I’m going to lighten up the content a little this week and talk about food.
While we are technically at the end of summer, the weather disagrees. So, I’m bringing you a couple of recipes that you can take to your Labor Day Weekend festivities that won’t make anybody mad.
I want to make some disclaimers before I actually start giving you information about these recipes. I didn’t take pictures of these processes. And I want to have a quick conversation about food bloggers and their pictures. When you have to scroll through 100 pictures to get to a recipe, you’re on my nerves already. Don’t get me wrong, I love beautiful food photography but it is TOO much! I really think that one blogger 10 years ago accidentally uploaded their entire camera roll and then all the other food bloggers thought it was on purpose and they started doing it too out of peer pressure. With all of that being said, there are two pictures for this entire post. The first one is stolen from maybe another blogger who did a fantastic job with photographing their tomato pie. (And don’t get your panties in a wad if you think I’m being disrespectful about using someone’s art without their permission. This photo didn’t have a watermark and I can’t actually find its origin.) The second photo is of me and my 4 day old leftover cobbler.
The first is tomato pie. And yes, I’m sure everyone has eaten or made one of these, but this uses a few different twists that I think are helpful additions. I love tomato pie, but they are a mess and have a tendency to be very greasy. My cooking style is very relaxed and I am the opposite of rigid especially with savory dishes. About a year ago, I had to improvise a crust when I realized we didn’t actually have a pie crust, but I already had everything else ready to go. I searched the fridge and pantry and came across a can of crescent rolls. I then unrolled the can into a 9×13 dish, poked a few holes in it and prebaked it for about 15 minutes. Then I added all of the ingredients and popped it in the oven. The result was one of the best tomato pies I’ve ever eaten. The thicker crust made it less greasy and the size helped feed more people and also easier to remove from the pan. So much less mess.
So here is that recipe.
1 can of crescent rolls
3 medium sized tomatoes (chopped and drained*)
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon of Pepper
¾ cup of mayonnaise (I prefer Duke’s)
1 ½ cups of sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (You don’t have to stick to only cheddar. Mix it up with your favorite cheeses)
1 Tablespoon of Pesto (Store bought is fine. I mean who is going to make pesto for just one tablespoon of it. Unless you are one of those amazing people who have frozen pesto that you made with the basil you grew in your garden that you miraculously whipped up and put into ice trays to freeze.)
8ish Fresh Basil leaves, torn (if you don’t have fresh basil, add an extra tablespoon of pesto.)
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard (you can omit this if you like, but it adds amazing complexity and isn’t overwhelming)
A few shakes of your favorite hot sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray. Roll out crescent rolls and press into the prepared dish. Press all the seams of the dough together. Take a fork and prick little holes all over the dough. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Chop tomatoes and put into a colander, salt and pepper the tomatoes to help release the juices (catch the tomato juice from the tomatoes into another bowl. I’ll explain what to do with that at the bottom). In a bowl, mix together mayonnaise, cheese, basil or pesto, mustard and hot sauce. Once the tomatoes have drained and the crust is cooked, it is time to assemble. Spread the tomatoes onto the cooked crust. Spoon over the mayo and cheese mixture over the tomatoes. Bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Let it rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting into it.
(*What to do with that tomato juice that you collected? Make a salad dressing. Depending on how much liquid you collected, start by whisking 1 Tablespoon of mayo into the liquid. Keep adding until you reach the consistency of a thin homemade ranch. Add dill, basil, or any of your favorite herbs. Salt and pepper to taste.)
The next recipe is cobbler. As a kid, I could take or leave cobbler. It was never my favorite. Gran would make it by throwing a pie crust on top of fruit mixed with a little sugar, butter, and flour. It was good, but never something I craved. And I’m not crazy about the cake like cobblers. Last summer, I was looking through a cookbook. I read them like novels and have some favorites that I browse when I am looking for inspiration. I had fresh peaches that I needed to use and came across a sugar cookie topping to put on any fruit cobbler. I remembered that we had a sugar cookie mix in the pantry, and so I thought that sounded fantastic. I’ve made this recipe with blueberries, blackberries, peaches, and every combination of all of those. I made this last weekend and actually measured what I put into the cobbler just for all of you. It is extremely out of character and was painstaking to take the time to do that, so you’re welcome…
Peach & Blackberry Cobbler
2 – 16oz frozen bag of peaches (thawed)
2 pints of blackberries or blueberries (or 3 cups of frozen berries)
¼ cup of all-purpose flour
¾ cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice or apple pie spice
4 eggs, lightly beaten (yes, I just said eggs in a cobbler)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 stick of butter, melted
1 roll of sugar cookie dough
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put the peaches and blackberries into a 9×13 dish. Sprinkle the flour, sugar, and spices over the fruit. Beat the eggs and vanilla together. Pour this mixture and the melted butter over the fruit. Mix all of this together. Slice the roll of cookie dough and then arrange them evenly over the cobbler mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45-55 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and shouldn’t have any jiggle to it when you give the pan a shake in the oven (super technical). Let it rest for 15 minutes and serve with Vanilla Ice Cream.
I hope you will try these out, and if they don’t work out for you most likely what happened is you added the ingredient of stress. Cooking should be enjoyable. And I mess it up on a regular basis. I screwed up the last batch of Gran’s Bread I so nostalgically made on the day I posted the story about it. I let it rise too long and had my timing wrong. The loaves of love as I so eloquently described them could’ve been used as bricks in a foundation. I threw them away, and went to Brooks and bought bread to take to Sunday Dinner. What I didn’t do was stress out about it. So, my advice in the kitchen is add love not stress!