This Summer I’ve discovered a lot of really good things.
Farmer’s markets. Romance. Gluten-free breads. Coconut flour. Trader Joe’s Fig Jam. Adorable red skinny jeans. Chocolate nut butters. Oatmeal pancakes. Tzatiki. California. Traveling. Writing. Letting go of inhibitions.
I have to say starting brand new has been the best experience yet; because what is life really without a little bit of adventure?
Or crazy weird (and delicious) grilled cheese sandwiches for that matter?
I enjoy living life as it comes. Mostly through food experiences. And let me tell you, raspberry jam is simply the best there is. Seriously grape jelly weirds me out. But maybe that’s because I’m used to seeing it in that creepy Welch’s squeezable container.
Are we on the same page here? Probably not, because I have no idea where I’m going with that. I really just wanted to tell you how much I love raspberry jam. I don’t think I could live a week without it.
…Or a week without looking at Ryan Lochte.
Oh, sorry. Back to the jam.
Raspberry jam is just this thing that goes perfectly with all the other good things in life… you know like cupcakes and whip cream or sandwiched in s’mores. Oh let’s be reminded that it’s the perfect topping for peanut butter pie.
Once I brought raspberry jam swirled-dark chocolate brownies over for a dinner party. They were really, really good. Apparently so good that the guy who ate them tried to ask me out on a date. That’s not a joke. The world is a weird, weird place sometimes.
Especially when you find out that raspberry brownies cast magical love spells.
I can contribute to the weirdness of the world I guess. I mean, I put raspberry jam, goat cheese and peaches in a sandwich, grilled it, then watched the Bachelor Pad.
Despite my weirdness, the sandwich was delightful. Tart goat cheese, raspberry jam, and bright ripe peaches made it the perfect quick summer meal. Because I realize that we can’t make salmon and pancakes everyday.
If you’re anything like me, half the time you want to bury your face in a bag of Sun Chips for lunch and save the other half for dinner. But let me tell you that I really do like this sandwich, it’s easy to pull together and full of bright fruity summer flavors.
WAIT… are you thinking what I’m thinking?
I hope so…
Crunchy Sun Chips in the sandwich?
Grilled Goat Cheese Sandwiches with Peaches + Raspberry Jam
Makes 1 sandwich (double for 2)
1 tablespoon good quality raspberry jam (preferably low in sugar)
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled or spreadable kind
1 small peach, sliced
2 slices of good whole wheat sandwich bread (panini would be really good)
- Preheat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Butter one side of the bread slices. Place one slice of bread butter side down on the pan. Add goat cheese and place peach slices on top. On other bread slice, spread raspberry jam on the side without the butter; place butter side up on top.
- Grill/Cook the sandwich for 4 minutes or until cheese begins to melt and the bread begins to turn golden brown. Flip the sandwich with a spatula and cook for another 2-4 minutes or until the bread golden brown on the opposite side and cheese is thoroughly melted. Remove from pan, cut in half and enjoy.
- This can also be made with a sandwich maker, if desired.
Sexy is in!
Better than sex cake? (That’s up to you).
… But I heard that few fruits are as sweet, succulent or downright sexy as a peach.
With all of these ideas that you can cook or bake at home I’m wondering why people don’t do it more often!? I mean, I get that you might live near an incredible thai restaurant and LIVE for the blueberry muffins from the local bakery–but when was the last time you made a meal made you feel like a total goddess?
Fortunately for you, I have a 15 minute solution. It requires peaches, french bread, brie cheese, basil, and a little balsamic vinegar.
You’re about to be sexed up.
Seriously I mean it.
Alright you should probably know that I’m a complete romantic. I believe that food has total sex appeal that can’t be ignored. Flipping pancakes for dinner is perfect. The smell of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies makes me swoon. Authentic mexican food wins my heart. But putting fresh peaches on pizza? Oh my goodness I can’t even describe it.
But sometimes simplicity is good. Like homemade pizza and a glass of red wine for dinner. I don’t know why but it screams irresistible to me.
Now you’re probably reading this through a computer or some tablet that I’ve never heard of, so I can’t do much convincing. But I can tell you this: cooking is attractive, pizzas are delicious, and making this for an appetizer (or dinner) will be the best thing you’ve done in weeks. And the best part about it? It’s not complicated or fussy — it’s just delicious!
French bread toasted to perfection with loads of creamy brie cheese, ripe peaches, fresh basil, and a little balsamic reduction. Because what’s better than enjoying a meal cooked especially for you? (Well probably devouring 5 of these ice cream cones, actually.) But that’s besides the point–the problem is that many of us don’t make time to eat, drink, and enjoy time with the people we love.
So single or not – Make pizza, drink wine, enjoy life! Get your sexy back.
Fresh Peach, Basil, & Brie Cheese French Bread Pizza
1 french bread loaf (preferably whole grain), sliced in half, lengthwise
2-3 ripe peaches, pitted and thinly sliced
4 ounces of Brie cheese, thinly sliced (I used goat’s milk brie cheese from Trader Joe’s)
2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 cup balsamic vinegar
dash of salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place bread on baking sheet and brush olive oil over each half. Sprinkle with a dash of salt. Top each half with brie cheese slices and peaches. Bake for 10 minutes. Broil for 30 seconds until cheese gets a tiny bit brown and bubbly.
Place vinegar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; cook until reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 5 minutes).
Drizzle balsamic reduction evenly over pizza and top with basil. Cut pizza into wedges and serve.
Welcome to Ambitious Kitchen.
I’m so delighted you are here. I feel like squealing like a little piggy. Is that weird? Probably. But it’s just me, you’ll get used to it.
Hold on… I have to switch my Pandora station.
…Okay, Louie Armstrong was playing. Who put that on? I write to Adele and Florence and the Machine, not Louie Armstrong with his giant saxophone. It’s official, Pandora’s gone crazy.
But apparently I’ve gone crazy too. Crazy in thoughts. Overwhelming myself with what I want to accomplish. Putting to do lists everywhere. Throwing clothes around my room. Missing episodes of Project Runway. You know the big things in life.
But really I was thinking about how short life is. Each chapter ends as soon as it begins. I literally blinked my eyes and college flew by. That happens to everyone though right?
You get dropped off on campus by your parents then… you cry, you party, you sleep in, you get an internship, you balance, you eat a lot of ramen, you gain 10 pounds, you learn right from wrong, you balance again, you struggle, you live, you laugh, you find love, you meet heartbreak, you find meaning, you find your best friends, you find you.
I swear that happens in a moment. A small little flash that is taken for granted most of the time. I thought about how I don’t want to take anything for granted. Ever.
Then I thought about pies. Ohhh pies. Sweet summer pies. Dutch and laced. Sugar crumbled and those topped with meringue. Blueberry, peach, raspberry, strawberry. All those summer fruits in that buttery flaky golden brown crust. Never take pie for granted. It’s good for the soul.
I used to be afraid of pies. Probably because I couldn’t have one slice. Pie was an enemy. The best tasting, most delightful soul soothing enemy.
I used to scream “Screw you pie. Screw you for making me eat 3 slices!” I would always take it back. I love pie. And I always will.
If you can’t stop at one slice here are some suggestions: Bring it to the neighbors, they’ll invite you over for cocktails more often. Bring it to your boyfriends, his friends will love you and he might too. Bring it to your parents, they’ll be impressed. Or you can bring it to work and watch other people look at you like you are the next Betty Crocker. Just sayin.
Making homemade pie crust is sort of an art. A scary art that will piss you off and haunt your dreams. Just kidding, it’s just something you learn as you go. Kinda like life, you learn as you go.
So don’t buy the Pillsbury boring crust from the store. For heaven’s sake please don’t buy it. I’m begging you.
Make this pie. While your making it, think about what you’re taking for granted. What are you thankful for?
Of course, you’ll be thankful for the pie when it comes out of the oven. You’ll bask in pie glory. Sweet heavenly pie glory.
You can do it. I know you can.
After all, It’s the summer of pies. The summer of baking. The summer of love. Don’t ya think?
Summer Berry Peach Pie
Double Crust Pie Dough
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 sticks of very cold, unsalted butter, cut into tiny pieces
1/2 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice
5 tablespoons ice water
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
1 pint of blueberries
About 1 1/2 cups of stemmed pitted, chopped cherries
3 medium ripe sliced peaches
¾ cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tsp of vanilla extract
To make the crust, in a large mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Place in food processor or pastry blender and add the butter. Pulse several times until small peas form. Add lemon juice. Next add 2 tablespoons of ice water to start. Work dough so that it forms a mass. Add remaining ice water if necessary. You don’t want the dough too sticky, but in a large ball.
Coat your hands in flour and separate the dough into two round balls. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
In a separate mixing bowl, stir together blueberries, cherries, peaches, sugar, lemon juice, vanilla, and flour until well mixed.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
After 30 minutes, remove one dough ball from fridge and roll out using a flour coated rolling pin. You will have to work at this. You want the dough very thin and flat. Next carefully place the rolled out dough into a 9 inch pie pan. Fill with your fruit mixture. Take your remaining dough ball out of the fridge and roll out. Cut out roughly 10, 1-inch thick strips. Weave over fruit mixture, then trim off edges and make your pie crust pretty if desired.
You can brush edges with melted butter or egg wash if desired and then sprinkle with sugar.
Take foil and wrap around the edges of the pie crust so they do not burn. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 30-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown to liking. Cool on a wire rack.
Serve with peach frozen yogurt.
Makes roughly 8 servings