25 June 2014

Summer is "Officially" Here - Time for something Cool...

Good Morning!! This morning I'm writing to wish you all a Happy, Healthy, fun-filled Summer!  
That being said, I am not much of a Summer person, myself. I'd pretty much prefer any other Season, actually!  I don't know if it is because I live in California and we get some very hot days here!! Eeeks! High 90's -100's Hot, or if it's just because I, So enjoy the other seasons so much. Hmmm. Point for me to personally ponder, I guess. I had Happy Summer Childhood memories, so nothing there. Oh well! I will not complain, as I know many people would love to trade places with me, and I probably wouldn't Love all of their seasons either! Aren't we funny creatures?!

One thing is for sure, I LOVE the time spent with the kids, the family gatherings and the celebrations, that we could not have any other time of the year!  So, on that note I wanted to share with you one of my new favorite recipes, that really is something to be enjoyed in the Summer!!  Do you like Lemonade? I have never been a real big fan.  However, now that i have discovered this new (well, new to me, anyway) infusion of raspberries, it has quickly become one of my all time faves! Odd, isn't it, how our tastes change over the years? :) 

20 June 2014

When God Gives You Peaches...You make Cobbler!!

Like the title says, when you're given peaches, make this yummy Cobbler!! I am lucky enough to have some wonderful friends, who happen to have a peach tree!  And, no, they don't bake! So, it seemed the natural thing to ask them what they were going to do with all their peaches. Right? Anyway, they, pretty much, told me I could come pick my fill.....and, of course, I did!! Thanks Sara and Dave! After getting my basket and my canvas bag full, I hurried home to make this Cobbler, that has quickly become a favorite! Isn't it Beautiful?! 

Look at these beautiful, hand picked fresh Peaches!!

However, as beautiful as they are, you can't really bake anything super yummy with those skins on them. So, I started preparing for my Cobbler by blanching the peaches. This is a bit of a process in itself, so I have included a little link here on how to blanch peaches, just in case you didn't know. :)  Fascinating little sidenote here:  for all the recipes out there in the World Wide Web, there are precious few that actually use fresh peaches. More often, than not, I see dump two cans of fruit instead of slice so many cups.... So, I guess what I'm saying is:
 if you have access to fresh fruit, the taste and experience is much better! This is also a great recipe to make with your kids! Summer fun that they'll truly remember. I still remember canning plums, apricots, pears and making applesauce with my Mum and brother and sisters. It is one memory that we all say is a favorite. All the summer vacations and trips, yet, we all remember, vividly, how we took turns on peeling, slicing, stirring, etc.. the different stations my Mother would have set up for us to help. I think everyone agrees, turning the hot apples through the colander and having the applesauce come down through the holes was our favorite! Funny, what memories stick, isn't it? 

How to Blanch Peaches video Here:

Back to the recipe.  These are those ones from above after blanching and the peel sliding off! Aren't they perfect? Okay, I'll be honest, I'm only showing you the really nice ones, but you get the idea.
Now that we have them blanched and peeled, simply remove the pit and slice (much like the canned ones) You will end up with a gorgeous bowl of peaches ready for anything! Jam, butter, crisp, or this wonderful Cobbler recipe. 
Did I mention that, despite the very nice and very fresh Peaches, this is really not a low fat or low sugar recipe?  You have to splurge a little every once in awhile....this would be a great way to do that!

After I have then all sliced and in a bowl, like this, I strain off all the yummy juice into a saucepan. It doesn't need to be big. You'll probably get 1-1/2 to 2 cups of syrup for 5-6 cups of sliced peaches. Put that on the stove with 1/2-1 cup of sugar, depending on the ripeness and your taste. You can turn that on now, you're just going to cook that enough to dissolve the sugar, well, and get the desired sweetness you want. These ones weren't very sweet on their own, so I added a full cup of sugar to the juice! It's well worth it and you won't be adding sugar to the peaches, so, technically, this is it!

After about 5-6 mins on low heat you end up with this beautifully rich peach-yy syrup!

Oh, you all are probably wanting a list of ingredients for this, huh? Sorry about that, but, I still tend to explain my recipes, rather than list ingredients. But just so you know, you will need:

5-6 cups of Peaches (If you must, you may used canned here) it does work, ughh!

1/2-1 cup of white sugar
the juice of 1 lemon ( squeeze this over your peaches in the bowl while you are working on pitting and cutting the rest)
1/2 cup of butter ( I know! keep reading...)
5-6 tablespoons of cream cheese
I box (15.25 oz.) of white or yellow cake mix (I know you think I've gone mad, but the yumminess to come is so worth it!)
Finally, Cinnamon to taste.

Wheww!! Okay, you all still with me? It really is good and really is worth the calories. (Maybe schedule in a couple extra trips to the gym this week or jog a few miles. You can do it!) I have faith in you!

Pour the dry cake mix into a bowl and add the softened butter and cream cheese. You can use a pastry cutter, fork or knives, whatever you have on hand you don't need to cut it too awful much.

 It should now resemble something like this:

Now that you have the cake mix ready, you can place your sliced peaches in a 9x16" pan and  pour 1/2 of your sweetened peach syrup over them, being sure to get in all areas.. I know, it's going to seem to be a little too wet here, but it's not.  Once you've done that you can start spooning your cake and butter mixture over the peaches, be sure not to dump it all on.  You do want to evenly distribute it over your peaches...completely cover your peaches and juice with the cake mix.

When you have done that, you can take the rest of your peach syrup and drizzle it over the top of the batter.  Did I tell you to preheat your oven? No, I guess not. You should preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Pop this in center of your oven, just like this!
Okay, this is the part that I always find difficult. "How long do you cook it for?" My usual answer to this question, is "Until it is done." :)  Which is still true. You are going to bake this from 30-45 minutes depending on your oven, your pan, the amount of peaches and well, until it's done! I don't know how else to say it.  Hopefully, a picture is still worth a thousand words. When it is done it will look like this!
I know not super pretty in the pan like this, but it is OH so GOOD!!! I recommend letting it set up for at least 20-30 mins before cutting into it.  But, then it's all yours!! This is a great dessert to take to Summer get togethers, it travels well and is absolutely perfect with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream on top.  I hope you'll give it a try this summer.. If you do, come let me know what you thought!! 

If you are lucky enough to have any leftover, I, usually,  like to reheat this back in the oven for 6 -7 mins.  think it's much better slightly warm. However, my family will eat it either way.

Happy Baking!! Many Blessings to you and yours!


I'll be sharing this recipe with:

06 June 2014

A Joyful Noise

Happy Friday! Enjoy your day!! Search for some butterflies this weekend!!
May you be blessed or be a blessing.

Do you know I have always loved visiting some of the Beautiful Blogs that have music playing in the background.

This first piece is call Butterfly Waltz! How perfect is that?!

 It's as if you have entered an enchanted space.



 Cielo's House in the Roses ( Now called Little White Cottage in the Woods ) that you can find HERE, use to have an entrancing playlist playing and while you were looking at all her beautiful images and reading about her adventures you were being serenaded. Like being in the "Secret Garden".


 I have always loved it so much, I found myself leaving the tab open and the music playing, while I finished my work up on the computer. What a wonderful way to work! So, this is my little tribute to the magic that music is and the gift of Joy it gives us, as it lifts our spirits and soothes our souls .                                                                                       (source)


 I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Sharing with: Beverly@Pink Saturdays Natasha@
Say G'Day Saturday Courtney@Feathered Nest Friday
Marty@A Stroll Through Life's Inspire Me Tuesday Katherine@
Thursday's Favorite Thing