Hey there friends… long time no see! It’s been a bit — I’ve missed you! I also really missed writing, and being in the kitchen whipping up goodies. The good news is that I survived knee surgery, and even better, the surgeon said it went really well. It only took him 39 minutes to cut me open, harvest my hamstring, drill through some bones, and give me a new ACL. It still totally blows my mind that the procedure is so “simple.” The less great news is that recovery is pretty tough, and it’s going to take a lot more than 39 minutes to get better. But I’m making small strides every day, so that’s really all I can ask for. (more…)
Several weeks ago, I had a chance to visit one of my best friends up in Maine. I made the drive with another childhood friend of ours, and the three of us spent a wonderful couple of days catching up, playing with Maine friend’s baby, eating, and enjoying each other’s company. It’s a rare occasion that the three of us spend time together, but it’s pretty special when it happens. It was one of those weekends that gave me pause, and really made me take a step back from life to realize how great mine is.
Somehow I’ve managed to make it through nearly 27 years of living without realizing that late (second) harvest strawberries exist. Perhaps I knew once and forgot? Or just never gave it much thought to begin with? At any rate, on a weekend home a few weeks back, my Mom presented me with a quart of super flavorful late harvest berries, and let me have at it! After tasting a few on their own, I decided to find a recipe that would do them justice.
These scones. Descendants of the Flour Bakery cookbook’s Lemon Ginger Scones. They’re so very, very good — as good as the original, even, but with their own personality. I know we’re long past local strawberry season, but if you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know I’m not great about sticking to the food blogger guidelines of sharing recipes seasonally. I give it my best shot, but sometimes I forget about this amazing recipe that I made and then when I rediscover it I think, I have to share these right away because theyaresogood.” Then you, my lovely readers, find yourselves here reading incomplete sentences with bad grammar and words all smooshed together, because I am just so excited that I remembered I made these scones that I can’t handle myself. (more…)
Happy weekend, all! And what a beautiful weekend it is. This past week brought us lots of really gorgeous weather — it was one of those weeks when being indoors at a desk was truly painful. I sit right by a window, so I was able to peer out from time to time, but I’ll tell ya — it’s just not the same. I thought I’d share something a bit more light-hearted with you today. While my own heart is still heavy with pain, sadness, rejection, and loss, I think that’s just how life is going to be for a while. And since I can’t bear to dwell there any more than I absolutely have to, I’m trying to fill my time with things like baking brownies and drinking margaritas. And copious amounts of cycling to balance it all out, of course. (more…)
It’s a rare recipe that I come across that I don’t tamper with before trying it out myself. But Ina knows what’s up (I mean, she makes the best brownies in the history of everything…), and judging by the glowing reviews for this recipe, it promised to be a winner as well. Eager to use up a carton of fresh local strawberries, and a few stalks of rhubarb from my parents backyard (though I’m growing my own this year too — thanks Grandpa!!), I decided this was perfect to bring to the family 4th of July BBQ. (more…)
It seems that here in New England, most of our native crops are late this year. Given the looooonnngggggg winter, it’s really no surprise. I still feel like I’m thawing from a deep freeze! Usually by now we’d have a bounty of fresh local strawberries, but I only just picked up my first pint this weekend. They looked perfect to the eye — lush and red, and perfectly shaped — but once I snuck a few, I found that their sweetness wasn’t quite all the way developed. I had been eyeing this cake from Joanne’s blog for days, so it seemed the perfect application for the tart, juicy berries. (more…)
Strawberry Rhubarb is easily one of my favorite flavor combinations EVER. I love it in pies, cakes, pop tarts, bars, jams – any way I can get it. I’ve actually never made my own jam before, but when I acquired about 5lbs of rhubarb from my Grandpa, I needed something to do with all of it! So I decided it was high time to make some jam. (more…)
Though I am (currently) a city dweller, I am fortunate to come from a family who lives in a place where they have space to grow their own food. And they’re fortunately all close enough to me that I can reap the benefits of their gardens! When I was visiting my family for Mother’s Day this year, my Grandpa brought me 5lbs of rhubarb from his garden, so I got to work immediately on this tasty, gluten-free dessert. Rhubarb happens to be one of my favorite late-spring produce options, but typically I bake it into cakes and pies, so I was happy to find a way to bake with it that I was able to eat as well. (more…)
Welcome to post 2 on gluten-free baking! Gluten-free AND dairy-free. I sound like a whole lotta fun now don’t I?! But the good news is I met a GREAT dietitian who inspired me and made me feel hopeful for the first time in nearly two years, and most importantly made me believe that this crazy stupid elimination diet just might make me feel better. For those of you who feel fine every day it’s probably hard to imagine what it’s like to have pain 24/7/365, but for someone who’s had that for nearly two years, the idea that I might be able to lead a mostly pain-free life is hugely exciting! (more…)
Today I have something a bit different to share with you, as a segue into a new time in the life of me, and by association, Sweetly Serendipity. I have battled some pretty awful stomach pains for the past almost two years, and despite lots of tests and doctors visits and second (and third) opinions, all results say I am “healthy.” But being myself and living with the daily pain, I know I’m not okay, so I’ve decided to try out a new diet with the help of an experienced dietitian, to see if I can’t reign in the pain with some eating changes and work towards a pain-free life. (more…)
Strawberries and bananas are a winning combination. I went on a fruit-hiatus for a couple of weeks last month, and when I finally added fruit back into my diet it all tasted SO good. I added it to my breakfasts and snacked on it during the day, and baked it into some goodies! I had a banana that was going bad, and a container of fresh strawberries, so when I came across this recipe I wanted to make it immediately. (more…)