Bunnie’s Blackberry Bonanza

Blogging mommy and party planning maven Bunnie Hilliard was gracious enough to do a wonderful guest blog post for me. She brought the gift of food into my world – more specifically blackberry based foods which are always perfect for the summer. All of these are definitely being added to my “need to cook” list and all of the photos are bringing me closer to making this purchase.

Have fun drooling over the photos and eating the completed dishes. Thanks again Bunnie!



I’ve been stalking Maria’s blog for a little while now and we finally hooked up with our munchkins for a play ground play date! They had a blast and so did we. I must say, it really felt like we were old friends.. I’m SO GLAD to know her…

So, Super excited to be hanging out on Maria’s blog today and sharing some of my favorite recipes for the summer. I’m no Martha Stewart (ahem), but I took the kiddo’s blackberry picking and needed an excuse to get creative with the gazillion blackberries we picked. I mean we could have just eaten them with breakfast and lunch (and snacks) for a few days, but this way the calories the YUMMINESS stuck around for a while.

So – HOORAY! I made Jam, and Sherbet, and (Blackberry) Oat Cake, (Oh My!!)… and some smoothies too. I’m not one to slave away in the kitchen all day so these easy summer recipes were right up my alley. Also, I think they could be easily substituted with other berries if you are so inclined.


First Up:


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1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan

3/4-cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons quick-cooking oats, divided

2/3-cup water

1/2-teaspoon baking soda

1/2-teaspoon baking powder

3/4-teaspoon coarse salt

1/2-teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar

1 large egg



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour an 8-inch square metal baking pan, tapping out excess flour. Combine 1 cup oats and water and let stand until oats have softened, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl.

Beat together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in a medium bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to medium and beat in egg and vanilla until just combined, scraping down sides of bowl if necessary. Add flour and oat mixtures and beat on low speed until just incorporated. Fold in about half of berries.

Spread batter in pan and sprinkle with remaining 3 tablespoons oats and sanding sugar. Scatter remaining berries evenly over top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs attached, 40 to 45 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack 30 minutes; cut into squares.




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1 cup mango chunks

1 sprig of mint

3 ice cubes

1/2 cup blackberries

1/4 cup plain greek yogurt


Purée 1 cup frozen mango chunks, ice cubes, 1/2 cup strained blackberries, 1/4 cup plain greek yogurt, and 1 tablespoon in a blender until smooth.




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2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries

1 cup sugar

2 cups buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Garnishes: fresh blackberries, lemon rind strips, mint


Process blackberries in a food processor or blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Press blackberries puree through a fine wire-mesh strainer into a large bowl, discarding solids. Add sugar, buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract to bowl, and stir until well blended.

Pour blackberry mixture into freezer container of a 4-quart ice-cream maker, and freeze according to manufacturer’s instructions. Garnish each serving, if desired.





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For the Jam:

2 1/2 pounds fresh blackberries

6-8 sprigs of basil

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

juice of half a lime (or lemon)

Additional Equipment:

(3) 8-ounce jelly jars with fresh lids


Rinse the berries in cool water, and toss in sugar. Allow to macerate, refrigerated, overnight.

In a large sauce pan, warm the berries and basil over medium heat, until softened.

Press the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or food mill, to remove the seeds and basil.

Submerge the jars in a large pot of boiling water, for 10 minutes. Keep warm.

Place the puree back in the sauce pan, and heat, over medium heat, until thickened.

Place the lids into simmering water to soften the seal.

Taste the jam, and adjust seasoning, if needed. When it has reached the desired consistency, spoon it into the hot jars.

Wipe the edge of each jar with a clean cloth, and place the lid on. Screw on the rings and submerge in boiling water for 10 minutes.

Remove with tongs, and allow to cool.


**Any leftover jam can be kept, refrigerated, for 2-3 weeks. Jam that has been properly processed (the button on the lid should not pop up and down) can keep in a cupboard for several months.



Thanks SO MUCH for having me Maria!

If you haven’t already and you have a minute, you can catch me blogging here, tweeting here, and ranting on facebook here. Oh and posting way too many pics of my kids on my instagram feed. Hope to see you soon.