Posts

Showing posts from April, 2020

Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

Image
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…

How to Make Perfect Berry Breakfast Pastries {recipe + video}

Image
These lovely little pastries are always a hit with my Year Two students during our puff pastry unit.  They're easy to put together and are definitely one of my favorite sweet treats to make for breakfast and brunch events.



This recipe is perfect for beginners because it uses store-bought puff pastry.  It takes very little time to pull together the ingredients, and in less than an hour, you have delicious, flaky breakfast pastries bursting with fruit flavor.

The sweetened cream cheese strikes the perfect balance between the sweetness of the fruit and the buttery puff pastry.  Here's my video on how to make them:


How to Make Berry Breakfast Pastrieshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGqHfWWgHJU Print
With ImageWithout Image Berry Breakfast PastriesYield: 18 pastries
Author: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 30 MTotal time: 40 M A few simple ingredients give way to an exceptional little breakfast treat -- a great way to use seasonal fruits! Ingredients:6 ounces cream cheese, at ro…

Garlic Toast Points with Marbled Beet Chevre and Edible Flowers

Image
Our valley is simply bursting with wildflowers and foliage at this time of year.  I've been making  point of getting outside a little bit every day for for a nature walk around our property, identifying various flora and finding ways to use them to add beauty, whimsy and flavor to the foods my family enjoys.


Enter:  The Blue Fiesta Flower, a member of the Borage (Baraginaceae) family.  These are larger than the Borage blossoms typically used for garnish, but they have a similar lemony-cucumber flavor with a touch of sweetness.  They bloom March through May in Central through Southern California and as far South as Nevada and Western Arizona.  They can be found on mountain slopes, streambanks, woodland, coastal bluff and desert scrubland.  Contrary to their name, they are purple.


To enjoy the Blue Fiesta Flower, gently wash in cold water before use.  Remove the bit of bristly green just behind the petals (sepal & receptacle).  Keep refrigerated if not using immediately.


Marbled…

Goat Cheese Cigarillos with Olive-oil Cured Nasturtium Leaves {Recipe & Video}

Image
Wild Nasturtium flowers have long been prized in the culinary world for their vibrant petals and peppery flavor that lend themselves well to salads, compound butters, and garnish.  But how about the leaves?  This is a question I asked myself a while back during one of my foraging forays.  Nasturtium leaves are so abundant, I just had to try something!

It turns out, the leaves are perfect for a quick blanching, then used as a vibrant green wrapper for tasty fillings.  I came up with this very simple way of wrapping mild chevre inside the blanched leaves, then letting them cure in olive oil, black peppercorns and lemon zest overnight.
If you're curious about how the leaves taste, they are very mild.  Blanching removes any bitterness and bite.  The texture is very delicate.  They are more tender than grape leaves.

Served the next day over toast points rubbed with a garlic clove, these small bites are not only beautiful, but the taste is out of this world.  If you love goat cheese, you c…

Family Fun with your Belgian Waffle Maker -- 4 Cinnamon Roll Waffles in Just 2 Minutes

Image
This isn't a new concept, by any means, but this week, it was finally time for my family to invest in a new waffle iron. The little beauty from VillaWare that we got as a wedding gift back in 2000 was ready to retire. So, with the arrival of Ned, our new Belgian waffle maker from Presto, I figured I'd make a fun little treat for the family with my kids.


Four waffles in 2 minutes -- not bad! Ned's a four-star rock star! He was a mid-priced model, had all the features I was looking for, and got great reviews. It's pretty amazing what you can cook in a waffle iron -- hash browns, risotto cakes, polenta cakes, grilled cheese sandwiches, quesadillas, brownies, brookies. Perfect for a dorm room or small apartment!



What unusual things have you made in a waffle iron? 
I'm sharing an Amazon Associates link to the same model I used in the video. I will get a small percentage of each sale from Amazon, but it's not my purpose in posting this. It's just a no brainer and a …

10-Minute Miracle Scalloped Potatoes in a Mug

Image
If you love potatoes, you are going to flip for this amazing recipe!  Imagine this:  Restaurant quality scalloped potatoes au gratin that take less than 10 minutes from start to finish, and are made in the microwave in a mug!



It's the brainchild of my 15-year old daughter who has been dabbling in mug cakes since she got a microwave in her room.  With the quarantine in effect, she's been getting extra creative with her microwave meals.  This one is absolutely genius!  It is perfect for dorm cooking, apartments without a stove/oven, or for anyone who loves potato comfort foods and doesn't want to wait.

My daughter's been creating recipes since she was teeny, and it would be incredible to see one of her original concepts go viral!  Here's our video:


10 Minute Miracle Scalloped Potatoes in a Mug© Video Tutorialhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLXOMOia9V0&feature=emb_logoMake amazing, restaurant-quality scalloped potatoes au gratin in the microwave in less than 10 minut…

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Image
There are about as many different chocolate chip cookie recipes out there as there are definitions for what makes a chocolate chip cookie perfect.  It all comes down to personal taste.  As a person who isn't wildly into sweets, I'm very particular about my chocolate chip cookies.  To me, the perfect chocolate chip cookie is loaded, but not-overloaded with chocolate.  The sweet and salty balance is in perfect harmony.  The edges are brown and crispy, but the middle is soft and chewy.  If the cookies manage to last more than a few days, they retain their perfection chew and textures.
After decades of trying every recipe we could find, in pursuit of "perfection", my husband and I feel that we've finally come up with a formula that is everything we've been looking for.  Actually, he gets all the credit.  I was just the taste tester.



Our recipe is a riff on the recipe found on the back of Guittard chocolate chips.  Of course, quality chocolate makes a huge differenc…