Category Archives: Peach Week

Friday Recipe Exchange: Pumpkin Patch Edition

pumpkin-bars1a

I made pumpkin bars by request a week or so ago for a friend’s birthday. You should always have whatever sweet treat you want on your birthday. That recipe is here.

It put me in the mood for more pumpkin. I don’t go crazy and want everything pumpkin flavored during the season, I generally stick to pumpkin donuts (Dunkin Donuts are my preferred and difficult-to-acquire style), pumpkin bars and the occasional pumpkin pie. I prefer the Pumpkin Cream Pie that is the featured recipe tonight, to a traditional custard style pie.

That does not mean I don’t have a bunch of pumpkin recipes at my finger tips. To see everything, click here and it will take you to the pumpkin patch, er, page.

Last week when I mentioned tonight might be pumpkin week, several people sent me links to recipes and these two caught my eye:  from Mnemosyne: Mini Pumpkin Pies (recipe here) and a savory, Roasted Pumpkin Soup from Emeril - click here - (sorry I couldn’t find who sent this to me).

Friend of blog, Tes from TesatHome.com posted a good looking and definitely unusual, Pumpkin and Coconut Curry (click here).

And on a non-pumpkin note, this week’s menu of Lemon-Nut Pork Chops and Raspberry Poppyseed Cake is here.

There you go, a nice mix of sweet and savory for your pumpkin cravings. So what are some of your favorite pumpkin recipes? And what’s on the menu for this beautiful fall weekend, food or otherwise?

We’re not done yet…there’s still pie: Read the rest of this entry

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Friday Recipe Exchange: Peaches and Strawberries

Peaches and Strawberries 2

It’s that time of year again. Palisade peaches are ripe and ready to eat. This year’s crop took a hit with a late snow  in the spring, but still the stores and farm stands are full of them, though probably for a shorter time than previous years. As usual, they are deliciously sweet and juicy.  I don’t necessarily need to do anything special with them – I usually just halve them and eat them with a spoon.

But when you buy a large box of them and you’re not fond of canning, it’s time to get creative. That’s why a few years ago I began to experiment and made two of my favorite things, Peach Chutney and Peach Salsa, the featured recipes tonight.

Now the strawberries…I couldn’t help it, they were sitting there, all red and fragrant, right next to the peaches. I had to buy 3 lbs. As always happens, before I can finish off all of them, they become overripe and then it’s time for this:

Strawberry Bread (recipe here). Quick, easy and oh, so full of strawberry flavor. But before things get that far, I am really enjoying just slicing peaches and strawberries and serving them together, tossed with a touch of sugar.

Back to the peaches. There are quite a few peach on the blog, all of which can be found here.

Three I’d like to highlight are:

Mrs. J Makes a Peach Pie (click here), Kirk Spencer makes Peach Fish (recipe here) and finally, all the way from India, Tes’ Peach Lemonade (click here).

DSC_6399 [1600x1200]

Mrs. J’s Famous Peach Pie

Tonight, besides asking what’s on your menu for the weekend, I’d also like make a request for some gluten-free recipes. I have a couple of friends who have been asking me for some and while I have a few, my recipe box is limited. If you’d email me (whats4dinnersolutions at live dot com) your recipes or post them in the comments, I’d like to do a future recipe exchange featuring gluten-free ideas. So hit the comments with your favorite peach and strawberry treats and any gluten-free ideas you’d like to share.

And finally, here are tonight’s featured recipes:

Either of these go well with chicken, fish or pork. The chutney goes especially well with grilled pork chops.

Peach Salsa

  • 2 cups diced peeled peaches (2 to 3 peaches)
  • 4 thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, about 1 medium lime
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons finely minced hot or mild green chile pepper, or to taste
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • dash ginger
  • dash garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon orange or pineapple juice
  • dash freshly ground black pepper

Mix together and let meld together for about 30 minutes or more before serving.

Peach Chutney

  • 2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger or 1 tbsp minced fresh
  • ¼ tsp chili powder
  • salt to taste

small sauce pan

Add all ingredients to sauce pan, heat to boiling – stirring constantly, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, uncovered, until slightly thickened.

See you next week….

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Friday Recipe Exchange: Oven Baked Chicken

Chicken à la noir.

Chicken à la noir.

I thought we’d covered oven baked chicken before, but it turns out we have not. Since this is one of my favorite ways to make chicken, I was surprised. So that’s tonight’s theme. There are many different ways to go about making crispy baked chicken, I like Italian bread crumbs and panko for mine. Sometimes I soak the chicken in buttermilk for an hour and use that instead of egg to get the breadcrumbs to adhere. But if I’m in a hurry, it’s just the traditional recipe that I’ve posted below. And by traditional, I mean the one I grew up with, although my mom used rice crispies and cut up chicken pieces.

To change things up, you can add ingredients, like parmesan cheese, sesame seeds (there’s a recipe for that below), corn flakes or rice crispies. I saw a very interesting recipe recently that used toasted pecans, breadcrumbs and panko as the coating. I’m going to recipe test that one when I have a chance.

If you want something a little different, one of my favorites is Crispy Potato Chicken (recipe here).

Craving a Crispy and Spicy Chicken Sandwich?  Here’s a recipe that comes close to a famous fast food joint.

And for something completely different, how about Baked Chicken with Peaches? (recipe here)

If you’re looking to barbecue chicken that’s not all scorched on the outside and raw inside, either on the grill or in the oven, I have some simple tips here.

Grilled, baked, fried or barbecued, what’s your favorite style of chicken? Do you have one of those favorite childhood foods you just have to make once a week or so? Share some recipes in the comments.

On to tonight’s two featured recipes:

Oven Fried Chicken

  • 2 boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 bonelss chicken thighs
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 1/2 cups Panko
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup water**
  • salt & pepper to taste (at least 1/8 tsp each)

large mouth bowl, large plate and baking sheet lined with foil or parchment

Wash and pat chicken dry. In a large bowl, add water, eggs, oil, salt and pepper and beat well. Mix together and spread Italian breadcrumbs and panko evenly on large plate. Take chicken pieces one at a time and dip in egg wash, coating completely, dredge  in bread crumbs until lightly coated on all sides. Place on baking sheet. Bake  at 375 degrees for 30 minutes with foil covering the chicken, uncover and cook additional 15 minutes.

If you want to punch up the coating, you can add additional dry herbs to the breadcrumb mixture, I usually add some extra garlic and onion powder, a touch of cayenne, a bit of dried basil and rosemary.

This next recipe is great when the kids want chicken fingers, or it can be used with breasts and thighs as well, but you’ll need to increase the portions of breadcrumbs and sesame seeds to equal 3 cups.

Sesame Chicken Fingers

  • 1/2 cup stone-ground mustard
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 tbsp limejuice
  • salt & pepper
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil or olive oil
  • 1 to 1 ½ lbs chicken tenders

baking sheet, greased or lined with parchment or foil

2 bowls and 1 plate

Mix mustard, honey & limejuice in bowl, set aside. On plate mix salt, pepper, breadcrumbs & sesame seeds. In second bowl, add egg, water & oil. Dip chicken in egg wash then dredge in breadcrumbs. Line on baking sheet, bake at 425° for 10 minutes, turn, and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, should be crispy on all sides. Serve with mustard dipping sauce, waffle fries and a fresh vegetable tray for a quick and easy dinner.

Fresh Peach Lemonade from Tes

I love reading Tes’ blog. She goes on the best adventures, cooks delicious looking food and has the most adorable family and she generously shares it with us.  Today she posted a lovely peach lemonade recipe and I learned something new – it’s peach season in India, too. It looks so refreshing I had to share it with you:

Photo by Tes at Home (tesathome.com)

When peach season arrives, there are few regular routines I attend in my kitchen. I need to make a few jars delicious peach chutney, some peachy, chewy fruit leathers, and finally… there has to be this fresh peach lemonade to lighten up everything.

My peach lemonade is fuzz free, easy and quick. There’s no need of cooking the peach syrup. Everything is just fresh and raw so you will not lose any natural goodness or flavor at all.

Fresh Peach Lemonade

Ingredients: (2 Servings)

2 peaches- chopped

1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice- or to taste

2 tbsp honey (or sugar if preferred)

3 cup ice-chill water

Ice cubes for serving

Some fresh peach slices for serving

For the complete recipe, click here

Pop on over to her blog and see all the photos and the complete recipe. Then look around and for sure look for a photo of her too-cute-for-words little one.

Thursday Recipe Exchange: Burger Week, Part 2

Spicy Lamb Burgers by JeffreyW

I’m travelling again, but made sure to get this ready for you. I decided since I had so many burger recipes I would make a whole week of it. The posts include Cuban Burgers, Dill Burgers, Jalapeno Burgers, Focaccia Burgers and the recipes can be found here.

If burgers aren’t your thing, I also have a week of peach recipes at this link.

That should be enough to keep you busy until I get back. What are you grilling this weekend?

The featured recipes tonight are a Curried Turkey Burger from me and a Spicy Lamb Burger (pictured) from JeffreyW.

Curried Turkey Burgers

Always looking for new flavors to grill and since I love good pita bread, something that would go nicely with that.  Came up with this for a taste treat and a perfect way to use ground turkey since it can be bland if not well seasoned before grilling.  Serve with fresh corn on the cob and grilled eggplant.

  • 1 to 1-1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 3 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp ground curry
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 4 pita breads

bowl

In bowl combine all ingredients except bread and mix well. Form 4 patties and grill, broil or fry to desired doneness. Serve in pita bread. Ground mustard and mayonnaise make good toppings or a little Greek salad dressing, along with lettuce & tomatoes.

JeffreyW’s Spicy Lamb Burger

The recipe and more scrumptious looking photos can be found here.

In Case Burgers Aren’t Your Thing: Peach Week Revisited

Peaches have come early in Colorado. We have the most amazing peaches that come from Palisades on the western slope (where they also make some nice wines). I’ll be heading to the farmer stand tomorrow to pick a pretty box of peaches. Can’t wait. Nothing compares. Did I say “yum”?

If you click on the link you’ll see a bunch of peach recipes from Peach Week 2010.

Peach Salsa

It’s been a busy day.  Good ride today, despite the heat.  This was nice and not terribly sweet.  I’ll be trying it with a few things.

Peach Salsa

  • 2 cups diced peeled peaches (2 to 3 peaches)
  • 4 thinly sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, about 1 medium lime
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons finely minced hot or mild green chile pepper, or to taste
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • dash ginger
  • dash garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon orange or pineapple juice
  • dash freshly ground black pepper

Mix together and let meld together for about 30 minutes or more before serving.

Spinach Chicken Salad with Spicy Peach Dressing

Spicy Peach Dressing

  • 2 large peaches, peeled, pitted and quartered
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 jalapeño or other hot pepper, halved and seeded
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Purée all of the ingredients, except oil, in a blender or food processor until smooth. Continue to blend, on low, while adding oil slowly. Mix until well blended. Refrigerate.

Spinach Chicken Salad

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/2 small sweet yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb cleaned baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
  • 1 peach, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
  • 3 ounces crumbled bleu cheese or chevre

Place the chicken in a plastic zipper bag with ½ cup of dressing. Marinate 2 hours in refrigerator. Remove chicken, discard marinade and grill until cooked through (170 degrees at center).

Toss the spinach, onion, walnuts and cheese with the remaining 3/4 cup dressing. Slice the grilled chicken and arrange on top of the salad.

Serving: 4 to 6

Kirk Spencer’s Peached Tilapia

I asked around for some peach recipes and Kirk sent me a list of things he could do with peaches and asked me to choose.  I decided the fish sounded like a good idea.  I like using fruits with meats, fishes and poultry, so this one appealed to me.  Here’s Kirk:

OK, let’s start with editorial comments. Tilapia is a fish with almost no flavor of its own. Worse, the odds are you’re going to get farmed tilapia, which is going to be even blander. When you make tilapia, then, you’ve got two choices. You can go for extreme subtlety to tease out the taste of the fish. Or you can go for any darn flavor you want and let the fish provide texture. Here, I’m taking the low road. We’re going to end up with PEACH flavors on a tender fish texture.

Second editorial comment. I’m in the process of returning to cooking for just two. As a result that’s what you’re going to get for recipes – serves two adults who don’t pick at their food. A whole Tilapia is one to two pounds, of which between half and 2/3s is food for most USians (ie, we don’t pick the bones or eat the head — and we might leave the skin alone as well.)

  • Two whole (cleaned [ means gutted ] and scaled) tilapia – heads optional.

Glaze:

  • One peach, peeled, pitted, and crushed, measured.
  • 1/2 measure brown sugar.
  • 1/2 measure white sugar.
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • Dash of salt.

Filling:

  • One peach, peeled, pitted, and crushed.
  • 4 ounces crushed pecans.
  • 4 ounces butter.
  • 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder.
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder.
  • Dash of salt.

Overview: Soak some toothpicks or skewers. Make the glaze. Make the filling. Stuff the tilapia and seal cavity closed. Grill for three minutes. Turn, spread glaze over finished side, grill for two more minutes. Move to finish plate with glazed side down and glaze the unfinished side. Let rest under heat trap for three to five minutes.

Details.

Glaze. Combine all ingredients in a heavy saucepan and simmer over low heat, stirring frequently, until peaches seem translucent — about 20 minutes. Beware, the high sugar content is easy to burn. By the way, this is basically a homemade peach preserve. Remove from heat, but it’s fine to use this warm.

Filling.

Brown butter in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in pecans, cocoa and cayenne, and cook for another 30 seconds or so till it’s all hot and the pecans begin to brown. Add the peaches and remove from heat.

Make sure your tilapia are cleaned and scaled. Stuff half the filling into each fish’s belly. Use toothpicks or skewers that you’ve soaked in water for a few moments to close the bellies.

Heat your grill, and either oil the grate or oil the griddle on which you’ll hold the fish. Put the fish over direct heat about three-four inches above the coals for three minutes. Turn, and spread about half the glaze over the two fish’s upward sides. Let cook for two more minutes and move to a plate or pan, glaze side down. Yes, it’s going to stick to that pan. Glaze the side that’s now up, and put a lid or foil over the top to trap the heat. Let the fish rest for three to five minutes. Uncover and serve.

A service trick. Instead of using a pan for the rest, you could put the fish on the plates off which you’re going to eat. That way you don’t lose the bottom glaze to the pan. If you do this I recommend prewarming the plates.

RECOMMENDED SIDES:

A vinaigrette fruit salad – the easy way is a standard fruit salad tossed with a basic vinaigrette dressing, but the bananas usually used might be peculiar to some tastes. Alternatively any pickled, cold dish such as a vinaigrette slaw or sweet and sour red cabbage or carrot-daikon slaw. The sour will help balance the sweet of the fish, the cold will handle both the stove heat and the cayenne heat (not that there’s much in this.) Steamed greens of some sort – in this case I’d prefer steamed nettles, but any earthy green (kale, mustard greens, etc) will do.

Alternatively, buttered small beets will serve the same purpose. The earthy taste grounds the meal and helps make it seem more filling. Crisp, lightly toasted bread (such as a baguette) with a parmesan butter (1 part parmesan, three parts butter, whipped together) as support.

Kirk

Peach Crunch Cake

I’m going to declare this one a hit, since I brought it to work about an hour ago and it’s gone.  So simple to make.  I thought it was a bit too sweet and I think I’d cut the brown sugar to about 3/4 cup next time.  YMMV (your mileage may vary).

Peach Crunch Cake

Modified from this nice site here check it out it has great pictures.

  • 4 to 6 peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced
  • 1/3  cup water
  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), cut into 16 pieces
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut

Layer ingredients  in a lightly oiled 13 X 9 dish, in order starting with the peaches. Bake for about 40 minutes. Serve warm or cold… with or without ice cream.

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