Peach Cake with Caramel Frosting

Peach Cake with Caramel Frosting

Like fruits, vegetables, holidays and clothing, I think baked goods also have seasons. 

Bread-baking is definitely a winter and fall season activity. Kneading becomes a way to warm up rather than a vigorous, sweaty exercise, and the temperature is cool enough that the dough won't rise too rapidly, or turn sour and ferment (unless on purpose!). One of the most wonderful things during the colder months is turning on the oven knowing that you’ll soon have a fresh, piping hot loaf of bread. Pair it with a soup or stew and it's the perfect winter's night meal. 

Whereas I will rarely turn on my oven to bake bread in the summer, I will for pies. As you may have noticed around here, summer is for pies and all of the things in the pie family—galettes, cobblers, crisps, pandowdies etc... This does seem counterintuitive because you are turning on your oven and crusts and toppings are in danger of melting during preparation, but this is the season when summer produce is at its peak. What better way to use it up than in a baked full-to-the-brim with the best fruit. I will, of course, bake pies all year round, but tend to make them more in the summer. 

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Classic Peach Pie

Classic Peach Pie

The last few weeks of August are here but even with the beautiful weather in the 80s we're having this week, I know summer will most likely be around until October for the Sacramento Valley.

Even though I love peaches, I've surprisingly found both white and yellow nectarines to be the tastier stone fruit this summer. They have been the perfect balance of tart and sweet with a juicy, smooth texture rather than hard or mealy. This has made them exceptionally good for everyday snacking and sometimes even simply just as dessert (shocking, I know). The peaches on the other hand, I have reserved for baking purposes rather than eating them raw. Even when their texture is not fantastic for regular eating, they have been amazing in galettes, scones, a pandowdy and this pie. 

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Peach & Mozzarella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Peach & Mozzarella Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

Sometimes, I find Snapchat silly and obnoxious and other times, it has some useful and entertaining content such as this Basil Vinaigrette from Gaby

I will be honest, most of the time, I don't really like to eat salad. It's not like I don't like vegetables/greens (which I do!) but because I find that salads sometimes lack flavor and taste so I won't bother with them and will most likely eat roasted vegetables instead.

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Spicy Peach Crumb Doughnuts

Spicy Peach Crumb Doughnuts

If you're thinking, "Seriously Kara, another peach recipe?", I wouldn't blame you.

Yes, another peach recipe. There is the potential for more peach recipes until summer is over and peaches no longer retain their velvet-y texture and distinct peach-y taste. Stone fruit in general is also included in the mix as well (hint hint). Then, we'll move on to pumpkin everything.

I'm kidding, I don't like pumpkin nearly as much as I like peaches.

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Bubble Drinks Two Ways

Bubble Drinks Two Ways

Is it just me or are tapioca pearls just a little bit scary?

When they're coming up the straw, they come fast. You have to prepare yourself because you never know how many you'll end up having to chew at a time. It could be none or it could be five. It's completely unexpected. Also the thought of having all of those half chewed pearls dancing around in your stomach is a little bizarre if you think about it. You don't ever fully chew them (or at least I don't).

Uncooked they look like animal droppings or animal feed, you take your pick. And when you cook them they expand into what look like chocolate malt balls. As they cool, they shrink and are kinda slimy, kinda squishy, and not the most beautiful thing in the world. 

Yet, I'm completely disregarding all of this for the sake of making a homemade version of this drink. Boba/bubble tea/bubble drink, or however you choose to call it is such a popular drink and also such an easy one to tackle at home. Although it took me two tries to get it right, it's not as hard as it may seem.

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Spiced Peach Crisp

Spiced Peach Crisp

I can live through the heat of summer knowing that peaches are in their prime.

When I lived in Hawaii during high school, I had no clue what sort of things I would miss from the Mainland. In particular, I took stone fruit and peaches for granted. I knew they existed but I never full appreciated a ripe, succulent peach until I realized Hawaii only had these hard rocks that called themselves peaches. Sometimes they'd ripen but the texture would be off; grainy-like and lacking flavor. Or even worse, they'd be ripe on the outside but hard on the inside.  

 

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