Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

In the woodland valleys of Central California, Elderflower trees have been in bloom all spring with their prolific, lacy white blossoms.  I've enjoyed making Elderflower syrup, candied elderflowers and sweet Elderflower Tempura.  A few days ago, I noticed that some of the trees are starting to bear fruit -- diminutive, tart little berries, deep purplish-blue growing in heavy clusters.  

Inspired by a love of biscuits and jam, foraging, and adapted from a recipe from Simply Beyond Herbs, I whipped up a simple and delicious jam made from the foraged Elderberries, fresh blueberries and using chia seeds for a perfect jammy consistency.

Enjoy and Happy Foraging!
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Elderberry-Blueberry Chia JamYield: One half-pint jarAuthor: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 20 M An easy and delicious sweet-tart jam to make from foraged Elderberries. Ingredients:1 1/2 cups elderberries, rinsedPinch of salt1 cup blueberries, rinsed2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/2 Tabl…

OWL-o-ween Deviled Eggs

It's no secret:  I love to play with my food.  So when the California Olive Committee contacted me and asked if I'd be interested in creating a "spooktacular" Halloween recipe with their California Black Ripe Olives, I jumped at the opportunity! After all, wearing California Black Ripe Olives thimble-style atop each of my fingers is one of my fondest and earliest memories of playing with food. Okay, I confess, I still do it. Anyone with me?

Deviled eggs always seem to be one of the quickest things to disappear from any party table.  Last year a friend made the Spider Deviled Eggs from Sunset Magazine. The combination of the eggs and black olives was delicious!

Combining my family's love of California Ripe Black Olives, deviled eggs, and owls, I came up with this delicious and adorable Halloween appetizer. Whoooo wants some?

Owl Deviled Eggs
(makes 2 dozen)

1 dozen XL large eggs, hard boiled and cooled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1 teaspoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
Paprika for garnish (optional)
1 can whole California Black Ripe Olives
3 baby carrots
24 small baby spinach leaves

Step 1:  Prepare eggs by slicing in half lengthwise and scooping yolks in to a medium bowl.  To the yolks add the mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard and salt.  Whip until smooth.  Reserve 2 Tablespoons of the filling to use later in the recipe.  Arrange whites on a plate and scoop or pipe yolk filling in to each white.  You can use a pastry bag fitted with a star tip, or a Ziploc bag with the tip snipped.  Garnish with a shake of paprika if desired.

Step 2:  Prepare the spinach leaves by cutting them in half with kitchen shears (48 halves).  Slice olives in to rings for eyes (48).  Use the thinner ends to cut tiny "pupils" (48).  Cut baby carrots in half lengthwise, then cut in to small triangles for the "beaks" (24).

Step 3:  Assemble.  Place the spinach wings first.  Next, add the olive ring eyes.  Then add the beak.  Put the reserved yolk mixture in to a small plastic bag or piping bag.  Snip a small portion for the the tip of the bag.  Fill the center of the olive rings with the piped yolk.  Last, place the black olive "pupils" in place.

A huge thanks to the California Olive Committee who sent me a box filled with Halloween goodies including the olives, can opener, cutting board, and silicone spatula used in this recipe.  They also paid for for the ingredients I used to make these fanciful little fellows.  

Get WISE about California Black Ripe Olives
Did you know that California olive growers produce more than 95 percent of the black ripe olives grown in the U.S.?  From the inland valleys of California as far south as San Diego County as far north as Sacramento, Californians have been growing olives on family farms since the early 1800s!   The two main types of olive trees grown on the over 27,000 acres of California olive orchards are Manzanillo and Sevillano.  These two varieties produce different sizes of olives ranging from small to super colossal.

To learn more about California Black Ripe Olives, visit
You can keep updated with recipe ideas, contests and more on the California Black Ripe Olives Facebook page HERE.

This recipe has been shared with:
The Incredible Egg Recipe Linky 

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