Oh this ice cream. I know I am currently 31 weeks pregnant with an insatiable taste for sweets but this really is some of the most delicious ice cream I have ever tasted. The best part is that it is so easy to make thanks to the Cuisinart ice cream maker I just bought AKA my new best friend. Cherries and almonds are such a good match and the hint of vanilla doesn’t hurt either. Think lusciously soft pink slightly almond-y cream studded with juicy fresh sweet cherries. My mouth is watering.
The best part is that there is no cooking or chilling to this base so you can throw it together last minute before company comes over (or while you wait for your favorite show to start) and then 20 minutes later you have the most crazy delicious fresh ice cream with zero preservatives or weird thickeners. So easy! So delicious! Make this before cherry season is over. No wait, make a triple batch because it really is that good.
makes about 2 pints
1 pint of fresh sweet red cherries, pitted and coarsely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups half and half
3/4 cup caster or bakers sugar
1 tablespoon really good vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Combine cream, half and half, sugar, vanilla and almond extracts in a bowl and whisk until smooth. Pour into the pre-chilled base of your ice cream maker and add the chopped cherries. Churn according to manufacturers instructions for 20-25 minutes, until the ice cream is thick and creamy. If a harder consistency is desired refrigerate for 2 hours, otherwise it is ready to enjoy!
July is prime blueberry time here in Portland so a few weeks ago Greta and I met some friends at a sweet family run farm on Sauvie Island to do some picking. The littles didn’t last too long but we did manage to get a couple pounds, just enough to make a batch of jam with leftovers for sprinkling on yogurt and eating straight from the basket. I love the process of making a fresh summer jam from start to finish, including harvesting the fruit and (in this case) growing the flowers myself. My lavender bushes were overflowing with blooms and while it was a bit of a fight with the bees to pick a bunch they obliged.
The first step was making a lavender infused sugar. I chose to do this because my lavender was fresh and I wanted to make sure the flowery flavor came through. Of course you could also just add some culinary grade dried lavender if you don’t grow your own. To make the sugar simply pick off the lavender blossoms and add them to a jar of measured sugar and let it sit and infuse for a day or two. Easy!
On jam making day wash and pick any stems off your berries. When making jam it is beneficial to have a few underripe berries in your bunch due to the natural pectin that will help thicken it. I prefer to make freezer jam with fresh summer fruits because I think the flavor stays a little more “true” as well as just skipping the canning step – yes I am lazy. We bought an upright freezer earlier this year (major adult moment) so I have a lot of freezer room to spare right now. If you don’t have room to freeze of course you could can this in a hot water bath! That also makes for easier gift giving around the holidays.
makes around five 8oz jars
6 cups fresh blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons lavender flowers
zest and juice from one lemon
3 tablespoons Real Fruit pectin
If you are using fresh lavender flowers, add to the sugar in an airtight jar to infuse a the night before making. Otherwise, wash and pick any stems off the blueberries. Add berries, sugar and lavender to a large pot and cook over medium heat, gently smashing the blueberries with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook down until berries thicken, about 15 minutes while stirring constantly. Take the berries off the heat and add the lemon juice juice and pectin. Stir well for 5 minutes until the mixture has thickened. Carefully pour the hot jam into sterile jars and either freeze or pressure can. Perfect on a piping hot buttermilk biscuit or spread onto thick cut toast with fromage blanc!
We are experiencing an unseasonably early and hot summer here in Portland with temperatures soaring above 100 degrees in June! In the past we always had to wait until the fourth of July for real summer but it seems like this warming trend is sticking around. Though triple digit weather is too hot for pale Scandinavians like me I have been enjoying the abundance of early fruits and vegetables from the farmers market. This summer corn salad is so light and flavorful and takes minutes to throw together so it’s a perfect side to bring to a barbecue or to serve alongside a simple summer grilled main. I also love the leftovers for lunch when topped with a little extra protein (grilled chicken is usually my go-to). Or you could swap the feta for avocado and make an awesome vegan salad! Perfect for those days when it’s just too hot to cook.
4 ears of corn off the cob*
1 cucumber, diced
1 cup of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half or quartered depending on size
1/4 red onion, diced
handful of mint and basil, shredded
2 teaspoons champagne vinegar
a few tablespoons of olive oil
salt to taste
4 oz feta, crumbled
In a large bowl combine the corn, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, red onion, mint and basil. Add the vinegar + olive oil and toss well. Season with salt to taste. Crumble the feta on top and chill before serving.
*I have found the easiest way to take corn off the cob is to hold the corn by the stalk over a bowl and scrape the kernels off with a very sharp knife.
Dutch babies are one of my favorite breakfasts to make on slow weekend mornings. They are so simple to throw together but do take a little time to make. It has been a typical grey and gloomy late winter here in Portland so some bright lemon and fresh berries were in order. I have been trying to perfect a gluten free dutch baby recipe and I think this is it! I’ve found that the secret to a light and airy dutch baby is having the eggs and milk at room temperature and getting the pan nice and hot before adding the batter. The finished pancake is puffed and golden brown with a slightly crunchy exterior and a smooth and custardy center. A sprinkle of juicy blueberries and a squeeze of lemon at the end is a delicious finishing touch!
3 tablespoons butter
3 large eggs at room temperature
2/3 cup whole milk at room temperature
1/2 cup gluten free flour blend (the kind that already contains xanthan gum)
2 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
lemon wedges and powdered sugar for serving
Preheat oven to 450 degrees fahrenheit and insert a 10″ cast iron pan to get it nice and hot. While the pan is heating whisk together the eggs and milk, then add the flour, sugar and salt and blend until very smooth. Turn the oven temperature down to 375 degrees fahrenheit and throw the butter into the hot pan and let it melt until it is slightly browned. Remove the pan from the oven swirl the butter around to fully coat the bottom and sides of the pan, then pour in the batter. Sprinkle the blueberries on top and pop the pan back in the oven to bake the pancake for 25-30 minutes, until puffed and golden brown. Sift with powdered sugar and serve with a squeeze of lemon.
What could be better to wake up to than the scent of cinnamon, pears and freshly brewed coffee? This crumbly streusel topped coffee cake would be perfect to whip up on Christmas morning to eat while opening presents but is also simple enough to throw together when you have company stopping by. The pears keep the cake super moist and it is springy and light enough to fool all your gluten-eating friends. Finding the right flour blend to use in GF baking is so important, I really love this one. Plus anything with a streusel topping instantly wins, you can never go wrong with butter and sugar.
Makes 9 Squares
1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup melted butter
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large pear, peeled and chopped
For Streusel Topping
2/3 cup gluten free flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom
6 tablespoons cold butter
Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit. In a large bowl mix 1 1/2 cups flour, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt and granulated sugar. Add the melted butter, eggs, milk and vanilla extract and stir until combined. Fold in chopped pears and pour into a greased 8×8″ baking pan.
In a separate bowl combine 2/3 cup flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and cardamom. Add cold butter and cut into the flour mixture using a pastry cutter or two forks until the butter is the size of small peas. Bake for 30-40 minutes until center is puffed and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 15 minutes before cutting into squares.
Scandinavian traditions have always been a favorite part of the Christmas season for me – I love all the decorations and delicious baked treats. One of the most fascinating for me is Lucia Day, celebrated on December 13th. The crown of candles is so beautiful! I fondly remember reading about the story in my Kirsten American Doll book, haha.
This year I decided to get a little festive and make a batch of the traditional saffron buns. Gluten and I have officially broken up so I spent some time researching recipes and finally tested out this gluten free version. It has a nice texture and is sweetly scented with cardamom, one of my favorite spices. Greta had fun making them with me and I hope we can carry on the tradition every year – maybe one day I will make her a crown of candles and she can be my little Lucia.
Makes 16 Buns
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon ground psyllium husk
1 package yeast
1 teaspoon saffron
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
2 1/2 cups gluten free flour (I used this blend)
Raisins to decorate
Melt butter in a small saucepan and add milk. Let the milk warm up slightly, to about 105 degrees. Pour the milk and butter mixture into a mixing bowl and add 1 teaspoon sugar, psyllium husk and the yeast. Give it a quick stir and let the mixture sit until the yeast bubbles, about 10 minutes. Add the saffron, remaining sugar, salt, xanthan gum, 1 egg, cardamom and mix until combined. Slowly add the flour and mix for 5 minutes using the paddle attachment of a stand mixer.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cover the bowl with a towel and leave in a warm part of the kitchen for 30 minutes to rise. Lightly flour a work surface and knead the dough a few times until it becomes elastic. The dough will be very sticky at first so be generous with the flour! Pinch off a small ball about 1.5″ diameter and roll into a log, forming into an “S” shape. Cover the buns with a towel again and let rise another 30 minutes. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and brush the buns. Dot each end with a raisin to decorate and bake for 10-12 minutes. Traditionally served in the morning with hot coffee to sleepy parents by the eldest daughter of the house, dressed in white with a crown of candles.
*adapted from this recipe
Something about the combination of mushrooms, goat cheese and thyme is just absolute perfection. I love making a big frittata to use up whatever happens to be hanging around the kitchen and this week I was lucky enough to have a handful of chanterelles leftover from our weekend foraging in the woods. Happy to have a brother studying mycology who can lead me to good spot, I’m afraid I would be hopeless (and mushroomless) without him.
This is so easy to throw together and while it is delicious straight out of the oven all puffed up and golden with gooey cheese, it is equally tasty eaten cold the next day. I love making this for a weekend breakfast but you can also serve it for dinner with a peppery arugula salad.
1 tablespoon butter
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup sliced chanterelle mushrooms (or cremini)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
10 large eggs
2 tablespoons cream
a good sprinkle of salt and pepper
one small log of chèvre, about 4-6 oz
Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit. Place a cast iron skillet over medium low heat and melt the butter. Add the sliced shallots and slowly sauté until they caramelize, about 10 minutes. Throw in the mushrooms and thyme and cook until the mushrooms soften. In the meantime, crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat with a fork until fluffy. Add the cream, salt and pepper and mix to combine.
Pour the egg mixture over the mushrooms and crumble the goat cheese over the top. Cook over low heat until the bottom of the frittata is set, around 5 minutes. Pop the pan into the top third of the oven and bake until puffed and golden brown, approximately 15 minutes. Give it a jiggle before removing from the oven to make sure the center is set. Let cool slightly before cutting into wedges to serve.
The best part about Halloween is the candy, hands down. My absolute favorite has always been the peanut butter cup and this year I wanted to try making one that was free of all the refined, processed stuff. I was surprised to find that they can be easily whittled down to five simple ingredients: chocolate, peanut butter, coconut oil, salt and vanilla. Yes, that’s it! They are also ridiculously easy to make, the only hard part is waiting for them to firm up in the freezer. This recipe makes approximately 12 mini cups but could be easily doubled…or tripled. Let’s get real.
Makes approximately 12 mini cups.
1 cup dark chocolate chips
4 tablespoons natural salted peanut butter (or almond butter for paleo/vegan)
4 teaspoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
a few pinches of vanilla salt (or plain kosher salt)
Melt the chocolate chips over a double boiler or in the microwave for a minute or two, checking and stirring often. Line a mini muffin tin with paper cups and spoon a small amount of chocolate in the bottom. Use a spoon to make a small well and transfer to the freezer to harden for 10 minutes. In the meantime, combine the peanut butter, coconut oil and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth.
Remove the hardened chocolate cups from the freezer and spoon a teaspoon or so of peanut butter into each cup. Top with the remaining chocolate and use a toothpick to drag the chocolate into the peanut butter (kind of looks like a spider web, we are festive over here). Sprinkle a little salt on the top and pop them back in the freezer for a couple hours to firm up. Let the cups sit out for 10 minutes or so before eating for the perfect melt in your mouth texture. Happy Halloween!
October is a wonderful month. The morning air is crisp enough to pull out your favorite sweater to go on an early walk through the brilliant leaves and lingering fog. The drop in temperature also means time for baking, something I have dearly missed since starting my treatment. I was overjoyed to discover these grain free treats with the rich spices we all crave when the sun starts to get heavier in the sky. Oh and there is frosting! Actual frosting. I am crying.
These pumpkin spice squares are tasty enough to fool those who do not happen to be on a super restrictive diet. They were a complete revelation for me, before these sweet little squares came into my life I was moping about, convinced I would never find a treat that would satisfy my sweet tooth. These are all that and more, I think I might even prefer them to a normal flour and sugar filled cake! Bake a pan of these up and bring them to your next pumpkin carving party, no one will be the wiser and they will quickly disappear!
Makes approximately 16 small squares.
For the cake:
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup almond butter
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
pinch of kosher salt
For the frosting:
1/4 cup coconut butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup raw honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the cake ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer for one minute. Pour into a greased 8×8 glass oven safe pan and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and it is set in the middle. Let cool completely.
While cake is cooling, whip the frosting ingredients with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy. Once the cake has cooled cut into small squares and top with a dollop of the cinnamon frosting.
Adapted from this recipe.
Over the weekend we took a trip to our local farmers market that just opened for the season here in St Johns. The booths were overflowing with fresh Oregon strawberries and rhubarb so I bought as much as my little stroller basket could carry, not quite sure what I would do with it. There is always pie, but honestly I was feeling to0 impatient to wait for dough to chill. Then there is crisp, which I love but a bottle of rosewater caught my eye and a quick compote came to mind!
This is so lovely to spoon onto pancakes, spread over toast or dollop onto yogurt in the mornings. It’s also delicious over ice cream for dessert! The rose flavor is subtle and the tart rhubarb and lemon is perfect with the sweet berries.
2.5 cups rhubarb, cut into 1″ pieces (about 3 stalks)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
zest from 1 lemon
pinch kosher salt
1 heaping pint strawberries, sliced (about 2 cups)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/2 teaspoon rosewater
In a saucepan combine the rhubarb, water, sugar, lemon zest and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered until rhubarb is soft, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Stir in strawberries, lemon juice and rosewater. Let cool completely before transferring to jars which can be refrigerated up to a month. The compote can also be canned in a water bath for a taste of June in the middle of winter.