Monday, September 27, 2010

Nectarine-Loganberry Yogurt Pops

 Over the summer I made several batches of ice pops all based on a single formula - yogurt, fresh fruit (frozen fruit works just as well), and a bit of sweetener if necessary. I like to use plain Greek yogurt to boost the protein content and also so I can customize the sweetness level to account for the sweetness of the fruit.

I had a couple of nectarines sitting around, so I made one last batch to celebrate a few days of nice weather. This time I used:
  • 1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 medium nectarines, cut in 1" pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tbs loganberry jam
  • 1 tbs honey
Directions: put the nectarines in a blender or food processor and blend/process for 20-30 seconds until mostly smooth. Add the yogurt, jam and honey and continue blending until it reaches your desired level of smoothness, scraping down the sides as necessary. Pour into ice pop molds. Freeze at least four hours. Run molds under warm water for 30 seconds before serving.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tomato-Summer Squash Gratin

The fancy veggies are revealed! From Fine Cooking, this was easier to make than I expected - while the onions are cooking, there is plenty of time to chop the other veggies and grate the cheese. I killed my thyme plant, so I used the dried variety, and I thought it was just fine and will happily make it again while squash and tomatoes are still around.

I used a DSLR again for these photos, and I can see how much fun it would be to really learn how to use such a nice camera.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Weekly Lunch: Sprouted Lentils and Fancy Veggies

The bag of sprouted lentils has been calling my name. What else to do with them? I couldn't decide, so I just cooked them, as well as some wheatberries, and figured they would just come together somehow.

Then I remembered a fancy vegetable recipe I had seen a while back. I'll give you a hint - it involves these:

I'll post the original recipe soon - it was a great, late-summer dish and I really enjoyed the leftovers, mixed with those lentils and wheatberries, and a sprinkle of feta.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Blueberry Crumb Bars

After a couple of weeks of gorging myself on fresh berries, I have turned back to baking and cooking with them. I adapted this from AllRecipes to include more whole grains, with whole wheat pastry flour, spelt flour, and ground almonds. I am rather partial to the combination of almonds, lemon and blueberries, so I added a bit of lemon zest and juice and some almond extract as well. Here is the recipe with my adaptations:


  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 cups total flour: I used 1/2 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 cup almond meal, 1 cup spelt flour, and 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup cold butter (two sticks), cut into small pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen/thawed blueberries
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. In a medium bowl (or in a food processor if you are lazy like me) stir together 1 cup sugar, 3 cups flour, and baking powder, salt, and lemon juice. Blend in the butter and egg (use a pastry cutter or a fork if not using a food processor). Dough will be crumbly - don't overmix in the processor or you will end up with pie crust. Pat half of dough into the prepared pan.
  3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch, lemon juice, and almond extract. Gently mix in the blueberries. Sprinkle the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Crumble remaining dough over the berry layer.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until top is slightly brown. Cool completely (it's hard to wait, I know) before cutting into squares. 
Mmmm, crumbles
     P.S. Don't these photos look nice? I had the opportunity to use a DSLR for the afternoon and did a lot of experimenting with aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. It is so nice to be able to use a higher ISO and still get good results - with my point-and-shoot, it's rare that I can even go to ISO 200 and get a decent shot. I am currently saving up for a new camera and am deciding whether to get a DSLR (pros: awesome photos, tons of manual controls, cons: big, bulky) or just a better point-and-shoot (pros: can carry it around all the time, cons: not nearly as many control options). Decisions, decisions. Look for more DSLR experiments in the future!

    Thursday, September 9, 2010

    Weekly Lunch: Chickpea Salad #2 (with Quinoa)

    This salad is all about late-summer abundance. Roasted cherry tomatoes, purple (!) bell peppers, cucumber, and parsley join up with some feta cheese, chickpeas and quinoa, dressed simply with a drizzle of walnut oil and lemon juice.

    For the roasted tomatoes, I took a pint of yellow and orange grape tomatoes, cut them in half, tossed with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and placed them in a baking dish with the cut sides facing up. Into a 375F oven for 30-40 minutes until the tomato skins look partially caramelized. This is a matter of preference. Sometimes I prefer to use a lower heat for a longer period of time to allow the tomatoes to dry out more and become almost chewy.

    Tuesday, September 7, 2010


    These are some of the best berries I have ever had. Before today, I had never had fresh huckleberries, I had only had huckleberry jam and some (quite excellent, by the way) Tillamook huckleberry ice cream.  Like the yellow raspberries, these were quickly devoured - they were just so cute and tiny, not to mention sweet, that we couldn't bear to leave any of them behind for another day. I was delighted to find purple-stained teeth, tongues and fingers afterward :)
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