Burning up in Marrakech

I’ve become pretty accustomed to some hot temperatures these last few weeks here in Ifrane but I don’t think anything could have quite prepared me for the 115 degree that assaulted me in Marrakech last weekend. The moment we realized that the air conditioning wasn’t actually going to work in our van during an 8 hour bus ride, I knew some torrential sweating was in store.

Marrakech feels like a mirage within a desert. After driving for hours on 2 lane roads with more than a few stops for tea, occasional site seeing and even some errant donkey crossings, Marrakech came alive in front of us full of New York style traffic, Western shopping malls and of course, McDonalds. I was completely unprepared for this clash of West meets East especially after having seen much of Morocco that is still very much a third world country. 

Our first stop was our hotel, which blissfully had a pool that we quickly dunked our feet into to cool our body temps down. (It’s possible I sweated out by body weight during our bus ride). A few of us decided to take a walk around our neighborhood before dinner just to get an idea of the area. We walked through some beautiful gardens and started to do some price comparing, noticing that prices are much higher in Marrakech then in other Moroccan cities. 

Saturday morning started with a tour of a resevoir whose use I don’t really remember but I’m hoping it’s not how the city gets their water because it certainly didn’t seem like a lot of water! We then made our way to the famous Koutoubia mosque where it became clear that Marrakech is a tourist city. I think I saw more American and Western tourists over this past weekend then I have seen in the past two months during all my travels in Europe and Morocco. Pretty amazing! The guide said that in the coming week as Ramadan begins the mosque will be filled with worshippers, some even spilling out into the courtyard surrounding the main building. 

Our guide led us into the back parts of the suuk, taking us to one of the oldest Madrassa’s in all of Morocco. The beautiful mosaic that can be found everywhere in Morocco has yet to disappoint me. 

Our next stop brought us to a traditional pharmacist who tried to sell us everything from dried gingko (the natural viagra!) to agram oil and goats milk lotion. I walked away with my fair share of spices and tea that are sure to stink up my suitcase on the way back home but I can’t wait to start cooking with them!

Now the suuk in Marrakech is seriously like nothing else. It’s HUGE!!! I’ve been to my fair share of outdoors markets and similar suuk style shopping plazas but this was by far the biggest one I have ever been in. It was no surprise then that we quickly lost our guide who was taking us back to the bus and we spent the next 25 minutes trying to find our way out of the maze of shops and back alleys.

The suuk is centered around the famed Jemaa el-Fnaa, a large square that is home to entertainers, orange juice sellers, dancing monkeys, snake charmers, etc… Our first experience with Jemaa el-Fnaa happened relatively early in the day when it’s still fairly quite and unpopulated. The atmosphere changes completely by night fall, when hundreds of food vendors come out offering meats straight off the grill and mounds of couscous and escargot. There are so many people that it’s easy to get lost in the crowd. Henna artists and artisans try to hawk their wears to every passing tourists and I was persuaded into getting a tattoo from a very mean women who almost made me pay double what I asked for!

Unfortunately for us, it was back onto the hot and steamy bus early Sunday morning. While the weekend was short, it was packed full of many things. I definitely want to go back to Marrakech soon!

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Creamy Spinach & Tomato Pasta

Back in the States, I was very much an eat dinner around 7ish type of person. In high school I ate dinner with my family just about every night around the table (or counter I should really say) and in New York, I would either make a meal for myself or to share with my roommates. In Paris, I’ve found that eating anytime before 8 seems to be quite taboo. I walked into a pizza place on one of my first days in Paris around 7:15 and they said it was too early to order. How crazy is that? I guess eating later goes in line with the whole mentality of taking a much longer and enjoyable lunch here, so you’re satiated until an 8 o’clock dinner.

Trying to be the best Parisian I can while I’m here, I find that I’m falling into this pattern of eating later myself. Last night, after having a lunch around 1:00, I looked at my clock and saw that it was already 8:15 and I had yet to start making anything to eat. I had bought these tomatoes earlier in the week and didn’t want them to go bad, so even though it was late, I was still hungry and this was an easy, yet very delicious recipe to whip up in about 20 minutes. By 8:45 I was back at my computer watching some Breaking Bad. (Side note – everyone needs to watch this show. It’s so good!)

Cooking for myself if often challenging, which is why I love to bake, as baked goods are easy to transport the following day to give as gifts. Last year I at least had the option of giving my leftovers to my roommates. Now that I’m all by myself, I try to remember that whatever I’m going to make I’m probably going to have to eat for 3 or 4 days depending on how big the servings are. I guess in theory the answer to all this would be to make food in smaller quantities, but sometimes it’s easier to just use a whole onion or a whole pack of spinach instead of having small amounts of these ingredients left over, which I often find go bad before I get the chance to use again.
This is really simple pasta dish that I will not mind having in my fridge for a few days. I’ve been on a soy kick lately, as I was trying to limit my dairy intake a few weeks ago when I was feeling sick, so instead of half & half, I used soy and some ermante cheese I had in my fridge. I did notice that my cheese tended to clump up a bit, so using parmesan cheese (and possibly cows milk) the cheese mixture might combine with the pasta a little better. Cooked spinach is so delicious, especially when you add cheese. I still have some leftover, but it’s mostly pasta now, as I ate most of the spinach last night 😉 In the end, the leftovers somehow always manage to get eaten, but I can’t wait to have roommates again next year to eat it fresh!
Creamy Spinach & Tomato Pasta 

(Adapted from Eat Yourself Skinny)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 lb. whole wheat pasta (I used penne)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 (5 oz) package baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth broth
  • 1/4 cup milk, half & half or soy milk
  • 1 oz. grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) container grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 1 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

DIRECTIONS:

1) Cook pasta according to package directions.

2) While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add your sliced shallot; reduce heat to medium-low, and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes or until translucent.

3) Add spinach and broth; cover and cook for 1 minute.

4) Add milk, 3/4 of the Parmesan cheese and the black pepper.  Stir to combine; cook for 3 minutes and remove from heat.
 
5) Combine spinach mixture, pasta and tomatoes in large bowl.  Garnish with parsley and remaining cheese.

6) Enjoy 🙂

A Belgian Journey: Part II – Bruges

And we continue…

Saturday morning we hopped on another train headed northwest to Bruges. (English spelling – Bruges, Everyone else – Brugge). In the completely typic cliche, I have been wanting to go to Bruges ever since seeing In Bruges almost 4 years ago now with a friend back in Raleigh. Now, as much as the film might have inspired the trip, Bruges is an amazing town that is in fact listed in the UNESCO World Heritage registrar and because of its many canals is sometimes said to be the “Venice of the North.”

Now about those canals…Lets just say I’m going to have to go back to Bruges in the spring or summer one day as the canals this past weekend were frozen over. So frozen that people were actually walking on them. Although my friends wanted to go down and try to walk on it, I was not feeling that adventurous and preferred my watching others risk their lives from the sidelines.

Another thing that we missed out on was climbing the Belfry tower, which was closed for renovation. If you have seen In Bruges, you know what tower I’m talking about. Despite the frozen canals and the closed Belfry, Bruges was still amazing.

We stayed in a the most wonderful three story house that was a 5 minute walk from the main plaza. Saturday we really just spent walking around. Although freezing, it was beautifully sunny and we were able to take in all the sights with some amazing light. After realizing that the Belfry was closed, our next stop was the choclate shop Chocolate Line that prides themselves on having chocolate paint. Yes, chocolate paint. I didn’t purchase any paint but I was almost tempted to buy some chocolate lipstick. 

One interesting fact about Bruges is that they have there very own Michaleangle sculpture, called Madonna and Child, at the Church of our Lady. We paid a paltry 1 euro to see it. How awesome is that? One thing I loved about Bruges was being able to tell where we were just by looking up. From almost any point in town, you could see the Beflry, the Church of our Lady, or Saint Salvatores Cathedral. I of course loved this as I am a bit obsessive compulsive when it comes to knowing directions and orientation. The cobblestone streets and little alleyways lend themselves to perfect walking channels and more often than not, one had to be on the lookout for horse-drawn carriages (all tourists now) rather than cars themselves.

Of course, the afternoon continued with a stop for waffles and frites. Could one have a more perfect meal? I think not. After lunch, the cold constantly being a our preferred topic of conversation we popped into another cafe for some hot chocolate to warm out hands. I don’t know how they do it, but between the waffles and the chocolate, Belgium certainly knows their sweets. Instead of premixed hot chocolate, we were given warm milk and a chocolate square on a stick to mix in. This is how hot chocolate is served at Aroma in Israel and I’m sure at some other cafes, but I have never seen such a huge chunk of chocolate on a stick like this. It was the perfect internal heater for our bodies and our cold fingers. 

As a birthday present from my uncle, we got to experience some fine dining Saturday night at the Park Restaurant. Now I don’t know if the manager was expecting us or was just outside taking a smoke break, but as we walked up to the door he said “you must be Maya,” and welcomed us inside. Door service in the middle of Bruges? Pretty cool. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, but I can say it was definitely up there in my top ten list of meals I have had in my life 🙂 First course: Foie gras with fresh fig Second course: vegetable soup Main Course: beef tenderloin with potatoes à gratinBirthday tarte tatine! 

Our following and last day in Bruges was rather overcast and snowy. We ventured to the other side of town to a quaint little crepe restaurant and then went to a chocolate museum. The museum itself was a little haphazardly put together and some of the English translations were questionable, but being the baker that I am, it was very fun to see the whole process of how chocolate is made and why chocolate has become so popular in France. At the end, they had a nifty little demonstration showing how to make chocolate pralines. New mission in life – learn how to make chocolate truffles! 

All in all, I’d say it was a pretty spectacular weekend. I would have wished for warmer weather, but then again, one can’t always travel when it’s warm! The idea of not knowing the language or my way around it still a new concept that I’ve been taking in stride as I do more travel in France but it has also reminded me that in the technology souped up world we live in, travel is in fact, so easy. In away, I almost wished I had left my iPhone at home to cut me off from the world completely, although not knowing that Whitney Houston died until 24 hours after the fact was certainly disturbing 😉 I think now my nerves have been calmed at the prospect of doing future travels in even more foreign lands and I am now ready to conquer Europe! Croatia anybody??

Boursin Stuffed Chicken

After a whimsical day of traversing Paris today with my friend Audrey, which included more than a few wrong turns, more to come on that later, we returned to my apartment to make this delicious dish for dinner and watch Julie & Julia. It was pretty much a perfect Paris day. I’d been wanting to make this chicken for ages – doesn’t anything stuffed with cheese just have to be good – and it was a wonderful way to inaugurate my new kitchen with a full dinner.

I was super excited to use my oven for the first time, which turned out to be a great success. I did realize though that I have no cookie sheet. Oh dear! It’s a good thing I didn’t end up making cookies last night, otherwise I probably would have ended up eating the cookie dough all by myself after discovering I had nothing to cook them on 🙂

Now this recipe calls for a meat mallet, but in my sparsely supplied kitchen, a book seemed to do the trick just fine. 

A good helping of cheese never hurt anyone!

This is such a simple dish, but so yummy!! The original recipe called for copious amounts of bacon and pancetta, but given that I eat neither of those, I just left them out and added some cut up vegetables and dill instead. It turned out just as good, although I’m sure the flavors of the bacon would have been delicious too.

We had a little baked cauliflower and a some Israeli salad that I had made the other day, and voila, the perfect little meal. Of course, we had our fair share of wine and bread too 😉

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 pckg. Boursin cheese (I used the generic type they had in the super market)
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cut up carrot
  • 1 cut up medium onion
  • dill for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Lightly oil the bottom of a deep oven pan, in my case a pizza pan.

3. Place one piece of the chicken breast on top of a piece of Saran wrap. Cover with another piece and gently beat it with the rounded end of a metal ladle or  a meat tenderizer – I used a book. Repeat with second piece until both are fairly thin.

4. Generously spread cheese over both chicken pieces – you could add additional spices here too if you wanted.

5. Roll both pieces up like a burrotio, keeping the seam down. Place onto pan and season with lemon, salt and pepper.

6. Add chopped up carrot and onion to pan.

7. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until chicken is tender.

Enjoy 🙂

Christmas in Marseilles

On Christmas Eve, the entire Arnoux-Decamps family gathers around a huge tree with more presents than I have ever seen for a huge family celebration. I was so excited to be able to join the party, having heard Charlotte talk about her Christmas traditions for so many years.

After popping a bottle of champagne, the madness ensues with some opening gifts slowly one at a time, and other tearing off the paper to get a peak at their haul. Even I got some presents!

Not even all the loot yet:

Charlotte got a hat!

My Chanukah inspired gift: 

The meal, of course, was amazing. It was actually quite similar to a Thanksgiving meal, with turkey, string beans, roasted chestnuts, cranberry sauce and lots and lots of wine…

The foie gras: 

The food: 

Enjoying the meal: 

In Provence, there is a tradition to have 13 desserts at the Christmas table. There was a huge plate full of different types of nuts and fruits in addition to two ice cream cakes and a brown butter pumpkin cake made by yours truly. Everyone thought that my cake was store bought as they weren’t used to cakes like that 🙂

The nuts and fruits:Champagne!It was a lovely evening had by all and I am so thankful that I was get to join in on the celebration!

And then there was none…

Off to Marseille(s)

At the crack of dawn this morning, David and I headed off to the train station to make our way to Marseille to Charlotte’s family’s house for the holidays! After only 4 hours of sleep and quick coffee before getting on the train, I was WIDE awake 😉 On the super fast TGV trains, it only takes 3.5 hours to cover 500 miles! How crazy is that? If only the trains in the US went so fast, I’d take them everywhere!

Charlotte and her other brother Aurelien picked us up at the train station and we were off to the famous Arnoux compound about which I heard so much. It is so lovely here, even though I get lost every time I walk down the stairs! Charlotte and I are sharing a room in her grandma’s side of the house while the rest of the family is scattered about through different sections of the mansion (as Charlotte likes to call it).

Upon arrival at the house, I quickly proceeded to make a shopping list for all the ingredients I’m going to need to make cake and cookies over the next few days. We then went out to the supermarket to purchase said items (full details on the shopping experience to come) and then returned home to decorate the Christmas tree, which was quite the fun task!

Starting…

Midway…

With a bow on top! 

We are about to have Pot au Feu (brisket-type meal) for dinner! I’m also excited to show everyone how to light the menorah tonight as this is a new experience for many of the Arnoux family members.

After being sick for the first 24 hours that I was here in France, I’m ready to start eating like a normal human being again! All I have eaten over the past few days has been some vegetables and few croissants. I’m looking forward to the Christmas meal on Saturday!


Snow Day Bread

Okay, it’s officially a snow day as school was cancelled! It’s only the first week of class and I’m already getting a 4-day weekend. Pretty crazy. What started as a steady stream of snow yesterday morning as I walked to class, continued just about all night and by the time I woke up this morning, they said that there were about 19 inches on the ground. I’m really starting to think the snow God’s just have it out against us, I mean, there has been snow on the ground since December! My first reaction upon hearing the good news of class being cancelled was to go straight back to sleep, but upon failing to get out of school wake-up mode, I decided to get up and start my day by making, you guessed it, bread!!

As I’ve said before, I have really been wanting to make bread for ages and given that the chances of going anywhere in the next 24 hours seemed slim to nill, this seemed like the the perfect opportunity. This basic bread load was incredibly easy to make and actually took so little hands on attention that I was almost a tad disappointed. It didn’t need that much kneading by hand and only stayed in the mixer for about 7 minutes. Once it came out of the loaf pan, it was ready to be sliced. Needless to say, given the weather and the bread, we turned the occasion into a lovely feast of bread, cheeses, soup, and grapes. It was a wonderful dinner on a cold winter evening.

SNOW DAY HONEY OAT BREAD

(Adapted from Pictures and Pancakes)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pkg active dry yeast
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3 tbs honey
  • 4 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted & cooled
  • 1 tbs kosher salt

DIRECTIONS:

1) Combine 2 cups warm water, yeast and honey to the bowl of a standing mixer. Stir, allowing yeast to bloom for about 5 minutes, until it begins to bubble. Add flour, oats and butter to the yeast mixture. Stir together with a wooden spoon, cover with a towel and let sit for 30 minutes.
2) Attach the bowl and the bread hook to the mixer. add salt and mix on medium for about 6 minutes or until the dough slaps around the sides of the bowl without sticking. If the dough is sticking at any time, add one or two tablespoons of flour. The dough will be soft, supple and slightly tacky.
3) Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead a few times. put the dough into a greased bowl and cover with a towel. Let it rise for about 1 hour or until it’s doubled in size.
4) To shape the dough, scrape onto a lightly floured work surface. press down, working into a square shape and depressing any air bubbles. Fold the dough down from the top to the middle, then up from the bottom to the middle. Next, bring the newly formed top and bottom edges together and pinch the seam in the middle, sealing the seam with your fingers.
5) Pinch the sides together and roll the shaped dough back and forth, plumping it so that it’s evenly formed and about the size of your loaf pan. Place the dough in a greased 9x5x3-inch loaf pan and press it gently into the corners of the pan. Cover and let it rest for about 1 hour or until dough rises to half it’s size or puffs up over the edge of the pan.
6) Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 40 minutes, rotating halfway through. The loaf is ready when the top crust is dark as molasses and the bottom crust is dark brown. Give the top of the loaf a thump to see if it sounds hollow. Remove the loaf from the pan and cool for at least 2 hours on a baking rack. (Or enjoy straight out of the over ;-))
7) Enjoy!!

Focaccia with Caramelized Onion, Blue Cheese and Pear

It’s back to school tomorrow! I think right now my biggest fear about going back is that the high temperature for tomorrow is 18 degrees!! That’s insane! It’s cold and snowy now, but that’s just freezing. I’m going to have to put on some major layers to make the 25 minutes trek to my morning class. I don’t have high hopes for the rest of the month for it to get any warmer. The forecast doesn’t seem to want to get much above 30 for the rest of the week. Oh well. I guess I’ll just be doing some more warm baking 🙂

I really wish that I made bread more often. It really is not that difficult if you spend even just a few minutes figuring out what you’re going to be doing. I think I’ll be tacking onto my New Year’s Resolution of baking/posting more to start making more bread. This focaccia pizza seemed like the perfect plunge into bread making territory atsthe focaccia dough was very easy to make and with the added toppings, it was the perfect dinner. I’ve made bread in the past, but never really by myself, so after making this, I think I have given myself a boost of confidence to try and make some more bread in the future.

FOCACCIA WITH CARAMELIZED ONION, BLUE CHEESE AND PEAR

(Adapted from Food & Wine Magazine)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
  • 1 large Bosc pear, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1) In a large bowl, combine the water, yeast and honey and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the flour and 1/4 cup of the oil; let stand for 5 minutes.

2) Stir in the remaining flour and the salt and knead until smooth. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with plastic and let stand for 1 hour.

3) Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the onion, cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Add the sugar, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 10 minutes.

4) Preheat the oven to 450°. Oil a 9-by-13 inch rimmed baking sheet. Transfer the dough to the sheet and press it down to fit. Dimple the dough all over with your fingers and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Let the dough rise until puffed, about 20 minutes.

5) Scatter the onions over the dough. Arrange the pear over the onions and sprinkle with the blue cheese. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over the focaccia and bake for 20 minutes, until golden. Transfer to a rack to cool. Serve.

6) Enjoy 🙂

Butternut Squash Soup in a Pumpkin

I tend to write about my baking adventures here on my blog, but after professing my undying love for pumpkin, I just have to tell you about this amazing soup that I made last week. When I saw the cover of Food Network Magazine with a pumpkin on the cover, I bought the magazine without even really noticing what the recipe was, knowing that it was probably going to be something amazing. I was not disappointed. What the photo was showing was actually a small sugar pumpkin, cut open and baked, and then filled with some homemade butternut squash soup.

I purchased all the components for the soup at the farmers’ market around the corner and, the other night, when both my roommate and I were home, I made it. Let me just say once again – I LOVE PUMPKIN! The soup was easy to make, although bear in mind that butternut squash can be rather difficult to cut through, so be careful of your fingers! I probably shouldn’t have baked the lids of the pumpkins as they started to wilt and will probably add some more sugar when they bake next time so they’re a little sweeter when you’re eating the soup.

I love butternut squash and now that I know how easy it is to make I going to have to make it all the time. I think I’m going to stock up on the butternut squash that is always front and center at the farmers’ market so that I can have it all year. A dollop of plain yogurt or sour cream goes a long way and having an immersion blender makes the whole process much easier.

Butternut Squash Soup in a Pumpkin

Adapted from the Food Network Magazine

INGREDIENTS:

for the bowls:

  • 4 small baking pumpkins (such as hooligan or sugar pie),acorn squash or sweet dumpling squash
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Kosher salt

for the soup:

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 medium butternut or kuri squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 tablespoons
  • heavy cream (optional)
  • Freshly groundpepper

optional toppings:

  • pepitas (hulled green pumpkin seeds)
  • sourdough and/or pumpernickelcroutons
  • paprika, chili powder or Spanish pimenton
  • fried onions
  • fried sage or parsley leaves

DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

2) Use a paring knife to cut a large circle around the stem of each pumpkin (make a zigzag cut, if desired). Remove the lid and scoop out the seeds and fibers.

3) Sprinkle the inside of each with 1/2 teaspoon each sugar and salt. Place the pumpkins and lids on a baking sheet; roast until tender, 20 to 35 minutes, depending on their size.

4) Meanwhile, make the soup: Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon salt.

5) Strip the thyme leaves into the pot, increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the squash and sugar and cook, stirring, until glazed, 3 to 4 minutes.

6) Add 5 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the squash is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

7) Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender, crack the lid to let steam escape and puree until smooth; return to the saucepan (or puree directly in the pan with an immersion blender).

8) Stir in the heavy cream, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, and top as desired.

 

Peach Crisp

Today was my first day of school! I can’t believe summer is already over, although given the weather today, it still feels like the middle of June. The week leading up to school, I had kind of lost interest in going back to school, but last night and this morning I was very giddy with the prospect of seeing my friends again and remembering how to do homework 😉

Last night, we decided to have our old roommates over for a back to school dinner. It was so much fun to see them all again. I hadn’t seen any of them since we moved out in May. It was so different being in our apartment rather than being in the dorm all together. It seemed like just yesterday we were all living in the same apartment, yet now we are all spread across Manhattan – we’re in the East Village, some in Union Square, the Upper East Side and even Gramercy Park. I’m hoping that we continue to have dinner parties thoughout the year as we always have such delicious food.

I decided to make peach crisp, because I knew it’s the end of peach season and I knew it was quick to make since I didn’t have much time, having arrived back from Washington D.C. an hour before dinnertime. I called up my dad to give me the recipe, as he is a Master Crisp Maker, although I added a few spices on my own and an egg following my roommate’s recommendation. We were out of all-purpose flour, so I had to use bread flour. I don’t think it really made a huge difference, although the crisp a day later seemed a little more gelatinous than usual – possibly because of the bread flour? I’m not really sure. I got some vanilla ice cream to accompany it and  we ate it right out of the oven. This is such an easy recipe that could be adapted to most any fruits that are in season.

PEACH  CRISP

(Adapted from my dad)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3-4 pounds fresh peaches
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of ground ginger
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar (powdered sugar or granulated white sugar would work as well)
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 stick butter at room temperature
  • 1 egg

DIRECTIONS:

1) Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

2) In a large mixing bowl, toss sliced peaches with the first 5 ingredients to coat. Pour over a 9 X 13 baking dish.

3) In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together remaining ingredients, using a dough blender, two forks, or even your hands to make a crumble dough. Add more oats or flour if the dough is still too wet.

4) Cover the peach mixture with the flour and oats mixture. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top is golden and crispy.

5) Best enjoyed right out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream 🙂