Peach Palooza

 We love to go pickin’! We have an orchard near our home where we pick our fruit in the summer and fall and cut our Christmas trees in the winter! Someday, we’d love to have an orchard and farm of our very own. Until then, we love spending time at Hartland Orchard! This trip we took Mims and we picked yummy peaches! With lots of little hands helping us, we each picked a peck of the best peaches I’ve ever had!  mims and kids peach picking  I had many things on my list of how I wanted to use my perfect peck of peaches, but my peach cobbler  was at the top of my list! I’ve been making this recipe for several years and using these fresh, sweet peaches took this recipe to another level! YUM!finished cobbler  Beautiful Redskin-Freestone peaches. These were all so incredibly good right from the tree. Like peach candy. It’s always a good idea to taste your fruit before you add any other ingredients (especially sugar) My original recipe for peach cobbler called for 2 cups of sugar. Because the peaches were so sweet, I was able to cut the sugar by half.peaches  I peeled and sliced the peaches- 8 cups! These peaches were HUGE- so I was able to get 8 cups out of only 6 peaches! peaches2  Add sugar, flour, vanilla extract and melted butter to your sliced peaches…..add to peaches  Let the peaches sit at room temperature until it forms a thick, rich sauce. I’m always very tempted to stop the recipe at this point and spoon this concoction over oatmeal or ice cream!!!juicy peaches  Add half of your peach mixture to the bottom of a 9×13 glass dish. peaches3  Prepare your pie crust. You can use homeade or store bought crust for this recipe. I used store bought. Make sure to purchase the package that has two pic crusts included. With the first pie crust roll it out on a floured surface to fit the shape of your baking dish. crust  Place your pie crust over the peaches…crust over peaches  Bake at 475 for 14 minutes…baked crust  Place remaining peach mixture over pie crust….second layer of peaches  With your second pie crust, roll out into a rectangle again, then cut crust into strips. You will use these strips to make a lattice design. You can weave the pie crust or not…. it really doesn’t matter in my opinion.lattice  It also doesn’t matter if you don’t have a piece long enough or other pieces are too long…. just add some or take away as needed. It will all bake together and be beautiful in the end!add lattice  Once the lattice is complete, sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar….. Bake at  475 degrees   for 10-14 minutes or until peaches are bubbly and crust is golden brown.finished cobbler

You will thank me for this one! So very good!! Other than eating the peaches directly from the bag, we made lots of other goodies as well!! Peach scones, smoothies, crumble, and salsa! I also peeled, sliced, and chunked up the precious little of the peaches that was left to freeze for peach smoothies all winter long! Can’t wait to share these fantastic recipes with you!   What are YOUR favorite summertime foods?

Peach Cobbler Supreme
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Ingredients
  1. 8 c. sliced peaches
  2. 1 c. sugar (add more sugar if your peaches are not sweet)
  3. 3 tbsp. flour
  4. 1 tsp. vanilla
  5. 1/3 c. melted butter
  6. Pastry for double crust pie (use Pillsbury All-Ready crust and cut into desired shapes)
  7. 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  8. 2 teaspoons sugar
Instructions
  1. Combine peaches, sugar, flour, vanilla, and butter. Spoon 1/2 mixture into buttered 9x13-inch dish. Cover with pastry and bake at 475 degrees until browned. Spoon remainder of peach mixture onto baked pastry. Cut remaining pastry into strips and arrange in lattice design. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake until browned- about 10-14 minutes.
Adapted from http://www.cooks.com/recipe/kz0rr2ln/peach-cobbler-supreme.html
Adapted from http://www.cooks.com/recipe/kz0rr2ln/peach-cobbler-supreme.html
Sweets & Whimsy http://sweetsandwhimsy.com/

Salsa Crazy

I don’t know if I would call these two recipes salsas or  sauces or what…. but, they are both yummy, not just with chips, but they compliment any meat dish very nicely!  It also is a perfect way to use summers fresh bounty of fruit and veggies! Can’t wait for you to try these- if not now- then in the middle of winter when you need a little taste of summer! What we have today: Fresh Peach Salsa AND Black Bean Corn Salsa!
black bean salsa

Peach Salsa

Fresh Peach Salsa

 

 

 

 

 

 

These were both made on a whim- so no step by step pics…. but they were both so good, I had to post! Enjoy!!

 

 

 

Fresh Peach Salsa
A fresh sweet and spicy salsa perfect with chips or served with grilled chicken!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 peaches, peeled and chunked
  2. 1/2 yellow onion
  3. 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  4. 1/2 cup fresh grape tomatoes, cut into quarters
  5. Juice of 1 lime
  6. salt and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!
Sweets & Whimsy http://sweetsandwhimsy.com/

 

Black Bean Corn Salsa
A delicious and fresh salsa that pairs nicely with grilled flank steak!
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Ingredients
  1. 1 avocado, cut into chunks
  2. 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  3. 2 ears corn, roasted and cut off the cob
  4. 1/2 purple onion, finely diced
  5. 1 garlic clove, finely diced
  6. 1 vine ripened tomato, seeded and finely diced
  7. 1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely diced
For the lime sauce
  1. 1 lime, juiced
  2. salt and pepper, to taste
  3. 1 teaspoon sugar
Instructions
  1. Place all prepared veggies into a large bowl. Whisk sauce ingredients together. Pour over veggie. Stir gently to combine! Enjoy!
Sweets & Whimsy http://sweetsandwhimsy.com/

Quick Spiced Apples

I’ve always been a huge fan of Cracker Barrels spice apples. I decided to make some at home and was pleasantly surprised with how so very easy they are! We eat them with and on everything! They are the perfect compliment to pork chops and roast for dinners. They pair well with yogurt for breakfast and they are heavenly warmed and spooned over ice cream. My apples are different from Cracker Barrel in two ways: I peel my apples before cooking and I don’t pan fry them in butter. These are, however, equally as good! final apples

I’m not picky about the type of apple I use. They all seem to work well for this recipe! 

apples

 I peel, core, and slice my apples. You could definitely leave the skin on and they would still be yummy. I only used six apples this time, but this recipe freezes well, so often I’ll make an entire bag of apples and serve half and freeze the rest for the following week! Yes, we eat them that quickly!

cut apples

  After you have all of your apples sliced. Put them in a medium saucepan, add 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon and about a tablespoon or so of water. At this point you can add whatever spices you’d like or lemon if you want to change it up. 

add sugar and cinnamon

Cook the apples on medium heat until apples are fork tender, but not too mushy. It took about 15-20 minutes to cook these down. 

final apples

The final result is this gorgeous, sweetly spiced apple side dish. These would be good put directly into pastry to make hand pies or some yummy apple fritters! Enjoy! 

 

 

 

 

 

Roasted Applesauce!

Yep, you read that right! The secret to this fantastic Applesauce is  ROASTING the apples! This is a trick I learned from Tyler Florence. I’ve always been a huge fan of roasting my veggies, but fruits?  Roasting brings out the natural sugars in the fruit and concentrates the flavors!  I started doing this when my son started on solids and my entire family fell in love with it! It’s not really a recipe, it’s a process. I love this kind of cooking because the only limit to the combinations is your imagination. This applesauce or apple puree, if you want to sound fancy shmancy is fabulous by itself, but really, really good as a sauce for your pork chops or chicken and some members of my family have been known to put it on their biscuits! YUM! My kids ask for this stuff for “lunch dessert.” It’s that good!! Do your kids love those “to-go” pouches of applesauce? Make your own with this simple recipe! I guarantee they will love the flavor even more than the store bought kind. And you definitely will save some money! I use the same process to make pear puree. Or mix some blueberries and bananas together and it’s truly like eating a dessert! But guess what?!! No sugar added, no fruit juice…..nothing added.  Just the lovely fruit! Enjoy! 

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I started with a 3 lb bag of Gala Apples, but really any apples will do.

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I start by cutting the apples in half and I take the time to take out the stem and the seeds beforehand. This can be done after roasting, but I prefer not to burn my hands! I find this strawberry corer very helpful for this job. 

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So pretty!! I put them all face down on my stone (a half sheet pan would also work). Roast at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Your house will smell fantastic during this time. You’re welcome!

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When the apples are done, they look like this. Beautiful soft, wrinkly apples! Lots of juice has seeped from the apples. Save it! It will make your puree yummy! 
Next we puree. There are several way to do this. You could peel the skin off of the apple- like this:

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… or you could put the whole bunch into a food mill and it will separate the peels for you. Either way, it will be yum!

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This is what our puree looks like after it’s been through the food mill. Perfect texture!! I did add some cinnamon, but not much. Oh, it’s soooo good! 

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So, my 3 lb bag made a big batch of applesauce that will be thoroughly enjoyed by every member of this household!  Enjoy!!