Peach Barbecue

At some point along the way we acquired a subscription to Bon Appetit.  I don’t remember signing up for it and neither does JGL, but faithfully it has arrived month after month, and faithfully I read it.  This month’s issue was A to the Mazing–tons of fresh ideas, and many of which we’ll be able to start doing soon with fresh local (homegrown) produce.  This peach barbecue sauce was in the section with the fabulously and sickeningly talented Gweneth Paltrow, for whom I cannot work up enough ill will to loathe, even though I should–the woman is freakin’ perfect.  And so is her grilled chicken.  I served it over a mixed salad of greens and grilled zucchini and summer squash, and it is good enough to put on my “need to can” list for the later part of the summer.

It’s sooo close to being peach season here I can almost taste it!  The pick your own blueberries should be ripe and ready by next week, and if our notes from last year are good and true, the peaches will be soon thereafter.  I’m planning on canning a bunch, making jam, and hopefully canning some of this amazing bbq sauce.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as we did!

Peach BBQ Marinate/Sauce
Adapted from Bon Appetit, June 2011 Issue, pg 75
1 cup chopped peeled fresh peaches
1/2 cup ketchup
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp red pepper flake
1 cup plain yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
Combine the first six ingredients in a small sauce pan, and boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until peaches are soft.  (at this point, I should note, I walked away from the stove and forgot about this for about 10-15 minutes LONGER than the recipe called for.  This happy accident left the sauce the consistency of apple butter, and we quite liked it!)  Remove from heat, add salt and pepper to taste, and let cool.  
Split sauce in half–put half in the fridge for later, and mix the other half thoroughly with the yogurt.  Place chicken breast in yogurt/bbq sauce marinate, and let refrigerate at least overnight (I let mine go 24 hours).  
Prep grill, and be sure that the grates are hot and well oiled so the chicken will not stick.  Split remaining sauce that was a part of the marinade in half.  Grill chicken until cooked through (about 4-5 minutes per side), and use part of the remaining sauce to baste chicken during grilling process.  When chicken is cooked, let rest and then use last of the sauce to coat the chicken while it rests. I sliced the chicken crosswise and served over a salad.  This would also be delicious served as a whole breast with potato salad or any other quintessential summer side treat! 

Banana Nut Muffins

I was going to blog about these last week, but then I think every single food blog I follow blogged about banana bread in every variation you could imagine within days of each other.  So I waited until this morning to jump on the banana nut bandwagon.  I even added one muffin just for JGL with a strawberry banana combo, just like one of my favorite food bloggers, Joy the Baker, did.  It stayed in the mix long enough to snap this picture, and then it was ostracized to the other end of the kitchen until JGL ate it.  Sadly, I’ve never been able to stomach the strawberry banana combo–don’t even get me started on that one time when my banana contaminated my cashew butter and strawberry jam sandwich….

But I digress…this recipe is one I’ve been tweaking for about four years now.  I found the skeleton of it when trying to find a recipe for a friend who couldn’t eat refined sugar, and from that point on I’ve been slowly tweaking, adding, and improving the recipe bit by bit, year by year. If you’re really watching your figure, you can replace the oil with more plain yogurt, but I think a little bit of veggie oil helps these guys have an incredibly luscious texture.

One of my favorite aspects of this recipe is the use of honey, and I have found that local honey really brightens the flavor, texture, and just basically everything about these baked goods.  One of my favorite ways to serve is fresh out of the oven, cracked open with a little bit of butter and then more honey drizzled over the melting butter.

Serve generously, serve often, and the exprience is heightened with a fresh cup of coffee and a warm puppy curled up by your feet.

Ain't she precious when she's sleeping?

GAL’s Banana Nut Muffins
Makes 24 muffins, or 2 loaves of bread
1 cup honey
1/2 cup plain low fat yogurt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
2 cups mashed bananas
1/2-1 cup pecans, walnuts or whatever your favorite nut is (optional)
3 cups white wheat or whole wheat flour
3 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp salt
Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Combine flour, BP, BS and salt in a bowl.  In a separate bowl combine honey, oil, yogurt, eggs, and bananas–mix well.  Add nuts to wet ingredients, and then carefully add the dry ingredients to the wet.  Mix until just blended.  Pour into greased muffin tins and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until cooked through.
This also makes great banana bread–use bread pan and cook for 1 hour.

October Beans Revisited

I didn’t really get the full jist of why JGL was so dang excited about these October Beans.  I mean, yea, they were fun to grow and all, but really, isn’t a bean a bean?

No, no it isn’t–and this is coming from the kid who honest to goodness hates beans.

They were actually edible.

And delicious.

And not super bean-like at all.

Well, see for yourself!

Don’t let the looks fool you–these beans were tender, creamy in texture, and full flavor.  They needed a little bacon in to cook with them (in my opinion), but we quickly remedied that with some ham from the freezer.

Worth all the time and effort to grow, dry and store?  100% Yes, Yes, Yes!

Slump, Buckle…I don’t care what you call it, it’s delicious!

I think cooking and cleaning will be the closest I’ll ever get to really being able to meditate.  I love how my mind kind of sorta goes blank, and for one of the few times during the day, I really focus.

This weekend has been “deliciously cool” by the standards set by Mother Nature this year.  Whereas last weekend was in the mid-high 90s with wretched humidity, yesterday and today were in the low 70s with little to no humidity.  Glorious, Glorious I say!  Yesterday we were lucky enough to catch the golf tournament at the Green Brier (and eat a delicious fried green tomato sandwich…but that’s another post for another day!), but today we were home and I was bound and determined to take full advantage of the weather.

I made a ton of stuff (let’s say, I was UBER focused today) but the one that JGL and I ended up being the most excited about was the peach and blackberry brown butter buckle.

I adapted my recipe from one I found on Smitten Kitchen a few days ago, and JGL and I are both still in a food coma. This was totally worth having to run back out to the store for butter, and waiting the 40 minutes for it to bake off in the oven, AND wait until it was cool enough to eat.

So what did I change?  I used half whole wheat flour and half graham cracker flour instead of all purpose;  almond milk instead of buttermilk; ground ginger and nutmeg instead of allspice; and peaches and blackberries instead of nectarines.  If I had it to do again, I probably would have just used the blackberries.  While the peaches were good, they really lost a bit of their punch during the cooking process.

Too bad, we’ll just have to keep taste testing 😉