good food + awesome travel & occasional odd bits

Tag: Summer

Whipped Feta Cheese and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Whipped Feta Cheese and Heirloom Tomato Salad

Cheese is delicious food. Usually, if you’ve got a good quality piece of cheese, it needs nothing else, definietly no embelishments. Sometimes, a nice loaf of crusty baguette and maybe some grapes are really good with cheese too. This time, I decided to go for […]

Grilled Peaches with Whiskey Caramel and Vanilla Ice Cream

Grilled Peaches with Whiskey Caramel and Vanilla Ice Cream

Since we’re in the thick of summer weather, I bet not many folks are willing to turn on their oven these days. That’s perfectly acceptable and nobody understands not wanting to heat up the house better than me. However, I am willing to toss dessert […]

Peach Scones

Peach Scones

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Summer fruit is by far my favorite. Our peach trees produce the sweetest, juiciest fruit that I eagerly await each year. And, I greedily hog the first ones of the season for myself. We have a system here that works out very well for me. K prunes and tends to the trees, watering and patiently taking care of them throughout the season. I am nowhere to be seen during this time. As soon as the fruit comes in and becomes ready to pick, I swoop in and select the best ones.

This year we were on track to get the largest yield yet. Sadly, that did not happen since we had a reverse spring and the weather was all out of whack. Many of the flowers fell off and the  few that hung on to turn into fruit turned out small and many cracked since we got a deluge of rain over two days right before picking time. I did not have high hopes for these peaches. Thankfully, I was proved wrong and despite their smaller size and not looking as pretty as in previous years, they were just as sweet and delicious.

We love scones with our morning coffee and a warm batch first thing in the morning is a treat. The addition of fresh peaches makes them even more rich and creamy. I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

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Scones

adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

Yield: 8 scones

1 ½ cups fresh peaches, diced
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen whole + 2 tbsp melted butter
½ cup sour cream
½ cup whole milk
½ cup sugar+ 1 tbsp for sprinkling
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus additional for work surface
¼ teaqspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
½ teaspoon table salt

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Grate 8 tbsp of butter on large holes of box grater. Place grated butter in freezer until needed. Melt 2 tbsp of remaining ungrated butter and set aside. Place diced peaches in freezer until needed.

Whisk together sour cream and milk in medium bowl; refrigerate until needed. Whisk flour, baking powder, 1/2 cup sugar salt, baking soda, and lemon zest in medium bowl. Add frozen butter to flour mixture and toss with fingers until thoroughly coated.

Add milk mixture to flour mixture; fold with spatula until just combined. With rubber spatula, transfer dough to liberally floured work surface. Dust surface of dough with flour; with floured hands, knead dough 6 to 8 times, until it just holds together in ragged ball, adding flour as needed to prevent sticking.

Roll dough into approximate 12-inch square. Fold dough into thirds like a business letter, using bench scraper or metalspatula to release dough if it sticks to countertop. Lift short ends of dough and fold into thirds again to form approximate 4-inch square. Transfer dough to plate lightly dusted with flour and chill in freezer 5 minutes.

Transfer dough to floured work surface and roll into approximate 12-inch square again. Sprinkle peaches evenly over surface of dough, then press down so they are slightly embedded in dough. Using bench scraper or thin metal spatula, loosen dough from work surface. Roll dough, pressing to form tight log. Lay seam-side down and press log into 12 by 4-inch rectangle. Using sharp, floured knife, cut rectangle crosswise into 4 equal rectangles. Cut each rectangle diagonally to form 2 triangles and transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet.

Brush tops with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining tablespoon sugar. Bake until tops and bottoms are golden brown, 18 to 25 min. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 10 min before serving.

To Make Ahead: After placing the scones on the baking sheet, either refrigerate them overnight or freeze. When ready to bake, for refrigerated scones, heat oven to 425 degrees and follow directions in step 6. For frozen scones, heat oven to 375 degrees, follow directions in step 6, and extend cooking time to 25 to 30 minutes

Plum Palate Cleanser

Plum Palate Cleanser

I have fond memories of Santa Rosa Plums. In fact, these memories run so deep that I am forever ruined when it comes to other plum varieties, they are just not good enough. When we were growing up, our neighbors in the back had a […]

Esquites

Esquites

One great thing about summer is the simple pleasure of having a few extra hours of sunlight in the day to sit on the porch sipping a mint julep– when life’s busy schedule allows. On days when this is not possible, I take pleasure in […]

Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Toast

Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Toast

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I’ve never had $10 toast and likely never will. For me, it’s more of refusal to cave to a ridiculously over priced trend and shining example of band wagon jumping. It’s just not for me, but you go ahead if that’s your thing. I won’t judge. There’s absolutely no reason for me to fork over an obscene amount of change for toast, however fancy. Yes, it looks pretty and is hand made, not to mention the convenience which I suppose is a huge draw and is all very tempting, I know.

Since anyone can be handy in the kitchen and perfectly capable of growing his/her own tomatoes, stopping by a farmer’s market, or selecting produce over hot cheetos we can make our own version of fancy toast. It tastes great, comes together quickly and with minimal ingredients. The best part? You can make an entire tray for $10 or less. Run and tell that.

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Heirloom Tomato and Avocado Toast:

yield: 2 servings

1 ripe avocado

1 small clove garlic

pinch of kosher salt

juice of 1/2 lime

2 sprigs cilantro

handful of heirloom tomatoes, quartered or sliced

1 T avocado oil

2 slices sourdough bread

Quick Guacamole:

Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic and salt together to make a paste. Add the avocado and mash to desired consistency. Add lime juice. Set aside.

Assembly:

Toast the sourdough slices, spread a generous amount of guacamole on 1 side of each slice. Top with tomatoes, cilantro garnish, drizzle with avocado oil and sprinkle with sea salt to taste.

Olallieberry Tart and Sorbet

Olallieberry Tart and Sorbet

This is the first year we had a real berry harvest. The previous year, we were lucky to get a few tart berries here and there, losing many to the birds and the fact that the plants were still young. Early on in the season, […]

Summer Fruit Fizz

Summer Fruit Fizz

This drink was made for the summer. See, I planned ahead this year. Sometime in the middle of spring, while walking through the local nursery, we passed by the the seed section. I looked at the seeds for watermelon, canteloupe, cucumber, … etc. and they […]

Mint Sorbet Julep

Mint Sorbet Julep

Lately, I’ve been getting reacquainted with an old favorite, whiskey. But, not as in jack and coke whiskey. Luckily for me, my tastes have evolved to appreciate the flavor and less sugary sweetness. I’ve also been really into mint juleps this summer. Must be the heat and days spent lazing on the porch. A classic mint julep really is a fantastic porch sipping drink on a scorching day. With this in mind, we decided to try something crazy, the mint sorbet julep.

I used this recipe. You’ll need a lot of fresh mint. Make a syrup, let it sit overnight in the fridge.

Bust out your handy dandy ice cream maker and spin away for approximately 30 minutes.

I love how white the sorbet came out. If you only saw the greenish-brown syrup before spinning. I have to admit, I had my doubts.

The night before you want to indulge in this drink, scoop out the sorbet and place on a chilled sheet pan lined with parchment. Freeze the balls of sorbet overnight. The next day, drop one ball of sorbet into a glass and pour in a shot of whiskey. Enjoy immediately.

Chilled Avocado Cucumber Soup

Chilled Avocado Cucumber Soup

Here we are approaching fall and it sure doesn’t look or feel like it! Since it’s still been quite warm and baking is definitely out of the question, I am enjoying all things cold and refreshing. This is an easy to make chilled summer soup. […]

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