Search results for "peach"

roasted peach and caramel pops
I missed Billy’s Popsicle Week back in June. I stuck my popsicle molds somewhere last winter ‘so I knew where they were’ and then of course, couldn’t find them when warm weather hit. Last week my husband gently guided me down to the basement to clean out our storage room filled with (mostly my) boxes and piles and whatnot, and lo and behold, there they were, tucked in a box marked ‘random kitchen things.’ So, much later, I am finally making popsicles.

But not just any popsicles. These little pretties took a bit of time to put together, but dang, they are worth it. Roasted peaches, salted caramel, simple syrup, and some bourbon make these quite the late summer evening treat. Get yourself cozy in on a pool floaty (this one would be perfect) and enjoy.
roasted peach and salted caramel pops

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roasted peach and salted caramel pops

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peach struesel bars
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair —
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin —
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume?

I grow old … I grow old …
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

Shall I part my hair behind?   Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
-From The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Eliot
peach struesel bars
peach struesel bars

peach struesel bars
These streusel bars are also another baking recipe I’ve created as a Pulses Ambassador this year. The United Nations has declared 2016 the International Year of the Pulse, and I’ve taken the Pulse Pledge, committing to eat pulses once a week for the next year. Pulses are beans, chickpeas, lentils and dry peas; leguminous crops that are good for your health and good for the environment. I’ll be posting recipes involving them periodically this year, incorporating pulses not only in my savory cooking, but baking recipes as well. I’d love for you to join me! If the Pulse Pledge sounds interesting to you, you can read more about it here. It’s a 10 week commitment, and it doesn’t require elaborate baking: a serving of hummus and a bowl of soup are good ways to take them in, too. Also check out my Vanilla Lavender Cupcakes.

This post was sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada. All opinions are my own.

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peach-apple-cherry pie
‘Have you been online yet?’ my husband asks from the couch. It’s 8:45 am, and I am searching the kitchen for breakfast. Most mornings, upon waking, I reach for my phone next to me on my nightstand, and check all the icons chirping at me like hungry baby birds. Email, facebook, instagram, twitter, usually in that order. I despise the impulse, but I’m too tired to stop my arm from reaching, and its become a daily habit. Summer vacation is upon us, however, and I’ve set new goals for myself. Wear a small gray arm band to record my daily steps. Read books at night before bed instead of falling asleep to the internet. Eat a healthy breakfast, then go ahead and see what the world brings.

So I hadn’t heard the news. ‘No,’ I replied. ‘Something bad?’  He handed me his phone with a stony face, and I knew instantly. Another shooting. I felt the pit in my stomach, the one that has been there since Columbine, that grew into something fierce after Sandy Hook. The one that triggered my anxiety the last day of school, just two days ago, the one that made me whisper as my kids left for the day: ‘Please, please, one more day. Let them come home to me.’
pie

pie

peach-apple-cherry pie

peach-apple-cherry pie

peach-apple-cherry pie

peach-apple-cherry pie

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roasted peaches with crème fraîche caramel sauce | the vanilla bean blog
“Fish tacos with pomegranate salsa tucked into warm corn tortillas, happily made from scratch by the kiddos. Homemade crème fraîche. Rainbow slaw packed with purple cabbage, green apple, radish, and orange. A pot of smoky Midnight black beans. Watermelon punch with fresh lime and crushed mint. This is supper at our home. Friends chat, kids play, and we eat simple goodness…”

This is how Erin Scott’s Yummy Supper Cookbook begins. It’s a gluten-free book, but one of those special books that work for many types of eaters. The recipes are mostly simple; easy to put together but packed with flavor. As someone who can (and does) eat gluten regularly, I found this book a great addition to my kitchen.

“I see our kitchen as a place of possibility, a place of play, experimentation, and delight. I write this book hoping to bring a little extra joy to all of our kitchens, to inspire us to cook for ourselves and our families, and to remember that cooking need not be laborious, overly complicated, or full of wheat to be delicious.” – Erin Scott
roasted peaches with crème fraîche caramel sauce | the vanilla bean blog
roasted peaches with crème fraîche caramel sauce | the vanilla bean blog
One lucky reader can win a copy of Erin’s new book! Just leave a comment below in the comment section with your email, and I’ll announce a winner sometime next week. Good luck!

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peach crumble pie | the vanilla bean blog
peach crumble pie | the vanilla bean blog
Years ago, after completing college and moving back in with my parents for a spell, I would pick my Grandma up once a week and take her out shopping. She was close to 90 and could no longer drive, but was always eager to get out of the house and buy her own groceries and necessities. One of her favorite haunts was a neighborhood department store that she insisted on stopping by, and she would push her cart around the aisles aimlessly, happy to be out and about. This particular store didn’t have much for me to look at, but I would always wander over to the kitchen section and browse around until Grandma was ready to leave. I remember falling in love with one particular item: a glass cake stand with a heavy domed lid. Every week I would go back and debate purchasing it, but I had just graduated college without much in my bank account. So each time I would pass it by, dreaming of the cakes I could make to fill it.

That August I celebrated my 25th birthday, and there it was wrapped up so pretty: the cake stand I had been coveting. My parents gave it to me that birthday, but I’m pretty sure they were tipped off by my Grandma, who couldn’t help but notice me eying it each week. Almost twelve years later I still own the glass domed top to the stand, but the bottom chipped after I dropped it one sad evening. Over the years I’ve collected a few more stands, and use them frequently. But not just for cakes: for muffins and scones and cookies and fruit, also. I love having one perched on my counter; an interactive display of sugary goodness to brighten the day.
peach crumble pie | the vanilla bean blog
peach crumble pie | the vanilla bean blog
peach crumble pie | the vanilla bean blog
peach crumble pie | the vanilla bean blog
Last week the folks at Martha Stewart asked if they could send me a cake stand (pictured in the post here) from the Martha Stewart Collection (exclusively at Macy’s) and I could hardly say no. That very first cake stand was a Martha Stewart stand, and I had loved it dearly for years. I’m looking forward to all the birthdays, anniversaries, and get-togethers this new piece will be a part of.
peach crumble pie | the vanilla bean blog
(and, although I was given the stand, all my opinions here are my own).

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peach and cherry galette | the vanilla bean blog

I’m sneaking in for a post. I just couldn’t help myself; there were cherries. Not just any cherries, but hand-picked cherries dripping from trees like drops of rain: red, sparkling drops of sweet-tart rain. We filled our bucket gleefully, and my baker-heart had prophetic visions of flaky turnovers leaking dark juices, and sweet-sour chutney served next to roasted chicken; cherry and vanilla bean compote to cover the tops of pancakes and waffles, and of course, pies. Real cherry pies with real Door County cherries, to celebrate these August days that are slipping away…
peach and cherry galette | the vanilla bean blog
peach and cherry galette | the vanilla bean blog
peach and cherry galette | the vanilla bean blog

The end of summer is knocking loudly at our door and I’m not answering yet, hoping he’s read my ‘no soliciting’ sign and takes a hint, tries the next house. We’re not ready, not yet, my heart has been whispering while pitting cherries, while watching the sun set earlier each night, while filling out piles of paperwork for kindergarten and trying desperately not to let my unstoppable tears smudge the ink.

I’m just not ready to let go, let her go.

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Blackberry +  Peach Buttermilk Biscuit Cobbler | Local Milk

It’s the summer of fun! For reasons before mentioned, I am lining up guest posts for this summer. Up next is Beth from {local milk}. Beth has one of my most favorite spaces on the world-wide-web. Her photography is gorgeous; her words make me want to get out that old pen and paper, and write my own sentences just a little better.

“The meaning of life is not to be discovered only after death in some hidden, mysterious realm; on the contrary, it can be found by eating the succulent fruit of the Tree of Life and by living in the here and now as fully and creatively as we can.” – Paul Kurtz

So. I’m the girl that’s going to show up at Sarah’s with an herbacious fruit cobbler, crazy eyes, and a soap box. I think the cobbler will make up for the latter two.

What we’re going to do, we’re going to eat the metaphor, thereby rendering it quite literal. Live now, eat fruit. Eat yellow flesh & fuzz, eat faceted berries popping with seeds. Eat them warm and jammy, with tender crumbs of sweet buttermilk biscuit. This recipe comes straight from my culinary heart, which is, incidentally, a biscuit.

Yes, I have a puffy little lopsided buttermilk biscuit that lives in the center of my rib cage. It’s from this little biscuit that my inspiration flows. It’s a happy biscuit with anime eyes. The squinty kind. It dances, bouncing side to side, and nods its’ biscuit head. Put any ingredient in front of me and the little biscuit ghost, the little holy biscuit…it will tell me what to do. It’s my kitchen spirit guide. My friend.

Fresh fruit is precious. It’s not long before it’s gone. There’s a reason we humans have been likening anything one works for to fruit for ages. And because of that, I don’t care to do much to it. When I get peaches, I eat peaches, juice running down my wrist. When I get blackberries, I eat blackberries, staining my clothes. I don’t want to dilute them.

Cobbler is an exception, my biscuit heart whispers when it sees a pint of blackberries, a peck of peaches. All that fruit will just bubble and thicken and become more itself as it breaks down, it tells me. Which is probably what happens to people in that hidden mysterious realm when they die, it says.

It’s a philosophical biscuit. And it isn’t a secular humanist like the man quoted above.

They just become sweeter, thicker bits of soulA bunch of jammy monads, it sighs.

Monads?, I ask.

Like in Leibniz…I mean, nevermind. Let’s make cobbler!

You’ll have to excuse the over reaching metaphor. It’s not my fault. I don’t come up with this stuff. My personified Leibnizian biscuit heart does…

Throw a few handfuls of herbs in there too. Because you’re young. Because you’re a rebel and Grandmother didn’t have mint in her cobbler. A splash of orange blossom water too because why not. Honey! And into the cast iron skillet!

And I do it. And the fresh fruit gets hot. The fresh fruit bubbles and becomes something new. And the topping. That topping gets golden, bits of sugar glinting in the yellow oven light. It puffs, and becomes one of the few substances (alongside pie crust) that doesn’t offend the ephemeral fruit of summer: sweet biscuit crust. It is the best. And now, to eat fruit. To create.
Blackberry + Peach Buttermilk Biscuit Cobbler | Local Milk
Blackberry + Peach Buttermilk Biscuit Cobbler | Local Milk
Blackberry + Peach Buttermilk Biscuit Cobbler | Local Milk

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“One day I would have all the books in the world, shelves and shelves of them. I would live my life in a tower of books. I would read all day long and eat peaches. And if any young knights in armor dared to come calling on their white chargers and plead with me to let down my hair, I would pelt them with peach pits until they went home.” – Jacqueline Kelly, The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
This is another recipe from Kim Boyce’s ‘Good To The Grain’ cookbook that I’ve been enamored with. I had some friends coming over and happened to have all the ingredients on hand, so muffins were made. I’ve never been that interested in whole wheat muffins – they are usually too dry and dense. But I had a feeling I could trust Ms. Boyce with this one. I’m glad I listened to my gut.
As you probably guessed, these muffins are delicious. I’ve always been a fan of the ginger-and-peach-combination, and the addition of oat flour and whole wheat flour make for a very tasty treat. They are a little more effort than your basic muffin recipe, but I promise you won’t mind that once you’ve taste the honey-ginger topping that soaks over the fresh, sauteed peaches.
I would almost call this a perfect muffin: the balance of flavors, the amount of fruit, the not-too-sweet topping make for a spectacular breakfast.

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I have a two-part gift guide for you. Today is favorite baking books and favorite kitchen items, next week is more cookbooks and Holiday music. So let’s get to it. First up, the baking books I use all the time in my kitchen.

***(Also: Holiday Playlists! My Holiday Mix from last year is here. My Classic Christmas Mix is here. And my Quiet Christmas Mix is here.)***

FAVORITE BAKING BOOKS

The Village Baker’s Wife  by Joe Ortiz and Gayle Ortiz – This book is a classic, and you can only find it used, but there are so many great recipes among it’s pages. I highly recommend seeking it out. From the Library Journal: Here are recipes for the croissants and Danish pastries, pies and tarts, cookies, muffins, and other delicious delicacies sold at Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola, California. The recipes are well written and thorough, and techniques are often illustrated with whimsical but very clear line drawings. Highly recommended.

The Vanilla Bean Baking Book by Sarah Kieffer – Yes, I snuck my own book in here. But, it does contain all my favorite recipes, and I use them all the time in my own kitchen. You can find my Pan-Banging Chocolate Chip Cookies in here, but my other favorites are Pumpkin Scones, Burnt Honey Buttercream, Quick Danish Dough, and Peach Caramel Pie.

Pure Dessert by Alice Medrich – Alice Medrich is the baking cookbook queen. I appreciate all her books, they are so well done: flawless recipes, and solid writing and research. Pure Dessert is the first Medrich cookbook I ever owned – all the rest had been checked out time and time again at the library, when I couldn’t afford my cookbook habit. This one is special, and helped pave the way for baking with alternative flours as flavor flours. The Nibby Buckwheat Butter Cookies are holiday favorites.

Sweeter Off the Vine by Yossy Arefi  – Here are beautiful photographs, recipes that always work, and a unique perspective on baking. I absolutely love Yossy’s book, and turn to it often. Favorite recipes: Yossy is known for her pies, so anything involving pie crust is a winner (see Cherry and Rhubarb Slab Pie, Pear Pie With Creme Fraiche and Caramel, and Tangerine Cream Pie),  I also love her Old-Fashioned Blood Orange Donuts and Apricot and Berry Galette With Saffron Sugar.

Sarabeth’s Bakery by Sarabeth Levine – This might just be my favorite baking book. It’s definitely the one that made me fall in love with laminated doughs. The photographs are quiet and beautiful, there are process shots to help with complicated recipes, and everything I’ve made has turned out perfectly. I’m especially smitten with the puff pastry dough as well as the danish dough. It’s a gorgeous book, and a good addition to any baker’s library.

Handmade Baking by Kamran Siddiqi – Another really great baking book. Kamran’s Quick Puff Pastry recipe is fantastic, and his Everyday Chocolate Cake is A++. The photographs in this one are stunning, and the recipes are classy but approachable, which sort of reminds me of Kamran. (We’ve never met, but he comes across online as kind and classy and thoughtful.) Another book I use all the time.

New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois – If you’ve been following along here for awhile, you probably already know that I contribute to Jeff and Zoe’s Bread in Five site quite frequently. I worked on this book with them as well – a week long photo shoot in Zoe’s house with lots of baking and food styling and washing dishes and laughing hysterically. It was a blast. This edition is revised and updated with new recipes. I use this book all the time, and am obsessed with the Challah dough – it’s perfect.

Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book – I appreciate Cook’s Illustrated and all the rigourous testing they do to make sure a recipe is fool proof. I turn to this book often when trying something for the first time or if I’m stuck on a recipe in another book. There is good advice and helpful hints among the pages, as well as recipes for all the classics.

Bouchon Bakery by Thomas Keller – I’m slowly working my way through this book. It’s gorgeous, and inspirational, and can double as a coffee table book.

Mauviel 10.2-inch Round Copper Pan  – This pan by Mauviel is gorgeous, and I use it for everything – baking, cooking, serving. I’ve made buns, cinnamon rolls, gratins, crisps, and all kinds of other goodness in it.

Nordic Ware for Amazon Kitchen – I’ve been using Nordic Ware Bundt pans for years and years (and love that they are a Minnesota-based company!). They just came out with these pretty colored Bundts – blush pink, champagne, and metallic blue. I have two pans in this series and my pound cakes have turned out perfectly every time I use them.

Kitchen Aid Pro Line Copper Mixer – This is the Queen of mixers. I recently upgraded to this beauty, and have found it to be worth the extra price. It is much quieter than the 5-quart (which I had previously), the the 7-quart bowl fits everything nicely. Also, the copper finish looks amazing in any kitchen space.

Linen apron from Enrich & Endure – Aprons handmade in Northern Ireland, made with quality materials, longevity, local craftsmanship and top-class design. The colors are gorgeous and vibrant (I have one in lava).

Bake Tea Towel – I love tea towels, and baking, so this is a perfect addition to my kitchen.

Le Creuset Oval Dutch Oven – A good Dutch oven is a great tool to have in the kitchen; I use mine several times a week. If you haven’t invested in one yet, I highly recommend doing so.

The Weekender from Blue Bottle Coffee – This is the perfect gift for any coffee lover – neatly packed in this custom Timbuk2 bag is everything you need to make delicious coffee during any weekend getaway.

Star Wars spatulas  – I have a lot of spatulas from Williams-Sonoma, and use them on a daily basis. This Star Wars edition with Princess Leia is on my wish list – I’ve got a family full of Star Wars fans who are all eagerly awaiting episode 8 .

Breville Ice Cream Maker – An ice cream maker may not be a necessity, but it sure is a nice piece of equipment to own. This fancy machine is a welcome addition to my kitchen – it produces velvety frozen treats with no prefrozen bowls required. If you love making your own ice cream, this is for you. (Pair it with David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop or Hello, My Name Is Ice Cream by Dana Cree).

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