Thursday, August 7, 2014

It's National Blueberry Month...and we're celebrating with the famous Blueberry Muffin recipe from Jordan Marsh and Stern's Department Stores


Truth be told, it’s National Blueberry Month in Canada! My homeland loves to differentiate itself from its neighbor to the south.  In the US, National Blueberry Month is held in July.  Well, it’s colder up north and perhaps their crop doesn’t come into its own until now.  And come to think of it, Andrew actually made both of this salute to Blueberries in July!  But this recipe is so good, you could make them any month of the year and they’d be a celebration of the wonderful taste of Blueberries. And there’s this:  You can freeze summer blueberries for three to six months, without any loss of the antioxidants Blueberries are famous for.  (By the way, if you can’t find fresh blueberries to freeze, the ones you will find in the frozen food section have all the health benefits of the home-frozen variety. And there’s even better news:  Research shows that the antioxidants in blueberries not only benefit the nervous system and brain health, there’s new evidence that blueberries improve memory. And the more you eat, the greater the results: 12 weeks of eating ¾ lbs. of blueberries daily improved cognitive function in two different tests. What a wonderful thought!  Preserving your memory with a Blueberry Muffin.  But this is not just any old blueberry muffin.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Summer Favorites: Summer Panzanella Salad 2 Ways and Crispy Smashed Roasted Potatoes from Fine Cooking

Top to Bottom:  Panzanella Salad, Crispy Smashed Roasted Potatoes
Panzanella Salad with Tuna 

         Sometimes I am astonished at what’s not on Chewing the Fat.  Just when I start to worry that I’ll never find a recipe that I haven’t already tried, I discover amazing gaps in our collection.  Take these two recipes, which I have been making for a whole lot longer than I’ve been blogging.  The first is an Italian classic.  Just as the season’s tomatoes can’t get any sweeter and riper, I love to make this easy offering of garlick-y toasted peasant bread, red onions, olive oil, vinegar and basil.  The salad has its origins in Tuscany and is a specialty of Firenze.  It’s one of those gifts of ingenuity to la cucina from the poor for whom every scrap of bread was put to use.  Almost every Italian cookbook has a recipe for this salad and you can find plenty of recipes far more complex than the one I share here.  My old and dearly remembered friend, Marcella Hazan, made hers with capers, bell pepper, anchovy filets, and cucumbers added to the tomatoes and red onions.  Today, I bring you the most basic of all Panzanella  recipes.  And thanks to Bebe Caggiano, the Italian-American food writer and chef, the next day you can lunch on the leftovers by adding  canned tuna and fresh basil to last night’s salad.  The crunch is gone but replacing it are intensely flavored ‘croutons’ and marinated tomatoes.  It’s so simple!