Peach Cobbler Ice Cream

Peach ice cream is made even better with the addition of pie crust pieces.

Peach Cobbler Ice Cream photo on Stetted

Before coming to Texas, peaches weren’t really on my radar. In the Midwest we’re all about apples and berries when it comes to fruit selection, and so any peaches I might have had as a child probably came from a can. And I probably also didn’t like them.

Fortunately I grew up and developed my taste buds, because the epitome of a Texas summer is gnawing on a fat peach, juices dribbling down your chin and hopefully into the sink you thoughtfully stood over, or on the ground so the ants can get a tiny bit of sweet nectar.

Peach season is very dependent on the weather. We’ve had all sorts of crazy patterns in the past few years, and winter hailstorms can completely knock out an orchard from producing for the year. Not to mention the ever-present drought, and the need to think of solutions for tending to our crops. It’s not just about giving things water and hoping for more rain; it’s about changing the idea of the landscape we have so carefully crafted into peach (or rice, or grapefruit) havens.

That’s why whenever the peaches show up, we celebrate. We dive in, making sure we get enough for jams, for pies, for just plain eating. And of course, as this is Texas, there is cobbler. And ice cream. So it’s only natural that the two get together.

Peach Cobbler Ice Cream pic on Stetted

 

This dreamy peach cobbler ice cream is made with mascarpone cheese to make it extra creamy and give it a swift kick-in-the-pants tang. I’ve added homemade pie crust bits dusted with cinnamon and sugar, because why not? Besides, it’s hot out — do you really want to be cooking up a big ol’ cobbler in the middle of summer? Ice cream is where it’s at.

 

Head over to Recipe.com to see how I made this peach cobbler ice cream and get the recipe!

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Weekly Meal Plan, July 14

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I don’t know what was in our water last week, because it was Productivity Central over here, capped off by the baby deciding it was time to walk all on his own. I don’t think I’ve ever been so thrilled with myself for accomplishing something as much as the baby was with his solo steps. Though I’m sure having the three people he loves most cheering him on and clapping helped that big smile.

Summer is already half over, which I’m sure my other son will be grumbling about as soon as he realizes that autumn means no more weekly snow cones or trips to the splash pad. That just means we’ll have to make the most of the next few weeks.

Part of that goal was accomplished on Saturday, when I joined fellow Austin Food Blogger Alliance members at the Texas Beef Council for a wonderful class on grilling. A lot of the cooking “classes” around town are really just demos where you sit and eat, so I really loved that we actually got our hands dirty and cooked up a whole bunch of steaks to enjoy together. I’ll be posting more about the class later in the week.

Sunday I had a lovely brunch at Josephine House, which was soul-recharging even if it did leave my wallet feeling abused. Cooking dinner at home during the week makes splurges like that possible, so I need to try to keep that in mind when I’m feeling “meh” about cooking whatever is on the plan. Yes, it does happen to me, even though I’ve been doing a meal plan system for ten years!

Here’s what we’re eating this week!

Monday: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas (from The Oh She Glows Cookbook)

Tuesday: Ratatouille à la Remy (per request by the big kid, natch)

Wednesday: Stuffed sweet peppers, salad

Thursday: Pasta

Friday: Homemade pizza

Saturday: Veggie Chili (from Vibrant Food)

Sunday: Grilled steaks

This week in ice cream: Mocha

What are you making this week?

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Peanut Butter & Jelly Waffles

Start your day with a smile with these waffles that harken back to childhood.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Waffles photo on Stetted

All the best ideas come to you when you are almost definitely not going to follow up on them. After 34 years on this planet, I’m sure of it. In the shower, driving the car, in bed just before you are falling asleep… these are all where fantastic ideas pop up.

Logically, it’s because our brains have stopped being so stimulated and are able to relax enough to just wander to the right places. If you think about it, it’s kind of funny that we often have so many problems brainstorming solutions or thinking of new ideas, and complain about it while poking on our phones and fast-forwarding through commercials on the DVR.

Sometimes you’ve just gotta slow down, man.

The other night as I was going to bed, I said, “Self, tomorrow you are going to wake up bright and early and make peanut butter and jelly waffles.” My other self laughed at me, knowing how much I love the warm, cozy bed and also knowing my general lack of enthusiasm for anything before my coffee.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Waffles image on Stetted

Sometimes, I wrest success from my own subconscious.

Because I make waffles a lot, I knew the basics for making this recipe, and the PB&J variation only needed a few tweaks. I love that I was able to have these waffles in front of me in about 15 minutes, from the moment I started mixing ingredients. Mine feature Peanut Butter & Co.’s Mighty Maple, but you can use any peanut butter you like, or almond butter if that’s your bag.

For the jelly part, I used some homemade jam I had canned earlier in the year. You only need a little bit for each waffle, and be careful, because it can make your waffle iron pretty sticky. However, if you do two layers of waffle batter, it shouldn’t be too much of a cleanup issue.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Waffle pic on Stetted

You could always add more peanut butter or jelly or both on top of the finished waffles, but we ate them with regular ol’ maple syrup. Without syrup, they’re great for eating as you rush out the door, or for packing into your picnic basket for later.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Waffles

Yield: Makes about 6 large Belgian-style waffles

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1/4 cup jam or jelly

Instructions

  1. Preheat your waffle iron.
  2. Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt.
  3. In another bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and peanut butter until blended. Stir into dry mixture until well incorporated.
  4. Stir in butter just before cooking.
  5. Lightly grease waffle iron, if needed.
  6. Pour batter into waffle iron (the amount will depend on the size of your iron). Using a small teaspoon, dollop jam or jelly in multiple places on top of the batter. Add additional batter to cover the jelly. Close waffle iron and cook as usual.
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Eggplant Parmesan Subs

The flavors of eggplant parmesan in a portable, handheld lunch.

Eggplant Parmesan Sub photo on Stetted

It took me a while to warm up to eggplant. I wasn’t swayed by the ha-ha Seinfeldian nature of the name. When it comes to foods that I don’t like, the texture is usually to blame. I wasn’t quite sure where to place eggplant on the texture spectrum. It’s meaty, but can get mushy when cooked, and depending on the kind, the seeds make it extremely unappealing.

Just like it happened with beans, I discovered I do like eggplant when I ate it in dip form. After I had experienced baba ganoush,  I ventured into Asian-style eggplant, and then decided to go for the classic eggplant parmesan.

Eggplant parm tends to be where I fall off the eggplant bandwagon, because so often it is overcooked and turns into a mushy mess that only lots of cheese and tomato sauce can save. (Which luckily is included in most recipes for it.) However, I’m of the opinion that if we’re going to feature an ingredient, it should really be featured, right? Though I can get behind pureeing certain veggies into pasta sauce or adding squash to muffins, I don’t think we’re really teaching anyone to enjoy vegetables when we hide them.

These eggplant parmesan subs still have the cheese and tomato everyone loves — and plenty of carbs with the bread — but the eggplant is only quickly fried, allowing the edges to crisp up while maintaining the integrity of the interior.

You can skip the step for making the tomato sauce and use jarred stuff if you like, but I figure, we might as well embrace all that summer has to offer, right? Take these sandwiches a step even further into summer bliss by slathering pesto on the bread before adding the other toppings. Just be careful to not burn your mouth on these babies as you try to eat them from straight under the broiler.

Eggplant Parmesan Subs

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplant, about 3/4 pound each
  • 3 teaspoons salt, divided
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive or canola oil, divided
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomato
  • 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup shredded parmesan
  • 4 ounces sliced mozzarella or 1 cup shredded
  • 4 hoagie rolls or small baguettes, sliced open lengthwise

Instructions

  1. Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds. Sprinkle cut sides with 2 teaspoons salt and place in a colander set in the sink or over a bowl to drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small saucepan over medium. Add onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Add tomatoes and cook about 5 minutes, until tomatoes have broken down.
  3. Stir in chopped basil, 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium low and let simmer, creating a chunky sauce.
  4. Rinse salt off eggplant and pat dry with a towel.
  5. Whisk eggs in a shallow bowl. Stir together breadcrumbs and parmesan in another shallow bowl.
  6. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a sauté pan over medium until oil shimmers.
  7. Dip eggplant slices in egg, letting excess drip, and then dip into breadcrumb mixture. Turn to coat.
  8. Place slices in hot oil and fry until golden on both sides, approximately 3-4 minutes per side. Set aside to a paper-towel lined plate to drain while you finish the remaining slices.
  9. To assemble, spread 1 spoonful of tomato sauce on the bottom of each hoagie bun. Lay eggplant slices on top, then add more tomato sauce as desired. Top each with 1 ounce (or ¼ cup shredded) mozzarella.
  10. If desired, place sandwiches on a baking sheet and cook under the broiler for a few minutes to melt mozzarella and crisp the bread.
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Roasted Corn Salad

Savor the fresh flavors of summer with this simple roasted corn salad.

Roasted Corn Salad image on Stetted

Among certain groups of friends or relatives, the question “How’s the blog going?” always comes up. It’s a bit of a strange question, but also not. After all, when your blog is basically a job, people tend to be curious about it. At the same time there’s not too many people who are actually interested in whether something is getting traction on Pinterest or if a photo was accepted to FoodGawker.

With the former group, I just answer by way of making them good food. If I’m lucky, there’s no fuss, and we all tuck into our dishes with plenty of compliments shared among the crowd’s offerings. Just because I happen to write about and photograph my food doesn’t make my experience with edibles any better than theirs, and chances are they’re also turning out fantastic stuff in their kitchens.

This roasted corn salad is a dish I recently brought to a friend’s gathering, and we all liked it so much that I made it three days later for dinner. The sweetness of the corn and my homegrown tomatoes offset the bite of the arugula and red onion, and creamy goat cheese crumbles and mild vinaigrette pulled the whole thing together. On the drive home from the party I woefully stared at my empty dish, wishing I had eaten more. Oh, America.

Roasted Corn Salad picture from Stetted

Luckily the salad is a snap to put together. (psst… you can use a bag of Trader Joe’s roasted corn to save time. Just sayin’.) All you need to do is heat the corn, slice some tomatoes and onion, and shake up an easy-peasy basic vinaigrette.

I used sun-dried tomato goat cheese crumbles because that’s what I had on hand, but plain goat cheese will work perfectly fine too. You could also use avocado chunks in place of the goat cheese to make this vegan. Or with the goat cheese if you’re not vegan. I’m not one to judge.

Roasted Corn Salad photo from Stetted

Make this roasted corn salad for the next potluck you attend. I promise, people won’t look at you funny for bringing a salad. And if they do? Well, that’s their loss, and more of this for you to eat. But after all, what are we cooking for, if not to share it?

Roasted Corn Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons neutral oil
  • 3.5 cups roasted corn
  • 6 cups arugula or arugula-spinach mix
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 4 ounces goat cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a skillet set over medium. Add corn and cook about 5 minutes, until warmed and toasted.
  2. In a large dish, arrange arugula. Pour cooked corn over the top, then add tomatoes, red onion, and goat cheese. Layer it pretty if you like.
  3. Whisk together olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard, and salt and pepper until fully blended. Drizzle over salad just before serving and toss salad with tongs to mix.
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Weekly Meal Plan, July 7

We celebrated the baby’s first birthday on the fourth with a little cookout and plenty of cake smashing. (He didn’t actually eat any cake, but he sure loved squishing his fingers into it.) The rest of the weekend was wonderful as well, as we spent Sunday morning at the lake near our house.

Max cake

I much prefer the lake to the pool. The pool is always crazy, with kids in every direction, no room to swim, and never any chairs unless you get there when it opens. The lake had a good number of people but it didn’t start to get busy until we left at 1 pm, so we had plenty of room to set up our little tent shelter (similar to this one) and play in the water without getting the baby jostled by the big kids. I think I might sneak off to the lake during the week when I need to unplug and do some mind-wandering.

We capped off the weekend with a visit to Snow Monster, the newest craze among my food-loving friends. This snow ice is a lovely treat; it melts when it hits your tongue and tastes like a cross between ice cream and a snow cone. It’s right by the place I like to get banh mi, so I foresee lots of special lunch breaks in the near future.

Here’s what we’re making this week!

Monday: Roasted Corn Salad (recipe tomorrow)

TuesdayChickpea Fritters, from Herbivoracious

Wednesday: Oven Fried Chicken Katsu, from The Banh Mi Handbook

Thursday: Stuffed Zucchini

Friday: Homemade pizza

SaturdayLeftover night

Sunday: Chicken spaghetti, from The Homesick Texan’s Family Table

This week in ice cream: I didn’t get a chance to make the maple ice cream last week, so I’m adding it to this week. Last week I made ice-cream cone cupcakes for the party – does that count?

What are you making this week?

 

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