Monday, September 26, 2022

Peaches and Blueberries

It's a bit past the season for blueberries here in Sonoma Co., so this isn't exactly seasonal, but peaches are still in season here and I bought some at the local farmers market that were just a tiny bit unripe, but still delicious. I decided to make a gallette to take for dessert at a dinner party a few days ago. I followed the usual method of rolling the dough out to at least 12-inches in diameter.

For the filling, I first put dry unseasoned bread crumbs in a thin layer on the bottom from the middle, having it about 8-inches in diameter. In a bowl I combined 2 Tablespoons flour, with 1 Tablespoon cornstarch and 2 Tablespoons brown sugar. I grated in about 1/8 teaspoon fresh nutmeg and mixed it all together with clean hands. I had already prepared the peaches by peeling, pitting, slicing, and cutting the slices into three pieces per slice. The blueberries just needed rinsing. I used about 1 cup blueberries and 5 medium peaches. The 6th peach was just sliced to use for topping. Except for the topping peaches, the fruit was put into the bowl with the thickeners, then tossed with clean hands to coat.

The peach and berry mixture was then mounded in the center of the dough circle and gently arranged over the bread crumbs. The peach slice topping pieces were arranged over that and then the uncovered dough was folded up over the peach mixture. I used wet clean hands for that. The moisture allowed me to pleat the dough and sort of glue the folds into place.

The last step, besides preheating the oven to 400 degrees F., was to make a glaze by beating an egg, then brushing it over the dough. A sprinkle of plain sanding sugar over the egg glaze and the fruit was the last touch. Into the preheated oven it went for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, the oven was reduced to 350 degrees F. The gallette baked for another 20 minutes. By that time it was gently browned and the juices had broken through the crust at one place.

The final bit was to take some marmalade, warm it in the microwave, put it into a fine mesh small sieve, push the jelly part through to a small bowl and then use the warm jelly and a small pastry brush to glaze the peaches in the topping. You can skip that part, but it really adds a nice shine and makes it look professional. I used about a tablespoon marmalade.

You can use any fruit filling you like - it takes about 5 cups of fruit. If the fruit is juicy, be sure to coat with some flour/cornstarch mixture. Sugar is optional and depends on the sweetness of your fruit.

It's easy enough for a young person to do but it's always a welcome treat and there is never any left!

Friday, September 23, 2022

Rushing Water

Between the garden and the art studio time, I'm not in the kitchen very often making different things. Usually I have granola and fruit for breakfast, leftovers for lunch...or sardines and crackers and apples...and for dinner it's usually something already posted on this blog. The net result is that I'm not posting as often and not posting recipes.

Instead, I'm sharing today a photograph of a recently finished painting. It started life as a painting of koi but ended as a seascape, with lots of water rushing over golden rocks. Pure fantasy, but fun.

Sweetie has started a new project...a changed entry into our storage area. I'll put up a photo when its done.


Friday, September 16, 2022

Babes Bake Onion Board

We're finally getting some cooler weather...and maybe even rain on Sunday and Monday!! it's fun to bake again. Our September challenge was chosen by Karen.  It's an Ashkenazi Jewish flatbread and is sometimes called Onion Board. This is an easy flatbread topped with a thick layer of savory sautéed onions. Over that is sprinkled a nice amount of poppy seeds. I even sprinkled on a few flax seeds that I found in the freezer. I recommend adding a sprinkle of sea salt over the whole topping because the onions cook up fairly sweet.

The bread itself is simple, but you do have to make it ahead of time so that it has overnight (or at least 10 hours) to rise and ripen. I used part white whole wheat flour and it was tasty, although it didn't rise very much. Sweetie really loved the topping. We had it with a dinner that included steelhead trout and a mixed green salad with fresh from the garden tomatoes, cucumber, and carrots. It went really well!

Do bake with us and become a Buddy. Our Kitchen of the Month, Karen of Karen's Kitchen Stories, will send you a beautiful Buddy Badge, designed by Elizabeth, if you send her an email with a description of your bake and a photo by Sept. 29th. You'll also be included in the round-up! There is also more information about the bread on her website.

Also, check out the sites for the other Babes to see their take on this simple but delicious yeasted flatbread with onion topping. 

Happy September!

Sept 2022 - Onion Board 



375 grams (3 cups) all purpose flour

7 grams (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant yeast

7 grams (2 teaspoons) Diamond Crystal kosher salt

3 tablespoons, olive oil, divided

294 grams (1 1/4 cups) warm water (about 110 degrees F)

Spray oil


1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for stretching

3 large yellow or brown onions, about 3/8 inch dice

1 3/4 grams (1/2 teaspoon) kosher salt

1 tablespoon (plus more if desired) poppy seeds

1/2 teaspoon flax seeds (optional)

Flake sea salt (optional)



Mix the dough ingredients with a dough whisk until all of the flour is absorbed. 

Spray a large bowl or dough rising bucket with spray oil and scrape it into the dough. Spray the top lightly with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise overnight, about 10 to 15 hours. It should double. 

Remove the dough from the refrigerator while you heat the oven and prepare the onions. 

If you have a baking stone, set it on a rack in the middle or slightly below. Heat your oven to 450 degrees F. 

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet and add the onions. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onion is translucent and slightly browned about the edges, about 20 to 30 minutes. When they are almost done, stir in the salt. Remove the onions from the pan and let cool in a bowl. 

Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper and spread with 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the paper. Scrape the dough onto the parchment and spread it by dimpling it with your oiled fingertips while pushing to the edges. If the dough is resistant, let it rest for 10 minutes, and start spreading it again (until you have about a 10 inch by 14 inch rectangle). 

Brush the edges of the dough lightly with olive oil. Spread the onion mixture over the dough, leaving about a 1 inch border. Sprinkle with onions with the poppy seeds. Lightly sprinkle with the optional sea salt. Let rest, uncovered, for about 10 to 15 minutes. 

Place the baking sheet on top of the baking stone and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. 

Cut with a pizza wheel. It's best fresh from the oven, but can be reheated, just like pizza. 

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Pesto with My Garden's Basil

Pesto made with pine nuts and basil is a classic sauce for a good reason. For one thing, it smells heavenly! The bright green is enticing, too. Best of all are the robust flavors. Since I'm still not eating cheeses, I made my sauce without Parmesan cheese, but I did add nutritional yeast, plus lemon juice and zested lemon peel. Those added some complexity and the lemon added zing. 

My basil started to flower, so it was time to harvest...perhaps past time. Once rinsed, I stripped the leaves off the stem (even tiny ones) and didn't use the flowers. You need a cup, packed, so that's a lot of basil.

One of the keys to this recipe is to use a food processor and to scrape down the sides frequently so that all of the ingredients are incorporated.

This is an intensely flavored sauce, so use sparingly at first until you are familiar with the intensity.

I lightly coated cooked tortellini with this pesto and it was soooo delicious!

No Cheese Pesto

1 cup, packed, fresh basil leaves...stems discarded
2/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1teaspoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon lemon zest
juice from a lemon
1/3 cup olive oil, or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor bowl fitted with the steel blade place the basil, pine nuts, nutritional yeast, lemon zest and lemon juice. Process until fairly smooth, scraping down sides as needed. With machine running, use the feed tube and add the olive oil in a thin stream until pesto is to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve at once.

Leftover can be stored in a small glass jar. Pour a little additional olive oil gently to create a thin layer of oil on top of the pesto. This keep air out and prevents the pesto from turning brown.

Thursday, September 01, 2022

Eating More Fiber

I recently had a colonoscopy and everything looks good except for one thing. If medical stuff is TMI, don't read on.

I have internal hemerrhoids and the doc says that I need to increase my fiber and hydration to fix the problem. The easy way is to use a prescription stool softener and also to add something like Metamucil or psyllium husk powder for the added 5 grams of fiber per meal. The more task intensive way is to eat lots of food with at least 5 grams of fiber, plus increase intake of water. I'm doing a combination, but I hope to eventually be handling it with only food.

Some foods are easy because they have long been known to help with constipation. An example would be prunes and fresh apples (leaving the skin on). Pulses like lentils are also a good source, as is oatmeal.

In the area of fresh fruits and veg I was surprised to learn that raspberries and blackberries are good sources. Pears, too...who knew? Yams and potatoes with the skin on are good. The list goes on, but it's been fun to know that corn on the cob, which is in season right now and delicious just steamed and eaten, is helping my gut in multiple ways.

Do you have a favorite food source of fiber?