The last dance for white pants

August 31st, 2012

 

Labor Day weekend is upon us. Time to give summer a proper farewell with this little diddy..

Peach Collins (serves 2):

4 oz.  peach vodka
4 oz. club soda
2 oz lemonade
1/2 ripe peach sliced
mint leaves for garnish
crushed ice

Pour 2 oz of vodka into each glass. Divide peach slices and lightly muddle the peaches until the drink is slightly cloudy.  I used this muddler from anthropologie. Add a ice, soda, lemonade and stir. Top with mint and serve

Summer favorite:

original recipe here

Happy Birthday Mom

August 29th, 2012

A very happy birthday to my beautiful, smart, funny mom.   Here are some of her recipes that I posted over the last year:

Crab Dip (and dark n stormies)

Pesto Pasta with tomatoes, feta, and pine nuts

Ramen Slaw

Sautéed Zucchini and Summer Squash

and many more to come!

I wish I could ambush her with puppies today, but watching this lucky dude is a pretty close second:

Photo above: My mom at a John Legend concert this past summer

This is an excellent late summer side dish that tastes great on its own or over pasta or rice.

Ingredients:
1 summer squash
1 zucchini
1 medium heiloom tomato
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp shredded cheddar
1 tbsp grated parmesean
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Cut zucchini and squash into thin rounds.  Cut larger rounds in half.   Coat large pan with olive oil and set over medium heat.  Add zukes and squash rounds.  Cook for 5-10 minutes until soft.  Add tomatoes and cook for another few minutes. Add cheese, salt, pepper.

Recipe source: my mom :)

[slideshow]

peach raspberry pie

August 20th, 2012

A few years ago my cousin Olivia was making a peach pie for Owl, our grandfather’s birthday.   Whenever Owl hears that there will be pie at some point in the immediate future he puts his hands amorously to his chest and his facial expression can only be described as radiant euphoria.  I love my grandfather. He’s a brilliant man who can recite nearly every line from every book-play-song he’s ever read-seen-heard, speaks fluent German, is very sweet and sincere, and he loves pie.

So while Olivia was making Owl’s birthday pie, there was a little hiccup in that there weren’t enough peaches- we were 2 or 3 peaches short. So she threw in a few blueberries and raspberries to fill the “fruit quota” for the pie.  It was one of the best pies I’ve ever had in my life.  Her recipe was a little more involved than the one below, but this one is super easy and amazing too:

Ingredients:

8 ripe peaches
1 cup raspberries (and/or blueberries)
1/3 cup flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter
2 premade pie doughs for a 9 in. pan

Directions:

  • Mix flour, sugar and butter into crumb stage.
  • Place one crust in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate. Line the shell with some sliced peaches. Sprinkle some of the butter mixture on top of the peaches, then put more peaches on top of the the crumb mixture. Continue layering until both the peaches and crumbs are gone.
  • Top with lattice strips of pie crust.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until crust is golden. Allow pie to cool before slicing. Best when eaten fresh

Original recipe found here 

Pimm’s Cup

August 13th, 2012

Quite possibly my favorite cocktail of all time.  I found the backstory in Bon Appetit :

“What the Mojito is to Cuba and the mint julep is to America, the Pimm’s Cup is  to England—a refreshing, seasonal sipper that’s both a symbol of national pride  and an international infatuation. The cocktail, created by James Pimm in the  1840s in his London bar and based on his fruit- and herb-infused gin (sold as Pimm’s No. 1), couldn’t be easier to make: Pour Pimm’s over ice, add fizzy water, garnish  with cucumber, and enjoy.”

Sounds great, right?  I didn’t realize it originated in London, despite the fact that Pimm’s Cup is the most British-sounding drink ever.  Pimm’s Cup.

Ingredients:

2 oz. Pimm’s
3 oz. ginger ale
3 oz. lemonade
4 slices of cucumber
lime wedge
ice

Pour over ice. Stir and serve

  

I was happily drinking these while watching the London Olympics last week.  It makes one feel like a olympian, drinking booze and sitting down :).  I considered making an American drink, but there weren’t any exceptional drinks that came to mind.  I crossed them out one by one in my head: mint julep (blech gross), Manhattan (not for summer), Alabama Slammer (never had one and it sounds aggressive…looked it up and it is very aggressive).  Also, none of these are all-encompassingly American.  If you can think of one, please tell me- seriously I’m blanking here.  So I decided it would be more fun to toast the host instead!

This is the most delicious and refreshing drink you will ever outside of the island vacation standards (daquiris, mojitos, coladas, margs etc.) without being too sweet or fruity.  It tastes like a cucumber-y Arnold Palmer. How are you not drinking this yet?

Cheers!

Broccoli Cauliflower Quiche

August 8th, 2012

Ingredients:

2 tbsp butter
1 medium onion, diced
1 and 1/2 cups chopped fresh broccoli
1/2 cup chopped fresh cauliflower
1 9-inch pie dough, unbaked
1 and 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, best quality available
4 eggs beaten
1 and 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp melted butter

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Over medium-low heat melt butter in a large saucepan. Add onions, garlic and broccoli. Cook slowly, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are soft. Coat the bottom of the crust with roughly 3/4 cup of cheese.*  Spoon in vegetables then sprinkle remaining cheese.
  3. Combine eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in melted butter. Pour egg mixture over vegetables and cheese.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until center has set.

* Very important. Covering the bottom keeps the crust from getting soggy.  Here is the sage advice from a reviewer:

“Do not SPRINKLE in the cheese, put it in first and PRESS it to the bottom of the pie crust, forming a sort raincoat for the crust–a cheese raincoat, if you will.”

The original recipe is from Allrecipes found here.  Cheese raincoat lady (her name now) is listed as the “most helpful” aka #1 reviewer of this recipe. Respect.

What I love the most about this recipe is it is baseline quiche recipe.  I got really excited thinking of future quiche combos. Just to name a few:

  • cauliflower and red pepper (cheddar, pepperjack)**
  • bacon, tomato, and zucchini  (aged provolone, munster)
  • spinach and tomato (feta, parmesean, mozzarella)
  • ham (swiss, greyere)

**In parentheses are the cheeses I would probably add.  I’m not an expert cheese-pairing individual, but I do eat a lot of cheese.  Sooo yeah.

Here is the kind I used for this recipe:

It’s an ultra sharp, creamy white cheddar cheese that Patrick and I got from the 1000 Islands. You can buy it here

Lastly, I didn’t realize this post would turn into a love letter to cheese, but apparently it was unavoidable.
I LOVE YOU CHEESE!