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…

My Family's Favorite Soup: Chicken Corn Chowder with Wild Rice

 Soupety, Soup, Soup Soup!
It's a comfort food for all seasons.
This soup is a cozy sweater,
a warm blanket,
a hug.

This soup is what happens when 
mom's homemade chicken pot pie
kicks off its crusty exterior
and gets comfortable in a bowl.

Make it!

Chicken Corn Chowder with Wild Rice

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 6-8 servings

1/2 Tablespoon Onion powder
1/2 Tablespoon Garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon Dried thyme
1/2 Tablespoon Dried parsley
1/2 Tablespoon Seasoned Salt (like Lawry's or Penzey's)
Pinch of Smoked Paprika
1/2 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup long grain rice
1/3 cup wild rice
6 cups chicken stock or broth
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, ¼” dice
10 Tablespoons salted butter
1 cup peeled and diced (¼”) carrot
1 cup diced (¼”) celery
1 cup diced (¼”) onion
1 can (approx. 15 oz.) corn, drained
3 cups whole milk

Step 1: In a small bowl, combine the onion powder, garlic powder, thyme, parsley, seasoning salt, smoked paprika and kosher salt. Set aside. In another small bowl, combine the black pepper and flour. Set aside.

Step 2: In a Dutch Oven, over medium-high heat, combine stock, diced chicken and rice. Stir to help separate the pieces of chicken. Bring to a boil, then cover and remove from heat.

Step 3: In a large sauté pan, over medium heat, melt the butter. Add carrots, celery, onion and corn. Sauté for 3 minutes. Stir in seasoning mix and continue cooking vegetables for another 3 minutes.

Step 4: Add seasoned flour and stir to form a roux. Cook over medium heat for 2 additional minutes to cook out the raw flour taste.

Step 5: Gently stir in the milk and bring back to a boil, stirring constantly till smooth (approx. 3 minutes). Add ½ Tablespoon kosher salt. Transfer to the pot with the broth and rice; stir to combine. Simmer over medium heat until soup has reached desired level of thickness and rice I tender (20-25 minutes). Check seasoning. Add salt or pepper if needed.


Recipe Origin: This recipe was inspired by the Chicken with Wild Rice Soup that some friends had raved about at Panera. At the time, we didn't have a Panera in my area, so I looked on Pinterest to find a copycat recipe. I found this wonderful recipe from I made it and it was fantastic. However, I wanted to make a few changes once I found out that the Uncle Ben's wild rice mix contained MSG. So, I set out to re-write the recipe, cutting some of the calories by reducing the butter and replacing the cream with whole milk. I tinkered with spices until I created a healthier spice blend that delivered the same great taste as the original recipe. I've since taught this recipe to my high school students and adult students alike. It is by far, in my community, my most requested recipe.

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