Summertime: Farmers Market and More!

One of my favorite seasons of the year is summer!  This southern girl loves the warmth of the sun, the boat rides, the lightning bugs, the smell of the ocean and the smell of chlorine (ha!), the laughter, the relaxation that it brings and most of all the food!  Living in New Orleans we experience some of the most wonderful dining experiences quite often.  But we also love to cook!  We enjoy stopping at the farmer’s markets to pick up all the summertime fruits and vegetables.  A few of our favorites are squash, creole tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, berries, melons and peaches.  Recently we made a stop and picked up a few things and came home to make some 4th of July treats to bring to our friend’s (or we like to call them framily:  friends who we’ve been lucky enough to call family), Luka and Gina, BBQ.

The first thing I made was a caramel peach sauce to top off the easy homemade vanilla ice cream.  This sauce was very easy to make and tasted amazing!  Our son walked into the kitchen and asked, “What are you cooking? It smells like summertime.”  And yes, it did! I adapted this recipe from one that was posted on the Martha Stewart website.  I made a few adjustments.  Here’s the how to:

Caramel Peach Sauce

Ingredients:

8 large peaches (about 2lbs)

1 ½ C Domino’s fine sugar

1 ½ tsp Ronald Reginald’s Pure Vanilla Extract

1C Water

Step 1:  Bring a large stock pot of water to a boil.  While you are waiting for the boil, make an ice water bath.  Take your peaches and scar an “x” on the base of the peach.  Once you have a rolling boil place peaches in the boil for 2 mins.  I did 4 at a time.  After 2 mins remove the peaches and place them in the ice bath to stop the cooking process.  Repeat this with the remaining 4 peaches.  Where the peaches were scored start peeling the peaches, remove the peach pits and slice into quarters.  Place the slices into a bowl and toss with the vanilla extract.

Step 2:  Combine sugar and ½ cup of water in a small saucepan.  Cover and cook over medium high heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Uncover, and reduce heat to medium low, cook until the sugar turns medium amber, this will take about 15 mins. While cooking keep a bowl of cold water close by and occasionally use a pastry brush dipped in the ice water to wipe down the side of your pot so that crystals do not form.

Step 3: Working quickly, remove the pot from the heat.  Add the peaches to the pot and using a wooden spoon, stir in the vanilla covered peach wedges.  Return the pot to the heat and continue cooking.  Continue stirring until the peaches are soft.

Step 4:  At this point your kitchen will “smell like summertime” !! Remove the pot from the heat and allow the peaches to cool slightly.  Take half the peaches from the pot and place in a bowl.  Using your emersion blender (I have tried out many emersion blenders and the best by far is made by Cuisinart) blend the peaches until completely smooth.  This will have the constancy of baby food.

Step 5:  Add the puree back into the whole peaches and stir to combine.  I then let my Caramel Peach Sauce cool and placed it in a glass container to store in our refrigerator.  This should be good for up to 2 weeks in your refrigerator. Our sauce was gone in a day, so yummy!

We just made a simple no cooking necessary vanilla ice cream topped it with our peach sauce.  Here is the quick and easy how to:

4 C Heavy Cream

4 C Whole Milk

1 ½ C Domino’s Sugar

4 T Ronald Reginald’s Pure Vanilla Extract

Pinch of Salt

Combine all of the ingredients.  Pour into your ice cream maker and turn it on…easy peasy.

**I realize that I am not sharing a picture of the finished product with the ice cream or the sauce on the ice cream.  Just trust me, it was beautiful and so tasty!  As I have mentioned before…I am new at this blogging thing and learning from my omissions and mistakes!  Ha!

 

Company’s Coming!

As a child I loved it when my mother would announce, “company’s coming!”  Immediately the house would fill with excitement.  My mother always made the best “party foods”.  Entertaining in our home meant that the aromas of her best recipes were about to be traveling through our home.  Our house would be set and decorated with the theme of the gathering.  I would spend forever exploring my closet making the oh so important decisions of what I was wearing and how to wear my hair.  I loved these moments.  I love these memories.

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As an adult I have carried on my love for entertaining in our homes.  My husband and I open our homes, wherever we are, to our friends and families as often as possible.  From large elaborate events to backyard barbecues to our traditional Sunday family dinners with our children and their friends, we enjoy entertaining.  We love to plan the menu, decorate, choose the perfect music and/or game for our events (board games and football – Go LSU!  Go Saints!).  When we travel we love exploring and finding the treasures of the area.  Learning the cultures of the regions and bringing them home with us to share with our friends and family brings on a whole new experience in entertaining.

I am excited to have you all join me through our adventures of entertaining and travel!  From our homes to our favorite restaurants and travel we will explore new places and cuisine and share our journeys with you!  We love it when company’s coming and we love that it is you!  Welcome to our adventures!

 

First blog post

Just to be frank, I truly have no idea what I am doing when it comes to blogging.  But, I am excited about it, we will see where this leads me.  I have an incredible husband that is my biggest fan.  He is always encouraging me and he tells me that I will be good at this and that I should give it a try.  So here I am.  Like many of you I have a very busy, crazy life.  But I am very passionate about my family, friends, entertaining, traveling, decorating and my love for food.  On my blog I will share my adventures and loves with all of you.  Here goes, hold on tight!