Recipes

Hot Spiked Cider

Hot Spiked Cider

It is early Fall as I write this and very soon the new crop of apples will be at their peak.  In New England, this ripening of the most gorgeous shiny orbs, is celebrated by city folk who, once a year, wander into the orchards to pick apples. A bonus is the extraordinary pleasure of purchasing and drinking the orchard’s own fresh pressed or hardened apple cider.
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Peach and Berry Crisp

Peach and Berry Crisp

Fall may be the perfect season for something sweet, hot, and bubbly from the oven, but I like to make this in the summer when the berries and peaches are both in season.  Put this dish in the oven when friends or family are over for dinner, and out it comes post-meal, bubbling to add a touch of post dinner drama. I write this as Covid is with us and our gatherings are small or seated at a distance as at our house this past weekend.  The fragrant, hot dessert was a hit with all of us  celebrating the smallest of pleasures.

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Spiked Summer Iced Tea

I have traveled a lot with food a major, if not the only,  focus. I do a little research about what to expect so I am ready for possibly unique dishes.  Dumplings in Asia, wonderful fish in Sicily for instance. When I visit friends in the South, I learn to drink copious amounts of iced tea. And I am emphasizing vast amounts, whether in someone’s home or in a restaurant.  I know this doesn’t seem to compare with some heartier dishes, but it is still novel to that part of the world. On one visit I had a version of this spiked with bourbon.  Either way, the presentation of our version made with jam as a taste booster is beautiful and delicious.

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Peach Ginger Flatbread Pizza

Sometimes in summer it is puzzling to figure out what to have for a lazy lunch or dinner.  This could be a good solution. Pair this flatbread with a simple salad and a glass of white wine and you are all set.

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Fourth of July Grilled Skirt Steak

Have you discovered skirt steak? A long jagged looking thin cut about 5 inches wide, not nearly as expensive as conventional steak cuts. When grilled, skirt steak has tons of flavor with a juicy middle and tasty, crispy edges.  Because this cut is thin, it is a quick cut to grill.  If you are looking for something to serve for 4th of July, this is it.   I have a rub that was given to me by a Boston chef almost 20 years ago.  It never fails -  and because the cut is thin, you don’t have to spend time hovering over the grill.  When the grill is really hot with red/orange embers, toss on the steak.  Each side takes about 5 minutes or less.  A note to keep in mind -  when my friend gave me the recipe, he did not offer precise measurements - just “a good amount of this” and “less of this”. Below are amounts I came up with - you may want more of less of some of these.

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Peach pie with Peach Ginger jam

Real summer begins for me when the peaches are ripe and juicy. I guess because I grew up with a couple of peach trees and as a kid the wait for the peaches ripening on the tree seemed to take forever.  Then the magic would happen and the peaches were pronounced ripe enough for picking. Jars of jam would follow when the whole tree’s bounty was ripe, but the first peaches were destined for pie. If you live in an area where peaches grow, I suggest searching a farmer’s market in late June for this heralding of summer  beginning.
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