Slow Cooker Blueberry Thyme Jam

I’m writing this post from 36,000 feet while on a plane to Phoenix (YAY TECHNOLOGY). I’ve also been up since 3am, so if my writing gets a little…off-track? Just roll with it.

Slow Cooker Blueberry Thyme Jam

It’s the beginning of a whirlwind month for me – first, I’m spending a few days in Arizona for the Mortar Board National Conference (I’m part of their national leadership board) to talk about leadership and fundraising and event coordinating and strategic planning and all my faaaaaavorite (seriously) organizational/administrative things (COLOR CODING 4 LYFE).

Slow Cooker Blueberry Thyme Jam

Then, on Sunday, I’m off to Oregon for THE WHOLE REST OF AUGUST. I’m meeting with some clients in person, hanging out with my family, soaking up enough Portland to last me the next year or so, and taking press visits to local farms, fisheries, and food artisan hubs in PDX and elsewhere in the Pac-NW. I’ll be taking lots (and lots and lots and lots) of pictures, writing about food systems in the Northwest for both Life As A Strawberry and The Sustainable Seafood Blog Project, and eating ALL.OF.THE.THINGS. (Side note: if you’re located in Oregon or Washington, represent a food and sustainability- or hunger-related organization, and would like to show me and my readers around your operation, shoot me an email! I’d love to connect).

But I think the point of this post is to tell you about jam, yes? THIS jam ⬇️⬇️⬇️.

Slow Cooker Blueberry Thyme Jam

I loved the strawberry basil slow cooker jam I made last year so much that I decided to give it a whirl with a blueberry and thyme combo. Now, confession: I am not a blueberry person. Like, AT ALL. But my friend Megan (HI MEGAN) gifted me with a giant bag of blueberries when she moved out of town, and they sat in my fridge just staring at me for a few days before it occurred to me to cook them down with some sugar and herbs and slather them on bread (along with a heap o’ goat cheese, you know how I do). Fresh blueberries are fun because you can pick them up at the farmer’s market in nifty little containers, but frozen blueberries work just as well.

Slow Cooker Blueberry Thyme Jam

If you’re not a fan of chunky jam (*raises own hand*) give the final product a whirl in the blender to smooth it out and make it more spreadable. I served it with crostini topped with a shmear of goat cheese (can you say shmear when it’s goat cheese? Or does it have to be cream cheese? Shmear police assemble!) and it was kind of awesome. Kyle and I actually liked the combo so much that we forewent real dinner and instead ate a meal’s worth of these crostini jam guys. And then I bought more bread and ate it again for breakfast yesterday. #CantStopWontStop

The thyme in this jam is mellow – it lends a deep, earthy flavor but doesn’t jump out and smack you in the face. I loved this combo, and the tartness of the goat cheese we paired it with just took it over the top. PLUS, this is slow cooker blueberry thyme jam, which means it takes maybe twenty seconds to throw together and won’t produce any excessive stovetop heat (it is summer, after all).

Happy jamming, friends! [Read more…]

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Have you made your own enchilada sauce yet? Because I am adding it to the top ten list of things you absolutely, positively must do in your lifetime (or, y’know, with your weekend).

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

It is SO STINKIN’ EASY, and I love it a million times more than using store-bought because (1) It tastes better and (2) there aren’t a million chemicals and preservatives and (3) it makes your kitchen smell like a spicy, chili-filled heaven and (4) IT IS SERIOUSLY SO EASY TO MAKE THIS YOURSELF. Like, “oh, I want enchiladas but we have no enchilada sauce and I don’t want to go to the store but HEY I could make it myself because I have every single thing I need to make it sitting in my pantry already and it takes all of five minutes to put together” kind of easy. Which is wonderful on any day, but especially on Fridays when the sun is shining and you’re hungry but also want to sit outside drinking beer. [Read more…]

Pea and Mint Crostini with Garlic Whipped Feta

Pea and Mint Crostini with Garlic Whipped Feta

Let’s talk about crostini! And also grocery stores. And also garlic whipped feta. (Let me just say that again: garlic. whipped. feta).

Pea and Mint Crostini with Garlic Whipped Feta

When we got back from New Orleans, Kyle and I went grocery shopping. And I mean, like, WENT. GROCERY. SHOPPING. We bought a little bit (ok, a lot bit) of evvvvverything, partially because we’d been in New Orleans for a week (so, empty fridge), and partially because I had a big list of recipes I’d been wanting to test that I hadn’t had time for before the conference – so I was on a mission to cook all.of.the.things. We went in with a giant shopping list, but still succumbed to all the pretty produce and “oooooooh, look, bread!” and OMG WE SO NEED EIGHT DIFFERENT KINDS OF CHEESE and before you knew it we were home with a few too many bags of ingredients that weren’t quite all the way…cohesive? [Read more…]

Easy Arugula and Blistered Tomato Crostini

Easy Arugula Crostini with Blistered Tomatoes

Ahhhhh, crostini. How I love thee. So many options. So many choices. So many ways to put deliciousness on top of deliciousness on top of cheese on top of bread.

Easy Arugula Crostini with Blistered Tomatoes

I’ve been a big fan of this crostini since I had a similar version while in Boston for a conference last month. Generally, I’m one to stick with the good ol’ tomato-cheese-basil combo with a dash of balsamic. But I was surprised at how much I liked it with arugula instead – and that’s saying something, because tomato+basil+balsamic and I have a love affair for the ages.

Easy Arugula Crostini with Blistered Tomatoes

As soon as I got home, this was at the top of my make-for-lunch list. So I made it. And then I ate it. And then I made it again.

And again.

…And then another time after that.

Easy Arugula Crostini with Blistered Tomatoes

I think I’ve been compulsively eating this crostini for two reasons: one, it’s friggin’ delicious and I love it, and two, I’ve been so busy with Sustainable Seafood Blog Conference planning and that whole finishing-my-Master’s thing (pffft, how annoying) that finding time to eat anything at all is starting to feel like life’s greatest struggle. Also, this crostini is super simple, has minimal cleanup, and is ready faster than you can say “OMG I HAVE TIME TO MAKE FOOD TODAY I AM TOTALLY EATING CROSTINI.” (Not really. But you know. Still fast).

For the most part I’ve been living off Panera and Thai delivery and the occasional (ok…the not-so-occasional) bag of tater tots. So on days when I, like – have time to TOAST something? This lickety-split crostini. All the way.  [Read more…]