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Posts Tagged ‘blueberries’

My summer vacation is quickly coming to an end. Tomorrow I’m heading back into work to prepare my classroom for the new school year.

Last year I had 18 students but this year I’ll only have 12. A good number for grouping. Another benefit of such a small class is that my classroom will seem much larger. I’m looking forward to reorganizing the furniture in the classroom. Once I’m all set up, I promise to share photos.

I’m a bit behind sharing recent recipes so thought I’d do a one off of recipes I’ve been enjoying lately.

Here goes!

Puffed Amaranth

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I first heard of amaranth when I was in college. I babysat for the family that began Nu-World Foods, one of the first companies to introduce amaranth to the American market. I was instantly interested in their business and was eager to try their products. Time passed and amaranth went to the wayside for me due to availability abroad.

Well, things have changed and I can now buy puffed amaranth in Germany. I’ve been enjoying it with plain yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast. It is light and fluffy but packs some staying power. If you haven’t tried amaranth, give it a try!

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes

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Mmm… blueberry buttermilk pancakes! I made these pancakes while my friend Katie was visiting. The fruit syrup was simply made by heating fresh blueberries and strawberries together until they stewed in their juices. 

Buttermilk Pancakes with Peaches

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Pancakes were the main breakfast food while Katie was here. These buttermilk pancakes were great topped with fresh peaches and maple syrup. Delicious!

Roasted Green Bean Potato Salad

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This was one delicious dinner! I followed Kath’s recipe for roasted tofu potato salad. The only changes I made were to add roasted chickpeas and leave out the bacon (obviously.)

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When making this recipe again, I’ll probably leave out the tofu and stick to chickpeas for my protein. This creamy, warm salad is a must try!

Veggie Noodle Stir-Fry

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This is really a bit of a cheat meal… but it was good enough that I ate it twice in the last two weeks. I stir-fried broccoli, a leek, carrots and mushrooms then tossed in a packet of “stir-fry seasoning” before adding the cooked noodles. Oh so comforting and easy!

Caprese Baked Egg Cups

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My baked egg cups turned out nothing like Jessica’s in looks, but based on the taste, I’d say they met her mark. This recipe was beyond easy, ready for the oven in about 2 minutes. I used halloumi cheese rather than mozzarella, chopped tomato rather than cherry tomatoes and milk rather than cream; this probably explains why my baked eggs turned out like ugly ducklings, but I tell you, even with these substitutions, the flavor was fantastic!

Aloo Gobi Mashed Indian Cauliflower

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I had a head of cauliflower that needed to be used up from last Friday’s CSA box. This recipe was the perfect fit; fast, warm and subtly spicy.

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I ate my aloo gobi with fresh, plain yogurt. It might sound strange, but the cool worked with the heat. I’m glad I have leftovers of this mash!

So there you have it! A few of the wonderful recipes I’ve been enjoying the past couple of weeks.

I recommend you give them a try.

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Over the last few weeks, strawberries have burst into season in Germany.

The tiny fruit stand down the road has once again set-up-shop, ready to share the bounty of their berries.

As I approached the stand last week, the smell of strawberries was so pungent, I felt like I was walking through the fields.

In honor of the fresh spring strawberries and their very compatible  blueberry friends, I made a delicious vegan tart.

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The crust was a simple combination of almond meal, maple syrup, coconut oil, salt and almond extract.

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After heating the maple syrup, coconut oil, and salt together over medium-low heat, I added the almond extract then poured the warm mixture over the almond meal.

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Simply fold the mixture until well incorporated then press into an oiled tart pan. P5076197

This crust is baked for 15 minutes before adding the filling.

Speaking of the filling…

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The filling ingredients are apple juice (I used Weber,) cornstarch, maple syrup, lemon juice, almond extract, lemon zest, salt, blueberries and strawberries.

P5076193Half of the apple juice is whisked together with the cornstarch then set aside.

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The mixture will look quite milky.

From here on out, I didn’t take any pictures, but the next step is to cook together the remaining apple juice and zest, maple syrup, lemon juice, almond extract and salt until it simmers.

After that, stir in half of the berries and cook until they release their juices before reducing the heat and adding the cornstarch mixer while continuing to whisk.

Once the mixture is thick, fold in the remaining berries and place the mixture in the prepared crust. Spread evenly, cover and refrigerate until set.P5076204

Delicious, fresh and spring-like!

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Mixed Berry Tart

Adapted from Clean Start by Terry Walters

Crust

2 cups almond meal

2 Tablespoons maple syrup

1 Tablespoon coconut oil

pinch of sea salt

1 teaspoon almond extract

Filling

1 cup apple juice

2 and 1/2 Tablespoons cornstarch

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 Tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

zest of 1 lemon

pinch of sea salt

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 cup fresh strawberries

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 F and lightly oil a 9-inch tart pan with coconut oil.
  2. To prepare the crust, combine maple syrup, coconut oil and salt in a small skillet and heat over medium-low hear, whisking continuously until the oil is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the almond extract.
  3. Place the almond meal in a large bowl and pour the syrup mixture over top, folding to incorporate the ingredients.
  4. Press the dough into the prepared tart pan and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove crust from the oven and press down any bubbly areas of the crust. Cool the crust on a wire rack.
  5. To prepare the filling, whisk together 1/2 cup apple juice and the cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine the remaining 1/2 cup apple juice with the maple syrup, lemon juice and zest, almond extract and salt. Bring the mixture to a simmer then add 1/2 a cup of both the strawberries and blueberries. Stir the mixture until the berries release their liquid.
  6. Reduce the heat and whisk in the cornstarch mixture. Continue to whisk until the liquid thickens up. Remove from the heat and gently fold in the remaining berries.
  7. Pour the mixture into the prepared crust, cover and refrigerate until the filling is set, at least 1 hour.

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At the moment, the children at my school are involved in many activities to raise money for the flood victims in Pakistan.

Naturally, the teachers are in on the fundraising as well.

Today was our school’s Welcome Back BBQ.

Parents bring dishes to share, the PTA buys the sausages and beer, and the teachers usually just show up and eat.

This year, we decided to hold a cake sale. We sold cake raffle tickets and the winners were able to take home the cake.

I donated two of my favorite cakes.

Lexie’s Healthy Carrot Cake and Healthy Chocolate Blueberry Cake with Coconut and Chocolate Glaze.

I was up early this morning and baked the cakes for the afternoon BBQ.

Here’s a walk through of the process.

Visit the links for the full recipes.

Lexie’s Healthy Carrot Cake

Made 1 double-layered cake and 12 cup cakes

P9049022P9049023 P9049026  P9049028 P9049030 P9049033 P9049034 P9049040 P9049051 P9049053 P9049054 P9049058 I don’t have a photo of the final product. The frosting was really runny this time. I felt like it was a complete flop and was quite upset, but in the end it turned out ok.

Healthy Chocolate Blueberry Cake with Coconut and Chocolate Glaze

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I was worried that the carrot cake wouldn’t sell due to it’s runny appearance, but amazingly, both cakes were gone within 5 minutes of hitting the table. One of the assistants offered so much money, she was allowed to bypass the raffle altogether.

My two cakes helped to send and extra €50 to Pakistan.

That’s $65.

You see, this assistant is a new Grandmother and tomorrow she’ll be serving these cakes to her extended family as they welcome the new baby into the family.

I hope the cakes satisfy the needs of her family and the money helps to feed other hungry families in Pakistan.

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I don’t know if it’s my subconscious saying, “you have to go back to work soon so take full advantage of your vacation days,” or what, but I slept in again today… to am embarrassing 10:00 am.

Needless to say, breakfast also served the purpose of lunch.

Luckily it was filling and delicious!

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Vegan Blueberry Pancakes

Makes 8 pancakes

Ingredients

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 cup spelt flour

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1 1/2 cup soy milk

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 Tbsp. raw sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 Tbsp. ground flax seed

1 cup fresh blueberries

Method

  1. Whisk together the flours, cornstarch, baking powder and salt.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, combine the soy milk, coconut oil, and sugar. Microwave for 1-2 minutes or until the coconut oil is melted. Whisk together then incorporate the vanilla and flax to the liquid ingredients.
  3. Carefully pour the wet ingredients into the dry while whisking. Mix together until combined, the mixture may be a bit lumpy, but that’s ok. Gently fold in the blueberries.
  4. Preheat a non-stick skillet for at least 2 minutes then pour 1/4 cup of the batter onto the skillet. Cook until bubbles begin form in the middle and the edges are set then flip and cook the other side.

Tomorrow, my job as a teacher officially resumes.

To be honest, I’m excited to go back. I really miss being around kids and look forward to jumpstarting my creativity once again.

All day today, I did school-prep work on the computer. I also planned 2 new bulletin board displays that I’m really excited about. I’ll show you guys the finished product in a week or two.

Around 4 o’clock I was hungry again but didn’t want to eat anything too heavy before going to the gym, so I sliced up an apple to eat with a beautiful heap of peanut butter.

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It has been raining all day today so getting out of the apartment and going to the gym took quite a bit of personal encouragement. But as they say, you never regret a workout, you only regret skipping one! This is true.

Once home, it was time to really feed my hungry body.

You’ve got to love a good stir fry!

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No recipe here, but the veggies included 1/4 block smoked tofu, 1 carrot, 1 small zucchini, 3 mushrooms, 1/2 red pepper, 1/2 red chili pepper, 2 small cloves of garlic, a nub of ginger and 1/4 red onion. The sauce was just soy sauce, agave nectar and a splash of orange juice.

Ok, I guess that is kind of a recipe. Oh well.

So, I’m off to bed, wish me luck tomorrow as the teachers all gather back together. This will certainly be a productive week before the kiddies return!

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Within the depths of my little laptop, I hold a Holy Grail of sorts.

This most-valuable document is protected by an external hard drive, network accessibility, and multiple flash drives.

Daily I visit this baby of mine, feeding it, cleaning it and dispensing loving comments.

Such great care is given to the document of all documents, my Recipe Wish List.

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Currently 22 pages long, my Recipe Wish List contains the name, photo, and link for 173 recipes. 173 recipes from fellow bloggers. Some which I’ve already tried and other that I still dream of reincarnating.

They are the recipes that make me drool on my keyboard.

Force me to question a lifestyle of complete and udder gluttony.

The recipes that make me want to lock myself in the kitchen and never come out.

The best of the bloggers’ best. That’s what makes it into the Recipe Wish List.

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Today was a cold and rainy day in Germany.

If you were a cat, it would be the perfect day to sit and watch the rain.

After heading to the gym early this morning and being back home by 1, my agenda was free.

What is a girl to do with a free afternoon and evening?

I could do laundry.

I could vacuum.

I could take down the garbage and recycling.

I could do a lot of things, but what I really wanted to do was tackle the Recipe Wish List.

Today I made 4 amazing recipes from 4 talented bloggers

My day of wishes coming true started with dessert, naturally.

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Healthy Chocolate-Blueberry Cake

Adapted from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen

  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour (white whole wheat preferred)
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground chia seeds or flax seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 banana, per Angela’s recommendation *
  • 1/ 4 tsp. vanilla extract
  • coconut oil for greasing
  • 1 cup blueberries to garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. In a medium bowl, mix flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, chia (or flax) and salt. In blender, combine water, 1/2 cup blueberries, banana, vanilla and balsamic vinegar and blend until smooth.
  2. Make a well in the dry ingredients.  Add the syrup and the blueberry mixture. Stir until completely mixed.  Pour into an oiled 9-inch round cake pan.
  3. Bake 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely before inverting onto serving platter.

* Note, the extra moisture from the banana was great, but three was a slight banana taste. Next time I’ll use about 1/3 cup of apple sauce.

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Chocolate Glaze

Adapted from Oh She Glows

  • 100 grams dark chocolate, shaved or 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 Tbsp. coconut oil
  1. Combine the chocolate and oil in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds on high. Stir and microwave for 30 seconds more, or until chocolate is melted and creamy.
  2. Pour glaze over the cooled cake, allow to partially harden then top with blueberries.

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I just love the feel of a sharp knife shaving through a block of chocolate!

This recipe produced much more glaze than I needed… so I also made chocolate covered almonds and raisins with the remaining glaze!

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Cake Verdict

Wow! This cake was dense, moist, decadent, and indeed dainty. The chocolate coconut glaze made it. I would serve this cake to anyone, vegan or otherwise, with confidence that they too would love it. This combination is definitely a keeper!

 

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Baked Sweet Potato Falafel

Adapted from Bran Appétit

  • 3 sweet potatoes, cooked and peeled
  • 1 can lentils, drained and rinsed (I didn’t have chickpeas)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax
  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Mash sweet potatoes with chickpeas in a food processor.
  3. Add in seasonings and flax and mash again until the mixture sticks together.
  4. Spray baking sheet or line with foil. Use two spoons and the “cookie method” to make 1” balls and place on baking sheet.
  5. Brush or spray with olive/canola oil.
  6. Bake 25-30 minutes.
  7. Let cool on baking sheet 5 minutes.
  8. Serve!

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Yes, I will be using this pillow case tonight. The incredible, buttery smell will certainly leave me with visions of pita bread dancing in my head.

Homemade Whole Wheat Pita Bread

Adapted from Just Hungry

  • 1/2 block fresh yeast *
  • 250ml warm water (A U.S. cup plus a bit)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white bread flour (
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Equipment needed:

  • a non-stick frying pan or two
  • lids to fit the pans
  • mixing bowl
  • clean washed pillow case

* Note on Yeast: I’m miserable with active dry yeast, but fresh yeast and I are buddies. For more information on fresh yeast, visit this website. My grocery store carries the blocks of yeast in the refrigerator section near yogurt.

  1. Mix together the yeast and sugar with the back of a spoon until the crumbles of yeast turn to liquid. Dissolve the yeast mixture in warm water.
  2. Mix together the flours and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the liquid gradually, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Add the oil, and as soon as it’s formed a ball start to knead. Knead until smooth and pliable.
  3. Put the dough ball in a clean bowl covered with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until more than doubled in bulk.
  4. After the dough has risen, punch it down and knead again. Cut into 8 to 12 equal pieces. Round off each piece into a smooth ball, and leave, covered with a damp cloth or plastic, to rest for about 10 minutes, on a floured surface. (This resting time the author finds is critical for the successful formation of the pocket inside the pita.)
  5. Flatten the balls with your hand or a rolling pin to your desired diameter. Let rest again for a few minutes so that the dough balls ‘relax’.
  6. Heat up one or more non-stick frying pans, over medium heat.
  7. Take a flattened ball and put in a hot frying pan. Cover with a lid or large piece of aluminum foil. Leave for about 2-3 minutes, until it puffs up. Flip over and cook for another 2-3 minutes on the other side. Some will puff more than others – don’t worry if the puffing is minimal, you can still use it.
  8. Take out of the pan and immediately put into the pillow case. Close up the pillow case. This allows the pita to cool in a somewhat closed environment, so the surface is sort of pliable rather than crispy and brittle. Repeat for the rest of the dough.

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Sandwich Verdict

Again, wow. The pita bread is so incredibly simple and absolutely spot-on. The smell alone is enough to make me devote my life to pita making. I agree with what the author said about this recipe taking a lot of time, but not being time consuming. Bread takes time, but the actual hands-on demand of this recipe is next to none. The falafel turned out fantastic, even with the lentil substitution. Flavorful, exotic yet slightly sweet. I will use the little balls on salads and sandwiches all week. This was so good, I called Sebastian and told him to come home hungry. I already have one waiting for him! I ate my sandwich with horseradish hummus, cucumber, tomato, and sprouts.

There is something so gratifying about recreating a recipe that a “friend” somewhere else in the world created; adding my own taste and personality to something that is already outstanding.

Do you keep a Recipe Wish List or something similar?

If creating 4 amazing recipes wasn’t enough, my day of wishes coming true was made even more magical when I received a box from my mom!

I’ve told you before that when living abroad, there’s nothing better than receiving a card or package from home.

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Today’s loot included: a shirt and sunglasses I forgot when I was back at Easter, stamp sets and a stamp pad (one of my mom’s many hobbies is being a Stampin’ Up! demonstrator), a beautiful homemade quilt runner (my mom is very crafty and talented), 2 new plates, bookmarks, clippings from the local newspaper, an article about my main musician, Tom Petty, and photos from my friend’s wedding that I was unable to attend.

Thanks Mom, you’re the best!

This has been a great day!

I hope your Monday was equally as wonderful!

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The sky may have been cloudy and threatening rain, but the Live Art Market in Remagen carried on!

More than 200 artists from all over Europe transformed the streets of the historic town of Remagen into a living art gallery.

Breakfast powered me through the day, allowing me to manage the crowds and take in all the sights, smells, and sounds of the LebensKunstMarkt.

Wheat toast with almond butter and a fruit salad topped with poppy seed marzipan yogurt.

Fresh blueberries, strawberries, cherries and the most delicious yogurt.

Part of the market was organized by geographical regions.

For example, the French region included soaps, breads, cheese, salami, and hand-painted pottery

Not the best photo of their products, but I loved the patchwork flags so much that I bought a hunk of fresh goat’s cheese from this stand.

How cute is this apron?


Could have spent a month’s salary on ribbon at this stall.

I bought a pot of cilantro and rosemary for the balcony garden.

I spotted one of my colleagues and her husband along the Rhine. They are such a cute couple.

This waffle was as good as it looks.

This church reminded me of Hogwarts from Harry Potter.

I had a great time at the market, ate tons of free samples, oohed and ahhed over a bajillion pieces of jewelry and artwork, and generally enjoyed the day out.

Although I’m sad to be away from my family on Father’s Day, I’m so glad to be living in this beautiful part of the world!

Here’s one last Father’s Day photo. I love you, Dad!

Proud parents at my graduation.

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Man, I don’t know what it is, but I have been tired all day!

Luckily, I had fresh fruit and oatmeal to pull me out of bed.

Cook together

1/3 cup oats

1/3 cup skim milk

1/3 cup water

Shredded coconut

1/2 banana

dash of cinnamon, salt and vanilla

Top with

Doll-up of Greek yogurt, 3 strawberries, handful of blueberries, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, cinnamon, shredded coconut, ground hemp seeds and ground flax

Served with a cup of green tea, this is one of my favorites!

Work today was uneventful. Fun, productive, busy and exhausting. Oh, there was cake though. Yay for a colleague’s birthday!

Lunch was an un-photographed repeat of last night’s dinner. Once I was home, I held a food photo shoot in preparation for a guest blog I’m putting together for later this week. I think it’s only fair that you get a preview.

You will be seeing this again…

Dinner was a traditional German fare. Knödel, red cabbage with apples and mushrooms in a cream sauce. More details to come in the next few days!

My favorite German dinner with my favorite German man!

That’s going to do it for me on this exhausting day. Have a great hump-day tomorrow!


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