It’s the beginning of berry season! Oh how lovely it is to swap out my bags of frozen berries for fresh berries.
To celebrate berry season, I’ve made my favourite banana bread and stuffed it full of fresh strawberries and blueberries. This Berry Banana Bread is kept moist with my secret ingredient (pssst – sour cream!!), and each mouthful is bursting with berries.
To be fair, it’s not berry season in my backyard yet – for that, we’ve got another month or two to go – and by “backyard” I mean my potted veggie garden on my rooftop deck 😉 . It’s been an unseasonably cool Spring here in the Pacific Northwest, so my strawberry and raspberry plants only have buds so far!
I grew up on an island in the pacific northwest, on the coast of British Columbia, Canada. Taking a ferry to the mainland (where I live now – in the city of Vancouver), through an archipelago of mountainous, treed islands was a regular occurrence – sometimes you could even spot whales!
The ferry passes through a grouping of islands called the Gulf Islands, and one of those islands is Salt Spring. Salt Spring Island is very small in comparison to the island I grew up on, with a tiny town, rolling hills of farmland, artisans, hippies, rocky beaches, and a very, very laid back lifestyle. (It’s a lovely place to vacation! You should go!)
Salt Spring Island has an incredible, incredible farmer’s market during the spring and summer – one of my favourite vendors is Salt Spring Kitchen, who sell artisanal preserves.
Last summer I picked up their Blueberry Basil Jam which has become a favourite to pair with a sharp cheddar cheese and cracker. The sweetness of the berries plays off a hint of refreshing basil – it’s a lovely sweet-savoury combination.
This pairing inspired me to re-create the same flavours in a Blueberry Basil Smoothie! I’ve added fresh basil leaves to a classic blueberry smoothie, creating a refreshing twist in this healthy breakfast smoothie.
Are you team pancakes or team waffles?
Normally I’m team waffles. But these buttermilk pancakes are so light, fluffy, and smothered in the sweetest sticky triple berry drizzle that I may just change my mind…
Did you know that the term “flat as a pancake” has been around since 1611? (I hope you never had that terrible phrase directed at you!) Even our stone age ancestors were eating pancakes. It’s true.
Blueberry Brunch Cake is packed with juicy blueberries, a hint of lemon zest, and generously sprinkled with a crumbly brown sugar oat topping. Perfect for a brunch party!
I have a couple of friends in my life whom I have known since I was 8 years old. We grew up together attending the same elementary school and living blocks away from each other. We went from kids who loved playing “house” to teenagers who were obsessed with clothes and boys.
As high school hit, our paths diverged as we went to different schools and found new friendships, but we all kept tabs on each other; there always seemed to be one common friend who kept in touch with all of us.
And as we left high school and started college and university and jobs, we reunited in various ways and at various times, and, as young adults with semi-serious boyfriends, living in our first apartments, studying toward degrees, working part-time jobs, we all became friends again.
Fast forward ten years and we are now in stable jobs, working on a Masters degree, married, homeowners, living in different cities, and/or with kids in tow – all of us in very different phases of life.
We met up last weekend, driving out of town to our homeowner friend’s home, where she welcomed us with a roaring fireplace and homemade baking.
And even though we hadn’t seen each other since my wedding last August and for many months prior to that, we fell back into a comfortable rhythm, laughing and sharing together.
These Gluten-Free Lemon Blueberry Ricotta Muffins have pockets of bursty sweet blueberries enclosed in a moist, lemony fresh muffin.
Do you know one of my favourite things about summer? THE FRUIT.
I have a summer fruit addiction. I could consume my weight in fruit every day. My happiest moment this past week was finding a company who will ship me fresh stone fruits from the Okanagan (best fruit growing region out here on the west coast) straight to my door – today I received 10lbs of apricots! Mmmmm… now to decide what to do with them all.
I also just bought a giant box of blueberries from the market last weekend and have been devouring them all week – truly, there are only a handful left. I knew I had to whip up some blueberry muffins – because there’s nothing better than pockets of bursty sweet blueberries enclosed in a moist, lemony fresh muffin.