Archive | July, 2010

Peach Ice Cream Topper

28 Jul

Hi everyone!

The influx of peaches has continued. I picked up a fresh load of peaches from my folks last weekend. There had to have been 15 of them! They all needed to be used quickly and I have been wanting to experiment with jams and preserves, so this presented the perfect opportunity. I cut the peaches up and put them in a pot on the stove with brown sugar and some cinnamon and let them go. What I wound up with wasn’t jam, per se, but the perfect topping for ice cream. It is successful on toast with butter, more in the dessert way than the breakfast way though. It is a caramelly delicious treat that sits proud atop a scoop (or two) of your favorite vanilla ice cream. It is one of those things that taunts me from the fridge until the vessel is empty. I have had to pass jars out to friends and family, just so I don’t make myself sick.

The recipe is super simple and great for your peaches that aren’t the show boats, I cut around bruises and other blemishes and the “jam” didn’t mind at all.

3 lbs fresh peaches
2 c brown sugar
1 t cinnamon
2 T lemon juice

Combine the peaches, brown sugar and cinnamon in a pot over medium heat. Let simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until burnt orange color is achieved. Remove from heat and add lemon juice to add a brightness. I store this in mason jars. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Try, enjoy, and report back!

Thanks for reading,

Not That Martha

***Please notice the new photography! I am thrilled to thank ultra supportive friend and uber-talented photographer, Sarah Wilson! Click on her name to visit her website.***

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Soft Boiled Egg on Toast

20 Jul

So simple, and oh so good. This is one of my very favorite go to breakfasts. As a matter of fact, I have had it two mornings in a row. For me, the key is in the doneness of the yolk. I like a yolk just to the point where I can spread it on my toast, like jam. Runny whites upset me, so I will err on the side of too done to make sure I don’t have a runny white. Yesterday I used Barrie’s whole wheat bread. It comes unsliced, so I get to choose my thickness. Today I went with the whole wheat bread from Sweetish Hill. Slathering the bread with some Way Back When Dairy butter is pivotal. Salt and pepper on top and I am a happy girl. For an extra kick, I can’t get enough of Sriracha. Not at all local, but eye opening and made for eggs.

Boiled eggs seem like they should be so easy, but it has taken quite a bit of advice gathering and testing to get to results I am satisfied with. There are too many people, shows and books that need credit for this, so I will give a blanket shout out to all of the egg boilers that have helped me on this journey. I feel I would be cheating you to only pass along my soft-boiled research, so I have included my findings on the more firm variety.

And, a trick for peeling. I find eggs are much more successfully peeled under a stream of running water. The shell seems far less stubborn.

For the hard boiled egg: Start the raw eggs in cold water. Bring this water to a boil, then turn off! Let the eggs sit in the water for 8 minutes and you are sure to have a hard boiled egg you are happy about. Let it sit for up to 10 minutes if you want a chalkier yolk.

For the softie: Bring the water to a boil and place raw eggs in the boiling water, gently (I use tongs to accomplish this). Keep water bubbling, but not so hard it breaks the raw eggs. Let eggs boil for 5 minutes if you start them at room temperature and 6 if they go from fridge to water. In this preparation, the whites will be firm, with a runny yolk.

It may be my taco eating roots, but I fold the toast over to eat.

Blueberry and Peach Tart

9 Jul

It is proof of the divine that blueberries and peaches conspire to ripen together. I love this flavor combination more than I can properly tell you. There is a lot of sense-memory imbedded in these flavors. I remember them on my Mom’s homemade granola growing up. And my first attempts at baking involved peach and blueberry cobbler. I love each on its own, but the tart bite of the peach with the almost creamy sweet of the blueberry does something extra special for me. So now I have graduated to crust-making. This is an art that must be felt and practiced. It requires finesse. I started mine in a food processor, but quickly moved it all to the bowl and dug my hands in. One of the things I love best about cooking is the tactile business of it. It gives me permission to make a mess and play with my food. So, back to the crust…butter is the key here. Butter insists on being treated right or the crust just won’t behave. The butter must be ice cold, cut into pieces, and incorporated quickly with just the finger tips. Then, the butter needs to rest. God, I love butter.

The peaches I used today were grown by my proud father. The blueberries delivered to my door by Farm House Delivery. The honey from the downtown farmers market, gorgeous Guajillo honey from the good folks at Thunderheart. I used Alice Waters’ recipe for the pastry dough from The Art of Simple Food, a book I would save in the event of a fire.

I am satisfied with round one of pie dough making, but I have a long way to go. So, just get in there and try it! Channel that kid that sits inside of you (or the real live ones running around your table) and get your hands in the food. Make a real mess!

Now for the recipe. (makes 2 tarts!)

For the dough:

1/2 cup ice-cold water

2 cups AP flour

1/2 t. salt

1 1/2 sticks of cold cold butter, cut into 1/4″ pieces

For the filling:

4-5 peaches, sliced

1 cup blueberries

2 T guajillo honey

1/2 t cinnamon

For topping:

1/4 cup chopped almond

2 T dark brown sugar

Using finger tips,  combine the butter, flour and salt. Work quickly until a sandy texture is achieved. Pea-sized butter chunks are good because it makes the dough flakey. If using a food processor, pulse butter flour and salt together until sandy texture is achieved. At this point, add about half of the ice water. Look for the dough to just come together and form a ball when pressed together, so keep adding the water until this consistency is achieved (all water may not be used). Divide the crust into 2 even parts, wrap it in plastic and smash it into a disc, then put it in the refridgerator to chill for an hour or so.

While the dough is chilling, combine filling ingredients.

Once dough is chilled, flour a counter top, top of the dough and rolling pin. Working from the middle, roll dough out until desired thinness. I like to roll mine into a rectangle. Place filling in the middle of rectangle and fold together. Top with almonds and dark brown sugar. Bake on 375 for 30 minutes or until golden brown.

*Alternatively, take a short cut and drive to the store and purchase some ready made dough and scratch make the filling.

Thanks for reading!

Not That Martha

PS Thanks to my Tomato Class! That sure was a fun group. And, I still have a couple of spots available for next week’s Squash Class.

Birthday Smoothie, Texas Style!

1 Jul

birthday breakfast!

Today is the day that some years ago, my love was born. This is the first birthday that we have gotten to celebrate together, so I want to make it a special one! She is the very best one, so we had to start this day off right!

The cinnamon rolls from Russell’s Bakery are irresitable to me and I will use just about any reason as an excuse to have them, enter said birthday. When I was putting the plate together in my head, there were strawberries on it, the perfect tart for all of that cinnamony sweet. Alas, the strawberries are no longer in season. I stomped my feet (in my head) for a few seconds before remembering that I bought a bag of frozen strawberries last time I was at Boggy Creek Farm. Well, frozen strawberries alone wouldn’t work and this is where my glorious bushel from Farm House Delivery comes into play. Yesterday among the cucumbers, fresh peas, tomatoes and corn, were blueberries and peaches. I usually have White Mountain Yogurt on hand, so the smoothie ingredients were all present and accounted for. I admittedly cheated on Texas by adding a banana, please forgive me. To pull the smoothie together and allow for blending, I use hibiscus tea. It isn’t as sweet as juice, so it really lets the fruit shine. Plus, I try to find any excuse to drink the stuff. It is high in Vitamin C and void of caffeine.  The smoothie turned out tart with just enough sweet to pair nicely with the buttery, divine cinnamon roll.

On another note, I have been rotating through Owl Tree‘s products. This week we have Bird’s Blend. The homage to the Austin-style barbershop is mellow and smooth and I highly recommend it!

Here is the recipe:

Easily serves 4

1 cup hibiscus tea

1/2 cup White Mountain Yogurt

1 cup frozen (or fresh) strawberries

1 cup blueberries

1 peach

1 banana

a couple scoops of ice

honey to taste

(if I want protein, I add a big old scoop of peanut butter and it is really good)

Place all ingredients in a blender and buzz away until ice is all crushed up and drink is smooth (get it?). HA!

Enjoy!

And, Happy Birthday to my Jo!