Monthly Archives: May 2014

Grilled Honey Peaches with Mascarpone and Pecans

Grilled Honey Peaches with Mascarpone and Pecans by Farmhouse38.comOh, this is just so damned yummy. I really wasn’t expecting it to be, to be totally honest. I look at this and it almost seems too…I don’t know…healthy? For a dessert? Maybe it’s just me. Probably just me. LOL.

So yeah, these really blew me away.

For two servings:

–2 ripe, but firm peaches, halved, pits removed

–4 oz mascarpone cheese

–1/4 cup candied pecans, processed into fine bits

–2 tablespoons warmed coconut oil

–Approx. 2 tablespoons or so of local, organic honey to drizzle

–1/4 cup candied pecans, slightly crumbled

Start by pulverizing your first quarter cup of candied pecans in the food processor, then mix them thoroughly with your mascarpone.

Next, heat your grill (or in my case, your grill skillet) to medium high. Brush or dip the flat side of your peach halves in warmed coconut oil, and drop them, face down, on the skillet or grill when it is heated up. Leave them to cook for about 4 minutes each. They’ll become really fragrant and soft when they are ready (and there will be some lovely grill marks).

Scoop your peach halves off the grill and place them face up on a plate (I recommend two halves as a serving, despite what my photos show). Scoop a generous tablespoon full of mascarpone/pecan mix onto the center of each peach, drizzle with honey, sprinkle with crushed candied pecans and serve immediately.

Grilled Honey Peaches with Mascarpone and Pecans by Farmhouse38.com

Joy.

Grilled Honey Peaches with Mascarpone and Pecans by Farmhouse38.com

Joy.

Grilled Honey Peaches with Mascarpone and Pecans by Farmhouse38.com

Joy.

By the way…this was the first time I’ve ever made a dessert for this blog and actually eaten the whole darned thing. I made four servings (in order to have enough in case I plated them wrong or some such blog nonsense) AND I ATE THEM ALL. Usually I will make something like this during the day and then save it for the Texan. But this one…you kind of have to eat it right away. I didn’t want it to go to waste. He was not impressed with this when I told him over the phone.

 

 

A Colorful New Book for Your Garden Library

Review of A Garden To Dye For by Farmhouse38.com

Gardens are just divine, aren’t they? They provide us with impossibly much: food, medicine, an eye-ball-ful of gorgeous, and a basic, peaceful connection to the Earth that is hard to put into words. Leave it to the fabulously funny Chris McLaughlin to give us just one more bit of lovely we can reap from our gardens: natural dyes.

This book is an absolute technicolor dream for the home fiber artist; all you crafty spinners with your adorable goats and sheep and bunnies and alpacas and all their glorious fluff–here is your guide for what to grow in your garden (besides fluffy animals) and how to process it into yummy, yummy homemade colors. I can only imagine the possibilities. But for those of you who aren’t quite to the point of harvesting your own fiber (uhh, that would be me), Chris shows us how and with what to dye yarns, threads, silks, cottons, linens, and other ready-to-go fabrics. But it all goes far beyond fabric; natural dyes can be used on wood, basket-making reeds, paper products, play dough, and since we’ve just come off of Easter–eggs…of course, you can dye eggs with them! Huzzah!

There are so many wonderful recipes and tricks of the trade in this book, but, as a painter, one in particular jumped out at me…making your own watercolor dye paints. I knew I had to try this. I also knew I wanted to use materials that I either had on hand, or had in the garden. Red cabbage, beets, turmeric, and black tea were all already in my kitchen and would give me blue, red/pink, yellow, and brown dyes, so I got to work. In retrospect, I also realized that I have swamp mallow, marigolds, hollyhock, rose, and coreopsis growing in the garden–all dye materials listed by Chris–but I had ants in my pants and overlooked these at the time. Dang it. DANG IT.

As with all natural dyes, a little experimentation was in order. Ultimately, I landed on a pretty decent recipe that was just a miniature version of what Chris outlines for dyeing a big batch of fabric.

To get blue dye paint, you’ll need:

-4 tablespoons of finely chopped red cabbage

-1 cup of boiling water

(I actually started out by putting the cabbage bits in a mason jar, boiling water in a tea kettle, and then pouring the boiling water over the bits and letting them sit for awhile). This color was pretty, but ultimately, I didn’t think it was strong enough, so I then transferred the contents of the jar to a small saucepan, and boiled the liquid down by half. This gave me a great blue color.

To get red/magenta/pink:

-4 tablespoons of finely chopped red beets

-1 cup of boiling water

The tea kettle method worked great for this and I did not need to boil the liquid down further. This yields a very saturated dark pink. Obviously, if you want it lighter, pull a small amount and mix with water to water it down to your desired color.

To get yellow:

–4 teaspoons of powdered turmeric

–2 cups boiling water

The tea kettle method actually yielded a nice, light yellow color, but ultimately, I wanted it more saturated so, again, I boiled the liquid down by half after the fact.

To get brown:

-6 standard black tea bags

-2 cups boiling water

The tea kettle method yielded a very light brown, which was great, but I wound up boiling this liquid down by half, as well, which gave me better saturation.

To get green:

Mix equal parts turmeric and cabbage dyes.

To get reddish-orange:

Mix equal parts turmeric and beet dyes.

To get reddish-brown:

I kind of mixed equal parts of all four base colors.

Obviously, one can mix any variation of these colors and get all different shades and colors. Experimentation is key! Chris also suggests using binders to help the color stick: these include whole milk, egg yolks, or egg whites (but each of these will change the colors slightly, so test first). I opted to not go with any binders, and so theoretically, my colors will fade slowly over time.

 

DIY All-natural Watercolor Dye Paints from A Garden to Dye For via Farmhouse38.com

My resulting colors.

And my subsequent watercolor painting:

DIY Natural Watercolor Dye Paints from A Garden to Dye For via Farmhouse38.com

Eloise and Gertie in all their all-natural colorful glory. All natural except for the Sharpie outline. I’m a cheater. I do what I want!!!

This book was just a pleasure to read–Chris’ trademark humor and gift for ‘telling it like it is’ get me every time. Be sure to visit A Garden to Dye For’s Facebook page and Chris’ blog Home Ag with a Suburban Farmer because to celebrate the launch Chris is giving away a Natural Dye Starter Kit with all sorts of goodies (including a copy of the book) to get you started on your home-dyeing and gardening adventures. To enter, you just need to follow her on Pinterest and leave a comment on the A Garden to Dye For Facebook page telling her what your favorite kind of garden is. On May 20, 2014, her Chiweenie helper will select a winner at random. You gotta love that. And if you don’t win the prize package, never fear, A Garden to Dye For is available at all major booksellers including Amazon.

Cheers to pretty colors!

Review of A Garden to Dye For via Farmhouse38.com

 

 

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