Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Grilled Peaches

Here is some advice for free: go grill some peaches as soon as humanly possible.

Have you ever been craving a delicious peach pie, but not wanted to go the the extreme lengths of making pastry, slicing peaches etc. etc? Then go grill some peaches.

Definitely just listen to me on this: on your way home from wherever you are right now, pass by a green grocer and buy maybe... 6 of the ripest, but not too ripe peaches (they still need to be able to hold their shape when you slice them in half). 

Then when you arrive home, turn on your BBQ. If you don't have a BBQ, I'm sorry, but you need to turn on your broiler even though its summer (in Vancouver this shouldn't be a problem), or maybe get out your Foreman Grill? Whatever- you need something super hot, like 400 degrees. 

While the BBQ gets nice and hot, slice the peach in half, remove the pits and dip each slice of peach -cut side down -into a plate of sugar. I used white, but I'd like to try brown next time. Don't remove the skin- its a hassle and its important for keeping the peaches from collapsing on the grill.

Place the peach slices face down on the BBQ, close the lid and go whip some cream with mint or vanilla. When you are done whipping the cream, check those peaches. The sugar should caramelize on the peach- they need about 10 to 15 minutes on a hot BBQ. 
I took a picture of Claire taking a picture. What happens before you eat good food when you make a blog together.
Serve warm with whipped cream, or vanilla ice cream. Its the perfect simple summer dessert. It literally tasted like the juicy perfect insides of a peach pie, which is the best part of the pie anyways, right?

We also ate this with a homemade pie that was reheated on the BBQ! And some wine. On a porch in the Okanagan. The Life. I never want summer to end. 
Some pretty girls eating yummy grilled things on a summer evening.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Raspberry Curd Extras

The tasty curd on ice cream

Here are some extra raspberry curd photos, including the one of the fresh curd on the ice cream that Caitlin misplaced! The curd was delicious, but as Caitlin mentioned, we recommend less lemon juice, so that it doesn't taste so much like lemon curd with raspberries but like full on raspberry curd.

Fresh Raspberry puree!The most tedious part was sieving out the seeds, but what a beautiful colour.
Meringue cupcakes

I used my extra curd as  filling for a birthday cake. It was great, as it added extras zing and flavour, and was a nice contrast to the sweet vanilla cake. More on that later!

Hot Eats, Cool Treats

Not, necessarily, together. These are just two simple and delicious recipes I've done recently, which are great for summer. 

Blueberry Crumble

Nothing says summer like a crumble. Fruit crumbles are so straight forward, and of course, best with fresh summer fruit. 

I was at my parents the other night and my mom made delish rhubarb crumble, made with fresh rhubarb, everybody's favourite!

Jan, mixing up a crumble.

 Let's take a closer look, shall we:

First chop up your rhubarb (or straberries, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, apples or any combination of such) and sprinkle with sugar and orange zest (or lemon zest). Let stand to macerate (ie. release their juices!). You can do this in the baking dish, just don't forget to grease it first. 

While the fruit is macerating make the crumble topping. Mix flour, brown sugar, and rolled oats in a bowl. Add a little cinnamon. Then, using your hands, mix in cubed, cold butter, until you have pea sized crumble pieces.

Spread crumble topping evenly over filling and bake until golden brown and/or there are juices bubbling up the sides. Let cool and enjoy!

Flavoured Vodka

Last summer, my friend Stephanie and I decided to try making flavoured vodka with Skittles. It turned out to be really tasty, altough it did take awhile, since you need to wait for the Skittles to dissolve, and then filter the product to get rid of some sediment. 

Lime, Watermelon, Blue Raspberry, Cherry and Grape

This summer we decided to try Jolly Ranchers instead, and it was ridiculously easy, and again, very tasty. 

Now I know this doesn't sound particularly sophisticated, but it was fun and easy. If you were to have friends over you could make some pretty tasty drinks by mixing up some flavours. One idea: watermelon flavour vodka with club soda and muddled mint. Do you have any ideas for the other flavours? Maybe lime vodka for a twist on a Margarita?

If you are curious to try here's how. 
1. Sepearate JR flavours. 
2. Put in bottles.
3. Pour in vodka.
4. Let sit over night.
5. Shake and enjoy. 

We used two of the big bags of JR's and each flavour got about 10 ounces of vodka.

Quaffably Delicious!
Happy Summer!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Raspberry Curd

A couple weeks ago I picked another huge bunch of raspberries from my backyard and made raspberry curd. I'm so impressed by the fact that only a few raspberries bushes provided more raspberries than I had time to collect or eat, and that my neighbours got plenty as well. You may still be able to get local raspberries in season, and if you find a good deal I'd really encourage you to make this curd.
Its very tarte and lemony- actually I would reduce the lemon and sugar a bit to let more of the raspberry flavour come through. Claire and I made a double recipe... why?? Turned out to be A LOT. Probably not necessary unless you want to ensure you have curd to eat for many days.

After the curd making process we chilled it and put it on some vanilla ice cream, with more fresh raspberries and enjoyed with a big glass of wine. It was awesome, but I lost the pictures so you will just have to beleive me.

Making a double recipe meant we used 15 egg yolks! An absurd amount of eggs. Which left us with 15 egg whites. What is one to do with 15 egg whites?

The answer seems obvious; the next night Claire returned to my place and we made an absurd amount of merinuge. Claire made these
meringue cupcakes and they were so beautiful! So white and fluffy and smooth. We spent hours pipeing them into cupcake tins and so on, only to realize the infamous squeaky oven was out of order. The gas has been shut off at my house- we called Fortis and they said they would have someone there before the night was out! Hurray! We waited. Ate some curd. Watched some So You Think You Can Dance. Waited...Around 10pm Claire gave up and went home. The guy finally arrived at 12:10! The meringues had to wait to be baked until the next morning, since I had to work and needed to get to bed. All this waiting didn't bode well for the sensitive meringues, and they turned to sticky balls of sugar. You can't win them all.

Pouring the raspberry coulis into the curd.
The curd recipe is from Martha Stewart, and you can find it here. 
My notes on this recipe are the following- half the lemon juice content to allow the raspberry to stand out, and reduce the sugar by 1/3 of a cup just for the sake of it. Also, her weird instruction of folding the raspberry coulis into the curd after its off the burner isn't required. You can just whisk it right in and save yourself the hassle! 


cm and cm

Friday, August 3, 2012

Pickled Zucchini

I joined a Community Supported Agriculture program which means each week I get to pick up a haul of fresh foods directly from a farmer. So far it's been great, but what I should have realized is that I'm now getting twice as much of those things that grow bountifully in my garden - obscene quantities of kale and other greens and of course lots of squash.

If you too find yourself with an over abundance of summer squash a quick pickle will get you out of that pickle (ha!). Also this is delicious- great on toast with cheese, thrown in a salad or just as a snack with charcuterie. I think it would also make you look cool if you brought it to a BBQ, potluck or picnic.

The key is to let the zucs drain over night so they aren't too watery. I sliced them in small rounds this time, but next I want to try using a veggie peeeler to make tangly long strings.

Really enjoyed this this morning on toast with coffee on a cabin porch. Also served as an appy with goat's cheese and crackers, and went over really well.

The recipe is from the wonderful 101 cookbooks here -