Category Archives: Fruit

Romantic Blueberry Lavender Jam

The blueberries went crazy this year!  This is not a bad thing since I’ve been wanting to make this Blueberry Lavender jam recipe I found on Serious Eats.  Blueberry bushes do really well in the Pacific NW.  They love our climate and look beautiful in both summer and winter–the branches turn red as the weather cools, giving our area along our neighbor’s fence some interest and diversion amongst the evergreen and grey of the rest of the yard.

I adapted this recipe slightly: Instead of making the lavender tea, I just threw in the dried lavender buds we harvested last year.  In addition to saving time, I think it worked out beautifully.  To keep it vegan (not necessary but why not?) I used coconut oil in place of butter to help calm the foam situation down during full boil.

I can’t wait to try this on some lemon scones!

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Gourmet S’mores with Peaches and Ginger Cookies

Holy addictive camping deliciousness, Batman!  Assuming The Dark Knight has taste buds, he would totally rise for these.  He would save civilization a million times over for one of these.  These are s’mores like you’ve never imagined them before:  All grown up with toasted marshmallows atop juicy peach slices and a dash of salt, the whole glorious mess sandwiched between fresh ginger cookies.

I stole this idea from the magazine Real Simple.  Slap me now, but I’ve never been a huge fan of s’mores because they’re just too sweet and dry for me.  I always feel like I have to stand by with a gallon of water when I eat the traditional graham cracker-Hersheys-mallow thing.  I’m a huge fan of the salty-sweet combo, however, so these immediately caught my eye.  I whipped up a batch of soft ginger cookies, picked up some peaches from my neighborhood Farmers Market, and got ready to blow some minds around the fire during a camping trip last weekend.  It went as planned, and now I’m determined to spread the word about this major discovery.

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Can’t Go Wrong Guacamole


I see those packets of guacamole mix in stores and wonder why they even exist.  Dehydrated veggies and spice mix?  So unnecessary.  Guac is easy, a crowd pleaser, and pretty foolproof.  I’m even going to let you in on the secret to keep it from turning dark.

Avocados are ready when they yield to gentle pressure, much like a pear.  If you have hard avocados, put them in a paper bag and close it up for a day or two.  If your avocados are too soft/overripe, I can’t help you there–they won’t be much use.  Unless….hmmm….avocado bread, like banana bread?  Must explore.

If you’re an avocado aficionado, you can skip the next section.  If you’ve never cut into an avocado or want to know the quickest, easiest way to go about it, the next few pics are for you. Continue reading

Sleepover French Toast with Brie and Apples

French toast is one of my favorite ways to experience that heavenly sweet-salty combo and it’s easy and perfect for a snow day brunch.  I had brie and apples on hand, but pears and a slightly sharper cheese like a young manchego or mild cheddar would work equally well.  A dollop of Pear Jam would also be delicious.  Here’s my basic french toast recipe: Continue reading

Brandied Pear Vanilla Preserves and a Hardware Store Adventure

I began canning a couple years ago and am hooked.  I love making homemade gifts for family and friends, especially over the holidays.  I also love opening my cupboard doors and seeing the all the jars neatly lined up, waiting patiently to be of use.  Last week I picked up a good looking bag of pears from Costco and I was all excited to make this jam but remembered that I was out of jars.

Fortunately, there’s a McClendon hardware store not too far in Renton, which has a terrific selection of speciality goods and helpful employees who seem to like their jobs.

A journey to McClendon will also yield this treat:

That’s right, that’s a Top Pot Doughnut AIRSTREAM trailer! Continue reading

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