Stewing with Jay’s Favorite Canadian Recipe: the Salmon Sandwich

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I thought of a few recipes for this month’s Canadian Food Experience Project, one being my mom’s butter tarts, but wanted to honor the memory of my dear husband and make something he always liked cooking and loved eating – salmon, steelhead trout, or Arctic char.

Salmon sandwich

Salmon sandwich

Coho salmon

Fresh Coho salmon

Coho salmon

Coho salmon

Basic recipe:
 
One small filet of salmon (2 servings);
Season salmon with fresh ground pepper and sea salt. I used ginger garlic sea salt;
Rub on salmon 1 1/2 tsp grated ginger and 1 minced garlic clove;
Place thin slices of onions on top;
Pour over salmon, juice from 1/2 an orange plus pulp and 2 tbsp maple syrup; and
Sprinkle on 1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper.
 
Marinate for 15 minutes
 
Add fresh oregano, 1/2 tsp butter and wrap in tinfoil with marinade.
 
Bake at 325 for 20 minutes. Basically the salmon gets poached.
 

Jay loved fresh grated ginger on salmon and enjoyed making different marinades, always pairing a bit of sweetness with some spicy heat.

Coho salmon

Out of the oven

Coho salmon

Coho salmon

Steaming hot

Coho salmon

Coho salmon

You can serve the salmon hot in a sandwich, but Jay preferred it cold. Remove oregano, and salmon from skin before serving.

Yam chips

Crispy yam chips as a side dish.

Yam chips

I cut my yam paper-thin using a mandolin, lightly fried the slices in Canola oil, and finished with a seasoning of fresh ground pepper and Himalayan salt.

Salmon sandwich

Salmon sandwich

Salmon sandwich stacked with butter lettuce, onion slices, tomato slices, bacon, sandwich pickle, and topped with mayo mixed with a bit of Greek yogurt on toasted sourdough bread. And one slice of toast always had to be buttered.

Note: If you want to prevent your bacon from curling, place a lid on top of bacon while it’s frying.

Salmon sandwich

Enjoy with someone special!

Toasted salmon sandwiches are a Canadian favorite. For more favorite Canadian recipes visit other Canadian Food Bloggers from across the country participating in this project.

This post dedicated to my late husband Jay.

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Rudolph’s from the Oven: Christmas Cookies in July!

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We all know Santa loves his chocolate, especially rich hot chocolate spiced with a hint of cinnamon, and he loves cookies too!

Inspired, of course, by “the most famous reindeer of all”, Rudolph, these cookies combine Santa favorites: chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Topped with red cherries, Rudolph’s are sure to remind Santa that his favorite reindeer will always light his way.

Rudolph's

Rudolph’s
 
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
 
1 cup softened unsalted butter
1 cup packed golden brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 egg beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla
 
4 ounces melted semi-sweet chocolate pieces (I used 4 squares Baker’s chocolate)
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
 
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup dark chocolate ‘Chipits’
1 cut white chocolate ‘Chipits’
 
1 small jar (125ml) red ‘maraschino’ cherries, cut in half and excess liquid removed with paper towel.
 
Melt chocolate at low setting in the microwave. Stir in 1/8 tsp of cinnamon and set aside to cool. Mix together butter and sugar,  then egg and vanilla. Stir in cooled mixture of chocolate. Add dry ingredients and mix well. Add walnuts, white and dark chocolate ‘Chipits’.
 
Spoon on non-stick cookie sheet, in loosely formed balls.  Place a cherry half firmly in center of cookie dough.
 
Bake at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes. Makes 3 and a half-dozen.
 
Note – take care when eating fresh out of the oven as cherries stay extremely hot
 

Rudolph's

Into the oven

Rudolph's

Out of the oven and into my mouth; yummm…. luscious gooey deliciousness followed by that delightfully sweet cherry.

Rudolph's

Rudolph's

You’re sure to win Santa’s heart if you leave a plate of Rudolph’s with a glass of refreshing milk.

Warning – Bake these cookies before December and there won’t be any left for Santa.

My recipe for Rudolph’s entered in the Christmas in July Cookie Contest as a member of Food Bloggers of Canada.

What’s Stewing from My Oven: Rhubarb Cherry Streusel Muffins

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I usually bake muffins packed with whole grains and flour, seeds, nuts, fresh fruit, and in the smaller version pans, so I can eat more. This time I threw healthy out the window and settled for all-purpose flour and lots of sugar.

So I wanted to bake muffins with substance, but do you think I could find one of those six-muffin tin pans. I was told maybe in specialty stores. It must be due to the cupcake revolution as I have not recalled giant cupcakes on the market – yet.

Rhubarb and cherry streusel muffins

I must admit that I added fresh rhubarb and cherries, plus pecans to these muffins, but I’m not sure if they counterbalanced all those other wickedly non-nutritious ingredients.

Rhubarb

I chopped thin stemmed rhubarb.

Sweetheart cherries

These are coarsely chopped sweetheart cherries. They’re firmer and a bit tarter so good for baking.

Rhubarb and cherry streusel muffins

Rhubarb and Cherry Streusel Muffins
 
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup firmly packed golden sugar
 
1/3 cup Canola oil
1 small container low fat plain yogurt (170 grams)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup skim milk
1 large egg
1 tsp orange extract
3 tbsp orange zest ( 1 large orange)
 
1 cup chopped thin rhubarb
2/3 cup coarsely chopped cherries
 
Mix dry ingredients and make a well. Add into well blended mixture of liquid ingredients and chopped rhubarb and cherries. Mix ingredients until moist and spoon into muffin tin. Sprinkle with streusel topping. Makes 6 gigantic muffins or 12 smaller ones if you prefer.
 
Bake 350 for 35 minutes

I’m always on overflow mode with muffins. Remember, they’re not cupcakes so they do bake differently.

Pecans

Chopped pecans for streusel topping

Streusel Topping
 
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup firmly packed golden sugar
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup softened unsalted butter
 
Mix ingredients together and sprinkle about 1 to 2 tablespoons on uncooked muffins. You’ll have leftovers. And what should can you do besides freezing, use as a topping on baked sweet potatoes, pancakes, or French toast, or even pan fried hash-browns.
 

Rhubarb and cherry streusel muffins Rhubarb and cherry streusel muffins

Fresh from the oven

Rhubarb and cherry streusel muffins

Rhubarb and cherry streusel muffins

Now that’s a muffin! I’m sure you and friends will enjoy.

Rhubarb bought at Wally’s Urban Market Garden and cherries bought from the Okanagan fruit truck at Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.

Saskatoon’s Food Hero: Urban Grower and SPIN-Farmer Wally Satzewich

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A visit to one of Wally’s urban gardens left me longing to have my own. I became completely immersed in a backyard of green hues and bright sunflowers that appeared almost surreal from the other side of the gate. Two thousand square feet of land converted into a lush and profitable garden with sprouting carrots, tomatoes, spinach, cucumbers, squash, rhubarb, sunflower greens, arugula, cilantro, dill, and what Wally refers to as “volunteers”; those edible plants that pop up among planted greens.

This month for the Canadian Food Experience Project we are blogging about regional Canadian food heroes, and I immediately thought of Wally. Wally’s a “SPIN-Farmer”. In fact, Wally began this business six years ago with U.S. business partner Roxanne Christensen and has co-authored two books on the topic: SPIN-Farming Basics: Thinking of Farming? Think Again. There is a New Way to Farm; and SPIN-Farming 2.0: Production Planning & Crop Profiles. “SPIN stands for s-mall p-lot in-tensive” (http://spinfarming.com/whatsSpin/), and SPIN-Farming developed out of Wally and wife Gail’s successful and productive move from rural farming to urban growing.

Wally's Urban Market Garden

SPIN-Farming offers flexible possibilities in terms of land use at a relatively low investment. It makes use of unused spaces but “it’s not a greening movement” rather “an AG (agricultural) model”. This AG model, used by urban growers throughout North American, has become popular in the UK and other countries. The SPIN-Farming website including guides, tips, videos, plus need-to-know information for anyone interested in setting up their own urban garden.

Wally's garden

Wally digging carrots for Wednesday’s market

Wally's garden 6

Wally's Urban Market Garden

A luscious bed of carrot greens

Wally's Urban Market GardenFlowering Arugula

Wally's garden 5

Squash blossoms

Wally's Urban Market GardenDill

Wally's garden 1

Canola adding color among carrot greens

Wally's Urban Market Garden

Wally and Gail have five garden plots: three in the city and two larger ones in the Grasswood and Wanuskewin peri-urban areas. They grow several varieties of carrots, onions, garlic, potatoes, squash, Cinderella and exotic heirloom pumpkins, Jerusalem artichokes, beets, herbs, etc. I met Wally when I discovered golden beets and rainbow carrots at his Urban Market Garden in the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market and immediately became a huge market devotee.

Wally's Urban Market Garden

Wally’s favorite produce are those that grow quickly such as micro greens, pea shoots, and sunflower greens, which he plants and picks every week. You won’t find cabbage, broccoli, or cauliflower in these gardens as there are too many problems associated with growing them, especially bugs!

And then, the “other” problems; the ones remembered with a humorous note: “like wearing flip-flops in the garden, losing them in the mud, and then not finding them” (Gail); or “when I made a hard left and lost a whole bunch of onions and onions were popping everywhere” (Wally); or having “people look at you like the Beverly Hillbillies, people are not always urban market friendly” (Wally). But the best story is about the ongoing battle with Uncle Nick, described with fondness by Wally as “old-country Ukraine”. I met Uncle Nick on one of his good days. Uncle Nick who is 80 plus and has a “cranky” reputation, handles the watering for the urban garden on his property. Sometimes he threatens to cut off the water but instead taxes Wally by harvesting a bed of garlic or vegetables, or whatever he decides on that particular day. No wonder he looked so healthy.

Wally's Urban Market Garden

Wally's Urban Market GardenOrach

Also known as mountain spinach. this plant originated in Mongolia and brought to North America from Europe in the mid 1700s.

Wally's garden 14

Rhubarb

Wally's Urban Market GardenLamb’s quarters or tree spinach

Wally's Urban Market Garden

At Wally’s Urban Market Garden you can find neatly bagged bundles of fresh produce as well as plants to grow in your own garden space.

Red onionsRed onions

rhubarb and white onions

Rhubarb and white onions

baby garlic bulbs

Baby garlic bulbs

Baby spinich

Baby spinach

Pea shoots

Micro greens

Wally's Urban Market Garden

Bedding plants

Wally's Urban Market

Gail Vandersteen and Wally Satzewich

Wally’s favorite vegetable: squash
Wally’s favorite vegetable meal: squash risotto
 

Wally’s Urban Market Garden supplies fresh produce to several local Restaurants including Truffles Bistro,  Delta Bessborough, Radisson, Weczeria Food and Wine, Prairie Harvest, and Garlic Guru. It’s all about “quality and shelf life”, “from the garden to the plate” (Lee Helman, owner and Chef de Cuisine of Truffles Bistro in Saskatoon).

Open Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays at Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.

For more info on Wally’s Urban Market Garden click on my earlier posting: http://stewing-pot.com/2012/02/05/stewing-at-wallys-urban-market-garden/ and don’t forget to visit other Canadian food bloggers involved in the Canadian Food Experience Project to read about more local heroes.

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Stewing at the Market: Food Day Canada with Chef Simon Reynolds

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So what is Food Day Canada? It’s about honoring Canadian food and ingredients, plus the people who supply these to us. August 3rd marked the 10th anniversary of a movement inspired by culinary activist Anita Stewart.

This weekend you may find special menus at your favorite restaurants that focus on local Canadian ingredients. At our own Farmers’ Market in Saskatoon Chef Simon from Simon’s Fine Foods, gave step-by-step instructions on how to make Mini Saskatoon berry scones; Baba Ganoush; and Lentil, tomato, and vegetable bruschetta.

And you’re probably wondering what is Baba Ganoush. It’s a Middle Eastern spread made with roasted eggplant, garlic, spices, lemon juice, and garnished with olive oil. Chef Simon suggests roasting the eggplant whole, but remember to prick it first as it will explode in the oven.

Chef Simon Reynolds

Chef Simon Reynolds

Originally from the United Kingdom, Chef Simon brought his culinary talents to Saskatoon and offers several services to our local community. Visit Simon’s Fine Foods for more info: http://www.simonsfinefoods.com/

Chef Simon Reynolds

Making bruschetta

Chef Simon Reynolds

Chef Simon Reynolds

Lentils and onions

To learn more about lentils in Saskatchewan visit Amy Jo’s blog Home for Dinner: http://homefordinner.blogspot.ca/2013/07/canadian-food-project.html

Chef Simon Reynolds

Adding the feta

Chef Simon Reynolds

And now the carrots, wax and green beans

Chef Simon Reynolds

Chopped micro greens

Chef Simon Reynolds

Add juicy chopped tomatoes and halved cherry tomatoes

Chef Simon Reynolds

Now the pesto

Chef Simon Reynolds

Chef Simon Reynolds

Lentil, tomato, and vegetable bruschetta ( and there’s fresh peas added too)

So delicious and packed with flavor from all the fresh ingredients, I believe there were a number of visitors who wanted to sneak away with a container.

Chef Simon Reynoldsscones                         Saskatoon berry scones – Photo courtesy of Chef Simon
 
Fresh ingredients supplied by local vendors at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market, including in part, Wally’s Urban Market Garden, Floating Gardens, Spring Creek Gardens, Herschel Hills, and Good Spirit Farms.
 

For more information about the celebrations happening across Canada this long weekend visit Anita’s website: http://fooddaycanada.ca/

And don’t forget – buy local from your favorite market.

What’s Stewing from My Oven: Lemon Wafer Cookies

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Lemon wafers

Can’t believe I started baking Christmas cookies in July; I should have a freezer full by December, but only if I don’t eat them.

These were originally called Mother’s Cookies, handed down from my great-grandmother Edith Pearse, and a favorite during holidays. I remember baking these with my mom and then with my own children. Part of the fun was finding different shapes to cut the dough and finishing with more icing sugar on me than the cookies.

I’ve added some personal touches to the recipe to make it my own. Usually decorated with candied cherries and festive sprinkles, I decided to finish them with a spicy twist.

lemon wafers

Lemon Wafer Cookies
 
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 tsp of salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable shortening
2 eggs
4 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 cup packed lemon zest
 
Pressed herbs
Crisp bacon pieces
Red Chili peppers
Icing sugar
 
Blend together shortening and sugar; blend in eggs, vanilla, lemon juice, and zest. Add dry ingredients and mix together. Divide dough into four to five sections and form into balls for rolling. Refrigerate for a minimum of two hours. Roll out on lightly floured surface to about 1/8 of an inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut into desired shapes (I used a 2 inch round cutter). Decorate uncooked cookies with pressed herbs, crisp bacon pieces, or Chilli peppers.
 
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Cookies should double in thickness.  Use a sieve and lightly sprinkle with icing sugar.
 
Makes 75 to 80 cookies
 
Notes:
Keep dough in refrigerator
Cookies will brown quickly if left in oven longer then 10 minutes
 

herbsThyme, oregano, and mint from my garden

Press herbs between two pieces of waxed paper, pile on some heavy books, and leave overnight.

lemon zest

cookies

Gently press herbs on uncooked cookies

cookies

Sprinkle with icing sugar while still warm

lemon wafers

lemon wafers

I enjoy these cookies with my coffee and tea. They’re light, not too sweet, and finish with a savory bite.

Recipe for Lemon Wafer Cookies entered in the Christmas in July Cookie Contest as a member of Food Bloggers of Canada

Stewing at the Market with Peggy’s Guarden

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Are you craving fresh vegetables, then Peggy’s Guarden can definitely fill your shopping bags and satisfy your hunger. Located two miles east of Saskatoon, Wanetta and Christopher Dunlop have brought garden fresh vegetables to the market for 11 years.

Peggy’s Guarden named in honor of their late German Shepherd Collie, Peggy.

Peggy's Guarden

Peggy's Guarden

Asparagus

Peggy's Guarden

Red Norland Potatoes

Peggy's Guarden

Onions

Peggy's Guarden

Peggy's Guarden

Wax Beans and Green Beans

Peggy's Guarden

Fresh Peas: watch out, these are addictive

Peggy's Guarden

Peggy's Guarden

Fresh Dill

Peggy's Guarden

Peggy's Guarden

Fresh Nantes Carrots: 70 days of garden growing for these crunchy roots

Visit Peggy’s Guarden on Wednesdays and Saturdays outside at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.

What’s Stewing in My Kitchen: Warm Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Mini Chipits

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I love the aroma of fresh-baked muffins on a weekend morning. As a lover of chocolate, especially melted, I decided the first task of the day was to bake. I usually have bananas in my freezer and chocolate in the cupboard and what’s better than muffins as way to enjoy these favorites, except for a hot fudge banana sundae.

banana muffins

banana muffins

Whole Wheat Banana Muffins with Mini Chipits

Dry Ingredients:
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup brown flax seed
1/3 cup packed Demerara sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 finely chopped walnuts
1/2 cup mini Chipits
 
Liquid Ingredients:
1 small container of low-fat Greek yogurt (170 g)
1/2 cup low-fat milk
1/3 cup canola oil
1 egg
1 cup mashed bananas ( I use previously frozen bananas)
 
Mix together liquid ingredients. Make a well in centre of dry ingredients and pour in liquid mixture. Stir together until moist and spoon into a paper lined or greased muffin tin. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Makes about 16 muffins.
 
Serve warm with butter or ice cream and enjoy.
 

banana muffins

banana muffins

Dedicated to Jay

Stewing with the Canadian Food Experience Project: Saskatchewan Braised Wild Boar Ribs with Mustard Rub

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braised wild boar ribs

Ah mustard, the condiment that speaks hot summer days, barbecued hotdogs and burgers, plus yellow stains on kids’ t-shirts. But mustard’s much much more. It’s surpassed its traditional ho hum use of “that yellow stuff we add to sandwiches, potato salad, etc.”. And some would say, when it comes to mustard, “move over ketchup, you’re not number one anymore”.

Charles Passy from Market Watch in The Wall Street Journal  refers to mustard as “the yellow commodity hotter than gold”, and quotes New York’s restaurateur Alice Price Becker that “it’s the condiment of the moment … the new butter, the new mayo”.

Personally, I think of mustard as I would a good wine or chunk of cheese. There is always one more mustard I need to buy or one more recipe to try. My husband and I considered ourselves mustard connoisseurs and after moving to Saskatchewan our indulgence grew into mustard collections. My daughter would often complain that we had more bottles of mustard in the cupboard than food in the refrigerator.

Fact: Saskatchewan exports over 70% of the world’s mustard.

Mustard’s more than a condiment. Used as a spice, it enhances the flavor of sauces, dressings, dips, rubs, and I’ve heard, ice cream. This month as part of the Canadian Food Experience Project, Canadian food bloggers were asked to showcase regional food. I’ve included my version of a mustard rub made from local Saskatchewan mustard seed, and part of the fun in its preparation was grinding the seed myself.

mustard seed

mustard

Yellow mustard seed, mixed peppercorns, red pepper flakes, and Himalayan sea salt

mustard

mustard rub

Mustard mixture with Hungarian paprika, Chipotle Chile, Turmeric, and dried oregano from my herb garden.

Mustard Rub:

1/2 cup of yellow mustard seed
1 tsp mixed peppercorns
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp Himalayan salt

Grind together using a motor and pestle. Add:

1 tbsp Chipotle Chile
2 tsp Hungarian paprika
1 tsp tumeric
1 1/2 dried oregano
plus a few secrets
 
Store rub in sealed jar. When ready to use, use 2 parts mixture to 1 part raw cane sugar. Season ribs with salt and rub mixture on both sides of ribs or any other meat.

mustard rub

Fresh ground mustard seed with seasonings

wild boar ribs

Wild Boar Back Ribs from Saskatchewan (about 1 1/2 pounds)

mustard rubbed wild boar ribsRibs were rubbed with fresh ground mustard seasonings, wrapped in plastic, and placed in refrigerator for 16 hours.

onions

roma tomatoes

Braising Ingredients:

1 bottle (500ml) Maisel’s Weisse Dunkel (dark beer)
1 cup beef stock
4 large cloves garlic minced
3 Roma tomatoes chopped with seeds removed
7 small onions sliced in half
2 apples peeled and sliced
1 firmly pressed cup of Demerara sugar
1 tbsp mustard powder
1 tbsp of mustard rub mixture
1/2 tsp fresh ground salt
 
Mix ingredients together and pour over ribs in a braising dish. Bake at 325 for 1 hour, then reduce heat and bake at 275 for 3 hours. Serves 2.
 
Leftover sauce can be blended and frozen.
 

braising ingredients

braised wild boar ribs

wild boar ribs

Tasty and with just the right amount of heat, I wanted to eat every rib. Darker in color and richer in flavor than pork, wild boar is a healthy source of protein as it’s lower in cholesterol, saturated and unsaturated fats. So give wild boar a try and don’t hold back on the mustard.

Wild boar meat purchased from Golden Prairie Wild Boar Meats, tomatoes from Grandora Gardens, and onions from Wally’s Urban Market Garden at the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market; and mustard seed from SaskMade Marketplace.

For more information on mustard and mustard recipes visit the Saskatchewan Mustard Development Commission: http://www.saskmustard.ca/consumer/mustard/index.html

Dedicated to Jay, a lover of fall-off-the-bone ribs and mustard connoisseur

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What’s Stewing in My Kitchen: Cornbread Muffins with Seabuckthorn Berries

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On a weekend morning, there’s nothing better than the tempting scent of fresh-baked muffins to get you out of bed or maybe, have breakfast in bed. Today I baked cornbread muffins with seabuckthorn berries, and of course, my corn grits (or polenta) and seabuckthorn berries locally bought, courtesy of the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market.

Warm muffins with butter and honey

Cornbread Muffins with Seabuckthorn Berries
 
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup corn grits
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
 
1 1/2 cups milk (I used 1%)
1/2 cup canola oil
juice from 1 large orange or 1/2 cup
1 tbsp liquid honey
1 large egg
2 tsp orange zest
 
Mix dry ingredients and make a well in bowl. Add blended mixture of liquid ingredients and stir until moistened. Gently stir in 1 1/4 cups of Seabuckthorn Berries. Spoon into a lined or non-stick muffin pan. Makes 12 regular sized muffins.
 
Bake at 325 for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with white sugar and a pinch of nutmeg.
 
Variations: use blueberries, Saskatoon berries, or crisp bacon pieces instead of seabuckthorn berries
 
Enjoy!!!

Cold muffins with fruit jam

Want to know where to buy seabuckthorn berries, then check out my earlier seabuckthorn blog at: http://stewing-pot.com/2013/06/10/stewing-with-nvigorate-seabuckthorn-berries/

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