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Rhubarb & peach cake, berry baked french toast

Series: Welcome to my Kitchen | Story 8

Last updated 5/13/2019 at 12:04pm

Fresh strawberries and rhubarb has our mouth watering for all things summer. Blueberries and raspberries cannot be far behind. Though berries are available year round, shipped in from southern climates, locally grown is always best, even frozen for later use.

Merleen Smith made Baked French Toast for a recent community potluck breakfast and the recipe garnered many requests. Berries, Texas Toast and lots of brown sugar make this a yummy treat anytime.

Merleen said she got the recipe from her daughters, and it is a favorite at family get-togethers. The recipe calls for blueberries, but she used a berry mix in the batch she took to the breakfast.

Baked French Toast

1 pound Texas Toast cut into 1 inch pieces

1/2 cup blueberries

8 eggs

2 cups milk

1 1/2 cups half and half

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp cinnamon


3/4 cup butter

1 1/3 cups packed brown sugar

3 Tbsp light corn syrup

1/4 cups chopped pecans

Butter a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Arrange toast cubes in the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with berries.

In a large bowl, beat together eggs, milk, half and half, vanilla and cinnamon. Pour over toast and berries in pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Meanwhile, toast pecans by placing in a small baking pan and baking at 250 degrees 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often until slightly browned. Let cool completely.

Next day, preheat oven to 350 degrees.

While oven is heating, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in a saucepan. Heat mixture until bubbling. Pour over mixture in baking pan. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Top with pecans. Yield: 10 to 12 servings.

Note: Merleen warns, you might want to place the baking dish on a rimmed cookie sheet, because it gets very bubbly and drips down the outside of the pan. Also, for the batch she took to the breakfast, she used candied pecans.

Orange Buttermilk Salad is a favorite springtime recipe in my collection. When I can’t wait for the summer fruit season, this recipe satisfies the craving. The recipe comes from the 1999 issue cookbook, The Best of Country Cooking, Reiman Publications.

Orange Buttermilk Salad

1 can (20 ounces) crushed pineapple, undrained

1 large package (6 ounces) orange gelatin

2 cups cold buttermilk

1 carton (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed

In a saucepan, bring pineapple with the juice to a boil. Stir in gelatin, mixing until dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in buttermilk. Cool in refrigerator until mixture just starts to thicken. Fold in whipped topping. Pour into a 11 x 7 x 2 inch dish or 2 quart serving bowl. Chill for at least 4 hours. Yield: 10 side servings.

Note: This recipe also works well with sugar free gelatin. I prefer real whipped cream to whipped topping, so I use 1 cup of heavy whipping cream, whipped until peaks hold their shape. Lemon or lime gelatin may be substituted for the orange flavor.

A fun twist on the lime gelatin and pear halves salad theme is to make this salad with lime gelatin. When set, use a ice cream or large cookie scoop to mound the center of pear halves with the salad mixture and place on a bed of chopped lettuce. Garnish with a sprinkle of chopped pecans or toasted coconut.

Rhubarb and Peach Shortcake is a recipe on the adjoining page in the same cookbook. This easy recipe would be fun to make with kids as it requires just a few measuring skills with easy preparation, and bakes in 25 minutes then served warm so the wait time isn’t too agonizing for young ones.

Rhubarb Peach Shortcake

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1 Tbsp corn starch

1 can (16 ounces) sliced peaches, undrained

2 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 tube ( 5-6 ounces) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits

1 Tbsp granulated sugar

In a saucepan, combine brown sugar and cornstarch. Drain peaches, reserving 1/2 cup of the liquid. Set peaches aside.

Stir reserved liquid into the brown sugar mixture. Place saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add rhubarb and simmer for 8 minutes. Stir in drained peaches and vanilla.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Pour mixture into an ungreased 8 inch round baking dish. Open and separate refrigerated biscuits. Dip one side of each biscuit into granulated sugar and place over hot fruit mixture with the sugar side up.

Place in oven and bake uncovered for 20 to 24 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. Yield: about 5 servings.

Did you know, many garden flowers are edible? Pansies, viola, nasturtiums and calendula, to name just a few. Pansies and violas have a very mild flavor, some say no flavor at all, but they are so pretty, decorating cakes and desserts. Toss a handful into a green salad for extra color.

Nasturtiums add a peppery punch to salads and calendula petals add color. And, picking the flowers from our garden plants promotes more blooms keeping the flower beds fresh.

Please share recipes you may have to include garden flowers in meals with your fellow readers. This can be a fun way to introduce cooking and gardening to young people.

What kind of recipes are you searching out for summer cooking? Have you found some delicious treats on Pinterest? Or maybe you found a treasure written in the margin of an old family cookbook? Please share them with your fellow readers by sending them to: Welcome to My Kitchen, c/o The Odessa Record, P.O. Box 458, Odessa, WA 99159 email or drop them in the Welcome to My Kitchen mail tin in The Odessa Record office. Follow us on Facebook, Welcome to My Kitchen, #odessaiscooking.

The ground should be warm enough for planting carrots, beets, kohlrabi and turnips. Washed, dried and crushed fine, eggshells are beneficial for deterring root worms in these crops.


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