Peaches are considered a summer fling thing. But this summer, the peach game is jumping up a notch. Expect the taste of peach in everything from salsas, to glazes, to beverages.
Here’s something peachy for you to try:
Peach Brick Toast with NILLA Wafers
*recipe courtesy of Snack & Desert Solutions
2-3/4 oz. water
2-3/4 oz. whole milk
1 oz. bread flour
5-1/2 oz. whole milk
2-3/4 tsp. instant yeast
16-1/2 oz. bread flour
2-3/4 oz. granulated sugar
1-1/2 tsp. salt
2 each whole large eggs
2-3/4 oz. unsalted butter, slightly softened
5 oz. coarsely chopped NILLA Wafers
8 oz. mascarpone
1 oz. powdered sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. coffee extract
11 oz. heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks
1 oz. unsalted butter
12 oz. caramel sauce
8 slices Peach Brick Bread (3.75 oz. each)
20 oz. Tiramisu Cream
30 oz. Banana Topping
4 oz. coarsely chopped NILLA Wafers
Combine all ingredients in small saucepan. Cook on medium heat, whisking constantly, until the whisk leaves a trail on the bottom of the pan, about 5 min. Cool to room temperature.
Warm milk to 90°F. Sprinkle yeast over milk. Let stand while assembling remaining dough ingredients.
Combine flour, sugar and salt in bowl of mixer fitted with dough hook. Stir in eggs, milk mixture and cooked starter. Mix on low speed until smooth, about 4 min. Add butter. Mix on medium speed 10 min. (Dough will be tacky.) Mix in NILLA Wafers just until blended.
Place dough in large greased bowl, turning to coat entire surface. Cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature 1 hour. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Deflate and shape into a rectangle to fit a 13 x 4 x 4-inch Pullman Loaf Pan. Remove dough from bowl. Let dough rest 15 min. Place dough in greased pan. Cover pan with lid. Proof 45 min. or until dough is 3/4th of the height of the pan.
Bake in 350°F standard oven 35 min. Remove lid; bake an additional 10 to 15 min. or until internal temperature registers 200 to 205°F. Cool in pan on wire rack 15 min. Remove from pan and cool completely.
Mix mascarpone, powdered sugar and extracts in large bowl until smooth. Gently fold in whipped cream. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Cut peaches lengthwise into quarters, then cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Melt butter in sauté pan; add peaches. Cook 1 min. Add caramel sauce and heat just until warm.
For each serving:
Cut a 1-1/2-inch thick slice from Peach Brick Bread. Use 1-3/4-inch round cutter to remove a circle from center of bread slice. (Reserve center for another use or discard).
Place bread slice under broiler 1 to 1-1/2 min. or until light golden brown. Turn and brown other side. Transfer to serving plate.
Fill center with 2.5 oz. Tiramisu Cream. Spoon 3.75 oz. Peach Topping over bread and onto plate. Sprinkle with 1/2 oz. cookie pieces.
May is such awesome month. May flowers from those April showers; Mother’s Day; Memorial Day; and the official kickoff to BBQ season. Yes, the yumminess that is summer outdoor eating!
But (and we hate the “but” part—unless we’re talking pork butt, which would be delicious barbecued) we should be mindful of our tummies, according to expert Dr. Julie. So, here’s the need-to-know info.
1. Don’t pile everything onto your plate then gobble it down in the same sitting
The brain gets a signal to supply digestive enzymes for whatever food type you eat first. If you start to chew a second and third type of food too early, the signal to produce new enzymes won’t be processed as quickly and the new foods will not be properly digested, causing bloating, gas, heartburn, and stomach pain. Additionally, you won’t get the energy from the food you’re eating because the body will now have to spend energy getting rid of the toxins that are forming from these wrongly mixed foods. Chew each bite slowly, a dozen or more times before swallowing, to trigger the proper enzymes and to aid absorption. Side benefit: You’ll feel full sooner and won’t eat as much.
Crack Wise-dom: You apparently didn’t come from a large family where if you didn’t eat fast and furious, you didn’t eat at all. Plus, gas and bloat can be a weapon against said family.
2. Steak or potato salad – which should I eat first?
One huge mistake most people make is eating their steak along with a baked potato or a potato side dish -- mixing heavy starches with heavy proteins. Eat steaks, burgers, and hot dogs first, slowly. You can have a bite of salad along the way. Once your steak is pretty well gone, after 15 minutes, have some potatoes. Then, if you want dessert, wait about 20 minutes.
Crack Wise-dom: What if I want a steak, a burger and a hot dog? Which comes first? #askingformyinnerfattie
3. Avoid trying new unfamiliar foods and strange food combinations
Don’t eat an assortment of “unfamiliar” foods and food combinations. It’s difficult for your body to signal a need for certain enzymes when your body has never experienced a particular food or food combination before.
Crack Wise-dom: Sounds a little food-ist to us… wink, wink.
4. Don’t eat if you’re too hot, too cold, emotionally upset, or physically ill
If your body is under physical or emotional stress or discomfort it will shut down enzyme production and digestive activity, so any food you eat will not be digested and will ferment in your digestive tract. Don’t eat after baking in the sun; cool down in the pool first.
Crack Wise-dom: Uhhmmm…. It’s summer. So, hot. And, we’re around other people. We live for the dramz.
5. Eat garnishes and veggie dishes that assist digestion
Certain cultures add garnishes, herbs, and spices to help with digestion, like ginger, which is super for digestion. Others add hot peppers, which are a stimulant to the digestive tract and help the body secrete more hydrochloric acid. Some cultures use turmeric to help digestion. Others add pineapple to their meats, which allows the bromelain in the pineapple to help break down the protein. In preparation of Greek food, lemon is used to assist digestion.
Crack Wise-dom: And?
6. Understand the role of “5 key digestive enzymes” and supplement them as needed
As we age, our body’s ability to produce digestive enzymes diminishes. To help break down different types of foods and improve digestion and nutrient absorption, these key enzymes can be taken individually or as a combination supplement (like AbsorbAid).
Protease: This enzyme breaks down proteins and liberates amino acids which are then absorbed through the intestinal walls.
Amylase: present in saliva, breaks down carbohydrates into sugars
Lipase: secreted by the pancreas into the small intestines to break down dietary fats into simple fatty acids and glycerol which can then be absorbed
Cellulase: helps decompose cellulose (vegetable fiber) into simple sugar
Lactase: converts milk sugar (lactose) into simple sugars glucose and galactose
Crack Wise-dom: What? Plus, isn’t “galactose” a video game from the 80s?
The pandemic has changed us permanently. There’s a lot more “eff everything” vibe going on, like: “Work pants? Eff that.” “Eating healthy? Eff that.” “Hot girl/boy summer? Eff that.” We feel you. And nothing says “eff that” more than naked gardening.
It’s completely freeing… though we’re concerned about bug bites and sunburned naughty parts (but a well-placed bee sting might help with… swelling.) If you want to let the “twig and berries” breathe freely while you’re weeding out the twigs and berries, so be it.
With that said, there are some places in the country that are more suited for N.G. (naked gardening) than others. The best place to do it, according to Lawn Starter? Miami. Duh. Austin is second, followed by Seattle. That one stumps us. Because Seattle can be damp and moist, and well, Costanza-stuff could happen.
So, how does your neck (nekkid) of the woods stack up? Take a down low peak…
Cinco de Mayo is soon upon us (or it may be past, depending on when you read this.) Regardless, there’s always time for some Mexican yum. Grab that bottle of pre-made margaritas, and let’s make these...
Easy Chicken Flautas
*recipe courtesy of allrecipes
¼ cup butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup minced onion
¼ cup chopped black olives
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon oil
¼ teaspoon ground paprika
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups cooked shredded chicken
8 flour tortillas
oil for frying, or as needed
Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat; stir flour into butter until smooth. Add onion to flour-butter mixture; cook and stir until onion is softened, 5 to 10 minutes. Mix black olives, lemon juice, oil, paprika, black pepper, and salt into onion mixture; cook and stir until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir chicken into mixture and remove skillet from heat and cover.
Heat oil in a large, heavy saucepan or deep-fryer. Fill tortillas with chicken mixture. Roll tortilla around filling and secure with a toothpick. Fry the rolled tortillas, working in batches, in the hot oil until browned, about 2 minutes. Transfer fried tortillas to a paper towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon or tongs.
It appears we are in the midst of a mad love affair. Not with wearing yoga pants or baking sourdough bread, but with the mighty burrito. In fact, 53% of Americans would prefer an awesome burrito over a hot date (according to TOP Data.)
Well, that says a lot. Possible colon abuse and bad gas is preferred over someone that’s potentially high-maintenance. You can dump a hot date, but you can’t dump your colon. Oh, wait…
Who knew burrito love was so intense?
With this is mind, let’s commit for life to burritos!
The Easiest Burrito Recipe
*recipe courtesy of The Seasoned Mom
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 (1 ounce) packet taco seasoning mix
1 ½ cups refried beans (or 1 ½ cups drained and rinsed black beans)
¾ cup corn kernels
3 cups cooked rice (I like to use Uncle Ben's microwaveable Ready Rice for a quick option)
6 large (10-inch) flour tortillas (I like to use Mission brand "burrito size" tortillas)
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
Optional garnish: finely diced red onion; lettuce; diced tomato or salsa; sour cream; fresh cilantro; avocado or guacamole
Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Cook beef with taco seasoning mix, according to seasoning package instructions.
To prepare 1 burrito: spread ¼ cup beans down center of tortillas; top with ½ cup rice, beef, 2 tablespoons corn, and ¼ cup cheese. Fold in opposite sides of each tortilla, then roll up, burrito style. Place, seam-sides down, in prepared dish. Repeat with remaining ingredients to prepare 6 total burritos.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes (until heated through). If you are baking the burritos from the refrigerator while they’re still cold, it will take about 30-35 minutes for them to heat through.
As we’ve learned with the Netflix hit Bridgerton, rakes are a tad more suave and classier than today’s man-hoes. Simon was quite refined and educated, and would gladly share a cup of tea with a fine lady of society (we wish we’d be his fine lady of society…)
Since you can’t buy Simon to gift mom with for Mother’s Day, La Rue 1680 has the next best thing—tea sets and teas that would be quite fitting for social season. In fact, La Rue 1680 is the luxury tea brand—all certified organic and ethically sourced. Pip, pip!
Seriously, check out this cute teapot!
And, just in time for summer—check out La Rue 1680’s new flavors:
Citrus Mango Punch - The options are endless here. Perfect on its own with some ice or spiked with a bit of rum = relaxation in a cup.
Peach Paradise - Amazing as a base for a Peach Bellini - this is THE drink for Mother’s day brunch.
Spring Berry Punch - Featuring strong light summer berry flavors - you can taste the sunshine and find yourself using this in heavy rotation all summer long.
Pina Colada - with flavors straight out of the island - brewing a fresh batch over ice, taking that first sip can help you transport to an island in your mind.
Think of how you and mom can dish about Simon and Daphe, and those abs, and those scenes, while drinking tea. You won’t feel so naughty, because—tea.
Garlic is good. Find a person who digs garlic, and the two of you could sweat garlic together. Maybe that’s just our fantasy…
Garlic truly is good for us. It boosts immunity, decreases the risk of cancer, reduces inflammation and blood sugar, and protects your heart.
Oh, and it’s low in calories and adds some superb flavor.
Skip the breath mints, and dive into this delicious dish—courtesy of allrecipes (Terry Stirling)
Death By Garlic
½ cup olive oil
10 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 pound dry penne pasta
⅓ cup grated Romano cheese
Cook pasta according to directions. In a pan, brown garlic in oil. Add salt, pepper and parsley and remove from heat. Toss penne pasta with garlic mixture, red pepper flakes, Romano, cheese and serve.
Tomorrow (4/21) is National Tea Day. How fitting, since some of you started with the “herb” today, wink-wink. We support a tea lifestyle because there’s a diversity of flavors, and this stuff is actually good for you.
Jaya Jay Myra is a former immunologist and current mind-body wellness expert/best-selling author. She’s all over the teapot, touting its awesomeness.
Benefit #1: Fights Viruses and Boosts Immunity
Black and green tea are known to have antiviral properties that can help your immune system combat viruses like the common cold and maybe even Covid-19. Anything extra we can do to support the immune system right now is a win-win.
Benefit #2: Powerful Antioxidants Fight DNA Damage and Reduce Signs of Aging
Want to maintain that youthful radiant glow and stay healthy at the same time? A cup of tea, particularly green tea or matcha, a day may be just the thing. Tea, and green tea in particular is loaded with powerful antioxidants that fight DNA damage and oxidative stress on the body, keeping you looking and feeling young. Those antioxidants can also help prevent heart disease and even cancer.
Benefit #3: Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Black and green tea contain L-theanine, a compound that helps fight stress and anxiety naturally. It can also promote a sense of calmness, while helping you focus on whatever task is at hand, making tea a great morning or mid-afternoon pick-me-up. Theanine can minimize the jitteriness of caffeine, but if you’re sensitive to caffeine, go for a tea that has less, like green or oolong.
Benefits #4: Drinkable Medicinal Spices
People have been making “tea” with herbs and spices for centuries. While these are technically tisanes if tea leaves are not used, we’re not keeping track because the potent health and wellness benefits are profound. A common Ayurvedic staple is cumin coriander fennel tea, which contains a host of health benefits including stimulating digestion, which is the root of all health according to Ayurveda. Lavender and chamomile teas can help promote sleep and relaxation. You can make tea to have practically any health or wellness benefit you want!
Benefit #5: A Great Social or Self-Care Routine
Whether used as a daily self-care routine or a way to spend time with friends and family, tea has you covered. It’s one of those things that can be enjoyed just as much alone as in a social setting.
Crack Wise-dom: Will turning tea into a hot toddy negate all of this good? Fingers crossed it won’t? Jaya Jaya come in… Jaya Jaya?
P.S. Is it just us, or do you want to refer to this fine lady as Jar Jar Binks? Or wishes she’d drop a track with Jay-Z? Probably just. Again...
Ah, festivals. Yes, the music is awesome. But more awesomer is the people watching. The girl so blitzed, she’s hurling in her long hair. The dude drinking his height in beer. The “woo hoo” person. You know who we’re talking about...
Someday, we’ll get back to festival life. Until then, enjoy the book: “FESTIVALS”—by Oliver Keens. You’ll get facts, figures, and photography, and gems like these:
“You’ll learn how Glastonbury lured in punters with free milk in the ‘70s, how Rock In Rio helped throw off a military dictatorship in the ‘80s, how Lilith Fair asserted itself against the patriarchy in the ‘90s, how Afropunk altered the mainstream perception of black expression in the 2000s and how Secret Solstice took place in 72 hours of daylight in the 2010s.”
Available June 1st.
Have you gotten on board the Shakshuka train yet? Honestly, we just like the word. A lot. But the dish itself is also something to like. Shakshuka is an easy, healthy breakfast recipe predominantly in Israel and other parts of the Middle East and North Africa. It’s a combo of simmering tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices, and gently poached eggs.
With April slated as National Garlic Month (and probably a million other things), Dorot Gardens wants us to turn to them for the bulbous veggie game. They’re known for pre-portioned garlic, onions, and herbs—which means no peeling, chopping, and measuring. Where have you been? Anywho-- to celebrate this scare-a-vampire-away month, they’ve dropped a Shakshuka recipe.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
4 cubes Dorot Gardens frozen garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 and 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2-3 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped (plus more for serving)
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and diced bell pepper and sauté for approximately five minutes, stirring frequently. Stirring continuously, add the Dorot Garlic cubes and cook for one minute more. Add the salt, black pepper, chili powder, ground cumin, paprika, and cayenne. Mix well to combine.
Stir in the can of diced tomatoes with its juices and bring to a low simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low and use a potato masher to break down the onion, bell peppers, and tomatoes into small bits and pieces. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is reduced by at least half.
Use a spoon to make small wells in the sauce. Carefully crack one egg into each well. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for six to 10 minutes, or until eggs are cooked to your preference.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, if desired.
The cracked Crack Wise Staff-- warriors of the Funformation Movement.