Monday, June 28, 2010

Fresh Peach Pie

Homemade peach pie practically screams summertime! Here's the pie I made for Sunday dinner.

Yup, there was some prep work involved. Some things are a labor of love, you know. A little boiling water, and some paring and we were ready to start cutting peach wedges.

Okay, with that done... I cooked the peaches in sugar, spices, butter and my secret ingredient: Goya Peach Nectar. Holy yum!!! I mean, you COULD just cook the peaches in water... but why would ya?

Filling: done.

Okay, let's put this bad boy together. Shall we?

In case you were wondering: That is a little extra love on top of the filling. There's a sprinkling of brown sugar and spices. I took the picture before I dotted it with butter. I thought that beautiful sight would cause you to weep. Heh, heh.

With that all finished, I laid on the top crust and put the baby in the oven to bake. Let's just say the house smelled over the top delicious!

Okay, it wasn't the most beautiful pie. But it definitely was tasty. *note the past tense reference*

So, what does summer taste like in your kitchen?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

While I was away...

I have been lax in updating here the last few weeks. I have a good excuse, though. I was on VACATION! Actually, it was a "stay"cation, as I stayed close to home and loved ones. Outside of a brief time in Orlando... I was home with my family.

I cooked, I rested, I laughed and I loved.

In other words: I had a ball!

Here are a few things on our plates while I was away:

Teriyaki Wings

Cinnamon Muffins

Oh yeah.... there was little accident, too.

No one was hurt, thankfully. (Inspect your Pyrex containers for chips... I'm not sure why mine shattered when I took it out of the oven...)

I really needed time away to rest and reconnect with loved ones. I was restored, loved and rejuvenated.

I'll be back with a more traditional entry soon! Thanks for hanging in there with me.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Garden Fresh Fruit and Veggie Sunday Dinner

Okay, so I may have stretched the truth just a bit with the title of this entry. I confess, I didn't grow or harvest a single one of the fresh ingredients that were the stars of our Sunday dinner today.

Our family tries to eat seasonally. There are good reasons for it. First, by eating seasonally, the fresh foods are much more affordable. Secondly, and most important: foods eaten in season are at their peak flavor.

Today our dinner table was graced with a simple Shrimp and Crab Sautee, Asian Noodle Salad and Steamed Brocoli. For dessert, we enjoyed a refreshing Mango/Berry Sorbet. My sister made the seafood and brocoli.

This Asian Noodle Salad has become a family favorite. I discovered this recipe on another blog a little over a year ago. We have not made it more than a few months without succumbing to the craving for the vegetable-laden and delicious salad. Watch out for the tastebud sensation of the spicy pepper. Our family enjoys spice, but you might want to halve the amount if heat ruins your eating experience.

The only changes that I make to the recipe are: halving the cilantro, adding fresh parsley, and using pre-shredded cabbage found in the salads refrigerated section of my grocery store. Well... again that isn't quite true. I also use Dreamfield's Pasta instead of regular pasta. I feel good about eating this product in moderation, as a diabetic. Truthfully, I never tell anyone this little secret. Most importantly, they never notice. Honest.

When I woke up this morning,I had no idea what to make for dessert. As I was drinking my coffee and reading my subbed blogs, I noticed quite a few were featuring icecreams and sorbets. So, with fresh mangoes, strawberries and raspberries in the refrigerator it became obvious: sorbet. I was convinced to try this recipe I read today at King Arthur Flour.

I followed the easy directions exactly, weighing out the fresh, ripe fruits. The simple syrup was: simple. It came together so easily, I was afraid to hope that it would be good. But it WAS!

*Lynn's Hi Five*

I plan to make another sorbet soon using fresh pineapple, coconut milk and rum. I'll let you know how it goes!

Dinner was very healthy and very flavorful. And the family was none the wiser.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Rainy Weekend, Sunny Family Life

This past weekend, I was blessed to be able to create delicious foods for my family. I say it often, but I do count it a blessing to be able to serve homemade, nutritious and pleasing foods to those that I love.

One morning (I forget which...long weekends are sometimes a lovely blur) I served a huge breakfast of thick cut hickory bacon, cheesy potato patties, fruit and toasted homemade Cinnamon Date Raisin bread. I thought about making scrambled eggs, but Young Man doesn't eat them and Young Sir wasn't awake yet.

The bread was made with the same dough recipe that I used for the dinner rolls. I simply kneaded in some pecans and then rolled the dough into a rectangle. I liberally sprinkled the dough with cinnamon, drizzled with a good amount of orange blossom honey and then laid on plumped raisins and chopped dates. Lastly, I rolled it up jelly-roll style, tucked the ends under and left it to rest in the baking pan for 40 minutes before baking at 350 degrees for thirty minutes.

I always bake my bacon for a resulting crispy, flat and evenly cooked result. The cheesy potato patties were made by dredging palmfuls of leftover potato casserole in flour and slowly frying in bacon drippings.

We had planned to barbecue on Memorial Day, but the thunderstorms changed our plans. However, I'm always up to a challenge! We wanted ribs! So... I improvised. We had "oven barbecued" ribs. They were better than I hoped!

I cut the rib slabs into portions of four to five ribs with my sturdy kitchen shears. Then I heavily seasoned them with onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, kosher salt and Mrs. Dash. Then, I put in the oven uncovered to brown quickly at 450 degrees. (I watched them carefully and turned them as needed to brown all sides)

Once they were browned, I added half a cup of water to the pan and coated the ribs with BBQ sauce. I covered them tightly with foil and returned to the oven, lowering the temperature to 300 degrees.

An hour later, I turned the ribs over and added more sauce. Once recovered tightly, they went back in the oven.

After another hour, I again turned and re-sauced the ribs.

Finally, at the end of the second hour I removed the foil and added sauce again. I turned the oven up to 375 until the ribs looked caramelized.

There were none left! And I made TWO slabs.

I hope you try these methods. If you do, please let me know how you liked the results.