Sunday, July 12, 2020

Peach Margaritas - Summer in a Glass

Oh, y'all... it's been a long time off the blog...
It is far too long of a story, but to sum up:
New jobs
I can't even process some days. But I AM still cooking and creating constantly. So, now that I've finally broken the seal, hopefully there are good times (and recipes) on the way!

Anyhow, a brief story on this one: the kids and I were on a hint for fireworks in Wisconsin for the 4th of July, because, as you know, teens and pyrotechnics are a match made in heaven. Anyhow, the fireworks warehouse I know of was closed, probably related to Covid. So we started driving back to the lake. And in the way, we saw a cheese curd truck. 

Not joking. 

Anyhow, nearby, there was also a fireworks tent. So after indulging in some (AMAZING) cheese curds, we went over to where the fireworks tent was set up. And we noticed people standing in line. Not for the fireworks... for another truck. 
A peach truck.

Now, when I see a double line 6 people deep, and watch people walking away with boxes of peaches... there's no way I'm not going to be a part of something like that. 
So, five minutes and forty dollars later, I had my own giant box of fresh Georgia peaches. 

And they are everything and more. 

So... fast forward through half the box of peaches, a multistate drive home,  and limited fridge space, and that brings you to these amazing peach margaritas.

Necessity breeds invention, amirite?

Here's what you need:

4-5 fresh peaches, peeled, pitted, and chopped into large hunks
Juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons honey (pepper honey is AMAZING in this)
3 oz. triple sec
6 oz. tequila 
2 cups ice

Combine your peaches, lime juice, honey and liquors in a blender and puree it until smooth. Then add in your ice and blend until it has an even consistency. Pour into a glass and then garnish with a wedge of fresh peach. Add a floater shot of good tequila, if you're feeling a little extra. 

Look at that color. Gorgeous!!!

It's the ideal summer drink. Seasonal produce, super chill, light but can't get better than that!

A couple of notes on the mix:

I like a bit of the unexpected, so I used a wildfire honey made with chili to give it a little back end kick, but straight honey would be lovely too.

Your peaches need to be ripe AF. Like, almost too ripe. Soft almost to squishy. That's when the sugars are prime for mixing and the consistency will blend up right. Chunks are the enemy. 

Use. Good. Tequila. Thanks to Hollow Leg, a friend of mine, I was made aware of Fino tequilas. Fino is a Chicago local made tequila, made by a company owned and run by women. And as that wasn't enough, it's also really high quality and delicious! Find your favorite, and don't skimp. The depth of flavor of your tequila can really enhance your drink. 

This margarita is the ideal summer drink. Fresh, light, flavorful, and boozier than it seems. Cheers to summer 2020!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Black Bean Quesadillas

One of my family's favorite quick meals is a good quesadilla. Even Mr. Picky will eat them. As long as they're cheese. And not any of those "weird" cheeses. Monterey Jack, Colby, or other similar mild melty cheeses. Luckily, it's pretty east to customize quesadillas.

Anyways, this summer, living in a new town, we started with a new CSA. And through that CSA, I discovered shishito peppers. They are delicious, mild, and the name is fun to say. And they are fantastic in this quick and healthy quesadilla recipe!

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Irish Apple Pie

I'm a big fan of autumn, especially all the food-centered holidays. And the warm, spice flavors, and the hearty produce. I love sweater weather. And yes, pumpkins. But one of my favorite fall flavors is apple.

Since I was a kid, we've gone apple picking in the fall, gorging ourselves on apples right off of the tree and cider donuts and hot apple cider from the farmstand. It's something I enjoy doing with our kids too, and they look forward to it every year as much as I do. One of the small drawbacks about having food-conscious kiddos is that they are fully aware of what can be done with delicious fresh produce, so they have a tendency to go overboard and pick ALL THE THINGS. Long story short, every fall, we have plenty of apples. For a small army of hungry fruit addicts.

This recipe for Irish Apple Pie has been one of my favorites since I started cooking. It's really simple to put together, using a food processor to do the hard work. The ingredients are straightforward, and I'm guessing you probably already have everything you need in your kitchen. And the taste is delightful. One of those magical moments where the simplest of things are elevated when put together in the right way to make something so satisfying that you can't help but sigh as you taste it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Eggplant Parmesan Pasta

There are a lot of vegetables that I think get overlooked. Eggplant, for me, used to be one of them. Sure, they're pretty, what with their shiny purpleness and all, but they also can be intimidating. But this dish, this one, is a game changer for eggplant. I'm telling you, when I make this, it gets actual cheers from my family. Cheers, I tell you! Also, as with many of my favorite recipes, it's really easy, quick to put together, and gets some good healthy stuff into your hungry mouths.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Good Ol' Peanut Butter Balls

Kids' sports are kind of insane these days. Don't get me wrong, I do think that kids should be active, and also that they should do well in school, and that they should get enough down time, and twelve hours of sleep a night, and 3 solid healthy meals a day, and plenty of one-on-one time with a loving parent...   Look, if you can tell me how to make all of this happen in just 24 hours and then keep it going day after day after day, PLEASE fill me in!

Afternoons and evenings have been crazy for us with football season. The kids get home from school and there's about 2 hours before we have to start getting ready and off to practice, which is two hours long, and then we're eating dinner at about 8:15 at night. Those two hours after school are packed with completing homework, chores, whatever social/electronics time the kids get for the day, prepping to make dinner smoother, and getting a good snack in them before they go to get 2 hours on the field in.

I've mentioned before that my little man is super picky. He still doesn't eat meat, except in bacon or chicken tender form. But he's a tackle, a big guy on the team, and he's got to have that protein to build up those muscles. So I'm scrambling to get every ounce of good stuff into him. Yogurt, cheese, milk, and the constant favorite: peanut butter.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Magical Granola Dust

I think that every parent walks the line between feeding their kids healthy food and feeding their kids food that they don't have to fight with them over. With my kids being more active lately, they need more energy, and they always seem to be "staaaaaaarving". So, when I can find recipes that they enjoy that are easy and nutritious, I feel like I've hit the jackpot.

Granola dust is one of those recipes. I came across the idea from a Jamie Oliver recipe, and adapted it to better suit my kids' tastes. It's packed full of nutritional powerhouses like oats, nuts, seeds, and antioxidants, and I tried to keep the sugar down while still making it sweet enough that my kids don't feel tempted to add their own. 

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Korean-Style Quick Beef and Veg

So, I promised to get back to blogging recipes. And as much as I love cooking and eating and all things food related, this is ending up being a much more difficult task for me than it has any right to be. So, be gentle on me as I slog through this.

You see, it's been a crazy few years for me. Growing kids with increasingly hectic schedules, family members dealing with life-threatening issues, job changes, and to top it all off, a move. Don't get me wrong, things aren't dire or anything. In fact, they're quite good, knock on wood. But it just makes for the type of situation where here it's coming around to the end of 2017 already and I still haven't sent out last year's Christmas cards with our change of address. THAT kind of crazy.

The other thing that I find complicating is my own sense of perfectionism. I have a difficult time doing things if I don't feel like I can do them the way I think they should be done. I like to show you pictures of all the steps of the recipes I make. I like to have a lighthearted banter in the way I write. I like the food to be easy to make and also delicious. Most of the times, those are not a problem, but right now, the first of those is giving me stress. In the house we moved to, the kitchen is really great, in terms of functionality and usability, and while it needs some renovation, that's probably about 5 years or so down the road at this point. But it's in the center of the house. And while our kitchen has always been the figurative center of our home, it wasn't the literal center before. Which may not seem like it's a big deal, or something that would affect my blogging, but...

...There's no natural light in my kitchen. Which suuuuuuuuuucks for taking pictures. Typical house lighting makes for weird shadows and altered coloring, and I'm not yet really great at photo editing. So I either have to skip all the pictures (Nooooooo! But maybe work with fewer...), take food I want to shoot to other rooms that have natural light (awkward, but yes), deal with shoddy pictures (ugh, hopefully not too often), learn how to preform miracles in photoshop (working on it), get a lightbox or other tools to enable better pictures (on my Christmas list), or just deal with that the pictures kind of are what they are and still forge ahead with the blogging while looking for ways to improve the photographic situation.

So, that's what I'm doing. Like I said, be gentle with me.

And now, back to the food!