Monday, August 30, 2010


Stores along the Black River in South Haven.

South Haven is the World’s Highbush Blueberry Capitol and for 97 years has celebrated blueberries with the National Blueberry Festival in August. When we were in South Haven, I chose a Blueberry Scone from the bakery for my treat as I figured they knew what to do with blueberries. The scone was not shaped like a traditional scone, but more like a fat Long John.

When I told my friend Patricia about my Blueberry Scone, she said that she didn’t like scones as no matter how good they looked, they tasted and felt like sawdust when you bite into them. My scone from the bakery was very moist.

Traditional scones are made with loads of butter and cream. As much as I love butter and cream, they love me more and as soon as I eat them they settle on my waist and stay forever. Therefore when I started trying to recreate the exquisite scone I had from the bakery, I wanted it to be moist but also lower in fat than usual. In the past I have used evaporated milk in cream soups in place of cream. I had never tried it in baked goods and didn’t know if I would get the rich mouth feel of cream with evaporated milk. When I was done, I was thrilled with this adaption.

Chock-full of fruit, moist, and relatively low fat!  Enjoy!!!!


2 c flour
1 T baking powder
½ t salt
2 T sugar
5 T butter, cold, cut in chunks
1 c evaporated fat-free milk
1 t cinnamon
1 c fresh blueberries
1 c powdered sugar
Approximately 3 T evaporated skim milk or milk
½ t vanilla

Ingredients:  Flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, evaporated milk, butter and blueberries.

Ingredients for glaze:  Powdered sugar, butter, vanilla and milk.

Into a mixing bowl, measure the dry ingredients; whisk together to combine. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until mixture looks like coarse meal or crumbs. Pour in the cream. Fold everything together just to incorporate; do not over work the dough. Sprinkle cinnamon on dough.  Top with blueberries.  Fold in cinnamon and blueberries into the dough. Take care not to mash or bruise the blueberries because they will bleed and make dough blue. Place the scones on a cookie sheet lined with parchemnt paper.  Sprinkle the tops with a little sugar. Bake in preheated 400° oven for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown. Let them cool a bit before glazing. To make the glaze: Put powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Melt buttter and add to powdered sugar. Add vanilla. Add evaporated milk or milk a tablespoon at a time. Whisk the glaze to smooth out any lumps. Add enough evaporated milk or milk until the glaze is of the consistency to drizzle over the scones. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a few of minutes before serving. These are best the day they are made but I like them the next day too.

MICHIGAN COTTAGE COOK NOTES: I have a habit of always putting much more fruit into a dish than what is called for in the recipe. I used at least two cups of berries. A commercial bakery would make no money using that much fruit. I tried to make the same shape as the one from the bakery and mine ended up very big. Also I didn’t know if the recipe would work so I was anxious to get them baked. A smaller scone would be nicer and look better on a plate.  You can use frozen berries if you don't mind the dough taking on a blue tint.

Mix dry ingredients together.

Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Cut butter into small cubes and add to flour mixture.

Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender.

After blending in butter, flour mixture should look like coarse meal or crumbs.

Measure out the fat-free evaporated milk.

Add milk to flour mixture and gently mix together.

Sprinkle dough with cinnamon.

Top cinnamon with blueberries.

Fold in cinnamon and blueberries.

Form scones on parchment paper.  Sprinkle with some sugar.  Bake in preheated 400° oven for 15 to 20 minutes. 

Cool baked scones for a few minutes before glazing

Measure out powdered sugar.

Add melted butter and vanillla

Slowly add milk until mixture is the right consistency for glazing.

Golden brown scones, cooled, and ready for glazing.

Let glaze set before serving.  Enjoy!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


About half way between the Michigan border and Grand Haven is the delightful town of South Haven.  It is located on Lake Michigan with the country side around it full of blueberry farms and peach orchards. 

It is a beautiful town where the main street runs right down to the beach and the pier.

With blocks of fun shops, the sidewalks are all shaded by lovely trees making shopping even on hot days enjoyable.  For some reason, Grand Haven cut all their shopping district's trees down and now there is no shade just hot sun in the summer.

The main street runs down to the riverfront with parking places available so you can stroll about and enjoy the water.

At 330 Kalamazoo Street is the Black River Books.  http://www.blackriverbooks.net/ or info@blackriverbooks.net

Black River Books is what my heaven looks like with dogs and books stacked everywhere.

There are shelves and rooms filled with used or rare, collectible books.

Pam and Dirck Haferman are there to answer any of your questions and direct you to just the book you were looking for that day.

Before we headed to the beach, we had to go to the bakery. 

With cases and cases of baked goods it was hard to decide what to try.  I went with a blueberry scone which was moist, and one made you want two.  I am working on a Michigan Cottage Cook version of the scone I had.

Along the river front is a sidewalk with shaded benches and picnic tables.

South Haven Pier Head.

South Haven beach.

South Haven is an extremely dog friendly town with filled water bowls and dog treats available all over town.  Katrinka and Izzy are ready for a return trip to South Haven, and I am too.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Which makes the victory even sweeter!!!

Before the game started.

After the game!
You played a great game Grandson! 

Friday, August 27, 2010


With all the beautiful tomatoes in all their colors and sizes flooding the markets, this is a perfect time for an absolutely delightful old recipe loaded with flavor and beautiful tomatoes.  This recipe fits my favorite words, QUICK, EASY, and DELICIOUS!

Out of this world!  Enjoy!!!

The tart is a great appetizer. As it cools it holds it shape so it can be eaten out of hand. On a brunch tables it adds color as well as flavor. Served as a luncheon dish everyone will oh and ah. Tom wasn’t even going to try it as he didn’t think he would like it. He finally tried a small piece and said, “Wow, this is out of this world!” I, of course, got lippy and said, “You doubted me?”


1 9-inch pie crust
1 c Cheddar cheese, grated
1 c Swiss cheese, grated
1 to 2 T Parmesan cheese
3 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1 t salt
½ to 1 t dried oregano or 1 t marjoram
1 t dried basil
1/8 t pepper
1/2 c green onions, sliced with green parts included
2 T butter
2 T soft bread crumbs

Ingredients:  Swiss cheese, Cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, pie crust, tomatoes, green onions, butter, bread crumbs, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.

Put pie crust into a 9 or 10-inch pie pan. Prick pie crust all over with a fork so the crust does not shrink when baked. Bake pie crust in a 425° oven until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool about 10 to 15 minutes. Mix cheeses together and spoon into crust. Arrange sliced tomatoes on top of cheeses. Sprinkle salt, oregano, basil and pepper on tomatoes. Sauté green onions in butter; pour into center of pie. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top of pie. Return to oven and bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until tomatoes are soft. NOTE: I think oregano is very strong so I only use ½-teaspoon. Marjoram is the same flavor profile but not as strong and I frequently use marjoram in place of oregano.

Put crust in pie pan.

Crimp edges and prick all over with a fork.  Bake in 425° oven until golden, about 10 minutes.

Grate cheeses.

Cut bread into small pieces.

Grind in food processor with steel knife.

Slice onions.

Saute onions in butter.

Slice tomatoes.

Cool baked pie shell for 10 to 15 minutes.

Mix cheeses together.

Put cheeses into cooled pie shell.

Top cheeses with tomatoes.

Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle tomatoes with oregano and basil.

Top tomatoes with sauteed onions.

Sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake in 350° oven for 25 minutes or until tomatoes are soft.

Tart can be cut one of two ways.  If you want square pieces, cut the way the chopsticks direct.

Second way to cut would be like a regular pie.  Cut, serve and enjoy!