Monday, July 25, 2011

Peaches and Cream (and Cake) Two Ways or Have Your Cake and Eat it Two

 I don't want to live in a world without peaches.  Really.  And I only like canned peaches pureed into Bellini Soup (is there such a thing?) or on top of cottage cheese for lunch in the winter if I'm just desperate and out of time and am feeling tres fat.  And while, "Sorry don't get it done, Dude," is one of the more famous John Wayne quotes, I often remember him in front of a campfire, "Open me up a can of those peaches."  Poor cowboys.  They didn't have fresh peaches.  Just cooked, peeled, old canned things.

In St. Paul, we've had peaches from several places for a few weeks.  And some of them have been glorious.  We're still waiting for Colorado western-slope, but that's as it should be.  Having lived in Colorado for years, I'm not addicted to those peaches.  In fact, I like peaches from other states better.  (These are fighting words, I know.  Sorry, Colorado.)  There's just not enough rain in Colorado for fruit trees.  Around Penrose,  (south of Colorado Springs) there are some apple orchards that nearly bite the dust every few years despite large-scale irrigation.

Here are some of my favorite ways with peaches:

Unadorned and sweetly loved

Into a salsa for fish or pork or chicken or as a salad all alone with avocado.
 Here's the link for the salsa recipe here at More Time at the Table.
Grilled with a little fresh cheese, thyme and a squiggle of honey

Here's the salsa served with a grilled pork chop and my mustard tarragon green bean salad.
 This year, I've been baking in the wee, small hours of the morning. (Don't you love that song?)  It's the only way to get something in and out of the oven without adding to the heat index.  I tried Peaches, Cream, and Cake in two varieties, taking each to friends' houses for dinner.  I can always be counted on to bring dessert.  Besides, it transports easily.

First off was Peach Shortcake and I recommend it highly if only because the shortcakes bake quickly and you could even do them in a counter top oven should you be blessed enough to have one.  I am not.  Second was Elvis Presley's Favorite Cake with Peaches and (homemade) Ginger Ice Cream.  For some reason (not wanting to appear the forever blogger at dinner)--I only have a pic of the cake.  But you'll get the idea.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Golden Beet Ricotta Salad with Fresh Cherries and Carmelized Shallots or What's in a Name?

Could this have a better name?  How about "Delicious?"
I know.  This sounds like something off a froofroo menu, right?  I couldn't think of another name for it that said what it was. When you're naming a recipe, it must
  • catch the ear
  • catch the eye
  • represent the dish accurately in a thrice (or right away, you might say)
  • not be too long (ha)
  • end up in the right place in the index ( on google)
Of those things, the most important one for me is that you know what you're making just by the name. There's no sense being halfway through making something and saying, "Geez, this is full of walnuts!" with your jaw dropped.  On the other hand, I'm sometimes taken in by coy, cute, or gimmicky recipe titles like
  • Funny Bones
  • Babysitter's Spaghetti Casserole (You can google either of the first two; they're real.)
  • Chocolate Nut Heavens  (This one being my own; I held a contest for the name on fb.)
I mean, think of it.  Sally Lunn Cake.  Anadama Bread.  Brunswick Chicken.  Pagliacci's Cheesecake. And I make those.  How about Anzac Biscuits?  Slippery Soup?

To say nothing of Pasta Puttanesca, Grandma Clark's Soda Bread, Sabayon, Pavlova, Mother's Pie, Ruffled Ham, Oysters Ernie, Rose D's Mushroom Monterey, Hot Toddy, Chatham Artillery Punch, and so on.

Compare those to:
  • Chicken and Potatoes
  • Fried Clams with Tomato Sauce
  • Scallop and Artichoke Soup
  • Cheese Omelet
If you see "Chicken and Potatoes," you know what you're getting.  If you see "Mystery Soup," in the index, it' a mystery.  (Heat, mixing well, 2 cans beef broth and 1 8 oz package cream cheese.  --That's the entire recipe from THE EASTERN JUNIOR LEAGUE COOKBOOK.)

To some of us (who grew up in the mid west, for example)  Quahog Chowder sounds like something out of Star Trek.  We didn't know from clams. We probably weren't picking that name out of the index.

Two friends  this week kindly invited us to a  potluck for a group that typically meets once a month to try a new restaurant.  Somehow, backyards, mosquitoes, and vegetable gardens beckoned an outdoor summer gathering and a homemade potluck was the July event.  Because summer fruit is coming on and I love a reason to fix a big dessert, I brought (more than a) pound cake with sliced fresh peaches and homemade ginger ice cream.  (Ok, come over; I'll make it for you, too.)  The cake, I kid you not, was called "Elvis Presley's Favorite Cake."  Would you have jumped to the conclusion that this was a regular old, if delish and huge, pound cake?

Elvis Presley's Favorite Cake
The recipe's on, and probably in other places as well.  And if your berries are in, get up early and make this baby.  Invite the neighbors; it'll serve 12-14.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Eat and Run

Guess where?!
Want to follow wonderful cooks around on their summer adventures?

Check this out:   Foodily has a great list for you to click and armchair eat and travel today.  Enjoy.

Sing a new song,

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Pagliacci's New York Cheesecake

Pagliacci's New York Cheesecake--Made and photographed this year in St. Paul
I don't double blog.  Or if I do, I do it rarely.

This cake, however, belongs on both blogs.  I've made it for Dave's birthday since l984 and for lots of other occasions since.  In different reincarnations.  Chocolate, pumpkin, toffee, cranberry compote.  You get the idea.

For some reason, the recipe ended up on the Dinner Place blog.  Forgive me.  So if you need the recipe, go here:

More later as you sing a new song,