Thursday, July 23, 2009

Barefoot Bloggers: Peach & Blueberry Crumbles and Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes

I am in two blogging groups that post on Thursdays, Barefoot Bloggers and Craving Ellie in my Belly. Since Barefoot only has twice monthly "mandatory" (for lack of a better word) posting requirements, I originally planned to post CEiMB recipes on Barefoot off weeks. Well, I don't think that's happened once. Usually what I end up doing is double-posting on Thursdays, and dashing off some painfully long, disjointed, incohesive, confusing post that includes some weirdo dinner combination like a Tomato Goat Cheese Tart and Chicken with Mango Barbecue Sauce. But that's worked okay, up until now, because I get my assignments turned in that way, and besides, I have to believe that nobody is actually coming here to learn anything.

But recently I've fallen into a bad habit of cooking/baking, but not posting about the recipe. While it's true that people have cooked, but not blogged about it, for centuries, when you sign on as a member of a food blogging group and solemnly swear to share your cooking experience on the World Wide Web, do the cooking without the attendant blogging and you'll look at the group blogroll one day and find that you've been dumped more unceremoniously than Jessica Simpson. I don't want that to happen to me, so I'm trying to catch up.

Given that I am so far behind on blogging assignments, I find myself with faced with the Mother of all unwieldy posts -- Peach & Blueberry Crumbles, Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes, Baked Onion Rings, and Lobster Rolls. I've decided to break it down by group. So if you are here looking for the CEiMB recipes, go here. Stay right here if you want to read about Barefoot.

This week's Barefoot recipe is for Peach & Blueberry Crumbles, chosen by Aggie of Aggie's Kitchen. This is such a great summer dessert. It seems like we can hardly keep up with the wonderful bounty of peaches and blueberries these days, so this was a great way to use some of them up. This one is a simple mixture of fruit, sugar, flour and lemon (juice and zest), topped with a sugar/brown sugar/cinnamon topping. It was quick and easy to make, smelled incredible while baking, and was so delicious. I cut the recipe in half and made three mini crumbles (I used teacups since I don't have ramekins). I served one to David with vanilla ice cream, and had half of one myself. A little while later, I was in the other room when David shouted from the kitchen "Hey! What's the plan for these cobblers?" I yelled back: "There is no plan! I just halved the recipe and it made three!" When I returned to the kitchen, the second full cobber was gone. Even though I didn't get any real verbal reviews about the crumbles, I'm taking that as positive feedback. This is definitely a recipe I'll come back to again and again.

A couple of weeks ago the non-slacker Barefoot Bloggers posted Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes, which was chosen by Cat of Delta Whiskey. I loved this pasta dish so much that I still can't believe I didn't post it on time. You would have thought that the words would just flow when one is so inspired by the perfect sundried tomato/olive/mozzarella salad. From now on, if anyone asks me to bring a pasta salad to a picnic, this is the one I'm bringing. And if anyone asks me to bring a potato salad to a picnic, I still might bring this salad and say "What? I thought you said PASTA salad."

It doesn't get much simpler than this - fresh tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, and kalamata olives (actually, Ina says use "good black olives, such as kalamata." I also think this would be good with regular old (i.e., not particularly good) black olives). Ina says to use sundried tomatoes packed in oil; I used the ones packed in a wrapper, because I had a sneaking suspicion that there would be ample opportunity to make up for that lost oil later. The dressing contains more sundried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper (the recipe calls for capers; I left them out because I'm not a fan). The recipe calls for 6T oil and 2T vinegar; I cut down the oil to 4T (I think). Top with fresh basil and parmesan.

I l-o-v-e-d this salad, even before the parmesan and basil was added. David was not quite so enthusiastic. I think it comes down to where you stand on olives. I won't go so far as to say that I love them - don't want to overuse that word - but I am strongly in like with them. David, on the other hand, feels a deep sense of relief every night that I don't serve an olive dish for dinner. He particularly dislikes good olives. So when I make this again, I will serve the olives as a garnish, along with the basil and parmesan, so hubs can skip them and enjoy it more.

You can find the recipe for the Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes salad here. The Peach & Blueberry Crumble recipe is not on the Food Network website, so I'm including it at the end of this post.

This was a great month for Barefoot Bloggers! Thank you, Aggie and Cat!

Peach & Blueberry Crumbles, from Barefoot Contessa at Home

For the fruit

2 lbs firm, ripe peaches (6-8 peaches)
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup fresh blueberries (1/2 pint)
For the Crumble

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 lb (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, diced
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Immerse the peaches in boiling water for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until their skins peel off easily. Place them immediately in cold water. Peel the peaches, slice them into thick wedges, and place them in a large bowl. Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, granulated sugar, and flour. Toss well. Gently mix in the blueberries. Allow the mixture to sit for 5 minutes. Spoon the mixture into ramekins or custard cups.
For the topping, combine the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, cinnamon, and the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the butter is the size of peas. Rub the mixture with your fingertips until it’s in big crumbles, then sprinkle evenly over the fruit. Place the ramekins on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and back for 40 to 45 minutes, until the tops are browned and crisp and the juices are bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature. If you want to make these early, store the unbaked crumbles int he refrigerator and bake before dinner. Serves 5 to 6.


Debinhawaii said...

Way to catch it all up at once! Everything looks delicious. The pasta salad and crumbles were great picks and your CEiMB recipes below both look yummy too!

Nancy/n.o.e said...

How did we ever survive in those centuries where people just ate their food and that was the end of it?

I'm with David on the olive front; olives on the side are always a relief to me! And capers are pretty much optional in recipes, imo, although I actually bought a jar of them this year for a recipe that seemed to demand them. Glad you found a new favorite dish (or two!)

Mary Ann said...

Yum. I feel you about the making food but not blogging about it. Hard to keep up sometimes...
These both look delish. I miss BB!

spike. said...

I'm falling behind too! I think you've more than made up for it here...and disappearing desserts is definitely a sign that they were good

Pamela said...

I saw all of those pasta salad posts floating around and really had a craving for that salad. I've gotta try it...especially after your review. And that crumble looks fabulous.

Jessica said...

I'm right there with you on the cooking/baking and not blogging thing. This is my first year of blogging, and it seems as though it's so much easier to do in the winter when there aren't as many distractions.
Both of these dishes look fantastic! The crumble seems like such a nice way to use up wonderful summer fruit.
And the pasta salad sounds wonderful. I'm firmly on the David side of the olive line. I don't like them. But, I will eat around them, or when I'm sure that I won't offend anyone, pick them out. I wish I liked them, though, because there are so many great recipes that call for olives! It looks like a lovely salad, and I'm sure that it would be a welcome addition to any gathering!

nick said...


"I had a sneaking suspicion that there would be ample opportunity to make up for that lost oil later."

is so smart and exactly the type of thinking the separates a seasoned cook from a noob. I would've done exactly the same thing, WP!

Em said...

They both look fantastic! I agree the crumble recipe is one I'll use again and again... and with different fruit combinations. The pasta was a winner too.

Have a delicious day!

Aggie said...

I bet you feel SO good for catching up! I always get anxious when I get behind in my groups...being that I'm only in the two you mentioned. I was so happy to be able to participate in CEimB this week...

So glad you enjoyed both recipes! It was a good month to be a BB!! :)

Jamie said...

Both of these dishes look amazing! I loved the crumble and ate one for lunch!

Mary-Irene said...

Cathy, your crumbles look better than Ina's! I am having a bit of a challenge with this food blogging thing too. I enjoy it, but it seems the nights I am obligated to post are always the busiest!

AmyRuth said...

I just want peach and blueberry crumbles on my table. They look delicious and they would be just right with my dinner. Okay cupcake? Thank you!!! You know this is just for fun right? Great job!

Anonymous said...

Both look delicious. It's funny, sometimes it is just a relief to not take e pictures and write about something I cooked and ate. I actually yelled at my mom yesterday for eating a cookie before I had a chance to take pictures of it/them.

I'm strongly in like with olives too, particularly good ones. :P

Coco Bean said...

Yes, I am right there with you, these two BB picks were amazing. I'm glad that you got to make the pasta salad, its a keeper eh!
We also made half the crumble recipe, it's great for summer dessert!

Jess said...

Both of those dishes look fantastic. I'm with David. I know it's not cool to dislike olives, and I've tried my best, but I can't help it. Even my 4 year old loves a good briny olive, but not me. Still, that pasta salad might be worth making despite the olives!

Di said...

I totally know what you mean about cooking/baking way more than actual blogging. I just haven't been very motivated to sit down and write about anything lately. Your cobbler and pasta both look wonderful. I hope you're getting to make lots of other delicious dishes, whether we get to read about them or not. =)

Leslie said...

Well, I do come here to learn.

OK, I mostly come to laugh out loud.

Mission accomplished! Your posts are worth waiting for.

Cakelaw said...

There's nothing like a good fruit crumble - this one looks fantastic!

Madam Chow said...

I have to make that pasta salad - everybody is raving about it!

Bridgett said...

Some nights I really don't want to take pics of dinner and post when my heart is not in it. I commend you for doing all the cooking clubs as well as I only wanted to work on my timetable!! Your creations always turn out beautifully.

Kayte said...

LOL on D not liking good olives. You just need to tour him about Italy and Greece for a bit next summer. It worked for M. I love this recipe of Ina's also, and I have not tried the crumble one, but need thanks for the push. Great post.

Anonymous said...

It is useful to try everything in practice anyway and I like that here it's always possible to find something new. :)

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