Heaven, I’m in Heaven…

15 Jul

“…and my heart beats so that I can hardly speak. And I seem to find the happiness I seek…” …when I’m stuffing local berries and cherries in my cheeks. Winking smile

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I hope you won’t mind the license I took with the last line of that verse. But the opening of “Cheek to cheek” is what was running through my head when I have all these beautiful berries at my disposal! Now, I must confess, I’ve been meaning to write this post for a week! These are the berries from last week’s market (and the mulberries from my house), but so much good food stuff happened that I had to tell you about, that before I knew it,  a whole week had passed and I was buying berries again! The strawberries are now out of season, but everything else is still around, so now I have a a whole week of beautiful berry eats to share. Let’s get started!IMG_2041

Of course, the berries and cherries make a mean addition to the typical yogurt bowl. Depending on the time I have and what’s staring at me in the fridge, I vary the mix accordingly. But I have had this same breakfast several times: 1/2 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt, touch of Splenda, splash of vanilla, fresh berries and/or cherries (I believe this particular bowl even had some of my mulberries), topped with 1/2 cup cereal (either some of my US finds or my Costco stuff). Speaking of US finds, see the coffee bag in the background? It’s Starbucks Cinnamon coffee, which I bought my mom for her birthday at Target. I chill the old brewed coffee and use it for my iced latte/coffee concoctions. Mixed with unsweetened original Almond Breeze and a touch of Splenda, that stuff makes a mean drink!

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The berries also found their way into a nice cold bowl of overnight oats – which, by the way, are perfect for breakfast after a hot run! It’s been a week since I made this bowl, but I think it had strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. The complete mix is:

  • 1 heaping cup fresh berries
  • 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened original Almond Breeze
  • a splash of vanilla extract
  • a touch of Splenda

Combine all ingredients in your bowl of choice. Cover, let set overnight, and a cold, berry-licious breakfast is served!

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Question: what is the perfect topping for a blueberry breakfast thin? Answer: 1/4 cup light ricotta, mixed with vanilla and Splenda; and lots of fresh blueberries, strawberries and raspberries, of course (plus more berries on the side). Throw in a cafe mocha to complete the deal, and you’ve got yourself a tasty breakfast!

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Think I’m all out of mixed berry breakfast ideas? Think again! Why not stuff ‘em inside a Flat-out wrap, add some cream cheese, and call it a mixed berry breakfast quesadilla (for the full how-to, check out my strawberry version). Throw some cherries on the side to maximize your breakfast’s fruitiness. And hey, why not another cafe mocha, IMG_2071made in your oh-so-cute Anthropologie mug (you can make one in a mug that’s not from Anthropologie, but that may decrease the cuteness quotient of your morning meal). I had to include this quesadilla close-up so you could get a better look at the goodness on the inside.

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And you already know this, but of course, those cherries would be fabulous in some black forest ice cream, with even more fresh cherries (and hot fudge) on top.

 

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Fresh berries, plus some stewed rhubarb and some fat-free Reddi-Whip, are the perfect way to perk up a frozen strawberry square that’s been in the freezer for a few weeks, FYI.

 

 

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Don’t feel like making a whole batch of ice cream? Do what I did at lunch the other day. Mix up 2 containers of Source Raspberry Chocolate (from the Dessert Selection) with a heaping spoonful of unsweetened cocoa powder, add in a cup of pitted cherries…simply divine! Black forest in a bowl…pitting the cherries is the hardest part!

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The next treat I’m going to share contains Saskatoon berries, not shown at the top but pictured in the right. If you’ve never tried Saskatoon berries, you should! They are sort of like a blueberry with a hint of almond flavour – delicious and very unique. I used them to make a dessert that some might call a cobbler, but I prefer to call a Bubbling Berry Biscuit Bake. If you don’t have/can’t find Saskatoon berries, any kind will do.

Bubbling Berry Biscuit Bake – serves one

  • 1 cup berries of your choice
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons Bisquick Heart Smart baking mix (this is from the US, and don’t judge me, I had it for a recipe…but you could use regular Bisquick, in the end, the calorie count isn’t that different)
  • 2 teaspoons Splenda, or sweetener of your choice
  • 2 tablespoons buttermilk (could use regular milk if you don’t have – I just had some leftover in the fridge and enjoy the flavour)

Preheat oven to 375 **(update: start at 400 instead). Combine berries, cornstarch and Splenda in an oven-safe dish (I had to use this tiny saucepan because I couldn’t find the dish I wanted, but I think it looked pretty cute in the end).

In a small dish, combine baking mix and buttermilk. Dollop this mixture over the berries.

Bake for 20 minutes. After this time, it still wasn’t browned liked I’d hoped, so I put the oven on convect and increased the temperature to 400, and baked for 5 more minutes ***(update: 20 minutes at 400 is exactly perfect).

Let cool slightly, then enjoy with a big scoop of light vanilla ice cream (optional but SO good) and garnish with fresh mint (also optional, but necessary if you are a food blogger/a little OCD/enjoy pretty things).

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Mixing up the biscuit topping.

 

 

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Now we are ready to go into the oven.

 

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My, don’t you look delicious?!

 

 

 

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Vanilla ice cream, fresh mint, and a cup of Earl Grey tea seal the deal – I must devour you!

 

 

 

 

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This guy didn’t last long – oh. so. GOOD! This is a great summer dessert – like I said, use any berry you want, or even other fruits, once they are in season (hello, peaches, plums and apricots). Would be a nice end to a summer dinner party I think. Perfectly portioned and party-worthy, but also easy (and healthy) enough to be an every day treat.

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Finally, if you don’t have the time or inclination to make any of the delicious suggestions above (although you really should), you can decide that, after all, life is a bowl of cherries, and why shouldn’t I enjoy them on their own, in all their glory? Perfect summer snack!

 

 

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you have a great weekend…and please, if you have the chance, visit a farmers’ market and eat locally this weekend. I promise you won’t regret it! What have you done with your fresh market finds lately?

 

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2 Responses to “Heaven, I’m in Heaven…”

  1. Donna @ Life of a Happy Blonde July 15, 2011 at 2:00 pm #

    I love EVERYTHING about this post!!!
    That recipe looks amazing and i sooo want your anthropologie mug 🙂

    • hungryhealthyhilary July 15, 2011 at 3:12 pm #

      Thank you! Maybe we can hit up Anthropologie in Philly (or stop at the one in Buffalo)….if everything works out with your passport etc!

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