Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dutch Baby

For years my dad would make a special breakfast for me on weekends. It was our thing. Sometimes it was waffles, sometimes a fried egg sandwich. But my favorite was a Dutch baby.
This is an easy but delicious breakfast, impressive looking and fun to eat. There are so many ways to serve it! With jam, with berries, with syrup, or my favorite...powdered sugar and lemon juice.

My dad passed away a few years ago, and I miss him all the time. When I make this breakfast it reminds me of him, and the good times we had. It also reminds me of how much I love butter!
This is a breakfast to enjoy, something special. Don't over-think the butter. Just make it. You'll love it! Here is Dad's recipe.

Dutch baby
3 eggs
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup flour
1/4 cup butter

Pre-heat oven to 425*

Put butter in a cast iron skillet (10", I think) Place pan in the heated oven until butter is melted.
Meanwhile, put eggs into a blender and mix for 1 minute.
While blender is still going slowly pour in the milk. Add the flour, and run for 30 seconds more.
Pour over melted butter, and put in the oven. Bake 25 minutes.
It will puff a LOT!
The edges and top should get some nice color, but not too dark. When you remove it from the oven it will fall. This is normal.
The sooner you eat it the better! Don't let it sit around! We cut ours in half, but you can cut out wedges, or pour the ingredients into two smaller cast iron pans for individual sized Dutch babies.
A sprinkling of lemon juice and powdered sugar and we were ready to dig in!
So delicious!!! I LOVE this breakfast! A great weekend treat! Plus I'm easily amused, and I like to watch it puff up! I also lick my plate when I'm done. Don't judge. You'll see!
Try making a Dutch baby this weekend, and make some family memories of your own!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Pender Islands Fall Fair

Last Saturday was the Pender Islands Fall Fair. I know, it's not quite Fall yet! But it is definitely the beginning of harvest time, so the fair was full of great local stuff!
Here are some of the produce displays entered. Pretty impressive! I can't believe produce this lush and beautiful was grown on-island!

What a collection!
I entered a few things too! One Second place, and two third places! Not too shabby!
Our friends daughters entered a bunch of their animals. They also made absolutely adorable signs to go with each entry. This is Meave's sheep Sally.
The guinea pigs George and Rubius Hagrid.
Plus some of their chickens, which are not pictured. Pretty darn cute!
The baking and flower sections had some great displays to peruse.
I especially loved this cake!
Ben and I had a great time wandering and exploring. It seems like the whole island was there! (that's only about 2500 people). My MIL was working a stand somewhere (food, I think), and my FIL did a shift in the Coastguard tent. They were having waaay too much fun chasing small children with their talking remote control boat. Er, I mean, educating small children with their very friendly boat. Heh. Funny, but kinda sad.

All in all it was a nice day. Got home early and enjoyed our evening. We watched the Prince of Persia, which I LOVED! Totally fun movie! We also saw Astro Boy, which was pretty good too.

When is the fair in you area? Are you going to enter anything?

Hope everyone had a great Monday, I'm off for my first shift of the week tonight, gotta be there at 9:30 pm. It's almost cookie time!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Fellow Foodie Bites #4

Hullo all! Here is a quick look at some things on my "to try" list from other blogs. There is SO much good stuff out there! Click the links for some great ideas on meals, snacks and desserts!

Fellow Foodie Bites #4

-Here are some Lara Bar inspired balls that sound like the perfect snacking item!

-This is a Buttermilk Farro salad recipe. I'm always looking for new things to try, and I've never tried farro! Could be good!

-Bucatini with basil and cherry tomatoes! This is so beautiful, and looks like a wonderful fresh meal.

-Kale chips are on my list for sure! I even have the kale waiting! I have seen lots of various recipes for kale chips floating around. Not sure which to try!

-Roasted corn, lima bean and feta salad! I hadn't ever thought of putting lima beans in a salad

-This blueberry chia pudding has the most amazing color! I need to use up my blueberries too!

Sorry, that was a crazy build up of stuff for you to check out! But there are just so many great recipes out there, and my fellow bloggers are so creative! Hope you find something scrumptious to make!

One more thing before I go, I want to introduce to you Genuine Kelly! This is a brand new blog, by my good friend Kelly. She is into movies and entertainment as well as food, so it's sure to be good! So far she has the important stuff out of the way: grilled cheese sandwiches and Danny kaye. Can't wait to see what she'll do next! You know you want to check it out!!!!

Now Ben and I are off to explore the open house at Charmin' Farm, the garlic farm down the road. don't worry, you can't smell my breath through my posts!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Randomness: Snacks and Smoothies

I have backlogged a random assortment of things I wanted to share with you, but they haven't seemed to fit into any of my recent posts. So here it is, a whole post dedicated to randomness. Or, it could just be typical "me" organization. Yeah, that's probably more likely. So lets get on with it!

This smoothie was the BEST smoothie I have ever made. I really mean it. SO good! Did you hear me? You need to make this. And no whining about it being fattening! I drank it, I loved it, it was worth the calories!!! Raspberry mango coconut smoothie. Let the salivating begin!
Start with 1/2 can light coconut milk, then add fruit from a whole mango, a big handful of raspberries and 1 Tbsp chia seeds. The chia seeds give it such a nice thick texture! Blend and enjoy!
It's so pretty!
Here is a bar that I thought I'd try out. Usually I am not a fan of the uber healthy bars because they taste like someone mixed in chalk and some funk scraped from the bottom of their shoe. Then you're expected to pay $5 for the privilege of choking it down.
Not so with this baby! Yum Yum!!!
Pretty darn healthy too! Always a plus. I will SO be buying this brand again. Definitely a winner!

Here is another bar I tried recently.
Yeah. Not so much. Not the wost I have tried, I did eat the whole thing. But probably not worth my money. I am all for healthy snacks, and getting the most possible out of my food. But I do draw the line when I find myself trying not to taste the sticky mass before I swallow, or when I have to convince myself to finish it because I don't want to waste it. I probably won't be buying this one again.
Ready for another smoothie? I thought so! Toss into your blender a frozen banana, 3 heaping Tbsp almond butter, and blend with almond milk until you have a creamy smooth texture. Slurp it down! This is a good one, and I am currently enjoying it as I type!
If I'm speaking of snacks I have to include my all time favorite. Ice cream. After our long Friday night bake Ben and I grabbed a cone to take with us to Medicine beach. 5:30 am, a calm ocean, a brightening sky, my wonderful husband next to me, and an ice cream cone filled with vanilla and maple walnut ice cream sitting in the cup holder. My life is complete!
Now that's a pretty nice way to start the weekend!
Oh, and one more bit of randomness for you, having nothing to do with food that I ate. It does have to do with food to some degree, however. Just ask our zebra finches! They are in a cage in the corner of the living room surrounded by windows. They were making tons of noise suddenly the other evening, and when we went to check it out we discovered a huge owl sitting on the rail of our deck, eying our little birds through the window for his dinner!
What a beautiful bird! Well, the finches probably didn't think so, but we certainly did!
Ok, enough randomness for now. I think I'll go play in the garden, and maybe make some kale chips. After I finish my smoothie, that is. Sluuuuuurp!

Local and Loving It

Yesterday Ben and I went Blueberry picking! Hurray!
Unfortunately the season was pretty short this year, so we didn't end up with as many as last year. The pickin's were pretty slim (heh, sorry, bad joke). BUT...the weather was perfect, and we were the only people out in the blueberry field. It was so pleasant, just enjoying the fresh air, spending time together, and wandering through the field.
There were lots of berries that were still unripe, so we might try back next week for some more. We'll freeze our haul of berries, and enjoy them throughout the year in smoothies and desserts.
I just love picking my own food. Something about it is very exciting, and calming at the same time. I love the island life!
Beautiful berries!
We ended up with 10 lbs! Not so bad. Now we get to enjoy them! I think Ben wants to make blueberry sherbet. I am all for it! The only way to make fresh blueberries any better would be to add sugar and cream. Yup. That's the truth!
After our foray into the berry field we went home to more local goodness. About as local as it gets. More produce from our yard! My MIL made a nice dinner of fish, rice, zucchini from the garden, and bruschetta with tomato and basil from the yard as well as garlic from down the road.
Sorry for the dark picture. It tasted really good!

Local produce tastes so amazing. Try to find something grown in your area for a dinner this week! It's worth it!

What is your favorite local product?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Barley and Wheat Berry Greek Salad

Hi everyone, how's your day going? Things are pretty good out here in the islands...it's a cool and blustery summer day. Just the way I like it! Yesterday I went adventuring in Victoria, via the bus! I had never really done that before, and I had SO much fun! I also found a great place to get my hair cut...finally! I started out with my bangs, just to see. I think it went well! It looked better yesterday, but here it is...me with bangs!
Oh, you wanted to hear about food and not my hair?! Well, I can do that! I have long been itching to try wheat berries. Don't ask me why, they just sounded interesting and healthy. You know, mix up the grain scene around here! A friend had also recommended barley as a good alternative to rice. Put them together, and what have you got? My barley and wheat berry greek salad!

I found conflicting info about cooking times and methods for these grains, so I just put 1/2 cup of each in their own pot and covered well with water, then put a lid on. I brought them to a boil, then turned them down to a simmer and just let 'em go. I kept testing for doneness, and found that they both took about 55 minutes to finish cooking. I drained them, combined into a bowl, and refrigerated to cool.
In the meantime I mixed up a dressing. I started out with 3 spoonfuls of hummus, added a glug of olive oil, a 1/4 cup lemon juice and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Stir well to combine.
Our garden is giving back, so I went and harvested a cucumber, a handful of basil, and a small handful of oregano. Ah, they smell so good, and have such a beautiful green glow!
I peeled and chopped the cucumber into bite sized pieces. I also chopped up 2 tomatoes and 2 handfuls of kalamata olives. Once the grains were cooled I stirred in the dressing (which the grains soak up nicely over time), added the cucumber, tomato and olives, and crumbled about 3/4 cup feta cheese on top. I destemmed the herbs and tore the leaves into nice little bits. All mixed up it was quite pretty and VERY tasty!
The barley helped cut the firm chewiness of the wheat berries, the dressing was soaked up so each bite was full of flavor, and the fresh herbs brought the salad to life.
This salad makes for great leftovers too. I have been enjoying it for lunch and snacks! One huge plus? It's pretty darn healthy!

My MIL roasted a chicken, and Ben picked a few zucchini from the garden.
We wanted to be able to appreciate the flavor, color and texture of our own zucchini, so I chopped them up, and Ben sauted them in BUTTER! With a tiny sprinkling of salt these were SO good! I took a huge helping!
I love it when everyone contributes something to a meal! Not too much work for any one person, and you end up with a fabulous dinner! Try it with your family!