Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Peach and Blueberry Crumble

Hey All!

I had a lovely post all written a few days ago about an awesome day of food and fun that Zach and I had last week with our friends Brande and Dan, but for reasons unclear to me it would not post and the pictures would not upload. So, I'm going to try again on a new topic, Summer Fruit Crumble!

I love Cobblers, Crumbles, Grunts, Slumps, Oven, Stovetop, whatever, fruit+dough=happiness. I like them because they are very reminiscent of pie, but they're free form, more rustic, homey, relaxed, and they showcase local ripe fruit!. In other words, they're perfect for summer.I have a totally awesome Peach Crumble recipe from my Mom that I tried out a few nights ago. However, since I also had a quart of fresh blueberries on hand, I tossed those in too....Observe the photo graphic evidence :) Here's the recipe :)
Peach and Blueberry Crumble
-3lbs or approx. 6 large ripe peaches, cut into about 1-inch chunks (I didn't peel them, but you can if you want to)
-1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
-1/4 cup sugar (if the peaches aren't quite ripe, or if you like a sweeter taste, use 1/2 cup sugar)
-1 quart fresh blueberries
-3/4 cup packed brown sugar
-2 sticks of butter
-1 1/2 cups flour (I just used regular all-purpose flour)
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-Preheat oven to 3750F
-Grease 13x9 inch pan (Corningware would work too)
-Toss peaches, blueberries, lemon juice, sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar in a medium bowl
-Spread mixture evenly in the pan and dot with 2tbsp of the butter.
- For topping, mix flour, cinnamon and remaining brown sugar in separate bowl
-Cut in remaining butter using pastry blender or two forks until mixture is crumbly (medium sized crumbs) Do not use your fingers, the heat from your hands will make the butter too soft.
- Spread topping evenly over fruit
-Bake 30-35 minutes or until topping is browned and fruit is bubbly
-Served warm or cold, topped with REAL whipped cream or (my personal favorite) Vanilla Ice-Cream :)
NOTES: -This recipe will work with basically any fruit (apples, peaches, blueberries, plums, cherries, etc) you don't need to mix the fruit like I did, but it's a nice touch :) Use whatever is in season. I made this in late July, when the blueberries are at peak and the peaches are just starting :)
-The blueberries make this Crumble VERY moist, you can compensate for this by mixing a little cornstarch or tapioca into the fruit before it goes into the pan, if you like. Place the baking dish on a sheet pan to protect your oven from drips.
*nom nom nom* Enjoy!
Lynn :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Two for the Price of One!

Hey All!
Again, I apologize for the long delay between posts, I was on vacation the week of 4th of July, and then this past week I was working on my Portfolio (I'm VERY close to finishing my Master's Degree, thank goodness) and all that kept me away from posting, but here I am! I've missed you all! And today, because you're all so awesome and patient, you're gonna get a double entry. One about a food excursion I went on whilst I was on vacation, and the other about a random kitchen adventure I embarked upon the other day:

Every year, my family goes to Lake George, NY in the Adirondack Mountains for our annual vacation. Lake George happens to be a only a short distance from the Vermont border. And, what totally cool ice-cream franchise originated in Vermont? (hint: It has to do with the pictures) That would be BEN AND JERRY'S! So, because of it's close proximity, Bolton Landing (the town where we stay) has a Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Shop! Or, as I like to call it, The Land of Goodness and Light. They sell all manner of treats there, sundaes, smoothies, milkshakes, etc, everything you'd expect to find in a scoop shop. They also have something called a Vermonster, which is their OHMYGODHUGE signature sundae that could feed an army. Although we have been going there basically since it opened, we had never gotten one, so this year, on a whim, my Mom, my boyfriend, my brother, my grandparents and I pooled our money (they cost about $40) and got one and split it between the six of us :)

This is what a Vermonster includes:
-20 scoops of ice cream (we got 4 scoops of Chocolate Therapy, 4 scoops of Cake Batter, 4 scoops of Chocolate Fudge Brownie, 4 scoops of Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl, and 4 scoops of Phish Food)
-4 ladles of hot fudge
-3 cookies
-3 brownies
- choice of 4 toppings (we did M&M's, double Oreos, and bananas)
-Whipped Cream
Everyone else in the scoop shop was watching while they prepared this Sundae for us, and a lot of people commented on it and whether or not they thought we could finish it. Watching it be made was almost as fun as eating it....almost....IT WAS DELICIOUS! Ice-cream in general (and gelato in specific) is my favorite dessert, and devouring this huge sundae with my family was an absolute delight. I have to be honest and say that we did not finsish it one sitting, that first night the six of us got through about 70% of it, and then we finished it off intermittently over the next two days. This got me to thinking, how awesome would be it to have an ice-cream party with your friends? Everyone brings some ice cream and some toppings, put it all together in a huge bowl, and dig in! Sounds like a good time to me! If you live near a Ben and Jerry's or other ice cream shop that does one of those huge novelty sundaes, round up a bunch of friends and go for it, it was absolutely worth it in my opinion :)
And, blog #2
It's been a tight few weeks money-wise for this little girl, and the other day I was perusing my cupboards trying to figure out what to make for dinner out of things I had on hand, as an extra trip to the grocery store was not gonna happen. This is what I discovered:
-1 box Whole Wheat Couscous
-White onion
- 1/2 bag of whole almonds
-1 can Northern White Beans
-1 package fresh/frozen lamb patties
- assorted spices
-apple cider vinegar
-vegetable broth
I mixed half broth and half water and put it on the stove to boil. I chopped the onion and garlic and put it in a saute pan with a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil. When the onion and garlic had gotten some good color I put the lamb patties into the pan. When the water boiled I added the couscous to it. When the couscous had absorbed all the water I added the beans. I fluffed the couscous with a fork and added salt, pepper, ginger, cinnamon and rosemary. Next, I added the onions and garlic to the couscous and let the lamb cook a few minutes more. When the lamb was done, I broke it up into bite-sized pieces with my spatula and added it (plus the pan drippings) to the couscous. I finished the couscous by adding the almonds and a splash of apple cider vinegar. It turned out really well if I do say so myself. It had a very...Turkish/Middle Eastern Flavor, smoky, deep, slightly sweet. When it comes to needing a blank canvas and/or getting something on the table fast and for not a lot of money, couscous is your friend (much like pasta). It will support any flavor that you give it, and it stretches a long way. I apologize for not having any pictures of it, I didn't have my camera at the time, but I'll be sure and take photos for my next kitchen adventure. I didn't include measurements for this one because, really, it was total improvisation, one of those "run around the kitchen and throw things in that would probably taste good together" kind of things. So, buy some couscous, mess around with flavorings, make something up,play with your food :)
Till Next Time :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

Just a Quickie

Hey All!
I am leaving for my annual family vacation in Lake George, NY tomorrow, and with the flurry of packing and other work that had to be done this week, I didn't get a chance to cook anything blog-worthy. Hopefully when I get back from LG I'll have some fun photos and food chat for you. For now, I would like to pass along another food blog that I have been reading recently that I absolutely adore. It is Smitten Kitchen, written by a NYC woman named Deb. I do not know her personally, but I LOVE her recipes, her style of food writing, and the photography on her site is absolutely wonderful. Her feelings about food are very similar to my own, excpet she's been blogging a lot longer and has a ton more experience than me. In short, her blog is something that I aspire to. So, if you've not yet had the pleasure check out her site, you will be sooooo glad you did!

Be Well, have a wonderful holiday, I'll talk to you in about a week or so!