I'm feeling particularly spunky tonight. I'm sitting here at my computer wearing a very ornate beaded cream cocktail dress. My daughter asked why I am wearing it, was I going to dinner? Um, considering that I just sat and ate a full meal with you not 20 minutes ago, I'm going to go with "no" on that one. Sorry Isabella. I told you I was feeling spunky. Adding to this is Cee Lo Green's "Forget You" playing in the background. It's amping me up as I feel that lately, it seems to be my anthem. Not the story of the gold digger ex-girlfriend driving around town with a new man. No. Just the "Forget You" part. And the "pain in my chest" part. And the whinny "whhhhhhyyyyyeee?" part. I'm growing, evolving, changing, being stretched and tested, poured out and broken. I welcome it all as it is making me wiser, better and more free. Most days I can be patient with the process, being most thankful for my wonderful family who is in turn being patient with me, but some days...some days, it just feels good to yell "Forget Yoooouuuu!!!!!" Preach it brother Cee Lo!
Oh, and I'm wearing the dress because my friend Kel, "the photographer" is coming to take some pictures of me down the street for some contest she's entering. The theme is "whimsical". The dress is whimsical. Nuff said. Just for some background, my day went something like this: I got up feeling tired and wore work out clothes all day. I needed to take a shower (desperately) but didn't because there was Drano working it's magic in the drain this morning and come nap time I had too many things to accomplish to fit it in like I planned. I cried 20 minutes before Kel showed up which made my face puffy. I yelled "Forget You!" to what was making me upset, got sympathy from my husband, re-applied my make-up and headed for the shoot. Kel is amazing because this is what she did with her disheveled, greasy headed, swollen faced, sneezing, itchy throat model:
You really should hire her. She got game. What these pictures don't tell is that while I was standing there alone and a little awkward, I was thinking "you want me to just, like, look at this wheat or what?" Then when twirling I was totally singing "The hills are alive with the sound of music!" I lost my balance shortly after. I didn't fall though. Gosh, that would have been embarrassing. Actually, whats embarrassing is that I wouldn't have been embarrassed. Moving on...
I ate blackberry cobbler right before I did this shoot. My family and I were sitting on the deck and had a beautiful home cooked meal followed by this outstanding dessert. Part of what I love about summer is, with it comes rustic fruit desserts. We polished off a whole pan just the five of us. Poor Kel, there was none left by the time she rolled up.
Cobblers are the simplest desserts to make. Just sweeten some fresh fruit up with sugar, then simmer it with a thickener, slap some dough up top and bake. Man, that just sounded really back woods. Sorry. It must be the spunkiness because I'm from Los Angeles. I digress.
I'm going to make my closing statement with this: Cobbler is about as all American, BBQ worthy, summery dish as you're gonna get. Fourth of July anyone? You can't mess it up either. Fruit didn't thicken? It's still a hot biscuit-y runny, juicy sweet mess. The berries will thicken though...If it doesn't, cook it longer. The biscuits didn't cook and are raw? Who doesn't like sweet dough? This scenario is impossible, of course, because there is dough and there is heat. It will make a biscuit. I reiterate...You CAN'T mess it up. When in doubt, pile some vanilla ice cream on top and call it a day. It'll be great. Cobblers come through like that.
adapted from Allrecipes.com, submitted by Amanda Lyneal
Makes one 8x8 inch pan, serves 6
1 cup all purpose flour
1 1/4 cups white sugar, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoon cold butter, cut into pieces
1/4 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed and drained (about 3 containers)
Preheat over to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. In a food processor, add the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With the machine running, pour in the 1/4 cup boiling water mix just until mixture is evenly moist.
In a separate bowl, dissolve the cornstarch in cold water. Mix in remaining 3/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, and blackberries. Transfer to a pot, and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Simmer until mixture has thickened (about 5 minutes) then transfer the berry mixture to an 8x8 Pyrex pan. Immediately place spoonfuls of the biscuit mixture on top and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the dough is golden brown.
Try a blackberry before you make this. If they are on the tart side, consider adding an additional 1/4 cup of sugar to the fruit mixture. My blackberries were pleasantly sweet with a little tart and the filling was mildly sweet with the measurements above. It could handle the extra 1/4 cup sugar if you know you like it that way. Me? I say save the calories for the ice cream to put on top!