Burgers!

Burgers!

While we don’t eat a lot of beef in our house, visitors who do recently gave me the opportunity to try out Rachel Ray’s Smoke and Fireworks Bacon-Wrapped Chipotle Burger recipe (which I think would also work well with ground turkey). Served with homemade, oven baked fries and onion rings, we had a delicious dinner. The patties had a little heat and were very flavourful. The bbq sauce was sweet and tangy and worked beautifully with the “pickled” red onion. YUM! Who needs take-out? 

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberry Muffins

It’s been a great berry season so far: strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. This was yesterday afternoon’s harvest.

This morning, I was thrilled to see that a friend had shared a recipe for Perfect Blueberry Muffins from Smitten Kitchen. I immediately got to work making a batch for breakfast.

Several years ago I purchased some silicone muffin cups (regular and mini). I love that I don’t have to use spray to prevent sticking, and they are so easy to clean. I put them to work.

I used Greek yogurt and this may be why I found that my batter was quite thick. I also didn’t have any turbinado sugar, but I found some Roger’s Plantation Raw Brown Sugar in my baking drawer, and used that.

I ended up making eleven muffins which I baked for 25 minutes.

They turned out well, and were quickly gobbled up by my family. They were moist and a little dense. While they were tasty, I think that I might add a little lemon juice to the batter next time.

When life gives you raspberries….

When life gives you raspberries….

This was this morning’s harvest. Not bad considering we did a thorough picking yesterday, and that I use a “three in the bucket, one in my mouth” method.

Most of our raspberries end up in the freezer and are enjoyed through the fall and winter in smoothies.

Today, I decided to try something new: a raspberry shrub. Shrubs are sweetened, vinegar-based concentrates infused with fruits, herbs and/or spices. They can be used to make refreshing, non-alcoholic cocktails to enjoy in the warm, summer weather.

To make this shrub, I put 1 cup of raspberries, 1 cup of sugar (you could use honey), 1 cup of apple cider vinegar, and a strip of lime peel in a non-reactive pot. On medium-high heat, I brought the mixture to a boil. I then removed from the heat and let it sit for twenty minutes before straining into a heatproof, airtight container. I let it chill in the fridge. When it was ready, I added two tablespoons of shrub to a glass of ice and soda water. Amazing! I will definitely be experimenting more with shrubs.

In addition to being delicious, shrubs are also thought to have some health benefits.

  • enhancing weight loss
  • stabilizing blood sugars
  • lowering cholesterol
  • maintain alkaline ph
  • promotes detoxification of the liver
  • eases digestion
  • fights free radicals to reduce aging  

Give it a try and let me know what you think.

Sheet Pan Greek Chicken and Veggie Bake

Sheet Pan Greek Chicken and Veggie Bake

The single zucchini plant I have in my garden has been very generous this year. I am always amazed at how quickly they grow. I check one morning and notice a small zucchini, not quite ready to be picked, and the next day it is enormous and needs to be used right away. Luckily, we love it.

This was dinner last night. Sheet Pan Greek Chicken and Veggie Bake from The Stay At Home Chef. I was missing the pepperoncinis as I threw it together at the last minute. I’ll definitely include them next time. It was easy to prepare and delicious. We enjoyed it as is, which would work well for you if you are cutting back on carbs, but it would be great served with rice. I can also see myself making a vegetarian version of this in the future.

Homemade Granola

Homemade Granola

They say, “Make hay while the sun shines”. Lately, we have had more cloud than sun, but I decided to take advantage of the cooler temperatures by doing a little baking. One of my favourite things to make for a quick breakfast (or snack) is granola. It is really simple to prepare, and by making it at home, I can ensure that I avoid refined sugars and unhealthy fats. Plus, in my humble opinion, it tastes so much better than store bought.

Pictured here is this morning’s yummy breakfast: raspberries from my garden, water buffalo yogurt (so rich and creamy), and homemade granola. There are a couple of recipes I use. This particular one is from Cookie + Kate. I love the toasty oats and nuts, and the slightly salty and sweet taste. I used olive oil, maple syrup, walnuts and cranberries in this batch. I might double the cinnamon next time.