Strawberries galore!

We spent some time this weekend in Southern Alberta visiting friends.  Many times in the past we have gone to pick berries while visiting, and this time was no different from before.  We took the kids early one morning to Broxburn Vegetable and Cafe, and we were not disappointed.  The berries were plentiful, large and so sweet.  We were able to pick two pails full of berries, and a few may have also ended up in our bellies!  I wanted to bring some berries home for snacking, but I was also very keen to bake with them.  I still had some pie dough left in the freezer so I went looking for a recipe.  I wanted a recipe that was for more than just strawberries and I also wanted a streusel top.  After looking through many recipes I found one that looked great.  The recipe called for 6 cups of strawberries, but I ended up using 4 cups of strawberries and one cup each of raspberries and blueberries.  In the end the pie turned out even better than I had envisioned.  It was sweet from the berries and covered in a crumble top that was crunchy from the oven.  Served with vanilla ice cream, it was pure deliciousness.  Find the Streusel-topped strawberry pie here, remembering that I used my grandma’s pie dough for the crust.

Happy baking,
Sara

Bring in spring

With spring in the air and summer just around the corner it is a great time to add some new ingredients into your evening meals.  At this time of year I am always looking to add some seasonal ingredients into my meal plans.  Currently, asparagus, strawberries and rhubarb are just hitting their peak.

Asparagus is an easy add to any meal, roasted, baked or even barbecued it is a perfect side dish to any protein.  I like to bake mine at a high heat with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and some grated lemon rind.  Another delicious topping to roasted asparagus is feta cheese and sliced grape tomatoes.  Here are a few more asparagus recipes: roasted garlic asparagus,  sautéed asparagus and grilled balsamic asparagus.

Most often we think to use strawberries in desserts, but topping some spinach with sliced strawberries is a wonderful flavour combination.  I found a great recipe for a strawberry spinach salad from @cookinglight.  The recipe called for chicken as well but we ate ours without.  I also added blackberries as they are also in abundance at this time of year.  Instead of making a dressing for the salad you let the berries sit in a mixture of oil and vinegar and then add it to the salad.  To finish it off you sprinkle with feta and pecans.  I decided to candy my pecans and the salad turned out amazingly!  Here is another great looking strawberry salad recipe.

I love rhubarb!  For me simplicity is the key, I love stewing rhubarb and using it as a topping for yogurt or ice cream.  Another great idea for rhubarb is baked in muffins with cinnamon sugar topping.  A recipe that I have been wanting to try is strawberry rhubarb crisp bars from @smittenkitchen.  If you are looking for something different, then give Jamie Oliver’s meringue with rhubarb and cream recipe a try.

Happy cooking,
Sara

 

Snacks on the plane

With many families leaving for warmer destinations in the next three weeks I decided to tackle the plane snack dilemma.  I am not sure if it is just my son, but when we travel his stomach is a never-ending empty pit!  It does not matter if we are on a plane or road tripping he is continuously hungry when we travel.  We all know the key to a successful trip is to keep children occupied and happy, and this can be accomplished with some good snacks, new colouring book and a movie.  Here are some easy and portable ideas for travel with kids.

  • Granola bars, we especially like Lara bars or you could make your own.
  • Granola bites, these small one bite balls are great for kids.  I buy Made Good as they are lunchbox friendly.
  • Snack or trail mix, purchased or homemade both work very well.  For an easy homemade mix add: Cheerios, Chex, cheddar fish or bunnies, raisins or dried cranberries, pretzels and chocolate chips or m&m’s.
  • Applesauce, the easiest travel kinds are the ones in the squeeze pouch.
  • Mini muffins, if you have a stash in your freezer these are great for taking on trips.
  • Sliced apples or other sliced fruit.
  • Cheese string or Babybel cheese.
  • Wraps, I usually pack a peanut butter and jam wrap for my son, it keeps well and easy to eat on the-go.
  • Gum and a small bag of gummy candies.  This always makes their eyes light up when they get the have two treats during travel, and may have the ability to calm an upset child!

Happy travel,
Sara

Sweet treats!

Valentine’s Day is coming soon, so I have put together some sweet ideas for your special someone.  Whether you are celebrating with a group, your significant other or kids, these recipes are sure to please them all.

Cookies:
Marbled sugar cookies from @bakedbyrachel
M&M cookies from @averiesunshine (I have used these for Easter cookies and they were delicious, just change up the colour of M&Ms)
Gummy Bear cookies from @1littleproject (these would be great to make with kids)
Frosted sugar cookies from @cookingclassy

Something a little healthier:
Graham crackers from @becky_lovetobeinthekitchen (I have made these many times and sent them to school for parties paired with some cheese they are delicious)
Fruit skewers from recipebyphoto.com
Fruit salad from @whitandwhistle

Ta-da!
Chocolate hand pies from@sallysbakingaddiction (hand pies are an easy show stopping dessert)
No-bake cheesecake from @inspiredbycharm (cheesecake, easy and delicious)
Chocolate cake with chocolate ganache from @twopeasandtheirpod (this looks amazing!)

Happy Valentine’s Day,
Sara