Tag Archives: blueberries

It’s nice to meat you…

4 Feb

You would think that living in Pennsylvania that venison would be easy to find. We can see deer at our front door for crying out loud! But, surprisingly, if you’re not hunting your own, it’s tricky to find. It’s not that I’m for or against hunting, it’s just I’m too impatient to hunt myself and too spontaneous to want to order meat via the internet.

The last time Ryan and I went to the Italian market I was referred to a shop that specialized in game meats. When we walked in, no joke, it looked scary. There were heads and skulls and very large knives everywhere. There were also 2 huge butcher blocks that were so well used that they were actually warped into bowls. I hate to say that the guy at the counter looked like a cliché but he did. He was at least 6′ 4″, bearded and lumberjack in build. Thank God we were in there for meat and not to ask for forgiveness. Anyway, we asked for venison and at $16.99 per pound, 1 pound it was. He only had chops, frozen, and 4 to a pack. It wasn’t exactly what I wanted, but it would do. I know I probably over paid, but sometimes you just want something unique.

Now you might be asking yourself why I’d be so interested in venison anyway. Well, it’s probably the least gamey tasting game meat. It’s very lean and easy to cook. Venison chops are great to grill or pan sear. Because it’s so lean, it does not do well in a long, wet cooking process like braising. Venison is also easy to sauce. It pairs well with almost anything that goes with pork or beef. I like to make pan reduction sauces and last night was no different. I made a wild blueberry cabernet sauce. This is a great go to sauce since it goes great on venison, salmon, and pork. Here’s the recipe:

Wild Blueberry Cabernet Sauce

1/2 cup cabernet
1/2 cup frozen wild blueberries
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon allspice
salt and pepper to taste

After your protein has finished cooking, remove it from the pan and wrap in foil. Add the wine into the hot pan and let cook for a minute or 2. Make sure your pan is off the heat when you add the wine so that you don’t start a fire. Then add in the blueberries and allspice. Let cook on medium high and reduce by half. Turn off the heat and season. Swirl in the butter (a.k.a. monte au buerre) Serve over your protein.

If you live in PA and want venison and don’t live near the Italian market, before venturing out, ask your friends if they have any. Of course after telling my tale of adventure and intrigue more than 1 person told me they had a freezer full of venison that they would have happily given me. So instead of a little venison for $16.99 I could have had my heart’s desire for free! Oh well, maybe when I start looking around for boar or bison I’ll ask my friends first.

Always thinking of the next meal


Stressed spelled backwards is Desserts!

3 Aug

Vegetables are a must on a diet.  I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread and pumpkin pie.  ~Jim Davis

So on the topic of getting your dailies… Yesterday I made a Blueberry Sour Cream Coffee Cake. It was made with all those things, blueberries (fruit), sour cream (dairy), sugar (uh…that’s good right?).

It’s IMG_0715amazing to me the effect that a dessert can make. I know that my mother-in-law loves blueberry cake. And since I was heading up there today I thought I’d make one. She makes a great version, but I didn’t have any fresh or frozen blueberries. What I did have was some homemade blueberry preserves. I decided to follow a Barefoot Contessa recipe for a starter. Instead of the streusel center and topping, I layered the blueberry preserves in the middle.

The other change was the pan. The recipe calls for using a tube pan. That’s the pan that is typically used for making Angel Food Cake. I, surprisingly, do not own a tube pan. So, I opted for the next best thing, a bundt. If you decide to make this recipe, keep in mind that a tube pan typically hold more by volume. I had a memory malfunction and forgot this before baking. Thankfully I remembered before the cake had erupted all over the oven. If you are concerned like I was, just put a cookie sheet under the bundt pan before baking. So enough suspense, here’s the recipe:

Sour Cream Coffee Cake – Ina Garten


  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 extra-large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

For the streusel:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional

For the glaze:

  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons real maple syrup


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan.

Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 4 to 5 minutes, until light. Add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined. Finish stirring with a spatula to be sure the batter is completely mixed.

For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble. Mix in the walnuts, if desired.

Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean.

Let cool on a wire rack for at least 30 minutes. Carefully transfer the cake, streusel side up, onto a serving plate. Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and maple syrup together, adding a few drops of water if necessary, to make the glaze runny. Drizzle as much as you like over the cake with a fork or spoon.

Always thinking of the next meal,