Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Texas Peach Cobbler
Sometimes I cook, beyond making the effort to open a box or can or take out a frozen pizza and pop it in the oven. I LIKE to cook, just not drawn out stuff every single day. Now and then I get the itch to make homemade bread, or cookies from scratch, but spaghetti at our house involves Ragu rather than crushing tomatoes that simmer all day.

If I had to choose one word to define me, it'd likely be P.R.A.C.T.I.C.A.L. I'm made up of other qualities and quirks and contradictions, all of which don't necessarily have nice names, but 'practical' tints almost everything I do. I hate the idea of cooking something that takes all day to prepare, then watching my husband consume it in fifteen minutes, especially since most of the time he'd be just as happy with a frozen pizza, cooked first of course. (I won't tell you how many times I've cooked it with the cardboard thing still under the pizza. Seriously.)

You'll never see me post a recipe here that has fifteen steps, with ingredients most of us never heard of, are expensive, and require weird kitchen gadgets I don't own. I bought a garlic press a while back, but the jar of garlic in my fridge makes much more sense to me and since it started out smelling to high heaven I assume it's still good. My garlic press will likely never be used, because I make homemade caesar salad about every 15 years.

You may have noticed I posted my weight on my sidebar. I think of it as "free Weight Watchers". When I go weigh in, I pay them $11, then they very politely write down my weight, whether it is up or down, and pass the piece of paper over to me. Sometimes they go so far as to say, very softly of course, "you're up a bit". If I actually lost some they speak louder, and say, " great week", or "good job." WW doesn't officially consider me overweight, being 5'9"+ but I see myself naked, so the truth is hard to ignore. I decided it would be more accountable (and cheaper) to actually put it out here for God and Blogland to see, what I weigh now and whether I am actually losing or gaining. Already, at night when I consider eating just one square of chocolate, I remember that I'll be posting this Sunday, and I pass. Doing cross-stitch helps too - you can't stuff your face and poke needles through aida cloth at the same time, at least not very easily,without taking a chance on wounding yourself.

So I'm on the prowl for recipes, that are really great tasting, aren't terribly fattening, don't take forever, cost a bundle, or have weird ingredients. Keeping in mind that one of the top five needs of men is reported to be "Domestic support", I want my husband to eat what I prepare and immediately think, "I LOVE supporting this woman because she cooks food for me", just without it being too much work on my part. Doing his laundry is icing on the cake. Meeting any of those other four needs, some of which will go unnamed, brings me paid-for vacations, a running car, and freedom to meet girlfriends on a regular basis for coffee or lunch, and remembrance of my birthday and our anniversary. It's a Biblically-endorsed arrangement to boot!

This month's issue of Cooking Light had this recipe, and I made it this morning to take to an outdoor concert in our city park. Another side of my 'practical' is being somewhat cheap now and then. Blueberries or blackberries are wonderful, but more expensive, even in the summer, than peaches are. Peaches abound right now, so grab some and whip this up for that man in your life, or someone else you enjoy the daylights out of, or maybe you even have someone new to welcome to the neighborhood. It's quick and easy - I promise. Otherwise, the Practical Polly in me wouldn't be sharing it with all of you. Nothin' says lovin' like somethin' from the oven - that still holds, but I'm convinced some of you out there are like me, because the Ragu jars in my grocery store aren't collecting dust.

Note: this cobbler is not the one on Cooking Light's current issue cover. It's inside, on page 133, and was rated by the staff as top-notch.

Texas Peach Cobbler

This is the one I baked this morning, fresh out of the oven. The kitchen smells fabulous!

4 cups sliced peeled ripe peaches (about 2 lbs)
2 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

6 Tbsp butter
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, about 5 1/2 ounces
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
dash of ground cinnamon
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp turbinado sugar (substitute brown if need be)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To prepare filling, combine first four ingredients in a medium bowl. Set aside. To prepare batter, place butter in an 8-inch square baking dish. Place dish in oven 5 minutes or til butter melts. Combine flour and next 4 ingredients (through dash of cinnamon) in a medium bowl. Combine milk and 1/2 tsp vanilla; add milk mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Spoon batter over butter, spreading evenly (do not stir). Spoon peach mixture over batter, gently pressing peaches into batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Sprinkle with turbinado sugar, and bake an additional 10 minutes or til crust is golden. - serves 8. 6 points on Weight Watchers, 294 calories per slice (Fabulous with ice cream on the side, just add additional points if you're counting!)


  posted at 8:58 AM

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