Peaches grow really well here in South Carolina and we can often find some variety or another from May until October. I usually buy a bag or two each summer and we eat some fresh and I put some in the freezer. A few weeks ago I bought some and tried a couple of new recipes.
The first recipe was for Brown Sugar Peach Pie from an old copy of Southern Living magazine. I purchased a copy of the July 2011 issue because it had an emphasis on peaches. I really like the way the different widths of lattice crust looks. It's such a simple idea but really makes a pretty pie. I had never used brown sugar in a peach pie before but we thought it made a delicious pie. *Note: The picture in the link shows a regular crust. Scroll down to the bottom of the recipe and it describes how to make the lattice of varying widths. The magazine featured this beautiful version on the cover and that's what attracted me to it.
I read about the second recipe on Rene's blog. It is for a Tomato, Peach, and Burrata Salad. I wasn't too sure we would like this when I first read about it, but we did enjoy it and thought it made a beautiful salad. It would pair well with any grilled meat. I had never heard of Burrata so just substituted fresh Mozzarella. I reduced the balsamic vinegar as the recipe directs but I actually found a bottle of Balsamic glaze at Aldi a couple of weeks ago and tried it the next time I made this. The second time I made it was just for the two of us so I just made individual salads. It makes a simple, attractive, and tasty salad.
Enjoy the fruits of summer.
Our whole family was able to be together for a few days during July. We were able to fit in quite a few fun activities during that time.
My birthday is in early July and the girls prepared a special brunch for me.
My sister and her husband have moved to the area recently and they invited our family to join theirs for a cookout one evening. Not all the kids were able to be there but we enjoyed our time with those who were able to come.
Another night we had a great time with a water balloon fight. Have you seen the water balloons that come in a cluster and can be filled with a hose? I bought a package of them at the drugstore and we had lots of fun pelting each other on a hot July evening.
We also celebrated Avery's second birthday in July. She got a lot of nice gifts including a play kitchen and lots of kitchen accessories and play food. I hope to begin teaching her some basic cooking skills in the fall.
It's always difficult to get everyone together for a family photo shoot but our neighbor Mary helped out and we were able to get one. She took quite a few shots, but this was actually the first one she took.
We are thankful for all the opportunities the Lord gave us this summer to spend time with these precious children and their parents.
Lately when I bake a ham I freeze most of the leftovers. I usually freeze one or two packages of cubed ham for in a casserole such as scalloped potatoes and ham or an egg casserole and then chop the rest in the food processor and freeze it for these Ham Balls in Barbecue Sauce.
A few weeks ago I ran across a ham salad recipe that was attributed to Paula Deen and decided to try it with some of the chopped ham from the freezer. I made it again this week and thought I would share it here to give you another idea for leftover ham and for a good lunch idea.
Here is my adaptation of Paula's recipe:
A Take on Paula Deen's Ham Salad
2 cups cooked ham, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
3 Tbsps. onion, finely minced
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 hard cooked egg, finely chopped
2 Tbsps. pickle relish
about 1/2 cup mayonnaise (enough to moisten the mixture)
Combine all ingredients, chill, and serve.
The summer has been flying by and my poor blog has been neglected! We have been busy with some household projects and some special family times. Rather than trying to cover everything that has happened the last couple of months I thought I would keep this short and sweet and post a good recipe for a one-skillet meal that we tried recently and for a tip which is helpful in these hot summer months.
My daughter, Megan, told me about this Chicken Fajita Pasta recipe from a blog called Kevin and Amanda's Recipes. I tried this a couple of weeks ago and we really liked it. I made the taco seasoning that is mentioned in her post and we thought it was very good. About the only changes I made to the recipe were to use penne pasta, and some plain canned diced tomatoes, combined with some canned diced green chilis since I didn't have any Rotel tomatoes.
The tip I want to mention is one I read about in Cook's Illustrated magazine. They suggest reheating pizza on the stove top in a covered skillet. I have been doing this in my largest non-stick skillet which happens to have a glass lid. I heat the slices of pizza on a very low heat until the cheese starts looking shiny and kind of melted. If you watch carefully it doesn't get overly browned on the bottom and the pizza doesn't seem to dry out and get tough the way it sometimes can if you reheat it in the oven.
I have found over the years that one way to make leftovers more appealing is to find proper ways of reheating them so they are not dried out and so they look attractive. This can mean carefully transferring the leftover foods to a clean, smaller casserole dish, adding liquids such as milk or water, covering the pan or casserole while reheating, and garnishing the new dish with additional toppings. Many foods are actually better the second time around. Would you agree?
I tried a new beet salad recently that we really liked and I wanted to share it here. Rob planted beets in the garden this year and they have done well. I am hoping he will plant another crop for this fall. We both really like them and DD Nora has learned to like them recently, as has her little daughter Della. Della seems to like many strong flavored foods. Anyway, here is the recipe. It makes a very pretty salad, IMHO.
Creamy Beet Salad
4-5 medium beets, cooked, cooled, and julienned or cubed (I baked mine while baking something else)
1/4 cup chopped onion (red is pretty if you have it)
3 Tbsps. mayonnaise
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar (could substitute cider vinegar)
Combine all ingredients gently. It would also be good with the addition of a diced apple and/or some toasted walnuts or pecans.