Peach Cobbler

Nothing says summer quite like peach cobbler. Served warm or cold, the sweet peaches are complimented perfectly by the sweet and buttery batter. This cobbler has a cake like consistency, and the peach flavor is pervasive thanks to the peach syrup. Serve it plain, or top it with whipped cream or ice cream. This recipe makes 8-10 adult sized servings.

  1. Heat oven to 375 F
  2. In a 13 x 9 baking dish, add 1/2 cup (1 stick) of melted butter.
  3. In a bowl combine 1 cup flour, 1 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tbsp baking powder, a pick of salt, 1 cup of milk, and 1 tsp vanilla extract.
  4. Pour the batter over the butter and do not stir.
  5. Open 2 cans of peaches (in whatever syrup you prefer) and add all contents evenly into the pan. Again, do not mix. Sprinkle lightly with nutmeg and cinnamon if you desire.
  6. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the top is golden. Let cool for 15 minutes. Serve warm or cold as desired.

Garden Update June 2020

Hello, and welcome to another one of my garden updates. My last update was for May, and this one is for June. (Sorry it’s a bit later than the last one.) My garden has grown so fast, it’s shocking! I’ve gotten some radishes and lettuce off my plants, and this weekend I was able to get some cucumbers off my plants too.

This last month I’ve learned some valuable lessons. First, and I mentioned it in my last post, it is so important to space radishes. I tried to get them high density, just it just grew into a mess, and it took about 2 weeks longer to get any. Also, the two pictures below of harvested radishes is all the radishes I was able to harvest out of that mess. I had several radishes break under the soil and begin to rot, and I had many many more that produced no bulb due to overcrowding.

Second, I’ve discovered that cucumbers are a handful! I’ve been trying to grow them vertically, tying them to a tomato cage. And, though that works, They don’t climb naturally well, so I find myself every 1-2 days in the garden directing and tying off my cucumber plants. I also trimmed off some of the lower leaves off my cucumbers. They were turning yellow and dying, and they were also restricting air flow and making it hard to see any low hanging cucumbers.

Third, I learned all spacing needs to be respected more. I planted my green beans and cucumbers about 18 inches apart, and you’d swear they are star-crossed lovers. I go out into my garden everyday, and I always see these two plants reaching for one another, and being less than an inch from becoming a tangled mess I don’t look forward to dealing with. However, my other bed of lettuce, Swiss chard, tomatoes, and onions aren’t having any crowding issues. My Swiss chard didn’t come up. I believe I waited too long to plant. I also planted another segment of lettuce, and that also didn’t come up, I’m assuming same problem. My onions in that bed have appeared to stop growing. They are tinier than the other bed despite being planted earlier. They tops have also begun to fall over on several in that bed, leading me to believe pour drainage is likely a problem. I have several tomatoes that are nice and big, however none have begun to turn red yet. I also have one that a bug got into, but that’s not bad.

Fourth, I’ve learned good soil and drainage is important. As I just mentioned, my one bed isn’t holding onions, and I’m positive that if it isn’t holding onto moisture too much, the soil is likely not giving them enough nutrients. This bed was filled with mostly decomposed mulch, so the soil isn’t as good as my other bed. Besides that, the fabric bags we filled using soil from my in-law’s house, and their soil has a very high clay content. Because of this, in the hot June/July weather, I have to go and water them about every other day, when I see the leaves really wilting.

I’ve gotten everything planted and going. Some things aren’t growing as well as others, but I’m learning. We got a peach tree about 2 weeks ago and got that into the ground. I also left a few radishes to go to seed, and I have 2 onion sets going to seed now.

Ive also fertilized my soil about 3 times. I’ve been using Miracle Grow plant food for vegetables. Between that, watering regularly, and all the warm weather, my veggies have grown so fast!

May 24

May 29

June 9

June 18

June 21

June 24

Strawberry Shortcake with Homemade Strawberry Syrup

Strawberry shortcake is a great summertime treat. Fresh strawberries are only here once a year in the north, so when they come around you should always enjoy this sweet treat. You can freeze this syrup to preserve it, or you can can it. But, if you plan to use it, just simply store it in the fridge. Simply chop some strawberries and heat for a while and then you’ve got a diverse topping for ice cream, filling for pastries, or the main ingredient for strawberry shortcake. Find my recipe for pound cake here and stay cool!

  1. Clean your strawberries.Using a cutting board, cut the tops off your strawberries, then cut your strawberries into slices. Cut about 1 to 1 1/2 cups (more if you prefer it less sweet).
  2. In a medium saucepan, add 1/2 cup of sugar and your sliced strawberries. Heat over medium heat and stir often. Remove the syrup from heat when it thickens up to your desired consistency.
  3. Remove from heat, let cool at room temperature for 1 hour, or place in a container, and cool in the fridge for 20 minutes. Serve with pound cake.

Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Smoothies are a sweet treat, and are especially refreshing in the summer. Smoothies use fruit and usually ice and some other liquid base. Milkshakes use milk and ice cream. I did use a dairy base for my smoothie, but you can feel free to use any alternative you’d like. I had recently gone to the store and bought strawberries and bananas, but my strawberries were starting to go bad, so the best option Josh and I had was smoothies, to make a dent in the remaining carton. Josh and I also don’t have an Ice cube tray yet, so we improvised by freezing the fruit instead. You can add more milk if you want a thinner smoothie, but this recipe will make 2 very large and thick smoothies.

  1. Place 3 bananas and 1 1/2 cups of strawberries in the freezer, and leave until frozen solid, about 3 hours.
  2. Remove the fruit from the freezer. Cut off the banana peel, and slice all 3 bananas. Rinse off the strawberries. Cut off the tops, and half. Place cut fruit into a blender.
  3. Add 2 cups of vanilla yogurt into the blender. Add 1 cup of milk, and add the blender lid.
  4. Pulse the blender 4-5 times to begin to crush the frozen fruit, then turn the blender on high and blend for 1 minute.
  5. Place in large glass and serve with a spoon!

Orange Jello with Mandarin Oranges

A couple weeks ago, Josh and I went grocery shopping. I always have a list and a general idea of what items we have. We tend to bulk shop, so we only have to go shopping 1-2 times a month. I always tell Josh to get whatever he wants and he’s never been too extravagant. Well, when we returned home from the store, I was putting everything away when I came across 6 new boxes of Jello! Josh must really be wanting some Jello! So last night, I finally got around to making the poor man some Jello. I followed the directions on the box and just added the strained oranges before refrigeration. It was quite refreshing, and Josh as also very happy.

  1. Heat 1 cup of water for 1-2 minutes in the microwave till very hot. Dissolve orange jello mix completely into the water, the instructions say about 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of cold water, and stir.
  2. Open a can of mandarin oranges. Strain out the juice into a side bowl. Add 1/2 the can of mandarin oranges to the jello and refrigerate for 4 hours before serving. You can eat or preserve the remaining oranges for garnish.