Strawberry Balsamic Compote with Basil Scones

Strawberry balsamic shortcake with basil honey scones and honey whipped cream

I sampled this delicious strawberry-balsamic compote at the farmer’s market a few weeks back and I knew I had to make it.  And because I like to bite off more than I can chew and over complicate things, I added it to strawberry shortcake.   I made scones for the shortcake part, which usually works out wonderfully.  The idea of using honey and basil in the scones got into my head this time and I couldn’t get it out, but I forgot the golden rule of substitutions in baking: keep the proportions of wet and dry ingredients the same.  Continue reading

Strawberries Have Arrived in Eastern Ontario! Along with Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberry rhubarb pie with Red Fife crust and lattice top, straight from the ovenFinally! After hearing folks in Southern Ontario and elsewhere mentioning strawberries for a few weeks now, local strawberries arrived at local farmer’s markets this past weekend. In my mind, summer is not really here until local strawberries arrive. The market in Westboro even had tastings of a few different strawberry-filled concoctions – the Strawberry-Balsamic Compote with goat cheese on crostini was my favourite. They all tasted like summer. I recreated it last night, made into a quasi strawberry shortcake with basil and Red Fife scones and honey whipped cream. A post on that coming soon! Continue reading

Red Fife Maple Walnut Pancakes with Sliced Strawberries

Red Fife Maple Walnut Pancakes with StrawberriesWe’ve been hit by a snow/ice storm today, and I am lucky to have the option to work from home.  I take transit, so commuting to work wasn’t so much of a concern, but I did already put away my winter parka and boots, and I’m stubborn and don’t want to get them out again on principle.  Silly, I know!  I treated myself this gloomy morning to these delicious and healthy pancakes.  I’m generally not a fan of pancakes (I know, that’s sacrilegious to some) but I really liked these.  The Red Fife, flax and walnuts added lots of flavour and texture.  And I’ve had a thing for strawberries lately, my impatience for spring produce is growing!  Continue reading

Strawberry Banana Red Fife Muffins with Flax, and some thoughts about wheat

Strawberry Banana Flax Muffins 2My Naturopath gave me this recipe which originally called for almond flour as she suggested it’s a good idea in general to reduce wheat intake.  I’ve read a lot about the wheat-free debate (including the book Wheat Belly) as well as much of the criticism against it (Paleofantasy, a criticism of the Paleo diet as opposed to only wheat, was just released and I’m curious to read it) but I’m still undecided as to how to how I feel about the whole thing.  Davis puts forth some very convincing arguments in Wheat Belly making it appear that once you eliminate wheat, all your problems are solved and life gets so much better. Continue reading

Sunday Baking: Strawberry Apple Crisp

I’ve gotten into the habit of baking something each Sunday since the weather has started to turn cold, so I’m going to see how long I can keep it up for.  I’m not an overly accomplished baker, but I would really like to be!  I’m hoping this personal challenge will get me there.

Today’s baking was my first attempt at making apple crisp (or any sort of crisp) – and it was SO easy!  It’s like a pie, but without a bottom crust.  One less step!  It probably took me 20 minutes, max,  to put it all together while dinner was cooking, then I popped it in the oven and we had a warm, delicious dessert to savour fresh from the oven after dinner.  Amazing and so simple.

I wouldn’t have thought that strawberries were in season this time of year, but lo and behold I saw several stalls displaying them at the farmer’s market this past Saturday (and it’s a local farmers only market)!  Who knew?  I had been planning to make another apple dessert, but when I saw the strawberries, I knew I had to add them as well.  But… they were a little pricey.  So that’s why there are more apples than strawberries.

1/2 cup rolled oats
2/3 cup Red Fife flour (more on Red Fife here, but you can also use whole wheat flour)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup butter, cut into cubes
2 cups sliced strawberries
3 cups sliced apples
1 tsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

Directions

1. Slice apples and strawberries and mix in a 9 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice.

2. In a food processor, combine oats, flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Pulse to combine.  Add vanilla and butter, process until a crumbly texture forms.  (If you don’t have a food processor, you can just mix them together.  Using softened butter will help.)

3. Sprinkle crumb topping over fruit.

4. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes. (I accidentally left mine in for an hour… it turned out fine, but the fruit was extra mushy.  I so I suggest reducing the cooking time if you want firmer fruit, and lengthening it if you prefer the fruit to cook down more.)