Peach Cobbler

So, this post is a little late, peach season is winding down and we’re on to apple season already. I can hardly believe its September! Not only is its September but its already September 4th. I had a small heart attack this morning thinking it was still September 1 and although the humidity still says August, I’m hoping we start to have some cooler Fall evenings soon. Two weeks ago I finally got around to making peach cobbler. I had been thinking about it and wanting to make it for weeks but needed the time and a reason to make it. My parents were coming over for dinner and my mom loves peaches so this was the perfect occasion; I had people to help me eat it, people who I knew would enjoy it!

It may be hard to believe but I’ve actually never made peach cobbler before. I’ve made peach pie, peach crisp, peach crumbles, but never cobbler. This means I needed a recipe. Of course I immediately went online and began searching my usual sites, Epicurious and The Food Network and landed upon Paula Deen’s recipe for peach cobbler. I figured, if anyone can make it a good peach cobbler, its her.

I started the recipe by blanching my peaches and peeling them. If you’ve never peeled peaches before, this is by far the easiest way. All you do is boil a large pot of water and drop in your peaches. I let them boil for about 2 minutes and then move them into a bowl of ice water to cool them down. Once they’re cool, you can cut a small slit in them and pull the skin right off. It’s nice and easy, if not a little messy!

Once the peaches are peeled and sliced, this recipe called for you to boil them, along with sugar and water on the stove for about 10 minutes. I also chose to add in a split vanilla bean to the mixture for more flavor.

This step was key to making the cobbler extra delicious. The boiling peaches, sugar, water and vanilla bean created an incredible sauce, and yes, the whole kitchen smelled divine.

After making the peaches and syrup, place your baking dish with the sliced butter, into the preheated oven. You want the butter to melt completely before you pour in the cobbler mixture.

While the butter is melting, mix up the dry and wet ingredients for the biscuit part of the cobbler. When the butter is melted, first pour in the biscuit mixture, into the butter in the dish. This might seem backwards to you and it is, typical cobbler recipes call for the peaches on the bottom and the dough on top but this one calls for the opposite. The reason is that the dough actually rises up through the peaches and in doing so soaks up all sorts of flavor. It’s SO good!

Top the dough mixture with the peach mixture and do not mix it. Place it right in the oven and bake it for about an hour, until the middle has set.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. I’m telling you, this was the best peach cobbler I’ve ever had. Paula knows her peaches.

Here’s the recipe, adapted from FoodNetwork.com:

Peach Cobbler
Print
Author: Adapted from Paula Deen
Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 1 hour
Total time: 1 hour 30 mins
Serves: 6-8
Ingredients
  • 4 cups peeled, sliced peaches
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 vanilla bean split
  • 8 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Ground cinnamon, optional
  • Ground Nutmeg, optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Combine the peaches, 1 cup sugar, vanilla bean, and water in a saucepan and mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in 2 pinches of nutmeg and sprinkle with cinnamon, if desired.
  3. Put the butter in a 3-quart baking dish and place in oven to melt.
  4. Mix remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, and milk slowly to prevent clumping. Pour mixture over melted butter. Do not stir. Spoon fruit on top, gently pouring in syrup. Batter will rise to top during baking. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. To serve, scoop onto a plate and serve with your choice of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.

 

Pork Chops & Green Beans

It’s Tuesday morning at the end of August and it feels like its about 65 degrees outside! I couldn’t believe it when I took the dog for a walk this morning. I’m sad that this Summer seems to have flown by but I’ll be honest, I detected a bit of an Autumn chill in the air this morning and it got me thinking about hot apple cider, pumpkin cookies, hearty comfort food and cozy sweaters. Fall is my favorite time of year and I am looking forward to it but yes, I know, its still Summer and I have some easy and delicious recipes for you today.

Some of my favorite meals come together when I’m looking for something new and easy and this is what happened last week. I had just picked a large bowl of fresh green beans from our little garden and had picked up some beautiful pork chops at Central Market that day. I found a simple recipe for the pork chops, using fresh rosemary and garlic and was planning to steam the green beans as the side dish however I found myself wishing for a more exciting green bean recipe. I pulled out my phone and started searching on my Epicurious App and a I found a recipe for green beans that included bacon and garlic. Sold.

To make the pork chops, combine the minced garlic, chopped rosemary, salt and olive oil. Rub the mixture all over both side of the pork chops and allow them to sit while you prepare the rest of the meal.

After cleaning and trimming the green beans, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes to get them to start cooking. While they’re cooking, heat up a saute pan on low and cook the bacon until the fat has rendered and it is crisp. The recipe calls for turkey bacon, to make it healthier, however I only had regular bacon and used that. Either one will work just fine, its up to your preference. Once the bacon is crisp, add the minced garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, then add the blanched green beans to the pan. Toss to allow the flavors to combine, sprinkle with fresh oregano and season with salt and pepper.

Also, while the green beans are cooking, cook the pork chops. You can choose to either cook them under the broiler or on the grill. We didn’t feel like firing up the grill so we chose the broiler, however next time I think I’ll choose the grill; everything just tastes better on the grill.

Plate it up and voila! You’ve got a healthy, fresh and delicious dinner!

The pork chops had a lot of flavor and tasted great and check out a close up of those green beans, the bacon just calls to me… I may not make green beans without bacon ever again.

Both recipes came from Epicurious here are the links to both:

Green Beans with Oregano and Bacon

Rosemary Pork Chops

Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips

Last night I made mashed potatoes and parsnips and they were delicious! I had no intention of making them but a recipe that started with maple apple sausage ended with an inventive meal that I had no intentions of making. It all started last week when I picked up some maple apple sausage at Lancaster’s Central Market. I was planning to use it for breakfast last weekend but things got busy and breakfast never happened.

I was left with maple apple sausage and dinner to make. Initially, my plan was to make regular mashed potatoes and caramelized onions to go with the sausage. I asked Eric to look up a recipe on Epicurious for caramelized onions and he stumbled upon one that included mashed potatoes and parsnips. I had all the ingredients so I changed course and started peeling the parsnips. In the end, everything was delicious and I can’t wait to make this dish again, it also complimented the sausage very nicely.

Start the recipe by peeling and chopping up the potatoes and the parsnips. Put them into a medium saucepan and fill with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes and parsnips are fork tender.

While the potatoes are cooking, throw the thinly sliced onions into a hot pan, add the brown sugar and salt. Reduce the heat and cook on medium until the onions brown and caramelize. Be sure and stir the onions to prevent sticking and reduce the heat if the onions begin to brown too fast. Add a tablespoon of water if they begin to burn. You want them to cook slowly over the heat; this will take 20-25 minutes.

During this part of the process I braised my sausage in chicken broth and then I used that broth to mash up the potatoes and parsnips.

Once the potatoes and parsnips are tender, put them in the bowl of a stand mixer and add about a 1/4 cup of the chicken broth.

Mix up well and then add more broth if the mixture looks dry. Add salt to taste along with the fresh thyme.

Finally, mix in cheese. The recipe calls for blue cheese but I only had gruyere so  that’s what I used.

When the onions are ready, take them out of the pan and then fry up the rest of the sausage in the pan until brown and crispy.

Serve the dish with caramelized onions on top and sliced sausage.

The flavor of the parsnips mashed with the potatoes was really nice and the thyme was a wonderful combination; could be a good idea for a Thanksgiving side dish…

 

Here’s the recipe from Epicurious.com:

Mashed Potatoes and Parsnips
Print
Author: Red Velvet
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
Total time: 1 hour 5 mins
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 large onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 baking potatoes (such as Yukon gold, about 2 pounds), peeled and cubed
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, heated
  • 1/4 cup grated Gruyere
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over high heat; reduce to medium. Cook onions with sugar and salt, stirring occasionally, until onions brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Add a few tablespoons water as you cook to keep onions from sticking or burning. Fill a medium stockpot ¾ full with cold water. Add potatoes and parsnips; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes and parsnips are fork-tender, 20 to 25 minutes, then drain. Beat 1/4 of potato parsnip mixture and 3 ounces broth in a mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Repeat, alternating between potato-parsnip mixture and broth, until you’ve incorporated all. Fold in onions, cheese and thyme, and serve.

PS – Bailey is home and doing well! It will be a hard few weeks but she’s already seeming better than ever!

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Marshmallow-Sour Cream Topping and Gingersnap Crust

My in-laws were scheduled to visit a couple weekends ago and typically I plan a nice meal to cook for them. This is always an interesting challenge for me because my mother-in-law is gluten free. I always try to make something that she wouldn’t normally think of. Steak, rice, veggies and ice cream is an example of what I would qualify has a “typical” gluten free meal. The main course is usually simple to come up with as well as the side dishes but dessert is always an exciting challenge.

This time, as I wandered through the grocery store, ideas began to come together in my head. First I thought I’d attempt to find a pre-made gluten free pie crust in the frozen gluten free section and that I’d make a pumpkin pie. I already had pumpkin at home and haven’t eaten any pumpkin pie yet this Fall. Alas, there were no gluten free pie shells to be found. But a box of gluten free ginger snaps caught my eye. Then I thought, “Pumpkin pie with ginger snap crust!” But still wasn’t being wowed by that possibility. My mind then went to cheesecake with ginger snap crust and then pumpkin cheesecake popped in; brilliant! I pulled out my iPhone and did a quick search on my Epicurious app for pumpkin cheesecake and came across a recipe that had a marshmallow and sour cream topping. SOLD. I grabbed the gluten free ginger snaps and headed to the dairy section to get lots and lots of cream cheese.

After arriving home with my booty, I immediately got to work on the cheesecake. For the crust, I put all the ginger snaps into the food processor and pulsed it until they were crumbs.

Add in the melted butter and sugar and mix well.

Pour the crust into the bottom of a springform pan and pat down well going a couple inches up the sides.

Bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Take out of the oven and allow to cool while you mix up the filling.

In an electric mixer, cream the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes).

Add the pumpkin and mix well; followed by the eggs, one at a time.

Add the dry ingredients, to make this recipe gluten free, substitute corn starch for the 3 tablespoons of flour.

Add the vanilla and mix well.

Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake at 350 for 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.

The following day, make the marshmallow topping by melting miniature marshmallows and milk over low heat.

Stir in the vanilla and salt and then take off the heat and allow it to cool completely.

Once cool, mix the sour cream into the marshmallow mixture until just combined and pour over the top of the cheesecake. Leave about an inch around the edges to give the cheesecake a nice look.

Chill the cake for at least an hour to allow the topping to set.

Slice and serve!

The cheesecake was amazing. The marshmallow and sour cream topping gave it an incredible flavor and added the perfect extra. The pumpkin flavor was delicious and almost the same as pumpkin pie but with the creaminess of the cheesecake. And the gluten free crust? I didn’t notice a difference; the ginger snaps were the perfect compliment to the pumpkin flavors.

Make this cheesecake, you won’t regret it!

Here’s the recipe from Epicurious.com:

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Sour Cream Marshmallow Topping
Print
Author: Epicurious.com
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 1 hour 30 mins
Total time: 2 hours 30 mins
Serves: 12
Ingredients
  • For crust:
  • Nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 9 ounces)
  • 1 cup pecans (about 3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • For filling:
  • 4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
  • 5 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
  • For topping:
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows or large marshmallows cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sour cream
Instructions
  1. Crust:
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with nonstick spray. Grind cookie crumbs, pecans, brown sugar, and ginger in processor until nuts are finely ground. Add butter; using on/off turns, process to blend. Transfer mixture to prepared pan; press onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of pan. Bake crust until set and lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Cool completely.
  3. Filling:
  4. Preheat oven to 350°F. Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in pumpkin. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating on low speed to incorporate each addition. Add flour, spices, and salt; beat just to blend. Beat in vanilla. Transfer filling to cooled crust. Bake until filling is just set in center and edges begin to crack (filling will move slightly when pan is gently shaken), about 1 hour 20 minutes. Cool 1 hour. Run knife around sides of pan to release crust. Chill cheesecake uncovered in pan overnight.
  5. Topping:
  6. Stir marshmallows and milk in medium saucepan over low heat until marshmallows are melted. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt. Cool marshmallow mixture to room temperature, stirring occasionally.
  7. Add sour cream to marshmallow mixture; fold gently just to blend. Pour topping over cheesecake and spread evenly, leaving 1/2 inch uncovered around edges. Chill to set topping, at least 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Cheesecake can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.