Country Blueberry Coffeecake

This weekend, my lovely mother came up to Chicago for girls weekend. It was absolutely lovely! We really could not have asked for a better weekend. We went shopping downtown, celebrated Cinco de Mayo and headed out to Lombard for the Lilac Time Art & Craft Fair. We also got to enjoy all the essential Chicago eats: Portillo’s Italian beef, Giordano’s pizza, crusty Italian bread (you just CAN’T get that in Rochester), Garrett’s Chicago mix popcorn and Country Blueberry Coffeecake. Oh, wait, no. That last thing on that list owes no part of its glory to any sort of Chicago roots (other than my own), but it has definitely earned its place in the ranks of delicious eats.

I found this recipe on Pillsbury Baking back in August and have been meaning to make it ever since. I never actually got around to it until this weekend, when I decided my mom was totally worth trying this recipe for. It was a great decision. This coffeecake is a perfect fusion of traditional Monkey Bread and Blueberry Buckle. It is just amazing fresh out of the oven but great at room temperature, too. The other great thing is that it was a snap to make and if blueberries were in season, it would be super cheap, too. Thanks Mom for helping out in the kitchen and being an excellent photo assistant!

Country Blueberry Coffeecake

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 can refrigerator biscuits
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup quick-cooking oats (or 2 packages instant original oatmeal — that’s what I used)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces (I accidentally forgot this part and it turned out fine.)

Heat oven to 375°F. Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray. In small bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon with fork.

Separate dough into 10 biscuits and cut each into quarters. Dip each quarter in melted butter; coat with brown sugar mixture.

Arrange in single layer in baking dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup of the oats.

In medium bowl, toss blueberries and granulated sugar to coat.

Spoon blueberries over oats and biscuits.

Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup oats. If you remember, how is also the time to top with butter pieces.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until coffee cake is golden brown and center is done. Serve warm.

Enjoy!

Holy, Guacamole

With Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, it’s time for Margaritas and Caronas paired with chips and guacamole. Oh yeah, and to celebrate Mexican heritage and freedom (even though the holiday is celebrated more in America than Mexico). Either way, I’m the kind of Cinco de Mayo fan who focuses on the food and drink. One of my favorite Mexican foods is guacamole and this is one of my favorite recipes:

Okay, so that’s obviously not my favorite recipe, but I think that is seriously awesome! I did want to share with you my actual favorite guacamole recipe, plus the margarita recipe I’m excited to try this weekend. My boyfriend sent me this Slate article, You’re Doing it Wrong: Guacamole, that has lots of great tips on how to make guacamole properly. You should definitely check it out. He asked that we try to make the Slate recipe, which I plan to do soon. I’ll let you know how that turns out. In the mean time, here is the tried-and-true recipe that I always default to.

Guacamole

2 avocados
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp lemon juice (or lime if you prefer)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 small onion, chopped
(A lot of people like tomatoes. I don’t, but if you’re feeling it, add about 1/3 cup diced tomatoes or salsa)

Half the avocados and scoop out the insides (discarding the seed). Add remaining ingredients and stir/mush until desired consistency. Serve immediately with chips.

Easy Skinny Margarita 

1 lime, juiced
one packet splenda
1/2 cup of water
1 ounce of Tequila
ice

Combine all ingredients in a shaker. Shake and serve over ice. I’ve never made this before, but I will be giving it a whirl this weekend.

Salud!  (Aka Cheers!)

Collage Frame Remodel

My mom is on this kick where she’s trying to get me to take my things out of my house in Rochester and into my apartment in Chicago. Which means that every time I go home, I come back with more stuff (that I should probably just throw away to be honest). Over Easter, I brought back my high school journals, some pretty coffee cups and a couple picture frames. The picture frames I’m pretty sure I bought at a garage sale when I was five. One of them though was this collage frame with really great stock photos for 1973. I  grabbed it because I thought I could do something with.

So I popped the cardboard collage part out of the glass and gathered all the craft supplies I could.

I started by tracing the cutouts onto several pieces of colored construction paper. Then I added glitter, rhinestones, lace, yarn and ribbons to brighten it up a bit. I wanted to use the Mod Podge to add some words and photos, but I couldn’t get it open so I just decided to skip it. This is how it turned out.

It looked at lot cooler in my head. It kind of just looks like a third-graders art project. But it’s bight and colorful and so much better than it started! I’m going to stick some photos in there and hang it up anyway.