Blackberry Crumble

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Did you know that September is the most popular birthday month? I missed it by 6 days (My birthday is August 26)… Bummer! McCormick didn’t miss the deadline, though. They’re celebrating their 125th birthday/anniversary on September 28th!

They’ve introduced a new version of vanilla extract to celebrate their birthday: Extra Rich Pure Vanilla Extract. The name says it all… it’s deep, flavorful, and rich. It’s twenty five percent stronger than the classic vanilla and is a mix between sweet caramel and bourbon-rummy flavors. Since vanilla extract is used in practically every dessert, it only makes sense to make it a bit stronger. Less is more, in this case!

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McCormick is also celebrating their birthday by giving back to communities around the world through stories and conversations about the importance of flavor in our lives through their Flavor of Together program. It’s a yearlong initiative to share 1.25 million stories about how flavor brings together people from around the world. For every story shared on McComick’s social sites and website, McCormick will donate $1 to United Way.

Come join the conversation at flavoroftogether.com or use the hashtag #flavorstory to help contribute to a wonderful cause!

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In elementary school, all I ever had was cake for my birthday. It was always an ice cream cake from our local ice cream chain store with lots of frosting and mini ice cream cones on the side. I LOVED it when I was little, but as I grew older, I realized that I didn’t really care for cake. There are so many other good desserts out there! Cake just seemed kind of… ordinary.

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For my latest birthday, I celebrated it with a peach and strawberry crumble. It was perfect– something sweet, but not too powerful, and felt just like home. Crumbles are something that I envision a grandma making for having her grandkids over. You know, something made when the sun is shining and the birds are chirping through the window.

I have no idea where I get these visions from. It’s just what crumbles to do me.

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They’re so easy to make, too. There’s no rolling out dough or cutting anything out. You simply lather one layer on top of another and bake away.

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Those butter slices kind of look like potato chips, don’t they?

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I had a lot of blackberries on hand from my end of summer haul and decided to use them to make a crumble in order to bring back birthday memories. It was everything that I hoped for and more.

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Seriously, it was perfect. Look at the beautiful color oozing out of the sides!blackberrycrumble-6

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The crumble on top was crispy, buttery, and crunchy.

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Thanks to McCormick, I’ve got a McCormick Anniversary Pack to give away to one lucky reader! It includes exclusive McCormick product, a McCormick recipe book, and a branded canvas tote. Enter in the rafflecopter below!

Blackberry Crumble

Ingredients

  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick’s Extra Rich Vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup oats
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash together the blackberries, sugar, vanilla, and lemon. Pour into shallow baking dish.
  3. In another bowl, mix together the oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and 1 tablespoon of the butter until coarse. Pour evenly on top of the blackberries.
  4. Cut the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter on top.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes. Serve warm.
http://lovintheoven.com/2014/09/blackberry-crumble.html

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This is a sponsored post, but the opinions expressed are my own.

Goji Berry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I think the worst part about planning a wedding is waiting for the RSVP’s to come back in. Whenever I receive a wedding invitation, I usually send it back within the first week after receiving it. Well, mine have been out for over three weeks and I only have 50% of them back! The longer it takes, I’m sure the more likely they’ve been forgotten about.

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I’m not one to stress about wedding details, but I think I’ve just become more impatient than anything. I still have to put together the seating arrangements! So far, this whole wedding this has actually been quite laid back. We’re more focused on the bar than anything. The countdown to the bar is only two weeks!

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While my DF is studying, I’m baking. I’m in the kitchen all day trying to figure out what to make with the new ingredients that come in the mail. This time, I was sent some goji berries from Oh Nuts! This was the first time I’ve ever had goji berries and I was a bit caught off guard with the taste.

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You’d think that since they were berries, they’d be sweet like strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. Nope! They’re actually quite bitter and have a strong aftertaste. They start out okay, but then have such a strong taste afterward that leaves you feeling tricked.

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I threw them into some cookies to see if the the dough and white chocolate chip could help with the goji flavor. No such luck. Baking them in the oven in cookie dough doesn’t change or mute the berry taste at all.

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Let’s just say goji berries are an acquired taste, kind of like pickles and mustard. You have to enjoy eating goji berries alone in order to like these cookies. Otherwise, it’s a lost cause.

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The cookie itself, however, is wonderful. Sub the goji berries with craisins, raisins, nuts, or just about anything else and you’ve got one solid cookie.

Recipe adapted from Averie Cooks. The only thing I did differently was sub the cranberries for goji berries. Stick with the cranberries. :)

Goji Berry White Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened (1 stick)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoons cream or milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 cup dried goji berries
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Cream together the butter and sugars
  2. Add the egg, cream, vanilla, and beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes. Gradually mix in the flours, baking soda, salt, and mix until just combined.
  3. Stir in the goji berries and white chocolate chips. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  5. Roll cookie dough into tablespoon sized balls and bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
http://lovintheoven.com/2014/07/goji-berry-white-chocolate-chip-cookies.html

Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake Muffins

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Most people know today, July 11th, as free Slurpee day, but did you know that it’s also National Blueberry Muffin Day? I swear every food has its own day. It’s exhausting trying to keep up, but luckily I have Krusteaz to remind me! They sent over a box of their Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix so that I could celebrate the day with them.

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The box came with a can of blueberries, rather than having dehydrated ones in the dry mix. That’s the first time I’ve ever seen anything like that. It was just as easy to work with and made me feel like I was making something a little more “homemade.”

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I doctored up the muffin mix with a recipe that I found on Krusteaz’s website. Instead of using lemon flavored yogurt, I used real lemons. My parents have a lemon tree growing in the backyard that is overflowing with ripe lemons right now. The last time I came over, my dad tried to hand me a grocery bag full of lemons to take. Since it’s just me and my DF, I settled with six.

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These muffins are bursting with lemon flavor, the blueberries taste fresh, and the greek yogurt that I used made the muffins extremely moist.

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I’m always up for a streusel topping.

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Blueberry Lemon Coffee Cake Muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 package Krusteaz Wild Blueberry Muffin Mix
  • 1/3 cup milk or water
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 can blueberries, drained and rinsed (enclosed)
  • Topping:
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine, cold

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. For Coffee Cake: In medium bowl, blend together muffin mix, milk or water, eggs, zest and lemon juice. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into 12 lined muffin pan.
  3. For Topping: In small bowl, mix together brown sugar and flour. Cut in butter with fork or pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle topping over batter.
  4. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
http://lovintheoven.com/2014/07/blueberry-lemon-coffee-cake-muffins.html

I would love for a reader to try out Krusteaz’s baking mix as well, so Krusteaz is giving away a muffin mix box and three coupons for another 3 Krusteaz products of your choice! Enter via the Rafflecopter here:

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This a sponsored post, but the opinions expressed are my own.