Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Sangria - the perfect "punch" for summer

I love wine and things to do with it in the kitchen. This bit is a citrus based punch using wine as the alcohol to bring on the "punch". I got the basic recipe from a Spanish exchange student that was with one of our neighbors a few years ago so it is pretty authentic. What I like about it is the citrus snap without it being overly sweet.

As far as the wine goes, chose a red you'd drink straight up as it does make a difference in the final product. There are plenty of decent $5-10 bottles that would work well. I generally use a shiraz or cab, even a blended red and get good results every time. The key is to use a red you'll like and you can't go wrong.

As this needs some sitting time to allow all the flavors to intermingle this is a great make ahead for a party that can be done the day before. One less thing to do on the day of the party always makes life a little easier.

  • 2 bottles red wine
  • 1 large grapefruit
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 5-6 key limes

Slice the grapefruit, oranges, lemons into 1/2" slices and add to 2 qt pitcher. Slice the limes in half and give them a squeeze over the pitcher and add to the rest of the fruit. (Limes are stingy with their juice so you have to do the squeeze to get their juices flowing). Add red wine. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight. Serve chilled with fruit for garnish in the glass.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Peach Cobbler

A quick stand by dessert is something you need in your kitchen arsenal. Something for those impromptu get-togethers to satisfy the sweet tooth and let your guests know you enjoy their company kind to treat. This peach cobbler is mine. Been making it since high school which suffice to say will date it back to the last century.

It is simple and if you use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer it falls into the "stupid easy" category which is what I am all about. I could also make this a dedication to Paula Deen or Ina Garten as both start more than a few desserts with "a stick of butter".

Peach Cobbler

1 C Flour
1 C Sugar
1/2 C Butter (1 stick) - melted
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t salt
1 large egg
1 t cinnamon
1 t vanilla
2 14.5 oz cans peaches

Preheat oven to 350F.

Drain 1 can peaches and add to an 8"X8" baking dish. Add the other can of peaches with their liquid to the baking dish. (2 cans of juice is way too much). Add vanilla and stir to mix in. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon over the peaches.

In mixing bowl add flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking powder. Toss to combine. Add slightly beaten egg and with whisk attachment mix on medium 1-2 minutes until the egg is combined and the mixture resembles coarse sand.

Sprinkle topping mixture evenly over the peaches. Pour melted butter over the topping mix. Bake for 55-70 minutes until topping is deep golden brown. Cool 15 minutes, serve warm.

I tend to be a little generous with the cinnamon, you can too at this point in the recipe.
Not much left after 4 people jumped in and started shoveling.

Friday, June 5, 2009

"Beater Blade" best little gadget in my kitchen

A few weeks back I was at Sur La Table and a friend I was with spotted the "Beater blade". It looks like the beater attachment for my Kitchenaid with one added feature. Silicone Rubber spatula blades that reach out to the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl.

Could this be nirvana? Could it mean no more having to stop the beater a few times during mixing to make sure all the stuff on the sides and bottom get beat in? Did it mean I no longer needed a separate spatula to scrape the batter into the baking pan? Did it mean...?

It actually pretty much measured up to its promise and turned out to do a very nice job. As the beater rotates and spins around the bowl it scraped down every bit of the bowl and didn't miss a single bit of flour or liquid. It does squeak as it scrapes the sides at first until the liquid is incorporated. Remedy is simple give the spatula blades a dampening with the butter, oil etc., called for in the mix.

I did note that there was bits of flour along the back side (leeward side) of the blades that didn't get mixed. Not a big issue, certainly a lot better than the blade that came with the mixer.

Another nice feature is that since the blades are already contoured to your mixing bowl it is much easier to scrape out all the batter into the baking dish than a regular spatula can do. Its lack of a long handle does mean as you scrape you do get your knuckles into the batter towards the end of the filling of the baking dishes. Not a big deal just a little observation.

Worth the 9.99 I paid for it. Yes.

More deets at the Beater Blade site.