Sweet Tooth: The Perfect Peach-Blueberry Pie
Nothing says summer like a juicy, sticky-sweet ripe peach. And right now, peaches are just perfection. If you can master this Perfect Peach-Blueberry Pie recipe, it’s a wonderful gift to bring to a barbecue, to a friend that needs some cheering up, to the new neighbors that moved in down the street. Or you can bake one and gobble it all up yourself. Believe me, I won’t blame you for that! Enjoy!
The Perfect Peach-Blueberry Pie
- For the Crust:
- 2 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or coconut flour for gluten-free option)
- 2 Tbs sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
- 5 Tbs plus 2 tsp ice cold water
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- For the Filling:
- 3 lbs ripe peaches (approximately 6 peaches)
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 3 Tbs all-purpose flour (or coconut flour for gluten-free option)
- 1 Tbs cornstarch
- 2 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 egg white, beaten for crust’s egg wash
- 2 Tbs sugar and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, for topping crust
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, and salt. Add cold, cubed butter. Using fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture. Quickly break the butter down into the flour mixture.
- Stir together the ice cold water and vinegar.
- Create a well in the butter and flour mixture and pour in the water and vinegar mixture.
- Use a fork to bring the dough together. Try to moisten all of the flour pieces and bits. On a lightly floured clean work surface, dump out the dough mixture.
- Divide the dough in two and gently knead into two disks. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- To make the filling, wash and slice ripened peaches.
- In a medium bowl, combine peach slices and blueberries.
- In a small bowl, whisk together sugar, spices, flour, and cornstarch. Pour the sugar mixture over the fruit, and gently toss together with a wooden spoon. Stir in the lemon juice. Place bowl of fruit in the fridge to rest while crusts are prepared.
- Preheat oven to 400°F.
- Place a rack in the center of the oven. Place a baking sheet on the lower rack to catch any pie drippings.
- Remove one of the wrapped pie dough disks from the fridge. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out into about a 13-inch round. Roll the dough a few strokes, before using your fingers to move the emerging circle around the floured surface. **This ensures that the dough isn’t sticking to the work surface.
- When dough is rolled and you can see it start springing back, the butter is warming and the crust shouldn’t be rolled out anymore. Gently lift the 13-inch round from the floured surface and center in the 9-inch baking dish. Place in the fridge while you roll out the top crust.
- Repeat process to roll out the top crust. Remove the bottom crust and fruit filling from the fridge. Gently pour the peach blueberry filling into the pie dish. Carefully remove the top crust from the work surface and drape over the fruit in the pie dish.
- With a small knife or culinary scissors, trim the crust, leaving about 3/4-inch overhang. With your fingers pinch the top and bottom crusts together and fold under. Use a fork or your fingers to crimp the edges of the dough. Cut five small slits in the top of the crust so the juices and steam can vent. Brush lightly with beaten egg white and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Place pie in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven heat to 375°F and bake for 45 to 55 minutes. If crust browns too quickly, cover with a piece of aluminum foil.
- Remove from the oven when crust is browned and golden, and the juices are bubbling. Allow to cool for 2 hours before serving. Place covered in the fridge to store. Pie lasts up to 3 or 4 days.
The Don’t Worry, Eat Happy Lunchbox: 4 Ideas for Back to School
You’ve got a lot of lunches to make. You’re going to want to BOOKMARK these 4 lunchbox ideas as you get the kids off to start the new school year. Good luck!
The perfect treat morning, noon and night for moms, dads and kids alike!
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill Whole Grain Rolled Oats)
- 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut
- 1 cup blanched almond slivers
- 1/2 cup unsalted pumpkin seeds
- 3 Tbs unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup organic honey
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar, loosely packed
- 1-1/2 tsp Madagascar vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp Kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
- 1/2 cup dried figs, diced
- 1/2 cup dried cherries
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 2 Tbs flax seeds
- 1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Toss old-fashioned oats, shredded coconut, almonds and pumpkin seeds together in a large bowl. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside.
- Over low heat in a small saucepan, whisk butter, honey, light brown sugar, vanilla extract and salt until melted and combined.
- In a medium bowl combine diced apricots, figs, cherries cranberries, flax seeds and wheat germ.
- Pour the honey mixture over the fruit. Reduce oven heat to 300°F.
- Mix with a wooden spoon until all the ingredients are evenly coated. Add toasted granola mixture to the bowl. Mix gently. Spread granola mixture into a parchment lined 8 x 12 x 1-inch baking dish.
- Bake until the mixture turns a nice, even, golden brown, 25-30 minutes.
- Remove granola from the oven and allow to cool completely. Flip pan over. Cut granola into 12-16 bars. Store the cooled granola in an airtight container for 1 week.
Recipe for Turkey Meatballs. Package some homemade hummus for dunking. Don’t forget to freeze the leftovers!
Recipe for Game Day Meatball Sliders. Make a few extra for Dad!
An easy, lip-smacking dessert!
- 8 dark chocolate Hershey kisses, plus extra to melt
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- Assorted fruit (raspberries, strawberries, kiwis, pears, banana slices, mandarin oranges, pineapple)
- 8 mini bamboo skewers, straws cut in half or cake pop sticks
- If using straws for kid-proof skewers, melt a bit of the extra chocolate in a microwave-proof bowl. Dip the bottom of each Hershey kiss in the melted chocolate then adhere it to the tip of each straw.
The Don’t Worry, Eat Happy Lunchbox: Ultimate Hummus Dip Recipe
Give a kid a chick pea, and he/she will tell you, “no way.” Give a kid some hummus and you’ve got one happy kid. I love that hummus is so popular. I’ve logged many trips to Europe and the Middle-East and have sampled some truly excellent hummus, but I’m happiest with my homemade bowl. As we gear up for back to school season, add this ultimate hummus dip recipe to your lunchbox repertoire.
- 1 cup dried chickpeas (Garbanzo beans), rinsed and soaked overnight in water filled bowl.
- 1/2 cup Sesame tahini paste, found at supermarkets
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil,
- 3 Tbs fresh lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin plus 1/2 tsp ground red pepper flakes
- Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- (Optional: Smoked paprika and chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley for garnish.)
- Drain and rinse the Garbanzo beans. Place in a pot with water with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cover and cook for 1 hour or more until beans are fork tender and soft. Drain, reserving once cup of starchy water and 1/2 cup cooked beans. Let beans and cup of water cool.
- Place cooled beans in a food processor. Process until no chunks remain. Add tahini paste, oil, lemon juice, grated garlic, cumin and red pepper flakes. Pulse. Add salt and pepper and process until smooth. Add reserved cooking water a little bit at a time until desired consistency.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Add whole cooked beans to center and drizzle olive oil around them.
- (Optional: Sprinkle with smoked paprika and parsley.)
Stays for 3 days in a refrigerated airtight container. 1 cup dried beans yields 2 cups after soaking beans.
Serve with olives, crudités, and warm pita.
The obvious pairing with hummus are crispy pita chips, but here are some other faves:
- Fresh turkey meat with a dollop of hummus rolled into bibb lettuce
- Chicken burger with tomato and hummus over a bed of greens
- Crudite: peppers, celery, carrots, cucumbers, cauliflower, broccoli, radish, tomato…really whatever veggie your child likes
- Grilled chicken, cucumber, tomato and red onion kabobs w/ hummus
- Turkey meatballs, lettuce and tomato in a fresh pita w/ hummus
Classic Recipes Renewed: Iceberg Wedge Salad
Blue cheese and pancetta tastes sooooo good, doesn’t it? I’m not gonna lie and tell you that this salad recipe is healthy and nutrient rich. It is a healthier option if you forego the blue cheese and stick with the dressing I detail below. But I will say that this salad aims to satisfy! It’s crunchy, tangy, crisp…every mouthful has texture. It’s a great summer treat. While I’m all into power-packed greens and kale, kale, kale, you can’t say no to a classic dish. Add your own twist for fun. I sure did.
ULTIMATE ICEBERG WEDGE SALAD WITH CRISPY PANCETTA, RADISHES AND BLUE CHEESE
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, stem trimmed with core intact, cut into quarters 4 oz pancetta, cubed and sautéed until crispy
- 2 scallions, finely chopped
- 8 radishes, rinsed and sliced into discs, allow to soak in iced water for 15 minutes
- 1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and grated
- Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
- (Optional: 1/2 cup mild blue cheese, crumbled. 4 Roma tomatoes, diced).
- Place each wedge of lettuce on individual salad plates.
- Remove chilled radishes from iced water and pat dry.
- Arrange sautéed pancetta, radishes and scallions atop and around each wedge.
- In a small container, combine oil, vinegar, grated garlic and seasonings. Cover and shake vigorously until well combined. Drizzle over each salad. Serve immediately.
- Optional: Add crumbled blue cheese and diced tomatoes atop wedges for added flavor.
Heart Healthy Zucchini Recipes: Black Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms
Tomorrow, August 8 markets National Zucchini Day. (You learn something new everyday!) With summer zucchini – squash season in full effect you can feast on sooooo many options from fluffy muffins and soft breads to sautéed medleys and crisp crudités. This recipe from my favorite New York City Mediterranean restaurant Thalassa takes zucchini to a new level of riotous yum by highlighting quinoa, an all-star superfood.
Black quinoa, found in specialty markets, provides similar nutritive benefits as other types of quinoa. It is a source of complete protein, containing all the amino acids required by the body. Apart from this, it contains B vitamins, dietary fiber, vitamin E, iron, phosphorous, magnesium and zinc. Quinoa is also rich in manganese, copper and folate.
Black Quinoa Stuffed Zucchini Blossoms (Part 1)
- Black Quinoa with Vegetable
- 8 cups water
- 1 cups black quinoa, rinsed
- 1/2 cup dice zucchini
- 1/2 cup dice red pepper
- 1/2 cup dice yellow squash
- 1/2 cup sliced scallions
- 1 cup golden raisins
- 1 bunch parsley leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Bring the water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add the quinoa, stir once, and return to a boil.
- Cook uncovered, over medium heat for 12 minutes. Strain and rinse well with cold water,
- shaking the sieve well to remove all moisture. Transfer the quinoa to a large bowl. Sauté
- all the vegetable in a lightly oiled pan till tender about 8 mins. Add cooked vegetable, raisins, parsley, olive oil, salt and pepper to the quinoa toss well.
For more heart-healthy recipes from Thalassa, click here.
Meals on Heels Favorites: National Oyster Day
I never turn down an oyster. Ever. As a foodie, I’m a firm believer that if you can enjoy oysters with someone, you will be connected to that person for life. Call it a foodie’s philosophy. And it’s got nothing to do with the belief that oysters are aphrodisiacs. Well, maybe it’s got a little to do with it. The simple truth is that I love oysters because there is no right or wrong way to eat them, and each bite is packed with protein, iron and other essential vitamins and minerals. Talk about impeccable flavor. It’s a bonus that great conversation usually accompanies eating a few dozen oysters.
Here’s a fun fact about oysters according to the National Oyster Day website –> It’s been reputed that Casanova started his day with a breakfast of 50 oysters. Why? We’ll never know if it was because of their aphrodisiac qualities or just the sheer enjoyment of eating briny bivalve molluscs.
More fun facts –> Oysters are loaded with phosphorus, calcium, iodine, iron, vitamin B and glyco-phosphates.
National Watermelon Day Recipes!
August 3 is National Watermelon Day!
Have you ever met someone who didn’t like watermelon? Probably not, because what’s summer without this abundant, bright, sweet treat. It’s also the most popular fruit on Facebook according to the National Watermelon Promotion Board. Most people don’t realize the myriad of ways you can eat and enjoy this hydrating fruit morning, noon or night. Not only does watermelon boost your ‘health esteem,’ it contains higher amounts of lycopene (a great anti-oxidant) than any other fresh fruit or vegetable! Here are just a few of my favorite watermelon recipes:
1) Spicy Watermelon Gazpacho
2) Watermelon Mint Smoothie
3) Watermelon Cucumber Cooler
4) Summer Sun Dial
5) Gryffindor Watermelon, Mango and Rum Popsicles
And my latest creation:
Grilled Watermelon Shrimp and Feta Skewers
- 2 1/2 lbs Jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails intact
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
- 1/2 shallot, peeled and minced
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 24 1-inch cubes peeled seedless watermelon
- 12 oz feta cheese, cut into 12 3/4-inch cubes
- Coarse salt and ground pepper to taste
- Extra Virgin olive oil for drizzling
- 12 bamboo wooden skewers
- Chopped fresh oregano for garnish
- Fresh lemon
- Place prepared shrimp in a resealable plastic bag. Whisk in a small bowl the olive oil, lemon juice, minced garlic, shallot and salt. Pour marinade over shrimp. Seal, refrigerate and marinate 2 hours.
- Soak skewers in water for 20-30 minutes to prevent fire.
- Heat grill to high.
- Remove shrimp from bag. Discard marinade. Alternate threading marinated shrimp and seedless watermelon cubes onto skewers. Season and drizzle with a touch of olive oil.
- Grill skewers until marks appear, flipping gently, approximately 1-2 minutes each side.
- Remove skewers from grill. Thread feta cubes onto end of each skewer.
- Garnish with chopped oregano and fresh squeezed lemon juice. Serves 4.
Cooking with Kids Recipes: Fun with Flatbreads
The ingredients pictured here are great for a heart-healthy Mediterranean diet. Just click the image to find out more.
Most people I know have their favorite pizza spot on speed dial. It’s the perfect Friday night meal and the kids go ga-ga for it. And why not? Pizza is quick, delicious, savory. But it’s also super high in calories and completely unfriendly to your waistline. What most people don’t realize is that you can cook a mighty good pizza in mere minutes for a fraction of the cost and the calories. What’s more, you can bring your kids in on the action.
I visited my sous chef’s kitchen this week where he and his mom mixed up a quick flatbread pizza with his favorite ingredients. What you see below is garlic, crushed pepper flakes, arugula, shredded colby jack and cheddar cheese and marinara sauce.
Now, here’s my sous chef:
You might think those are crazy ingredients for a toddler, but his mom introduced spices to him at an early age and he eats leafy greens more often than he eats cookies. With that said, present some ingredient options to your children based on what’s available in your kitchen. Ask them their opinions on flavor combinations. Lay everything out on the kitchen counter in bowls so the kids can see and grab with ease. As you’re decorating your flatbreads with yum, talk to your kids about the various ingredients and ask them to describe the flavors to you. For younger kids incorporate counting and/or color lessons.
In just 15 minutes you can have a delicious meal that the entire family helped create. Mangia!
- 2 tsp dry active yeast
- 1/2 tsp superfine sugar
- 2 Tbs lukewarm water
- 1/4 cup natural Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbs Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/2 tsp Sea salt
- Take the yeast, sugar and water in a bowl and stir to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes or until bubbles start to appear on the surface. Place the yogurt and oil in a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the yeast and yogurt mixtures and mix until a dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a tea towel and set aside in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in size. Divide dough into 2 even pieces and roll each out on a lightly floured surface to 30cm x 15cm.
- Heat a char-grill pan or barbecue over medium heat. Brush the pizza bases with oil and cook for 3 minutes. Flip with tongs.
Prepared in 10 minutes plus 1 hour to rise.
For more flatbread recipes, click here:
Dinner of the Month: Linguine with Vongole Recipe
Don’t know about you, but my summer menu is always brimming with fresh seafood. If you’re fortunate enough to have a fresh fish market in your neighborhood (or if you’re handy with a fishing pole!), take advantage of quick to cook, light to eat, friendly to waist benefits of seafood.
One of my all-time favorite meals is Linguini with Vongole, Italian for clams. My mother made this for us all of the time when we were kids. It may be hard to believe that a little kid will eat let alone devour clams, but I assure you there was never a clam left behind!
As a cook and food educator, a child’s palate just might surprise you. Here’s my mom-approved, under 25 minute dinner of the month recipe for Linguine with Vongole:
Dinner of the Month: Linguine with Vongole
- 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 lbs linguine
- 1 lbs fresh Vongole, Italian for clams
- 3 tbs parsley, chopped
- 1 lemon, seeded and cut into 4 wedges
- Sprinkle chopped chives atop pasta before serving
- Salt and fresh pepper to taste
- Bring six quarts of unsalted water to boil. In a large pan on high heat, add oil. Add garlic, and red pepper flakes until the garlic is slightly toasted. Add the white wine, lemon wedges and season generously with salt and fresh pepper.
- Rinse fresh clams in cold water then add to large pan.
- Cover and allow heat and oil to steam them open approx 5 – 7 minutes. Add chopped parsley and remove from heat.
- Cook linguine pasta according to package until al dente. Drain linguine in a colander reserving a cup of the hot pasta water. Add linguine to pan with clams and a touch of the hot pasta water then toss over high heat for a minute.
- Drizzle with olive oil then divide among four pasta bowls. Garnish with chopped parsley. Serve immediately. For an added layer of flavor,I added sauteed pancetta and chopped chives to this version.
Substitutes: Use cockles or mussels instead of clams
USE IT OR LOSE IT: SOLUTIONS FOR LEFTOVER KITCHEN INGREDIENTS – Cucumbers
It’s probably happened to you a million times. You’re making a lovely salad for lunch or dinner and you only really need half of that crunchy, refreshing cucumber. You put the rest in the fridge but forget about it until you find a soggy mess in your produce drawer. I hate wasting food, but the reality is that with cucumbers you have limitations. You can’t freeze them for future soups, stews and sauces. Their flavor is limited so they can’t really accent meals. So it takes a little more creativity and culinary know-how to figure out what to do with your leftovers. Here are a few solutions for this leftover kitchen ingredient:
- Sleep deprived? The greatest natural remedy for eye puffiness: cucumbers!
- Keeping the at-home spa treatments theme add cucumber to Greek Yogurt for a rejuvenating, DIY face mask.
- Flavor your water with cucumbers and watermelon for refreshing summer beverage full of hydration.
- Make Pork Cucumber Pitas! Recipe: http://www.mealsonheelsbymindy.com/recipes/pork-pitas/
- Make Greek Horiatiki Salad! Recipe: http://www.mealsonheelsbymindy.com/menus/tasty-travels/greece-aegean-kiss/#salad
- Make Cucumber and Asian Cured Soba Noodles! Recipe below. Japanese noodles get a boost from powerful hot spices that get cooled by tangy cucumber relish in this easy dish perfect for summer entertaining or a quick family meal.
CUCUMBER AND ASIAN CURRIED SOBA NOODLES
Prepared in 25 minutes or less plus 1 hour to chill.
- 2 seedless cucumbers, peeled
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 2 Tbs brown sugar
- 2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 2 1/2 tsp curry powder
- 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 Tbs white sesame seeds
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 12 oz dried Soba noodles
- Split cucumbers in half lengthwise. Cut into thin slices and place in a large bowl with salt. Allow to stand for 15 minutes.
- Add rice vinegar, brown sugar, soy and sesame oil to the bowl. Gently toss to combine. Cover and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour for flavors to macerate.
- Over medium high heat in a small heavy frying pan, add curry powder and cook for a minute to release flavors and is aromatic. Stir constantly.
- Pour heated curry into a large bow. Whisk in Greek yogurt, fresh cilantro, sesame seeds and ground pepper. Set aside.
- Fill large stockpot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add Soba noodles and cook for 3 minutes or until just tender.
- Remove 1/3 cup of reserved cooking water before draining noodles over a colander.
- Add noodles and cooking water to curry yogurt sauce. Toss to combine.
- Serve in bowls. Top with chilled cucumber relish. This dish is yummy hot or cold.
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For lifestyle and entertaining expert Mindy Kobrin, cooking, wellness and celebrating are a
family affair. Her lifestyle philosophy can be distilled to a single, luscious concept: Don't
Worry, Eat Happy. Fusing culinary know-how and health initiatives, Mindy aims to create
nothing short of a movement: to arm people with information on the value and culture of food
and the importance of quality time around the table. Her mission is to teach the foundation of
mindful eating and how to use seasonal ingredients to create nutritious, delicious and satisfying
meals. It’s also her heartfelt goal to be a change agent, spreading the message of quality food and
spirited cooking for children to carry into adulthood and pass on to the next generation. See more.
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