Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Harvest

   It's that time of year again. The time when the warm summer sunshine has turned our gardens into a bountiful harvest.  While I don't have a garden of my own, I am fortunate enough to have some friendly suppliers who are more than happy to have me turn their crop into something sweet.  

     This year I decided to try out a new recipe and combine zucchini with blueberries and one of my most favourite baking ingredients - cinnamon. The results were gobbled up!  There are several ingredients in this recipe that will make you feel good about eating these muffins. Give it a try and you'll see what I mean.   

Zucchini Blueberry Streusel Muffins
*adapted from
Makes enough for 24 muffins or 2 loaves of bread

For the batter:

3 eggs
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup oil
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups grated zucchini 
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen (no need to thaw)

For the streusel:

1/4 cup butter (1/2 a stick), cold
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon


  •  In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat eggs, applesauce, oil, sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy
  •  Place grated zucchini onto some paper towels and pat out extra moisture
  •  Add zucchini to bowl or mixer and stir until just combined
  •  Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon
  •  Mix until well combined
  •  Gently stir in blueberries
  •  Spread batter evenly among lined muffin cups or pour into two greased loaf pans
  •  For streusel, add all ingredients to a bowl and cut with a pastry cutter, or two forks, until small crumbs form
  •  Sprinkle evenly over tops of muffins or loaves
  •  Bake at 350 for 17-20 minutes for muffins or 50 minutes for loaves, or until a toothpick comes out clean
  •  Cool before slicing and serving loaves

I made these for my sister in law's birthday. She is expecting, 
so I tried to balance the cupcakes with something 'healthy!' 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Catching Air


    Are you looking for a great summer read? If so, pick up a copy of Sarah Pekkanen's latest book Catching Air. Set in Vermont in the winter months, this book has just what you need to cool off and relax on a hot summer day.  

     I had the pleasure of 'meeting' Sarah during a recent telephone conversation as she was kind enough to call in and chat with my book club.  What a thrill it was to discuss the book with the author, hear about how she breathed life into her characters, and learn what she envisions the characters doing after the final chapter ends.  It was such a treat to hear about the writing process, how ideas are formed, and learn tidbits about life as a writer.  Sarah is so engaging and kind, she sounds just like the type of person I could become fast friends with! 

    I'm a fan of all of Sarah's books, but after chatting with her and talking about the characters of her latest book as if they were people we knew, Catching Air has a special place on my bookshelf.

     One of the many great novels by Sarah Pekkanen

     A chance to run a B&B in snowy, remote Vermont—it’s an offer Kira Danner can’t resist after six soul-crushing years of working as a lawyer in Florida. As Kira and her husband, Peter, step into a brand new life, she quells her fears about living with the B&B’s co-owners: Peter’s sexy, irresponsible brother Rand, and Rand’s wife, Alyssa…who is essentially a stranger.

    For her part, Alyssa sees taking over the B&B as the latest in a string of adventures. Plus, a quiet place might help her recover from the news that she can’t bear children. But the idyllic town proves to be anything but serene: Within weeks, the sisters-in-law are scrambling to prepare for their first big booking—a winter wedding—and soon a shy, mysterious woman comes to work for them. Dawn Zukoski is hiding something; that much is clear. But what the sisters-in-law don't realize is that Dawn is also hiding from someone…

   Relatable and dynamic, Catching Air delves deeply into the vital relationships that give shape to women’s lives.

Some book club treats!