Pola Pola Kolačiči (Croatian “Half + Half Cookies”)

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

Each year I hold on to our family tradition of exploring the foods of a different culture during the holidays, and Pola Pola Kolačiči is a new recipe on its way to becoming an old classic.

These Croatian cookies (kolačiči) take jammy thumbprints to the next level: One half (pola) studded with poppy seeds, the other half (pola) bathed in espresso + glistening with cinnamon sugar. Where the two meet, a dot of pear cardamom butter — a favorite wintry flavor pair — adds a little something extra. Plus, of course, all the crumbly, buttery goodness you expect of a Christmas cookie.

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Strawberry Chia Seed Jam with Lemon Balm

Eat Well Edibles Grow Well Recipe

From April through June I marvel at the quantity of strawberries that pass through our kitchen. Some don’t even make it that far — enjoyed in the warm sun straight from my raised bed or the perfect mounds at the berry farm.

May is apparently National Strawberry Month, and the celebration is clearly well underway here. As we polish off the last of this year’s harvest, eaten fresh or frozen to restock the freezer (see my tips on successfully freezing fruit), the less than perfect “jam berries” become many pints of preserves.

Frozen strawberries

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Cranberry Meringue Tart

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

My holiday baking season began with this simple but very surprisingly good tart to cap Thanksgiving.

It’s a wonderful combination of crumbly, buttery crust, tart cranberries and jammy strawberries, plus a fluffy cloud of melt-in-your-mouth meringue.

Cranberry meringue tart_HGN

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Celeste Fig Jam (Raw + Sugar-Free)

Eat Well Edibles Grow Well Recipe

“Fall [is] the time when everything bursts with its last beauty,

as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” 

— Lauren DeStefano

Our southern autumns may not be as beautifully striking as those we grew up with in Wisconsin, but the upshot is an extended growing season that keeps the kitchen well-stocked with freshness. It presents the best kind of dilemma: how to preserve the harvests before they fade.

Figs in Basket_2014

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The Simplest Blueberry Jam

Eat Well Edibles Grow Well Recipe

For a while the blueberry tap flowed freely and gloriously. Combining those snatched from the mockingbirds’ clutches at home with the buckets of monster u-pick berries gave me twenty or so pounds to kick around in the kitchen.

They provided juicy sweet additions to green salads and smoothies with ginger. Others lightly warmed in multi-grain breakfast porridge, or bathed in yogurt for a cool afternoon snack. To preserve the taste of summer for chilly winter months ahead the final few found homes in the freezer (see my tips on successfully freezing fruit), and in the simplest two-ingredient blueberry jam (see recipe below).

Blueberries on tray_HGN

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