Thursday, July 28, 2016

Peach Quick Bread

Years ago, I didn't have the appreciation for peaches that I have today. It all changed on my first trip to visit my cousin years ago. He and his family were living in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Spartanburg quickly became one of my favorite towns. The main reason for loving this city was the wonderful time my cousins made sure that we had. The other reason? Awesome food! I could go on, and on, and on about the foods I fell in love with there, but we will leave it at peaches today.

South Carolina is such a large producer of peaches! I would have never known this before visiting. South Carolina is even in the top four, of twenty eight states that grow peaches.  With all this background, and my extreme love of anything "Carolina", can you even begin to imagine my excitement when we had a vendor start selling peaches in my little town?? They bring up the best of the best peaches, from where???? Yep... South Carolina! The little tent has been set up selling these lovely peaches a couple years now, in our little Wisconsin town, I hope they continue on!

My biggest challenge with peaches, is we don't eat them fast enough. So, I have to bake! Not a problem in my book! I knew what I wanted the other day, but no recipe around. Thankfully the old local church cookbook had a apple quick bread recipe that I was able to adapt. It was so yummy and moist, and full of peaches! I am so in love with this bread, I am going to try making muffins if there are more peaches to be had. I heard a little rumor, that we would only have Carolina peaches through August 15th. I hope that isn't true!

Peach Quick Bread
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cup diced peaches
1/4 cup finely chopped nuts

Streusel Topping:
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 9 x 5 loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside. In medium bowl, combine baking soda, salt, and flour. Set aside.  In large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar until well combined.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition. Add buttermilk, and vanilla; combine well.  Add dry ingredients. Do not over mix. Combine just until mixed. Add in peaches and nuts. Stir gently, only until combined.

The batter will be thick, so spoon it into the prepared loaf pan rather than pouring it.

To prepare streusel, combine 3 Tbsp. butter, 3 Tbsp. flour, 3 Tbsp, sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon. Blend with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse meal. Sprinkle streusel over batter.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in the pan, on a wire rack.

Enjoy :)

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Monday, July 25, 2016

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

I love when I find a new blogger and immediately fall in love with their recipes and flavor choices. This happened several months ago when I "met" Jessica at Oregon Transplant. I have been lovin' on her blog, and her recipes! She even inspired me to try a new food. Tomatillos.  Guess what? I love them! It took me a while to find a decent tomatillo living in this area, but ever since I did, 
I am hooked!

I tend to not do a lot of grocery shopping at Walmart, but that is where I found the best selection of tomatillos. I found some at a large grocery store I enjoy shopping at when in town, but I didn't feel that they were of the best quality. I am glad I thought to check at Walmart because they were definitely better! No compensation here at all to Walmart, just a shopping tip to help anyone who may be in a more rural setting like I am. Another thing that I liked since I had never even seen a tomatillo before was that Walmart had "tips" above the bin of the veggie telling you how to buy the best ones. How cool is that? Here is a link to a site with some info on tomatillos for anyone else that is new to them.

I knew I had to share this recipe with you when I realized I had served this the last couple times we had company. Then last week my mom was asked if I had this recipe on the blog yet! Oops... Time to share!

This Fresh Tomatillo Salsa is so easy to prepare. It's light refreshing flavor is especially perfect for hot summer nights when you don't want a heavy meal. Chips and salsa anyone?

Fresh Tomatillo Salsa

8-9 fresh tomatillos, Husks removed, cleaned, and chopped
1 fresh jalapeno, deseeded, deveined, and chopped (more if you want spicier)
2 cloves garlic
1 handful fresh cilantro
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
1 - 2 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in food processor.  Pulse until desired consistency is reached. Taste, and add more salt if necessary.  Enjoy immediately or store in airtight container in refrigerator.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Summer Days


Wow, do the summer days pass faster than I can keep track of. It seems like we have been so busy. Truckin' Man has been working his crazy hours, which is what he needs to do now with the heavy haul trucking. Lots of hours in the summer, means the winters are quiet. Which also means he isn't around quite as much to help with the little stuff right now.

In looking at the pictures from my last blog post of the garden, and what I saw out there today, I can tell we haven't been keeping up on the weeding again. I have been out there though, but my time is spent picking the vegetables now. I haven't canned anything yet, but have been freezing plenty. Let's see... Broccoli, green beans, carrots, peas, cauliflower, cilantro, and cabbage. I am trying some new methods of freezing some of the vegetables, like cabbage. I've frozen cabbage before, and not been to impressed with it later. If my methods are successful this time, I'll share them with you. 

The chickens are making more eggs than I can keep up with. And my egg prices can't compete with the sales going on in the stores, so I am not selling many. That has led me to try some methods of freezing eggs I have read about. I did taste test one batch already to make sure I wasn't wasting my time, and it passed my test. So, onward to freezing more eggs!

Ok, enough about what I have been doing and on to some pictures! Honestly, I took these about 2 weeks ago, so they are a little dated already.

 My first time raising jalapenos, so I am super proud of this pepper! 
I have already learned that these have a bit more kick to them than the ones you buy in the store. Ooops!

It was really hard to capture in the photo, but the top of this onion was variegated.
I've never seen that on an onion before. Have you?

Tomatoes are growing. But even as of today, I am not seeing any red ones out there.

Look at that corn. It certainly surpassed the old "Knee high by the 4th of July" 

I have a couple recipes lined up to be coming your way soon. 
I think you will be happy with them!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Gardening in July

The days are passing so fast, and there just don't seem to be enough hours in the day! 
Our garden got so out of control, and the weeds were taking over, so last weekend, we spent 7 hours working on cleaning it up, and regaining control. So, with both of us, that was 14 hours of work spent! Yikes!

But, it was all worth it when we can see our vegetables healthy and growing.

 Even the squash and pumpkins are thriving.

All the pepper plants that were hit with the freeze in May ended up surviving and are beginning to produce peppers! 
Same with the tomatoes!

 Sweet corn is coming right along!

Just for fun, we are trying to grow watermelon this year. Not sure why, because neither of us care to eat it. But, we just like to see what we can grow.  Can you see the tiny watermelon starting to grow?

And, our lovely Queen of the Farm, keeping an ever watchful eye.

I took all of these photo's last Sunday. Since then, our weather has been a bit unstable. We had horrible storms Tuesday night. A small F0 tornado did some damage less then 2 miles away. The only damage we had was branches down. But, the plants did take a beating. Another storm went through early today, and I just haven't had the desire to see how the garden handled that storm. So until tomorrow, I am just going to remember my pretty little garden!