Strawberries with Crème Fraîche and Brown Sugar

Strawberries with Creme Fraiche and Brown Sugar

Strawberries are my first and truest love when it comes to seasonal eating. I may flirt with strawberries in the winter but I usually feel guilty about my inconstancy. When strawberry season comes to Ontario I fully embrace the experience of picking strawberries, eating strawberries, and breathing in the beautiful scent of fresh local strawberries. Local strawberries mean the true start of summer to me. They arrive when school ends for the year and it is just starting to get really hot. The kind of hot that doesn’t have the slight chill in the breeze that hot days in May can [...]

Gluten-free Chocolate Cherry Upside-Down Cake

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Cherries are one of the few fruits I actually like with chocolate. I loathe chocolate with orange and can’t for the life of me figure out why that is a popular flavour. Equally mysterious to me is why black licorice or anything anise flavoured is eaten. Ever. This recipe was loosely inspired by Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Cloud Cake.  Nigella’s cake has 8 eggs in it and no flour so it was really just the idea of putting chocolate cake with cherries. I made this cake for Mothers’ Day (yes, I did all the cooking) and served it with some of [...]

Notes from my Freshman Canning Summer

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Preserving is addictive. I started canning with a rhubarb jam that I had been thinking of and before I knew it I was ordering pound after pound of rhubarb from Bailey’s. When strawberry season hit, I knew I was in trouble. I made so much jam last summer that I sold a lot of it at a Christmas craft and jewelry get together that my mom held at the end of November. I remember being in the kitchen sweating over my stove berating myself about why I have bought so much fruit and then ordering more the next day. I [...]

Blueberry Maple Ice Cream

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I bought an ice cream maker earlier this week and I have now discovered what will replace last month’s obsession with making jam. I bought the ice cream maker out of the goodness of my heart because my husband is going gluten free for a little while and also giving up beer, so I thought I would give him a treat. I continue to enjoy a cold beer now and then on our newly minted patio and I felt bad for him that he couldn’t have a treat. The ice cream maker that I got is a Cuisinart that I [...]

Crème Fraiche & Brown Sugar Scones

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I really wanted something to eat my jam with. I was content with just toast but I left a brand new store-bought loaf on the edge of the counter before I went out and guess who got it? George just couldn’t help himself and pulled it off the counter. I was very disappointed to discover that Buffy also got in on the action and likely ate much more of the bread than Georgie. She was hiding under the bed when I got home, consumed with guilt and likely a sore belly. BTW – you don’t want to know how I [...]

Strawberry Port Jam with agave and a hint of vanilla

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I’ve been making jam for a month or so now and I realized I haven’t included one of my favourite ingredients in my previous jam recipes- wine! I thought about putting red wine in a strawberry jam but decided to ramp up the flavour by going with Port. I also can’t seem to stop myself from putting in vanilla bean in jam so far, so a quarter of a vanilla bean was thrown in as well. I was adventurous again with the amount of sugar and berries. The first batch didn’t really set so I reduced the amount of crushed [...]

Strawberry Rhubarb Ever After Jam

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Strawberries and rhubarb are a match made in heaven but adding honey and vanilla bean to this jam took the flavours to fairy tale level (hence the name).   The strawberries that I used were very fresh – I picked them myself.  I discovered Herrle’s Country Farm Market last year and this year I went to their Pick Your Own fields for strawberries. They had incredible flavour and were a deep red.  The rhubarb that I used came from Bailey’s Local Foods buying club in Waterloo. Both places are amazing resources for local food in the Waterloo Region. I reduced [...]