Homemade Blueberry Sauce comes together in just a few minutes. Try a spoonful with your morning yogurt or spooned over a stack of fresh, hot pancakes for a delicious treat!
It’s not quite spring here in Ohio, but this weekend’s ample sunshine could have definitely fooled you into thinking we were well on our way to blooming tulips and bike rides. However, one step outside, made you quickly realize that the air is still pretty darn cold, but all the sunshine had me craving spring flavors and luckily our fridge was stocked.
As I’ve mentioned before, we subscribe to the grocery delivery service, Door to Door Organics, and earlier this week, I accidentally ordered far too many half-pint containers of blueberries. I blame it on drowsily adjusting my order at 2 o’clock in the morning while we were up with our sick little babe.
I thought about freezing the blueberries for smoothies or snacking, but realized I already had several frozen bags in the freezer. Since I had no plans of eating blueberries with every meal, I decided to whip up a batch of homemade blueberry sauce for our Sunday morning pancakes. And since I doubled the batch – see I told ya, I ordered way too many – we have plenty leftover.
Homemade blueberry sauce comes together on the stovetop in less than ten minutes with just a few staple ingredients: fresh or frozen blueberries, water, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch. And it’s absolutely delicious spooned over just about anything from pancakes and waffles to ice cream and cheesecake. We also love stirring a spoonful into vanilla, Greek-style yogurt with a sprinkle of granola for fun and tasty afternoon snack.
Whether you’re serving this sauce up with breakfast, dessert or a midday snack, it’s sure to please the blueberry lover in your life and get you in the mood for spring!
Crunchy, crumbly twice-baked cookies studded with almonds are the perfect complement to a cup of coffee or glass of vin santo.
These traditional Italian cookies, brimming with toasted almonds, are twice-baked for extra crispiness. This recipe first appeared in our December 2013 issue along with Mike Colameco’s article All is Calm, All is Bright.
Espresso (/ɛˈsprɛsoʊ/, Italian: [esˈprɛsso]) is coffee brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiling water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans. Espresso is generally thicker than coffee brewed by other methods, has a higher concentration of suspended and dissolved solids, and has crema on top (a foam with a creamy consistency). As a result of the pressurized brewing process, the flavors and chemicals in a typical cup of espresso are very concentrated. Espresso is also the base for other drinks such as a caffè latte, cappuccino, caffè macchiato, caffè mocha, flat white, or caffè Americano. Espresso has more caffeine per unit volume than most coffee beverages, but because the usual serving size is much smaller, the total caffeine content is less than a mug of standard brewed coffee, contrary to a common belief. Although the actual caffeine content of any coffee drink varies by size, bean origin, roast method and other factors, the caffeine content of “typical” servings of espresso vs. drip brew are 120 to 170 mg vs. 150 to 200 mg.
There is debate over whether the spelling expresso is incorrect or whether it is an acceptable variant. Oxford Dictionaries online states “The spelling “expresso” is not used in the original Italian and is strictly incorrect, although it is common.” The Oxford Dictionary of American Usage and Style (2000) describes the spelling expresso as “wrong”, and specifies espresso as the only correct form. The third edition of Fowler’s Modern English Usage (1996) states that espresso “has entirely driven out the variant expresso”. The Oxford English Dictionary, Merriam-Webster and the Online Etymology Dictionary call “expresso” a variant spelling.
Espresso is made by forcing very hot water under high pressure through finely ground, compacted coffee. Tamping down the coffee promotes the water’s even penetration of the grounds. This process produces an almost syrupy beverage by extracting both solid and dissolved components. The crema  is produced by emulsifying the oils in the ground coffee into a colloid, which does not occur in other brewing methods. There is no universal standard defining the process of extracting espresso, but there are several published definitions which attempt to place constraints on the amount and type of ground coffee used, the temperature and pressure of the water, and the rate of extraction. Generally, one uses an espresso machine to make espresso. The act of producing a shot of espresso is often termed “pulling” a shot, originating from lever espresso machines, which require pulling down a handle attached to a spring-loaded piston, forcing hot water through the coffee at high pressure. Today, however, it is more common for the pressure to be generated by an electric pump.
30 Bagel Toppings: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Snacktime
Do you love bagels? Mmmm, warm, crunchy bread with soft doughy centers. It’s hard to go wrong with these delicious, breakfast and snack-time circles of joy. The only thing better than a bagel is a bagel topped with something tasty. In fact, I never eat a bagel plain, even a flavored one. I always put either cream cheese, peanut butter, or at the very least butter, on mine.
How to Perfectly Toast Your Bagel
Be sure to cut the bagel in half at its crease. I have a friend who started a small fire by putting an entire bagel into one slot of the toaster.
I have found that bagels hold their toppings best when the bagel is not toasted too dark. Set the toaster’s knob to a lower setting, a little below the middle point. This may mean you’ll have to toast the bagel twice, but the extra time to toast the bagel perfectly will be worth it.
The bagel should come out a light golden brown on the inside, and its outside should be slightly crunchy. This will make it easy to spread butter and toppings as they will gently melt into the bagel’s crevices.
Simple Topping Ideas
A smear of flavored yogurt on a wheat bagel makes a healthy snack or way to start the day.
Butter or Margarine
One of the simplest and most delicious ways to enjoy a toasted bagel.
The classic. For ideas about how to flavor your cream cheese, see below.
I spread peanut butter on a wheat bagel every morning for breakfast.
Jam or Jelly
Delicious alone or combined with peanut butter or cream cheese.
Works on its own because it is so creamy and smooth.
Delicious on a not-too-sweet bagel, like plain or whole wheat.
Toast and spread with butter or cream cheese first. Then sprinkle with one part cinnamon to two parts sugar.
Spreadable chocolate-hazelnut mixture.
Combine honey, cinnamon, and cream cheese for a delicious topping on a toasted bagel.
Mix in With Cream Cheese
Finely chopped onion, cucumber, carrot, and herb.
A spoonful of honey and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
Northwoods Blue Cheese
A few crumbles of blue cheese.
Pureed or mashed strawberries.
Garlic powder or minced garlic and dried herbs.
A spoonful of honey and a splash of orange juice.
Finely chopped ham.
Pureed or mashed mango, pineapple, and papaya.
Breakfast Bagel Toppings
Scrambled egg with ham or bacon on a toasted bagel.
Simply place a piece of cheese on a bagel and toast in a toaster oven.
Scrambled, fried, or poached.
Egg and Cheese
Add a slice of cheese and make a bagel sandwich.
Egg, Cheese, and Bacon
Add four pieces of cooked bacon to your breakfast sandwich.
Egg, Cheese, and Sausage
Add one cooked sausage patty.
Egg, Cheese, and Ham
Cook one slice of ham and add to your breakfast bagel.
Lunch and Dinner Bagel Ideas
A bagel toasted with slices of turkey and cheese makes a delicious lunch, or even dinner!
A pizza bagel with sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pepperoni sausage.
Spread a nice layer of cream cheese on each half of a toasted onion or garlic bagel, top with sliced cucumbers, and you’ve got a tasty sandwich.
Spread each half bagel with pizza sauce. Layer mozzarella cheese and pepperoni sausage on top. Toast in oven for ten minutes.
Mix tuna and mayonnnaise and spread on each bagel half. Layer a tomato slice and cheese on each half. Toast in over for about ten minutes.
Cook frozen or fresh meatballs and cut into thin slices. Spread each bagel half with spaghetti sauce and layer slices of meatball. Top with mozzarella cheese and toast in oven for ten minutes.
Toasted Turkey Melt
Layer each bagel half with sliced turkey and cheese. Toast in oven for about ten minutes.
What’s the Difference Between Eggs Over Easy and Sunny-Side Up?
To make one, you cook the raweggjust until the whites are setonthe bottom, then you quickly flip itoverto cook the other side. “Over” refers to flipping theegg, and “easy” refers to the doneness of the yolk. You can also cookeggs“overmedium” and “overhard,” dependingonhowcooked you prefer the yolk
n a much-loved episode ofReading Rainbow, LeVar Burton visits a diner and gets completely bamboozled by the colorful and confusing line cook lingo. I think of this scene almost every time I make fried eggs— but I still can’t keep straight which is which!
For my own benefit as much as yours, here is what makes an egg over easy or sunny-side up.
What Are Over-Easy Eggs?
An egg cooked “over easy” means that it gets fried on both sides, but it’s not cooked for very long on the second side, so the yolk doesn’t get cooked through and stays runny. To make one, you cook the raw egg just until the whites are set on the bottom, then you quickly flip it over to cook the other side. “Over” refers to flipping the egg, and “easy” refers to the doneness of the yolk. You can also cook eggs “over medium” and “over hard,” depending on how cooked you prefer the yolk.
What Are Sunny-Side-Up Eggs?
An egg cooked “sunny-side up” means that it is fried just on one side and never flipped. The yolk is still completely liquid and the whites on the surface are barely set. You can cover the pan briefly to make sure the whites are cooked or baste them with butter. I have always assumed that the name refers to the way this egg looks like the morning sun. The Kitchen.com source
Featured image credit: gisella g. (foursquare.com)
Clockwise from top left: walking through a spice market in Stone Town; jumping into the water at sunset in Stone Town is a nightly ritual; a taarab concert; coastal waters; a carved door in Stone Town
DIEGO IBARRA SANCHEZ FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
By RACHEL B. DOYLE
The name Zanzibar conjures up visions of sultans’ palaces, paradisiacal beaches and winding alleyways leading to spice-filled bazaars. Indeed, this coral archipelago in the Indian Ocean, 23 miles off the eastern coast of Tanzania, still has many of the features that it did when it was an important trading center and its historic Stone Town served as the capital of an Omani sultanate. Zanzibar’s largest island, Unguja, is home to most of the cultural attractions, many of them found in beguiling Stone Town, which was awarded Unesco World Heritage status in 2000. In recent years, there’s been a concerted effort to restore and give new life to the city’s distinctive structures. Palaces have been turned into museums and cultural centers, and grand Swahili mansions have been reborn as restaurants and boutique hotels. Yet the coast still offers the “delicious view” that the explorer Sir Richard Burton recorded, of a “cocoa-fringed shore of purest white, and the sea blue as a slab of lapis lazuli.” (Note: Prices in Zanzibar are routinely quoted in dollars — alongside, or occasionally instead of, the island’s official currency, the Tanzanian shilling.)
1.Stone Town | 4 p.m.
Wandering down the narrow lanes of Stone Town in the late afternoon, past coral rag houses and dimly lit curio shops, might be this city’s simplest pleasure. Many buildings date to the 19th century, and their most striking feature is their ornate doors. Carved out of mahogany or teak, some Zanzibari doors are adorned with brass spikes, while others have intricate patterns, like vines or lotus flowers, etched onto them. Standout portals include the golden door at the House of Wonders, the entrance to the Old Fort, and a collection of doors on Baghani Street. A map of Stone Town’s finest doors can be bought for $4 at the Gallery Bookshop, while a refreshing mango and coconut smoothie (4,000 shillings, or $2.55, at 1,570 shillings to the dollar) can be ordered to go at Lazuli, a tiny cafe with a turquoise door.
2.Sung Poetry | 6 p.m.
The island’s celebrated music genre, called taarab, fuses Swahili, Arab and Indian influences, reflecting the many cultures that have passed through Zanzibar. This style of mellifluously sung poetry accompanied by a full orchestra became popular here in the 1870s, when it was played in the sultan’s court. Today visitors can enjoy taarab concerts at the Mtoni Palace Ruins, the one-time residence of a 19th-century sultan. Led by the esteemed musician Mohammed Issa Matona, students from the local Dhow Countries Music Academy perform complex and haunting songs in an open-air courtyard lighted by a bonfire. The event ($45) also includes a Zanzibari dinner of coriander-spiced tuna, ginger beef and honeyed dough balls, and, be warned, some goofy historical re-enactments.
3.Waterfront Snacks | 9 p.m.
Take a leisurely stroll through the evening food market at Forodhani Gardens, a popular meeting place on the waterfront. The park received a face-lift several years ago, and now has new walkways, better lighting and plenty of benches. There are dozens of stalls, selling everything from fish skewers to spicy soup to mango slices dusted with chile salt (starting at about 6 to 10 p.m.). Even if you can’t eat another bite, try a cup of hand-cranked sugar cane juice infused with ginger and lime.
4.Nighttime Diversions | 10 p.m.
As in many conservative Muslim cities, the night life here verges on sleepy. Yet there are pockets of liveliness. At the waterfront institution Mercury’s, the live music on weekends does its best to channel the hometown hero Freddie Mercury, who was born in Zanzibar in 1946. For swankier surroundings and less chance of hearing off-key Queen covers, head to the chic rooftop lounge at the Maru Maru hotel for a dawa cocktail, made with the molasses-flavored Tanzanian spirit Konyagi, honey and lime (8,000 shillings); and views overlooking the 17th-century Old Fort.
5.Spice Island | 9:30 a.m.
Yes, it’s touristy. And yes, there will be teenagers twisting coconut leaves into crowns for you in the hope of a tip. But no, you should not skip taking a tour of the famous spice plantations. Guides tell how spices like cardamom, nutmeg, vanilla and cloves are harvested, although what’s most surprising is seeing where they come from — black peppercorns from a climbing plant more than 10 feet high; cinnamon from the inner bark of a slim tree. Many spice tours (from $15) also stop at the nearby ruins of the 1882 Maruhubi Palace, where one sultan housed a large harem, and the Kidichi Persian Baths, which date from 1850.
Inside House of Spices.DIEGO IBARRA SANCHEZ FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
6.ITALIAN ACCENT |12:30 p.m.
Situated inside a gorgeously restored 18th-century merchant home, the House of Spices restaurant serves Indian Ocean fare with an Italian accent. The dining room, a covered terrace once used for drying spices before they were packed for shipment, is a breezy, relaxing place, painted green and full of plants and antique cabinets. Here, well-executed dishes like black marlin (23,000 shillings) and an exceptional seafood ravioli in saffron sauce (14,500 shillings) are elevated by judicious use of local flavors. Desserts like chile-chocolate mousse are creative and decadent, while a house-brewed cinnamon iced tea hits the spot on a hot day.
Sipping a cup at Msumbi CoffeeDIEGO IBARRA SANCHEZ FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
7. White Sand |2 p.m.
Choosing which beach to visit is a hard decision here, thanks to the abundance of spectacular options. The most pristine of white sand beaches are found along the island’s east coast, abutting the villages of Matemwe, Pongwe and Jambiani, about an hour’s drive away. An excellent option closer to town, however, is the secluded Mangapwani Beach, on an idyllic stretch of sand 14 miles north of the city. Although many go with just a towel and a swimsuit, there are fancier options too: The nearby Mangapwani Serena Beach Club offers daybeds, changing rooms, and a restaurant to get lunch (free entrance). It’s a good idea to consult atide predictor appbefore hitting the beach though, as the ocean recedes for miles at low tide, so swimming can be tricky.
8.Feast at Sunset | 6 p.m.
Since opening a few years ago, the Tea House restaurant at the Emerson Spice hotel, perched on the roof of a historic Swahili mansion, has become the city’s choice spot for sundowner cocktails followed by a multicourse dinner. The sun begins setting over the water at around 6 p.m., by which time you should already have a cold gin and tonic in hand. Dinner, served in one seating at 7 p.m., is an inspired degustation menu where each of the courses uses traditional Zanzibari ingredients, but in playful combinations ($30 per menu). An appetizer of calamari-stuffed tomato with coconut relish and passion fruit ceviche might be followed by lobster in vanilla sauce, or clove-toasted kingfish.
9.Hookah Break | 9:30 p.m.
One of Stone Town’s most appealing architectural relics, the Old Dispensary, has a hookah bar on an ocean-facing balcony on the second floor. The Three Bees offers about 70 types of shisha, including a few, like cinnamon and jasmine, that seem particularly suited to an island shaped by the spice trade (5,000 shillings). The 1894 building is a fascinating jumble of design schools. There are elaborately carved wooden balconies à la India, an elegant Arab-style interior courtyard, and neo-Classical adornments, like columns and stained glass. No alcohol is served here, but fruit-based “mocktails,” like the Royal Forodhani, with mango, avocado, ginger and lime, are a delicious alternative (4,500 shillings).
1/4cupcombined of crushed toasted pistachios, walnuts and almonds
Canadian Maple Syrup for serving
1/2cupof combined crushed toasted nuts for sprinkling
Preheat an electric griddle to medium low and spray (or swab) it with a thin layer of baking oil. Alternatively, preheat a non stick skillet over medium heat low heat and spray or swab a thin layer of oil on it.
In a large bowl, add the four mix ingredients and whisk them until all well combined.
In another bigger bowl, add all the wet mixture ingredients and whisk them well.
Add the flour mix into the wet mixture and using a spatula or even a wooden spoon, mix the pancake batter well until no more flour mixture is visible but the batter is still lumpy.
Take you 1/4 cup measuring cup and fill it a little over half way with batter and pour it on top of the hot griddle or skillet.
With the back of the 1/4 cup measuring cup, spread the pancake batter gently into a circular shape.
Let the pancakes cook for 1 minute before flipping them on the other side and let them cook for an extra minute or minute and a half (cooking times will depend on the size and thickness of your pancakes).
Stack your pancakes (if using smaller sizes), drizzle them with fresh Maple syrup and top the with plenty of nuts.