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It's a Blueberry Summer

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Blueberries are a great snack right off the bush!

This summer marks the sixth of such seasons we’ve been in our house. Our summers are filled with the usual activities – trips to the pool, the occasional trip to the beach, camp, tennis, and lots of play dates to fill up some of the empty afternoons. On the surface, our summers are much like other families’ – with one notable exception.

Almost every evening we slather on the bug spray and trek out to the backyard to pick fresh, juicy blueberries from our beautiful blueberry bush. Now, while blueberries do technically come from flowering shrub, ours bloom off of what is as tall as a tree. I like to joke that they are “totally organic” because we just let nature takes it’s course, and the bush develops as it likes. The result? Big, ripe berries perfect for snacking, putting in baked goods, and freezing for later use. My husband even tried to concoct a blueberry martini a few summers ago.

Our girls thoroughly enjoy this nightly ritual, though they often eat straight from the bush much more than they ever gather in their cups. It has become a tradition with several of our friends to come over and pick every summer – often multiple times. We enjoy filling up paper lunch bags to give to coworkers. I’m no longer surprised at the happiness these tiny fruits bring to unsuspecting recipients. And fresh blueberries have become the rule, not the exception, whenever we visit grandparents during July and August.

So in honor of our blueberry bounty, I’ll share some of my favorite blueberry recipes with you, as well as some fresh pictures of pickin’. Enjoy!

Overnight Blueberry French Toast

I made this for breakfast last Thanksgiving using blueberries I had frozen towards the end of the summer. It was delicious!

Ingredients

  • 12 slices day-old bread, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 12 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon butter

Directions

  1. Lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange half the bread cubes in the dish, and top with cream cheese cubes. Sprinkle 1 cup blueberries over the cream cheese, and top with remaining bread cubes.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and syrup. Pour over the bread cubes. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Remove the bread cube mixture from the refrigerator about 30 minutes before baking. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. Cover, and bake 30 minutes. Uncover, and continue baking 25 to 30 minutes, until center is firm and surface is lightly browned.
  5. In a medium saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch, and water. Bring to a boil. Stirring constantly, cook 3 to 4 minutes. Mix in the remaining 1 cup blueberries. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, until the blueberries burst. Stir in the butter, and pour over the baked French toast

You may also want to check out www.blueberry-recipe.com for more great ideas. What blueberry recipes do you enjoy? Please share with a comment!

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