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!

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.

SIP Wondrous White Bread

Ok, ya’ll. This is not the whole wheat, semi-healthy loaf of bread that’s full of fiber and good for … well, you know. No. This is the stuff we used to savor as cinnamon toast or flanking some bologna (the kind with a name). Yep. This is the good stuff with sugar and canola oil. YOLO! This is how I’m using my precious yeast.

Wondrous White Bread

  • 2 TBSP yeast
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 3 1/2 cup flour (maybe less)
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg + 1 egg and 1 Tbsp water for egg wash
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • In a large bowl, dissolve sugar in warm water. Add yeast; let stand for 5 minutes.
  • Mix the canola oil, egg, and salt in a measuring cup. Add to the yeast mixture. Then slowly add enough flour to form a soft dough. I usually add 3 cups then slowly sprinkle more as the dough sticks to my fingers or the bowl. Knead for 5 minutes. Make sure you do this for a full 5 mins.
  • Form dough into a smooth ball. Keeping the dough in the bowl, spray with non-stick spray and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm place (70-80 degrees) for 15 minutes.
  • Punch down the dough.  Knead for 1 minute. Take the dough and cut it in two. This can make a full loaf and a mini one. I would do 2/3 and 1/3.
  • Form each into a loaf by rolling it into an oblong shape then tucking and pinching the ends under the loaf.
  • Line loaf pans with parchment. Place each loaf in a pan. Brush thoroughly with egg mixture.
  • Let loaf sit while oven is preheating to 400 degrees F, or about 10 minutes. I arrange the rack to the upper part of the oven because my burner is on the bottom.
  • Carefully put the loaves in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until outside is golden brown and internal temperature of loaf registers 195 degrees. If the top starts to brown too much, lightly place foil over the top to stop browning.
  • Let cool. Slice & enjoy!

Spring In A Bite

Spring is just around the corner and these are a perfect first bite of the season. I made them for a party and they held up perfectly. The stored ones for lunch got a little dry. I’d recommend making them fresh or try wrapping them with a damp towel if you’re storing them for tomorrow’s lunch. Enjoy!

Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

  • 4-5 rice paper wraps (the circle ones that you have to rehydrate)
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • ½ hothouse cucumber, julienned
  • 2-3 carrots, julienned
  • ¼ head purple cabbage, very thinly sliced
  • 1/4 head napa cabbage, very thinly sliced
  • large handful baby spinach
  • Firm tofu (can be flavored) cut into 1/4″ strips
  • fresh cilantro, mint and basil
  • You could also add lobster or other meats and rice noodles if desired.

Peanut Sauce

  • ¼ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1½ Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • juice of ½ lime
  1. Put all veggies and herb on a platter for eat assembly.
  2. Whisk together all Peanut Sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  1. Fill a shallow bowl with warm water.
  1. Working one at a time, dip a rice paper wrap in warm water until it becomes just pliable, about 10 seconds. (You don’t want the wrapper to fully soften while you’re soaking it; it should still have structure when you pull it from the water and will continue to soften while you apply fillings.)
  2. Lay wrapper flat on a large clean surface and arrange a small amount of each topping in the center of the bottom-third, beginning with spinach and striving to keep the pokier ingredients (peppers, cucumbers, cabbage, carrots) last, where they will be more protected within the roll.
  3. Gently bring the bottom of the wrapper up over the ingredients, completing at least one full roll before folding in the left and right sides; continue to roll until fully wrapped. (Roll should be somewhat snug — and yes, it takes a couple of tries to get it right.) Set aside and repeat until all fillings have been used.
  4. Serve rolls whole or sliced in half (for presentation purposes only) with Peanut Sauce on the side.
  5. Enjoy!

Shelter In Place Trend: Make Sourdough

I had no idea this was a trend until I started seeing pics of sourdough bread on social media. Making a started just seemed like a cool science + nourishing food activity for the kids. Also, being a sourdough starter mom is rewarding and a PITA. Enjoy!

Sourdough Starter

The Kitchn is the resource we used for making the starter (note, it takes 5 days if you can keep it in a room 70-75 degrees f.

Sourdough Bread

  • 1200 grams bread flour
  • 900 grams water
  • 20 grams fine sea salt
  • 20 grams starter

Make the leaven the night before baking. Mix 20 grams of starter with 200 grams of warm water. Wash your hands really well and stir with your hands to disperse.

Add 200 grams of flour and combine well. Cover and let rest at room temp for 12 hours or until puffed in appearance.

To test for readiness, drop a tablespoon of leaven into a bowl of room temp water; if it floats, it’s ready to use. If it doesn’t, allow for more time to ferment.

In a large bowl, combine 200 grams of leaven with 650 grams of warm water. Wash hands really well and stir to disperse with hands.

Add 1000 grams of flour to bowl (if using whole wheat, use 900 grams of bread flour and 100 grams of whole wheat flour). Wash your hands again really well. Use your hands to mix until no traces of flour remain. The dough will be sticky and ragged. Cover the bowl with a towel and let it rest for 25 to 40 mins at room temp.

Add 20 grams of fine sea salt and 50 grams of warm water. Use hands to integrate salt water into dough thoroughly. The dough will begin to pull apart, but continue mixing. It will come back together.

Cover dough with a towel and transfer to a warm environment, 75 – 80 degrees f (like near a window in a sunny room, or inside a turned off oven) Let dough rise for 30 mins.

Fold dough by dipping a very clean hand in water, taking hold of the underside of the dough at one quadrant and stretching it up over the rest of the dough. Repeat this action 3 more times, rotating bowl a quarter turn for each fold. Do this every half hour for 2 1/2 hours more (3 hours total). The dough should be billowy and increase in volume 20 – 30 percent. If not, continue to let rise and fold for up to an hour more.

Transfer dough to a work surface and dust top of flour. Use a dough scraper to cut dough into 2 equal pieces and flip them over so floured sides are face down. Fold the cut side of each piece up onto itself so the flour on the surface remains entirely on the outside of the loaf; this will become the crust. Work dough into taut rounds. Place the dough rounds on a work surface, cover with a towel, and let rest 30 mins.

Mix 100 grams flour and 100 grams rice flour in a different bowl. Line two 10-12″ bread proofing baskets or mixing bowels with clean towels. Use some of the flour mixture to generously flour towels (reserve remaining mixture).

Dust rounds with flour. Use a dough scraper to flip them over onto a work surface so floured sides are facing down. Take one round and starting at the side closest to you, pull the bottom 2 corners of the dough down toward you. Then fold that into the middle third of the dough. Repeat this action on the right and left sides, pulling the edges out and folding them in over the center. Finally, lift the top corners up and fold down over previous folds. Roll dough over so the folded side becomes the bottom of the loaf. Shape into a smooth taut ball. Repeat with the other round.

Transfer rounds, seam-side up, to the prepared baskets. Cover with a towel and return the dough to the 75 – 80 degree f environment for 3 – 4 hours. (Or let dough rise for 10 to 12 hours in the refrigerator. Bring it back to room temp before baking. )

About 30 mins before baking, place a Dutch oven or lidded cast iron pot in the oven and heat it to 500 degrees. Dust tops of dough, still in their baskets with the bread and rice flour mixture. Very carefully remove heated pot from oven and gently turn 1 loaf into pan seam side down. Use a lame or razor blade to score the he top of the bread a few times to allow for expansion. Cover and transfer to oven. Reduce temp to 450 degrees and bake for 20 mins.

Carefully remove the lid (steam may rise) and bake for 16-20 more mins or until crust is rich and golden brown.

Transfer bread to a wire rack to cook for at least 15 mins before slicing. The bottom of the loaf should sound hollow when tapped. Increase oven temp to 500 degrees, clean out the pot and repeat the process with the second loaf.

Recipe from NY Times’ Tartine Bread.

Shelter In Place Yogurt

We’re pretty avid yogurt eaters + I’ve always wanted to try to make yogurt + being stuck at home + last tub of store bought yogurt in fridge + have instant pot = motivation to make yogurt (finally!)

This came out so well. I topped it with a bit of my homemade plum jam, granola, pecans, chia and help seeds.

Shelter In Place Yogurt

  • 8 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  1. Add milk to Instant Pot, close and lock the lid. Select yogurt setting; adjust pressure to boil. This can take up to 1 hour.
  2. Remove the insert with a pot holder and set on a trivet on the counter to cool until the milk reaches 100 to 110 degrees F, use a candy thermometer to keep track (it took me about 30 mins) set aside 1 cup milk.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together yogurt and reserved 1 cup milk. Stir into remaining milk in the insert. Add sugar and vanilla.
  4. Return insert into the Instant Pot. Select yogurt setting, set automatically at 8 hours. For thicker and tangier yogurt, set for 9-10 hours.
  5.  Transfer to storage containers; cover and chill until cold, about 6-8 hours, or up to 10 days.

St Paddy’s Breakfast Muffins

My kids don’t eat spinach. I’m sure they would if there was a way to get them to not see it. Sooooo, I introduced Green Breakfast Muffins this morning. And voila! They love spinach. Mind you, they had no idea – even still – that the Muffins were green because they’re loaded with spinach. They’re super good and cute for this special holiday AT HOME.

Note: lots more recipes coming because being in a “shelter in place” zone means we’ll be doing a lot of kitchen experiments.

Green Breakfast Muffins

  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ripe large or 2 ripe small bananas
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 TBSP melted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (plus some for topping)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Grease a muffin tin with butter.

Blend all the ingredients except the flour and chocolate chips. Remove the blender from the base and hand mix in the flour and all the chips but those that you’ll sprinkle on top.

Pour into muffin tins filling about 3/4 full. Top with 5-8 chips.

Bake for 15-18 mins.

Remove from tin and let cool on wire rack. Enjoy!!