Friday, August 31, 2012

Peaches and Cream

I have peaches coming out of my ears. My little family is enjoying them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and for night time treats. Peaches and cream is simple and delicious and is a slight variation of what I had while growing up. During the summer while I was growing up, my family would spend time at Bear Lake. I remember after a long day of playing in the sun, after dinner was finished, eating Bear Lake raspberries that were swimming in cream, all from a small red plastic bowl. I remember pouring extra sugar on top of the raspberries so that I could scrape sugar from the bottom of the bowl with each bite. I remember spooning up every last drop of the pale pink sugary cream that remained after all the raspberries had been devoured. Just thinking about it makes me happy! This summer the bowls are white and filled with sweet Utah peaches. (And yes, I still spoon up every last drop of the now peach tinted cream and it is so delicious!)


Peaches and Cream (I don't know that I would call this an actual recipe)

Sweet peaches, skin removed (or leave the skins on, whatever you like) and cut into chunks
Cream or Half and Half
Sugar

Places cut up peaches in a bowl, pour cream or half and half over peaches and sprinkle with a little sugar. Eat and enjoy!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

My cute neighbor brought my little family a plate of zucchini brownies on Sunday and they were gone in a flash. She was kind enough to give me the recipe and today I made them, but turned them into muffins and tinkered (I think I used that word because Stella watched a Tinker Bell movie this afternoon) around with the recipe a bit. They were a hit and we all ate seconds and maybe thirds.


Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

1/2 cup coconut oil
1 egg
2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups peeled and grated (fine) zucchini
Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Dark brown sugar
Unsweetened shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 24 muffin cups with muffin liners or spray with cooking spray.
In a large bowl combine coconut oil, egg, vanilla, and sugar and mix well. Add grated zucchini to the oil sugar mixture and mix until combined.

In a medium bowl whisk together both flours, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add to zucchini mixture and stir until just combined.
Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Top each muffin with semi-sweet chocolate chips, a good sprinkle of dark brown sugar and a light dusting of unsweetened shredded coconut (no exact measurements, maybe a tablespoon each of chocolate chips and brown sugar). Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from muffin tin (or take one out right away and eat it hot like I did).  Eat while warm.

*The original recipe added the chocolate chips to the batter (1 cup), but I forgot and so I put them on top of the muffin. Next time I will do both for extra chocolaty goodness!

Recipe adapted from Melody Hillam's Zucchini Brownie recipe

Monday, August 20, 2012

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

This is a simple and delicious meal, perfect for summer.  No one in my family even noticed the zucchini "noodles".


Zucchini Noodles with Pesto

Pesto

2 cups tightly packed basil leaves, washed and dried well
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano

Noodles

3 medium zucchini, trimmed (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 pound dried spaghetti or other long noodles
Salt
Finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving

First, make the pesto.  Put the basil leaves in a large heavy-duty ziplock plastic bag.  Press all the air from the bag, and seal carefully.  Put the bag on the countertop or floor and, using a rolling pin, pound the bag until all the leaves are bruised.

Put the pounded basil, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and salt in the bowl of a food processor.  Process to a smooth creamy consistency, stopping once or twice to scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.  Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, and stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano.  Set aside.

Put a large pot of salted water over high heat.  While the water heats, prepare zucchini.  Using a mandoline slicer fitted with julienne blade, carefully slice the zucchini into long skinny noodles, each the width of a strand of spaghetti.

Warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the zucchini "noodles" and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender but not mushy, 5 to 8 minutes.

When the pot of water boils, drop in the spaghetti.  Cook until al dente.  Using a pair of long handled tongs scoop the pasta directly from the pot into the skillet of cooked zucchini.  Add 1/2 cup of the pesto and toss the mixture well to ensure that each noodle-zucchini and spaghetti alike-has a thin, even coat of sauce.  Serve immediately, with additional salt and lots of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Recipe (slightly shortened) from A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg

Monday, August 13, 2012

Grilled Peach Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella and Arugula

Please go make this amazingly delicious salad now!  I love, love, love this salad and it is so perfect for this time of year.


Grilled Peach Salad with Buffalo Mozzarella and Arugula

6 peaches, cut in half and pitted
Salt
3-4 large handfuls baby arugula, washed and dried
1 small red onion, slivered
5 ounces buffalo mozzarella or other fresh mozzarella, torn into bite-size pieces
4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons honey
2 teaspoons whole grain mustard
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Heat grill or grill pan to medium hot.  Lightly salt the cut sides of the peaches and drizzle lightly with olive oil.  Place cut side down on the grill.  When the peaches are charred and just beginning to soften, remove from grill and set aside. 
To make the dressing, place vinegar, honey and mustard in a small bowl.  While whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in olive oil until emulsified.  Whisk in cream.  Toss arugula and onion with vinaigrette and place on serving platter.  Set peaches and mozzarella amongst greens and drizzle with a little more dressing.  Sprinkle with coarse sea salt and serve.

Recipe adapted just a tiny bit from Farmhousetable.wordpress.com

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Zucchini Bread Pancakes

These pancakes are a delicious way to use up the extra one or two or ten zucchinis that are growing in your garden (or my mom's garden in my case).  The cream cheese topping is perfectly creamy and tangy and the perfect topper for these zucchini pancakes.


Zucchini Bread Pancakes

2 large eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups finely shredded zucchini (about 9 ounces whole, or 1 1/2 medium zucchini)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground of freshly grated nutmeg
Butter or oil, for coating skillet

In a large bowl, combine eggs, olive oil, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth.  Stir in zucchini shreds.  In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Stir dry ingredient into zucchini batter, mixing until just combined.

Heat a large, heavy skillet (I use an electric skillet) over medium heat.  Once hot, melt a pat of butter in pan and swirl it around until it sizzles.  Scoop scant 1/3 cup batter in pan so the puddles of batter do not touch.  Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, about 2 to 3 minutes.  Flip pancakes and cook another minute or two, until golden underneath.  Serve warm with cream cheese topping.

Cream Cheese Topping

4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Dash of ground cinnamon

In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy and lump-free.  Whisk in powdered sugar, two tablespoons milk, vanilla, salt and cinnamon until smooth.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen (with a few minor changes)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Pasta Carbonara with Sweet Corn and Chilies

I love this time of year for all the amazing garden produce that has made its way to the small roadside stands and farmers markets.  I feel giddy thinking of all the garden yumminess I will be eating, but also feel a little anxiety knowing that it doesn't last long.  Sweet summer corn and salty bacon made for a perfect match in this pasta.


Pasta Carbonara with Sweet Corn and Chilies

1 pound Egg Noodles (I used spaghetti)
1/3 pound thick cut bacon, diced
4 ears sweet corn, cut off the cob
1/2 whole jalapeno, seeded and minced (this doesn't add much heat)
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 whole egg yolks
 1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid.  While the pasta is cooking, over medium-high heat, brown the bacon.  Add the corn and lightly brown the edges.  After about 5 minutes, add the jalapeno and garlic.  Stir for two minutes.  Add parsley and chicken broth.  Season with salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Simmer on low heat.

In a small bowl, beat the eggs.  Slowly add in the reserved cooking liquid to temper them.  Add the pasta and egg yolks to the corn mixture and toss.  Remove from heat, add the cheese and toss vigorously to form a silky sauce, 1 to 2 minutes.  Garnish with Parmesan cheese.

*When I make this again, I am going to cook extra bacon to use as a garnish.

Recipe adapted from Pioneer Women Cooks 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Peach Basil Pizza with Balsamic Reduction

I love, love, love, peach season and this pizza makes me love it even more (I've made it twice in one week)!



Peach Basil Pizza with Balsamic Reduction

My Very Favorite Pizza Dough (or whatever pizza dough is your favorite)
Fresh peaches, thinly sliced
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Fresh basil, sliced into thin ribbons

Tomato Sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
Lemon zest from half of a lemon (I use a little less than half)

Balsamic Reduction

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
 1 tablespoon brown sugar or honey
 Coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper

For the Tomato Sauce:  Place the olive oil, salt, and garlic in a pan. Dial the heat up and sauté for a minute or two. Add the tomatoes and slowly bring to a simmer as well. Remove from heat, stir in the lemon zest and taste for seasoning. Set aside.

For the Balsamic Reduction:  Bring the vinegar and brown sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Turn the heat to low and reduce until syrupy.  Season with salt and pepper.  The vinegar will thicken as it cools.

Assemble pizza:  Place pizza stone on bottom rack of the oven (if you have one).  Preheat oven to 500 (or the ovens highest temperature).

Shape pizza dough into desired shape and place on a flour and cornmeal dusted cookie sheet that has been flipped upside down.  Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the pizza dough followed by sliced mozzarella.

If you don't have a pizza stone, place cookie sheet (with pizza on it) on the bottom rack of the oven and bake until crust is golden brown.  If you have a pizza stone, very quickly slide the pizza from the cookie sheet to the pizza stone (this is always a little bit scary for me).  Bake pizza until crust is golden brown.  After you remove the pizza from the oven, top with sliced peaches, basil, and a good drizzle of the balsamic reduction.  Season with coarse salt and fresh cracked pepper.  Serve immediately