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Summer Peach Cobbler

13 Dec

I’ve been meaning to post this recipe ever since I tried it this summer, but alas I am months and months behind. I first saw this peach cobbler recipe (or peach-a-berry cobbler as she calls it) on Iowa Girl Eats. She is super fun and shares great recipes and takes awesome photos, so you should check out her blog. And definitely make this cobbler. It’s delicious.

I changed this recipe up just a little bit because I wanted to incorporate whole wheat flour and I prefer to use brown sugar over white sugar. Here’s the slightly modified version:

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup white flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 cup milk (I prefer whole, but you can use whatever)
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup cold water
3 cups sliced fresh peaches, skin on
1 cup fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and then begin by making the topping. Combine both types of flour, 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, 1/4 cup white sugar and the baking powder in a large bowl and stir. Add milk and butter then stir until smooth. Set aside.

Topping mixture

In a large saucepan mix together the other 1/4 cup of brown sugar, the cornstarch, and water until smooth. With the heat on medium, add the peaches and blueberries.

Adding peaches and blueberries

Cook until the peach and blueberry mixture is thick and bubbly. Add the 1 tablespoon of butter and the lemon juice and stir until butter is melted.

Heated fruit

Pour fruit mixture into an ungreased pie pan and add the topping. Try not to make the dollops of topping too thick because I did that the first time and it didn’t cook all the way through. The second time I made this cobbler I made a point to make the dollops thinner and spread them out a bit and it worked much better.

Stir 2 tablespoons of white sugar and cinnamon together in a small bowl then sprinkle on top.

Because the cobbler might bubble up while baking, put the pie pan on a cookie sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the topping comes out clean. Enjoy!


New Food: Dates

15 Feb

We went to Andrew’s parents’ house to watch the Super Bowl. I could not care less about the Super Bowl or the commercials, but I did care about all the snacks. Andrew’s mother made a ton of food, including dates stuffed with goat cheese, some wrapped with prosciutto.

Dates grow on date palm trees, which are native to northern Africa and the middle east, which is why many regional middle eastern dishes incorporate dates. Many Italian and Greek dishes do as well.

Ripe dates are a dark reddish brown color and about and inch or so long. They are wrinkled and their skin is a little waxy. Not the most attractive fruit by far. But pretty tasty. The date is sweet and the salty goat cheese was the perfect stuffing. It was a really good salty/sweet appetizer.

Want to know a random date fact?  A full grown date palm  tree can grow to be 82 feet tall. That is more than 16 times as tall as me 🙂

Week 52: Lingonberries

7 Jan

I can’t believe this is the last week! I remember when I started this blog I thought that it was going to be difficult to find a new food to try every week. But it’s been super easy and I even exceeded my goal of 52 new foods and here we are at the very last week.

So without further ado…

Oftentimes at work, a group of us eat lunch together. Just before Christmas, my friend Shani brought in a package of chocolate covered lingonberries to share with the group. She had gotten them as a gift from her family, who live in Finland.

Maybe this was cheating a little, since the lingonberry was covered in chocolate, but it was delicious!

Lingonberries are popular in Scandinavian countries and are distant cousins of cranberries. They are smaller and juicier than cranberries, but share some of their tartness. Lingonberries are also often made into jam, which isn’t terribly easy to find in the US but may appear in some grocery stores or ethnic markets.  Like their cranberry cousin, lingonberries are known to help fight urinary tract infections. They also are chock full of antioxidents.

I’ll be on the lookout for lingonberries in their pure (non-chocolate covered) form and also for a jam – I would like to try both.

Week 48: Persimmon

5 Dec

Persimmons are in season from September until December, so when I saw one at Whole Foods, I couldn’t resist buying one to try. A little research showed that there are two types of persimmons – astringent (hachiya) and nonastringent (fuyu). Hachiya is the more common and is acorn-shaped. When ripe, it is soft. Fuyu is more of an apple shape and is crunchy.

I was pretty sure I got the astringent one because it was shaped sort of like an acorn, but bigger. I watched a YouTube video on how to eat a persimmon (check it out – the music is jazzy). Cut it in half and scoop with a spoon. Easy. And it looks so pretty too:

While you can eat it raw, Whole Foods also says that you can freeze the cut persimmon and then scoop it out and eat it like gelato. Or you can try cooking it in pudding, or adding it to bread, cake, and muffins, like other fruits.

I knew that unripe persimmons taste bad, so I waited a while to try it, but I’m not sure that did much good. Whole Foods’ website said that “when ripe they are lovely and sweet,” so either my persimmon was not ripe or Whole Foods and I have a very different idea of what constitutes lovely and sweet.

After cutting it in half, Andrew and I both scooped out a chunk. While it was juicy, it was really gritty and kind of adhered to your teeth and the roof your mouth. I spit it out, but the persimmon film had taken over my mouth. I vigorously swished water around my mouth trying to get rid of the sandy superglue but it didn’t really help. Only time and Crest can rid your mouth of that persimmon glue.

I’m not sure if the persimmon wasn’t ripe or if this is some sort of weird food quality that everyone but me and Andrew are into. I would like to try the fuyu persimmon and, if assured that its ripe, I may try the hachiya one more time.


Week 38: Kiwano

23 Sep

Walking through the produce department at Whole Foods, I came across this:

The sticker said “kiwano” and, as a side note, those little horns are much more prickly than one would think.

I brought it home and found a YouTube video on how to eat a kiwano. I watched and learned, trying to ignore the part where the woman says, “It looks like slime.”

Just like the guy in the video, I cut it in half. Yeah, it totally looks like slime. (Remember You Can’t Do That on Television?)

But I pulled myself together and tackled the slimy middle.  The green seeds were the texture of cucumber seeds, but the taste was cucumber-and-banana-had-a-baby, which is a combination that is completely weird to taste, but really good. I’m definitely a kiwano fan and will be eating it again.

Kiwanos are often called African horned cucumbers or jelly melons. They are native to southern and central Africa, but are also grown in New Zealand and California. Kiwano melon is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin A, and iron. One website I found said that sometimes people use the shells as unique servings bowls for soups and desserts. I find that really clever, while also being way too much work for me, but it’s nice to dream of someday being that organized and crafty.

Week 36: Figs

9 Sep

Fresh figs are in season right now and because they were on my list of suggestions (thanks Christina!), I figured I would try them this week. I originally thought I would toast them because Christina had given me a recipe with cheese and almonds that looked just delicious. But, alas, I am lazy, so I ate these figs raw at lunch at work and had some of my friends share them with me.

I didn’t know how to cut them and wasn’t sure if I could eat the skin, so Rebecca and Shani guided me through: first cut off the two ends, then cut the fig in half or quarters. That’s it!

They were pretty good. Not my favorite fruit ever, but it was fun to share them with the lunch crew because everyone was pretty into the figs. Every new person who walked into the kitchen was like, “Oh! Are those figs?!” like I had scored some sort of secret food that no one had had in years. So, anyway, lots of people partoook in the lunchtime tasting and everyone was happy to have some fig.

Figs are a good source of fiber and are rich in several minerals, including potassium, calcium, magnesium and iron. According to Health Food Made Easy, when you eat a half-cup of figs you get as much calcium as when you drink a half-cup of milk. Pretty cool!

I would love to try a roasted fig recipe because I think that would make the best appetizer at a party. I also saw this recipe, for fresh figs with toasted walnuts and mascarpone cheese. Mmmmmmm 🙂

Week 34: Gooseberries

24 Aug

This was one of my standard “go to the grocery store and find some random thing to try” weeks. So I found gooseberries and in my rush out of Whole Foods, I didn’t google them to see how to eat them, I just assumed you’d eat them like grapes.

At home and ready to dive into the raw gooseberries, Andrew decided it might be best to google first. And we found barely anything about eating them raw.  One great site led us to believe that since this was later in the season and since the gooseberries were red, they would be sweeter, but most blogs and articles said gooseberries were too tart to eat raw. After the kumquat tasting incident, I thought not.

Almost  every article we found involved making gooseberry pies, crumbles, and fools (what the hell is a fool?). So, we decided it’d be best to just make a crumble because that’ll be easy, right?

At least it was easier than a pie (I like to tell myself). But we didn’t really follow the recipe exactly and that was a mistake. I can’t seem to find the recipe we used now, but as I recall it was a little confusing. It called for two pounds of gooseberries, but we just had one of those little containers that blueberries come in. So we kind of cut the recipe in half-ish and sort of winged it, assuming that more crumble would be a good thing.

But it was just kind of weird having so much crumble and so little gooseberry. And I think maybe we needed some water or liquid of some sort to make the gooseberries more smooshy; they were just kind of like warm, deflated, sour grapes. Which actually sounds really gross, but they weren’t terrible. They were tart and chewy and maybe they would have been good if they weren’t completely overwhelmed by our makeshift crumble.  At least it looked ok:

I have to try gooseberries again because after the strawberry rhubarb pie, I’m sure I can pull it together and make a pie. And this time we’ll get enough gooseberries and we won’t change the recipe around and guess and do strange things. Because gooseberries seem to be a great fruit to love – they are a good source of fiber and vitamins A and C and are known to be a powerful antioxidant. One site even says, “Among many health benefits of gooseberry, treating respiratory disorders is chief among them. Gooseberry health benefits can be credited to the high content of nutrients available in the tiny fruit that is useful in enhancing food absorption, fortifying the liver, enhancing mental functioning, and supporting cardiovascular activity, strengthening lungs, enhancing fertility, and soothing the urinary system during infections.”

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