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Home Entertaining Recipepalooza: We asked some of our favorite bloggers to share a recipe and their tips for home entertaining. This recipe comes from Cara Ferguson’s blog Culinary Cara. Cara is a devout foodie, hot-rod lover, and hardcore Texan. She’s inspired by the flavors and cultures of the world, giving them a Texas twist in her dishes. See this recipe on her blog.

Tillamook “Berserka” Blueberry Mazurka

Mazurka is a traditional Polish dessert made for special occasions. Delicate, buttery strudel-like layers surround a velvety blueberry filling for a decadent treat you won’t forget.

If you don’t have time to make homemade jam, store bought varieties are also an option. Just make sure to select more natural preserves with less sugar content to keep the flavors of your pastry nice and balanced. Traditionally, this recipe calls for blueberry or apricot jam, but you can use any jam or filling you’d like. If you don’t have walnuts on hand, you could also use almonds (which are traditional) or even pecans for a Texas twist.

Prep time: 30 minutes
Total time:  1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield (number of servings): 16 bars

Blueberry Filling:
1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
¼ cup blueberry flavored vodka
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 and ¼ cups flour
1 cup brown sugar, packed
¾ cup rolled oats
1 stick (½ cup) Tillamook Unsalted Butter
½ cup chopped walnuts
¼ teaspoon salt

Combine blueberry filling ingredients in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Stir filling for 8-10 minutes, until you see it thicken and bubble. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely before assembling dessert.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix pastry ingredients together in a large bowl until most of the butter is incorporated and creates a crumbly, strudel-like texture (make sure not to let the butter melt).

Prepare an 8×8 brownie pan by lining with foil or parchment paper and grease with butter or nonstick spray. Pack half of the pastry mixture onto the bottom of the pan and spread blueberry filling over bottom layer.  Sprinkle remaining half of pastry over blueberry filling and very gently pack down, making sure not to let any filling seep to the surface. Bake for 1 hour and then allow dessert to cool before lifting out of pan. Cut into 16 bars.

About Cara:
Tips for stress-free home entertaining:
“When I entertain, I follow one motto: ‘Keep it fresh and simple.’ No need for the Thanksgiving-style spread, just make a few snacking options with a few fresh ingredients. This way, your guests will be able to converse and enjoy each other’s company!”

Kitchen advice for other moms and dads:
“Parents are always very busy, so it’s important to keep things fresh and simple. Choose a recipe that can be made in advance, and something with around a handful of ingredients. When entertaining guests at home, serve just a few great dishes, instead of assembling an entire buffet. Your wallet and your hectic schedule will thank you for it.

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