Wild Blueberry Slab Cheesecake

This week, in classic mid-August Aimée style, I embarked on a few procrastibaking projects as a way to avoid my post-camping laundry and clean-up.

To be fair, I couldn’t wait to get back into the Simple Bites kitchen after a few weeks of travel. As is usually my custom when I road trip, I returned home with a stash of the most beautiful produce I encountered along the way.

This time I brought several pints of wild blueberries, for this Nova Scotia fruit grows wild all over the province and is free for the picking. Clara and I busied ourselves in a patch early one morning and produced enough for our buttermilk pancakes as well as a small store for the cooler.

Since then I’ve muddled a handful into a gin & tonic cocktail and topped a summer edition of my do-ahead muesli, but I saved the majority of them for a special baking project: cheesecake.

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A Summer Sunset Picnic for Two

In this summer sunset picnic for two, simple elegance meets seasonal eats in a pretty little dock feast. Strawberries are featured in the recipes and the mood is chill. Join us!

So far, Nova Scotia summers have been a continuous invitation to bring dinner outside and I’ve been happy to accept.

I’ve curated dozens of picnics for the beach, fired up the charcoal for patio eats and even brought a portable breakfast out in the kayak with me on a particularly fine morning.

Meals enjoyed al fresco are usually on the rustic side, as I’m often feeding a crowd, the majority of whom are small children. Their finely tuned palates gravitated towards barbecue chicken and fudgy brownies, which is all well and fine, but occasionally I crave something a little more refined and elegant.

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Herbed Butter with Edible Flowers

You can’t go wrong with bread & butter to round out a summer meal, especially when the butter is dressed up like an abstract piece of art and the bread is crusty and warm.

This seems like a springtime recipe, but all of my edible flowers are blooming right now and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to showcase them in a simple way.

It’s also not a real recipe-recipe, but more of a festive way to serve butter that highlights the colours and flavours of summertime. It’s perfect for a pretty little picnic on the dock or intimate dinner party on a summer’s eve.

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Strawberry, Cucumber and Radish Salad with Pea Shoots

I‘m smack dab in the middle of my five-in-five entertaining stretch of summer but I had to pause the kitchen play and open up the laptop to bring you this vibrant, seasonal salad.

It features everything that is flawless in Nova Scotia markets right now: fresh sugar snap peas, cherry red radishes, new cucumbers and ruby strawberries. I’ve even worked in wild rose petals, because they currently line the neighbourhood lanes, parks and walkways and I can’t resist bringing them to the table.

Alongside this salad recipe, you’ll also find a little more picnic inspiration because the Summer of the Picnic continues. This time I teamed up with my friend Kelly for a whimsical picnic on our lakeside dock. Read on to join in on the fun.

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The Best Picnic Foods (BBQ Chicken recipe)

There’s something so nostalgic about spreading a blanket and opening a picnic basket. Perhaps because it signals a pause in the day; an opportunity to both feast and feel the breeze on our faces.

Experience has taught me that nearly any element of a picnic can go awry – but if there is excellent food to pass around, most anything – from wind to bugs – can be all but ignored. Which is why I plan on the best picnic foods I possibly can and then hope the weather cooperates.

Today I’m sharing a round-up of picnic eats from snacks to salads, as well as our new favourite cold picnic chicken recipe. Grab a pen and paper and plan your menu for this weekend. Summer is in full swing and the Great Outdoors is calling.

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