Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Blueberry Love

My blueberry bush - there are so many - and they are so close to being ready to be picked

I love blueberries. So much. I love them like no other fruit - and I love a lot of fruit. Trust me. I love them in everything. I was thinking today about why I love them so much - and I think that besides they taste like sweet little gems of love and goodness, I think that it's because of my grandma's blueberry pie. (You can find the recipe HERE). There are a few things that I can remember my grandma making when I was young - and this is the one that sticks out the most. Actually - that's not true. There was this incredible chicken dish that she made too - that was my birthday dinner dish for years. I have to make that sometime soon.


Anyways - I am in hoarding mode right now. Hoarding blueberries. It's like I am worried that I won't have enough for the winter months. I am pretty sure that I won't run out.

I made a batch of blueberry muffins today and blueberry ice cubes. Say what? I know! Blueberry ice cubes. So deelish.


 Blueberry Ice Cubes

1 cup of fresh blueberries
1 cup of water
1 tsp of cane sugar

Add all of the ingredients to a pot. Heat on medium high for about 10 minutes. The blueberries will break down. Using a fine mesh strainer, pour the juice through into a bowl - and squeeze all the delicious juices through. Let the juice cool off - and then pour into an ice cube tray.

It makes 12 ice cubes.


When they are fully frozen - add them to sparkling water or club soda. I think adding a splash of vodka would be a sweet treat too.




Monday, July 30, 2012

Not a 'traditional' breakfast

This morning - I have the day off. I got up early (can't seem to ever sleep in, but I like it that way) and I made a 'treat' breakfast for myself. Somedays you just have to do that.


Grilled Peach Panini with Basil and Bocconcini

1 peach
6 Basil leaves
Light cream cheese
Bocconcini cheese
Bread (I used a multigrain baguette*)
Fresh ground pepper

*My baguette was a little 'crunchy' not fresh - so I dampened a tea towel, wrapped a piece of the baguette in it and then put in a 350 oven for about 5 minutes and it was just right.


Thinly slice the ripe peach into about 6-8 slices. Try not to eat it as you are slicing like I did. If you can find a white peach - use one of those. The flavour of them are unreal.


Using a grill pan- or your grill - spray with cooking spray - and grill the peaches. Because they are so thin - they don't take any time at all. Maybe a minute each side. Flip them so that you can grill both sides.

Slice your baguette in half (just a portion of it) and spread a light amount of the cream cheese. Top with the basil leaves, then the grilled peach slices, top with fresh ground pepper, and then top with the bocconcini cheese. I had the small pearls - so I sliced them in half and used about 5 of them.


Put it in your panini grill and let it grill away. If you don't have a panini grill - no worries. Using either a grill pan or your grill - place something heavy on top - like a skillet - and you will get the nice grill marks and a perfect melt.

And that's it. The pepper really brings out the flavour of the peaches - and the cheese - well, seriously - so good.





Monday, July 16, 2012

Short and sweet

First blueberry of the season

Short and sweet. This blog post and the dessert that I made twice in one week. Once to have when my GF Tracy and her daughter, Emma, came for dinner. And then for dessert this past weekend for the whole family.

Whole family - so much fun! My brother's wee'ins were in town for the weekend - staying with us - and we had the best visit.

Anyways - this post is short - so dig in. This is probably the easiest dessert ever. I found a similar recipe in one of my Auntie Babs' cookbooks. The recipe was for the wontons and then pumpkin puree whipped with whip cream. Don't worry - I'll be trying that at some point. I have seen these dessert before, so it's not super inventive - but it is super tasty.


Napoleon Dynamites

Wonton wrappers
Coconut oil (or butter)
1 tsp cane sugar
Whipped cream
Fresh fruit

Pre-heat the oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Melt 1 tbsp of coconut oil until it melts. Lay out the wonton wrappers - 3 wontons per dessert - you should be able to fit 12 on each sheet. Brush one side of the wontons with the melted coconut oil. Turn them over, and brush the other side. Lightly sprinkle each of teh wontons with a tiny bit of sugar. Then bake for 8 minutes each.

Watch them because they go from golden to brown - quite quickly. Remove them from the baking sheet and let cool on a cooling rack.

Whip the cream. I like to add lemon zest and vanilla.


Berries - whatever you like, and whatever is in season - is best. I used blueberries, strawberries and raspberries from my sister's garden.

Then just put them together.

Whipped cream
Whipped cream
Whipped cream


And there you have it.



Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mango Salsa

Oh lovely, lovely Sunday. It's going to be a spectacular one. The kind of day that when it is over, we will all say 'Summer is finally here!'. Weird that it's into the second week of July - one of nature's summer months, and we are finally experiencing it. I may just lay low - close to home today - and soak it all in.

With summer - comes all the beautiful, fresh, deelish, incredible fruits and vegetables. I don't want to put myself into a fruit coma - or create a butter lettuce addiction - but it's hard. Will power.  But really I just love all the new produce in the grocery stores - especially when it's local. You know that it is fresh from the earth - and has only had to travel a short distance.

I am pretty excited for our wee garden this year. Lots and lots of tomatoes. LOTS. A few zucchini plants, lots of fresh basil, some thyme and then our blueberry plant. Oh sweet bluebs. They are growing everyday - and I cannot wait to pick them. I hope that I pick them and they last the 10 steps that it takes me to get inside. Really. I picture myself pulling a 'BHYB' (Behind Yard Barb) and eating all of my cherry tomatoes off my cherry tomato plants - when they were ready to be picked. I was able to pick a few - but she was able to eat almost a full plant before she made it down the stairs. Ha. That's ok - they really were that good.


When we were at our family reunion - me and Cuzzie Margo - were in charge of dinner for the Saturday night. Margo did the burgers and I did the fixin's. She suggested a mango salsa- Challenge Accepted. Now we are hooked on this. I have made it twice this week already. Seriously. And... we still have two mangoes, some cilantro, some green onions and limes - so really I will probably whip up another batch in the next few minutes. Just kidding. Maybe the next hour. Oh, just kidding again.

Before I share the recipe - please know that I have pretty much made this different every time that I have made it. I think that the last batch may have been the best - and pretty much the easiest. I have used my mini food processor. I have used the food processor and added in finally chopped ingredients which is also really nice - but sometimes you want convenience, great taste and just want it done NOW.


Mango Salsa

2 mangoes - peeled - and sliced off the pit. It doesn't need to be fancy. And then if you are like me - you can gnaw on the pit - in a ladylike way - so that you can get all of that deelish mango nectar.
1 red pepper - chopped into chunks
1/2 jalepeno - remove the pith - if you don't want it too spicy
3 green onions - cut into a few chunks
1 cup of fresh cilantro
1/4 cup pineapple juice
Juice of one lime
Pinch of kosher salt

Those are Caesars in the back - oh yum - they adore Mango Salsa too. 

In your food processor put in the green onion - chop. Add in the mangoes - chop. Then add in the red pepper and jalepeno - chop. Add in the cliantro - chop. Then add in the pineapple and lime juice with the pinch of kosher salt - blend.

And that's really it. The cilantro makes it so fresh. The sweetness from the mangoes cut some of the heat from the jalepeno - but the heat is still subtly there.


These are great to serve along side tortilla chips. They would be delicious with tortillas and wraps. And they are delicious with burgers.

Check out these recipes to have with this salsa:
Tortillas and this ONE too

Alright - run. Enjoy your day!



Monday, July 2, 2012

Summa travels.

Hi friends.
Oh my - it's been ages again since I have posted.
I sort of don't really know where the time goes. Seriously.
For the last week, at least, I do remember where I have been. I have been here, there and everywhere. Well, not everywhere, but from my little part of the world it sort of seemed that way.

We went to Bowen Island for our family reunion. 11 adults, 9 kids, 2 dogs, lots of food and beverages, a ton of laughs, wonderful and memorable visits. We started something great years ago - and have fortunately kept it up over the years.


We ate a lot  seriously. We hid in my aunt's amazing home overlooking the ocean, from the rain. I perfected 'the Caesar'. We were surrounded from the cutest little ones - who make each day full of fun - and a bit of exhaustion. Ha! How do parents do it day to day?


After Bowen, we headed to Point Roberts for a bit of R&R. Hello R&R at Point Roberts. That place is so relaxing. I'm not sure what it is about it - but it just makes you want to catch your breath.


The fact that I had some sort of a 24 hour flu bug that wiped me out - literally - really helped me just hang on my Royal Canadian for 2 days.


Then home for a day - and then off to Port Angeles, WA - some people call it PA. I don't. I stick with the real name - Port Angeles. Or sometimes, I just call it 'America'. I was there for 2 of my nephew's baseball games - of a tournament that he was in. They won both games. My nephew had 3 hits that brought in 3 runs. No big deal. Sniff. Superstar. I love that punk. He is not a boy anymore. Sadly - well not really sadly - because he has become a great young man - but sadly that he is now a young man. He is all grown up. He is still a wonderful young man - who will hug and give his aunt and Nanny and tell them that he loves us in front of all of his friends.

Then yesterday - I helped at a wedding. I was there to help plate up and get it ready to send it out to the guests. The caterer, she is my new friend - Kate - was incredible. She reminded me of Jann Arden. She was so organized, so fun, so fair, and made incredible food. I will be trying some of her recipes for sure. Well I don't really have the recipes - so I will be trying to figure them out. I was responsible for heating up yorkshire puddings with roast beef and then adding a pickled onion for garnish. And then at the end of the night - baking chocolate chip cookies to serve on top of a shooter glass of milk. Fun!

So all in all - my week off of work was wonderful. My travels, and new experience, was a lot of fun.

As for recipes - I have been cooking up a small storm. I have quite a few new ones to share with you - and hopefully I will stay on track and not wait until the end of summer to post something.


Roasted Strawberries

Fresh strawberries - cleaned and cut in half - really use as many as you like - but they do reduce - so I would recommend 4 cups
1 tbsp cane sugar

Pre-heat oven to 400.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cut strawberries on the sheet. Sprinkle with cane sugar.


Roast in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Serve warm - or cooled with a dollop of whipped cream - and garnish with a fresh mint or basil leaf - if you have one.

These strawberries are deelish. So sweet. You can serve these over ice cream or a piece of angel food cake.

Alright - I am getting ready to go and watch 'Ted' with my Hollywood Husband.