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Showing posts from July, 2014

Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

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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…

Recipe: Cream Cheese Stuffed Figs with Fresh Fig Caviar Compote

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I'm pretty sure the Gods on Mt. Olympus must have eaten these. Although my weekend did include the sighting of several mythological beasts, I didn't have to travel to Ancient Greece to experience this taste of ambrosia.

In fact, I didn't even have to leave California.  Last week, my Nerdy-and-Proud family headed down to San Diego for Comic Con 2014.  My girls dressed-up as characters from one of their favorite shows:  Supernatural

Our hotel turned out to be a complete dump (to put it nicely).  Our first sight, upon pulling in was of the upper balcony, where a guest had strung their laundry between columns -- delicates and all. Fortunately we were rescued from the roach motel by family who live in the area.

The girls were thrilled to stay with their cousins, and my husband and I were treated to wine and appetizers that included these amazing stuffed figs when we returned from the convention one night.

Our family sent us home with a bag full of freshly picked figs.  As soon as…

Recipe ~ Fresh Squeezed Peach Sangria

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Fresh squeezed peaches? That's right -- the secret to this light and refreshing summer sangria, with the flavor of  ripe and juicy fresh peaches, is in the technique -- hand squeezing.

The recipe starts by making homemade peach nectar.  Ripe, peeled peaches are simply squeezed in a bowl to release their golden juice.  A small amount of sugar is added to the peaches to help release the rest of the juices.  Rested, then strained, the end result is pure ambrosia.  Here's how it can be used to make a delicious peach sangria:

Fresh Squeezed Peach Sangria yield:  8 servings
10 large peaches (ripe, but firm enough to peel)1/4 cup granulated sugar1/4 cup peach schnapps1.5 liters white wine (the Riesling from Barefoot is a perfect compliment to the peaches)
Step 1:  Peel and pit 8 of the peaches.  Place in a large bowl.  Gently squeeze, with clean hands, to release the juices and to break into small pieces.  Stir in the sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Step 2:  In a fine mesh strainer…

Recipe ~ Mallow-Krisp Baked Mini Donuts

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Doughnut or Donut? No matter how you spell it, people love them. Consider this: There are more than 10 billion doughnuts made in the U.S. each year! (source:  Huffington Post)

As a kid, my favorites were the powdered mini donut and anything with sprinkles.  In my adulthood, I've discovered the joys of a perfect maple bar or French Cruller.  But the distinction of favorite doughnut belongs to the "'Mello Submarine" from Psycho Donuts.  It's an old fashioned donut with marshmallow fluff and krispie rice cereal on top.  They're the delicious lovechild of a doughnut and a Rice Krispie Treat. They're super light, not too sweet and really do Snap! Crackle! and Pop! when you make them.

The 'Mello Submarine was my inspiration for a DIY mini donut recipe as my contribution to a donut blog hop with 9 other bloggers and organized by Vanessa of Our Thrifty Ideas.  Is your mouth watering yet?

My creation consists of a baked buttermilk doughnut topped with homemade marsh…

Recipe: Zucchini Fritters with Garlicky Tzatziki Dip
from Debbie Matenopoulos' "It's All Greek to Me" {Book Review & Giveaway}

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It's the 4th of July. Happy birthday, America! Today, as we celebrate our freedom, we're also looking back and paying homage to our ancestor, Anastassios Kolovos, who at the age of 16, in 1908, immigrated to  the U.S.A. from Vlahokerasia, Greece. Anastassios represents the first chapter in our family's American story.

Celebrating our cultural heritage has always been important to my family, and one way we stay connected with the traditions of generations past is through food.  I'm always eager to learn more about Greek cooking, so I was excited when I was invited to join the book tourfor"It's All Greek to Me -- Transform Your Health the Mediterranean Way with my Family's Century-Old Recipes" from Debbie Matenopoulos.  

In Debbie's warm and authentic style, she weaves incredible family recipes, anecdotal storytelling, and stunning photography that will transport the reader to the Greek family table, and delight their taste buds with the flavorful, heart-heal…