Loaf. Mom’s Angel Icebox. I’ve even explored recipes my distant Dutch and Indonesian relatives would have enjoyed like Kue Lapis Legit and Speculaas Cookies.

Food is an integral part of our family history. Food is what brings a family together, be it at the end of a busy day or after years of distance. That’s why it pleases me to tell you I have a lovely book to give away on this very subject!

From the Family Kitchen by Gena Philibert-Ortega is a beautiful exploration of how food defines us and shapes us. It talks about how recipes handed down generation to generation have become treasured traditions and even guarded family secrets. These recipes, whether hand-scrawled on stained index cards or dictated and translated countless times, have a story to tell us over the decades and offer special insight on our genealogy. This book even includes several recipes from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries which demonstrate how much food changes with time, culture and circumstance. There’s also a recipe journal included for you to document your own family’s recipes and what special memories they’re attached to.

If exploring your family history and recipes is important to you, please enter to win your own copy of From the Family Kitchen! For inquiring minds, take a look at the digital preview.

The reason there are no photos of a slice is because lunch guests usually frown upon dessert that’s been already hacked up. When I learned my aunt and cousin were coming for a timely visit, I knew it was a perfect chance to make my version of this family favourite. And, wouldn’t you know it, even with my homemade Cherry Sauce, she still scraped the topping off and gave it to me!

How to Enter:

   1 . Leave a comment here telling me about your favourite family recipe and what memories it brings to mind. I’d love to         know!

Want more ways to enter? Sure you do!

   2 . Like Hot Polka Dot on Facebook and leave another comment here telling me you’ve done so.
   3 . Follow Hot Polka Dot on Twitter, tweet the giveaway (“What’s your favourite family recipe? Enter to win From the Family         Kitchen and explore your own food history! @Hot_Polka_Dot #giveaway”) and leave another comment here telling me         you’ve done so.
   4 . Follow Hot Polka Dot on Pinterest and leave another comment here telling me you’ve done so.

Contest Details:

   – If you’re already following me on Twitter, liking me on Facebook, or following me on Pinterest that’s ok! You’re entries still     count!
   – Only a maximum of four entries per person will be permitted in the ways I’ve designated above.
   – Anyone in the world is welcome to enter.
   – Upon winning please email me at hotpolkadot (at) live (dot) com to claim your prize and give me your mailing address to     receive the book.
   – All emails and addresses will be kept confidential.

Contest Deadline:

The contest will be open through the weekend and be closed on Monday September 10th at 9pm MST. I will close the comments at this time so make sure to get your entries in soon! The winner will be chosen at random and announced Tuesday morning. Make sure to get in as many extra entries as you can for a better chance to win!

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered and see who won here.

Cherry Delight

Makes 1 12 inch tart

Source: Adapted from my family recipe.

2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup salted butter, melted

1 8 oz pkg cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 8 oz container frozen whipped topping, thawed

3 cup bing cherries, pitted
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup cranberry juice
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp water

In a large bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs and brown sugar then incorporate the melted butter. Press evenly into a 12 inch tart pan and refrigerate.

In a separate bowl, cream together the cream cheese and icing sugar then fold in the whipped topping until it’s smooth. Spread the filling into the prepared graham cracker crust then return it to the refrigerator while you make the cherry topping.

In a medium sauce pan bring the cherries, sugar and cranberry juice to a boil on medium heat. Let it simmer for five minutes then mix the corn starch with water and stir it into the cherry mixture. Let it cool to room temperature before topping the cheesecake. Enjoy!