Peach Bars

Base Dough
1 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour
1/2 packed cup dark brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

Peach Filling
2 pounds peaches, unpeeled (about 8 peaches)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pecan Oat Topping
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for 1 hour, divided
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup flour
1 cup pecans, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1 lemon, about 3 tablespoons
1/2 to 1 cup powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.

In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl, using a hand mixer) cream the butter with the brown sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Turn off the mixer and add in the flour, salt, ginger, and cinnamon. Mix dry ingredients in just until the dough is soft and pulled together. Press the dough firmly into the bottom of the prepared baking pan and refrigerate while preparing the filling and topping.

Roughly chop the peaches into 1/2-inch pieces and toss with the sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Set aside.
Wipe out the mixer bowl and mix 1/4 cup softened butter with the oats, flour, pecans, cinnamon, and salt until soft and crumbly. Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter and set aside to cool.

Spread the chopped peaches over the chilled dough base. Evenly crumble the topping over the peaches, and drizzle with the melted butter.

Bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is lightly browned.

Whisk together the lemon juice with enough powdered sugar to make a thin glaze. Drizzle over the bars.

Cool (or chill) for at least an hour before slicing and serving. I do recommend chilling these; they will stay fresh (and slice more cleanly) for about 5 days when stored well-covered in the fridge.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup melted butter, cooled
1 egg

Mix all ingredients until batter is just lumpy. Do not over mix.
Sprinkle 1/4 tsp sugar on each muffin just before baking to create a crust.

Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 mins.

Roasted Bourbon Glazed Chicken

serves 4-6

4 large, bone-in split chicken breasts (original recipe totaled 4.8lbs) (note: 1 large breast works well for two people)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups bourbon
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground mustard
sage, if desired


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Combine the bourbon, sugar, mustard, garlic, honey, vinegar and worcestershire in a small saucepan and whisk. Heat over high heat and allow it to come to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until mixture reduces by about half. Set aside and let sit at room temperature while you prepare the chicken. The glaze will thicken a bit at this time.

In a bowl, combine salt, pepper, paprika, onion and garlic powder. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Season chicken breasts on both sides with mixture, then place skin-side down in the skillet. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until chicken is golden brown, then flip and repeat on the other side.

When finished, add chicken to an oven-safe baking dish. Pour half of the glaze overtop of chicken, add sage leaves on top if desired, then roast for 30 minutes. Half way through cooking, brush chicken with a bit more glaze.

When chicken is finished, remove from oven and let cool for 5-10 minutes. Serve with additional glaze for topping.

(from How Sweet It Is blog)

Poblano and Corn Soup

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups white onion, chopped
5 to 6 poblano peppers, roasted, sweated, peeled, seeded and diced
2 cups corn kernels, fresh or thawed
1/2 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
Queso Fresco, crumbled, optional

Place a large soup pot over medium heat; add oil and butter. Once the butter melts and begins to sizzle, add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has completely softened, and the edges have begun to brown, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the poblano chiles, stir and let them cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Make some room in the middle of the pot, and add the corn, sprinkle the salt and pepper and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes.
Pour in the chicken broth, let it come to a simmer and cook for 5 more minutes, so that the flavors have had the chance to really blend.

Reduce the heat to low, wait for about a minute, and gently pour in the milk. Heat the soup through, for about 6 to 8 minutes, and serve. If you make it ahead of time, and want to reheat it, do so over low-medium heat.

Tomato Soup

3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 quart chicken stock or water

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, sautee the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Use an immersion blender to puree. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

from the Barefoot Contessa

Spicy Greens and White Bean Stew

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 anchovies, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 slices bacon, finely diced
1 sweet onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound of uncooked white beans, soaked for at least 4 hours or overnight
6 cups water
4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 parmesan cheese rind
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and chopped (about 3 cups)
1 bunch of flat-leaf spinach (about 2 cups)
2 cups of arugula greens, chopped
shave parmesan for topping
a crusty baguette for serving

Heat a large stock pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. Add the anchovies and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper flakes, stirring well, and saute until the anchovies melt into the oil. Add in the bacon, onion, salt, pepper and paprika and toss to coat. Cook until the bacon crisps and the onion softens, about 6 to 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute. Add in the soaked beans, water, stock and parmesan rind. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are falling apart, most of the water is absorbed and the mixture is thick and creamy. I simmered mine covered for about 1.5 hours, then took the lid off for the remaining time. If at any time the stew seems to be drying out, add more water or stock.

Use a potato mashed and smash some of the beans to give the mixture a thicker consistency. If it seems too thick, you can add a bit of water or stock – however much you’d like to get to the consistency you desire. Stir in the kale, spinach and arugula. Toss in the remaining pepper flakes. Cook over low heat, stirring until the greens are wilted, about 5 minutes. Taste and season as desired, adding more pepper flakes, salt and pepper if you’d like.

Serve immediately with shaved parmesan some crusty bread!

Peach Caprese Salad

Juice and zest of 1 lime
1 tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon honey
½ teaspoon salt
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 (4-ounce) balls fresh, water-packed mozzarella
4 ripe peaches, unpeeled, each cut into 8 wedges
½ cup fresh basil leaves

To prepare dressing, combine lime juice, zest, vinegar, water, honey, and salt. Slowly whisk in olive oil and set aside.
Cut cheese into 1-inch pieces and gently toss with peaches and basil leaves.

Whisk mint into dressing and toss about 2 tablespoons (or more to taste) with salad. Season with freshly cracked pepper and serve.

7 Layer Greek Dip

1 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened (I used low-fat) NOTE: use plain Greek yogurt
1 tsp. dill weed or Greek seasoning (salt free–go for a mix that just has herbs)
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 1/2 c. hummus
1 c. seeded, diced cucumbers
1 c. seeded, diced cherry tomatoes
1/2 c. chopped Kalamata olives
1/3 c. chopped green onions (about 3 green onions completely chopped)
1/2 c. crumbled Feta cheese
1/8-1/4 c. minced fresh parsley

With an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, seasoning, garlic, and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Spread in the bottom of a pie plate or a small, shallow baking dish. Then spread a layer of hummus. In order, create layers by sprinkling the cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, onions, Feta cheese, and parsley.

Cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with pita chips, fresh vegetables, and/or flatbread

Greek Couscous Salad

1 bag or box pearled couscous
diced cherry tomatoes
diced kalamata olives
diced English cucumber
thinly sliced spinach
diced red bell pepper
diced red onion
feta crumbled
1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
juice of half a lemon
1 garlic clove minced
salt and pepper

Cook Couscous according to box.

Chop all veggies and place in large mixing bowl. Add cooled couscous to veggies. Mix together olive oil and next 4 ingredients. Pour over couscous mixture. Add feta and toss all together. Best served room temperature.

Feel free to double dressing if you think you salad needs more.

Chicken and Beef Fajitas

1 whole beef flank steak
1 whole chicken (brined overnight)
1/2 cup Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 cup Lime Juice, Fresh Squeezed
3 cloves Garlic, Minced
1 Tablespoon Cumin
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
1 Tablespoon Sugar
2 whole Medium Onions, Halved And Sliced
1 whole Red Bell Pepper, Sliced
1 whole Orange Bell Pepper, Sliced
1 whole Green Bell Pepper, Sliced
1 whole Yellow Bell Pepper, Sliced
Oil, For Frying
Flour Tortillas, Warmed
Cheese (grated Cheddar/jack Or Crumbled Queso Fresco)
Sour Cream
Cilantro Leaves

In a dish, mix together olive oil, Worcestershire, lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and sugar until combined. Pour half of the marinade into a separate dish. In one dish, place the flank steak, turning it over to coat. In the second dish, place all the veggies, turning to coat. Cover the dishes with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

Smoke chicken (with beer can) on grill for ~2 hours; grill steak until cooked.

Prepare tortillas, salsa, sour cream, and cilantro.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat and drizzle in some oil. Add the veggies and cook them for a few minutes, until they’re cooked but still slightly firm and have nice black/brown pieces. Remove to a plate and set aside.

(adapted from Pioneer Woman)