Thursday, September 6, 2012

Last But Not Least

Believe it or not, I still had peaches left over after making freezer jam, two cobblers, and several smoothies!  With only a small window of life left in them, they needed to be used fast.  I didn't quite have enough to make more jam or cobbler, so I bread it was!  Just imagine peach muffins in bread form with just a touch of cinnamon.   

Peach Bread

1/2 cup butter softened 
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 
2 cups sliced fresh peaches 
3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed 
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream butter; gradually add sugar, mixing well.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Mix together dry ingredients in separate bowl; add to creamed mixture alternately with the peaches, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Stir in orange juice concentrate and vanilla.  Pour batter into two greased and floured 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 pans.  

Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool in pan 10 minutes.  

Remove from loafpan and cool completely.  Or eat warm.  :-) 

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Lot of Peaches

Every time I think about peaches, the song Peaches by Presidents of the United States of America gets stuck in my head.  And as of late, it seems to have taken permanent residence up there with all the peaches I've been using!  Just in case you aren't sick of peaches yet, I found the perfect recipe for strawberry peach freezer jam at Taste of Home that I have to share (with a little tweaking of my own).  I love strawberries and I love peaches, and I love the two of them together even more! 

Strawberry Peach Freezer Jam
2 cups chopped fresh strawberries 
1 1/2 cups chopped peeled peaches 
1 tsp lemon juice
1 package (1-3/4 ounces) powdered fruit pectin
5 cups sugar

In a large saucepan, combine the strawberries, peaches, lemon juice, and pectin. Cook and stir on medium high until mixture comes to a full rolling boil. 

 Stir in sugar; return to a full rolling boil. Boil and stir for 1 minute. Remove from the heat.  Pour into jars or freezer containers. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. 

Cover and let stand overnight or until set, but not longer than 24 hours. 

Refrigerate for up to 3 weeks or freeze for up to 1 year.  Makes about 6 cups.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

My Kind of Sale

I live for sales.  It's the only way to shop.  And this sale is a sale worth talking about.  For any of you Forever XXI lovers out there, they're having a huge Labor Day sale this weekend.  All of their clearance markdowns are buy one get one free.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Buy one get one free.  Most of their clearance items are already marked around $3.99 to $9.99, so when combined with the promotion going on, you can get items for as little as $1.99!   Little Miss M is getting to where she can fit into junior sized clothing, so we always check out the sales racks for her.  We were able to grab up two dresses and two tanks for less than $10!  Now that's a steal of a deal if you ask me!  If you weren't able to get all of your school shopping done, now is the time.  I know several other stores have amazing sales going on right now for the holiday (Gap is taking an extra 25% off baby and kids clearance items), but this is the best I've seen yet.   

Dresses that would be hoochie moma short on me, are the perfect length for the Little Miss!

Southern Style

Besides all the jars of beautiful canned peaches I got sent home with from Auntie C's last night, I got a whole basket full of fresh peaches!  What better way to use fresh peaches than to make a good ole' Southern cobbler?!  I think it's funny how people out here make cobbler.  They put the fruit on the bottom and plop some batter on top.  Cobbler isn't cobbler without a buttery crust around the edges and you don't get that by plopping batter on the fruit.  Moma taught me that to make a good cobbler, you melt the butter in the pan and pour the batter over the top.  Then you put the fruit on top and the batter envelopes the fruit as it cooks.  That is how it's done folks.

Southern Peach Cobbler

1/2 cup unsalted butter 
1 cup all-purpose flour 
2 cups sugar, divided 
1 tablespoon baking powder 
Pinch of salt 
1/2 cup milk 
1/2 cup buttermilk
4 cups fresh peach slices 
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375.  Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish in oven as it preheats.  Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (Do not stir!!!).  The melted butter heats the batter enough that it spreads out on its own. 

Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.

Pour over batter (Do not stir!!!) 

 Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. 

Best served warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.


Ever wish you'd paid closer attention to something when you were younger?  For me it was my Moma when she was canning.  I was too busy whining and complaining about having to peel and cut the fruits and vegetables to pay a lick of attention to what she did with them.  Oh do I regret it now. 

While the Mister is away with his boyfriends buddies on their Fantasy Football Draft trip, I'm being domestic.  Last night I was introduced to the art of canning peaches thanks to the Mister's Auntie C.  Canning is so much better as an adult than I remember it being as a kid!  Now I want to go out and buy a bazillion jars and start canning everything under the sun!  I feel so accomplished!  I hope Auntie C doesn't mind my sharing her mom's recipe for canned peaches.  Pay attention to her dad's notes at the bottom.  You'll need them.  And enjoy the pear and grape juice recipes while you're at it!

We used a steam canning system but I'm curious to try it using a water bath and/or a pressure cooker now!


They're almost too pretty to eat.  Almost.  :-)

Friday, August 31, 2012

The Shirt Skirt

When there's an eight and a half year age difference between your girls, it's hard to justify saving Little Miss M's clothes until Baby P can fit into them.  That's a lot of boxes to be lugging around!  I'm a sucker for cute girl clothes and Little Miss M is definitely not lacking in the clothing department.  It's really hard to part when some of her clothes when she grows out of them.  It's almost as though I've become emotionally attached to them.  So instead of just getting rid of all of the old clothes, I decided to start re-purposing them into Baby P clothes.  It's so much cheaper than buying the fabric or buying new clothes and it makes hand-me-downs not seem to hand-me-downish.

I loved the polka-dot fabric on this shirt and couldn't bear to part with it just yet, so I turned it into a skirt for the wee one.  The only supplies needed are a shirt, thread in a coordinating color, and a piece of elastic for the waistband.  This could honestly be done with any shirt.  Adult t-shirts would be perfect for making knit maxi skirts for the little ones!  Maybe that will be my next project!

Cut across shirt from bottom of left arm-pit to bottom of right arm-pit, using a ruler as your guide to ensure a straight line.  I used my rotary cutter for a quick and straight cut.  Depending on how large the shirt is, you may want to cut it further below the arm pits so that it doesn't drown the wee one.

Turn "skirt" inside out.  Fold raw edge over 1/4 of an inch, then fold over again 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches, depending on the size of elastic you will be using.  Make sure that you are pinning as you fold to keep it in place until you begin sewing.  Place foot against left side of double folded fabric and sew around waist.

Make sure to leave about an opening about an inch wide at the end so that you can feed elastic into waistband.  I just measured the waist in one of Baby P's other skirts to get the elastic length.  Using a safety pin or whatever floats your boat, feed elastic through entire waistband, making sure you don't let other end slip through.  Stitch the two elastic ends together, going over several times to make sure it won't come apart.  Stitch opening in waistband shut.   

And there you have it!  I think it probably took less than fifteen minutes from start to finish.  It was that simple!

Brown Bananas

Am I the only person that gets excited when the bananas start turning brown because it means I'll soon have an excuse to make banana bread?  I'm not a very patient person when it comes to my food, and I especially hate waiting for the bananas to get ripe enough to make banana bread!  I've been known to buy already browning bananas from the store to get a head start!  Growing up one of my favorite things to eat was my Moma's banana bread, hot out of the oven with peanut butter on top.  This little number is an ode to my childhood days and the goodness of peanut butter, chocolate, and bananas.  Be warned that you may find yourself having eaten an entire loaf without even noticing.  Happens to me all the time!

Peanut Buttery Chocolate Banana Nut Bread

1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened (I just stick it in the microwave for 15 seconds)
2  eggs
1 1/2  cups mashed very ripe bananas (3 to 4 medium)
1/2 cup buttermilk
1  teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
3/4  cup walnut halves and pieces
3/4 cup peanut butter chips
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Move oven rack to low position so that tops of pans will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 350°F.  Grease 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches.  Mix sugar and butter in large bowl. Stir in eggs until well blended.  Add bananas, buttermilk and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt just until moistened. Stir in nuts and chips.  Pour into pans and bake about 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Cool 10 minutes.  Loosen sides of loaves from pans; remove from pans and place top side up on wire rack.  

Eat!  I guess you're supposed to let it cool all the way before you cut the knife into it, but I'm too impatient for that mess and I like it still warm!