Peach Cobbler and Laundry

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We had a busy day at my house, as we do on most Saturdays, and by late in the afternoon everyone was wiped out.  I thought a special something was in order so I made peach cobbler and it was a big hit.  Cobbler is a very simple dessert, just a plain batter with some fresh fruit, bake and voila!….you are queen of the kingdom and your loyal subjects sing your praises (or something like “You’re awesome, thanks mom!” as they stuff cobbler into their mouths).

Everyone has been working hard to get organized for our trip to visit my parents in California.  We leave in about 5 days and the inevitable chaos that comes with travel and children has started to rain down upon my house.  Before we can go anywhere there are mountains of laundry to be done, wetsuits and goggles to find, bags to pack, iPods need new music, mountains of laundry and did I mention all the laundry???  I will remain strong, that bag of unsorted socks will not break me!  If we all wear mismatched socks so be it…..my sister will just have to be embarrassed when she meets us at the airport (well, maybe I will break out the sandals, the boys will have to make do).  How can 3 boys generate so much dirty laundry and why can’t I find any matching socks?!  *sigh* let’s change the subject, I have issues with laundry.

The boys are super excited to see their cousins, aunts, uncle, and grandparents and I know they are excited to have us come out for a visit.  Unfortunately, my hubby will not be able to make the trip as our beautiful Sebastian has contracted lyme disease which needs daily medications and lots of TLC.  He will keep up with our adventures via nightly phone calls and emails.  I have a feeling he will love having the house to himself for a little while. :)

So before I forget, the Peach Cobbler recipe is as follows:

9 inch baking dish
2 1/4 cups fresh peaches, sliced
1 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup sugar & 1/8 cup sugar
3/4 cup milk
1/2 stick butter

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.  Place your baking dish, I use a 9″ round pie dish, in the center of the oven rack.  Put the 1/2 stick of butter in the baking dish and close the oven door.  As the oven preheats the butter will melt and coat the baking dish.

Slice up just over 2 cups of fresh peaches.  Set aside to be used later.  

To make the batter sift the flour, baking powder and 3/4 cup of sugar into a mixing bowl.  Then add the milk and whisk until blended.  

Check that your oven is preheated to 325 degrees, the butter has melted and is bubbling in the baking dish.  Carefully pour your batter into the baking dish, it will be quite full when you have poured out all the batter.  Then drop your sliced peaches into the dish, making sure to cover the batter all over with peaches.  The baking dish will almost be overflowing but this is a good thing.  Do not stir the peaches into the batter.  This is very important, No Stirring.  Use the remaining 1/8 cup of sugar to sprinkle all over the top of the cobbler.

Bake for 1 hour or until the cobbler is a lovely golden brown and you can see juice bubbling up around the fruit.  Set out to cool for about 30 to 45 minutes.  I like the cobbler to cool a little bit and set up, it is still warm when I serve it and a side of vanilla ice cream is a delicious touch.  Enjoy!

 


Easy Cheese Stuffed Hamburgers

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I made cheeseburgers on the grill tonight and thought I would share the recipe.  This is an easy, weeknight meal I whip-up after work when I am short on time and the natives are unusually hungry and have to eat immediately. :) 

Ingredients:
2 lbs. ground beef, use your own preference for chuck/sirloin/blend of these, etc. 
1 pkg. havarti dill cheese
1 ripe tomato
1 red onion
1 ripe avocado
1 pkg. whole wheat hamburger buns, or whatever type of bread/bun you prefer
salt & pepper
garlic powder

First things first, get your charcoal grill going so it will be ready when the patties are finished.  Then, in a large bowl I put 1 lb. of ground chuck and 1 lb. of ground sirloin.  I blend these together and then add my salt, pepper and garlic powder.  (Add your seasonings according to your preferences).  Once blended I set the bowl aside and wash my hands.  

Next I prepare all the condiments.  Slice the cheese into rectangles, slice red onion into rings, slice up the tomato and avocado.  Set condiments aside.

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Back to the burgers: Flatten a portion of ground beef and place some cheese in the center.  Next mold the ground beef around the cheese, enclosing it inside the patty and carefully flatten it out again.  Depending on how much cheese you put in the center, you may need to grab a little extra ground beef to cover the cheese well.  Repeat for remaining patties.

DSC_0004Once the grill is ready I put on the burgers.  I don’t move my burgers around a whole lot once I put them down.  I let them cook and when they release easily from the grate I flip them over.  The cheese does sometimes find a way to ooze out of the burgers (see the finished product in the top most photo) and there isn’t much that can be done about it once it happens but if you are careful and seal up the cheese inside the ground beef you should be all set.  I don’t let it get to me when the cheese breaks free, my kids still thinks I am queen of the charcoal grill!

We are a family of 5 and this recipe makes enough for everyone and an extra or two, depending on how big I make the burgers.  Morgan isn’t always a big eater so I make a small burger with no cheese inside and just melt some on the top for him.

My boys loves the onion/tomato/avocado toppers.  I especially love the smooth & creamy avocado with the snap of the red onion.  Add a garden salad to each plate and you have a wonderful family meal with no pots and pans to clean up.

Next: Dessert a la Evan!

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For dessert my son Evan made us all vanilla ice cream cones dipped in sprinkles and topped with a maraschino cherry.  We sat outside eating our cones and listening to the frogs “talking” to one another down at the lake.  It was a lovely evening.

Now the boys are all in bed, dog & kitty curled up in their respective spots and I am going to settle down for some Agatha Christie mysteries on Netflix. 

 


Mixed Berry Butter

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 If you have never attempted to make this butter you should give it a try….it is incredibly easy.  There is nothing better than pancakes or waffles with this delicious berry butter on top.  My family loves it on just about everything.  Pancakes and toast with berry butter and syrup or honey come in at the top of the list of favorite breakfast foods. 

You will need:

4 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup of frozen mixed berries and the juice, thawed
Plastic Wrap 
Aluminum Foil

Before you begin with the butter and berries prepare your wrap for the mixture.  Tear off a large piece of aluminum foil and place flat on the counter.  Tear off a matching piece of plastic wrap and place on top of the aluminum foil.  Set aside for butter mixture to come.

Place your butter in a mixing bowl and whip it until fluffy with an electric mixer.  Then add the cup of mixed berries with juice into the bowl with the butter.  Use your mixer to combine berries and butter at medium to high-speed.  The butter will turn bright pink and you want to break up some of the berries so don’t be afraid to really go at it. 

Once combined to your satisfaction, scoop out the butter (I use a rubber spatula) and drop it along the center of the plastic wrap.  The trick is to spoon it out in a long line.  Once all the butter is on the wrap carefully take the plastic wrap and roll your butter into a log shape, twist the ends.  Next, starting at one side of the aluminum foil, tightly wrap/roll the butter in the foil.  Really twist the ends to tighten the whole package.  Place in the freezer to set up for about one hour.  Remove to allow butter come to room temperature and voila! berry butter.

Below is a picture of how the rolls of butter should look when you are finished wrapping them up.

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An Afternoon At Weir Farm

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I took the boys to Weir Farm National Historic Site today and it was glorious.  We hiked out to the pond and back as well as exploring some of the gardens.  It was a little warm, we started out at high noon, maybe we should have waited until it cooled down but we had a great time anyway.

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One of the houses/barns at Weir Farm.  They have an artist in residence program but not sure if anyone is living in this house.

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Boys at a makeshift stone table and benches. :)

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 The secret garden with its pretty little fountain.

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An old kettle.  I wonder what this was used for?

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 Roses in the garden.

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DSC_0068We watched this crane come in for a landing out at the pond.  The sight was so amazing it actually silenced the kids and they watched with hushed breath to see where this fellow would land.

I hope you all have a chance to get out and experience a little nature where ever in the world you are today.