Peach Pecan Crisp

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There is nothing more representative of the delicacies of the South than peaches and pecans. They are quintessentially Southern. This crisp is quick, delicious, and embraces the South at its best. You will love it.

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Peach Pecan Crisp (inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction)

The Filling:

  • 5 cups thinly sliced peaches
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

The Topping:

  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature

In a bowl, combine the peach filling, gently tossing so as not to crush the peaches.

In another bowl, combine the sugar, flower, oats, cinnamon, and salt. Using a fork, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until clumpy (much like pie crust). Stir in the pecans.

In a lightly greased 8×8 inch glass pan, add the peach filling. Sprinkle the topping over the peaches. Bake at 375 degrees until the filling is bubbly, about 35 minutes. Serves 6.

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Peach Margaritas

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Nothing says summer like fresh peaches. Their fuzzy skin and slurp inducing juiciness is so inviting you can barely stop eating them long enough to make this cocktail…. But you really should. Save just one. It’s worth it.

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Peach Margaritas

  • 1 peach, quartered (and peeled if you prefer)
  • 2 oz peach lemonade (or regular lemonade)
  • 1 1/2 oz silver tequila
  • 1/2 lime, juices
  • 1 to 2 tbsp agave nectar
  • Ice
  • Salt to rim, if desired

In a blender, add the peach quarters, lemonade, tequila, lime juice, and agave nectar. Blitz until the peaches are smooth. Rim the glass with salt, add ice, and pour in the margarita mix. Serves 1.

Ham and Havarti Pizza with Onions and Apples

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These little pizzas are a snap to throw together one a busy work night. Buy the flatbreads so you don’t have to make crust. Even your kids can make these. And the salty/sweet combo is amazing.

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Ham and Havarti Pizza with Onions and Apples

  • 3 oz thinly sliced deli ham
  • 1/3 cup Havarti cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onions
  • 1/2 tart apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 flatbreads

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Place the two flatbreads on a pizza stone. In a small bowl, add the onions, thyme, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Toss to combine. Spoon evenly over flatbreads. Take the thin apple slices and lay evenly over the onions. Roll the ham into a cigar and slice thinly. Sprinkle ham over apples. Top with the cheese. Bake until cheese is melty and slightly browning. Serves 1 or 2 with a large side salad.

Quick Pickled Onions

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Every get together of our Foodie Friend group, someone requests these quick pickled onions. They go with damn near anything. Hamburgs, hot dogs, BBQ, soup beans, Mexican food, charcuterie, cheese plates, dried fruits…. See what I mean…. You want to make these. Just do it.

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Quick Pickled Onions

  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 5 to 10 whole peppercorns
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced

In a sauce pan, combine all ingredients except the onion. Bring to a boil. In a glass bowl, add the onion and pour the hot vinegar over the onion. When room temperature, refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

Mixed Berry and Coconut Popsicles

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Hot summer weather requires something cool and refreshing. That something doesn’t have to be something high in calorie. These Popsicles are a snap to make and full of flavor.

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Mixed Berry and Coconut Popsicle

  • 2 cups mixed berries of your choice
  • 2 tbsp honey (more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk

In a blender, puree the berries with the honey. Gradually add the coconut milk. Puree until smooth. Stir in the coconut flakes and pour into your Popsicle molds. Freeze until solid and enjoy!

Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

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I am not normally a baker. It requires too much exactness for my preference. I like to be able to dabble and change and play with the flavors. It changes the chemistry though. Which means cakes flop, caramels are runny, and breads are rock solid. It seems like I can manage cookies, however. These cookies are fantastic! The texture is chewy; the flavor buttery and delicious. The only slight change I might make is to add cinnamon to the next batch. But I won’t have any trouble eating this batch!

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Coconut Pecan Oatmeal Cookies (from the Food Network)
2 sticks salted butter, at room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup unsweetened grated coconut

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla; mix well. In a separate bowl, mix together the soda, baking powder, salt, and flour. Mix into the wet ingredients until just incorporated. Stir in the oats, pecans, and coconut. Place tablespoonfuls of the dough onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool for a couple of minutes before removing to cooling racks. Makes 40 cookies.

I am Back Again… (and this time with Grilled Shishito Peppers!)

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I know I said a few months ago I was back to blogging and then I disappeared again. Getting the hang of this new life is harder than I thought. There is a lot of growing and changing and shifting after a major life event. This is not something that one can anticipate, even someone who is a planner to the extreme (who!? Not me!). As much as I have struggled these past few months, I have also grown tremendously and learned I have more strength and resilience than I previously believed. I have more confidence and faith in myself. I am more reflective of my self, my thoughts, my actions. I have made some wonderful new friendships and strengthened older relationships. I am happier now than I have been in a long time.

I have loved hosting dinner at my humble little apartment home. My last little dinner included spicy pork burgers with spicy cheddar and grilled shishito peppers. These little Japanese peppers are full of flavor without overwhelming spiciness. Trader Joe’s sells these now when in season. You can also find them at your local Asian market. Give these little babies a try….

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Grilled Shishito Peppers

  • 8 oz fresh shishito peppers
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper

Prepare your grill to medium heat. In a bowl, toss the peppers in enough olive oil to evenly coat. Grill for 2 to 3 minutes on each side, until the peppers change color evenly (I look for the army green color to just appear). Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serves 2 to 3.

DELICIOUS Cheesy Garlic Bread!

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To me there is nothing better than decadently cheesy garlic bread. When I was in college, I would order Domino’s cheesy bread on particularly bad weeks. Talk about the ultimate comfort food. This recipe is super easy to make and definately satisfying!

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Cheesy Garlic Bread

  • 1 (10 oz) tube of prepared pizza crust
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/8 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Fresh parsley garnish, if desired

Spread the pizza crust evenly on a pizza pan or stone. In a bowl, combine the butter, garlic, dried herbs, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Spread over the crust evenly. Top with cheeses. Bake at 425 degrees for approx 20 minutes or until the cheese is melty and very lightly browned. Cut into rectangle breadsticks. Makes 12 breadsticks.

 

Spicy Lotus Root Pickles

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A group of my friends and I have started a monthly get together where we try new cuisines. Last month was Dim Sum. We had tasty dumplings of conch, lamb, mushroom curry, and pearl balls. I made these spicy pickles to go along side. They were crispy, delicious, and packed a flavor punch. They were good with the dumplings but would be good alone, on a pickle tray, or with a refreshing light beer.

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Spicy Lotus Root Pickles (From yireservation.com)

  • 1lb lotus root
  • 2 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ½ tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp chili oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Toasted sesame seeds and scallions for garnishing

On the stove, bring a pot of water to a boil. Peel the lotus root and slice thinly. I used a mandolin to get evenly thin slices. Add the lotus root to the boiling water and boil for 2 minutes. This helps remove the starchy, earthy taste. Drain in a colander.

In a skillet, combine 1 tbsp of neutral oil with the garlic and chili flakes and saute very gently for 2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, and chili oil and warm through. Add the lotus root and toss to coat. Serve warm as an appetizer or chilled as a snack.

Bright Berry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

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Kentucky is suffering “WINTER STORM 2015” according to our local weather. Dramatic much?! It really is pretty snowy though. We have about 7 inches right now. Not much for the Yanks but a pretty good snow for us Kentuckians. Thankfully it is a light powdery snow so maybe we will keep our power throughout the night. The next few days promise to be miserably cold. I am not excited.

I am excited about this salad though. It is delicious and beautiful. I can’t wait to take it to work. I won’t be tempted to order out when I know I have this meal waiting on me.

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Bright Berry Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Salad:

  • 2 cups leaf lettuce
  • 1/3 cup raspberries
  • 1/3 cup blueberries
  • 1/3 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup croutons

Poppy Seed Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, add the lettuce. Top with berries, pecans, onions, and croutons. In another bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together until smooth. Pour desired amount over salad. Serves 1.

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