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Dear Julia,

20130629-213657.jpgI stuffed the sliced and cleaned peppers with couscous, tomatoes, hot peppers* and olives. Then, I topped it with mozzarella balls (which I want to learn how to make soon!). I baked it at 350F until the peppers were tender.

I followed the recipe but I think there needs to be another step. The pepper shells still had that really “green peppery” flavor to them and I totally can’t handle it. I don’t know why, but raw green peppers and cucumbers aren’t very pleasant to me. Still, when I have done them right, I love this meal. And I think you can make it fairly quickly. This whole dinner was prepped and served in approximately 30 minutes.

20130629-213809.jpgThis is the result paired with some greens from the CSA box, which I topped with feta. Sadly, the beautiful purple of some of the peppers got baked into a strange yellowish color. Yuck.

But our dessert sure cheered me up!

IMG_0446I filled some large ramekins with a mixture of sugar, butter, cinnamon and chopped up Mom’s fresh pecans (from her own trees!). I topped it with some peeled and sliced peaches.

IMG_0448Thanks to your birthday gift of In The Green Kitchen by Alice Waters, I learned how to quickly peel peaches. It’s so fun!

First, you boil some water, and you drop the peaches in for about 20 seconds (I counted off and this time worked perfectly). Then, you dunk them into an ice bath you’ve already prepared. Let them cool until they’re able to be handled. Take each peach and place your thumbs along the seam that runs from the stem to the bottom (the butt crack, if you will). Gently pull and the skin will slide right off!

I layered these slices in and used the left over pecan crumbs and a little melted butter and sugar. Just a pinch! I also drizzled some lemon juice into the butter so that the peaches would “wake up” a bit. I baked them while we ate (about 15 minutes or until tender) and finished it with some vanilla ice cream. This might just be my favorite summer style dessert EVER! It’s fresh and tart, while still delivering some sweetness and it really finishes off a meal. Even Ian, who doesn’t like sweets, appreciates this one.

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* those little suckers are hottt. I used my index finger to clean out the seeds and for the next hour couldn’t figure out why it was aching. It felt like when you jab yourself between the nail and nail bed. The pain didn’t go away until the next day. Next time I’ll use protection!

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