Blueberry Crumb Cake

Sunday, July 26, 2015 4 1

It’s blueberry season! Blueberries are so fresh and delicious right now – and cheap! I bought two pints for $5 in my grocery store the other day. I’ve been sprinkling tons on my daily yogurt and granola breakfast and still haven’t made a dent in the supply!

Blueberries are high in antioxidants can lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease, improve your memory, and are good sources of vitamin C, vitamin B6, and vitamin K – all good reasons to eat your blueberries!

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BBQ Dill Potatoes

Saturday, July 18, 2015 2 0

Summertime makes me feel different – there is a hazy laziness in the air – a more accepting, laid-back tone, a greater appreciation for the best things in life: water, sun, wine.

Even though summertime is often the busiest time of the year, we approach it differently, in a more measured way. Dinner is eaten when we drag ourselves away from the garden and the sun, and while J turns on the BBQ to grill some meat, I slice some veggies. Our dinners are usually casual, without following big recipes. Often we eat salads, and that is cool and refreshing, and often enough.

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Classic Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 4 0

I learned to bake when I was very young – I can remember spending countless hours with a little apron tied around my pudgy belly standing on a chair propped against the kitchen counter stirring cookie dough. Cookies were the first thing I learned to make, and my favourite, of course, was Chocolate Chip.

My repertoire soon expanded beyond Chocolate Chip, and I graduated to following a cookie recipe on my own, even if I still needed help with baking them in the oven. I started experimenting by adding oatmeal or coconut or white chocolate chips. But still, my favourite cookie as a child was plain old Chocolate Chip.

While I don’t often bake Chocolate Chip now as an adult, I do love the nostalgia of the smell and taste of a classic Chocolate Chip cookie. I’ve upped my game in this recipe by chopping up a good quality dark chocolate bar instead of using any old chocolate chips – and using good quality chocolate makes all the difference. Bake these Chocolate Chunk Cookies until the edges just begin to brown and the middles are still soft – that way the cookies will be perfectly chewy in the middle and slightly crunchy on the edges.

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Blueberry Smash

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 0 0

Let’s talk about bourbon, shall we?

Well, first let’s talk about whisk[e]y. J is a whiskey connoisseur, so I have tasted many whiskeys and have become a little bit of a connoisseur myself. But I’d never tried bourbon – and you know what they say, all bourbon is a type of whiskey, but whiskey is not always bourbon. Bourbon needs to be made primarily of corn, whereas whiskey can be a combination of fermented grain mash — including wheat, rye, barley, and corn. (Mmmm fermented grain mash, anyone?!) [Read more about the difference between bourbon and whiskey.]

So anyway, I’d never tried bourbon until recently. Until I realised that bourbon’s slightly orange-ier, lighter taste (maybe this is just me comparing it to all the Scotch whiskies I’ve tried) is perfect in cocktails. And now I love love love a bourbon cocktail.

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Watermelon Salad

Friday, July 3, 2015 4 0

Watermelon salad is so simple – it requires 5 ingredients, one of which you probably already have in your garden (fresh mint). Large chunks of watermelon are tossed with feta cheese and sliced fresh mint, and dressed with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette (calling it a ‘dressing’ is generous – it’s just balsamic vinegar shaken with olive oil!).

Juicy watermelon is the prominent flavour in this salad – its high water content makes the salad so refreshing on a hot summer day. It’s great served alongside grilled chicken (or other meat of choice!), and is special enough to bring to a BBQ party.

Watermelon Salad drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette

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Blueberry Pie with Gingersnap Crust

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 2 0

The first time I made this pie, it was in a heatwave. It was during the summer I lived in Toronto, and every day was reaching 35 degrees Celcius without the humidex. My little apartment had no balcony, only two small windows, which were propped open wide day and night.

A friend was coming to stay with me from out of town, and I wanted to make her a special dessert. There were tons of blueberries in my grocery store down the street, and when I found a Blueberry Pie recipe online, I knew I’d found my dessert. The recipe requires hardly any baking, unlike a regular pie, so my apartment was able to stay cool. There’s nothing better than eating chilled pie on a hot night. And I’m sure we had a few wheat beers too; I consumed a lot of those that summer.

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