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    Peachy Keen Peach Cobbler

    <p> <img src="ImageHandler.ashx?id=96d7c6dd-50d6-42e4-bcc4-8bc7efa0bcde&amp;size=original" style="font-size: 13px; height: 243px; width: 300px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: left;" /></p> <p> <span style="font-size: 13px;">We&rsquo;re getting into the height of the season for orchard fruits, so I thought I&rsquo;d make cobbler.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s such an old-fashioned dessert, and this one&rsquo;s topping is a lot like a shortcake.&nbsp;</span></p> <p> I don&rsquo;t think this would work well with apples.&nbsp; The topping doesn&rsquo;t seal well enough to cook the apples through.&nbsp; It should be great for blueberries though.&nbsp; A Melba cobbler would have been the bomb if I had thought to pick up some raspberries to throw in with the peaches (I&rsquo;d add a tablespoon or two of extra sugar in that case).&nbsp;</p> <p> <br /> In any case, go for a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top &ndash; Trader Joe&rsquo;s French Vanilla is just right, getting very custard-y as it melts onto the warm fruit.</p> <hr /> <p> <strong>Peach Cobbler</strong></p> <p> <strong>For Peaches:</strong><br /> 8 large peaches, peeled and sliced<br /> 1/3 cup sugar<br /> 2 tablespoons flour<br /> 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon</p> <p> <strong>For Biscuit Topping:</strong><br /> 1 cup all-purpose flour (1/2 could be white whole wheat if you like)<br /> 1/3 cup sugar<br /> 1 teaspoon baking powder<br /> 1/2 teaspoon salt<br /> 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces<br /> 1/4 cup hot water</p> <p> Preheat oven to 425&deg;F.</p> <p> Toss peaches with sugar, flour, and cinnamon in bowl.&nbsp; Pour into buttered 8&rdquo;x8&rdquo; pyrex dish and bake 10 minutes.</p> <p> While peaches bake:</p> <p> Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Blend in butter with a pastry blender or two dinner knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.<br /> Note:You could pulse this in a food processor if you prefer &ndash; just don&rsquo;t overprocess once you add the water.&nbsp; Whatever way you do it, the dough should just come together.</p> <p> Remove peaches from oven and drop spoonfuls of dough on top. In by square pan, I do 3 x 3, ending up with 9 portions. &nbsp;Bake in middle of oven until topping is golden, about 25 minutes.</p> <p> This is perfect served in a cereal bowl with a scoop of good vanilla ice cream on top.</p>
    8/23/2013 3:35:57 PM

    Lemon-Ginger: Variations on a Theme to Go with Summer Berries

    <p> <a href=";linkCode=wsw&amp;tag=tabup-20" target="_blank"><img alt="Slice and Bake" src="ImageHandler.ashx?id=0fa714d9-767d-45d2-8926-e436ca7dbd01&amp;size=original" style="height: 205px; width: 200px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: left;" /></a></p> <p> &nbsp;</p> <p> I love the succession of berries throughout the summer &ndash; first strawberries, then cherries, blueberries and raspberries.&nbsp; I know, technically cherries are a drupe, or stone fruit, but they seem more like berries than the other stone fruits.</p> <p> Sometimes, there&rsquo;s no better summer dessert than a bowl of whichever berry is at the farmer&rsquo;s market.&nbsp; They do seem extra special with something lemony alongside, for instance my adaptation of <a href="" onclick=", '', 'resizable=yes,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=yes,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=yes,dependent=no'); return false;">Ginger Shortbread Cookies</a>.&nbsp; Freeze one log of these icebox cookies, and you&rsquo;ll have a trouble-free treat for another day.&nbsp;</p> <p> I&rsquo;ve tweaked the shortbread recipe (scroll down), replacing the lemon extract (which I find acrid) with an extra teaspoon of grated peel and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.&nbsp; I had no crystallized ginger, so I grated fresh instead.&nbsp; The kids don&rsquo;t like the crystallized anyway, though I missed how it makes these cookies remind me of yummy <a href=";linkCode=wsw&amp;tag=tabup-20" onclick=", '', 'resizable=yes,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=yes,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=yes,dependent=no'); return false;">Walkers Stem Ginger Shortbread</a>.</p> <p> Epicurious also has a delicious <a href="" onclick=", '', 'resizable=yes,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=yes,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=yes,dependent=no'); return false;">Lemon-Ginger Pound Cake</a>.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s something of a production to make, but it&rsquo;s worth it for company.&nbsp; Double the recipe, and with berries served alongside you can feed quite a gang.&nbsp; If you want to make it two or three days ahead, add the juice of one lemon to&nbsp; a cooled simple syrup made from &frac12;&nbsp; cup water and &frac12; cup sugar.&nbsp;&nbsp; Poke holes in the cake with a cake tester, pour the syrup over the cake slowly, and wrap tightly.&nbsp;</p> <p> If the thought of turning on the oven is just too much, <a href="" onclick=", '', 'resizable=yes,status=no,location=no,toolbar=no,menubar=yes,fullscreen=no,scrollbars=yes,dependent=no'); return false;">lemon curd and cream</a> compliments berries beautifully.</p> <hr /> <p> <strong><span style="font-size: 13px;">Lemon Ginger Shortbread&nbsp;</span></strong><img alt="Berries and Shortbread" src="ImageHandler.ashx?id=9306c408-c0f8-4da5-9196-8595f1a8539d&amp;size=original" style="font-size: 13px; height: 159px; width: 175px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: right;" /></p> <p> 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour<br /> 3/4 cup powdered sugar<br /> 1 teaspoon ground ginger<br /> 1/4 teaspoon salt<br /> 1 tablespoon sugar</p> <p> 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature<br /> 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel<br /> 1 tablespoon grated ginger<br /> Juice of &frac12; lemon<br /> 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract</p> <p> Combine flour, 3/4 cup powdered sugar, ground ginger, sugar and salt in medium bowl.&nbsp;</p> <p> Beat butter in large bowl until light. Add lemon peel, grated ginger, lemon juice and extract. Mix in dry ingredients.&nbsp; Chill dough one hour.</p> <p> Divide dough in half. Roll each half into 6-inch log. Shape each log into 2x1x6-inch-long rectangular log. Wrap in plastic and refrigerate&nbsp; another hour. At this point I freeze one log, wrapped well in plastic wrap (thaw overnight in fridge before baking).</p> <p> Preheat oven to 325&deg;F. Cut each dough log into 1/3-inch-thick cookies. Transfer cookies to buttered or parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 1 inch apart (cookies will spread slightly during baking). Bake cookies until edges are pale golden, about 18 minutes. Cool cookies on baking sheets 3 minutes, then transfer cookies to racks. Cool completely. (Can be stored in airtight container at room temperature up to 1 week &ndash; they actually taste better after a day to let their flavor develop.)</p>
    6/4/2013 9:48:29 AM

    Cold Weather Comfort -- Chicken and Dumplings

    <p> <a href=";linkCode=wsw&amp;tag=tabup-20" target="_blank"><img src="ImageHandler.ashx?id=d4ccbf0c-170d-434a-9982-7a5fa15b6af1&amp;size=original" style="height: 273px; width: 175px; margin: 10px; float: left;" /></a></p> <p> This is a great dinner to serve when someone in the house could use chicken soup.&nbsp; It&rsquo;s more substantial though, so it makes a more satisfying meal for the cold and hungry.</p> <p> Most chicken and dumpling recipes I&rsquo;ve seen call for simmering the chicken, then adding dumplings to the resulting stew.&nbsp; If you like dark meat, this can work very well.&nbsp; But in my house everyone prefers white meat, so that method risks ending up with stringy chicken.</p> <p> My work-around is to roast bone-in chicken breasts, then remove the meat from the bones to use for the broth.&nbsp; Refrigerate the meat, then add it to the broth just before you add the dumplings to steam.&nbsp; The broth is pretty light-bodied (yes, a trade-off for not using dark meat), so I supplement it with decent quality low-sodium boxed broth.</p> <p> <strong>First, roast 3 bone-in chicken breasts for 45 minutes at 400 degrees.&nbsp; Let cool until safe to handle.</strong></p> <p> For the Broth:<br /> Bones from 3 roasted chicken breasts<br /> 1 small onion, peeled and halved<br /> 2 carrots, peeled and broken in half<br /> 2 celery stalks, broken in half<br /> 2 quarts water<br /> 1 teaspoon salt<br /> 2 quarts water</p> <p> Put everything into pot, bring to boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently for 60-90 minutes. Let cool about 30 minutes, then remove solids and strain into metal bowl.&nbsp;</p> <p> Put broth in fresh pot (you&rsquo;ll need one with a tight-fitting lid) and bring to near boil, then add 3 or 4 carrots, sliced &frac14; inch thick.&nbsp;&nbsp; While the carrots start to cook, make the dumpling dough:</p> <p> <strong>Dumpling Dough:</strong><br /> 1-1/2 cups flour<br /> &frac34; tsp. salt<br /> 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder<br /> 3 tbsp. shortening (Crisco, yeah, I know)<br /> &frac12; cup cold water</p> <p> Mix dry ingredients, then cut in the shortening until mixture is like coarse corn meal.&nbsp; Add the water and mix to make a soft dough.&nbsp; Pat to &frac12; inch thickness and cut into 2 to 3 inch squares.</p> <p> <strong>The Finish:&nbsp;</strong><img src="ImageHandler.ashx?id=1fb06a64-47f5-4a51-96ce-beb160ff2139&amp;size=original" style="height: 113px; width: 150px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 10px; float: right;" /><br /> With broth at a simmer, add meat and (optional) 1 cup frozen peas.&nbsp; Gently place dumplings on top of broth; push them down a bit so some broth gets on top.&nbsp; Cover and cook without peeking for 15 minutes.&nbsp; Ladle into soup bowls.</p>
    2/7/2013 12:59:00 PM

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