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back from vacation! blueberries, coffecake, corn fritters

Posted Jun 18 2009 12:15am

I am back from vacation, and, fittingly with my mood on returning, it's raining. We had a fantastic time, Alex ate a ton of lobsters, and we bought as many blueberry products as we could. We visited my mom in Massachusetts and she smoked some pork butt and chicken that was awesome, we saw (and Alex met) my family in Connecticut, we drove to Portland and saw two friends from my summer camp that I hadn't seen in a long time. In Portland we played on the dog beach (I wished the whole trip that we had brought Puff), marveled over how big and nice their Wholefoods is, and then said our goodbyes and headed up the coast, towards Acadia. We stopped for delicious BBQ just south of Freeport at a place called Bucks Naked BBQ (they don't have a website but the link has a good review and great pictures), pulled in by the name. I love BBQ, and there aren't a lot of places that serve BBQ I can eat (you know, the whole gluten-free thing and the wide use of vinegars and other suspect things in BBQ sauces) so I was hoping, and correctly so, that "naked" meant without sauce. The meat at Bucks is smoked with a delicious spicy rub, and the BBQ sauce is served on the side. It was great. I had been hoping to go to Holy Smokes in Massachusetts but they burned down a little while before our trip. They had great gluten-free BBQ. We continued on and up to Camden Hills State Park, where we camped, it being too late to reach Acadia. Alex ate some lobster, we camped, then in the morning headed up to Acadia. We stopped right before the bridge to Mount Desert Island (where most of Acadia is) and Alex got some lobster, I ate leftover BBQ and some corn on the cob. We checked in, set up camp, and went to Bar Harbor to explore. We played on the rocks at Seawall, I taught Alex about ocean life (a recurring theme on this trip as I spent my childhood in tide pools and he is relatively new to the ocean) and had a good time. Alex ate lobster ice cream, we picked up supplies, and we cooked dinner at the campsite. In the morning we drove up Cadillac Mountain, ate a great breakfast of rice cakes and honey roasted peanut butter from Portland's Wholefoods, then started the long journey back towards home. We spent a few hours at the Big Chicken Barn, an antique and bookstore along Route 1 on the way back, picking up a set of silverware and a $6 copy of Larousse Gastronomique that both Alex and I had been wanting for a long time. We stopped for ice cream and a lobster roll for Alex and later, at Bucks BBQ again for me. We drove and drove and drove until we got to my dad's house in New York, where we slept, and then headed down to the NJ shore to see Alex's friends. We got there in time for a quick swim, walk on the beach, and then dinner, which, to my surprise and delight, was almost all gluten-free. The only thing I couldn't have was the green salad, because it had croutons. There was roast garlic pork loin, grilled chicken, mango salsa, rice and beans, black bean and corn salad, and a fantastic caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes. In the morning there was a blueberry coffeecake (made with some of the Maine blueberries we had brought as a gift) which looked fantastic. The recipe came from epicurious.com, so I looked it up, and made it for breakfast today.

Blueberry Coffeecake
Made with Maine blueberries, which are small and so delicious, totally unlike the regular large blueberries you can buy anywhere. They grow everywhere in Maine. Recipe from epicurious.com but adapted gluten-free.

For cake
1/4 cup oil
1 beaten egg
1/2 cup milk (I used 1/4 c half & half and 1/4 c soymilk because we had no milk)
1 1/2 cups sifted gf flour mix
1/2 t xantham gum
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

For topping
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon gf glour mix
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup ground almonds
1 tablespoon melted butter
3/4 cup fresh Maine blueberries

Combine oil, egg, and milk. Sift together dry ingredients and add them to the milk mixture. Mix well. In another bowl, combine all ingredients for topping.

Pour cake batter into a greased 9 x 9 x 2-inch pan (I used a 9" round springform pan, and had to increase the baking time by about 10 minutes). Spread blueberries evenly over batter. Top that with the cinnamon nut mixture. Bake in 375°F oven 25 to 30 minutes.

Corn Fritters

These are adapted from Elise's. They were great, however, I didn't have any onions or cilantro so I used carrots. Not quite the flavor adder, but they added soem color. The substitutions in this recipe and the one above are because I just got home from vacation, and haven't been to the grocery store yet. These were so good, and the sauce was deliciously sweet and spicy.

Dipping Sauce
3/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 large clove garlic, minced

Fritters
1 cup gf flour mix
1/2 t xantham gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup water
2 cups of corn kernels, (see steps for cutting corn from a cob ) cut from 3 large cobs (or frozen corn, defrost and drain first)
2 carrots, peeled and diced fine
canola oil for frying

Make the sauce by combining all the sauce ingredients in a small pot, cooking until sugar is dissolved, then bringing to a boil for 5-10 minutes until slightly syrupy.
Mix dry ingredients, mix wet ingredients, stir until smooth, then add corn and carrots.
Fry in small batches, a few minutes on each side, and serve with dipping sauce.

Edit: These can be made vegan if you leave out the egg and use beer instead of water, although I bet any liquid will do!

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