18 May 2016

Nesting: A Return to Autumn

Brrr. It has felt like autumn again here in the northeast over the past few days. That gave the Sailor and I good reason to settle in and do some cooking this weekend. I tried this recipe for healthy chocolate chip chickpea blondies, which fell far short of my expectations. The recipe has been pinned over 28k times, so I'm pretty sure that I have to give it another try.

The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of oats or ground flax, and I used flax meal. It should have given the blondies a slight nutty flavor that complemented the peanut butter in the recipe, but they ended up tasting a little earthy. Flax is high in fiber, which lowers cholesterol, stabilizes blood sugar and keeps the digestive system in working order; full of antioxidants and omega 3s that fight inflammation causing heart disease, arthritis, diabetes and some cancers and packed with B vitamins and magnesium. 

Despite these benefits, next time I'm using oats.  And I used whipped peanut butter. I KNOW that changed the consistency, making them too dry. The Sailor always tells me that baking is science-- no substitutions. This culinary fail proved he's right!

We've been lucky to find a couple of great go to spots for food lately. The Harvest Moon Market is our source for fresh seafood brought in daily from Boston. 

Legend has it that blue crabs, like the ocean, are influenced by the phases of the moon. So crabs molt around the first full moon of May, making it soft shell crab season. We took a pass on the crab, and the Sailor grilled up some tuna on Saturday night instead.

For breakfast on Sunday, we hit another local "hidden gem," the Vischer's Ferry General Store. In recent years, the 1850's building has been lovingly restored by local families who wanted to return the store's original purpose. You're not going to pop in there for a loaf of bread or milk, like you would a real general store or the modern day convenience store equivalent. But it has a loyal customer base of locals and a cozy community feel.

The store has a limited menu of crepes, quiche, scones, chocolate croissants, breakfast sammies, a daily soup, marzipan and macaroons. Everything is freshly baked or cooked by one of the owners, a Culinary Institute of America grad. 

It's the perfect place to grab a treat and a cup of coffee before sliding a chair up to the large farmhouse table. Or if you're not into the communal seating arrangement, you might be lucky enough to score a stool at the large front windows or a small bistro table on the patio.

The charming little store opened last winter, and we've been a handful of times. In addition to home cooked goodness whipped up by the owners, , there's a great selection of unique lotions, potions, jewelry, pottery, hand-sewn crafts, books and cards and artisanal foods. 

It was such a cold dreary weekend that the Sailor whipped up a batch of split pea and ham soup on Sunday, which we ate in front of the fireplace. He used the recipe from the Joy of Cooking, and it's a keeper. 

I'm more than ready for the sunshine and warmer temps to come our way! We have a brand new patio that I can't wait to start using, and the flower beds are desperately in need of some bright blooms. 

33 days 'til the official start of summer! 

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