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Krause Berry

Life

Thankful

October 8, 2012

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving weekend!

{Our little pumpkin votive we made from our Krause Berry mini pumpkins – they wanted 10$ for one at the festival!}

It was so warm for the holiday! This must be what it feels like to live in LA… ;)

We had a great weekend surrounded by family and sunshine. Adam and I went with his family to Fort Langley on Saturday for the Annual Cranberry Festival – It was crazy busy! I hadn’t been to the fort in a long time, we said we’ll have to go again on a weekend where there isn’t anything happening so we can actually look into the little shops more.

{Adam and Lainey in Fort Langley}

We wanted to stop by a farm on our way home to get some pumpkins for decorating with. I wanted to check out a new farm that we hadn’t been to, so we stopped by Aldor Acres because I had kept hearing about them. But, when we got there we saw a sign that said “General admission $7″ – um really?? haha I didn’t know you had to pay to get in, all I wanted was a couple little pumpkins – And you can only pay Cash for pumpkins, which we did not have. That was a bust.

… So we decided to go to Krause Berry farms where we had been before, and we knew we could get exactly what we wanted without having to shell out another 14$ just to get in.

I love Krause Berry Farms, and they had even completely renovated it since we went last year. The big blue barn is double the size, with another patio for eating, and a much bigger marketplace store. They have a little mini-maze for kids, a pumpkin patch, and farm animals. They also have a carriage ride for 2$ a person, and a play area. As well as their berry farm, which is still open for picking! It was such a gorgeous day out.

It’s the perfect farm for an afternoon with the family, and be sure to grab a snack on the Porch (I recommend the corn pizza and a smoothie!). I have to say, the Krause Berry Farms was much more happening than Aldor, and you don’t have to pay anything to visit =) Bonus!

Sunday night we had dinner at Adam’s parents with their family – Lots of delicious food, and of course dessert. I ended up making ice cream, two pumpkin pies, a pumpkin tart, and an apple pie (i’ll be sharing the recipes soon!) It was a LONG day of baking Saturday.

I am very thankful for our families. My mom just got home from their road trip to Alberta, so we’re doing our dinner next Sunday – which means more Turkey.

{Adam and I visited the new CB2 downtown today .. and made a couple purchase for the new house!}

Hope everyone had a great long weekend!

 

Cupcakes

Summer Cupcake Series: Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes

July 17, 2012

I have 5 days left in this country – and Summer has finally decided to stick around. We had to endure a rather unruly June, but July has been quite nice. I have been told I’m not really allowed to complain, however, as I am going to Europe for a month. Where the weather looks like this:

Believe me, I will not be complaining.

That is, until it is so unbearably hot and humid that I can’t sleep through the night. Who can stand sleeping in anything when it is THIS hot. Adam and I have shrugged off our duvet cover each night, and even having a thin bed sheet on top is too much. Each morning I wake up in a tangle of bed sheets and the duvet half on the ground. I find I toss and turn more in the heat.

I remember my mom telling me that when she took my brother to Italy when he was a baby, they would let him run around naked indoors because it was too hot. I can’t imagine a baby in that heat! At least I know i’ll be well hydrated, because I will be hooking an IV of fluid up to myself in the form of a straw – and some Pellegrino.

Tonight we also had Adam’s baseball BBQ and game – it was great until my allergies began to act up. Thankfully my current bed partner (Adam) doesn’t mind crawling in bed with a girl covered in a face mask and a lovely nose strip (thank you Breathe Right)  It’s the only thing that will do the job right now. Along with allergy medicine, nose spray, and an Advil decongestant. I really hope my future children do NOT inherit my allergies. Summer’s really suck with them.

On another note..

Berry season is in full swing – delicious local berries are readily available as we make our way through the seasonal peaks. Strawberry season is almost over – but there is still plenty of time left to go and pick some (I believe end of July is the finish). Unfortunately we haven’t been able to hit up many U-Pick farms, due to the fact we’re moving, packing, and (I’m) leaving the country later this week. However, last year we did visit Krause Berry Farms in Langley, and loved it - Their welcome sign is, after all, a giant strawberry.

They provide all the info for each berry season and schedule. If you have a free weekend I suggest visiting them, the farm and cafe are awesome – corn pizza, fresh fruit smoothies, milkshakes, sky high pies, and mini donuts! You can also buy frozen foods and bring them home with you! You can read about my older post and visit to Krause Berry Farms here.

I made these strawberry cupcakes for our blogger picnic a few weekends ago – they are perfectly light and refreshing without being overly sweet.

I picked up the cute mini purple cupcake stand from our visit to Steveston the weekend before from a store called Serenity Home Decor. They have lots of unique and adorable gifts, cupcake related items, baking, novelty etc. Definitely worth a stroll through.

Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes 

You will need:

24 baked and cooled yellow cupcakes

one batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream

local, fresh strawberries, washed & sliced (reserve smaller strawberries for decoration)

Fresh Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Ingredients:

5 large egg whites

1 cup sugar

3 sticks butter, chilled, cut into cubes

Directions: 

Add washed, sliced strawberries (about 3/4 cup) to a food processor, and pulse for a few minutes until pureed. Do not drain, or add sugar. I like to leave the seeds instead of draining it like a coulis and heating it up – leave it fresh and un-cooked. Set aside.

In a metal mixing bowl, preferably from your stand mixer, place over a pot of simmering water, not boiling. Add sugar and egg whites. Be sure there is no yolk or oil in the egg whites, they will not whip properly otherwise.

Whisk constantly, until thermometer reads between 140-160 degrees F. If you do not have a thermometer, heat until sugar is completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot. This takes about 7-10 minutes.

Transfer metal bowl back to stand mixer, with whisk attachment and whip until the egg whites are thick and glossy and cool. The bowl itself should be cool to the touch, again this takes about 7-10 minutes on high.

Once the glossy thick texture is achieved, switch to a paddle attachment, and on medium add the chilled cubes of butter, one at a time, until fully incorporated.

The texture will begin to change, to a heavier, silky texture. It may look curdled, but continue to mix and it will become smooth once again. This time my butter was a bit too warm, and my frosting was curdling and soupy. I place it in the fridge for 15 minutes, added a couple more pieces of chilled butter and began to whip again. It became smooth once again.

Pour in the pureed strawberries, and whip for a moment to blend completely. No artificial colouring needed here – all natural baby.

Using a star tip, pipe strawberry buttercream onto cupcakes. Slice reserved smaller berries, dried/wiped dry, and place on top.

These cupcakes are best eaten the same day – but are ok to be stored in the refrigerator for a day or two at most. Allow to come to room temperature before serving.

 These would be perfect for a summer picnic, a bridal shower, baby shower, or summer BBQ as a light and tasty tag-along dessert. You can most certainly swap out Strawberries for other berries as well.

Enjoy your summer =) Any plans??  I suggest visiting a U-Pick Berry Farm! Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries!

Berries, Marketplaces

Krause Berry Farms

July 25, 2011

The other weekend Adam and I ventured out to the country!

Or, as country as you can get around Vancouver. Krause Berry Farms, one of the many local farms in the lower maindland, held a Farmer’s Festival. Krause Berry Farms is part of the Langely Circle Farm Tour. Seeing as how it should be about that time, you know, when the weather is warm and the sun is shining, it would probably have been a great weekend to hold a festival. Unfortunately, we still have yet to experience a real summer in Vancouver this year. Sure, we have been teased with the glimpses of sun shining from above, but most often it disappears again for several days until it returns.

We didn’t mind though. I also didn’t mind having to wear my jacket in the middle of July, if it meant that I got to eat some delicious baked goods. You see, Krause Berry Farms does not just offer local produce and fruit, but It  also has a fully functioning bakery and cafe where it showcases all its delicious products.

When we first arrived they were giving out samples of homemade strawberry jam. It was so fresh and delicious. They also had the JRFM crew on site, and children could take part in building a large LEGO strawberry, visit the petting zoo and even go on a horse ride.

They are also famous for their sky high custard pies! They have a large viewing window into their bakeries so you can see how it is made. Adam and I chose to bring home a double crusted blackberry pie for dessert that night~ It was so so good. They also sell frozen pie dough so you can bake you own creation at home, or, better yet, frozen whole pies to pop into the oven for a deliciously easy dessert! Among other goodies, they sell ice cream and frozen berries! We bought some frozen raspberries for our morning oatmeal. We also sampled some yummy fudge!

We could not leave witohut eating one of the cute little doughnuts! At least, I couldn’t. They are mini blueberry and strawberry doughnuts, with a thin icing glaze on top. Only 99 cents for an unglazed one, and $1.99 for glazed. Definitely worth the extra .99 cents.

Of course we had to eat dessert first. I don’t know how that happened.. After, we ventured onto the ‘Porch’ where they serve food and beverages. We tried the Corn Pizza, which sort of resembled a sheperd’s pie style pizza, a thin crust loaded with corn and topped with both mozzarella and cheddar cheese. We washed it down with a fresh strawberry smoothie.

It was lots of fun to go to the Farmer’s Fest. We will definitely be going back once some more berries are in season, and hopefulyl when it is sunnier! And perhaps definitely for another of those doughnuts too….

The farm offers a U-Pick area for all the fresh berries in season! Remember to bring your own empty ice cream bucket to fill up! If you don’t bring one, you are able to purchase a bucket from the farm to use for all your picking needs! You can also shop for their vegetables.

Kraus Berry Farms are open to visit, and if you did not get a chance to attend Farm Festival 2011, be sure to check it out next year!

Next purchase: Mini Doughnut Pan.