Berries and pastry, the perfect combo.

Thanks to all the fresh local fruit at the markets there was a surge of pastry being made in our kitchen this weekend. First a peach galette filled with Michigan peaches from the Daley Center Farmers' Market using a recipe adapted from both Jacques Pépin, an internationally recognized French chef, and my favorite cookbook, Hooiser Mama Book of Pie.

This galette was devoured in a second, and so the flour once again came out to create a landing pad for the Illinois apricots offered at the Independence Park Farmers' Market.

Peach Galette

Peach Galette

The Apricot Tart was embellished with fresh blueberries and sliced almonds.

Apricot Tart

Apricot Tart

Cheese crackers!

I’ll be the first to admit this is a cheesy post, however it is an Imperial one! One of my favorite indulgences while visiting family in Vancouver is sharp cheddar cheese and Imperial is the brand that our family traditionally bought. I was gifted a “Costco-size portion” of Imperial on my last visit and decided to make something with it – cheese crackers! The crackers evolved into little appetizers adorned with Brie cheese, finely shredded aged Parmesan and even beef bacon from Publican Quality Meats.

If you ever get your hands on Imperial cheese, here’s the recipe:

1 – 250g MacLaren’s Imperial cheese

2 cups flour (I used a mixture of different varieties)

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2 sticks butter

3 dashes Worcestershire sauce 

4 dashes hot sauce

Mix ingredients together and roll into cylindrical shape. Wrap with parchment paper and chill for at least an hour. Remove from fridge, cut slices desired thickness (1/4") and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes at 375 degrees.


For Guinness sakes!

On March 17th we all have a little Irish in us and perhaps a little Guinness, too. That is if you eat Hoosier Mama's homemade french onion soup tarts! Hmmmm. The aroma of butter and onion combined with the sweet roasted maltiness of O'Guinness will make everyone want to join in a chorus of Danny Boy. Happy Saint Patrick's Day and beannacht do anois!


Pies, and more pies

Pies have always been interesting to me. I grew up in a household where everything was homemade. Store bought was not allowed and pies were no exception. However, I only thought that there was one type of pie --- raisin. It was not until we were served pie at a friend’s place that I realized pies came in all types of “flavors!"

That evening it was confirmed when my younger sister spoke up in disbelief, saying loudly “This is not pie, there are no raisins,” much to my mother’s embarrassment! We then started having a variety of fillings, although many were mixed with raisins.

I recently read an article on healthy foods that help lower blood pressure and bananas were listed because of their high potassium content. High potassium levels assist in relieving sodium so the benefit of eating bananas is that they help keep your salt levels down and lower blood pressure to boot.

Banana Cream Pie may not have been what the author of this health food article was intending but it worked for me! I recently received a “Hoosier Mama” pie cookbook and enjoy combining purposes, which also include something fun to shoot. I began by shooting bananas, which after shooting were repurposed into a pie. So here are a couple of photos for my portfolio of a healthy, tasty product, using a recent gift and fulfilling a work assignment.