Mix and Match

Crisps and crumbles are such versatile desserts. Pick a fruit, add some spices, make the topping, and into the oven it goes. Now, as long as you have a good recipe for the topping, you can make an almost infinite number of fruit combinations. A crisp a week never hurt anyone (or has it?)!

I have some tried-and-true fruit fillings that I like to use for my desserts, but it wasn’t until recently that I came across what would become my number one favourite crisp topping recipe.

I was trying to find a recipe for a strawberry rhubarb pie filling for hubby (his favourite!) and I stumbled across this strawberry-rhubarb crisp recipe from Creations by Kara. It was simple, and I had everything to make the crisp (I was feeling lazy and didn’t really want to make a pie crust), so I made this instead. The filling was pretty good, but the crisp topping was AMAZING!

Now anytime I make a crisp, I use Kara’s recipe, and I have yet to be disappointed. It’s the perfect topping; it never overpowers the filling, stays crisp and chewy, and is the perfectly buttery. You really can’t go wrong.

Peach Crisp
Peach crisp with my favourite crisp topping!

Yield:

  • Original Yield: 1 8×8 pan
  • Actual Yield: I double the recipe for a 9×13 pan

Prep Time:

  • Original Prep Time: None Given
  • Actual Prep Time: 10 minutes for topping, 25 for the recipe, doubled

Bake Time:

  • Original Bake Time: 35-45 minutes
  • Actual Bake Time: around 40 minutes (see note below)

Comments or Notes:

  • I’ve made this as one recipe before, but most often I just use the crisp topping recipe.
  • Bake time will vary depending on your filling. I recommend using the bake time from your filling recipe.
  • If you’re just “winging it”, then I suggest starting with a bake time of 45 minutes at 350F for a 9×13 pan, adding time if necessary.

Verdict: Success! If you’re looks for a go-to, versatile crisp topping, look no further. This topping is perfectly buttery, chewy but crisp, and super simple to make. The recipe as a whole is fantastic as well; it’s the perfect summer dessert. As an added bonus, it’s not laden with sugar! Very much a win in my book.

**Please note, the recipe for the Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp is in no way mine. The views and experiences above are my own and not endorsed/influenced by Creations by Kara or any other third party.

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(Not) So Creative Crisp

One thing I love about summer in Southern Ontario is the abundance of local veggies, fruit and berries. Drive in any direction just beyond the busy borders of Toronto and you’ll be pulled this way and that; blueberries here, strawberries there, asparagus, sweet corn… And peaches. You can’t forget the peaches. I don’t go to many public events, but one I try to frequent every year is the Niagara Peach Festival. As you can imagine, they have everything peach on offer: jams, chutneys, smoothies, pies, sauces, custards, tarts, ice cream, and of course, piles and piles of fresh, sweet, juicy peaches.

We go through a LOT of fruit at my house, so of course, I bought two large containers of peaches. On our way home, a friend asked me if I planned to make a peach crisp with some of them. I blinked and nodded. And there’s a peach crisp that just came out of my oven.

But I have a confession to make.

I have never made a peach dessert before.

Never.

No peach cobbler. No peach pie. No peach tart. Although I did make a mixed fruit pie once and it had peaches in it. Does that count?

Anyways, since I’ve never made any kind of peach dessert, I decided to turn to Pinterest and its amazing search bar. The first recipe to pop up when I typed in “Fresh Peach dessert” was this peach cobbler from Sally’s Baking Addiction. I scanned through the recipe and immediately knew that I wanted to use her filling recipe. I already have an amazing go-to crisp topping (I will share it in the next post!), so I decided to forgo Sally’s cobbler topping and do a mix and match instead.

The results?

Ah-MAZE-ing!!!!!

I honestly don’t think I’ll use another peach filling again. Yeah, I might choose to slice my peaches for a decorative tart instead of dicing, but everything else I’m keeping as is. No need to reinvent the wheel people.

I did take a peek at several other crisp/cobbler recipes (just in case), and noticed that they all had quite a bit of sugar for the filling. Nothing against sugar, but when I have naturally sweet, succulent peaches, I don’t need to heap on the artificial white stuff. Sally only uses 1/4 cup of brown sugar for her cobbler and even that can be toned down if you have super sweet fruit.

It’s nothing fancy, nothing new, just an old-fashioned crisp.

Peach Crisp
Here are the deets (does anyone even say that anymore?):

Yield: 

  • Original Yield: one 9×13 pan, 10-12 people
  • Actual Yield: one 9×13 pan, 2 1/2 people for a few days (we’re not sharing!)

Prep Time:

  • Original Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Actual Prep Time: 25 minutes (I didn’t make her biscuit dough, so the timing is different)

Bake Time:

  • Original Bake Time: 40-45 minutes
  • Actual Bake Time: 41 minutes (different topping, but both crisp and cobbler recipes were calculated between 35-45 minutes)

Comments or notes:

  • I can’t make any claims on how the cobbler topping tasted as I didn’t make it.
  • I used 8 peaches to fill the pan but could have easily added a couple more.
  • I peeled my peaches over the pan to get the juices into the mix.
  • Peeling peaches is a lot harder than poaching them, but I didn’t want to bother as my counters were a bit messy and I didn’t have a ton of room.

Verdict: Success!! As mentioned above,I didn’t want the cobbler topping so I only used the filling portion of the recipe. And OMG is it delicious!! The peaches are showcased so well, no other flavours get in the way, and no part of it is overly sweet. Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a hot summer evening or enjoy it hot, right out of the oven with a cozy tea in autumn. 

Peach Crisp
**Please note, the recipe for the Peach Cobbler is in no way mine. The views and experiences above are my own and not endorsed/influenced by Sally’s Baking Addiction, the Niagara Peach Festival or any other third party.

    Back on Track Trail Mix

    It’s been a while since I’ve had time to post anything, but things are finally starting to slow down and get back to normal. I’ve actually been working on a few posts here and there but they’re all unfinished as of yet.

    Motivation? What motivation?

    I think I’ve mentioned that just before our move back in June, we emptied our fridge and ended up living off of frozen meals… Lots of lasagna, pizza, and pierogi. During the move, we continued having frozen dinners along with eating out at fast food restaurants. The trend continued (although we did start cooking at home more and more) while my sister visited in mid-July. It’s not until then, though, that we really went back to eating healthy and cooking at home.

    My big issue with all of this has been not being hungry. I went from being at home with my little one (and subsequently have 24/7 access to my fridge) to being at work for 10 hours a day plus about an hour and a half total commute time. I need quite a few options for food now.

    I totally blame my office’s lack of built-in desk fridges. Those should be a thing. Right?

    Right?

    *crickets*

    Ok fine.

    My change in daily activities, though, does mean that I need to make sure to bring several snacks to work. If I don’t, the cafeteria downstairs ends up selling me one too many donuts. Totally their fault.

    When I have a break at work, I like to browse the Oh She Glows recipes, and a couple of weeks ago I came across this post on a make-ahead lunch menu. Hidden in the yummy ideas was this Go Go Glow Mix. Can you say delicious?

    I was feeling super-inspired by it, so the other day I trekked to the local Bulk Barn, grabbed a bunch of nuts, fruits, seeds, and some dark chocolate-covered espresso beans, and got to work.

    This is what I ended up with.

    Back on Track Mix

    Yuuuuuuuummyyyy!

    It’s not quite the same as Angela’s mix, but one of the great things about trail mixes is how versatile they are. You can keep what you like (or have around in your pantry) and leave out what you don’t want.

    Here’s my version of the Go Go Glow Mix:

    Yield: about 4 cups

    Prep Time: 5 minutes

    Ingredients

    • 2 cups raw mixed nuts (mine had no peanuts)
    • 1/2 cup dried goji berries
    • 1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
    • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
    • 1/2 cup dark chocolate-covered espresso beans (or chocolate chips)

    Directions

    • Pour all ingredients into a bowl or container (preferably with a lid).
    • Close the lid and shake to mix.
    • Enjoy!


    I added about 1/3 of a cup to my packed lunch today and it was the perfect mid-morning snack. I ended up with about 3 of the espresso beans and it was just enough to give me a tiny caffeine boost without making me jittery or sick. I’m still breastfeeding so I’m making sure to have very little caffeine or none at all. I don’t even want to know what a cup of coffee would do to me now… I haven’t had one in over two years!

    With things being more normal now, I’m hoping to be able to post more often. I’ve been trying out recipes and have a few backlogged posts I need to finish for you guys. Think refreshing summer salads, frosty smoothies, and even a short, tiny-bit-spoilerish-but-not-too-much-given-away review of the hottest book of the summer (if you thought Harry Potter and the Cursed Child you are correct)!

    Hope to see you back!

    *This recipe is my own and was created based on inspiration from the Oh She Glows Go Go Glo mix. The views and experiences above are mine and not endorsed/influenced by Oh She Glows or any other third party.