My husband and I stole away to Santa Fe, New Mexico last week for a few days. Since retiring at the beginning of the year we have talked about several little getaways we’d planned to take but none of them ever progressed beyond this stage. Family obligations and tax season came and went; when we finally came up for air the calendar was flipped to May. We were losing the race against 2015 so last Sunday we picked a destination, packed our bags and were off three days later.
The first time we visited Santa Fe was 12 years ago, as part of a week-long road trip of the Four Corners region of the country (Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah). This part of the country is rich in history, particularly that of the Ancestral Puebloan people (Anasazi). The best part of that first trip was seeing the ruins perched on the cliffs at Mesa Verde National Park and I’ve always vowed to return. The second best, after a week of driving and moving from one motel to another, was closing our trip enjoying New Mexican food and gallery hopping in Santa Fe.
This time around we visited only one national park and focused most of our time visiting museums and more art galleries. We had some wonderful food experiences on this trip but they belong on another post. After five days of wining and dining I was ready for a simple home cooked meal with a big serving of dessert to go with it.
The timing couldn’t have been more perfect for this month’s Blogger C.L.U.E theme–berries–and for me, there’s only one that matters. While I enjoy strawberries (I can pass on raspberries and blackberries), blueberries will always be my top choice. Kathy’s blog, A Spoonful of Thyme, was my assignment this month and I was happy to see quite a few berry recipes to choose from.
Kathy is a fellow Californian whose early food memories ring very close to mine. Sunday dinners at her grandmother’s house, the whole family involved in preparation, pies cooling on the porch, grandchildren everywhere, Kathy’s childhood parallels mine. Only instead of Sunday dinner, my grandmother always served a huge Sunday lunch after mass. My grandmother didn’t cook but she knew how to put together a lunch menu that would please the whole family. And yes, my sisters, cousins and I were all over the place, too. It took me a long time to find my groove in the kitchen and maybe if I had been fortunate enough to become a part of a gourmet group like Kathy and her husband early on, I might have been bitten by the cooking bug a lot sooner. Kathy and her husband are still meeting with their group after 33 years–wow!
I considered a few berry recipes from Kathy’s blog but when I came across her Sour Cream Cake with Blackberries and Blueberries, I knew I’d found the recipe for me. I skipped the blackberries in favor of using all blueberries and because I wanted to use up my leftover sour cream, I added that to her frosting recipe, yielding a looser mixture more closely resembling a glaze than frosting. Either way, this cake was a winner for us. I love a cake recipe that requires no equipment besides a bowl, a spoon and a baking pan. The blueberry to batter ratio here is high so you are guaranteed a lot of fresh blueberry flavor in each bite. I reduced the sugar by just a quarter cup knowing that I’d be generous with the Cream Cheese/Sour Cream topping so this cake is not overly sweet on its own. Rather, I like its versatility as a breakfast cake, tea cake or post-dinner dessert. And if someone were to serve this to me with raspberries and blackberries, I think I’d enjoy it, too. Thanks for a keeper of a recipe, Kathy!
Check out Kathy’s blog for more inspired recipes. Here are just a few out of several that caught my eye:
- Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake
- Ricotta Lemon Pound Cake with Blueberry Sauce
- Parmesan-Crusted Crab Cakes
- Pasta with Prosciutto, Asparagus and Peas
- Warm Salad with Grilled Asparagus and Prawns and Sherry Vinaigrette
Scroll down below for more berry goodness from my Blogger C.L.U.E. friends:
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup of sour cream
- ¾ cup sugar (add ¼ cup more for a little sweeter cake)
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or almond extract)
- 1 pint fresh blueberries (about 16 ounces; two or three ounces less will make it easier for the cake to cook more evenly)
- For the Frosting/Topping:
- ½ cup (4 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1 - 1½ cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sour cream (optional; if you add sour cream the mixture will be looser and will be more like a glaze than frosting).
- Preheat your oven to 350℉. Butter or spray with a nonstick baking spray the inside of the 9-inch springform pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and spray or butter the paper, too. Set aside.
- In one bowl, stir together the sour cream, eggs, sugar, vanilla, melted butter and oil. In a larger bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- Mix the flour mixture into the sour cream mixture.
- Pour half the batter into the springform pan. This recipe makes for a very thick batter so you will need to spread the batter out to the edge of the pan with a spatula.
- Spread half of the blueberries across the top of of the batter. Spoon the remaining batter over the berries, spread with a spatula again then sprinkle the top with the remaining half of the berries.
- Bake for approximately 45-60 minutes, depending on your oven. Mine took one hour for the center of the cake to be done.
- Let rest for 10 minutes on a cooling rack before removing from the pan. I found this cake to be better after being refrigerated overnight.
- If serving with the frosting/topping: stir the ingredients together and spoon (frosting) or drizzle (topping) over the cake slices before serving.
Click here for the original recipe from A Spoonful of Thyme.
- Blackberry Yogurt Muffins by Azmina from Lawyer Loves Lunch
- Blueberry Bars by Lora from Cake Duchess
- Blueberry Buttermilk Breakfast Cake by Heather from girlichef
- Blueberry Lemon Bars by Christiane from Taking on Magazines
- Blueberry Lemon Poppyseed Muffins by Alice from A Mama, Baby and Shar-pei in the Kitchen
- Blueberry Sour Cream Cake by Jean from Lemons and Anchovies
- Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes and Frosting by Kelli from Kelli’s Kitchen
- Irish Blackberry Cobbler Cocktail by Stacy from Food Lust People Love
- Italian Jam Cookies by Wendy from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Lemon Cheesecake Parfaits with Raspberry Sauce by Rebekah from Making Miracles
- Raspberry Muffins by Lauren from Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Raspberry Oat Bars by Lisa from Authentic Suburban Gourmet
- Strawberry and Coconut Tartlets by Anna from annaDishes
- Strawberry Champagne Cocktail by Kim from Liv Life
- Strawberry Fool by Kathy from A Spoonful of Thyme
- Strawberry Lemon Marmalade by Debra from Eliot’s Eats
- Strawberry Margaritas by Christy from Confessions of a Culinary Diva
- Strawberry Mousse by Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Tapioca Cream Strawberry Parfait by Lea Ann from Cooking on the Ranch
- Vanilla Roasted Peaches with Mascarpone and Raspberries by Kathleen from Bakeaway with Me