August 26, 2014

Blueberry Lime Layer Cake

My August video just had to be about blueberries because we recently took part in Coastal Mountain Land Trust's annual free blueberry pick at Beech Hill Preserve. And it was magical! Plus it was a good excuse to sneak in one of my favourite Amelia Curran songs, "Scattered and Small" (whose title I thought was quite fitting for a video featuring wild blueberries). The little blue jewels are indeed, quite scattered and small, but such a delight to seek out, pluck, and pop in one's mouth (or bucket, if you're a faithful picker).

It's so fun to see people of all ages come out to pick on Beech Hill, and when you look up, you see the ocean in the distance and dozens of colourful silhouettes scattered all around, hunched over their blueberry containers, deep in concentration. Because it takes a long time to hand-pick wild blueberries, it's a meditation of sorts. 

I hesitated whether to make a cake with our precious cargo, but we also just bought a big box of organic wild blueberries from our neighbours at Elderflower Farm, and this persistent idea for a blueberry lime layer cake had been floating around my thoughts for a while, insisting… I could tell it wasn't going to go away unless I buckled and made the cake.

Introductions are in order: this is a moist cake, fragrant from the addition of plenty of lime juice and zest. It's then cut into layers, and each one is slathered in whipped cream cheese icing and topped with blueberry gin compote. (Ok, the gin is optional, but it does give a lovely kick to the whole affair). I also recommend making extra cream cheese icing because if you're like me, you may be unable to refrain from devouring half the bowl before it even gets onto the cake. Yikes! 

All in all, this is a late summer dessert that is sure to please a crowd. You can find my recipe over here at PBS Food. Bon appétit!

August 13, 2014

Cucumber Dill and Yoghurt Salad

This simple salad has been one of my great summer pleasures this year. I make it all the time. 

One day I had little in the fridge other than cucumbers, yoghurt, and dill, so I threw them all together and something wonderfully fresh and tasty emerged. 

I'm since told that this salad is actually a traditional dish in Turkey, and also in Iran. It's also very similar to Greek tzaziki. You know you're onto something good when you're eating something shared across so many cultures. Basically, it boils down to this: yoghurt and cucumber are the bomb together, so just add a bit of your favourite fresh herbs and you've got yourself a cooling summer salad!

I like my version to have LOTS of crushed garlic and LOTS of dill. And in my opinion, the yoghurt has to be full-fat whole milk yoghurt, as creamy as you can get it or make it. My yoghurt of choice is the unbelievably thick Greek Yoghurt made by our friends at The Milkhouse here in Maine. 

To read more about my obsession with whole milk yoghurt and get the recipe for this salad, go to my post on PBS Food. Bon appétit!