Strawberry Cinnamon Dutch Baby pancake recipe | Simple Bites

Strawberry Cinnamon Dutch Baby Pancake

Sunday was Father’s Day, as you probably remember, and we spent what was easily the hottest day of the year so far poolside with family.

It was a slow morning before all that, though, and the kids coloured handmade cards for Danny while I whipped up one of his favourite breakfasts – a Dutch Baby. This quick treat also goes by a Bismark, puff pancake or a German pancake and can be likened to a sweet Yorkshire pudding.

It’s long been Danny’s ‘special’ breakfast request, accompanied by seasonal fruit like sautéed apples in fall and sliced peaches in August. Of course, it being strawberry season, I had a flat of berries sitting on the counter, ready for slicing.

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Visit a strawberry u-pick

Savouring Strawberry Season – a recipe round-up

On a recent morning ramble, Clara and I found the first wild strawberries, a handful of tiny sweet gems that signaled the start of our glorious berry season. And on a day-trip to the country last Saturday, we saw no less than seven farm stands boasting ‘Fraises du Québec’, and I spent the next hour balancing several quarts of berries on my lap. After all, it’s not a legitimate weekend road trip until you hit up a roadside fruit stand, am I right?

Yes, mid-June is typically when local strawberries hit the markets here in Quebec, and we throw ourselves headlong into making the most of them. Soon the neighborhood U-pick will open its doors and we’ll ride the wagon along the dusty track to fill our baskets and pails with berries.

It’s a sweet season, and we savour the local strawberries in a multitude of ways from salads to ice cream. Even the hulls from the organic berries are rinsed and used to flavour water. Today’s post is a round-up of my favourite strawberry recipes and really showcases the true versatility of this June berry.

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Roasted Asparagus with Harissa Brown Butter Breadcrumbs || Simple Bites

Roasted Asparagus with Harissa Brown Butter Breadcrumbs

I‘ve had one thing on my mind since I injured my back: get strong enough to go in search of local asparagus.

Thankfully, I’m on the mend and yesterday, during a particularly sunny patch of the morning, Clara and I strolled through our open air market. She was the first to spot them:

Asparagus!” she shrieked, and darted toward the stall. I move a little slower, but inside I was just as excited about the discovery. At last!  They were all beautiful, but we selected three of the prettiest bundles.

We had the first bunch for lunch, simply steamed with butter and salt. Clara finished hers first, and then used her fingers to help herself to a few spears on my plate. Such is the enthusiasm we reserve for local asparagus around here.

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Strawberry rhubarb rice pudding

Weekend links and photos

The fact that I am only getting around to this list of weekend links at eight-o-clock on Sunday evening says a lot about how my week went: unproductive.

It started at 7am last Monday morning, when I went out to move the chicken coop with Danny, something I’ve done many times before. But this time, I pulled something in my lower back. A strain? A sprain? Whatever happened in that moment felt like my lower backbone had splintered. All symptoms (and Google) pointed toward a herniated disc.

The swelling started, the pain and numbness moved down my right leg and up to my shoulder. I could barely walk. The doctor declared it a bad sprain, ordered bedrest as much as possible, heat to relax the muscles, and prescribed anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants.

Talk about feeling helpless. Simply rolling over in bed was difficult and going to the bathroom an ordeal. I cancelled my plans for the week and focused on keeping the family home up and running as much as possible.

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al fresco tablescape  | grilling

Get Grilling. Get Gathering.

In case you hadn’t heard, it’s officially grilling season and time to kick off a few months of outdoor entertaining.

Loyal readers will already know that I love dishing up an al fresco feast, be it a taco bar, a canoe buffet or a pie social. There are no limitations when you set a table outdoors; you can always add a few more chairs (as I do for my harvest dinners) and create a generous centerpiece -or three- out of wildflowers.

We recently gathered around the barbecue on my sister’s back deck and watched her and hubby Mike grill spiced kofta, colourful vegetable kebabs and soft pita bread. Grilling is such a spectator sport, isn’t it? The glowing coals are memerizing, the scents are enticing and there’s always action on the grill; of course people congregate here.

Naturally, the food was excellent, and I so enjoyed this deviation from the standard burgers and buns fare (although we love those too!) that I vowed to recreate the whole menu again for a future gathering of my own. And then I thought that if I appreciated the inspiration,  you might too.

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