Raspberry – Buttermilk Crunch Cake

IMG_3540As we were picking raspberries from our backyard bushes during the rainstorm last weekend, my husband exclaimed, “these berries are so large, they must think they live in the Pacific Northwest!”

Indeed!!  It’s been a wet June here in Happy Valley, and the small tomato plants show it.  But the berries…wow! We have never grown such large berries.  I knew, since it was “cold” and wet that day, I had to bake with these berries.  I pulled out my old, reliable recipe from a flyer I picked up in Victoria, BC, Canada a few years ago when we spent a summer sabbatical there.  Raspberry – Buttermilk Crunch Cake emerged from the oven not long after that.

This cake is so easy to make, you will have all the ingredients (trust me!) on hand, and it will be completely eaten as soon as the old Star Wars film you are watching (episode IV–preping for the new one coming out in December–what else can you do on a cold, rainy Saturday afternoon in June!), is over.


Raspberry Buttermilk Crunch Cake

(adapted from eatmagazine.ca)

1 cup flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom (optional–but I did use it because it was in my kitchen)

1/2 cup butter, at room temp

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

1 egg

1/2 cup buttermilk (yes, you can make it using 1 teaspoon white vinegar in a 1/2 cup and filling up the rest of the cup with milk, then stir the thickened “buttermilk”)

1 heaping cup fresh, washed raspberries

1 Tablespoon sugar

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom together with a fork. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth, add the brown sugar and beat until well mixed. Add in the extracts, then the egg.  Beat well.  Working in batches, alternately mix in the flour mixture and the buttermilk. Finish with the flour.

Scrape the batter into a greased 9-inch round cake pan.  Scatter then press the raspberries on top. Sprinkle the 1 Tablespoon of sugar over the top of the cake.  Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 375 degrees and continue baking about 10 more minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool before serving.  Dish it up and top it with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.




Shell Peas

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I have been busy this week, showing off shell peas at demonstrations at the Boalsburg Farmers Market as well as at the South Hills Food Festival!

Despite threatening skies in Boalsburg on Tuesday, there were lots of shoppers and they liked my samples of Pea Salad made with just harvested peas from Ardry Farms.

Wednesday, I met many people who, like me, love fresh, local food.  I continued my “pea” theme with samples of Fresh Pea Salad with Greens.

Now is the time for all of you that LOVE shell peas to get to one of the many Farmers Markets in Centre County and buy all the fresh shell peas you can eat!  The window of opportunity for these delicious morsels is short!

Pea Salad

(adapted from eat-drink-garden.com)


2 cups fresh peas, shelled and washed (about 2 pounds of pre-shelled peas)

After shelling the peas, whisk together the dressing in a large bowl:

1 Tablespoon white balsamic vinegar

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon each of chopped fresh mint and basil

Pinch of red chili flakes

Large pinch of sea salt

Add the shelled peas (raw) to the dressing and toss together—let it sit for about 15 minutes at room temperature to marinate.


Fresh Pea Salad with Greens

(adapted from marthastewart.com)

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2 cups shelled peas, uncooked

1/2 cup olive oil

3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons water

2 teaspoons minced shallot

12 cups of mixed greens

Mix the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, water and shallot) together in a jar with a tightly fitted lid.  Shake the vinaigrette vigorously to emulsify.

Wash the greens and the peas. Dry with paper towels.  Toss the peas and greens together in a large bowl.  Dress with the vinaigrette.  This recipe serves 12 large portions.


Strawberry Season

The strawberries are on in Happy Valley and I have two delicious recipes for you to try!

Easy (No Churning) Strawberry Ice Cream



This recipe seems to be making it’s way around the internet. I was doubtful if it would work, but I had a can of sweetened condensed milk on my shelf, and my daughter wanted to give it a try. It does work, and it’s really good—instant ice cream!

2 cups pureed strawberries

2 cups heavy cream

1 can sweetened condensed milk

Whip the cream until you have stiff peaks. Fold in the puree strawberries and the sweetened condensed milk.


Pour the mixture into a 9 x 5″ loaf pan and freeze until it is the texture you want–less time if you want soft ice cream, or more time if you want firm ice cream.


Strawberry Shortcake


How can you eat strawberries this season with making shortcake!!  This recipe could not be more simple.

(adapted from Food Network)

2 cups flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

2 Tablespoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 and 1/2 cups Meyer’s Dairy heavy cream

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix together in a bowl with a fork the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt. Add the heavy cream and mix until just combined. Place the dough in an ungreased 8-inch square pan and bake 18 – 20 minutes, until golden in color.

Let cool for 10 minutes. Take the shortcake from the pan and place on a rack to continue cooling. Cut into 6 pieces and split each piece in half horizontally.

Slice strawberries and spoon them on top of the shortcake bottom. Place the top on the strawberries and the top the shortbread with whipped Meyer cream. Enjoy the taste of late spring!



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