July 2013 – A Look Back


It’s the last day of July and cicadas are beginning their afternoon buzz outside my window. All I can think is, where has my summer gone? It seems like just a week ago I was lamenting the cold and fickle weather that is New England Spring. Now we’ve all retreated to air conditioned interiors and fantasies of cooler days. Fall – I can taste it in the air and see it in the light; there’s a golden glow to the afternoons now – one that means school’s starting soon and cooler days are coming. It’s the lighting and sound of blueberry season – Maine Wilds are coming in and kids are trooping out to fields at 5am. Fog covered fields and the hope that you won’t rake into a bee’s nest, the scent of a squashed spice bug, and the slowing days.



It’s this time of year that I always want to head home – I want to pick blueberries and walk on the beach. I won’t go back this year – I just don’t have the time but I will sure as hell get my hands on some fresh blueberries and eat fresh berry pie. It’s my favorite, with it’s loosy-goosy set up and spicy perfect summer flavor. I don’t have a recipe for you today – if I had some of my favorite berries I’d probably grace you with a redux of my blueberry pie. It’s the best. No question.


Instead I’m going to share these pictures of a family filled Fourth of July weekend. I know, I’m lapsed in sharing them but, oh well. We grilled! We went to George’s Island! We were photo bombed (by BF’s dad, but still). And we hung out, because that’s what you do when family is around. You visit.


Also, this cake. Remember in my last post where I said I was making a crazy train cake? Here it is. Isn’t it remarkable? I worked really hard on it, and I can see the flaws but it makes me insanely happy. More satisfying was seeing the birthday boy glow when he saw it, and then proceed to tell everyone which piece of the train they were going to eat. Me? I wanted the ground the train was on – vegan chocolate cake coated in Walker’s Shortbread and Anna’s Ginger Thins. So.So.Good.


I do plan on cooking again – and I have at least two salads I need to recreate for you, I just haven’t gotten there yet. I will. I promise.


Cinnamon-Vanilla Oatmeal

cinnvanoatmeal1 So… It’s been a month (or more) since I posted here, and a lot has happened. I’ve been busy, went to three weddings, visited with ton of family, and celebrated lots of fun things, like the fourth of July. This summer is just so busy, I’m not even sure what to do about it. On top of this mass amount of travel, celebration and busyness I’ve taken an amazing apprenticeship over on EatBoutique.com. I am loving every minute of it. I’m learning so much and getting so many opportunities to try delicious food. Check out my posts over there, all summer long – I’ll be once or twice a week throughout the summer – and I’ve got some really great pieces on the horizon! I’ll try to cross post a bit, or give you a roundup periodically.

cinnvanoatmeal2 Another thing that’s been getting to me? This summer’s heat. I’ve been barely cooking – have on hand salads and delivery seem to be BF’s and my primary food recently, I don’t have the motivation to cook and nothing has been inspiring me. So, alas, my information for here has been, lacking. I mostly just want to spend my afternoons napping and my evenings drinking icy glasses of white wine. Our poor kitten is straight up melting, I don’t think she’s been doing much of anything at all, aside from drinking lots of water, which I occasionally add ice cubes to; she can’t sweat I should give her some way to cool off.

cinnvanoatmeal3 As I write this post I have a baking project looming large and sauna like – a train cake for my favorite little boy’s fourth birthday. He has requested a red Thomas, and I so clearly must oblige. This evening I will make the cake, tomorrow I will frost it, and Saturday will see the birthday boy in all of his glory. Blowing out candles and being fiercely awesome. I’m trying out a few all natural dyes for his colors too, since the artificial ones make him crazy. The brand I’m trying is called India Tree – I’m hoping it gives me some strong, true, colors.

cinnvanoatmeal4 In mid-June when it was cold and rainy (and I would have given anything for this heat) I made a lot of this cinnamon-vanilla oatmeal. It’s my own creation, and it’s only masquerading as healthy food. The oatmeal, the cinnamon, the vanilla, the golden raisins, it all comes together in a sublime breakfast that truly can’t be topped. I definitely think this will be back in the fall, when the air is cooler and there isn’t enough heat that going outside makes me instantly need a shower.
cinnvanoatmeal5 Cinnamon-Vanilla Oatmeal
Note: I usually follow the ratio recipe on the Oatmeal box when I make oats, the addition of things is of course my modification. I find this makes two large portions, but if you like smaller bowls it would comfortably serve four, especially if accompanied by a fried egg or some toast.

  • 1 1/2 cups quick or rolled oats
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4-1/2 cup golden raisins (I do two medium handfuls)s
  • 1 scant Tbs cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla (I use vanilla bean paste)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2-4 Pats(?) salted butter
  • Cream, optional but it really adds something
  • Bring the water and salt to a rolling boil. Add the oats and raisins. Stir gently to evenly dampen everything. Let cook 1-2 minutes, until oats are soft.
  • Mix in the cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar. I like to mix my oatmeal a lot so it comes out like risotto – really starchy and delicious.
  • Serve the oats. Tuck a pat of butter into each bowl as you serve it. The creaminess and saltiness of the butter really make this a perfect dish.
  • Top with a drizzle of cream and a few raisins.
  • This is not your mother’s oatmeal. But it’s so good, and a perfect breakfast – well if you like oatmeal. or cinnamon. or vanilla. or raisins.