28 June 2011

This cobbler's for you, Mom!

This month has been very busy, so this post is a bit late. It's worth posting because of the recipe so I hope you have the opportunity to try it!

Growing up we always had special celebrations with family on Memorial Day weekend. Not only were we commemorating several family members that served in the armed forces, but also celebrating Mom's birthday. This year, as we displayed the flag, I thought of my mom and how my parents worked so hard to give us a good life. They are now living on the other side of the world, so I choked back my emotions and went to the kitchen to make some cobbler.

Anyone that came for Sunday lunch from around 2005-2008 will remember one of my mother's dessert staples, peach cobbler. There was even an incident where the timer went off, the cobbler came out of the oven, then it was quickly grabbed by a guest and locked in the bathroom to avoid anyone else taking the first corner piece. I still remember Katie pounding on the door yelling, "Mel! You better get that cobbler out here RIGHT NOWWW!"

We made some great friendships during that time, and we bonded with several people that were living away from their own families. Now our holidays are spent with a few of these friends that are still around. Even though Mom wasn't here to enjoy it with us, making peach cobbler from her recipe was to celebrate her – her hospitality, and the contribution she made to forging tight bonds between us and our friends. Here's to Mom & Dad in the Philippines, Katie in New York, Mel in Spain, and all of our other Sunday lunch friends that have scattered all over the world. Missing you all!

Peach Cobbler Southern Style
1 c. self-rising flour
(or add 1 1/4 tsp baking powder & 1/8 tsp salt to 1 c. all purpose flour)
1 c. sugar
1 c. milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 stick unsalted butter
1 can peaches in light syrup

Mix flour, sugar, and milk until well blended. Add the vanilla & mix well.

Melt the butter and pour into glass rectangular pan. Pour the peaches & syrup into pan and mix with butter. 

Add flour mixture (Mom said not to stir it too much--blending the ingredients together TOO well is bad in this recipe)

Bake 40-45 minutes @ 350º.  See how nicely it chunks up?

Enjoy that favorite corner piece!

06 June 2011

Calzone for Two

Once again, we start with the boule...
Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home BakingI had just an apple sized amount left in the refrigerator so I decided to try a calzone recipe from my artisan bread book

The quandary was the lack of ricotta in my kitchen. I thought for a moment and decided upon my tweak for the day... Silken tofu! So, here is what I came up with:

Mix this up (roughly, no need to overdo it or it may get soupy). Heat the oven to 425º with the pizza stone and an empty boiler tray on the rack below it (like when you bake an artisan loaf). Roll out your dough on a lightly floured surface until it is nice and thin. Let it rest for a bit while you finish up the filling.

Sauté some fresh spinach in olive oil and garlic (I used the garlic infused oil I mentioned here) until the spinach is wilted. Dispose of any liquid that you may get in this process then fold the spinach into the tofu. Go back to the dough and roll it out some more if you need to. Place the dough on a well floured pizza peel (or use fine cornmeal if you like).

Layer some salami (or whatever you like in yours) on half of the dough, leaving 1/2-1" border. Spoon the filling on top of the meat. Using a brush or your fingers, wet the border then fold the empty half of the dough over. Press the edges together firmly then make a few slits in the dough with a serrated knife.

Slide the calzone onto the hot pizza stone and bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden. Slice it up and ENJOY! Be careful though, the filling is HOT.

03 June 2011

Music From a Tree

Thanks for sharing this one, Jay. You should just be called the Inspiration Station.

For those that love rhythm, strings, recording, or musical creativity – check out Diego Stocco's Experibass!