The Sunday Recipe: Elderberry Pancake Syrup

Elderberry Pancake Syrup

We have elderberries growing wild around our yard in Upstate New York, mostly planted by birds. I’ve made elderberry jelly over the years many times, and the flavor is dark, rich, and unique. I just love it, but I’m trying to stay away from the sugar. I had the thought to make an elderberry syrup, based on the elderberry jelly recipe, but with maple syrup and minus the pectin. It turned out to be maple syrup with a strong side note of elderberry. I think if I’d used regular sugar it would have tasted more strongly of the elderberry fruit. I’ll probably try something a little different next time but I definitely won’t be throwing this away. We had it on some mascarpone cheese mousse and it was delicious.


  • ½ cup elderberry juice (from about 8 ounces elderberries)
  • 8 ounces maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon butter


  1. Stem and rinse the elderberries.
  2. Place in a pot and crush.
  3. Bring to a low boil and turn down to simmer for 15 minutes to release the juice.
  4. Strain.
  5. Measure ½ cup juice into a clean pot with the maple syrup, lemon juice, and butter.
  6. Bring to a boil then turn down to a low boil and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Use on pancakes, ice cream, or whatever you like a syrup on.

The Friday Poem: Haiku 8/26/21

The Sunday Recipe: Speedy Tiramisu Mousse

Speedy Tiramisu Mousse

This was adapted from an old South Beach recipe, but I don’t like to use artificial sweeteners much and I ramped up the espresso powder, as well as adding some almond extract for that liqueur flavoring. It makes a great, high protein dessert to follow a salad or other summer meal. The ricotta does give it a slightly grainy texture but it is not off putting, in my opinion.


  • 2 teaspoons instant espresso or coffee powder (decaf works fine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 teaspoons cocoa powder (Ghiradelli is my favorite brand.)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta (full fat preferred)
  • Mini chocolate chips to top (optional)


  1. Measure the espresso powder into a small dish.
  2. Add the extracts and stir to dissolve.
  3. Add the cocoa powder and maple syrup, stir again.
  4. Add the powder/extract/syrup combo to the ricotta and mix thoroughly.
  5. Chill until ready to serve.

The Friday Poem: Haiku 8/19/21

The Sunday Recipe: Peach and Almond Tart

Our local farm store got some lovely organic peaches in this week so I decided to do an almond crust tart with a peach filling. I chose a half dozen peaches and tried blanching them to make peeling easier. Unfortunately, they weren’t really ripe so that didn’t help.  I was also running out of almond flour but found some blanched slivered almonds in the fridge to process and make up the difference. #glutenfree #refinedsugarfree

Peach and Almond Tart



  • 1 ½ cups almond flour (About 160 grams)
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt


  • 3 cups, peeled and pitted, diced peaches (about 6 medium)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon tapioca starch


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a non-stick tart pan OR prepare an 8 by 8 pan with cooking spray, butter, or oil, and line with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the crust ingredients and press into the prepared pan with your fingers, using the edge of your hand or a finger to press the crust up the side.
  3. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. While the crust is baking, melt the butter with the maple syrup in the microwave on half power until butter is completely melted, about 1 ½ minutes.
  5. Pour over the peach slices and stir.
  6. Add the vanilla.
  7. Stir in the tapioca starch.
  8. Remove the crust from the oven when lightly browned and puffed, and pour in peach filling.
  9. Bake for 30 minutes.
  10. Allow to cool and set up, at least an hour.
  11. May be served warm or cold. A dollop of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream never hurts.
  12. Enjoy!

The Friday Poem: Mystery

The Sunday Recipe: Cheesy Cream of Cauliflower Soup

Cheesy Cream of Cauliflower Soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • ½ cup diced onion 
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced carrot
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, chopped up
  • 4 to 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 ounces cream cheese 
  • 4 ounces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • ¼ teaspoon sea Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper


  1. In a heavy pot over medium heat, add olive oil and butter then wait for butter to melt.
  2. Add onion, celery, and carrot. Saute for five minutes.  
  3. Add cauliflower.
  4. Season with salt, and pepper.
  5. Stir and cook 5 minutes.
  6. Add broth and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower to simmer and cook, covered, 15 minutes.
  8. Blend with an immersion blender. (If using a regular blender, cover with a towel instead of the regular lid.)
  9. Add cheeses to puree in pot and allow to melt.
  10. Bring to preferred temp over low heat.
  11. Enjoy!

The Friday Poem: Change Creeps In

The Sunday Recipe: Red Currant Muffins

I grew up with currant jelly but the currant bushes on the family farm have long since died or disappeared. My husband started some new ones a few years ago and we’ve had a couple decent little hauls from them now. He froze the cranberries but I pulled some out to use in these muffins. I measured them frozen then put them on a pan, on a paper towel, to defrost for an hour or so before I made the muffins.

Maple and vanilla come through with a hint of lemon. The currants are tart and bright, though less tart than cranberries, and they are offset by how sweet the muffin is. The only real downside for me is the seeds. They are solid but chewable and a bit bigger than caraway seeds in rye bread. If you don’t mind seeds, these muffins are great. If you do mind the seeds, give these a pass.

Red Currant Muffins


  • 3 large eggs
  • 9 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter, slightly cooled.
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/3 cups rice flour 
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 1/2 cups red currants


  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Prepare your baking tins – this makes about 16 medium muffins. (I used 2 – 6 count muffin tins and 2 tiny loaf pans.)
  3. Whisk the eggs.
  4. Whisk in the maple syrup and olive oil.
  5. Add the melted butter while stirring so you don’t get scrambled eggs.
  6. Add the extracts.
  7. Stir in the sour cream.
  8. Mix the dry ingredients and mix in.
  9. Stir in the currants.
  10. Divide among the baking tins.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes.
  12. Allow to rest for ten before loosening with a thin knife.
  13. Enjoy!