Peach Melba Popsicles

You might have the last few fresh and local peaches at your farmers markets or grocers. If you don’t, snag some from your freezer. This is a good reminder of summer weather before the fall settles in.

Peach Melba Popsicles

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 cup whole raspberries
  • 2 cups peeled chopped peaches in small/medium chunks, fresh or frozen
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla ice cream, frozen yogurt or non-dairy vanilla ice cream of your choice, slightly softened (think: soft-serve consistency) Or peach ice cream (https://scrumptiousbits.com/2018/08/29/nectarine-ice-cream/)

Heat sugar and water in a medium pot. Once dissolved, pour 1/4 of the syrup over the bowl of raspberries.

Add the peaches to the remaining syrup in the pot and simmer on low until soft.

Blend the peaches with the syrup and set aside.

Blend the raspberries with their syrup and set aside.

Now assemble the popsicles by adding a little bit of raspberry puree, a little of the peach purée and then add the ice cream. Freeze overnight and then enjoy!

Green Goddess Salmon with Crispy Potatoes

I’m holding on to the last glimmers of summer with this fresh dinner option. When a meal is loved by all the family members we say, “definitely put this on the menu” for our make-believe family restaurant that we’ll never open. This meal got that stamp of approval.

The perfect last bite with crispy skin

Green Goddess Salmon with Crispy Potatoes

  • 2 lbs salmon cut in 2 pieces
  • 1 cup packed fresh basil
  • 4 anchovy fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon, zested and then thinly sliced
  • 3 TBSP plain yogurt
  • 2 TBSP mayonnaise
  • 3 TBSP capers
  • 4 medium Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Blend basil, garlic, anchovies, lemon zest, yogurt, and mayo until thick and uniformly green. Season with salt and pepper. Place in a bowl and set back in the fridge.

Heat a medium pan on medium heat with a drizzle of olive oil. Salt salmon fillets on both sides. Layer top of salmon with thinly sliced lemons. Add to pan salmon, skin side up, lemon side down. Cook for 5 – 7 mins depending on thickness. Flip to skin side down and cook until salmon begins to flake when pushed on. Remove skin (it should come off easily). Cook the grey side of the salmon. Set aside. Add back in the skin and cook on both sides for an additional 3 mins each. Set salmon skin on paper towel to drain.

While salmon is cooking, heat another pan on medium with olive oil and add potatoes and salt. Potatoes should sizzle gently. Cover. Cook until crispy on the edges and tender inside (approx 15 mins). 1 minute before serving, add capers so they get a little crispy too and season with pepper.

Serve a slice of salmon with skin on top, dressing on the side with potatoes and any other veggies.

Enjoy!!

Tomatillo Chili

I inadvertently signed up for 2 CSAs this season (probs because I knew getting to the farmers market was going to be difficult this year). I love these farms (Fifth Crow Farm and Sweet Farm) and man, do I miss the farmers market. But the CSAs are bring bunches of creativity out of me including this recipe. Seeing tomatillos and strange squash required some exploration. This tomatillo chili is the delicious outcome.

That’s one of the squash quartered. No idea what variety but it tastes and cooks like a zucchini.

Tomatillo Chili

  • 7 tomatillos, shell off and cleaned
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 can of cannelloni beans, rinsed
  • 1 can of corn, drained (or 2 cobs of cooked corn)
  • 2 jalepenos
  • 1 cup squash of choice (can be zucchini or yellow squash), chopped in 2” chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 TBSP oregano
  • 1 TBSP cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 6 stems of kale, chopped
  • 3 sliced cooked bacon, sliced
  • Olive oil, salt and pepper
  • Lime

Broil tomatillos, onion, jalapeños, garlic and squash until just starting to blacken and blister (approx 7 mins). Watch that the garlic doesn’t go too long.

In a large pot, heat olive oil and add spices, beans and corn. Once fragrant, add the broth, kale and broiled squash. Bring to a boil then simmer for 5 mins.

Blend, tomatillos, onion, jalapeños and garlic. Add to chili.

Cook until kale is softened (approx 20 mins).

Season with generous amount of salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with wedges of lime, crispy bacon toppings and a cook drink of choice.

Enjoy!

Peach Crumble Bars

It’s peach season and we adopt a tree from Masumoto’s Farm each year. This year, we had an abundance of peaches. This bar was a total hit with the hubby as it was sweet and hearty with a tinge of salt – just like him. Hahahahaaa. I crack myself up.

Peach Crumble Bars

Adapted slightly from Pastry & Beyond

  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups peeled fresh peaches, diced (I bet you could use frozen but I haven’t tried yet)
  • 3 TBSP sugar
  • 3 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • Nuts for the top if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 11×7 or 13×9 baking pan. line with parchment paper so you can pull the bars out of the pan once cooled.

In a medium bowl, mix peaches, lemon juice, extract. Then add cornstarch and sugar. Set aside.

In another bowl, mix everything but the melted butter. Then add the melted butter.

Using half the oat mixture, line the bottom of the pan. Add the peaches but not the liquid. I actually drained each scoop of peaches to make sure the liquid was left in the bowl.

Then squeeze walnut sized chunks of the remaining oat mixture and drop it on top of the peaches. It’ll clump together and make a crunchy top. I also added sliced almonds. I think pecans would be really good too.

Bake for 33-35 mins or until the top is light brown. Cool completely before trying to cut.

Would be great with a side of ice cream! Enjoy!!

Peach Pecan Loaf

Today is all the breads with fruits day. Bread #2 is this pecan peach loaf. It freezes really well. You’ll just want to save the frosting until after it thaws. This bread is great for breakfast, brunch, or even a snack. Adults and kids loved it.

This was the half I thawed on the counter and then dressed in white. So good.

Peach Pecan Loaf

Adapted slightly from Life Love Liz

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped unsalted pecans
  • 2 cups peeled and diced fresh peaches

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a loaf pan and line with parchment paper to easily pull the loaf out of the pan later.

Beat eggs and sugar together until fluffy. Then add eggs, extracts and milk. Mix until combined. Add the dry ingredients. Then fold in the pecans and peaches.

Full loaf pan and bake for 50-60 mins. Check on doneness with a toothpick. It took me much longer than 60 mins but I had to be careful about burning the bottom.

Once done, take out of the oven and let it sit for 10 mins. Then take out of the pan and cool.

Once cooled add frosting of 1/4 powdered sugar and a tsp of milk. Add more milk if you want it thinner or more powdered sugar if you need it to be thicker. Drizzle over loaf and serve.

Enjoy!!

Buttermilk Scones

Have friends stopping by around breakfast? Have kids complaining they’re starving right when they wake up? Or do you just want to enjoy your morning with a delicious smelling kitchen and a flakey, buttery scone with your favorite filling? Make these and freeze some for when unexpected needs for comfort arise.

Buttermilk Scones (Peach)

Recipe supplied by one of my BFFs

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted cold butter, cut into pea sized chunks
  • 3/4 fresh fruit, dried fruit or combo of fruit and nuts
  • 1 tsp almond extract (if it compliments your fruit and nut combo)
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 TBSP half and half
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon mixed with 2 TBSP sugar for topping
  • Shaved nuts of choice for topping, if desired

Preheat oven to 425 degrees with rack in upper third.

In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add butter and using a pastry cutter or your fingers, mixed the butter into the dry ingredients until it looks like corn meal. Try not to let the butter melt.

Add in your fruit and nuts if using. I used chopped peaches. Make a well and add the buttermilk and almond extract. Mix using a fork until the dough comes away from the bowl.

Dump the dough onto a floured surface and mold into a dough ball. Then flatten to about 3/4” tall circle. Cut into 12 pie slices. Move to a parchment lined cookie sheet for those you’re baking playing the “pie slices” about 2” apart. You can also freeze them now.

For the ones you’re baking now, If you’re using soft fresh fruit, you can stuff the scones. To do this, simply cut off the top and reassemble the bottom shape, place thinly sliced fruit on top of the bottom. Reassemble the top and smoosh it on top of the fruit. You can skip this step. Brush with half and half. Add shaved nuts (I used almonds) if you’re using. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.

Bake at 425 for 12-18 mins.

Enjoy warm.

The stuffing step was an experiment that paid off. I highly recommend it.

Lentils = Protein

It’s hard to get my mostly-fresh-fruit-and-veggie-eating littles to consume protein too. They love eggs and red meat and salmon – sometimes chicken, if it’s fried. But that will cover like 6 of the 4000 meals that need to be made … in a day. (Doesn’t it feel like the meal prep and dishes are just one continuous stream throughout the day right now? Pepper in some laundry and then it’s already time to go to bed.)

Anyway, they love this lentil (kinda) soup recipe. I say kinda because there isn’t a bunch of broth. If you like yours more broth, just add a 1/2 more around 20 min mark in the cooking process. And the kids don’t know about the anchovies!

Lentil (kinda) Soup

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup black lentils (or any other that you have), rinsed
  • 1/2 large onion, diced super small so kids don’t notice
  • 2 carrots, diced super small because of picky children
  • 4 anchovies in oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (I’ve started buying the kind in the jar because holy crap this is a lot of cooking we’re doing these days)
  • Cumin to your liking (I used 1/2 tsp)
  • Good amount of salt to your liking
  • Olive oil
  • Pickled jalapeños for the grown ups as a topper

Kid approved.

Start a medium pot with a good amount of olive oil (2-3 TBSP? Sure). Heat on medium/low. Add onions, carrots, garlic and anchovies. Melt down the anchovies so you don’t see them as whole pieces anymore. They should just add color to the veggies. After they cook for a few mins, add a dash of salt and cumin. cook for another 5 mins being sure to not burn.

Add the rinsed lentils and broth. Bring to boil. Then reduce heat to low and simmer with the cover on until the lentils are tender. Salt to taste.

Lots of toppings go great with this from fried eggs to pickled jalapeños to avocados and sour cream to all of the above.

Enjoy!

Meatball Soup

The LO loved this and so did my hubby. My elder daughter was not a fan but it’s not abnormal for her to dislike new foods these days. It was so easy and makes the best leftovers for lunch or dinner.

That garlic chili oil from the other day continues to make everything better.

Meatball Soup

(inspired by Bonappetit recipe)

Meatballs

  • 1/2 cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb. ground beef

Soup

  • 1 Tbsp. (or more) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 head of cabbage, thinly sliced
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 4 stalks kale and/or chard, removed from veins and sliced
  • Handful sugar snap peas, thinly sliced on a diagonal
  • 1/2 cup shelled fresh (or frozen) English peas
  • Lemon wedges

Make meatballs:

  • Mix yogurt, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper in a large bowl just to combine. Add beef and mix with your hands (or a wooden spoon) until well blended but take care not to overmix, or meatballs could be dense.
  • Using your hands, lightly pack meatball mixture into tangerine-size balls (about 1½” in diameter) and place them on a rimmed baking sheet.
  • Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high. Working in batches and adding more oil if needed, add meatballs to pot, making sure to leave enough space between them so you can move them freely, and cook, turning occasionally to help them keep their shape, until evenly browned on all sides, 5–8 minutes. The trick is to make sure the meatballs don’t fall apart. Let them get sufficiently browned on each side before trying to move them. Once cooked, set aside in a bowl.

Make Soup:

  • Add shallots, garlic, and cabbage and greens to pot (no need to wipe out). Season with salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes
  • Add broth and vinegar to pot and bring liquid to a simmer. Cook until cabbage is just tender. Return meatballs to pot along with any juices that have accumulated and simmer long enough to let flavors meld, 6–8 minutes.
  • Just before serving, add sugar snap peas and English peas to broth and cook until no longer raw, just a minute or two (you want them to retain a little bit of bite).
  • Serve with garlic chili oil and lemon wedges.
  • Enjoy!!

Hug Porridge

We desperately need hugs. Our beloved dog passed away. I made this to help comfort our hearts and it was effective.

Hug Porridge

6 garlic cloves, sliced thinly

1/4 cup veggie oil

2 tsp dried red chili flakes

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2/3 cup uncooked rice

8 cups water

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 bunch of Dino kale, deveined and cut into ribbons

2-4 tsp of salt

1/2 lemon

Fried eggs

In a large pot, add the veggie oil and garlic. Cook on med/low heat until the garlic is golden brown. Remove all but a TBSP of the mixture to a separate bowl.

In the separate bowl with garlic and oil, add the chili flakes. Stir. This is now the coveted chili garlic oil you’ll douse on every including this porridge.

On the pot with garlic oil, add the onion and cook until soft and slightly caramelized. Add water and chicken breasts. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat to a quick simmer. Cook uncovered for 20 mins. Take out chicken and continue cooking until the porridge becomes slightly thickened, stirring often.

While the porridge continues cooking, shred the chicken.

Once porridge is almost as thick as you’d like it, add in the kale and chicken. Season with salt. Cook for 4 mins.

Squeeze 1/2 lemon and stir.

Top with a fried egg and chili garlic oil (be careful, it’s spicy and a little goes a long way).

Enjoy your hug.

Kimchi Fried Rice

Remember those miso turnips that I made the other day? Leftovers found their way into this kimchi fried rice and it was perfect. Also, if you’ve got a pork chop or steak or chicken, grill it right quick and add that on the plate too. This can be a main meal or just a side to your protein. It’s tangy and spicy and the perfect amount of probiotics. I ate mine with a fried egg on top because – chickens in my backyard are laying, laying, laying.

Kimchi Fried Rice

  • 2 cups cooked Jasmine rice
  • 1- 2 carrots, cut Julianne
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
  • Precooked veggies of choice, I used miso turnips
  • 2″ knob of ginger, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup kimchi (I love either makin my own or buying from Wise Goat Organics)
  • Canola oil
  • 3 TBSP soy sauce
  • 1 TBSP gochujan (we use it on everything. Make this a staple)
  • 1 TBSP sesame oil
  • 1 TBSP kimchi juice
  • Toppings of choice (fried egg, nori, black sesame seeds, green onion, steak…all of the above)

In a bowl, mix gochujan, soy sauce, sesame oil and kimchi juice. Set aside

Heat a bit of canola oil in a large skillet. Cook onion, carrots, garlic and ginger. Until tender. Add rice and kimchi and pour over gochujan mixture. Fry for 2 mins.

Note: The key is sauce to rice to veggie ratio and everyone has different preferences. I like a slightly sticky rice with lots of veggies. But, you’re the chef. You decide what’s best for you.

Serve as a side or main. Top with whatever you fancy.