Saturday, July 23, 2016

Peach Kuchen

This month's Improv Cooking Challenge ingredients are peaches and cream. Since I am a baker at heart  I decided to try baking a Peach Kuchen; a German peach cream cake. Now, I have never tried baking one before so I was excited to try it.  I gotta say that it was so much fun to make and the nutmeg made the house smell absolutely divine as it was cooking. Honestly the hardest part was waiting to eat it. Here's the recipe I used. It is a modified version from Beyond Kimchee


Peach Kuchen

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into small chunks
1/2 cup whole milk
1 egg
1 large can of sliced peaches, drained  
Custard Cream~
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt
Preheat  oven to 400˚F
Grease a 9" spring form pan.
In a medium mixing bowl whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Using a pastry blender, or two forks cut in the cold butter pieces until it becomes fine crumbs. In a small mixing bowl, whisk milk and egg well. Pour the milk mixture over the flour mixture, and mix with a fork just until it becomes wet. Now spread the batter on the bottom of the pan. Arrange the peach slices on top. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. While this is baking make the custard cream. In a small mixing bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the cream with the flour until there are no big lumps. Add the reminder of the cream, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt. Whisk well. After 15 minutes take the cake out of the oven and pour the cream mixture over the top. Return the cake to the oven and reduce the heat to 350˚F. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the cake top is puffed, and the edges are deep golden and are beginning to separate from the pan. On a wire rack cool the cake in the pan for 15 minutes, and then remove it from the pan and let it cool completely. Enjoy plain or with a scoop of ice cream.
I used canned peaches for this recipe, but you can certainly use fresh peaches if you desire.

While you're here check out some of the other tasty creations from this months blog.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Mom's Banana Bread

I have the perfect thing for those lazy Saturday mornings y'all. You know the ones I'm talkin 'bout. The ones where breakfast and the day is calling out to you, but it just feels perfect to sleep in just a wee bit more. Oh yeah, you know what I mean. Those kinds of Saturday mornings are perfect for some warm, fresh banana bread all buttered up. Oh, and you mustn't  forget the coffee.

My mom always made the best banana bread. She always made it with buttermilk and threw in some walnuts. I always loved the twang from the buttermilk.  Thankfully, I have made her recipe so many times I have the recipe in my head. 

Mom kept many of her recipes on index cards in a little hinged box. Somehow in our recent move I have misplaced that little box of recipes. 😞 I am still hopeful that it will be found.

Mom's Banana Bread

1 1⁄3 cups  sugar
1⁄2 cup  butter, softened
2 eggs
1⁄2 cup  buttermilk
1 teaspoon  baking soda
1 teaspoon  baking powder
2 cups  flour
1 teaspoon  pure vanilla
1 1⁄4 cups mashed ripe bananas
3⁄4 cup chopped walnuts

Cream together the sugar and butter.
Add the eggs, one at a time, making sure to mix well after each addition. Stir the baking soda into the buttermilk and add to the eggs, butter and sugar mixture. Sift baking powder with flour and blend into creamed mixture.   Add the vanilla and mashed banana. Mix. Stir in the walnuts. Pour into a greased and floured 9"x5" loaf pan. 
Bake at 300 degrees F for about 1 1/2 hours or until loaf tests done with a toothpick. 
Cool for about 20-30 minutes before removing from pan.

*please note*
I used two smaller disposable pans this time, so I adjusted the cooking time to about 60 minutes.

Saturday, July 9, 2016


I interrupt your regularly scheduled Saturday evening to bring you Horchata.
This wonderful rice drink is super easy to make, sooooooo tasty and refreshing on our super scorching Arizona days. It's a favorite at our house. 
Try it for yourself and let me know what you think. 
Here's the super easy directions. The hardest part is waiting for it to be ready to drink!

1 cup uncooked white long-grain rice

5 cups water
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

2/3 cup white sugar

Pour the rice and water into the bowl of a blender. Blend just until the rice begins to break up, about 1 minute or so. Let rice and water stand at room temperature for a minimum of 3 hours. With a cheesecloth strain the rice water into a pitcher and discarding the rice. Stir the milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and sugar into the rice water. Chill and stir before serving over ice.