August 30, 2010

an ode to summer

Late August is the time of year in Missouri when everyone is exhausted from the heat, lawns are turning a lovely brown (dead) color, and all you want to do is sit inside in the air conditioning. As much as I feel ready for fall, I know I will miss summer soon enough because I am a warm weather girl. Winter is not my friend ( the season, that is - I actually do have a friend named Winter, and she's great).

One of the things I love most about summer is the abundance of peaches, corn and tomatoes that are almost not worth eating the rest of the year. I don't want to give up my peaches. Marionville is a small town near by, known for white squirrels and more importantly, peaches. They are so good. I got to the farmer's market on Saturday a little later than usual, 11:30, and I couldn't believe that almost everything was sold out - including my beloved Marionville peaches. All they had left was a handful of yellow peaches and some white ones, just enough to make a crisp for a couple of friends coming over later. 

As an ode to summer, I made the crisp from a recipe by Ina Garten who never leads me astray when it comes to desserts. I was tempted to replace the orange for lemon zest, but I resisted the urge, and I'm glad. The orange is really nice and a bit unexpected. Serve it with vanilla bean ice cream if you want to get really fancy. 

peach and raspberry crisp
adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten

I love this recipe because it's oh-so-simple to make and you get the unexpected hit of orange and raspberry in a traditional peach crisp. The crumble on top reminds me of an oatmeal cookie, which is never a bad thing. I used half yellow and half white peaches because that's what I could find, but you could use either or both. 

8-10 large peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 quart raspberries
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
zest of one orange
1 cup + 3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup oats
12 tbsp (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and diced
good pinch of salt
vanilla bean ice cream (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, gently combine the sliced peaches with the raspberries. Add 1/2 cup of sugar, 1/2 cup of brown sugar, 3 tbsp of flour, and the orange zest to the fruit. Fold together until the fruit is well coated. Scoop fruit mixture into an oval or rectangular baking dish (roughly 9x13 in size).

Using a mixer, combine the butter with the remaining sugars, 1 cup of flour, oats, and salt. Mix until crumbly, then scatter the mixture evenly across the top of the fruit.

Bake the crisp for an hour, or until the top is nice and brown (and crispy, just like the name). Cool for about 20 minutes and serve with vanilla bean ice cream. 

August 18, 2010

home grown

A little home grown goodness for a Wednesday that feels like it should be a Friday (to me, anyway). These pretty little cherry tomatoes were not home grown by me, although we do have a garden that is getting roached by the Missouri heat as we speak. These came from a fantastic new shop on the corner of Pickwick and Cherry, right by Tea Bar & Bites, called Homegrown Foods. It's like a farmer's market that is open every day. Between that and the highly anticipated Bistro Market downtown, Springfield is all of a sudden getting hip.

August 6, 2010

they have arrived.

I've been like a kid on Christmas since Tuesday, which was the day we got to see our highly anticipated wedding photos, courtesy of Adie Gately with Twin Town Studios. Jason and I sat at the Coffee Ethic  and looked at every single one. There were 1,000 photos all together. I couldn't believe it. Looking at the pictures was like reliving the entire day. It was just as perfect as I remember it.

All the little details we planned for the wedding, and all the time it took to make them happen, were totally worth it in the end. When we were deciding how we wanted our wedding to be, we knew we wanted it to be memorable. We wanted our guests to eat great food, drink good wine, and dance. We made almost everything ourselves, from the cloth napkins to the succulent centerpieces.

The food, provided by my mom's restaurant, was Moroccan-themed and included:
Moroccan chicken
Roasted tomatoes with a harissa rub
Spring salad of fresh greens, strawberries, feta and a basil vinaigrette
Roasted baby new potatoes with herbs

For dessert, I knew I couldn't commit to just one thing. I do appreciate wedding cakes, but I wanted to serve all of our favorites. In addition to a small wedding cake, my mom's staff made coconut cream cupcakes and lemon bars, and I made my favorite brownie recipe. For Jason's groom's cake, his mom made four apple pies. All of this disappeared within a matter of minutes. Imagine that.  

Our wedding was so "us" and I'm really happy about that.