Saturday, July 31, 2010

Bourbon Peach Cobbler

The base also works for a crumble

Yield 6 to 8 servings


8 peaches, peeled and sliced, about 6 to 8 cups
1/4 cup bourbon
3/4 cup sugar, divided, plus more for dusting
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons for skillet
Heavy cream, plus more for brushing


Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a large bowl add the peaches, bourbon, 1/4 cup sugar, cornstarch, and cinnamon and mix well to coat the peaches evenly; set aside.

Prepare the dumplings: Into food processor add the flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) butter into small pieces. Add it to the flour mixture and pulse until the mixture looks like wet sand. Mix just until the dough comes together. Don't overwork; the dough should be slightly sticky but manageable.

In a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-low heat, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Add the peaches and cook gently until heated through, about 5 minutes. Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls over the warm peaches. There can be gaps, the dough will puff up and spread out as it bakes. Brush the top with some heavy cream and sprinkle with some sugar; put it into the oven on a baking sheet to catch any drips. Cook for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is browned and the fruit is bubbling

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence 

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Visit to Cocktail Cove... With the Family!

A nice quiet island.....all to ourselves!
This past Sunday, while my brother, sister in law and their two labs were visiting, we went on a picnic to yet another small island on the lake.  It was quiet and lovely and we spent a couple of hours swimming and having lunch.  On the way back, we decided to stop and show my brother Cocktail Cove...bad move. 

Cocktail Cove is one of those places where young people and, unfortunately, some old ones, gather to swim, drink and have fun.  Typically,  it can get rowdy, loud and, sometimes, out of control.  All in all, from what I hear, it is harmless but it is definitely not my cup of tea by any stretch of the imagination.  It used to be on a pretty cove but now it has moved elsewhere to what I think is a honky tonk part of the lake with water slides and the like and it's just plain tacky.  When our friends suggested we swing by to show my brother, I agreed, only to regret it immediately on arrival.  To boot, we couldn't let the dogs out to swim and you know who went ballistic.

Cocktail Cove is only for the young at heart, and those who have very nice bodies! 

Me first!..  No, me first!

I won!

...and I'm all tangled up!

I'm done, where's my towel?!

....and I'm still tangled up!

Yo! why am I here and you there?!

Now I'm really tangled up!

 Trick is getting into the little raft

Told you, there I am with my sister (see me?) 

And we are back in the shade...we are non swimming labs!

Hey pool guy, how about another beer over here!

Whoa! what was that...thunder?!

I'm outta here!

Better check up on Mom and lunch...

Need any help Mommy, dearest?

Hey, how about another round!

Cocktail Cove

 Topless you said?

Hey Mom, I don't think Cocktail Cove is for us puppies!

Still waiting...

What a dump!

Hey Mom, where are my shades and my lunch ?!

Bye everybody, we're off to a dog friendly cove!

Bye, Cocktail Cove...don't think we'll see you any time soon!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Espresso And Mascarpone Ice Box Cake...A Modern Take on Tiramisu!

This lush dessert of cream, mascarpone cheese, chocolate, and espresso echoes the flavors of tiramisu. On sultry summer nights you can leave the oven off and serve a cool treat that’s elegant enough for grown-ups and fun enough for kids. 

With the weather we've had this weekend in most of the East Coast, I think it's time to give this a go!


Active time: 30 min
Start to finish: 9 1/2 hr (includes chilling)


3 cups chilled heavy cream

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup mascarpone cheese (about 9 oz) at room temperature

1 (9-oz) box chocolate wafers such as Nabisco Famous

1 tablespoon instant-espresso powder*


Beat 2 cups cream with 6 tablespoons sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until it just holds soft peaks, 2 to 4 minutes. Reduce speed to low, then add mascarpone and mix until combined.

Spread 1 1/4 cups mascarpone mixture evenly in bottom of springform pan and cover with 14 wafers, slightly overlapping if necessary. Spread with another 1 1/4 cups mascarpone mixture, followed by 14 more wafers arranged in the same manner. Spread remaining mascarpone mixture on top. Smooth top with a metal offset spatula, then cover pan with foil and freeze until firm, about 1 hour. Transfer from freezer to refrigerator and chill, covered, until a sharp knife inserted into center cuts through softened wafers easily, about 8 hours.

Pulse remaining chocolate wafers in a food processor until finely ground.

Beat remaining cup cream with espresso powder and remaining 3 tablespoons sugar using electric mixer at medium speed until it just holds stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.

Remove foil and side of pan and frost cake all over with espresso cream. Sprinkle edge of top lightly with wafer crumbs. Serve cold.

Cooks’ notes:

Cake, without espresso cream, can be chilled up to 2 days.
Cake can be frosted with espresso cream 4 hours ahead and chilled, loosely covered with foil.

*Available at most supermarkets and The Baker’s Catalogue (800-827-6836).

Recipe and Food Styling by Gina Marie Miraglia Eriquez
Photograph by Romulo Yanes
Gourmet 2004

Friday, July 23, 2010

Pamper Yourself...Tuna Salad With Capers, Lemon Balm & Chives


I have a friend who says I am the only person she knows who cooks for If I cook for others why not for myself? and if it's going to calories why not make it a treat!

I usually have lunch by myself (thank God!) and just like everybody out there, I get bored with the choices.  There were two luscious avocados sitting on the counter this morning and a whole bunch of my homegrown cherry tomatoes.  Tuna fish salad anyone?   I have to admit that the idea of lobster salad with the leftover meat from two lobsters we had a couple of nights ago also came to mind, but just for a minute.  I had planned all along to make a Lobster Risotto for my daughter tonight.  No, too much of a guilt trip. So back to tuna fish, with changes of course.

Tomatoes from my garden!

The best growing herb in my garden this year is the lemon balm.  If you don't have lemons on hand, there is no better substitute.  I have tons and every time I make something, I find myself eyeing that lemon balm pot! You really can't go wrong with it, at least with the recipes I've tried.  So lemon balm it is, with chives for sure and why not capers instead of boring celery?

A cold glass of iced tea, some sliced avocado with olive oil and my priceless tomatoes..a very elegant lunch indeed, with plenty of leftovers for tomorrow!

Don't laugh now, but while I was making and eating lunch, I made some White Peach Jam With Ginger with a couple of peaches that weren't so great.  Nothing goes to waste in this house!

White Peach Jam With Ginger - Lindaraxa

Serves 2


1 can tuna fish
2 chopped hard boiled eggs
2 TB mayonnaise
1 TB chopped lemon balm*
1 TB chopped chives
2 TB capers
Salt and pepper
Sliced avocados and cherry tomatoes to accompany


Mix everything together and serve cold. 

*1 tsp. grated lemon rind can be substituted

Photo Credit Lindaraxa

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Asian Beef Skewers

This should take care of my Asian yen for the weekend.  Although the recipe calls for Asian noodles or spaghetti, I would accompany with yellow rice with saffron!  Make sure you buy sirloin and not the meat  prepackaged for shish kabobs.  It makes a big difference.  Also, look in the international aisle for Thai red curry paste -- a puree of red chiles and garlic, often combined with coriander, ginger, and other flavors.

Prep: 20 minutes

Total: 20 minutes


Serves 4

Coarse salt

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar

1/4 cup soy sauce

3 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon Thai red curry paste

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 1/2 pounds top sirloin beef cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

1 red onion, quartered, layers separated

1 can (20 ounces) sliced pineapple in juice, drained, slices quartered

1 package (10 ounces) thin dried Chinese noodles or spaghetti

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, for serving (optional)


1.Heat broiler, with rack set 4 inches from heat; line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Soak four 12-inch (or eight 6-inch) wooden skewers in a pan of warm water; set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

2.Meanwhile, make sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together honey, brown sugar, soy sauce, 2 tablespoons vinegar, curry paste, and 1 tablespoon oil. Reserve half the sauce for serving.

3.Thread beef, onion, and pineapple onto skewers. Place on prepared baking sheet, and brush with sauce. Broil, brushing occasionally with sauce, until beef is medium-rare and onion begins to char, 7 to 10 minutes.

4.Meanwhile, cook noodles in boiling salted water, according to package instructions. Drain, and place in a medium bowl. Add cilantro and remaining vinegar and oil; season with salt, and toss to combine. Serve skewers with noodles, reserved sauce, and, if desired, red-pepper flakes.

Recipe & Photo credit

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A New Island, A Beautiful Sunset And Picnic Paella For Dinner!

Warning: If you don't enjoy pictures of beautiful sunsets, food or mischievous Westies, this post may be detrimental to your health!

I hear we are headed to a new island...

I bet they expect me to swim and show off

It's tough being cute

Land ahoy!

Land ahoy, but there's people in our island... bummer

New settlers or just exploring...

I can scare them off

134 feet? no problem, I can swim over... piece of cake!

Coast clear

Look Lucy, there's all that red clay you love to play in!

...and a fire pit

Just marking in case they can't find it at night... they'll thank me later!


Anchor safely in place

Anyone for a swim?

paws still touching

Hey, I need to come up

I'm not dirty, seriously

 Vodka on the rocks with a twist, plueeze!

My tongue is clean

Mine too!

Why do you say I have dirty paws?!!

Don't make me beg....

Just a slice of Brie, then...

I'm telling on her..Mom will get this straightened out

She's a sucker for a cute face

Wait til you hear what just happened, Mom

I love you so, Mommy...

I knew you'd understand

We must have these talks more often...

Not talking to you

Dinner is ready!

Guest arriving!

Moonlight at the Oasis...

That's all folks! ...later!

The recipe for the cold picnic paella is over at Lindaraxa's Garden!

All pictures by Lindaraxa


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