Sunday, September 15, 2013

Peach Cake

The cool breeze this morning had visions of apple cider and pumpkin pie dancing through my head, but with it also the sadness that comes with the closing of another summer season.  And while we may have a few more Indian Summer days, they will be fewer and further between as we transition into fall.

And so also comes the last of the peaches.  For me that is the true end of summer, since it is the sweet and juicy tang of a peach I look forward to all summer and when they finally appear at the farmers market, I diligently purchase a peck every Saturday.  Now the last of the summer fruit has a dwindling presence at the local stands as I keep looking for ways to enjoy and preserve this flavor of summer. So far I have canned, frozen, dried, muffined (yes I just turned muffin into a verb), french toasted, syurped and just straight up eaten the peaches, but I am starting to grow peach weary and decided it was okay to turn on the oven during the cooler evenings to bake a cake.

I remembered making a peach cake a few years ago that was delicious, however had no luck in finding the recipe, so of course I went right to Google...which lead me to the most wonderful peach cake I have ever made!  This cake is so wonderful that there is nothing I would change about the recipe. I am providing the link and not posting it here because it is not my recipe, but I am including my pictures.  This little cake is truly worth the time involved in each step, and while not difficult, does take a bit longer to make because of roasting the peaches prior to assembling the cake.  I found I did not need to add the Panko bread crumbs to the roasted peaches.  Follow every step, you will not be disappointed!

Perfect Peach Cake recipe from My Pantry Shelf

Fresh out of the oven, I went back for seconds...then thirds.

Then for breakfast again this morning because fruit in cake = breakfast cake!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Biking and Sweet BBQ Sauce

I am a week into my clothing project and feel like I still have lots of options for work and weekend wear.  I have added to my efforts to save the planet by starting to bike to work.  Now that was not the original plan, however I was forced into it this week due to someone who decided to renew his registration on his car late and now has to wait an extra two weeks to get the the little registration stickers.  So I have graciously handed over the keys to my car and started biking...everywhere, like my girl DEW in Boston.

Luckily, I live about a five minute drive, ten minute bike and fifteen minute walk from my job.  Additionally, the weather has been beautiful, sunny, 80's and no chance of rain in the forecast.  So the decision to start biking was made even easier.

Not only has this transition been good exercise, but it has also been a money saver as well.  There are no quick after work trips to the grocery store, only to come home with twice the amount I planned to go in for.  I have been better at planning my trips, getting only that which will fit into my back pack and hitting up the farmers market (a safer bike trip than the grocery store) to most of our food needs.  I can't just pop into Target or any other big box store since it is too far to bike there.  I am, due to my new circumstances, forced to buy local...and I am loving it!  I feel better in the morning when I get to work from being outside.  I am spending less, getting more done around the house and am better about "making do" with what I already have on hand.

And that, my friends leads me to BBQ sauce.  See with the grocery store trip out of the picture, I have been foraging in my pantry and freezer for dinner.  Most recently I grabbed a container of frozen pulled pork out only to realize that there was no BBQ sauce in the fridge or spare in the pantry.  So of course, I turned to the internet to see what I would need to make my own.  One of the first entries I came upon was that of Ree Drummond's recipe from the Food Network.  I had everything on hand to make it...almost.  I was a bit short on Ketchup so what you see below is a modified version of the original recipe.

The result was a very sweet (just the way I like it) and tangy sauce with a bit of spice.  Needless to say, I am hooked on making my own BBQ sauce and am now searching out other recipe ideas and hope to come up with my own Bossy Sister BBQ sauce to share with family and friends around the holidays!

Sweet BBQ Sauce
Recipe modified from original by Ree Drummond

1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced 
1/2 onion, diced (I used one whole very small onion)
1 cup ketchup (I had about a 1/2 cup ketchup so ended up using a half can of tomato paste a to make a full cup)
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon hot Mexican chili powder...add more if you like a sauce with more kick
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Dash salt

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook for 5 minutes, stirring, being careful not to burn them. Reduce the heat to low. Add the ketchup/tomato paste, molasses, brown sugar, chili powder, vinegar (or less to taste), Worcestershire sauce and salt and stir. Simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring constantly because it will splatter, or use a pot with taller sides. Taste after simmering and add whatever ingredient it needs (more spice, more sugar, etc.).  Pour into canning jars.  Enough for two 8oz. jelly jars.

I am not sure how the biking will fare once I have my car back and the weather turns cooler, but for now I am going to stick with it and enjoy the benefits.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Official Start to P333!

September first has finally arrived and with it a new wardrobe!  I spent yesterday morning packing up what was left of my closet and unpacking the Fall tub of clothing lil' sis and I put together about a month ago.

The official list is as follows:
Sep, Oct, Nov.
Dark Denim Skinnys
Khaki Skinnys
Express boot leg
Brown maxi skirt
Flower multi skirt
Emerald Cropped
Brown dress pants
Navy blue dress pants
Blue long sleeve dress
Red shift dress
Orange patterned dress
Orange Long sleeve t
Chambre blazer
Orange/red jacket
Polka dot button down
Tan sheer button down
Sheer pink w gold dots
Purple long sleeve
Blue dot sweater
Navy stripe long sleeve
Tan 3/4 sleeve sweater
White t
Chartreuse t
Teal t
Nude tank
Orange stripe tank
Pale pink ruffle tank
Light blue tank
Olive cardigan
Lightweight green vneck sweater
Grey sweatshirt

So now that I have my clothing in order the test will be to see how much I can get out of this wardrobe over the next three months.  I am thinking I may need to replace one or two items and those that do not get worn or are worn infrequently will get the boot.

I hope to post some of the outfit combos as well as other changes I have made around the house over the next few months.  I am also still baking and it is coming on colder weather, which makes me want to crank up the oven, so a recipe or two may find its way in as well!