Berries and Chilies and Toads... Oh My!

Last week the kids had off two days from school for assessment testing and we took a field trip to a nearby farm to pick some berries and experience the farm life.  The kids had a blast (and so did I)!

This pig was just wandering around the picnic area.  Is it possible to be an obese pig?  He was so fat you couldn't see his eyes and his belly and cheeks drug on the floor.  Karlie and Hailey pet him and then the words swine flu drifted through my mind a little too late as we sat eating our lunch.
The instant Hank saw the tractor there was no hope of doing anything else.  He was determined to drive it and only mildly appeased that we got to ride in the trailer behind it out to berry patch.
There were strawberries as far as you could walk.  The kids were eating them hand over fist.  Again, I was not thinking and left the epi pen in the car how ever many acres away and only thought of it as I watched Hank take a giant bite of a ripe strawberry (which he is allergic to).  I might as well have just taken the poor kid on a peanut factory tour.  I  haven't completely registered the allergy situation yet.  I considered sprinting to the car but decided to just watch and see how he did.  To my delight he did great.  Not a single hive or wheeze or red face.  I am eager to see what his allergy test say in October. 
We went with one of my girlfriends and her daughter.  Kaitlin was quite the mommy to Claire and helped her pick berries and find her way through the field.
The field was full of tiny toads that Hailey had a blast catching and playing with.  Hopefully we won't end up with warts and swine flu at the same time. :0)
Karlie thought they were pretty cute too.
We picked three pounds of raspberries.  I had never eaten Golden raspberries and they are worth their weight in gold!  They are more mild and sweeter than the red ones.  I went out and bought a golden raspberry bush this weekend to plant in the garden since they were so delicious.

In addition to berries they had an entire farmer's market and were roasting chili peppers.  They smelled so good, I couldn't resist.  Along with the chilies they handed out a Chili Relleno  Casserole Recipe.  I had to modify it a bit to make it kid friendly but am looking forward to trying an "adult batch" next time.

Chili Relleno Casserole 
In parentheses is the "adult" version
5 (10-12) roasted Anaheim chilies with skins and seeds removed
6 oz of Asadero and 6 oz Queso Fresco Cheese  *4 Mexican cheese blend works too.  I also only used 8 oz of cheese total.
5 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
pepper to taste
1 large tomato diced (1/4 cup onion)
Sliced avocado to top with.

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Lightly spray a 9X9 baking pan with cooking spray and place diced chilies on the bottom.
3.  Blend 6 oz of the each cheese together and spread over peppers.
4.  Mix eggs, milk, flour, salt and pepper together.  If using onion, add them too.
5.  Pour egg mixture over cheese and chilies.
6.  Top with tomato.
7.  Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until set and lightly browned.
8.  Serve with avocado on top and a tortilla on the side.
This is one way to get your morning kicking!

While we might have been able to almost eat 3 pounds of raspberries, we also picked two pounds of strawberries.  Kids can be helpful when they want to be. :)  I had to do something with all that goodness.  Why not add cheese cake?

Raspberry Cheesecake Bars from Cooking Light
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 tsp salt
3 1/2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla divided
3 large eggs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup light sour cream
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 Tbsp lemon juice
8 oz package of 1/3- less fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries.  I used a mixture of red and golden for fun.

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2.  Combine flour and salt with a whisk.
3.  Combine butter, brown sugar, 1 tsp vanilla, and eggs in a medium bowl until smooth.
4.  Add flour mixture to butter mixture until just moist.
5.  In a large bowl mix 1/2 tsp vanilla, sugar, sour cream, lemon rind, lemon juice, and cream cheese.  Beat with a mixer on high speed until fluffy.
6.  Line a 13 X 9 baking pan with foil that extends 1 inch beyond the sides.  Coat foil with cooking spray.
7.  Spread half of batter into pan then pour cream cheese mixture over batter in pan.  Spread evenly.
8.  Sprinkle with raspberries.
9.  Drop remaining batter over raspberries by tablespoonfuls.
10. Swirl with a knife.
11.  Bake for 35 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.
12.  Cool completely then remove from pan by lifting foil.  Cut into 30 bars and remove foil from bottom.
13.  Eat as many as you can before you let the kids know you made them!


Courtney said...

YUM! We brought home a bunch of hatch roasted chilies from CO in Aug. I love them in chili rellanos. This recipe looks great too! Wish our raspberry picking was as fruitful as yours. ;)
An yea for Hank tolerating the strawberry! Baby steps...

Blog a Blurb said...

What a fun outing! And great news about Hank and the strawberry. Hope he grows to tolerate the peanuts too!