A Taste of Blueberries {Recipes}

There's something about summertime that makes you want to eat fresh fruit. And this summer is no different.  In my refrigerator I have a fresh pineapple, some nectarines, a pear or two, and of course blueberries!  There was a sale at Aldi's recently and I grabbed three pints of those precious berries before even thinking, "What am I going to actually make?"

I checked Pinterest first and then went through my normal online surfing before deciding what I would do.  Below you will find my final choices.

{Blueberry Pancakes}
(about 5-7 pancakes)

1 c Bisquick
1 egg
1/2 c unsweetened Almond Milk (vanilla flavored)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
fresh or frozen blueberries

Combine all of the ingredients together, except the blueberries, in a mixing bowl.  Mix well.  In a hot, greased skillet pan or griddle, spoon out 1/4 cup of the pancake batter.  Then add the blueberries on top of the batter.  When bubbles have formed around the edges and the batter is almost set in the middle of the pancake, flip it over and cook the other side.  Be careful not to overcook the pancake so that it won't become a rubbery, blubbery mess.  Plus you don't want the blueberries to seep through and burn in the pan.

Qs.  Why is it that the first two pancakes are always ugly, although they taste just fine?

{Banana Blueberry Quickbread}
(1 loaf)

To view the original recipe, click here.  To see my mods, keep on reading.

3/4 c of blueberries
1 c sugar
1 5/8 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 mashed ripe bananas
1/2 c quick cooking oats
2 eggs
1/4 c applesauce
1/4 canola oil

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Flour and grease a loaf pan (or do like I did and spray the pan with a Baker's spray).  In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, applesauce, and canola oil.  Beat with hand mixer.  Stir in the baking soda and salt.   Then add the oats and all-purpose flour.  Stir well to blend ingredients.  In a separate bowl, roll blueberries in 2 T of all-purpose flour (that's the 1/8 c missing from the usual 2 c of flour).  Fold the blueberries into the bread batter.  Pour the batter into the greased pan.  Bake for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

*Don't do like I did and mistakenly use baking powder instead of baking soda.  That's what I get for baking early, early in the morning.  lol

{Gluten-Free Blueberry Jam}
(Makes 1 pint or 2 cups)

With two of the pints of blueberries, I decided to make this really simple jam.  No, I've never made jam of any kind before, but with only 4 ingredients, I really couldn't resist this recipe.  Since this is an original recipe of the blogger and I didn't make any modifications, I didn't post her recipe.  You can follow my pinned image to get to her recipe or you can click right here.

I really love those jars like the one in the above image, but I couldn't find one in the smallest size at the last minute so I used half-pint Mason jars.  That way I could keep one and gift one. 

One for me and one for Lauren

Blueberry Jam on Banana Blueberry Oat Bread.  That's not too much blueberry, right?  Never!

Makes you want to lick the spoon, doesn't it?

Aldi's was selling the blueberries for $0.99 a pint, I only spent $3 on the fruit and most of the other ingredients I had on hand.  These blueberries have been a long ways.  And now I have just enough left to make a single parfait.  Good deal!

Now, if I can get my hands on one more pint, I'm seriously making this tart - I've got everything, but the berries.

ETA:  I gave my mom some slices of the bread and some jam and she kept telling me she couldn't wait to try my dessert.  I kept telling her it wasn't dessert just bread and jam.  You know what that woman did?  Put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the bread, drizzled it with jam, and ate it like a dessert.  She said it was delish.  Guess she just really wanted a "dessert".

I've been featured!

Until I find the next set of berries....

I may be linked up to the following parties:

The Birthday Giveaway

No, no, this isn't my up-coming giveaway that I promised you.  And no, it's not my birthday (you'll have to wait until September for that remarkable day).  But rather, Melissa Rose of 20 Going on 80 is hosting her blog's 1st Birthday giveaway!  Melissa is a super talented graphic designer with such clean and fresh design ideas that you won't be able to resist.  I mean, whose blog or Etsy shop or Facebook page couldn't use a pick-me-up?  I know mine sure could.

So head on over to 20 Going on 80 and enter this giveaway.  Now, there are 17 ways that you can enter this giveaway, but for all that could be yours, it's really not asking too much.

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Here are the prizes:
One custom blog design valued at $225.00 (using the Blogger Platform)
(2) $25 Gift Certificates to Melissa's Graphic Design Studio
(1) Large Sponsor Spot for 30 days (Sidebar only) valued at $20

That's just about $300 of giveaway goodness!

Giveaway post here.

Head on over and make your presence known.  On your mark, get ready, set....Go!

Good Luck,

Calling All Activists: Helping La Peña's Mural Campaign


Do you remember Robert Trujillo?  He was one of my featured artists.  He's also a part of a collective group called Trust Your Struggle that is embarking upon a wonderful community project - to breathe new life into the Berkeley-Oakland mural, originally known as “Song of Unity: Cancion de la Unidad”.

The original mural, painted in 1978, is beyond repair. So this group of artists will be working collaboratively with the original muralists and La Peña Cultural Center to create a new one. The group has only 6 days left to raise the funds to make this project happen.

For more information about the fund raising campaign please visit:  Indiegogo Campaign launched May 25th, continuing until July 2nd.

On the abovementioned site, you will find out how you can financially help this cause as well as how you can spread the word to others.  I've given them my financial support. Would you consider doing the same?

I'll leave you with the words of La Peña's Indiegogo fundraising campaign coordinator, Manuel Alonso, "Changing the street view of La Peña with a new mural will spark new interest in the neighborhood, and in us, as we continue to be a welcoming center for progressive communities to come together, and artists to teach and develop their message. Murals have the power to change communities. The legacy of La Peña, as a home and a hub for cultural activism continues with each new generation."

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Peace and Love,

Life as I Know It - Weekly Update #10

You know I can't stay away from you too long without letting you know a little of what's going on (or not going on).  :-)

The quick run-down:

In these few last days, I've been...


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and doing a little cleaning
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and napping

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and doing a little furniture project

and napping

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and looking at my herb garden grow

and cooking

Curry Chicken with Rice & Peas

Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken with Potatoes and Carrots

and napping

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and having a root canal

and reading a book

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This book is so amazing.  It tells the life stories of three doctors growing up in inner city of New Jersey and how they were able to form a friendship pact that helped them get through high school, college, and medical school.  It is a phenomenal life story that I can't wait to share with my students in the fall.  This is the junior version of the book, The Pact.

and preparing for my 1000th post giveaway (yeah, apparently I've had a lot to say)

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and, did I mention napping?
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Yeah, it's pretty hot around here, plus I guess my body's catching up for that year's worth of teaching.  :-)

Be back soon,

Happy Father's Day, Daddy - Jamaican Style

If you recall, on Mother's Day, I cooked my Mom a special dinner, so when Father's Day came around, you know I couldn't do any less.  Unfortunately, our schedules weren't aligned and I wasn't able to cook my Dad dinner on Father's Day, so I offered him an I.O.U. which he gladly accepted.

After discovering the Cook Like a Jamaican YouTube channel, I decided that my Dad was going to have to try a different cuisine, at least for one night.  My Dad's the type of man who loves food, will try new dishes, but in the end he'll still ask for a piece of good ol fashioned fried chicken.

For him, I decided to make Brown Stew Chicken served over basmati rice with a tossed salad.

Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken

Now although I planned not to alter these newly found Jamaican recipes, I couldn't help it with this one because there was something I wanted from the two recipes I found:  Winter One Pot - Brown Stew Chicken by Caroline Arliss and How to Cook Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken by Fay DeLeon.  The first one used white and sweet potatoes as well as carrots, but I loved the second recipe as well...so I combined them.  In the end, my stew was more the consistency of Caroline's stew, with the flavors of Fay's.

From this recipe I used carrots, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, allspice (but I ground the whole dried berries with my mortar and pestle), and broth. I used low sodium vegetable broth. Also, because I didn't have the hot pepper sauce mentioned in the second video, I did as Caroline suggested and put a habañero pepper in the pot, unchopped. However, because my Dad doesn't like too much spicy foods, I allowed the pepper to remain in the pot for about half of the cooking time.

I seasoned and marinated my chicken according to the recipe below.  I also did everything in this video with the exception of the few ingredient add-ins mentioned above.

For those of you who might be concerned that this is a spicy dish, let me ease your mind and tell you that it is not. It has a hint of sweetness that is due to the allspice, the brown sugar, and the sweet potatoes. This is definitely a dish going into rotation. If we ever get snow next winter, I'll be sure to make this. Then I can be sure to get my crochet on while the stew simmers. :-)

Buen Provecho, 

I may be linked up to the following parties: