Friday, July 30, 2010

A Favorite Summer Cocktail revisited

Some time ago I posted this as one of my favorite summer cocktails and I thought it worthy of reposting for Foodie Friday. It is a refreshing cocktail and I got all the ingredients at the grocery yesterday in anticipation of enjoying this liabation this afternoon on the patio which is what made me think to repost this.

Here in the South the temperatures are rising to almost 100* and the humidity is awful. Our salvation has always been a big pitcher of iced tea but sometimes you just need something a little stronger. I wanted to share a cocktail that I have been making for many years and it uses some of the very best peaches from our friends to the north. I have always thought that there was nothing like those GA peaches but I especially love those Chilton County Alabama peaches too.

My favorite cocktail for the summer is called "Peach Fuzz" and I will share the recipe. I developed this recipe many years ago.

Peach Fuzz

1-6 oz. can of frozen limeade
6 oz. of your favorite vodka
3-4 fresh peaches, peeled and sliced
Superfine sugar to taste

In a blender mix the limeade,vodka, sliced peaches and blend together. Add enough ice to make it the consistancy that you would like. Like a slushy. Add superfine sugar to your taste. Pour into a pretty glass and Enjoy. So simple but oh so good.

A good blender is a necessity.

A pretty glass and an edible bloom like Nasturtiums from the garden make for a pretty presentation and very appealing. I sometimes use a sprig of mint to garnish and as you drink the fragrance is amazing.

Your favorite magazine or book sitting in one of your favorite spots with your drink in hand, it's a Good Thing. One of my favorite spots is on the patio with the view of my garden and watching my feathered friends. Sometimes I get a little breeze but this icy concoction is refreshing enough. Try these tasty treats. You won't be disappointed.

Until the next time.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Raspberry-Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Today is Foodie Friday and I am joining Michael Lee West at Designs by Gollum. Thank you Michael Lee for hosting this weekly event. Although I do not post every week I always enjoy seeing what other participants have shared each Friday.

I have a new cookbook, The William-Sonoma Baking Book, The Essential Recipe Collection For Today's Home Baker. This book came out last year and it is one I know I will use often. The Raspberry-Sour Cream Coffee Cake is the first recipe from this book that I have tried and it is a winner.

It went together so quickly.

Raspberry-Sour Cream Coffee Cake

For the topping:

1 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup granulated sugar
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

For the cake:

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cups fresh raspberries
2 Tbs confectioners' sugar

Preheat the oven to 350*. Grease and flour a 10-inch round springform pan. To make the topping, in a small bowl, stir together the floour, sugar, and zest. Add the melted butter and stir with a fork until the mixture is crumbly.

To make the cake, in a a bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, and vanilla until well blended. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the sour cream mixture. Beat until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly. Cover evenly with the raspberries. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the berries.

Bake until the topping is golden brown, 38-42 minutes. A Toothpick inserted into the center of the cake should come out clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove the sides of the springform pan. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust with the confectioners' sugar and serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges.

I could hardly wait to try the first piece and I was not disappointed. It is a moist cake and the lemon zest gives it a nice freshness that is unexpected. Certainly a cake for a special gathering.

It was a good choice for the first recipe that I tried from this book and I will use this book over and over again. It is a keeper.

Enjoy you day.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sunday Brunch for two

Today my table is set for an intimate Sunday Brunch for two on a rainy Sunday morning. Since it was so dark outside because of the rain I chose to light the candles on the table.

I am using some of my Franciscan Desert Rose pattern, luncheon plate, cup and saucer, sugar and creamer, and S&P, that belonged to my mother. It is a cherished service for 12 and I rarely use it but I do love the pattern. An old pattern but I think lovely. They also hold a multitude of cherished memories.

I have always loved the twig handles on the sugar and creamer and on the handles of the coffee cup. The rosebud S & P are so sweet too.

The flatware is Hotel Silver flatware from Horchow.

I have also used two of a collection of antique sterling silver napkin rings. This collection was the inspiration of a dear friend and a collection I have enjoyed so much. I have many that are more ornate than others and some that are more masculine. The masculine ones I always set at a gentleman's place setting.

Many of the more ornate ones are from France. The French always used the most intricate of details.

This one was made in England and all in my collection are very old. I even have one from Czarist Russia which is my husbands favorite. I find them when I am traveling and at antique shows and I always enjoy the hunt for new napkin rings.

The glasware is a reproduction of a Williamsburg pattern. I love the way this glass feels in your hand and I often serve Mimosas in them.

A lovely way to begin a Sunday morning but with a Sunday Brunch for two.

I am joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday. To see other creative table settings click here. You can also enlarge any of my photos by clicking on one.

Heirloom Tomatoes

Most of my gardening efforts are flower beds and on our property I don't have room to plant a vegetable garden. I enjoy entertaining most of the year outdoors so I prefer my flower beds to vegetable gardens. However, this year I decided to plant in pots some different varieties of Heirloom Tomatoes. They have done very well and every morning my husband takes a lot of pleasure in taking tomatoes off the bushes that are ready to pick and bringing them inside.

I planted two Green Zebra's, two yellow pear, a Sioux, a Roma and a French heirloom called Juan Flamme. I think the heirloom varieties are much tastier than most of the hybrids.

This is one of the Green Zebra's.

We have enjoyed our Heirloom Tomato plants and will definitely plant them again next year. They have appeaared in countless salads and I am working on several new recipes.

This has been a favorite recipe using herbs from my garden too. It's a recipe from the newest book of the Houston Junior League called Peace Meals. I highly recommend this book too. It has lots and lots of recipes using the freshest of ingredients and the book has some fabulous photos.

Fresh Tomato Salad with Herbed Dressing

Herbed Dressing

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced shallots
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh Italian flat leaf parsley
1 taplespoon finely snipped fresh chives
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil
1 cup diced red tomatoes
1 cup diced yellow tomatoes
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 teaspoons course salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


5 large red tomatoes, thinly sliced
5 large yellow tomatoes, thinly sliced
course salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups baby arugula
2 ounces freshly shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Combine the lemon juice, shallots and garlic in a medium bowl. Whisk in the olive oil; add the herbs, diced tomatoes and grape tomatoes. Mix well and season with the salt and pepper.

Arrange the sliced tomatoes decoratively around a large platter, alternating colors; season with salt and pepper. Using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoe pieces from the dressing and place over the sliced tomatoes; drizzle with three-fourths of the dressing. Toss the arugula with the remaining dressing. Arrange the arugula in the middle of the platter of tomatoes and top with the cheese. Do not refrigerate.

This is such a tasty but beautiful salad.

One day last week I was out in the garden and my grass was getting a little high. This little critter was camaflauged in the grass and I came very close to stepping on him.

Now he is a harmless little Rat Snake and I didn't want to hurt him but he surely gave me a fright.

Today and every Wednesday Susan at A Southern Daydreamer is hosting Outdoor Wednesday. Please go by Susan's blog and see other participants of Outdoor Wednesday.