Easy Southern Peach Cobbler

peachcobbler

As usual, we headed down to Pepper Place market this morning for some locally grown produce and I just couldn’t resist some freshly picked Chilton County peaches. I did my part to help the local economy and bought a big basket full. Chilton County peaches are some of the best peaches you can buy and some think they are more tasty than their counterparts across the border in the peach state.

Although I definitely don’t need the added sugar in my diet, I’ve got a peach cobbler in the oven as I type this. My recipe was handed down from my grandmother and it’s easy and foolproof. So go pick up some delicious ripe peaches and give this one a try. You’ve probably got all the ingredients in your pantry or frig!

  • 4 cups peeled, chopped peaches
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup milk (we only buy half and half because we use it in our coffee and it works just fine but will produce a richer crust, but what’s wrong with that???)
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick melted butter

Preheat the oven to 350F. Pour the melted butter into a 13″x9″ Pyrex dish. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and milk. Mix well to combine and remove lumps. Pour the batter over the melted butter but do not stir. Next top the butter with the peaches, again do not stir (as the cobbler bakes, the crust rises and the peaches fall). Sprinkle top with lemon juice, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Bake for 35-45 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown. Serve with a scoop of some rich vanilla ice cream. Cobbler can be stored at room temperature, covered with plastic wrap.

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Orange Cinnamon Rolls

If you can’t tell from my posts, I’ve been on a sweet kick lately. I guess that happens after you pass 40. This is a really simple recipe for making “almost homemade” cinnamon rolls. I love orange cinnamon rolls so I added orange zest to the rolls and orange juice to the icing, but if you prefer a more traditional cinnamon roll, leave the zest out of the roll and replace the orange juice in the icing with milk. The hardest part of making these is finding the frozen bread dough. You’ll have to check a real grocery store; I don’t think Walmart has frozen bread dough but I could be wrong.

 

Roll dough:

  • 1 1# loaf frozen bread dough, thawed
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Icing:

  • 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice

On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 14-in. square. Spread butter over dough. In a small bowl, combine the pecans, sugar, brown sugar, orange peel and cinnamon. Sprinkle over dough.

Roll up jelly-roll style; pinch seams to seal. Cut into 1/2-in. slices. Place cut side down in two greased 9-in. round baking pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Bake at 350° for 14-16 minutes or until golden brown. Combine the confectioners’ sugar, butter, vanilla and enough orange juice to achieve desired consistency; drizzle over warm rolls. Yield: about 2 dozen.

Caramel Apple Crisp

A couple of weeks back, my sweet tooth kicked in late one night, so I went in search of something to make. I found some really fresh Granny Smith apples, so I decided to whip up a “crisp”. A crisp is like a cobbler; the difference is the top. You could easily make this a cobbler by topping with a dough crust.

  • 5 ripe Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water

Preheat the oven to 350F. In a mixing bowl, toss all above ingredients and mix well. Spread evenly into an 8″x8″ glass baking dish.

CRUMBLE:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup butter, softened

Mix together ingredients in a small bowl and top the apple mixture with the crumble.

CARAMEL SAUCE:

  • 1 14oz packaged of individually wrapped caramel candies, unwrapped
  • 1 5oz can evaporated milk

Combine caramel candies and milk in a heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture has a smooth consistency. Spoon the mixture over the crumble top of the crisp and bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes, until the apple mixture is bubbling and the top is golden brown.

Serve with a scoop of French Vanilla ice cream!

Mediterranean Chicken

A few years back, I was the chef at an establishment where half of my customers would be on Weight Watchers about this time of the year, so I would offer a low-fat, healthy lunch option daily in the cafe. I created this recipe and it has been one of my “most requested” by customers at every place I’ve worked. In fact, most are surprised to learn this is actually a healthy, low fat recipe!

When you first read the ingredients, you may question this one, but everyone does. Once they try it, they are hooked. I made it this past week at work (first time at newest cafe) and everyone has been asking for the recipe. As you read the recipe, several things are “optional” ingredients. They add to the dish, but they are not required, as I’ve made the recipe with those items and without, depending on what I’ve got in my pantry. Give this one a try and you’ll agree it’s really quite tasty, and for those of you “counting points”, this one is 7 points!

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or you can use boneless tenders)
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup raisins (any color)
  • 1 cup green or black olives, sliced (don’t use ripe black olives.. you want tart, brine soaked olives so it’s best to stick with regular old pimiento stuffed spanish or queen olives unless you want to drop a few bucks on some kalamatas)
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained (optional)
  • 1 4oz container Feta cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease the bottom of a glass casserole dish with olive oil and arrange chicken in one layer in the dish. Size of the dish depends on size of your chicken. A 9×9 will normally hold 4 breasts, a 13×9 might be needed if you use boneless tenders. Top the chicken with the minced garlic.

In a small bowl, combine the curry powder, cinnamon and salt, then sprinkle mixture on top of chicken. Top chicken with the raisins and olives and pour the wine over the top. If using the artichoke hearts and Feta, add it last in that order.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165F.

Serve with rice, couscous, fresh spinach, sauteed broccoli, etc for a light complimentary dinner.