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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pesto, Tomato and Mozzarella Pizzas




Experimenting with different pizza toppings is a great way to get kids involved in the kitchen.  My recent experiment with Fig, Gorgonzola & Caramelized Onion Pizza had my 12-year-old somewhat troubled.  While not generally a picky eater, she must have sensitive taste buds.  She is hyper sensitive to strong flavors.  As soon as she could talk she would yell, "Spicy, spicy, spicy!" whenever we would brush her teeth with traditional mint flavored toothpaste.  Thank goodness there are bubble gum and fruity flavored toothpastes marketed to kids!

We have a tradition of making our own pizzas to our liking, so my daughter opted to build half of the eight doughs into Pesto, Tomato and Mozzarella Pizzas.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Individual Fig, Gorgonzola & Caramelized Onion Pizzas


Fig season is upon us, which may be an odd statement depending on where in the world you may be located.  I have mentioned previously that I grew up in Kansas and the only thing fig I had ever been exposed to was Fig Newtons.  After relocating to California (more years ago than I care to admit), I tasted my first fresh fig and I was hooked!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Basic Pizza Dough

I grew up eating more homemade pizza than delivery pizza - mostly due to logistics.  While traditional delivery pizza is OK on occasion, homemade pizza is one of my comfort foods. 

My college beau (who later became my husband) and I would order pizza on occasion and I would mention that I could make pizza.  

His response was a polite, "Don't worry about it, we can just order it." 

Finally I went ahead and made pizza using frozen bread dough as the crust.  "We'll never order pizza again!"  Was the comment from my beau.  I had shot myself in the foot.  What was I thinking?!?

Friday, August 11, 2017

Super Simple Slow Cooker Mexican-Style Chicken


Living in California, I have been fortunate to know many people either from Mexico or of Mexican descent.  Traditional Mexican food is delicious as I have learned from first hand experience through pot-luck lunches at work.

What I grew up thinking was Mexican food is good as well, but certainly not authentic.  Thus the 'Mexican-Style' name in today's post.  I will be the first to admit that any food remotely Mexican prepared in my kitchen is not authentic.  Anytime 'style' is a descriptor in nomenclature, 'faux' or 'fake' should be substituted so you know what you are really getting.  Style sounds so much better than fake! 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Roasted Pepper, Marinated Artichoke and Barley Salad


Summer is quickly coming to a close as marked by my tootie frooties starting back to school tomorrow.  Class schedules were picked up yesterday and both of my scholars, a seventh grader and a high school sophomore, are very happy with their upcoming class agenda.  My daughters have had a great (although very sloth-like) summer.  

Before the hot weather completely disappears, I highly recommend making this salad to serve alongside grilled meat or a sandwich.  Grain salads aren't ubiquitous like potato salads, but they certainly should be.  The chewy texture of barley (similar to steel cut oats) in this salad combined with roasted bell peppers, marinated artichokes and red onions are a perfect combination.   

Friday, August 4, 2017

Spiced Peach No-Churn Ice Cream


We are nearing the end of the peaches we were so fortunate to receive from friends last weekend. It has been great eating...fresh peaches, Peach Cobbler, Peach Loaf Cake, Peach Freezer Jam and now my favorite for the week: Spiced Peach No-Churn Ice Cream.  

There are numerous 'No-Churn' Ice Cream recipes floating around and I have finally given it a try. Being a major ice cream connoisseur, I have been skeptical to accept the rave reviews from numerous food bloggers.  I come from a line of ice cream loving women.  When we first met in college, my husband found my craze for ice cream a bit odd.  Then he visited my parents house, which had a freezer full of various ice cream flavors (stocked by my mother).  Once he saw my grandmother's freezer, he accepted my assertion: ice cream is a genetic addition. 

You can understand why I would be reluctant to try ice cream that is simply mixed and popped in the freezer.  After giving in to all the peer pressure from the blogosphere, I am now a 'No-Churn' believer!

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Peach Freezer Jam



The gift of peaches we received over the weekend keeps on giving...it's been five days and we still have peaches on our counter. We have been eating them fresh every day and using them as a star ingredient in various recipes. What a treat it has been!

Peach Freezer Jam is a great way to preserve peaches for savoring into the winter months.  Freezer Jam is not cooked as much as traditional and the result is (in my view) far superior to traditionally cooked jam. 

As you can see from the photo, my Peach Freezer Jam had a case of 'fruit float.'  Peaches were diced fine as per the recipe.  Next time, I will likely dice the fruit fine and then mash with a potato masher.  There has to be a reason why I keep that bulky masher in my kitchen...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Peach Loaf Cake




We are still working through the peaches we were fortunate enough to procure over the weekend.  Peach Cobbler was a great treat.  My next thought was to make Peach Bread. I was pleased with the result (for the most part). The product was more like a pound cake.  This really wasn't a surprise since the method to prepare the batter was similar to a scratch cake. A name change was required and voilĂ  - Peach Loaf Cake was born!

Buttermilk is one of my favorite baking ingredients so I wanted to incorporate it into this recipe. The finely chopped peaches seemed to dissolve into the cake for just the right amount of peachy flavor. This recipe is not too sweet, which is an added bonus. Hopefully you will be able to find some almost overripe peaches and give this a try!


Monday, July 31, 2017

Peach Cobbler




We 'inherited' a bumper crop of yard peaches over the weekend.  My middle school daughter's friend and her family were on their way out of town for a couple of weeks and wanted to find a taker for their beautiful, delicious peaches. They had been giving peaches to co-workers and neighbors, but still had a healthy amount that needed a home. We gladly obliged!

Yard peaches (peaches from someone's yard) are far superior to peaches from the store or even the farmer's market. The variety of peach that is grown at home is more prone to bruising and the 'shelf life' won't be as long. Eating a fresh, juicy peach in the peak of summertime is a great treat!

There is only so many peaches that can be consumed straight.  What to do with all of those peaches? Cobbler, of course!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Club Med Pasta Salad



Summertime barbeques are always more fun with an array of various salads. Club Med Pasta Salad is and easy fix and delicious the day it is prepared. It may dry out over time, so just stir in a bit of olive oil to make it 'fresh' again. 

This recipe does not require much measuring because it uses a full box of macaroni plus a jar of Kalamata olives, a jar of pesto and some crumbled feta. Simple!