Friday, September 23, 2011

A Good Start

As the girls' first day of school with early mornings approached I wracked my brain to come up with a good breakfast that was high in protein. 

It also needed to be able to be made ahead.  That became a slight challenge until I ran across this recipe for mini vegetable frittatas.   As always, I made it my own in that I used a few more veggies and also used what I had on hand.  These were so good and the girls really enjoyed them. 

Their brains had a good start and I felt a great sense of accomplishment!

Leaning Tower of Panini

Jeremy loves this panini sandwich from our local store, but lately they haven't kept to their original recipe.  He hasn't been too impressed, so I went out and bought a bunch of Italian deli meats and cheeses and made my own.  He is seriously impressed with mine now and I don't think they'll ever be able to measure up! 

First I chop up pepperoncini into tiny bits with my food chopper.  You could also use a food processor for this.  I then mix that with mayonnaise and spread it on panini bread. 

Next layer provolone and mozzerella on top of the pepperoncini spread.  Then add your meats.  I used 2 slices each of hard salami, sandwich pepperoni, capicola, and proscuitto. Alternate them so you get a good medley of them in each bite.  Finally top it with your cheeses again.  Spray the outer sides of the bread with Olive Oil and place in a warmed pan over medium heat or use a George Foreman type grill (which I no longer own).  You want to put it over medium heat so that the bread doesn't burn, but so the cheese and meat can warm through.  It takes a little while per side, but make sure not to leave it to burn.


Putting Up Peaches

Our local Farm Market had the BEST peaches this year.  Every time I got one, it was perfect!  I had to keep them for the rest of the year.  I consulted my good friend, Mandy, and she told me how to freeze peaches without using syrups or additives.  It worked wonderfully. 

The first step is to clean out a shelf in the freezer.  Then I placed a large cookie sheet lined with parchment or aluminum foil on the shelf.  I then place my cooling rack on the large sheet and placed a smaller cookie sheet on top of the cooling rack.  This gave me 2 surfaces to work with. 

The next step was blanching, bathing, peeling, slicing, and freezing the peaches.  I brought a pot of water to a boil.  Put the peaches in it for about 30 seconds, removed them from the boiling water and directly put them into an ice water bath. 

 Now you need to start working quickly.  As soon as I peeled off the skin, which comes off really easy, I quickly pitted and sliced them onto a plate an immediately placed the slices onto my prepared cookie sheets in the freezer. 

Try to keep them as separated as possible.  Working quickly at this and doing them one at a time reduced the time for oxidation and discoloration.

I let them freeze for a good hour or so and then placed the frozen slices in zippered freezer bags.  They're beautiful and set to last all year! (We'll see how long they last.  My girls are still begging for them!)