Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Summer Produce

Lately I have been planning out Chris and my meals for the week. I’ve been trying to reduce the money and time we spend at HEB, so having a full week’s meals done after a single trip to the grocery store seems like a very efficient way to handle this. The trips are very quick when you stick to what’s on you list! Plus, grocery shopping during this time of year is even more fun because of the amazing fruits on sale. Cantaloupes, blueberries, and peaches, oh my!

On Saturday morning I baked up some outstanding Peach Muffins. I had plans to bring them to Jackie’s moving away/early birthday/housewarming party that night and I am a firm believer that muffins should not be limited to the “breakfast only” category. They can/should be eaten at all times of the day and/or night. However, they definitely taste best with coffee, as I affirmed this morning.

And, you should make them too!
Peach Muffins
1 1/2 cups all-purpose whole-wheat flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/3 cup applesauce
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
2 large ripe peaches - peeled, pitted and diced (FYI, for a nice while-you're-baking snack, peach peels are pretty delish. Or, is that just me?)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tablespoon brown sugar (I actually forgot to do this, but I bet it'd make them nice and crunchy on top.)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line muffin-tin with paper muffin liners.
2. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder; stir it up. Add applesauce, egg and milk; mix well. Fold in diced peaches. Fill each muffin tin 3/4 up with muffin mix. Sprinkle a little brown sugar onto the top of each uncooked muffin (Don't forget!).
3. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes. Check muffins regularly after 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm or cool. FYI, our oven is pretty strong, so I took them out after 16 minutes.
(Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com,here.)

Ok, I cannot stop at just one fruity recipe. Thanks to Iowa Girl Eats, and Ericka’s hand-me-down food processor, I’ve concocted a healthy ice-cream alternative. I think I could eat this every day. But I won’t.
Photo from Iowa Girl Eats

Take a frozen banana and break it into 4-5 pieces. Put it in your food processor. Then take a handful of blueberries (she used frozen, but it worked great with the fresh ones I had). Then you processes it. Like… until it’s smooth. Then blop it into a bowl and eat it. Looks like ice cream, right? I am going to try it with a peaches, and strawberries and maybe mangos too. Soo yummy!

Ok, last one, I promise.

Last night after volleyball I made Whole Foods’ Grilled Caprese Salad. Cherry tomatoes are only $0.99 at Sprouts right now. Get ‘em while you can!

Grilled Caprese Salad
1 package of cherry tomatoes
1 8oz tub of fresh mozzarella balls. I picked the second-to-smallest ones they had.
1 chunk of tasty bread. I used the $0.99 loaf from Whole Foods. Only the best for my friends.
1 heaping handful of fresh basil. Maybe you are lucky and didn't kill your basil plant. Or maybe you have a friend who still has one (thanks Jaime!)? No plants and no friends? Wait until this weekend and get some from the Farmers Market. Then make friends with the basil farmers.
10-15 wooden skewers. Soak them in water for about 15 minutes. You can also use metal ones, but I didn't know where those were.
Sea salt to taste (extra for Natalie)
3-4 tbsp balsamic vinegar. If you're taking this outside, please make sure to securely tighten the lid to the bottle. Yeah... now our cooler smalls all balsamicy.

Right, so once the skewers are soaked in the sink, make the little kabobs. Mine went: tomato, bread, cheese, tomato, bread, cheese, tomato. Then I txted Jaime to remind her to bring me some basil to vballs.

To be completely honest, my kabobs sat outside in 100 degree weather for about two hours before we grilled them. By the time we finished playing, the mozzarella balls were already all mushy and not round. Fail. But, I persevered through it, and just put everything on some foil on the grill and cooked it for about four minutes. By that point, the bread was nice and toasty, the tomatoes were a little bit roasty, and the cheese was 100% melted. However, since my friends are never opposed to finger food, I just dumped all of it in a big pan, covered it in torn up fresh basil, and sprinkled some balsamic on top. Great success!

I signed up to bring Caprese Salad to our work potluck tomorrow. I'm going to try the tooth-pick style, like this. and hopefully it turns out delicious and darling.


Rachel said...

LOVE the recipes! Ya know minus the banana part and the tomato part...we're not picky, I swear! No but I really want to make the muffins.

Anonymous said...

Will you make me the muffins and send them to me? They look SUPER good. Love, Katie