Caramelized Summer Peaches with Basil

Collyn made this when we were at Brigantine this summer, and it was so tasty it could have been a dessert, but light enough that we ate it as part of our breakfast. The sauce is basically a deconstructed caramel, and it complements the summer peaches really well – topped with some fresh basil (have the basil plants you’ve been finding at your Farmers’ Market this month been as crazily, awesomely overgrown as mine have?), this takes on a little more freshness too.

– 3 peaches, sliced into 1/4 inch wedges (leave skin on or off, it’s up to you)
– small handful of chiffonaded basil
– 3 tbsp. butter
– 3 tbsp. brown sugar
– 1 tsp. vanilla
– 1 tbsp. water

1. In a larger pan over medium heat, melt the butter, stirring until it starts to get a little bit brown.

2. Add the brown sugar, and stir. Stir. Stir. Make sure all those sugar granuals melt and really incorporate into the butter.

3. Add vanilla, stir to combine. At this point it might start to look a little solidified. If it does, turn down the heat and add the 1 tbsp water. Tada – thin caramel sauce. Don’t taste this – it will be super, super hot and probably really burn your tongue. Not, of course, like I would know.

4. Remove from the heat and stir in the peaches, mix to warm the peach slices. Chiffonade some basil and toss that in there too, mix it all up. 

This doesn’t keep really well, so make sure to eat it within an hour or so (which is prob. not going to be too hard to do).

Thanks for the recipe, Colly!

Pasta with Artichokes, Shallots & Shiitakes

This is kind of my (Irish) dad’s go-to pasta. It’s made with stuff you probably already have in your fridge or cupboards, it totally filling and delicious, and feels a little indulgent given the fact that you use a full can of artichoke hearts. God, I love artichoke hearts. I would put them in just about everything I make.  Plus: an excuse to eat pasta. <3

– 1 box good pasta De Cecco, if you can find it, otherwise just make it yourself
– 1 tbsp. butter
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– kosher salt & fresh cracked black pepper to taste
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 3-4 large shallots, chopped into ribbons
– 1/4 c. red wine
– 1 15 oz. can artichoke hearts, quartered, drained
– approx. 1.5 C. of shiitake mushrooms, cut into long strips
– 1 & 1/4 – 1/2 C. marinara sauce (your choice of brand)
– 1/4 C. freshly grated parm (plus more for topping)
– approx. 2 tbsp. julienned basil
1. Over medium heat, melt the butter and the EVOO together. Add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant, approx. 60 seconds.
2. Add the sliced shallots, cook until wilted (approx. 5 minutes)
3. Add the artichoke hearts, add salt & pepper, and cook another 5 minutes or until everything seems to soften, not stick, to the bottom of the pan. Add the sliced shiitakes.
4. Add 1/4 C. red wine, stir everything together. Let cook approx 5 minutes – you really want to let the alcohol burn off.

5. Pour in the tomato sauce, mix everything together really well, and lower heat to medium low.

6. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add pasta and cook according to directions. Drain, but don’t rinse!  Set aside.
7. Taste sauce, then add the parm cheese. Taste again, then season as needed. Add the basil, stir to combine. 

8. Dump the pasta into the saucepan with the sauce, mix everything up really well. Top with another little bit of parm and enjoy!

And also. Welcome to the family, Murray!  Colly got the cutest dog this week! As anyone who knows me can tell you, this addition has been in the works since my junior year of high school. But that’s a story for another time. :]

Cape Weekend

I haven’t been up to Cape Cod in a solid ten years, but it was – incredibly – more beautiful than I remembered – those adorable cottages and hydrangea everywhere, some of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve ever seen, the most amazing sunsets of maybe anywhere. We had great food and conversation in Dennis…it was just a perfect little getaway.

There are really few people I’d wake up at 3am on a Saturday to drive 5 hours with (or, 7 hours behind, if RMBA is at the wheel of the car in front of you) for a quick weekend on the Cape with the “girls” of her family, and come away from it thinking it had been the best weekend of my summer. 

Re’s family has been coming up here since she was little, and now the group is “girls only” – with the exception of 2 year old Henry. Life happens, and so the QT I get to spend with her now is less than what it used to be when we both lived in Philly, pre-moves (for me) and pre-law school (for her). Saturday night after a gorgeous day at the beach, we went driving around the Cape so she could show me the things that she loved when she was younger, and then we literally just sat and split a six pack and listened to music and just caught up for a while. She’s been an incredible sounding board and support system to me for over 20 years now (!!), is one of the people I admire most in the world, and I’m just so lucky to have her as a friend, and to know and love her family, too. 

This summer has been full of really beautiful moments where I sometimes least expected to find them. This weekend was one of the prettiest. 

This basically sums up the ride up there – pop tarts, coffee, gas station-brand water. Sick. Oh and also like a million episodes of This American Life. Standard road trip.

Almost there!

Insanely clear water.
G & Clairey, looking at the hermit crabs.

Wine on the beach at sunset in a Dino cup? What, like you haven’t?
G, totally miz despite being about the eat the best blueberry muffin of anyone’s life from the Merc.
Go here. Get the muffins. Enjoy.

sun-squint selfie
Definitely coming back here next year! This beach felt like the end of the world. It was unbelievable. 

Double Rainbow! Good sign and a perfect ending to the weekend.
Oh, all right. Just one lobster roll.
Thanks for hosting me, ladies!