It’s peach season here in the Northeast and ripe, juicy peaches are available in abundance. When I saw a recipe for Peach Cardamom Pie in the August issue of Bon Appetit magazine I knew I had to bake one for myself. I followed the directions exactly (no whole wheat flour substitutions this time…) because baking is so finicky. I think the result came out beautifully! The egg wash on the crust gave the pie a nicely browned finish and the absence of a bottom crust made it just a teeny bit healthier. Plus I used local, organic peaches. Mmm, pie! But let’s rewind – before I started my baking project, I fueled up with some coffee and a bowl of yogurt-y goodness. I chopped up an apple and added 1 cup low fat plain yogurt, 1 cup of Kashi Go Lean Crunch, 2 Tbs Smucker’s Naturals peanut butter, and a dollop of homemade peach jam. Kept me full for nearly 5 hours!
I don’t have a food processor, so I always cut my butter into the flour with two forks. This works better than your hands because the heat of your fingers would melt the butter too much. You want to use super cold butter for pie crust because when the pie gets in the oven, the heat creates pockets of steam in the cold butter, and this results in a delicously flaky crust.
I use a wooden rolling pin and a mat specially made for rolling out dough – prevents sticking! Chilling your rolling pin and using plastic wrap between the pin and the dough can also prevent sticking.
Peach filling – I liked that this recipe only called for 1/3 cup of sugar. It allowed the naturally sweet flavor of the peaches to shine through.
I used a heart cookie cutter to cut out the dough shapes. Then I brushed the crust with a beaten egg and sprinkled sugar on top.
After 45 minutes the crust was golden brown and the pie filling was bubbly! Is there anything better than the smell of a fresh, homemade pie?
After I completed my pie project, I took a long walk (~4 miles) to the Fairway supermarket in Harlem. It was quite hot and sunny today! I ended up buying mostly cool and refreshing groceries -
dark, sweet cherries
fresh, local mozzarella
Fage Greek yogurt
Breyer’s Cookie Dough Ice Cream (mostly for Nate…)
After my long walk, I needed a snack! I sliced a banana and added 1/2 cup of yogurt, Tb PB2, and some trail mix to a bowl. This was a good combo of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Yum!
Around 4:30pm, I met Agnes for an iced coffee with whole milk and a few hours of girl talk. I made it back home JUST as it began to pour. I kind of like summer thunderstorms :-)
As I started to prepare dinner, I snacked on two Wasa crackers with TJ’s white bean hummus.
Dinner was a new creation that I’m going to call Caprese Pasta. I boiled about 1/2 box of shell pasta, sauteed 1/2 onion and 3 garlic cloves in olive oil, and then when the pasta was finished cooking, I added the onions/garlic, pint of cherry tomatoes, a sprig of chopped basil leaves, and about 6 oz of diced fresh mozzarella. I drizzled olive oil on top and added some salt and freshly cracked pepper. Mmm, it tasted like summer! Luckily I have leftovers :-)
Later in the evening, Nate came over to tell me all about this morning’s triathlon (1st in his age group!) and we enjoyed some of my Peach Pie with vanilla ice cream. The cardamom gives this pie a decidedly “grown-up” taste, so if you’re not into pungent spices, you might want to omit to cardamom or replace it with cinnamon. The cardamom and peaches do pair deliciously with vanilla ice cream, though :-) I’d make this again in a heart beat!
Lawsuit over Sodium
The popular restaurant chain, Denny’s, is being sued over the high salt of its food. Some dishes contain more than twice the daily recommended limit of sodium and many health studies have linked high salt intake with high blood pressure and stroke. It’s no secret that a lot of restaurant food is unhealthy, but what do you think about lawsuits? Should food companies and restaurants be held accountable or should the choice be left up to the consumers? I think as diners we have the right to choose to eat something un-healthy if we wish, but I also think we should know what we’re getting ourselves into. An ice cream sundae or a plate of fries might be obviously un-healthy, but what about the nearly 1,200 calorie spinach and shrimp salad from Applebee’s? I think that foods like that make calorie and nutritional counts on menus essential. Personally, I think all restaurants should post comprehensive nutritional info (including sodium) and then consumers should be allowed to make the appropriate choice for their diet. What are your thoughts??