I’ve been feeling somewhat uninspired lately. Uninspired in the kitchen, uninspired to write, and even more uninspired to get up at 7 a.m. to exercise outside before it hits 100 degrees. I’m not sure if it is the endless heat wave in Dallas or my body telling me to slow down, but it sure feels like a “funk” and quite frankly, I am over it.
There is the most amazing restaurant in Durham, NC that I used to make my parents take me to whenever they visited me in Chapel Hill throughout my college years there. Durham is just a short drive from Chapel Hill and many may ask why we made that trek even though there are so many exceptional restaurants in Chapel Hill. Well, my family is one to travel for good food, and Magnolia Grill really is that good. If you are ever in the area and happen to stop by there then you will immediately understand why we drove the extra 20 minutes for this fine food. And hey, I am not the only one that thinks this is one of the best restaurants in the area. Gourmet (rest in peace) named Magnolia Grill the 11th best restaurant (out of 50) in the country!
I have always loved to cook and so naturally, my mom will give me cookbooks for special occasions such as birthdays and holidays. Karen Barker of Magnolia Grill’s cookbook was one such gift. In fact, I was a lucky girl that Christmas. I got both the dessert cookbook, Sweet Stuff: Karen Barker’s American Desserts and Not Afraid of Flavor: Recipes from Magnolia Grill (Find recipes from the book here). Both books have been two of my favorite cookbooks for years. They are perfect for those Sundays when you want to cook all day and need a challenge (though not all of the recipes are challenging). It is Southern flavor at its finest, and Karen Barker really knows how to crank out a delicious dessert. I have been making her version of a crisp for some time now and love using it when peach season rolls around. Fun fruit fact: blackberries are extremely nutritious and have tons of fiber. Who knew?
In honor of peach season and to tease a few peach recipes coming down the pipeline on Plum Pie, I thought I’d post a quick tutorial on how to easily peel a peach. Seriously, it’s a cinch. Start by bringing a saucepan of water to a rolling boil.
Next, wash your peaches. Cut an “x” with your knife on the bottom of the peach.
When your water has come to a boil, carefully drop one or two peaches into the pot of water. Don’t overcrowd the pot because you want it to keep boiling. When you add the peach into the water, you cool it down a bit so only drop a few at a time. Boil the peach in the water for approximately 1 minute. We aren’t trying to cook the peaches here so when you start to see the skin peeling a bit then you know it is ready. Grab a spoon or colander spoon…