cherry-dutch-baby-1

I’m such a fan of the Dutch baby. We’ve always called it a puffed pancake – an eggy batter that puffs up all dramatically in the oven, like a Yorkshire pudding. It’s been too hot to have the oven on lately, and one day when it poured rain and the temperature dropped below 20, I cranked on the oven and used a half bowl of withering cherries as an excuse to make one.

cherry dutch baby 4

You can do a lot of things with a Dutch baby, but in basic terms you can bake the fruit into it, or put it into the bowl-shaped pancake after. Putting the fruit into the bottom of the pan first creates little pockets and holes where the fruit has steamed through; the edge still domes impressively, and the bottom is all lumpy with fruit. I have a few cast iron skillets, and this is a smaller one I tend to use when it’s just for two or three – I use a ratio of 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup flour for this size, and 3 eggs, 3/4 cup milk and 3/4 cup flour when I use my larger 9 or 10 inch skillets. Everything else stays the same – and to be honest, I never measure my fruit, or the butter and oil I cook it with.
Keep Reading »

0
Share

* This post was created with the support of Travel Alberta – thanks for helping me seek out and spread the word about all the delicious things in our province! We drove southeast to Medicine Hat just before the end of school, when we were all tired and in need of some time gazing out the window. This small town road trip thing, it’s a counterirritant. (I heard the word counterirritant recently, and have been wanting to use it.) The long (but not too long) drive, the slower pace, the new places to explore without the rush of the city. The parking meters, if any, that still take nickels and dimes, right downtown. The rivers and bridges and green spaces. We did what is starting to become our routine – checked into a hotel with a pool, and went to poke around town. And because there always seems to be a heat wave when we’re in Medicine Hat, we stopped at Swirls for ice creamContinue reading

13
Share

Blueberry ice cream 3

This post was created with the support of BC Blueberries (the title was too long to add Blog Flog!) – I’m a huge fan of blueberries from our next-door neighbours and as always, any words, thoughts and photos are my own.

I’m almost overwhelmed by the possibilities once BC blueberries arrive and make their way to my kitchen. They were a few weeks late this season, and I found myself missing them – the big, plump, juicy highbush berries we always have a bowlful on the counter to nibble from at this time of year. I toss them in batters and on waffles, make cobblers and crisps, tarts and grunkles, pile them on a bowl of plain yogurt and granola, muddle them in drinks (try a small handful in a mojito) and simmer them into jam. BC is the biggest highbush blueberry region in the world, and they’re Canada’s biggest fruit export.

Blueberry ice cream 4

I always buy more than I need, squirreling some away in the freezer for later in the year. If you, like me, are stocking up on BC blueberries while they’re here, they’re easy to freeze – just dump them loose and dry into freezer containers or ziplock storage bags and toss them into the freezer. If you’re using them in batters, pies and such, add them straight from the freezer – don’t thaw them first, or they’ll release all their juices and turn your batter purple. (Not that there’s really anything wrong with that.)

Blueberries
Keep Reading »

2
Share
,

Asian slaw

Thankfully in the midst of a near-daily Stampede fried food extravaganza, my fridge is full of greens. They grow so well here in Alberta at this time of year, and so that’s what my CSA box was full of when we picked it up this past weekend. Bok choy, rapini, gai lan (I think!) and other bags of greens we couldn’t quite identify but are nevertheless tasty. I chopped some of them up with the head of bok choy, which makes for a great salad in that one end is thick, watery and crunchy, like celery, and the other is dark and leafy – it’s like getting two veggies in one. I added some other greens, the entire bunch of cilantro, some chives from the garden and grated carrot to break up all that green, and doused it in an Asian-inspired vinaigrette made with oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger and garlic. (Lime would be good too.)

Blue Mountain Asian greens
Keep Reading »

1
Share
, ,

Funnel cakes 3

Early summer is fried dough season; in Calgary, the Stampede is here, and there are fairs and festivals everywhere offering up all manner of deep fried things and food on a stick. On the midway, I’ve always been semi-oblivious to funnel cakes, but have recently discovered how amazing they can be when you make them yourself. Which is a perfectly reasonable alternative to paying $7 for 7 cents’ worth of fried dough.

Funnel cakes 6

I mean, look at these. How could you not love a funnel cake? And they’re faster and easier to make than a batch of doughnuts.

Funnel cake 5

Funnel cakes are made out of essentially pancake batter, run through a funnel (easier than it sounds!) into hot oil, making squiggles and blobs – it’s all crispy bits, really. And although the classic way to serve them is warm, doused in icing sugar, I’ve discovered they make a fine sundae, and judging the best food on the midway last night, the winner in the savoury category was funnel cake poutine – a funnel cake sprinkled with icing sugar, topped with cheese curds and gravy.

Funnel cakes 2
Keep Reading »

2
Share

Frank Crownest

– This post was created in partnership with Travel Alberta – as always, all words, photos and explorations are my/our own. –

Crowsnest Pass has always been my sister’s camping destination of choice; I haven’t had much opportunity to head that deep into southwestern Alberta over the years, but when we decided to take the long way to the coast last summer, taking the windy highway 3 all the way along the US border to the Pacific ocean, we were reminded of how gorgeous the area is, how much we love driving through all the wind turbines, and how the small towns in that direction have a completely different flavour than anywhere else.

This was the most amazing scene, with the ranch and horse jumping ring and that mountain in the background that’s far more spectacular than I managed to capture – I couldn’t get the best shot with my phone in a moving car…

Crownsest Pass Ranch

There are two routes to Crowsnest Pass from Calgary, both an equal distance and equally worth taking – the great thing about this road trip is you can head down highway 2, through High River, Nanton, Claresholm and Fort MacLeod, and back home via the Cowboy Trail, including the Bar U Ranch and Longview, Black Diamond and Turner Valley. It’s about 2 1/2 hours each way – long enough to feel like a trip, but not long enough that anyone is going to get tired of driving.

Frank Slide 2

Before the townsites, you go through Frank, site of the Frank slide in 1903, when at 4:10 am, 82 million tonnes of limestone rock slid off Turtle Mountain onto the townsite below. I remember going on a field trip to the Frank slide in elementary school, and it stuck with me, imagining the tiny town and its people still under all that rubble.
Keep Reading »

6
Share

Fry bread 1

Bannock is bread in its most basic form – flour, baking powder, oil or lard, water – baked in the oven to supplement your morning coffee or evening stew, wound around a stick to cook over an open fire, or torn off in a ball and patted thin, then fried in lard or oil in a hot skillet until golden and crisp on both sides. It’s essentially a scone, only easier, and with a slightly more rugged chew.

I learned to make fry bread with a hole in the middle, in what I think might be the Blackfoot tradition – I say this only because the few times I’ve seen it made this way was by women from nations in the Blackfoot Confederacy – and I love how quickly and evenly the bread cooks in this flattened doughnut shape, without worry about it remaining doughy inside. The hot pan gives a quick crusty exterior without making you turn on the oven. And I’ve been known to mix up a batch of dough and cook a few fry breads at a time, saving myself having to resist eating the entire batch, with blueberry-rhubarb-saskatoon jam spiked with maple syrup.

Bannock over a fire
Keep Reading »

1
Share
, ,

broccoli rubble with egg

I’ve been staring at these photos for a good twenty minutes, wondering if I should bother sharing them – they don’t do the dish justice, partly because I left the broccoli on the stove a bit long while doing other things, and partly because mulched broccoli isn’t particularly photogenic. But it was delicious, and a totally different thing to do with broccoli.

I’ve been mildly obsessed with the concept of broccoli rubble since reading about it over at Deb’s – the rough chop of it, the quick sauté in garlicky oil, the shower of Parmesan. (And maybe because it sounds a lot like Barney Rubble?) I’ve always been drawn to just about any kind of grainy salad – I figured broccoli would hold up to chewy wheat berries quite well, and some salty crumbled feta, and lots of pepper, and a fried egg. I wish I had some walnuts to toast and toss on top. I devoured this thing, and I don’t regret it.
Keep Reading »

4
Share