Hi, all! Whatchoo been up to? I had a very busy four weeks from early May to early June with lots of client deadlines. It culminated in a big, full-day video shoot last week with Dairy Farmers of Canada that I told you about a while back. It was really fun, but a lot of work. A camera crew took over my apartment to shoot cooking-show style in my kitchen. There was enormous lighting equipment, cameras and booms – it was crazy! It won’t be ready until later this summer, but I’ll be sharing it here, and if you’re in Canada, you’ll see it run as an ad across lots of other websites, too. Anyway, after an intense period of concentrated work activity, it was nice to take a deep breath and just spend some time with Theo at the beach and the pool, away from my inbox.
I’m 6 months pregnant now, and I’m acutely aware that things are going to really change in September. I’m trying to really savour how easy things are right now, and cherish my alone time with little peanut #1. Aside from getting hot and enormous during the warmest months, I am really digging the idea of an early fall birth – this way I get to enjoy the whole summer with the baby “contained” and then he (yes, HE! I’m having another BOY!) will arrive just at the time when I’m craving the cozying up and nestling in of autumn.
Any of you who were 9 months pregnant in August are probably chuckling evilly at me right now… ask me again how I feel when the temperatures skyrocket.
I’ve been craving fresh, vibrant foods, and have gone through probably about ten pounds of strawberries since they appeared on the scene a few weeks ago. Obviously, that’s not a secret. I’ve been eating them out of hand, and in both savoury and sweet dishes.
I think they are so versatile because, despite being pretty sweet, they are really rounded out by a nice tart edge that pairs well with salty and herbal flavours. In this summery appetizer, they are arranged atop goat cheese-slathered toasted baguette slices, with sticky-sweet balsamic reduction and a bit of torn mint.
Balsamic reduction has little in common with balsamic vinegar – it’s a thick, sweet syrup with just a hint of sour. It’s great with both sweet and savoury, too. Make your own (very easy), or buy a bottle to fancy up your salads, appys and desserts all summer.
As the season progresses, feel free to swap the strawberries with blackberries, nectarines, plums or cherries. Or tomatoes, for that matter.
Are your local strawberries out yet? What have you been making, or are most excited to make with them?
Strawberry Goat Cheese Crostini
- 1 baguette cut in 1/2" slices
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 6 oz goat cheese
- 1 pint strawberries stems removed and thinly sliced
- balsamic reduction recipe here, or storebought
- small handful mint or basil leaves
- Preheat broiler and position oven rack to highest position. Arrange baguette slices on a baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Toast under broiler, watching closely and rotating pan as needed for even browning, about 2-3 minutes total.
- Let bread cool a bit, then spread evenly with goat cheese. Arrange strawberry slices over top, drizzle with balsamic reduction, and sprinkle with mint or basil leaves.