Thursday, July 23, 2015

Peaches for breakfast

Before the peach ice cream happened, I made this delicious peach breakfast for my husband.  The girls don't love cooked fruit (even apple pie, much to my husband's dismay) so they weren't big fans but that meant more for us!  This is like a "dutch baby" or dutch pancake recipe and is really easy to pull together.  Other kinds of fresh fruit would probably work as well but the peach was delightful.

Peach Oven Pancake (serves 4-6)

2 T unsalted butter
1 cup peach slices (peeled)
4 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 T sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup whole milk

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place butter in a 10 or 11 inch cast iron or oven proof skillet and place the skillet in the oven until the butter is melted.

Remove pan from the oven and place sliced peaches in a single layer in the pan.

Prepare the batter by placing the eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla, and milk in a blender and blending until smooth.  Pour the batter into the skillet over the peaches.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until pancake is puffed and golden brown.  Cut into slices and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Serve with maple syrup on the side.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Woodranch Copycat Coleslaw

I love how you can find online "copycat" recipes of restaurant favorites.  They're not always accurate or as good, but this coleslaw recipe was a hit.  I served it with the chicken fajita stuffed peppers and I found out that Little LOVES coleslaw.  She'll eat and eat it - for breakfast, lunch, whatever.  She and I fought over the leftovers of this recipe (well, I was so proud of her for eating cabbage that I let her win).

Woodranch Coleslaw (6 side dish servings)

1 (16oz) package refrigerated coleslaw (with carrots)
1.5 cups shredded red cabbage
3/4 cup finely sliced celery
1/3 cup chopped green onion
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1 T water
1 T sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/3 c. vegetable oil
pepper to taste
1 cup dry roasted peanuts.

In a large bowl, combine all vegetables.  In a small bowl, whisk together everything else except the peanuts.  Toss the cabbage mixture with the dressing.  Refrigerate until serving.  Sprinkle with peanuts and toss again when you're ready to serve.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015


It's July!  So hard to believe that a month of summer vacation is already gone.  We've been having a blast.  Here are some photos from our 4th of July weekend:

One of the summer treats we have all been enjoying is fresh peaches.  We've been eating loads of them every week and I finally got around to making peach ice cream.  It's not a true custard (no eggs or heavy cream) but it was creamy and delicious.

Peach Ice Cream (makes 1.5 quarts)

1.5 lbs ripe peaches
1/2-2/3 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1.5 T fresh lemon juice
2 cups half and half

Your ingredients all need to be cold to go into the ice cream maker.  You can either peel and chop the peaches and refrigerate until cold, or you can make the ice cream custard and refrigerate it all together.

Peel and chop peaches.  Place 2/3 of the peaches in a blender with the vanilla, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and 1/4 - 1/3 cup sugar (depending on the sweetness of the peaches and your own taste preferences).  Blend until smooth.  Add the half and half.

Take the other 1/3 of your peaches and add another 1/4-1/3 cup sugar and 1/2 tablespoon of lemon juice.  Mash them up (I used a potato masher).

Put the mixture from the blender into the freezer bowl of your ice cream maker.  Stir in the mashed peaches.  Freeze according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers

I love making different kinds of stuffed peppers but my husband and kids aren't always fans.  Recently, I came up with the idea of doing fajitas this way - bell peppers are part of fajitas and it seemed like  a natural combination.  For those of you with negative associations with stuffed peppers bear with me - I also made stuffed chiles.  One of our favorite restaurants in Pasadena is Cafe Verde and they have these amazing stuffed pasilla chiles on their menu and I've also wanted to recreate those for awhile.  As you can see below, I started with half peppers, and half chiles.  I think the key to getting the filling warmed through is to cut the peppers like the chiles - lengthwise instead of just cutting the top off.  When you pick your peppers and chiles at the store, you want to look for ones that seem like they'll lay flat and have a good concave opening for stuffing.

Since this was an original recipe and the first time I made it, the amounts of ingredients are approximate.  If it looks too rice-y or not chees-y enough, add ingredients as you like.  I used the Near East Spanish Rice (it's GF) and a packet of fajita seasoning from Sprouts.  The Lawry's packet or the Border Grill sauces will work fine too.  If you don't like cilantro with your fajitas, you can leave it out.  To make sure your chiles aren't too spicy, remove the seeds and membranes.

Chicken Fajita Stuffed Peppers (serves 4)

4 bell peppers or pasilla (Anaheim or Poblano) chiles (or a combination)
1 lb chicken breast tenders
Fajita seasoning for chicken
1-2 cups Spanish Rice (cooked and prepared according to package)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1-2 cups shredded cheese (I used a mexican blend - cheddar or jack would work fine)
Salsa, guacamole, sour cream (optional - for serving)

Preheat oven to 375.  Cut your peppers and/or chiles in half lengthwise (from the stem to the base) and remove seeds and membranes.  Place open side up in a lightly oiled baking pan (or two) without crowding the pan. 

In a large skillet, cook chicken breast tenders over medium heat with the fajita seasoning (look at instructions on the seasoning packet - you may need to add olive oil or a little water).  Once it's just cooked through, remove from skillet and dice.  Set aside.  Prepare your spanish rice and also set aside.

Stir together cooked chicken, 1-2 cups cooked rice, onion, cilantro, and 1 cup of cheese.  Spoon filling into the peppers, not packing too tightly and not heaping too high.  Top each pepper with more cheese.  

Pour about an inch of hot, boiling water in the bottom of your pans and cover the pans with foil. The steam will help to soften the chiles / peppers.  Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes, uncovering the last 10 minutes to make sure the cheese is melted.  Serve with salsa, guacamole, and sour cream for topping.