Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Dessert with Jill: Fresh Blackberry Crumble

Before cooking the Warm Sausage and Potato Salad, Will and I went blackberry picking in our neighborhood. We got a few scratches, Will almost died falling off rocks, but we got enough berries for a delicious Blackberry Crumble!

In preparation for crumble making, I rinsed, soaked and drained the berries a number of times to make sure that any tiny bugs were gone...or at least dead (ewww, I don't even want to think about that!).

I think I almost prefer crumble to pie...or maybe I like both similarly, but crumble is so easy and quick to prepare. I like to use a combination of recipes from my Purity Cookbook. This is a fantastic old-school cookbook first published by the Purity Flour Company in 1917. My Nana (great-grandma) gave my mom a copy of it when she was young and we used it regularly while I was growing up. It went out of print in 1967, but it was recently put back into print so I now have my own copy. I highly recommend it for all your cooking and baking basics.

The two recipes that I referred to while making my crumble are Fresh Berry Pie (for preparation of the blackberries) and Apple Crisp (for everything else). It is not the most pretty dish (I guess that is where pie beats crumble), but it is heavenly.

The recipe....

Jill's Blackberry Crumble
-> a fusion of recipes from the Purity Cookbook

Prep Time: about 15 mins
Cook time: 40 min
Yield: 6-8 servings

Preheat oven to 350˚. 

     4 cups berries
Wash and drain.
    3/4 to 1 cup sugar (depending on tartness of berries)
    3 to 4 tablespoons Pre-Sifted PURITY All-Purpose Flour (I am bad and never sift my flour, nor did I use PURITY brand flour)
    1/2 teaspoon salt (not pictured above, "sorry, salt!")

Mix together
    1 cup Pre-Sifted PURITY All-Purpose Flour (see above comment)
    1 cup rolled oats
    1 cup lightly-packed brown sugar
    1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cut in
    1/2 cup butter or margarine (I prefer butter)  

Mix about 1/2 of the crumb mixture with the berries and spread in a buttered 8" x 12" baking dish. Add berries on top of the crumb mixture in the pan. Cover with remaining crumbs and pat down lightly. 

 The berry layer on top of the first crumble layer...and my creepy shadow looming over.

 Top crumble layer on and ready to go in the oven.

Bake in a preheated 350˚ oven for 35-40 minutes or until the top has browned. (I am not totally used to my oven here and got tired of waiting after 40 minutes so I turned it on broil. Be very careful if you choose to do this as the top crust burns very easily.)

Serve hot or cold (both are tasty), with cream (or ice-cream, as I prefer!).

Voila! A delectable treat made with freshly picked blackberries! 

 Not beautiful, but sooo yummy! See the darker spot in the top left corner, beware the power of the broil. If this happens to you, simply spoon off the very top layer of the crumble. It will still look the same and no one will be the wiser.

Cooking with Jill: Warm Sausage and Potato Salad

A couple weeks ago, Will and I went to his grandparent's place for dinner. Before leaving their place, Will's grandpa insisted that we take some of his home grown vegetables. He gave us a couple very full bags of zucchini, beets, onions and potatoes. I found the potatoes in our cupboard on Sunday and figured that I better do something with them before they go bad. Since it was a nice summery day, I decided on potato salad. I wanted to try something different that wasn't just a side dish but rather a meal. I went with a recipe that I found on foodnetwork.ca, Emily Richard's Warm Sausage and Potato Salad. I made a few adjustments, and I have to say that it was delicious. My husband agrees too! So I shall share my recipe with you....

Warm Sausage and Potato Salad
-> Emily Richard (with adjustments from Jill!)

Preparation time: 5 minutes 
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Yield: 6 (Will and I ate it for dinner and then lunch the next day)


  • 3 fresh chorizo or spicy Italian sausage (I used fresh chorizo from Market Meats...so good)
  • 3 pounds new red potatoes (I used a mixture of red and white potatoes)
  • 1/2 cup slivered oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup white balsamic or wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomato oil (I used the oil from the jar of sun-dried tomatoes)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano or basil (I used about 3 tablespoons of fresh basil, but no oregano)
  • I added about 2 tablespoons of shredded mixed Italian cheese. 
  • I also added about half a small red onion


  1. In pot of boiling salted water, cook potatoes for 20 minutes or until tender. (I quartered my potatoes before cooking them so they would cook faster) Drain and let cool; cut in half, or quarter if large. Place in bowl. Add tomatoes and capers.
  2. Place sausages on greased grill over medium-high heat, close lid and grill until no longer pink inside, about 15 minutes. (Once the sausages were cooked, I tossed the red onion in the same pan and grilled it in olive oil) Slice and add to potato mixture.
  3. Whisk together vinegar, olive oil, sun-dried-tomato oil, mustard, salt and pepper; toss with potato mixture. Let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with oregano. (I used basil instead of oregano)
 The Result!
(I kinda forgot to photograph the salad before serving...so above is a picture of about half of it)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

When models dance...

the result can be rather amusing, funny and awkward, but also a fun way to showcase a new collection. Lanvin has done just this to the tune of Pitbull's "I Know You Want Me". Check it out:

Falling for Fall- Fur Fashions

It is now September and although the temperature is still in the high 20s and thus very warm and summery, I am still looking forward to Fall. While summer is fun, I miss the layers, the gorgeous coats, boots and full length denim. There are a few notable trends that I am looking forward to for Fall 2011. The first is fur (and faux fur) and fur trims.

There is something so cozy and comforting about a bit of fur (or faux fur) brushing against your face on a cold day, helping to curb the chill.

Here are a few of my favorites for Fall 2011:

Banana Republic

Burberry Prorsum

Burberry Prorsum

Burberry Prorsum

Diesel Black Gold

 Marc by Marc Jacobs



Rag & Bone