Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Blueberry Muffins

The beginning of August is blueberry season. One of my favourite feast foods for this time of year is blueberry muffins or bread. I made these this morning with blueberries harvested from my land, and local oil, eggs, maple syrup and milk purchased through our CSA or a local market.

Blueberry Muffins
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk or soymilk
2 eggs
1 cup blueberries

Mix the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl mix the maple syrup, oil, mil and eggs together. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture. Mix the ingredients in a few swift strokes. Add the blueberries (and more milk if the mixture seems dry.) and mix in a couple of strokes. Spoon the mixture into prepared muffin molds. Bale at 400F for 20 minutes.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Reconnecting with Food

David Suzuki has a column today on reconnecting with food in the summer. He echoes just about all my own sentiments and beliefs. I also get annoyed that a lot of the organic produce in our local grocery store is from the United States. With all the amazing local goodness that I receive weekly in my CSA, most of the organic veggies in the Provigo down the street are still "product of the USA." I also liked his comments on cherry picking (in the literal sense). For me it's blueberry picking. There is something special about picking berries... or apples.. or strawberries.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Maple Zucchini Bread

This one is my own adaptation of a Mennonite recipe and is useful for using up a glut of zucchini's at this time of the year.

Maple Zucchini Bread
3 large eggs
3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups, raw, grated zucchini
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups flour (I used 2 c whole wheat + 1 c white)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350F and grease two 8" loaf pans or one 14" loaf pan. (I also flour the bottom.)

Combine eggs, syrup, oil, zucchini and lemon juice in a large bowl and beat well. Sift together the dry ingredients and add them to the zucchini mixture. Mix until blended. Add the nuts.

Pour the mixture into the loaf pan(s) and bake for 1 hour. Remove bread from pans and cool on a rack.

Fennel Radicchio Crockpot

I love fennel. However, I've been getting so much in my CSA basket, along with the requisite mass of salad of various varieties, that I was having a hard time using it all up. The fennel is also very sweet and packs an incredible anis-flavour punch, more than any fennel I've ever had before. I swear it is just like eating licorice! The other week I also got new potatoes, turnips and radicchio, so I gave this recipe a try. It was really yummy and easy. I used a combination of potatoes and turnips instead of just potatoes. And if I made it again I'd probably forego the olives.

Fennel and Radicchio Crock Pot
1 pound small red or white potatoes, whole or halved
1 fennel bulb, quartered, stalks discarded
1 small head radicchio, quartered4 cloves garlic, crushed
3 Tbs olive oil
salt and fresh pepper
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives in oil, drained
3 Tbs chopped fresh basil

Combine all the ingredients except the olives and basil in a 4-quart slow cooker. Stir well to combine. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours, until the vegetables are tender. Just before serving add the olives and basil. Toss to combine.

(From: Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson)