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Roasted Bing Cherry Jam!

1. Use a cherry pitter to remove the pits from 1 lb of dark red cherries. I used organic Bing cherries fresh from the Edmonds Farmer’s Market.

2. Spread the cherries out on a rimmed baking sheet and roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes.

The cherries will soften and start to release their juices.

3. Remove the pan from the oven and pour about 1/2 cup of liquid into the pan and stir it around. I have used pomegranate juice and also red wine [shiraz-merlot-cab blend]. I bet you could use cranberry juice. Choose something that is full-bodied and tart/dry. Sprinkle a couple tablespoons of sugar over the fruit and stir it up. Taste a cherry in your sauce and make sure you like it! Optional: add 2 whole sprigs of fresh rosemary. I left them whole so that the would be easy to remove after cooking.

4. Put the pan back in the oven for another 20 minutes until the sauce is thick and the cherries are soft.

5. Remove the pan from the oven and use a potato masher to crush the cherries. Stir everything together, scraping up any cherry juices.

6.Transfer the cherry jam to a jar. Keep it sealed in the fridge, or process in canning jars in a water bath.

Blueberry Fried Hand Pies

I made a blueberry filling with fresh blueberries, lemon zest, honey, coconut sugar and tapioca starch. The tapioca gave it a gooey blueberry pie texture and the honey and coconut sugar lend a subtle sweetness. I was going for a sugar-free pie, and although it is missing a real sweetness, the blueberries shine through. The filling was chilled in the fridge when I made the pie crust. It is a typical shortening-based crust, which I think holds up a little better in the fryer. For baked hand pies, I use a butter or butter-lard combination for the crust.

I put a couple tablespoons of pie filling on rolled dough and then brushed a circle of water around my dollop of filling, folded the dough over and used a sharp knife to cut out a half-moon shape. I pressed down firmly around the filling to seal the edges of the dough. Then I moistened the top edge again with water and folded the dough up around the edge to “double-seal” it.

While the oil in my fryer was heating I put the pies on a parchment lined baking sheet and kept them chilled in the freezer.

They fried for about 4 minutes, until lightly golden and flaky. The filling is super-duper hot when they are done, so I let them rest on paper towels. I think I might dust them with powdered sugar, or serve them with sweetened whipped cream.

Carrots and Onions

This morning I went to the Saturday Farmer’s Market in Edmonds. I brought home some of these beautiful baby carrots and fresh Walla Walla onions.

I think they are best simply roasted so I put the on a sheet pan and slather them with olive oil and about a 1/4 teaspoon of each of the following: sea salt, ground cumin, cinnamon, dried thyme, garlic powder, chipotle chili powder, Thai chili flakes.

I let the vegetables sit and marinate at room temp for about 30 minutes and them roast them a 350 degrees for about 15 minutes or until tender.

Sometimes I will then drizzle the carrots with a little honey and heat them for about 5 more minutes.

I am serving these with chicken legs baked in an applewood BBQ sauce.

Violet Simple Syrup

This gorgeous simple syrup takes an afternoon [of waiting mostly] to create - and the results are worth it. Thanks to my friend Lori for sharing her magazine with me, and for magically finding the magazine in her purse after she had “lost it”. Because she had definitely… lost it.

This recipe comes from Country Gardens Spring 2014 magazine [from Better Homes and Gardens]. They say the violet syrup dates back centuries, referencing instructions from 1627.

First, you have to have a large amount of violets. Many people are lucky enough to have these wild, self-spreading violets growing about their yards and gardens. After I saw this recipe I treated my wild violets with great respect and it has paid off. I used sharp scissors to trim the blooms into a bowl. It takes some time to cut almost 3 cups of flowers.

Gently and thoroughly wash the flowers. I covered my bowl of violets with cold water and then stirred them around with my fingers. I let them sit for a few minutes so the dirt and bugs would separate. Drain the water/dirt/bugs.

Use a vegetable peeler to strip the zest [no pith] from a large lemon. Put the violets and zest into a heatproof bowl and pour 3/4 cup of boiling water over them. Stir them down into the water, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for at least 3 hours.

Pour the violet water through a fine mesh sieve into a 2 qt pan. Press down with a spoon to extract the liquid. Discard the flowers & lemon. Stir 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon light corn syrup into the violet water. Bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to a gentle boil. Cook without stirring for 4 minutes.

Allow the syrup to cool. Pour into clean, sterilized jars. Store sealed in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

Makes about 1 1/4 cups syrup.

Paleo Curious?

I love this Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe using almond butter and small amount of tapioca flour. The cookies are lofty and light with a great nutty flavor. Use dark chocolate, or omit it and stir in unsweetened cocoa powder.

From Whole Lifestyle Nutrition

http://wholelifestylenutrition.com/recipes/dessert/paleo-chocolate-chip-cookies-or-scones-recipe/

If you are wondering how you would survive without eating grains, and are fairly certain you would perish without at least one cookie during the week, give this recipe a try to set your mind at ease.

I found that snacking on one of these cookies when I feel low-energy is a quick and lasting boost.

Olives marinating in oranges, chili flakes, garlic, ginger, and cardamom. These taste better each and every day.

Olives marinating in oranges, chili flakes, garlic, ginger, and cardamom. These taste better each and every day.

Are you looking for an elegant dessert recipe that is also 100% raw and vegan and delicious? (You aren’t? You must not live on the West coast!) We at TaB have been fans of cashew cream for a while now. It is so easy to make and it is a great dairy-free replacement for a creamy sauce. Try it!

Are you looking for an elegant dessert recipe that is also 100% raw and vegan and delicious? (You aren’t? You must not live on the West coast!) We at TaB have been fans of cashew cream for a while now. It is so easy to make and it is a great dairy-free¬†replacement for a creamy sauce. Try it!

Fresh from scratch monkey bread! Caramel-y goodness any day of the week, but best on Sunday morning for sure.

Fresh from scratch monkey bread! Caramel-y goodness any day of the week, but best on Sunday morning for sure.

Keep whole coriander seeds in the kitchen. You can add it to almost anything. Crush seeds before adding to a marinade or toast in a dry pan over low heat until fragrant. Grind whole seeds with a mortar & pestle and the aroma will transport you.

Keep whole coriander seeds in the kitchen. You can add it to almost anything. Crush seeds before adding to a marinade or toast in a dry pan over low heat until fragrant. Grind whole seeds with a mortar & pestle and the aroma will transport you.

Turkey pot pie with broccoli & roasted garlic. Your lunch box will thank you for the left-overs.

Turkey pot pie with broccoli & roasted garlic. Your lunch box will thank you for the left-overs.