Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Easy Summer Fruit Crisp

So, you have a fruit bowl on your counter with all kinds of fresh, seasonal fruit because it just looked too good to pass up at the farmer's market...and now you can't eat it fast enough and it's getting soft and squishy, right? (Go with me here.)

That's exactly what happened to me last week. Rather than letting this bounty go to waste, I decided to whip up an easy fruit crisp that has the smells of the not-too-distant holidays wafting throughout my house.

I started by cutting up the peaches and plums. Then, I added a bit of lemon zest and lemon juice to add a hint of freshness.

And some sugar to create the syrupy juice to bake in.

Then, I added spices and a bit of flour to make it even more syrupy and delicious.

Let the fruit sit in the bowl a bit and get happy.

To make the topping, I mixed together some oatmeal, brown and white sugar (cuz there wasn't enough already), flour and cold, diced butter.

Then, I spread the fruit mixture into a deep dish pie plate and topped it with the oatmeal mixture.


I baked this puppy at 350 degrees for about 45-50 minutes, until I could see the sweet syrup bubbling up at the edges and the crust was golden brown.

No one had to tell me twice to dish up a bowl (it would have been oh so comforting had I had some vanilla ice cream in my freezer).

With nostalgia my bowl, I promptly went and re-read my childhood scrapbook of time spent at grandma's house.

Easy Fruit Crisp
(adapted from Ina Garten's Apple and Pear Crisp recipe)

Filling Ingredients:
2-3 large peaches, peeled and cut into chunks
3-4 plums, peeled and cut into chunks
1-2 medium apples, peeled and cut into chunks
zest and juice of one large lemon
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp. cinnamon (you can use less if you like; you can also add nutmeg)

Topping Ingredients:
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 sticks of cold, unsalted butter, diced

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a 9x13 oval baking dish (or deep dish pie plate, or 8x8 baking dish) with nonstick cooking spray (or wipe it down with butter if you prefer).

Mix all the filling ingredients together in a large bowl; pour into greased baking dish.

Mix the topping ingredients in an electric mixer on low until butter resembles the size of peas (mixture should be coarse).

Sprinkle topping over fruit mixture.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until topping is golden brown and mixture is bubbling. 

Sunday, July 18, 2010


My adventures with Dr. Nellie in Greenville didn't stop with the mango margs and queso. We went to this incredibly little hip jazz joint to see a friend of hers play some fantastic music.

Not only did we get the VIP treatment - our table was actually on the stage (yes, ON the stage) - but the food was pretty smackin' too.

We started with a glass of pinot noir...nice and smooth...ahhh....

Then, as an appetizer, we split this amazing shrimp bruschetta that had a warm, creamy, garlicky sauce drizzled over a perfectly cooked shrimp on top of a piece of warm, soft crostini. Heaven on a plate, I'm telling you.

The warmth and creaminess of this bruschetta was such a delightful contrast to the traditional cool tomato, onion and cilantro version that you typically find.

For the main course, I took a walk on the wild side for me...crab salad.

Not the mayonnaise-drenched kind that is stuffed between two pieces of oversized bread. The fresh, light, summery kind with giant chunks of rich lump crab meat, juicy tomato chunks, crunchy onions and soft, smooth slices of avocado. If California could fit on a plate, this would be it.

To top it off, the darn thing was plated as a tower of deliciousness drizzled with a wonderful horseradish remoulade and balsamic glaze. Yumm-y.

If only dinner at my house was this lovely...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Best Way to Spend a Saturday Afternoon

There are lots of great things to do on a Saturday afternoon: organizing my crazy-full guest closet, shopping for new OPI nail colors, venturing to the market with a new recipe in hand. But, I spent last Saturday afternoon partaking in one of my all-time favorite pastimes...consuming queso and mango margaritas with my oldest friend in the world (she's not old, our friendship is).

This is Dr. Nellie. She's fabulous.  And a sassy dresser too. She LOVES to drink mango margs in a straw.

I took a wee bit of a road trip to visit her in where she lives in Greenville, S.C. (aka The Quintessential Charming Southern Town) for some R&R over the holiday weekend.

We kicked off the weekend with a trip to the local Mexican watering hole for some chips and salsa, queso dip and the infamous mango margarita. (Dr. Nellie and I have a historical obsession with mango margaritas, so any chance we get to imbibe, we do our happy dance.)

We didn't just have "a" margarita...

We had a pitcher. Well, 3/4 of a pitcher; it was more economical. Clearly our inner Dave Ramsey forced us to place the order.

And let me tell you something...was that pitcher of sweet, salty, cold, slushy fruit heaven ever worth it.

Just beware: this is what happens AFTER the margaritas.