WTSIM – the berried treasures round-up

Berried treasures indeed.  Judging by the length of time this Waiter, There’s Something in My… roundup took, some of you probably thought I’d buried them and then forgotten where they were buried!  But never fear, all your entries are safe and sound and I haven’t lost my treasure map. 

As I’d hoped, this month’s berry theme was not only perfectly seasonal (for this hemisphere, anyway…), but also lent itself very well to various levels of complexity.  From simple berries and yoghurt, to far more elaborate berry creations – everything looked and sounded wonderful. So without further ado, grab a shovel and let’s go looking for berried treasure!

Cherrapeno When I first went over to read my friend Nic’s entry at Cherrpeno, I wrote in the comments “I’m sorry, my brain stopped functioning when I read ‘white chocolate custard cream’” – and I wasn’t joking because I then proceeded to forget to include her divine entry in the roundup!  So as a gesture of recompense I’ve added it right at the top where everyone can see her picture-perfect summer berry millefeuille.  Apologies, Nic!

FoodBlogga First off the mark, shortly after I announced the theme was one of my favourite bloggers – Susan of Food Blogga in San Diego, California.  She was also one of only three brave souls who attempted a savoury berry dish – bravo!  She wowed me not only with her pictures but also with the innovative recipe for pork tenderloin with a strawberry & mango salsa.  How can anybody resist that?

GGG On the other side of the world, Johanna of the Green Gourmet Giraffe in Melbourne kept it simple and made a smoothie.  But not this any smoothie… this one has a surprise vegetable ingredient.  Raspberry, apricot and pumpkin smoothies, anyone?  As Johanna says, suspend your disbelief till you try one – it really works!

BuddingCook I love a good clafoutis, I do… and apparently, so does The Budding Cook over in the USA.  After a trip to the farmers’ market left her with a glut of blueberries, she decided on a blueberry clafoutis. A very berry clafoutis – wonderful!  And knowing how healthy blueberries are, you can almost convince yourself that this is health food…!

FunAndFood Like me, Mansi of Food and Fun in California was pretty sceptical the first time she heard of strawberries with balsamic vinegar and black pepper.  But, like me, she was won over as soon as she tasted them.  And now she has even used them to give a new twist to an old favourite as she prepares vanilla pannacotta with balsamic strawberries.  And just see her adorable heart-shaped panacottas!

Kuechenlatein In the northern parts of Europe, strawberry season isn’t going to last forever so Ulrike of Kuechenlatein in Germany is making the most of the local berries while they’re available.  She keeps things really simple with strawberries on yoghurt – all the better to taste those little treasures!  And check out the martini glass presentation :)

FoodAndFamily copy Talk about blogging beyond the call of duty… Although Kit of Food and Family lives just outside Cape Town, she was so devastated that the WTSIM berry theme was out of sync with South Africa’s seasons that she arranged a family trip to the UK especially so she coudl make somethign with fresh berries 😉  And what she makes is probably the all-time classic English berry dessert:  summer pudding.  Who would have thought that stale white bread and berries could taste so damn good?

PaulchensFoodblogMoving over to Vienna, we meet up with Astrid of Paulchens Foodblog.  Apparently, it’s been hotter there than it has been here because she’s been craving a frozen dessert.  She creates a strawberry-raspberry frozen yoghurt that not only tastes fab, but just look at the beautiful mould she’s made it in.  I’d say it looks good enough to eat :)

KitchenInferno You’ve probably all heard of some variation of rhubarb & strawberry pie, but Mickey of Kitchen Inferno in St Louis, Missouri decides to ring the changes and presents us with a rhubarb and blackberry pie instead.  I agree with her that theflavours and colours are more interesting than pies using strawberries and I like the crumble she puts on top of the pie – I can convince myself it’s a healthy dish :)

LawsOfKitchen I do love a twist on a classic dish… and apparently, so does Cakelaw of Laws of the Kitchen in Melbourne, Australia.  You’ve all had lemon meringue pie – a great combination of sweet and tart flavours – so why not try a berry meringue pie instead? Cakelaw had cleverly frozen a couple of punnets of berries when they were in season and they worked beautifully as a pie filling.  Clever!

Vanielje Kitchen Up next is another of my favourite bloggers, fellow South African Inge of Vanielje Kitchen in Somerset, UK.  She subscribes to the same belief as I do, namely that the best dishes take 30 minutes in the kitchen, but look and taste as if they took 3 hours.  She wows her friends and family with strawberry & raspberry feuilletées – she describes it as summer on a plate and who am I to argue?

SpeedLimitGalette A newcomer, both to blogging and top WTSIM is the lovely Dawnielle of Exceeding the Speed Limit.  She and I have been chatting on e-mail since long before she started her blog and I’m thrilled that she has taken the plunge :)  She combines the sweetness of peaches with the tartness of raspberries to create a delicious looking rustic raspberry peach galette – and the secret is… vodka in the crust.  Now that’s my kind of baking :o) 

SpeedLimitMarinade And as if that wasn’t enough, Dawnielle also created a second entry for this momth’s WTSIM!  She because the second participant along with FoodBlogga to try a savoury berry-based dish as she brings us an intriguing raspberry chipotle Zinfandel marinade.  WIth those flavours, how can yo go wrong, and just look at the vibrant colour.

Simplicious From there, we head over to Amman, Jordan to visit Zita of Simplicious.  She is one of those brave and crazy bloggers that make up the Daring Bakers, and she found that she had some praline left after this month’s challenge.  She transforsm it by building an entirely new dish around it: praline strawberry tarts with sour cream filling.  Gorgeous!

MorselsMusings Down in Sydney, Australia, Anna of Morsels & Musings shows us that you don’t have to think summery desserts when you think of berries.  Oh no – she pictures chilly Victorian familes huddled around their table in England to ooh and aah as the steamed pudding is ummoulded. Her version consists of individual steamed blueberry puddings, and I’m sure there are oohs and aahs all round!

ApplePiePatisPate One of the best things about food blog events like WTSIM is that you get to discover new blogs – like Jude’s Apple Pie, Patis and Pate in Chicago, Illinois which I had not visited before.  Jude wowed me with an unusual berry dessert – raspberry lambic sorbet, made with rasberry lambic beer!  Simple and brilliant – I’ll be back :)

BakeMyDay I think everyone has dishes that they have an unreasonable phobia of making. For me, it’s jam… but Karen of Bake my Day in the Netherlands has no such qualms!  She gives a great step-by-step explanation of how to make strawberry jam, including the sterlilization of the jars.  And I love the addition of black pepper to the recipe!

BlogAppetit We’re staying with strawberries but heading over to visit Faith of Blog Appetit in San Francisco next.  She has that rarest of assets – a husband who voluntarily stops the car to shop at farmstalls (unlike mine!) – and as a result she had more berries than she knew what to do with.  So she makes strawberry sorbet with a berried treasure inside – literally! 

CrazyCurry It seems that frozen desserts were a big hit this month as we head over to Minneapolis, Minnesota to visit Bhags of Crazy Curry.  Bhags gives us a beautiful post, all about memories of the monsoon in India – I was ready to book my flight by the time I’d fininshed reading it!  And the post finishes on a high note with David Lebovitz’s frozen blueberry yoghurt. Yummy!

PassionateAboutBaking Up next is one of my favourite recipes this month. The lovely Deeba of Passionate About Baking… & Beyond near Delhi, India gets my attention by using some wonderful quotes from Erma Bombeck, but I really sat up and started listening when I got to the recipe for chocolate cinnamon mousse with cherries.  Can you think of a better combinatio of tastes?  Nope, me neither :) 

Joelen If you’re in England and you have stale white bread and berries, you make summer pudding.  But if you’re first-time WTSIMer Joelen of Joelen’s Culinary Adventures in Chicago, Illinois you make… strawberry bread & butter pudding!  I love playng around with the basic bread & butter pudding recipe, and this seems like an inspired take on the original.

ClosetCooking Slightly north and across the border, we pop in to visit Kevin of Closet Cooking in Toronto, Canada.  He’s another brave soul who attempted a savoury dish as he finds himself with more strawberries than he knows what to do with.  The rest of us might have made jam… but Kevin dreamed up cod with a strawberry and balsamic salsa!  I’m intrigued – and I’m sure you will be too!

Lucullian Up next is one of my favourite entries this month from one of my favourite bloggers – Ilva of Lucullian Delights in Italy.  Not only does she say the most outrageously nice things about me, she also posts a spectacular mixed berry and ginger tart with a rosemary crust.  Berries + ginger + rosemary can only = absolutely fabulous – and just look at her exquisite photos…

BlogFromOurKitchen Back to Canada, and this time we’re off to visit my old friend Elizabeth from Blog from OUR kitchen. Like me, Elizabeth always seems to have more things to do than there are hours in a day but this month she comfortably makes the deadline.  Her dish is a delicious strawberry shortcake, but it’s quite different to how I always imagined it – go and take a look for yourself :)

SpoonfulOfSugar It seems strawberries were a big hit this month on both sides of the Atlantic.  Back here in the UK in Bristol, Angela of A Spoonful of Sugar tries something a little more adventurous with hers than the usual strawberries and cream.  Just have a look at her spiced strawberry soup with honey frozen yoghurt and strawberry granita – not only is it beautiful (look at the intense colour of that soup!) but it sounds mouthwateringly delicious too.

ColumbusFoodie From the relatively complex to the deliciously simple – let’s see that Becke of Columbus Foodie in Columbus, Ohio is up to.  She seems to have a treasure chest of assorted fresh berries at her fingertips and sticks to a beautifully simple dish to let the ingredients shine through: mixed berries with lemon quark.  Just look at that tempting picture!

MunchkinMail As I mentioned earlier, one of the great things about hosting this event is discovering new blogs and another new discovery for me this month is Munchkin Mail, here in Warwickshire, UK.  First time WTSIMer Lysy wows me with another simply delicious recipe for strawberries – grilled strawberries with Pimms.  Now can you think of anything more symbolic of an English summer menu?

LindaKovacevic From the simple to the more complex, and from the UK to The Hague in the Netherlands to visit Linda of Make Life Sweeter.  She was asked to make something for a charity fundraiser and just look at these little redcurrant & blackcurrant mini cakes she made – little jewelled berry beauties!  No wonder they sold out before she got a taste.

DomesticGoddess Back across the channel in Derbyshire, UK, I can’t resist popping into Jules’ kitchen at Domestic Goddess in Training.  After a visit to a pick-your-own berry farm, she just has to make a classc English pudding – but she grabs my attention by miniaturising the portions to give us adorable individual summer puddings.  Gorgeous!

CookAlmostAnything On the other side of the world in Melbourne, Australia it’s the middle of winter and you’d be forgiven for thinking that the antipodean bloggers would struggle with this month’s theme.  Not the lovely Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything at Least Once!  You see, she froze some blueberries in the summer when they were plentiful and now she has no trouble whipping up a brioche and blueberry pudding – a rather sexy take on bread and butter pudding.  Inspired.

WellSeasonedCook Probably the most unusual berries I came across this round arrived courtesy of Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook in New York.  You’ve all seen raspberries, in their day-glo red colour.  But how many of you have seen yellow raspberries?  I know I haven’t…  Susan gives them extra special treatment, first by cooking the fruit in a spiced syrup and then baking them in a rosemary-spiked yellow raspberry crisp.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it! 

DragonsKitchen Now we’ve had all sorts of baked goods this month, but not really that many cakes.  However, Paula from Dragon’s Kitchen in Ontario, Canada aims ro redress that imbalance.   She makes a cake – but oh what a cake.  One look at the beautiful photo, and the fabulous inclusion of Limoncello in the recipe will tell you that this lemon blueberry cake is something special :) 

Feedme And right here in England we meet up with the lovely I-Ling from Feed Me!  I’m Hungry!  She’s also been travelling, but still manages to squeeze in a gorgeous entry for this month’s WTSIM – it’s a baked raspberry and nectarine (pan)cake.  Think colourful clafoutis and you wouldn’t be far wide of the mark – too lovely!

SpittoonBerryMousse Co-founder of this event, Andrew of Spittoon, has been travelling more than ME lately!  Geneva, Berlin… it’s allright for some!  Just before he set off on his travels he made the most of some berried in his freezer and cream in the fridge to counjour up the simply delicious mixed berry mousse.

SpitttonExtraCroissant After returning home from his travels, Andrew of SpittoonExtra managed to squeeze in a second entry – and this one’s a goodie.  It may be simple, but his chocolate croissants with strawberries and ice cream looks mind-bogglingly good – and easy enough to make on the spur of the moment.

20080620 ChocRaspberryCupcakesTitle And last but not least, there’s my own entry – those deliciously sinful dark chocolate and raspberry cupcakes.  One bite and you’ll be doomed to eternal (but delicious!) chocolatey damnation ;-).

Phew!  A huge thank you to everyone who went to so much trouble to take part and create wonderful berry-based dishes.  It’s been a pleasure browsing through all your wonderful blogs :) Next month, it’s Johanna‘s turn to host WTSIM and I hear a rumour that the theme may involve sumer picnics… Do check her site to see when she announces the theme!

If you enjoyed reading this, please consider sharing it using the social media buttons below the post. I'd also love to hear what you thought about this post so please do leave a comment below. Hope to see you again soon!

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. says

    Oh Jeanne…*sigh*…this is a berry berry beautiful round-up! Thanks you ever so much for the nice words. I do love Erma Bombeck…every quote of hers seems like a page out of my life!! Gracias again for this wonderful event! Cheers Deeba

  2. says

    This was definitely worth the wait, thx Jeanne. I’ll be back later today to go and check out all the new sites I’ve just found here.

  3. says

    Just the roundup alone has had me scrolling back through it twice. They all look scrum-dilly-ishus (one of my daughter’s expressions of extreme culinary delight) and I particularly love the pics of the ginger, berry and rosemary tart and the gorgeous golden raspberries. Sigh… I do love berries. And I had to smile at Mansi’s entry as well because guess what I’ve made for after dinner tonight? Vanilla pannacotta with balsamic strawberries. I’ll have to pop over to her and compare recipes. You know me Jeanne, anything that’s going to be quicker, easier and still look as spectacular as her beautiful little hearts will get my vote.

  4. says

    Oh thanks so much Jeanne! It’s like jumping straight to the front of the queue!
    (Actually, I’m a bit sick of that post now – I must get on and make something else…)

  5. says

    wonderful round up – and how tantalising to see all these great berry recipes while they are out of season in Melbourne – will be coming back in Summer for some ideas

  6. says

    Great roundup Jeanne and well done getting it up there so soon after your travels – I always enjoy reading through and you put so much work into pithy summings up of all our posts!
    I’m loving all the berries over here now – despite all the rain we’re feasting on strawberries and raspberries in Norfolk at the moment, picked from my cousin’s own garden, scrumptious. I haven’t got my e-mail addresses here but will try and give you a ring on the weekend before we head back to SA and winter.

  7. says

    Beautiful beautiful dishes! Thanks for doing such a lovely job and bringing together so much inspiration! Thank goodness we have a bit left of the berry season to try out some of these other creations

  8. says

    Nice round-up and so many scrumptious dishes! Just returned from our holiday in the Provence and I really need to stay waaaaay back from these…. I should.

  9. says

    Deeba – I know what you mean – sometimes I think of Erma Bombeck as a long-lost relative, so similar does her family life sound to mine 😉 Glad you liked the round-up too!
    Courtney, Dragon, Nina, Ilva and Angela – so glad you all liked it :) And all the hard work in putting it together is worth it when I see what a spectacular collection of berried treasures we have.
    Andreea – why not, the more the merrier…
    Nic – I know, I was fascinated. Apparently some of the national supermarket chains plan to sell them while their short season lasts. And oops, sorry about leaving you out, and that after I’d visited your site and commented!! Losing it…
    FJK – thanks:)
    Susan – *blush* thank you!
    Jude – glad you enjoyed it!
    Suganya – what a pity – but I do find berries always last not nearly as long as I imagine they will. I must have a hundred recipes for using up past-their-prime berries…
    Johanna – oh you poor thing, it must be killing you reading all this from Down Under while berries are out of season for you! But at least you can look forward to a very berry summer…
    Susan – that you :) And verily, you are the Queen of Berries! I am inspired by the wealth of berry inspiration on your site, and your gorgeous pics as always.
    Kit – you lucky thing, you get to have TWO summers this year :)
    Mallika – that’s the spirit – next month is another chance, and the theme is picnics so get your thinking cap on!
    ELizabeth – glad to hear my fascination with the savoury berry recipes was not just be being provincial 😉 And oops, will add your larger size pic now.
    Lysy – I hear you – I have a whole new world of berry recipes to try out while the season lasts – may have to freeze a few punnets too :)
    Baking Soda – shoulda, woulda, coulda, didn’t. The story of my life. There’s always tomorrow to diet 😉
    Tongue-Tickle – Hey, great to see you around here! Next time I want to see you participating – come on, be the first of the 24 bloggers to come over to The Other Side and join the WTSIM party 😉