Spiced-Peach

December 6th – The Spiced Peach

Today’s drink is a holiday variation of the Fuzzy Navel. Chances are that if you went to high school in the 80′s, like I did, the Fuzzy Navel was a staple drink at parties. It was the alcoholic drink for those that had not yet learned to enjoy the taste of alcohol, but sure loved how it made you feel, that is until you over imbibed and got sick as a dog. Man, those sweet drinks really do a number on you!!!

While we’ve grown up and our tastes have matured there’s still something about Fuzzy Navels, call it nostalgia or whatnot, but Peach Schnapps still deserves to be drunk occasionally, even if it’s done nostalgically or ironically.

This drink ups the ante a little with the addition of a ginger liqueur and Captain Morgan Spiced Rum. And it’s still a good drink for those that don’t like the taste of alcohol.

The Spiced Peach
1 drink

1 oz. Peach Schnapps
1 oz. Domaine de Canton (or other ginger flavored liqueur)
1/2 oz. Captain Morgan Spiced Rum
1/2 oz. Grenadine
Orange Juice

In a Collins glass, filled with ice, mix the liquors with the orange juice. Slowly pour in the grenadine so that it sinks to the bottom creating a lovely peach color. Garnish with an orange slice, peach slice or cherries.

This past Saturday the family and I headed down to Wauwatosa (a suburb of Milwaukee) for the #MKEfoodies Potluck Picnic. #MKEfoodies is a group of food bloggers, food writers, food enthusiaists and anyone interested in the Milwaukee food scene. While Fond du Lac is about an hour north of Milwaukee I became aware of the group this past spring when I donated a few dozen cookies to their bake sale in support of kid’s cancer research. Since then I’ve lurked among the fringes of the group, following their exploits via Twitter. With the long drive, crazy schedule for both my wife and I, and the fact that we have a 4 year old, I haven’t had a chance to make to any of their events. So when I heard that they were having a picnic on the weekend I knew I had to get involved.

Needless to say, it was a great time, with the folks (Lori & Fred) over at Burp! Where Food Happens, organizing the whole event. Thanks you guys!!! Everyone brought a dish or 2 to share while the meat was donated by Fox Bros. Piggly Wiggly, Big Frank’s Wiener Waggin’ and Bunzels. There were even Cherry studded Brats donated by Cherryland’s Best. We ate plenty of great food, met some wonderful people, drank some good beer and wine, and even Gigi made a few new friends.

Our contribution to the event, besides eating all the good food, was a pasta and vegetable salad made from vegetables in our CSA box. It was tri colored rotini tossed with shaved fennel, dried cherry tomatoes, scallions, green pepper, and yellow squash, all tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette. I also made Bourbon Peach slushes to serve. And I think I have a new favorite summertime beverage!!!

The recipe below will make about a half gallon of slush mix or about 8-10 servings, but this recipe is easily doubled or tripled and since you are putting it in the freezer why not make a large batch to keep around for those hot summer days. The other great thing about this recipe is that you can play with the ratio of bourbon to peach schnapps. For this party I went a bit heavier than the 1:1 ratio, favoring the peach schnapps. If I was making this for me I would probably go heavier on the bourbon although my wife would probably disagree. As long as the total amount of booze doesn’t go above 2 cups then feel free to play however you wish, even going so far as to drop the peach schnapps all together if you really like bourbon.

Bourbon Peach Slush
makes 1/2 gallon of slush mix

4 tea bags, black tea
4 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 6oz can orange juice concentrate
1 12 oz can lemonade concentrate
1 cup bourbon, your favorite brand (don’t use the really cheap stuff, but also no need to use ultra expensive either)
1 cup peach schnapps
lemon lime soda

Place tea bags, sugar and water in a sauce pot. Heat to just below boiling, turn off heat and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Remove tea bags and add the frozen concentrates to cool the tea down. Add the bourbon and peach schnapps and place in a plastic container. Freeze for 3-4 hours. Stir and allow to freeze at least 6-8 hours longer, preferably overnight or longer.

To serve, fill a cup 2/3′s of the way with the slush then fill with lemon lime soda. Give a quick stir and serve.

I had meant to post this recipe a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve kind of been off my game a little the last few months, as witnessed by the fact that I have been posting rather sporadically. Sorry, I’ll try and do better. Yeah, I know I’ve said that before, but this time I mean it!!!!

If you have followed this blog, or taken a look through the recipe indexes you will notice that I love rhubarb. While technically not a fruit-we use the stem of the plant-people most often refer to it as such since it is mostly used in the same context as fruits-meaning it is most often used in making desserts.

Here in Wisconsin, rhubarb is on of the first edibles to break ground in spring and by mid May it is ready to start harvesting. Because it is ready so early we often associate it with spring and early summer, often pairing it with other early summer fruits such as strawberries and raspberries. But, rhubarb can be harvested all summer long and into early autumn.

While pairing rhubarb with peaches is far from new, ground breaking work it’s not a pairing that you see regularly, so I thought I would whip up a Peach and Rhubarb pie to make use of our rhubarb patch one last time before it was done for the season. While this recipe comes a little late, I still see plenty of peaches in the markets and if you have a rhubarb patch you probably still have a couple of weeks left before the hard frosts kill it all off, so hurry up and make yourself one of these. You won’t be sorry!

Peach and Rhubarb Pie

3 cups peaches, sliced, with or without skins-your choice. I left them on.
3 cups rhubarb, sliced
1/3 cup flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Your favorite pie crust for a two crust pie.
1-1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a 9″ deep dish pie tin with one pie crust. Combine the peaches and rhubarb with the flour, sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon, tossing to coat well. Pour into the pie tin and top with the remaining crust. Pinch the edges of the crusts together, fluting the edges for a decorative look. Cut 4-5 steam holes in the top of the crust and place in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes then sprinkle the top with the remaining sugar and continue to bake another 15-25 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the juices are bubbling. Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 30 minutes before serving. I like to wait an hour or more to make sure the pie has set up properly.

French-Toast-with-Bourbon-Peach Sauce

I don’t often eat breakfast. On days that I work I leave the house too early to even think about eating. It’s not that I dislike breakfast fare, it’s just that I’d much rather spend the extra few minutes in bed than take the time to eat breakfast, besides, if I eat too early I just feel sick to my stomach. That’s not the case on weekends though, when I can get up at a decent hour and slowly adjust to being awake. Then I’m ready for breakfast….well brunch, considering the time, but let’s not split hairs here!

To me, peaches and bourbon are a great combination. They just seem to go together. Besides, what better way to start the day than with a little bourbon to get you going.

French Toast with Bourbon Peach Sauce
serves 2

3 medium Peaches*, peeled, pitted and sliced
1 Tbsp. Butter
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1/4 cup Granulated Sugar
1/3 cup Bourbon
2 Tbsp. Butter

4 slices Texas Toast or Brioche, cut thickly
2 each Eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups 1/2 & 1/2
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
2 Tbsp. Granulated Sugar

3 Tbsp. Pecans, chopped and lightly toasted

To make the sauce, melt 1 Tbsp. butter in a saute pan, over medium high heat. Add the peaches and cook for 2 minutes. Add the sugars then carefully add the bourbon, away from the stove. Return to the stove and cook until the peaches are tender but not falling about. Remove from heat.

To make the french toast combine the eggs, 1/2 & 1/2, cinnamon and sugar. Mix well. Dunk each slice of bread in the mixture, soaking both sides. You should have just enough of the custard for the 4 slices of bread. Place the soaked slices of bread on a tray and allow to sit for 5 minutes to allow the custard to penetrate all the way through. Meanwhile heat a griddle to medium heat. Add the french toast and cook until golden brown and set all the way through. When just about finished return peaches to the heat. When they come to a simmer add the last 2 Tbsp. butter, stirring constantly to make the butter doesn’t separate out. Cut 2 pieces of french toast in half, diagonally, place on a plate, and top with 1/2 the bourbon peach sauce. Garnish with 1/2 the pecans. Do same with the second plate.

Peach-Cobbler-2297

I remember that this time of year was always a busy time when I was a kid. Of course, school was starting, which was always exciting and busy, as my parents hauled my brother and me all over to buy school supplies, new school clothes and new school shoes. Growing up in a small town in Vermont, this usually proved to be quite a production with a big family trip down to Burlington, an hour away, and the closest mall in the area. In addition, there was plenty to do in the garden with harvesting all the late summer produce and watching after the vegetables that would be harvested later in the fall. On top of all this there was lots of canning and freezing going on. Corn needed to be removed from the cob before freezing and green beans needed to have the strings removed before they could be processed for canning. While I am sure that there were a number of items my parents canned, I can only vividly remember three of them: tomatoes, green beans and peaches. What I remember most about the green beans is the boring job of having to snap off the ends and pull the strings. After canning I can remember listening for the “pops” as the jars cooled and the lids were pulled tight by the vacuum created.

The tomatoes were the worst, from what I remember. While Mom and Dad may have canned whole and diced tomatoes, what I remember most was the tomato juice they canned. I loved the tomato juice, but I remember just hating the way the house smelled as my parents cooked, peeled, pureed, and processed those tomatoes. If I was lucky, it was nice outside and I could escape the odoriferous confines of the house. If luck wasn’t on my side it rained on the days my parents canned and my brother and I were stuck, having to bear the assault on our olfactory nerves all day long. More »

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