Tag Archives: recipe

End-of-Summer Peach Sangrias

Peach Sangria lead

Can you believe summer is almost over?

I feel like I was just seeing graduation pictures and “so ready for summer” status updates yesterday.

But… we now exactly one week until the official start of fall. And as much as I love bright leaves, sweaters and pumpkin coffee, I’m also going to miss pool time, flip-flops and peaches.

(Just kidding. I live in the South, and we wear flip-flops year-round.)

Peach Sangria 1

And with all the recent pumpkin recipes popping up around Pinterest and Facebook, it definitely feels like summer is being prematurely nudged out of the picture to make room for fall foods.

Anyway, I digress.

Summer is still sticking around for a few more days, and peaches are still in some stores (and maybe even a few fruit stands). And, if we’re being completely honest, one of the best ways to eat a peach (or any other fruit) is to booze it up first.

Wine? That’s a given. Peach schnapps? Don’t mind if I do.

And don’t forget the fizzy water. (Please tell me I’m not the only one who calls sparkling water “fizzy water.”)

Peach Sangria 2

I have to be honest, these sangria turned out to be a bit stronger than I anticipated. But the simple syrup and natural sugar from the fruit totally mask the taste. Sweet ignorance. Delish.

So grab some peaches and a bottle of wine and drink up. ‘Cause summer ain’t over just yet.

But, seriously, hurry. Before pumpkins and butternut squash take over.

Peach Sangria thumbnailEnd-of-Summer Peach Sangrias

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 bottle (750 mL) sweet white wine, chilled (such as Moscato)
  • 2 cups sparkling water, chilled (such as Perrier)
  • 3 fresh, just-ripe peaches (make sure they aren’t over-ripe)
  • 2-3 ounces simple syrup, depending on your preference (1 cup water, 1 cup granulated sugar; recipe below)
  • 2 ounces peach liqueur or peach shnapps

What to do:

Make your simple syrup by placing the water and the sugar in a small saucepan. Boil the sugar and water over medium-high heat until the sugar has dissolved. Once the sugar has dissolved, remove the saucepan from the heat and allow the syrup to completely cool before using.

While the simple syrup is cooling, prepare your other ingredients.

Peach Sangria3

Peel 2 1/2 of the peaches. Be sure to leave the peel on the remaining half peach, since it will be used as garnish. Cut peeled peaches into eighths (the peeled half peach should be cut into four slices). Place peeled, sliced peaches in a 1-gallon pitcher.

Pour wine, sparkling water and peach liqueur over the peaches. Stir.

Check on your simple syrup. Once it has cooled, add it to the pitcher with the other ingredients. Stir again.

Grab the peach slices with the peel still intact. Serve the sangria in large wine glasses. Garnish each with a slice of peach.

Peach Sangria 4

Enjoy!

Whole Wheat, Dark Chocolate Chip Scones with Oats & Almonds

scone_lead

Sunday felt like a breakfasty day (like most Sundays in our home do). I really wanted to whip up some sweet scones, but every recipe I could find called for a stick of butter and at least ¼ cup of sugar (some even called for ½ cup of sugar).

No thanks.

round EDITAfter pouting at the iPad screen for a few minutes, I decided to try to make my own scones. After a little research (via Pinterest, of course), I felt like I was ready to start preparing a recipe.

I picked out a couple of recipes that looked tasty (Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones and Chocolate Chip Scones) and got to work combining my favorite parts of each and taking away the things I didn’t like so much. (I actually considered replacing the peanut butter from the Oatmeal Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Scones with Nutella but was worried it would be too chocolatey.)

I was pretty concerned about the health factor (seeing as how I just finished talking about staying heart-healthy). I decided to make these as health-conscious as possible.

above raw EDITSome of the main things I wanted to make sure this recipe included were 1) minimal butter 2) no added sugar, 3) super-dark chocolate, 4) whole wheat flour and 5) oats. I know that’s kind of a long list, but I wanted to make sure my scones were as close to healthy as a sweet scone can be. (If I had ground flax-seed, I would have included it, too, for additional fiber.)

Though I was able to omit any added sugar (good thing, too–the chocolate makes it plenty sweet), I had to add more butter than I wanted. My initial goal was a mere 2 tablespoons of butter, but I ended up going with 4 tablespoons instead for consistency (the dough was too thick and immobile without it).

Even so, these scones don’t taste uber-buttery. They taste very, um, scone-like. They’re kind of dry (which I love in a scone), so if you don’t like that, just add another tablespoon or two of butter.

Did I mention these are fairly easy to make? And really pretty too! (I think they’d look nice sitting by a cup of coffee.)

Breakfast is served.

fresh cut EDIT2Whole Wheat, Dark Chocolate Chip Scones with Oats & Almonds

Active Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 C. whole wheat flour
  • 1 C. rolled oats
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cubed & chilled
  • 3/4 C. milk (I used almond milk)
  • 1 large egg, separated
  • 1 C. dark chocolate chips (I used Ghirardelli’s 60% cacao baking chips)
  • handful of sliced almonds

What to do:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add butter cubes, using your fingers to rub the butter into the dry mix until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. (If you have a pastry mixer, using it would probably speed up this step.)

brush EDITIn a separate bowl, combine milk and egg yolk; whisk until well-combined.

Make a well in the flour mixture, and pour the milk mixture into the center of the well. Use your fingers or a rubber spatula to fold the mixture until it starts to come together. (I found that making a blade with my hand to fold the mixture was much easier than using a kitchen tool.) Add the chocolate chips.

Gently knead the dough with your hands until just incorporated. Be careful to not overmix.

Roll the dough into a ball and place on the center of a floured cookie sheet (I used all-purpose flour for this). Use the heel of your hand to gently press the dough into an approximately 8-inch-diameter disk.

Using a floured pizza cutter, cut the pressed dough into 8 pieces, but do not separate them.

fresh cut EDITBrush egg whites onto the top of the dough. (I don’t suggest dumping it on top. I did, and I ended up with what looked like an egg white omelette on top of one of my scones.)

Use your fingers to crush the sliced almonds in the palm of your hand. Sprinkle the almond bits over the top of the dough.

Bake for 15 minutes. Once the scones have finished baking, let them cool for 5-10 minutes before moving them to a room-temperature plate or cooling rack.

Enjoy!

Lazy Bruschetta

5502b043-24a8-4097-bd19-dc5a12536237_zpsbff54087

I adore bruschetta. All that tomato-y, cheesy, bready goodness–marry me now.

Almost a year ago, I took my best friend to Olive Garden for her birthday. She had an actual meal, but this girl here (yes, me) ate bruschetta. Like, the appetizer bruaschetta. And it was magical. (Not just because our awesome server let me have salad too.)

I think that was the last time I actually bought bruschetta. (I need to do that again; the bread was baked perfectly.)

Though I thoroughly enjoy bruschetta, I don’t eat it often. However, when I get a real hankerin’ for some, I fix up this quick snack. It doesn’t beat Olive Garden’s bruschetta (or any real bruschetta, at that), but I can attest that it’s a darn delicious alternative.

bruschettaLazy Bruschetta

Active time: About 5 minutes
Total Time: Approximately 5 minutes
Serves: 1

Ingredients:
(Measurements are approximated)

  • 10 Ritz crackers (or any other buttery cracker)
  • 1/2 C. Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 C. Shredded mozzarella

What to do:

Place crackers on a plate. Sprinkle an even amount of cheese onto each cracker. Top each cheese/cracker combo with an even amount of tomatoes.

Enjoy!

(You may have seen this recipe on this blog before, when I first mentioned it in November 2012.)