Lazy woman’s peach cobbler

This recipe comes from my great grandma, who maybe named it thusly? Or maybe that was always its name? Either way, it is, indeed, one of the easiest desserts you’ll ever make.

Lazy woman’s peach cobbler

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups fruit (cut up; don’t drain)

Instructions

  1. Combine sugar, flour, baking powder and salt; cut in butter like you’re making biscuits, or pulse in a food processor, then stir in milk till well combined
  2. Pour batter into a buttered cast iron skillet or baking dish and top with fruit and its juice
  3. Bake at 350F for 45 minutes; sprinkle sugar on top for the last few minutes of baking

Smaller 100% whole wheat pain de mie

Math skillz: I haz none.

See, King Arthur has a smaller pain de mie pan now, which is awesome. I was excited about this because it takes us a while to work through a loaf of bread sometimes; Kiddo will go on a bread jag and eat nothing but this for a week and a half, and then not want to see it near his face for three weeks. It’s hard to predict. I slice it and keep it in the freezer so there’s always some on hand, and the smaller size pan makes just enough bread to fit in a one-gallon zip top bag. Perfect!

The problem is that King Arthur doesn’t have a whole wheat recipe for this size pan yet. So set out to convert the larger pain de mie recipe down to a size that fits the smaller pan.  I can’t tell you how long it took me to do enough math to convert this recipe. Well, I could but then I’d be embarrassed. Someone like The Yankee or my big brother could probably convert this in less time than it took for me to assume the appropriate thinky face, but it took me slightly longer. But now it’s done and I will celebrate — with good bread.

So with your nifty smaller pain de mie pan, try this:

Smaller 100% whole wheat pain de mie

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup lukewarm milk
  • 2/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 ounces butter
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons + 1 1/4 teaspoons dry milk
  • 2/3 cup potato flakes
  • 13.75 ounces flour (or 3 1/4 cups)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast

Instructions

  1. Mix all ingredients in order then knead — about eight minutes by stand mixer — until dough is smooth. Transfer to a lightly greased bowl or spray a little nonstick spray around the mixing bowl and let dough rise till nice and puffy, about 90 minutes. I set the sprayed mixing bowl with the dough in the oven (off) with a pan of water that’s been just brought to a boil; think sauna for your dough
  2. Lightly grease a small pain de mie pan pan, then shape the risen dough into a log; pat into the pan, flattening the top as well as you can. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise till the dough is about half an inch below the top of the pan (this will take about 45 minutes)
  3. Spray the lid of the pan with nonstick spray and carefully slide it onto the pan — don’t deflate the dough! — and let the bread continue rising while your oven preheats to 350F (ideally about 15 more minutes)
  4. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the lid (carefully!) and bake for another 10 or 15 minutes until the middle of the loaf reads 190F, then turn out onto a wire rack; immediately brush with melted butter for an even softer crust

Saving a cast iron skillet

Remember when I wrote a cautionary tale about cast iron? Allow me to review:

Rust is not your friend.

I know. This is shocking news to you all.

I’m happy to report that picture up there is all the same pan. A bit of an improvement, yes?

The folks at Lodge told me that I should have this pan sandblasted. Being stubborn determined, however, I went at it with some sandpaper and did the best I could. It was not great, and the pan went back to live at the bottom of my pantry while I sulked about it thought of another plan.

Then last week we took a road trip to “Chagganooga” (so sayeth Kiddo) and I obviously could not resist swinging through South Pittsburg on the way back up to Nashville. At the Lodge factory store they had this little rust eraser thing sitting on the counter for a couple bucks — worth a shot, right?

Y’all. It’s a miracle! The rust just fell from the skillet and the pan without even that much elbow grease involved. A MIRACLE I TELL YOU.

So the next step was to re-season it in the oven, then put it to work. The perfect first job?

Bacon, of course.

This one will need a lot of use to start to start getting dark like my generations-old skillets, of course, but we’re certainly off to a better start now.

Chocolate chippers

Isn’t that the most fabulous name? It just makes me smile. On a recent impromptu stop into The Roost in Nolensville I may have nearly hyperventilated at seeing this book:

The Better Homes and Gardens New cook Book, copyright 1953. My mother had this book and I just adored looking though the pictures when I was a little girl; I’ve been looking for another copy for years and years. I thought the candy page was the prettiest food I’d ever seen.

My mother thought it more appropriate for us to eat such things as oat bran and tofu. I’ll let you browse the dessert pages of One Particular Kitchen and come to your own conclusion about that. ;)

On to the cookies in the book! This is a super easy recipe, and Kiddo had a BALL helping me out.

 

Chocolate chippers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup sifted flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 6 oz. chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. Cream shortening, sugars, egg and vanilla till light and fluffy. Add in dry ingredients, mixing well, then mix in chocolate chips
  3. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet (or greased cookie sheet) and bake at 375 for 9-12 minutes. Remove from pan immediately and cool on wire rack.

The recipe said this makes about 3 1/2 dozen; I got a little less than that. These are light and crispy and just fabulous. Even the Kiddo, who has been known to shun any chocolate chip cookies that “look different,” ate these right up to the tune of four in one sitting.

Homemade sour mix

What it is:

  • Crazy easy to make with only two ingredients
  • Completely natural, chemical free

What it’s not:

  • Loaded with high fructose corn syrup
  • Neon (because, um, ew)

What’s not to like?

Homemade sour mix

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces simple syrup
  • 12 ounces key lime, lime or lemon juice or some combination thereof

Instructions

  1. Stir or shake to combine

See? Crazy easy. And you can customize it, of course, and make it a little more sweet or a little more sour — whatever floats your boat. Or your margarita shaker.