I am a fruit fiend at this time of the year. One of my favourite weekly rituals is to go the farmer’s market and choose the best-looking produce that I can find. Obviously, this includes a variety of fruit, straight from the Okanagan Valley. I tend to go for berries, which are beautiful, juicy jewels that make my oatmeal and yogurt so much better and stone fruit, which I love eating on their own, as a snack. Despite the fact that stone fruit are far less reliable than berries- is there anything worse than a mealy peach? – they are my absolute favourite. I typically don’t cook or bake with my summer fruit because they are so delicious raw but when I was faced with making a light dessert for a BBQ last week, I couldn’t think of anything more delicious than a stone fruit, hibiscus fruit salad.
I have had a revelation. If you add cocoa powder AND chunks of chocolate to baked goods, you can make anything double chocolate! This may sound ridiculous to all of you experienced bakers but it never occurred to me to add cocoa powder to things, even though I never forget to add chocolate chunks. The impetus of this revelation was a combination of two amazing recipes. First, this chocolate granola, and second, this chocolate banana bread. For any chocolate lovers out there, both of these recipes are a must. Now, so are these scones.
I discovered songza. It’s amazing. Have you ever wondered what it would sound like if your life had a soundtrack? I think that this is as close as it gets to that. You choose your playlists based on your moods, what you’re doing, the time of day and off it goes. Playing in the background, always. It’s especially soundtrack-y for me since I am pretty much always in my apartment, with my computer whirring away. Now that winter has set in, there are highs of -20 and I feel like I am stuck in a strange box, filled with lovely music. It’s not too bad.
Last week, it was absolutely freezing here in Calgary. I have to be careful what I wish for, because last month when it was 30C outside and our apartment was sweltering, I caught myself looking forward for when things would finally cool down and I could be in our apartment without dying of heat. Now that it’s been 10C (in August!) I am swaddled in blankets and wishing that the sun would come back. All of this to say, one of the things I normally avoid in a summer recipe is having to turn on the oven. I’m sure like most people, when you are hot, the last thing you want to do is add to that heat by turning up the oven or standing in front of the stove.