There’s just something about blueberries and cornmeal..

To me it seems a random combination, but it just works. And I had to come back for more. Having a half-empty (or half-full) pan of my blueberry cornmeal coffee cake that I’ve been nibbling on the past few days was not enough. No, I had to make pancakes! Blueberry cornmeal cakes, which I stumbled across on this blog, Scaling Back. Mmmm, those pictures just got me.

These guys were good. So light and fluffy, crisp and buttery on the outside… oh my goodness. Very glad I ignored the fact that I still have a blueberry-cornmeal baked good sitting on my countertop waiting to be eaten..

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vegan blueberry cornmeal cake

I’ve had this on my list of recipes to try for a long while, and now that I have an overabundance of blueberries and not enough mouths to force them in to, it seemed a good time to give it a go. This light, slightly sweet and wholesome coffee cake turned out lovely— just a touch of sweetness contrasts with the tart berries, the combination of corn meal and whole wheat lends a hearty texture, yet it’s still light and fluffy. I can’t wait to have this tomorrow morning with a big cup of coffee, some yogurt and more blueberries!

adapted from Eggless Cooking

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 cup stone ground white corn meal

¼ cup + 2 T Sugar (I actually think I could do with less)

3/4 t Baking Powder

1/4 t Baking Soda

¼ t salt

1/4 cup Unsweetened Applesauce

1/2 cup soy yogurt (I used regular Greek yogurt, which un-veganed it)

a little soymilk or water

2 T Vegetable Oil Spread, melted (Earth / Smart Balance)

1/2 T Apple Cider Vinegar

1 t Vanilla Extract

1/4 t Almond Extract

1 cup Blueberries, fresh if possible!!

1/2 cup Sliced Almonds (I omitted)

1 T Brown Sugar

1/4 t Ground Cinnamon

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Berry spoiled

When it comes to summer berries, I’ll admit I am one spoiled girl. The pick-your-own strawberry patch is right down the road, my dad’s co-worker has overflowing blueberry bushes in his backyard, and our close family friends have wild raspberries growing across the street on their farm. This is why I love living in the country.

I posted a few weeks ago on my family’s shared tumblr blog about strawberry picking and baking up some treats using frozen fruit from last summer, to make room for this year’s harvest! The strawberries are done, as the season is rather short and they spoil quickly, but at the moment I have more wild raspberries and [especially] blueberries than I can handle!! I swear I’ve never tasted a strawberry, blueberry or raspberry as good as the summer ones at home. The strawberries are small, deep red, sweeter and juicier than any you’ll ever find in a store. The blueberries are plump, firm, and just damn good tasting. And the wild raspberries. Oh my. I won’t even eat a store-bought raspberry any more.. that’s how spoiled I am. These little babies are teeny tiny, tart and sweet, and literally burst with flavor in your mouth. It’s hard to explain the incredibleness of these guys if you’ve never had one. All I can say is if you do, you’ll never go back to their oversized, bland domesticated cousins.

I took my little cousin Hana, who was visiting from Okinawa, strawberry picking and then just a few days ago both blueberry and raspberry picking. Of course growing up in Japan, she sees fruit as solely dessert, unlike me who uses fruit to make dessert, like a cobbler which then becomes next morning’s breakfast, as well as afternoon snack… and repeat. ugh. There’s fruit in it so it must be healthy, right?

Anyway, here are some photos from our berry adventures, and now I’m set up for lots of summer berry recipe experimenting so check back for my favorites!

-micha


garden

I took these photos one year ago. My mom’s early summer garden (which soon after developed into a lush fruitful jungle). This year she’s growing zucchini, corn, onions, tomatoes, sugar snap peas, blueberries, spinach, lettuce, kale, peppers, herbs, pumpkin and popcorn! It’s so satisfying cooking and eating a meal straight from the garden. Even better cause she does all the work, I just take the pictures :]


first berry of the season! never do I appreciate a simple strawberry more than when it comes from our garden.

My first crop of lettuce from the hanging pots outside my apartment. It’ll do for now, but someday I’ll have a garden like hers :]

Welcome

Summer, my love, is back again. For the twenty-first time in my life. I’d like to open my arms in a big welcoming hug to her. May she bring slow, humid days, cool starry nights, sleeps in the hammock, veggies on the grill, feisty afternoon storms, all-night bonfires, bare feet, long runs on the beach, and fresh produce from mom’s garden.

I’d also like to welcome myself, and you (my future readers, if any) to my new and official home on the web. I’ve created several websites growing up, but this is the one I’m hoping will truly represent me… my inspirations, ideas, creations, photography, travels, food, recipes, dreams.

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