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…

The Party Dip Your Guests will Flip For -- Warm Pimento Cheese Dip

This Christmas, we decided to change things
up in the dinner department with a completely 
Southern-inspired menu:

Warm Pimento Cheese Dip
Cheddar Biscuits
Jambalaya with Louisiana Hot Links
Macaroni and Cheese Casserole
Yukon Gold Whipped Pototaoes
Potlikker (Collard) Greens with Pork Jowl Bacon

It was marvelous!  I've hyperlinked the recipes we used in the menu above -- all very highly recommended.

Here is our recipe for Warm Pimento Cheese Dip  -- our riff on a Southern classic.  We warmed up this traditionally cold cheese dip and got it all gooey and melty.  Serve it like a fondue with chunks of  French bread, or with tortilla chips like Queso dip. 

Warm Pimento Cheese Dip

Prep Time:  8-10 minutes
Cooking Time:  8-10 minutes
Total Time:  15-20 minutes

  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/3 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 Tablespoon stone-ground mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mustard powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • A pinch of paprika
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh minced parsley
  • 1/2 cup finely diced roasted red bell pepper

1 ounce sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (for topping)

Step 1:  In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine first 11 ingredients.  Microwave* in 30 second increments, stirring each time, till cheese is melted and mixture is smooth.

Step 2:  Transfer to an oven-safe baking dish or serving bowl.  Sprinkle with the reserved ounce of cheese.  Bake at 400 until golden brown and bubbling.  Serve with tortilla chips or chunks of French bread.

*The microwave method speeds up the process a bit, allowing you to get this delicious dip from kitchen to table more quickly.  However, the entire thing can simply be baked as well.

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