Summer Time, Waffle Cones and Sunny Days

Waffle cone components needed to make recipe in a peanut-free kitchen. I have anaphylaxis Summer does not equal rain in most cities, but here in Vancouver that is how the recent weather has been treating us. But keep your chin up! Everyone is still wearing shorts, visiting their local farmers market and filling their kitchens with summertime produce.  I am sorry for the lack of sunshine my little tomato and basil plants!

Since the weather is not a scorcher outside, I am still able to turn on the oven guilt free. This means that J can enjoy warm strawberry rhubarb cobbler, roasted asparagus and brown rice pilaf all from the joy of the oven. (If it was a scorcher though, all of these could be done on the barbeque!!)

But any weather should involve ice cream. Anyone with a peanut allergy should be able to enjoy ice cream .

Like many, my allergies give me the misfortune to not be able to experience ice cream from a restaurant or local cafe. With flavours like peanut butter or pistachio, never mind the shops that have over a hundred flavours like seaweed and tuna, it is not safe for anyone with a nut allergy to eat safely in a cafe. So my choices are either to make it myself or recently I have been enjoying Avalon Ice cream that I am purchasing from my local green grocer. It is made in a peanut free facility.  If you are eating ice cream or waffle cones that are store bought, please make sure you find a brand that is made in a facility that is made without the contamination of ingredients you are allergic to. Always check the ingredient list! You can also call the 1-800 number of the company and ask them any questions if you have any hesitations.

The weather is perfect outside (right now…) to enjoy ice cream in these waffle cone bowls. They will be filled later with vanilla ice cream and apple rhubarb compote.

Homemade waffle cones for summer made in a peanut-free kitchen Waffle Cones

1 cup flour

¾ cup sugar

1 egg

½ cup milk

¼ cup water

1 tbsp melted butter

2 tsp vanilla

Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the rest of the wet ingredients and beat with a wire whisk.

Pour 2 to 3 tablespoons into waffle iron until golden brown. Remove and immediately press into any shape you desire.

For a crispier cone, add an additional one or two tablespoons of water into the batter.

Avalon Dairy- http://www.avalondairy.com/products.html

Spring preserves for the win!

Last week I was gifted rhubarb from a friend’s beautiful garden. I opened my front door to find a paper bag full of this delicious vegetable (?). Full of inspiration, I bolted into the kitchen to make my first batch of preserves of the year.  Being in Vancouver, we are a little behind the times right now of local fruits and vegetables this year as it was a wet, dreary spring. So it was a joy to see these scrumptious stalks of goodness.

My friend loves jams and preserves, so I decided to make a batch of Rhubarb Apple Jam and donate the finished product to her. Four years ago I started canning and making preserves and I seem to be quite addicted. When choosing fruit for preserving, make sure it is unblemished and firm. Slim and red rhubarb stalks are full of flavour, while larger thicker stalks can possibly be stringy or tough. Once harvested, it should be used within the first few days and stored well wrapped and unwashed in the refrigerator. Motivated from my latest cookbook purchase, Mes Confitures by Christine Ferber, I made her Rhubarb Apple and Gweurztraminer Jam.

Rhubarb is so versatile; it was hard to choose what to make with it! It had a sweet and crunchy end result and the recipe couldn’t have been easier. I am so happy with the results and am glad I tried something new.

Rhubarb Apple and Gewurztraminer Jam

I pound rhubarb

I pound tart green apples

7oz Gewurztraminer (or a pinot gris)

800g granulated sugar

Juice of one lemon

1 3” cinnamon stick (I added this to the recipe)

Rinse the rhubarb under cold water. Cut the rhubarb lengthwise then into  small dice. Peel and core the apples and cut them into small dice. In a ceramic bowl, combine the fruit, sugar, wine, cinnamon and lemon juice in a bowl. Cover with parchment paper on the surface and let it macerated in the refrigerator overnight.

Next day, strain the mixture through a sieve. Pour the leftover into a wide mouth pot and bring the syrup to a boil and cook to 221° F on a candy thermometer. Add the macerated fruit and bring to a boil again and skim any impurities. Reduce heat to medium and cook for another 10 minutes. Check the set. Pour the jam into sterilize jars, seal with lids on and let it cool. Makes 3 250ml jars.