I've joined a group called Improv Cooking Challenge, where each month 2 ingredients are chosen for us to make dishes with. This month was peaches and cream - yum! I scrolled through my saved recipes on Pinterest and found this Peach Cobbler Trifle that looked perfect for the challenge!
Pound cake is layered with a pudding mixture, peaches, and a crumble topping. My trifle dish is actually a punch bowl, so I only made 2 layers. But with a taller, narrower dish - you could make 3 layers.
I really liked that the pudding mixture used orange zest and sour cream to take it out of too sweet territory. I added a pinch of salt to the crumble mixture and the peaches to help in this regard, too.
It's Secret Recipe Club time! And this month I was assigned the blog I've been waiting for - Smells Like Brownies by my best friend, Melissa! Yay! You may recognize the name, because we cook lunch together every week, and I often blog about it. Melissa is a stay-at-home mommy to a very active little boy, and a precious baby girl. She is devoted to her family and God in a way that is truly inspirational, as well as being a phenomenal baker and photographer. She's just the best and I am so excited to share her blog with you!
Eliminating SRC posts and dishes that we made together narrowed down the field quite a bit, but I still had no trouble finding a ton of things I wanted to make. I actually intended to make several dishes and blog about each of them, but I kept getting sick and injured this month and had to narrow it down to the number one thing I wanted make - this gorgeous Golden Nectarine Cake. Which is kind of hilarious because Melissa hates fruit, so I doubt she even got to try this cake.
The rest of my top "to-try" dishes (which are all vegetarian, because Melissa is a vegetarian) are Debby's famous Mac and Cauliflower with Ritz Crust (because I've heard her talk about it so many times), this Broccoli and Purple Potato Gribiche (that I've been drooling over since she posted it), Monster Green Pea Burgers, Lemongrass Coconut Noodles, and Couscous-Stuffed Eggplant with Tahini Sauce.
Let's get back to that cake! I loved this recipe because it was easy for a non-baker like me to follow. Start with two nectarines and slice them into wedges. Is there anything more summery than stone fruit?
May has five Mondays this year, which means - themed Secret Recipe Club post! Falling on Memorial Day, the theme for this reveal is Picnic/BBQ and my assigned blog was A Day in the Life on the Farm. Wendy and her husband are former police officers who moved out to the country and became farmers. They treat their animals humanely, are part of an organic CSA, trade with other farmers, and live sustainably as much as possible - I am so jealous! I dream of being a radical homemaker, but don't have the commitment. I was on a specific mission this month, but I look forward to perusing the blog more thoroughly.
I actually made three recipes from Wendy's blog this weekend, in order to have a full meal for the holiday. She had tons of recipes that are appropriate for the challenge, and I chose BBQ Beef Sandwiches, BLT Pasta Salad, and Black Forest Trifle. Each of these was easy to make with the help of store-bought ingredients, so that I didn't have to spend a full day in the kitchen. And each of them was a big hit!
I have a group of girlfriends that get together on a regular basis and take turns providing snacks and drinks. A few of them have a mighty sweet-tooth (we call them hummingbirds); so I knew that when it was my turn to bring a cocktail, I wanted to make something sweet. I found a quick and easy cocktail recipe that is sure to please lovers of sweets (especially cookies) - the Snickerdoodle Martini. It also features one of my all-time favorite liquors, RumChata.
adapted from Dawn Nicole
cinnamon sugar (I use 8 parts sugar to 1 part cinnamon, some people use 4:1)
12 oz half and half
4 oz RumChata
4 oz vanilla vodka
2 tsp powdered sugar
Pour cinnamon sugar onto a small plate, and honey onto another. Dip the rims of 4 glasses into the honey, then the cinnamon sugar.
In a cocktail shaker, pour remaining ingredients over ice. Shake until chilled and mixed well.
Divide evenly among cinnamon sugar rimmed glasses and enjoy!
One Year Ago - Apple Galette with Salted Bourbon Caramel
Two Years Ago - Massaged Kale Salad; Broccoli Pesto
Three Years Ago - Mini Pie Party
Four Years Ago - Roasted Salmon with Grapefruit
Five Years Ago - Moussaka
Corn pudding (or spoonbread) is one of my favorite Thanksgiving sides, and I love this recipe in particular because of how easy it is. There is a little bit of sauteing involved, but then everything goes into a blender, and then directly into the baking dish - easy.
Cream, butter, eggs, corn, sauteed onions, and a bit of flour and sugar - what's not to love?
It is kind of like a corn souffle that's a little bit sweet, and really buttery. It's hot and soft and creamy and kind of melt in your mouth. I made it for a friend that had never had it before and totally made a believer out of her. So let's make this beauty!
I have said it before and I will say it again - I am not much of a baker. I feel much more comfortable with the flow of cooking, than the rigidity of baking. But I want to get better, and a large part of that is experience. So my friend Melissa, an excellent baker and author of Smells Like Brownies, is helping me learn.
We decided to start with some peanut butter swirl brownies, with the knowledge that we wanted there to be plenty of saltiness to contrast the sweetness. So we made sure that the peanut butter layer was salted, then finished the brownies with flaky sea salt - yum.
I finally got my act together in time to post for Food 'n Flix, ha! I really need to work on that! Anyway, this month's movie is Butter - hosted by Cheap Ethnic Eats. This hilarious movie is about wealth, race, privilege, power, family, small town America, and (of course) butter. I'd seen it before, and enjoyed it so much that I didn't mind renting it again just to look for food references. Which, by the way, are few and far between other than the ubiquitous butter.
So what was I going to make that would feature butter? I came up with a few ideas, but I kept circling back to these apple dumplings (even though I'd posted about them before). They really are perfect for this movie, though - a little bit redneck, totally unhealthy, and drenched in butter.
The dumplings are actually really easy to make. I like them best when they are fresh and the sugar on top is still crunchy, so I tend to make half a recipe one day and the other half the next day - which is why you will only see 4 dumplings in the photos. Start by peeling and coring an apple, then cutting into 8 slices.
Who says cranberries are just for Thanksgiving? With this combination of bright and tangy cranberry orange compote over sweet and creamy vanilla custard, you will want to eat them all Winter long. The acidity from the compote is balanced out by the custard - perfect. The gorgeous bright red color makes it great for the holidays, as well.
You can make the two components of this pie separately, chill them, and assemble when ready to serve. That makes traveling to a holiday potluck much easier. For the compote - combine cranberries, sugar, orange juice and zest in a pot and simmer until the cranberries start to burst. Transfer to a container and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
For the pie - prebake a pie crust, then fill with a custard made from flour, sugar, milk, egg yolks, butter, and vanilla. Bake until set, cool completely, then chill for at least a few hours and up to 2 days. Spread the cranberry mixture over the custard pie just before serving.