Archive for Seasonal

Fraser Valley Roasted Carrots

This is the second post this week where I’m focusing on the food of the Fraser Valley.

We’re incredibly lucky to have such lush farmland just a few minutes’ drive away (okay, so it might be closer to an hour, but hey, it’s still pretty local), where we can source locally grown fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and meats.

I’m going to skip the meats, but I do really support an environment where you know your farmer, and your farmer knows his or her product, be it animal or vegetable.

milner farm aged goat cheese

One of our stops on our Fraser Valley Food Tour was at Milner Valley Cheese. There’s something really cool about being able to see (and pet!) the goats that make the milk that they turn into cheese. It’s a full farm-to-table operation there. The goats are milked twice daily, and then that milk is turned into cheese right there on the premises.

milner farm chevre

That means it’s pretty much the freshest chevre you’ve ever eaten. It was delicious. I was pretty smitten with their aged goat cheese, which had a similar consistency to a parmesan or an aged gouda. Oh–and by the way–they also make their own goat gelato. Yeah! And it’s really tangy and yummy.

We came home from our Fraser Valley Foodie Tour with a bunch of beautiful, fresh ingredients–produce, cheese and berries–and then of course, I had to do something with it all!

petting goats

Petting goats at Milner Farms.

Angie’s book, Eating Local in the Fraser Valley not only profiles local food producers in the valley, but also those who make the food. There are profiles of chefs, and there are recipes that will help you use up all the yummy goodness.

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Carrots with Parsnips and Chickpeas Angie Quaale

Recipe and photo courtesy of Random House. Reproduced with permission.

One such recipe is Angie’s Sweet and Spicy Roasted Carrots with Parsnips and Chickpeas.


  • 1 lb small carrots, peeled
  • 1/2 lb parsnips, peeled
  • 1 can chickpeas (drained–save the aquafaba!)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried red chili flakes
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Halve the carrots and parsnips lenghtwise. Place on a baking pan in a single layer, and then add the chickpeas. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle over the chili flakes and the salt and then toss to combine. Bake in oven for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven, stir well, and return to bake for another 15 minutes, until carrots and parsnips are fork-tender and chickpeas are crispy.
  4. Transfer to a platter to serve, drizzle over the pomegranate molasses, chunks of feta, and sprinkle with parsley.

Sounds good, right??? Here is my variation on this recipe.

roasted carrots

I didn’t have parsnips, but I did get some beautiful rainbow carrots at the Farmer’s Market, so I used just those. I also can’t use chili flakes because the boy can’t manage anything that’s hot or spicy, so I used za’atar instead. If you’re not familiar, za’atar is a middle-eastern spice blend made with oregano, sesame, and sumac. It’s very warming. I also didn’t have feta (basically failing at this recipe), but I did have the super tasty aged goat cheese I’d gotten from Milner farms, so I shaved that over the top. Finally, I subbed out balsamic reduction for the pomegranate molasses. Oh! and I made a pesto from the carrot tops.

We had these as a side with some veggie burgers, and they were soooo good!

Get out and explore your backyard! You never know what tasty treasures you might discover.

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

I really, really love this time of the year.

First off, I’m a summer girl. I was born in the summer, and I love the heat. I know lots of people complain about it, but I will take it any day over the rain.

The other thing I love about summer is that it seems like, every time you turn around, there’s something new to cook. Something is blooming, producing fruit, basically hitting you with all of Nature’s bounty. Seasonal means cheap, and seasonal means fresh.

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake

It’s currently blueberry season, and Michael and I drove out to the valley last weekend to stock up. This week, therefore, is all about the blueberry.

I really love doing sweet and savoury together, like pairing blueberries with traditionally savoury ingredients, like herbs or balsamic vinegar. Last year, I did a barbecue sauce that incorporated blueberries, and served it with my pulled jackfruit on a taco (would also rock on a waffle for brunch).

They are such great, versatile berries, and packed with Vitamin C, fibre, and antioxidants. You really could just eat them by the handful and call it a day, but I do like to make at least one pie or galette (aka lazy pie) somewhere along the way. I will also freeze any leftovers on a single layer on a sheet tray, then transfer to a ziploc once they are frozen, and then they get chucked into my morning smoothie.

One classic and winning pairing, however, is with lemon, and that is what today’s recipe is all about.

Blueberry Lemon Pound Cake

Traditionally, a pound cake was a very simple recipe: one pound of butter, one pound of eggs, one pound of sugar, and one pound of flour. That’s it! It was a super simple recipe.

That cake also tended to be pretty heavy and dense (but makes for the base of a lovely shortcake!). This version is lightened-up some, both in texture and in weight.

You can’t skip zesting the lemon. It’s a crucial step. There is a ton of bright lemon flavour hidden in the essential oils in the lemon skin. Lots of people use a rasp or a microplane for this step, but I prefer a citrus zester.BC Blueberries Lemon Pound Cake

Lemon Blueberry Pound Cake


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 3⁄4 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • 2 3⁄4 cups flour
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp baking powder
  • 1⁄4 tsp baking soda
  • 1⁄4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups blueberries, tossed with 1 tbsp flour


  1. Place the milk in a small bowl, and add the lemon juice to it. Set aside while you complete the next few steps.
  2. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, place the butter and sugar. Cream together well until light and all the sugar is incorporated.
  3. With the mixer running on low, add the eggs one at a time.
  4. Add the vanilla and lemon zest, and beat again.
  5. Mix together the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add to the mix (with the mixer on low), alternating between the flour and the milk, in three batches.
  6. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the blueberries by hand.
  7. Pour into parchment-lined pans (you could use a loaf pan or a bundt cake–I did mine in a series of mini loaf pans) and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  8. For the glaze: mix together 2 cups icing sugar and 1/3 cup lemon juice. Drizzle over your cake, then allow to set.
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