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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…

Sing a Song of Sixpence - Painted Bird Pie Plate DIY

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Sing a song of sixpence, A pocket full of rye. Four and twenty blackbirds, Baked in a pie. 
When the pie was opened, The birds began to sing; Wasn't that a dainty dish, To set before the king?
~ 18th Century English Nursery Rhyme
Did you know that in 16th Century Europe, it was de rigeur for the nobility to serve an "animated pye"filled with live birds, beneath a domed pastry lidas an entremet (dinner entertainment)?

Well, You won't find any live birds in this tutorial.  In fact, what goes inside your pie is entirely up to you.  What I'm happy to share is a quick and easy little project for making silkscreened pie plates that are not only charming and lovely, but functional too.
The inspiration:  While at my local Michael's store working on my Mothers Day project for Plaid (Personalized Etched Glass Pie Plates), I happened upon this set of "Birds and Branches" Adhesive Silkscreens from Martha Stewart Crafts.  I knew right away that I'd be silkscreening those …

Lemony Couscous Salad and Other Recipes for Gourmet Outdoor Cooking
{Campfire Cuisine Book Review and Giveaway}

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The summer camping season is almost here! Why not try out a menu that goes beyond baked beans and weenies? Camping provides new challenges and  exciting opportunities for those  who love to cook and enjoy great food.
Recently I had the opportunity to preview Campfire Cuisine by Robin Donovan (Quirk Books, ISBN9781594746284, April 30, 2013). Slim enough to slip into a backpack, but packed with creative recipes, this 191 page book is the ultimate guide for die-hard foodies and novice cooks alike. You can enter to win a copy at the end of this post.  
My girls' annual Girl Scout camping trip provided the perfect opportunity to try out a handful of recipes from Campfire Cuisine with a big group of kids and foodie parents.
Campfire Cuisine  contains more than 100 recipes for cooking in the Great Outdoors, which are divided into the following categories: Salad Dressings, Sauces, Marinades, and moreBreakfastsSandwiches, Salads, and suchSnacks and AppetizersEntreesCooked Vegetables, Grains, and o…

Apple for Teacher -- A Teacher Appreciation Week Snack

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This is a quickie -- just wanted to share my twist on the old "apple for teacher" tradition that I brought to school for Teacher Appreciation Week.


Last night I whipped up and portioned a double-batch of my Reduced Fat Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Apple Dip.  This morning, I bundled a single serving cup of dip with a bag of sliced organic apples.  I tied it all together with a sweet little red polkadot washi tape.  

It was a perfect grab-and-go treat for our hard-working teachers.  I hadn't planned on writing a post, but the treat was such a hit that I figured I'd share! 

Mother's Day Gift DIY: Make an Etched Glass Pie Plate
with Martha Stewart Crafts #marthastewartcrafts #mothersday

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Mother's Day -- It's as American as Mom and Apple Pie!
In fact, today's project is all about celebrating the special pie maker in your life.  With the help of Martha Stewart Crafts, I designed this quick and easy gift that is all at once meaningful and deliciously useful.  This is a great project for beginners. For the person who puts love into everything they bake, a personalized etched pie plate is the perfect gift and is, well...sweet as pie!

The idea for this project came about when I was looking for a meaningful gift for my step-mom's birthday back in March (She happens to make the best apple pie I've ever eaten).  I decided that a pie plate etched with "Nana Makes the Best Apple Pie" would be the perfect gift.  I didn't think I had the time or the skills to make one myself, so I jumped on Etsy and found a wonderful gal who was able to bring my vision to life and ship it just in the nick of time.

Enter Martha Stewart Crafts -- the swell folks at Pla…

Free Vintage Clipart: Retro Kitchen & Cooking Graphics

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A few weeks ago I came across a charming little cookbook from the 1950s while browsing through a local thrift shop.   I love the style of the cheery green and red illustrations.  I can't wait to make some dish towels featuring these merry images and kitchen cliches.


What projects will you cook up?


Right-Click on the individual images to download and save.
Or, you can download a free scrap sheet HERE.