I was contacted by the very lovely Michelle from the fabulous Bleeding Espresso to join in for the 2nd annual O foods contest. I was delighted and so excited to be a part of it again. However, I am a bit late and my Olive Oil cake needs some tweaking. I'm sorry to be so late spreading the word about this great contest, but entry or not I want to get the word out to all about ovarian cancer. Please take a moment to check out her site and if you are able please donate. And stay tuned while I fine tune some gluten free Olive Oil cake.
O Foods Contest for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month
September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and for the second year in a row, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are hosting the O Foods Contest to raise awareness of this important health issue.
There are TWO WAYS to take part in the O Foods Contest:
ONE: Post a recipe to your blog using a food that starts or ends with the letter O (e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato); include this entire text box in the post; and send your post url along with a photo (100 x 100) to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on Monday, September 28, 2009.
PRIZES for recipe posts:
* 1st: Signed copy of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma, Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who is currently battling ovarian cancer, inspired this event, and will be choosing her favorite recipe for this prize;
* 2nd: Signed copy of Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home by Mario Batali (winner chosen by Sara);
* 3rd: Signed copy of Vino Italiano: The Regional Italian Wines of Italy by Joseph Bastianich (winner chosen by Michelle).
TWO: If you’re not into the recipe thing, simply post this entire text box in a post on your blog to help spread the word and send your post url to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on Monday, September 28, 2009.
Awareness posts PRIZE:
* One winner chosen at random will receive a Teal Toes tote bag filled with ovarian cancer awareness goodies that you can spread around amongst your friends and family.
From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:
* Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
* The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose, but include bloating, pelvic and/or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly; and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency).
* There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
* In spite of this, patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
* When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.
And remember, you can also always donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at our page through FirstGiving!
Please help spread the word about ovarian cancer.
Together we can make enough noise to kill this silent killer.
It was peach time again. Perhaps you remember this post were I drone on about the state of Utah, and my childhood and something about canning peaches. Yes those peaches were indeed glorious. I had people begging me for my last jars of those golden orbs of delight. That's why this year I deemed it a huge necessity for 2 cases of those Utah peaches.
I don't like to make my family and friends beg, it's just not my nature. I told my mom this year there would be no sharing of cases. Oh no, 32 pounds of peaches would never cover the demands.
I brought home our 64 pounds of peaches and tucked them away all nice and cozy waiting for that perfect moment of ripeness. It never occurred to me that perhaps just maybe these wouldn't be good peaches. My faith in peach perfection was unwavering in these 2 cases. All until that morning. Damn that morning. I wanted one to share with the baby. I wanted to watch his smile as peach juice dripped down his chin. I watched as he stared back at me wondering just what it was he was supposed to do. Then I ate a piece . . . and waited. Waited for that flavor that punched me right in the kisser last year. Waited for that moment that you knew summer had rolled itself into a ball, covered itself up in fuzzy skin and hung itself up on a tree ready to be picked. Nothing.
I grabbed another one from the bunch. Slicing, biting, searching, waiting . . . nothing. I had before me a case, wait no, 2 cases of fuzzy nothings.
I called my mom to confirm my deep fear that indeed if you canned a sub par peach, in a couple months your peaches would fall even further below that par line into mushy nothings. We had on our hands 64 pounds of time sensitive fruits that needed serious help. 3 days later and 3 minor burns healing I am now finished crawling out from under all these pits.
Fortunately with just a few other ingredients you can turn not so great peaches into some very delicious goodies.
First let's talk jam. We made 3 different kinds. Raspberry peach, a beautiful color and bright tasting jam.
Next we tried some butterscotch peach jam. I found the recipe here. It is very good stirred in yogurt just as Christi's Corner claimed it to be.
Then we tried pure and simple plain ole peach. This one by far was the best of the three. We went with a low sugar recipe that was found in the package of Sure Jell. It's full of that peach flavor that I was looking for, yet sweet enough to spread on toast.
Peach Jam (low sugar)
4 cups peaches peeled, pitted and mashed with a potato masher
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1 package low sugar Sure Jell fruit pectin
Place mashed peaches and lemon juice in a sauce pan. Start to heat over high heat. Remove 1/4 cup of sugar from the 3 cups needed and stir in entire package of Sure Jell. After the peaches and juice come to a boil add the sugar and Sure Jell. Let it come back up to a boil and quickly add the remaining sugar. Return to rolling boil and stir continually for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Remove any foam over the top. (If you add a tablespoon of butter while cooking you will have much less foam). Fill into prepared jars and process.
Let's move past jam and talk bread. I think together we made 5 loaves. Peach bread is near and dear to my heart and this year I decided to go for it and try a gluten free version. For a regular version see this post. If gluten free peach sweets are what you need, don't worry I got you covered.
Gluten Free Peach Bread
Makes two loaves
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 cups mashed peaches (peeled) and drained
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups gluten free flour mix (see this post for my version)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Cream together sugar, eggs, shortening. Add peaches and vanilla mix thoroughly. Add all dry ingredients to wet and stir lightly until incorporated. Fold in nuts and divide batter into 2 greased loaf pans (9x5). Bake 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes until toothpick comes out clean. I also cover my gluten free breads after being in the oven for 10 minutes or the tops seem to become too brown. This keeps in the fridge much better after cooled.
Need something caliente for your dinner and you happen to be sitting on a box of peaches? Try this recipe. Two batches of this stuff and you'll have a smile on your face, and yes there's still more.
(I added the black beans to make a heartier dip for lunch)
Now I bet you thought we'd be running low on ideas, and short on peaches. Lucky for you my friend Jamie stopped by in the middle of peach a palooza. She read me recipes she found online while I peeled and poured. Then she sat on the stool and we started to experiment. We abandoned all caution and dumped and tasted and tweaked. A unique soup was born. She took our first batch home and I still had plenty of peaches to whip up another round.
Cold Curry Peach Soup
6 peaches peeled and pitted
1/2 jalapeno (seeded if you wish to lower the heat) roughly chopped
1 clove garlic roughly chopped
2 inch piece of ginger grated
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 pinch cardamon
1/4 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup water
salt and pepper
Place all ingredients into a blender or food processor. Blend until it's smooth and if it's too thick add more water as needed. Serve room temperature or cold.
By now YOU are wishing that I was done. Yeah, I know. My mom made spiced peaches. Sort of like a simple canned peach except with vinegar, heavy syrup and spices.
If I ever get over this post traumatic peach syndrome I'm in now, and buy more peaches, I will make these. It was a nice zip to your usual canned peach and adds a nice oomf if you are in custody of not so great peaches.
With all of these jars and dishes I still needed to freeze some so I could just deal with them later. I'll never be short on morning smoothie supplies with 3 bags of frozen peaches piled high. The other morning I made a very rich smoothie after waking from a nightmare where I was being eaten by a giant peach. This smoothie fell over into the field of ice cream, and now I have a wonderful dairy free ice cream treat to share.
Dairy Free Peach Ice Cream
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 whole frozen banana
1/2 cup frozen peaches
1 Tablespoon agave syrup
Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Let her rip until you have a smooth soft serve ice cream consistency. You can place it back in the freezer to firm up, but it is just as good like this.
That's it. We did it. We used all those peaches before the fruit flies invaded in biblical proportions. Well there is that peach Costrada that my mom is probably cursing at right now. Sorry mom, maybe I'll come help you eat it tomorrow.