Archive for August, 2013

August 28, 2013

blueberry kale smoothie

kale blueberry smoothie

After an indulgent summer, and a few rounds of fried food between the OC Fair and the fish shacks along Route 6 in Cape Cod, this smoothie is the perfect energy booster. I can’t think of an easier, or tastier way, to get two cups of kale into my body in record time. Frozen blueberries are the trick to keeping this smoothie icy cold without watering it down, which is what plain old ice cubes would do. It does need a little liquid to help puree everything. I used some fresh squeezed OJ in an effort to keep it dairy-free, but you can use yogurt or milk if you want to add a protein punch to it. A spoonful of flaxseeds would be great too; I just didn’t have any in my vacation pantry.

If you want to make a vegan version, just swap in agave nectar for the honey. I’m thinking maple syrup might be nice too, but I haven’t tried that yet. I do recommend using some sort of sweetener, though, to temper the tartness of the berries and earthy taste of the kale. As-is, this blueberry kale smoothie was a homerun with my five-year old.

One last note—you don’t need a fancy high-powered blender to whip up this smoothie (though that’ll make the job faster, no doubt). I made this using a 350 watt Black & Decker blender I found in the vacation cottage we rented. No crazy motors, or bells and whistles. I did have to stop every minute or so, and push the ingredients down with a wooden spoon, but that didn’t discourage me in the least.

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August 28, 2013

easy homemade peach jam

just peachy jam

All you need are three ingredients to make this easy peach jam—peaches, sugar and lemon juice. A bit of patience is necessary too, but I’m taking that ingredient as a freebie, and not adding it to my count. A note about selecting your peaches—try to get freestone peaches, as the pits release easily with minimal coaxing from the tip of your thumbnail. Cling peaches work absolutely fine, but you’ll lose a little of the meat cutting the flesh from the pit. At this late point in the game, I say go with whatever peaches you’ve got, but thought I’d add that tidbit if you do have a choice when you’re at the market.

As for peeling the peaches, a very ripe peach usually sheds it’s skin easily. I get it started with the tip of a paring knife, and pull it away from there. If your skins are persistent, you can score them (cut an “X” in the bottom), and add them to a pot of boiling water for one minute, until the skins loosen. You’ll need to let them cool enough so you can handle them, before slipping the skins off. This means you’ll need more prep time for making your jam, but it’s not at all difficult—just plan accordingly.

The jams I’ve been making this summer, this one included, remind me a lot of Christine Ferber’s, in that they’re a little on the runny side when first made. They set up more, and thicken further once opened and chilled. I wanted to create a jam with a pure peach flavor, but feel free to experiment if you want to dress it up a bit. I can see vanilla bean, lemon thyme, mint, or a hint of cinnamon working very well.

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August 28, 2013

peach allspice muffins

peach muffins

Generally, I prefer pastries and baked goods the day they’re made, but decided to bake these muffins the night before, so we could wake up to a homemade breakfast. They held up perfectly, wrapped in parchment paper. All I had to do was get coffee brewing the next morning. This will no doubt be a go-to breakfast for us once school starts up again in a couple of weeks.

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