Peach Ginger Cardamom Pie for Pie Day!

June 20, 2012

Cardamon Ginger Peach Pie

Here is a recipe for a lovely pie I baked today to particpate in Pie Party 2012  across the country!  I have combined fresh peaches with cardamom, crystallized ginger and a few scrapes of nutmeg to make a luscious fruit filling.   The crust comes from one of my standard go to books, The Joy of Cooking.

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Peach Cardamom Ginger Pie with Lattice Crust

 

Peach and Raspberry Tartlettes for #Baketogether with Abby Dodge

June 11, 2012

Peach Raspberry Tartlettes with Peach Bourbon Jam

So here it is, a month has gone by and we are smack in the middle of glorious peach season.  The blueberries and blackberries are just finishing up here in Florida, and the peaches are coming down from South Carolina.  Dripping with juice, tart and sweet, peaches are so delightful, really I do look forward to this time of the year–for fruit that is, not for the change in our weather :)   I just completed a batch of Peach Bourbon Jam, nothing but peaches, sugar, lemon and bourbon–some added before cooking and some added at the very end to finish off the jam.  When I saw Abby’s new baketogether challenge for very berry mini pies, I knew I wanted to use fresh peaches and a slathering of my Peach Bourbon Jam as the base for the tartlettes.  This month Abby put up a badge at the one year anniversary of baketogether, there you can read all about the monthly challenge and join in if you would like to bake with us!  These tartlettes were unbelieveably delicious, these will be another kitchen staple here at my home.  I was able to use fresh harvested pecans from a farm up in Georgia which I incorporated into the topping.  Please visit Abby’s Site so that you can view the original recipe and look at all of the wonderful adaptations from talented bakers across the country.    Here is my spin on Abby’s original recipe for Very Berry Mini Pies.

Lovely Peach and Raspberry Tartlettes with Peach Bourbon Jam

 

 

 

 

Peach Rhubarb Ginger Jam

May 18, 2012

Peach Rubarb Ginger Jam

My life is closely attuned to the seasons now that I am making my living preserving the harvest.   The first beautiful peaches of the season arrived at our kitchen two weeks ago.    Peach season always collides with rhubarb season, one of my other favorites.  I can remember my mother picking wild rhubarb in our old neighborhood in New Jersey.  She would walk up the side of our mountain donning her apron and pruners–I can see her just as if it was yesterday.   I didn’t usually go with her on her walks in the woods.   I was always amazed that she could identify a wild plant and bring it home to prepare a dessert for us, sometimes exposing herself to poison ivy along the way.  All it took was a simple brush by the dreaded, shiny, three-leaf plant and two days later her arms would be covered in oozy, itchy blisters.   I seemed to be immune thank God.   The wild rhubarb was never bright red, mostly green and incredibly tart.   She would fix us a strawberry rhubarb pie or cobbler or sometimes simply stew it with berries and serve with cream.

Peach Rhubarb Ginger Jam

It is best to prepare the ingredients for this jam the day before cooking.  Allowing this to macerate overnight allows the peaches and rhubarb to absorb the sugar.  This recipe should yield 8 eight oz jars.  If your peaches are really sweet, you can reduce the amount of sugar without hurting the texture of this jam.  This jam should keep its beautiful texture and color for up to 12 months in a sealed jar.

 

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

May 11, 2012

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe is for one of my all time favorite cookies, Oatmeal Chocolate Chippers as my Mom used to call them.   I have adapted her recipe over the years to tweek it and make it just a bit more healthy (not much considering it calls for 2 huge sticks of butter).   I don’ t know where the recipe originated, it is hand-written on an index card covered in crunchy cellophane (always the ones that are so sentimental to me).  She always used Crisco shortening and I have exchanged that for butter.  I have also used some White Whole Wheat Flour and Bread Flour in this recipe to give the cookies a little more “chew”.   My Mom would have used Nestle Chocolate Chips, my Grandmother would have insisted on raisins, but I love bittersweet chocolate.   Ghirardelli makes a large bittersweet chip that is just a little more dear than Nestle and oh so much better tasting.   You can chill the dough before scooping if you have time, if not, they will not suffer one bit!  My mom would sometimes add a cup of chopped walnuts or pecans to these too…I have chosen to leave them off the ingredients list.

 

Oatmeal Chocolate Chippers

 

Peach Lavender Cornmeal Buttermilk Muffins #Baketogether

May 10, 2012

Peach Lavender Muffins

The Baketogether with Abby Dodge this month featured a fabulous recipe for Cornmeal Buttermilk Muffins , a sweet or savory version.   As the first juicy peaches are now coming in from South Georgia, I wanted to incorporate peaches into the recipe.   Here I have used my Peach Lavender jam to create a sweet version of the original muffin recipe.   So…instead of fresh fruit, I added 5 oz of my Peach Lavender jam to the egg mixture.  The baked muffins are marbled with the jam and they burst with bits of peach flavor, really pleased with the results!  I also decided to put a little sweet topping on these and used my trusty Vita Mix to blend sugar and dried organic lavender flowers to elevate these muffins.    You will note I reduced the sugar in the muffins ever so slightly as I was using jam, plus adding a sweet topping.  Taken directly from Abby, if you are new or would like to join the #Baketogether, please know that  we are a very inclusive  group of happy bakers.  You can  Subscribe to Abby’s rss feed so you are always  in-the-know and check out this post for some info on how we #baketogether.

 

Marbled Peach Lavender Muffins

 

Creamy Plantain Pudding

April 29, 2012

Plantain Pudding

 

Plantains are so widely available here in Central Florida, and I have really gotten accustomed to eating them a few times a week.  They can be baked, fried, boiled, or steamed.  I did a little research on them and Wiki says that plantains, like bananas, are believed to have originated in southeast Asia, having been cultivated in south India by 500 BC.   From there, ancient trade routes distributed it to Africa through Madagascar. By 1000 AD, plantains had spread eastward to Japan and Samoa.  They arrived in the Caribbean and Latin America by 1500 AD. Since then, they have spread widely throughout the tropics.  Each country adds something unique in terms of spice and combination. Plantains contain beta carotene, vitamins C, B1, B3, B6, B12, K, and folate. Minerals include iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, iodine, phosphorus, chloride and selenium.

I had three tremendous and terribly ripe plantains in the kitchen today, and I really wanted to do something different with them!  I did a bit of research on the web and I decided on a sweet pudding.  This recipe was inspired by one that on found online by Melissa’s World Variety Produce.

 

 

 

Baked Plantain Pudding

 

Savory Gruyere and Corn Relish Bread Pudding

April 19, 2012

Corn Bread Pudding sm 1

This recipe was developed with my Farmer’s Market customers in mind.  So many will ask me, well what do you do with this?  How can I incorporate this into my meals?   I researched some recipes on line and found a fabulous one that was written up in the LA Times which I have linked for you below.   I eliminated the ham entirely to keep this meatless, used the herbs I had here in my garden, and substituted a jar of my corn relish for the called-for carrots in the original.   This makes a hearty, sturdy bread pudding which makes a delightful side dish served with green salad or placed alongside a beautiful cut of beef.  The recipe called for using a bain-marie which is an age-old process for cooking with a gentle, steady heat and adds a smoothness to the end product.

The jarred corn relish gives this pudding a slight tang of vinegar, I just love it and hope that you will too!

 

 

 

 

 

Mom’s Custard Rice Pudding circa 1950

April 15, 2012

Rice Pudding

Mom used to make this rice pudding for us when we were kids, and I would love to eat it warm for breakfast.   She had a special pink pyrex casserole she used to bake this in,  and one year at a family gathering it was smashed to pieces…I mourned over it.   These objects take on a life of their own especially after a loved one’s death.  They seem irreplacable, but the healing is in the making.  So her recipe lives on through me and hopefully my daughter will someday make this same pudding and feel as gushy as I do about my “vintage” pyrex.   These past few months have been difficult for me, my brother has been horribly ill and is thankfully on his way back up.   He lost his swallow relflex and has been in a skilled nursing home working hard with a speech therapist to regain his ability to swallow and have his stomach tube removed.   I visited him this week, and he had been taken to the hospital to have the “official” swallow test done and he passed!  For now it is on to soft foods for him and he does not have to be tethered to a bottle of chocolate protein…and I am hopeful that he will continue to get stronger.    I asked him if he would like to have a bit of “mom’s” rice pudding, can you guess what he said?

 

 

Digging in to a Rice Pudding Casserole

 

Orange and Ginger Angel Food Cake #Baketogether

April 12, 2012

Orange Angel Food Cake

The Baketogether with Abby Dodge this month featured a Tangerine Angel Food Cake with a bittersweet carmel sauce.   I stuck very closely to her recipe this time, I only switched it up a bit and used my fresh picked oranges for zest and juice for the curd, and I added crystallized ginger to this batter.  Instead of a carmel sauce, I wanted to use up some of those egg yolks so I modified a fabulous recipe for lemon curd from my friend LiztheChef and substituted orange for lemon, omitted the cornstarch and added some chocolate!  It is more of a sauce than a curd, but it is really tasty and perfect with cake.  I have to say this is the lightest Angel Food Cake I have ever made, it melts in your mouth.  This recipe is a staple and keeper in my library.

I really love participating in the Baketogethers.  Taken directly from Abby, if you are new or would like to join the #Baketogether, please know that  we are a very inclusive  group of happy bakers.  You can  Subscribe to Abby’s rss feed so you stay in-the-know and check out this post for some info on how we #baketogether.

 

Cowboy Candy Corn Bread

April 8, 2012

Cowboy Candy Cornbread

 

Rebecca of Foodie with Family fame, has a recipe for candied jalapenos on her site that is wonderful.   I adapted her recipe to make my own “Cowboy Candy”, aka candied jalapenos, and I use these candied gems to enhance a wonderful Corn Bread that pairs well with chili or a simple green salad.  This cornbread is sometimes sampled to my Winter Park Farmer’s Market customers so that they can get ideas for how to incorporate my canned products into their meals.   You can also use the leftover syrup for making your own salad dressing, or martinis….or simply adding some zippy flavor to some plain brown rice.  If you press on the link above, it will take you directly to Rebecca’s site so that you can make your own.   I made several modifcations to her recipe when developing mine which includes using fresh ground Guajilla pepper , along with about twice as much granulated garlic and some other “secret” spices.    Surely, you will add your own twist to these exciting bits!

The corn bread recipe below was taken from All Recipes and ever so slightly adapted, I used canola oil instead of olive oil and instead of using 3 fresh Jalapenos I used 1/3 of  a cup of my candied jalapenos along with a tablespoon of the juice from the jar to kick this recipe up a notch.   I also turned the heat down from 400 to 395 and this slight difference added a touch of moistness to the crumb, corn bread can really come out dry sometimes.  Follow the link above to see the original recipe, here is my adaptation.

 

 

 

Cowboy Candy Cornbread on a Sunday Afternoon

 

 

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