Friday, August 30, 2013

Blue on Blue

It should come as no surprise that I read a lot of food blogs...a lot.  I love seeing what other bloggers are cooking, where they find inspiration, read their stories, and see how they style their photos.  It inspires me...whether it's to try an ingredient I've never used or try my hand at their recipe.

One of the blogs that I read is Thibeault's Table.  I also follow them on Facebook.  Ann posts drool-worthy photos on both outlets and I love that on her blog header is the quote, 'Recipes are meant to be shared...'  It's true.  Think of all the recipes passed down generation to generation, from family to family, amongst friends, and now, over the expanse of the internet through blogs like yours truly, like Ann's, and like so many others.

Today's recipe comes from a post where Ann shared her favourite blueberry recipes.  I made the Blueberry Upside Down Cake and it was delicious!  Once again, the cake went into work with me and I came home with an empty pan.

For the record...I didn't change a damn thing on this recipe.  I used fresh blueberries and added the optional cinnamon, because I love cinnamon.

Blueberry Upside Down Cake
From Thibeault's Table, recipe from Canadian Living Magazine August 1983

1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
3/4 cup milk

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9 inch square cake pan with parchment, allowing paper to hang over edges.  Combine melted butter and brown sugar, then spread evenly over bottom of pan.  Spread blueberries over brown sugar mixture, then sprinkle lemon juice over berries.

Cream butter, gradually adding sugar and beat until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.  Alternately add dry ingredients and milk to creamed butter and sugar.  Spread batter evenly over blueberries.  Bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes in pan before turning cake onto plate.

Where this post title led me today...

...which will naturally lead me to this...

Friday, August 16, 2013

A Taste of Summer

If there are two foods that have Summer emblazoned across their tiny little foreheads, they are corn and tomatoes.  There is nothing like biting into a home-grown tomato.  This year I actually ate tomatoes that I grew right outside my front door.  There weren't many (two), but I did it!  I've also been lucky to be given tomatoes from a friend's garden.  And I've picked up a few heirlooms at the farmers' market here and there.

Corn makes me think of family cookouts, messy fingers, and butter sliding off the cob faster than you can bite into it.  I've grown to like corn more and more over the years.  I'm pretty much a purist eating it off the cob with nothing more than butter and a sprinkle of salt.  That's nostalgia more than anything else.  Though what I really dig these days is corn salsa, bringing together both corn and tomatoes in one dish.  Fresh flavours at the height of their season.  

Here in Los Angeles, every Saturday morning from 10am to noon, you can tune into KNX on the AM dial (yes, radio!) and listen to Melinda Lee do her show, 'Food News.'  She's been on the air for years and has years and years of experience in food.  I love listening to her.  She's engaging, educational, amusing, and full of information.  Each week her show has a theme and listeners are invited to call in to ask questions...any question dealing with food and not necessarily on that week's topic.  Last week's topic was, you guessed it, corn!   I went to her website and checked out the show topic's collection of recipes and made a riff on the corn salsa recipe she posted.  It's a recipe that comes together very quickly.  Just be sure to let it sit for at least an hour after you make it, so all the flavours can mingle.

Grill some chicken, tear it into a tostada with the chicken and the salsa and you have something really magical and full of Summer in each bite.

Corn Salsa
(Adapted from Melinda Lee's Roasted White Corn Salsa
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 cup cooked corn
1 small jalapeno, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
1/4 cup tomato, chopped
juice from one lime
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp parsley, minced

Mix all ingredients together in a bowl and stir well.  Set aside for at least an hour, letting flavours mingle and develop.