31 Aug Peach Pie & Cobbler

Cobbler Crust Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup ice water

Peach Filling Ingredients:

  • 3 pounds peaches
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 stick butter

Filling Directions:

  1. Slice the peaches and combine with the lemon and orange juice to prevent discoloration.
  2. In a bowl, combine the sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cornstarch.
  3. Put peaches and butter in a non-aluminum pan. Heat until butter is melted, then stir in the sugar mixture. Remove from heat.

Cobbler Directions:

  1. Roll half of dough into 1/4″ thickness. Cut into 1/2″ wide strips.
  2. Pour filling into pan and cover top with lattice-woven strips. Sprinkle with sugar then melted butter.
  3. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes and then at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until crust is light brown and cobbler is bubbly.

Makes 7 pounds of cobbles (10-12 servings).

Note: this same filling can be used to make pie. You can use a full crust or the lattice-woven strip crust.

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12 Aug Quick Tomato Tart

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet prepared puff pastry, thawed
  • 3 T dijon mustard
  • 12 oz sliced fresh tomatoes
  • 3 T fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 10 oz mozzarella or goat cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

1.  Cut pastry to fit buttered pie or tart pan, or line rectangular pan with it.

2.  Spread a layer of dijon mustard on the pastry, leaving 1-inch edge.

3.  Arrange tomato slices on mustard layer, then scatter basil leaves atop tomato slices.

4.  Slice or crumble cheese onto basil and season to taste with salt and pepper.

5.  Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes or until cheese softens and crust browns.

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08 Jul Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Try adding feta cheese for a variation

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium heirloom tomatoes, cut into ¾ inch pieces
  • 2 cups seeded watermelon, cut into ¾ inch pieces
  • 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¾ inch pieces
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into ¾ inch pieces
  • 1 T chopped mixed fresh herbs (basil, mint, chives)
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 T balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

1.  Mix together tomatoes, watermelon, cucumbers, avocado and herbs in large bowl.

2.  Separately mix coriander, oil, vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.

3.  Toss to combine.

 

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14 Aug Watermelon Cooler

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups (1/2-inch) watermelon cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups ginger ale
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 (6-oz.) can frozen limeade concentrate

Directions:

1.  Place watermelon cubes in a single layer in an extra-large zip-top plastic freezer bag, and freeze 8 hours. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes.

2.  Process half each of watermelon, ginger ale, water, and limeade concentrate in a blender until smooth; pour mixture into a pitcher. Repeat procedure with remaining half of ingredients; stir into pitcher, and serve immediately.

 

How to Choose a Watermelon

Look for uniform shape. Look for a firm, symmetrical watermelon free from bruises, cuts or dents. If the watermelon has any lumps or bumps, this may mean that it received irregular amounts of sunshine or water during growing, causing dryness or inconsistency

Lift it up.The watermelon should be heavy for its size, as this indicates that it is full of water and therefore nice and ripe.

Look for the field spot. The underside of the watermelon should have a creamy yellow spot, known as the field spot. This is where the melon sat on the ground and ripened in the sun, so the darker it is the better.

Inspect the color. A perfect, ripe watermelon should be dark green in color and dull in appearance, rather than shiny. A shiny watermelon will usually be under ripe.

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21 Aug Easy Peach Cobbler

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 Tbsp baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups fresh peach slices
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)

Directions

1.  Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

2.  Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).

3.  Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.

4.  Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool. 10 servings

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20 Jul Tips for Buying and Storing Blueberries

Choosing Blueberries
Even perfectly ripe blueberries don’t have much of a scent, so use your eyes first.
First- Look for dark blue blueberries that have a slight white-silvery bloom on them. Avoid purplish or greenish berries and pint containers that include them since it’s a sign that the blueberries were picked indiscriminately and not at their peak.
Second- Use your hand. Blueberries should feel heavy for their amount.
Third- Give a few berries a taste. They should burst when you bite them and be tart but sweet.

Storing Blueberries
Pick through the blueberries when you get them home and remove any smashed, cut, or damaged blueberries (they will mold quickly and damage the other berries). Blueberries are best used as soon as possible. Store them on the counter in a colander over a bowl with an ice pack in it to help keep them cool if you’re going to eat them within a day or two. Otherwise, store them in an air-tight container in the fridge, but not in the drawer where it gets too humid. Just-picked blueberries will keep up to a week properly stored.
Note: Do not rinse or wash blueberries until you’re ready to use them – the moisture will shorten their storage span considerably!

Freezing Blueberries
Freezing your own ample blueberry harvest is easy. Rinse blueberries and pat them dry. Lay them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Put them in the freezer until frozen solid, usually overnight does it. Transfer to resealable plastic bags, squeezing out as much air as possible, and keep frozen until ready to use. For most baked goods, you can use the berries straight from the freezer – they’ll defrost as the pie or tart or cake bakes.

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13 Jul Fresh Peach Crisp

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh peaches, peeled, pitted
  • 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup soft butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1.  Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Preheat oven to 375°.

2.  Slice peeled, pitted peaches into the prepared baking dish.

3.  Sift together the flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon into a medium bowl. Cut butter into flour mixture with pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal.

4.  Sprinkle crumbs evenly over peaches in baking dish.

5.  Bake at 375° for 45 to 50 minutes, until topping is golden brown and peaches are tender. Serve peach crisp warm with cream or whipped topping.

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29 Jun Tips for Storing Peaches

Store peaches on the counter at room temperature until they are the ripeness you prefer. When ripe, peaches should be stored in the crisper bin of your refrigerator where they will keep for up to five days.

Freezing-Peel and slice them, lay them on a baking tray and stick in the freezer for a few hours until they’re frozen through. Transfer the peach wedges to a resealable plastic bag and freeze until ready to use. They’ll keep at least 6 months (longer in a free-standing freezer) and are perfect to use in baking.

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29 Jun Tips for Preparing Tomatoes

Ripen at Room Temperature -let your tomatoes ripen at room temperature so that none of the wonderful flavor is lost. In a hurry? A tomato will ripen faster when you pair it with an apple in a covered bowl.

Peel Easily – If a recipe calls for peeling, plunge tomatoes in a saucepan of boiling water for a few seconds and remove. Place in a bowl of ice water until cool. The skin will come right off.

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22 Jun Tips for Buying Fresh Peaches

  • Buy ripe or nearly ripe peaches. If they’re very hard, they are likely picked green and won’t develop the right taste or texture.
  • When you get home, inspect each piece of fruit. A split or bruise means the peach will go bad quickly and ruin any peach it touches. Eat or preserve these right away.
  • Peaches can be stored touching other peaches, but they shouldn’t touch other types of fruit.
  • While peaches can keep on the counter for a few days, buy only as many as you can eat (or preserve).
  • To prolong freshness, you can store peaches in the crisper, but only for a few days. Just put them directly in the crisper. Don’t put them in a bag.
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