While fall season is rolling in quickly, I’ve been absent here lately. My priorities shifted a bit in recent months, and I’ve been keeping busy learning new things. As part of this transition period, photography has become something more than my passion, becoming a place where I feel genuinely comforted. I have been following my heart’s desires with my shots this autumn; the colour palette of a bright red Osakazuki Japanese maple, buttery yellow leaves of Sangokaku, the bronze hue of flame grass, early morning pinkish foggy sky, deep brown mane of my friends’ horses in the autumn evening light, etc…
Fall is, indeed, my favourite season. Everything quietly changes on land, in the sky, in the air. If I don’t pay attention and fail to closely observe, these changes just pass by in front of me. But I do like observing simple things. For that, I naturally grab my 17-year-old film camera, keeping it at the ready as I wander into nature. I guess it feels just right; it feels right when I feed my soul by photographing whatever suits my fancy . It’s just that food subjects have not been calling out to me lately.
However, today, I’m posting a muffin recipe that I made at the end of summer with abundance of my friend’s blueberries. In fact, I froze some of those wonderfully plump, juicy morsels just for a time like this: when I don’t seem to have the time or energy to cook, but would rather be taking pictures instead. The frozen blueberries have been a great helper just now, allowing me to stay on track with my blog by creating something comfortable, not too complicated or time consuming.
Blueberry Cornmeal Muffins
Makes 12 muffins
1 cup yellow cornmeal
3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup melted butter
2 cups 2% milk
2 tablespoons orange juice
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups frozen blueberries, thawed
Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease or line a large muffin tin with paper muffin cups.
Combine the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl.
Mix together the butter, milk, orange juice and eggs in another bowl.
Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones, and mix well until combined. Fold in the blueberries.
Divide the batter between the muffin cups, and bake in the centre rack of the oven until golden on top and a skewer inserted in the centre of a muffin comes out clean, for about 30 mins.
Let cool for a bit and remove from the tin. Serve warm or freeze extras in a Ziplock for later use like I did. Enjoy!
I’ve been enjoying my favourite “Aurora golden gala” apples from local farmers’ markets, and am excited about the luscious conference pears that are soon on their way… We are indeed entering the deepest part of autumn. Love the fogginess, the smell of cold air, and even the rain, which gives me a perfect reason to make this soup. There’s something romantic about sipping a bowl of French onion soup in front of the fireplace during a wet and cold season. My passion for locally made Emmental completes this love affair. Stay warm, everyone!
French Onion Soup
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
A few sprigs of thyme
A sprig of flat parsley, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cup red wine
2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon flour
2 L (8 cups) beef stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 slices baguette (½ inch rounds)
2 cups or more Emmental, grated
Melt the butter and add olive oil to a large heavy bottomed pot over medium high heat.
Sauté the onion and garlic until caramelized, constantly stirring, which takes about 30 minutes. Scrape the thyme leaves from the stems and add to the onion mixture along with the parsley and the bay leaf. Continue to sauté.
Add the red wine and continuously stir until almost all the liquid disappears. Add the flour and stir to combine: this will thicken the soup.
Add the broth, bring to a boil and turn the heat down to low. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and adjust with salt and pepper. Keep it simmering, uncovered, for another 10 minutes or until ready to serve.
Toast the baguette slices until golden. Serve the soup in individual ovenproof bowls and place a slice of baguette on the surface of the soup in each bowl. Top with plenty of Emmental and broil until golden brown. Serve hot.
Last weekend, my dear friends, my partner and I wandered into the forest, for what’s become an annual chanterelle picking excursion. It’s a wonderful way to connect with nature. Hiking, breathing in the freshest air, foraging for food and taking photographs… my very favourite things all came together, and it was indeed a nice way to welcome the beginning of autumn.
Omelette with Chanterelle Mushrooms
2 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
2 heaping cups chanterelle mushrooms, cleaned and patted dry
4 eggs, room temperature
¼ cup 2% or whole milk
A few flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and olive oil in a small (9 inch), well-seasoned frying pan or non-stick pan over medium high heat.
Sauté the garlic until it gives off an appetizing aroma, then add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until mushrooms become soft and juice becomes thick. Adjust with salt and pepper, and transfer to a plate. Wipe off the pan, return it to the stove, and keep warm over medium high heat.
Whisk the eggs, milk, half the parsley and pinch of salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Melt the other half of the butter, making sure that the pan is covered, edge to edge, with the butter.
Pour the egg mixture into the hot frying pan, swirling to the edges of the pan. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook until the edges of the eggs separate from the pan cleanly, but the inside is not completely cooked.
Return the mushrooms to the half circle of the omelette, spreading evenly and closing the other half over top. Turn the heat off, cover and continue to cook for a couple more minutes.
Cut in half and transfer to individual plates. Garnish with the rest of the parsley. Serve warm with crusty bread.