Stone Fruit Summer Salad

A photo of a bowl of Stone Fruit Summer Salad

Senior Salad
My daughter is graduating from high school this week. It goes without saying, that a lot is happening in our household. There have been awards dinners, championship softball games, the final this, and the final that. All of which leads up to the grand finale of the Graduation Ceremony.

The whirlwind doesn’t end there though. What comes next is a weekend of party hopping from house to house to celebrate not only your kid but all of the others who spent hours in your living room and backyard and who are for all intents and privileges, your family too.

So, when asked to bring something to said soirees, I immediately thought of this Stone Fruit Summer Salad that we talked about before. Stone fruits are just now coming into the market and are the perfect way to celebrate the season and your graduates.

Feel free to mix it up with the fruit you choose. The cherries are good right now and add a nice pop of color alongside some sweet fleshy apricots or peaches.

If I am making this for just my family, I will add some toasted pecans, or hazelnuts, or whatever you prefer for some crunch. (I leave them out for big gatherings to avoid problems with nut allergies.)

And even if you aren’t celebrating a graduate, this salad makes for a lovely warm summer evening meal.

Stone Fruit Summer Salad
Adapted from Joanne Weir’s More Cooking in Wine Country
Yields 6 servings Read more…

Peach Crumble Bars

Just Peachy
I have a problem. A peachy problem—my peach cup runneth over. And, now I have to figure out ways to use or preserve the peaches, so they don’t go to waste.

The obvious solutions of eating them as a snack, slicing them up for the freezer, as well as handing them out to friends have already happened. I have made a cobbler or three. And, this weekend I will be canning some of the peaches in light syrup. I might also be making ice cream. But there are still some left…and more on the tree.

What to do with the leftovers? Sure, I could make a pie. But, the thought kind of makes me tired. I’m thinking this situation screams for a bar cookie—Peach Crumble Bars. I figure if it can be done with apple pie and pecan pie, why not peaches?

Peach Crumble Bars Recipe
Adapted from Pastry & Beyond
Yields 16 bars Read more…

Strawberry Hibiscus & Honey Ice Cream

Photo of a bowl of Strawberry Hibiscus & Honey Ice Cream

Something Totally Different
I have been overwhelmed with recipes since starting my journey into the flavors of Africa. Unfortunately, there are too many wonderful options to consider—and not enough time.

The recipe below for Strawberry Hibiscus & Honey Ice Cream is one I definitely want to try but just haven’t been able to get to. So I am passing it on to y’all in the hopes that someone out there is willing to give it a shot and let me know how it turns out.

Dried hibiscus flowers can be challenging to find. As an alternative, I recommend using hibiscus tea as a substitute. If you go that route, let me know what tea you use. I thought the Tao of Tea Hibiscus Ginger might be fantastic for this.

Strawberry Hibiscus & Honey Ice Cream
Adapted from Africana by Lerato Umah-Shaylor
Yields about 1 Quart Read more…

Tarte Tatin

Photo of a Tarte Tatin on a tableUpside Down You’re Turning Me
Let’s be real, France has created and produced some of the best sweet stuff on this earth. From flakey pastries to smooth chocolate, you can find something crazy-delicious to soothe your current craving. If I had to choose one dessert that screams France though, it would be the Tarte Tatin.

Tarte Tatin is the O.G. of upside-down desserts. Apples and caramel are combined with puff pastry in a trifecta of perfectly matched classic flavors. Flip it over onto a platter, add a little vanilla ice cream on top and it becomes mind-blowing. Mastering the caramel can be tricky but once you have it down the results are the greatest reward for your hard work. Of course, even the “bad batches” are pretty good too…

Tarte Tatin Recipe
Yields 5 servings Read more…