Grilled Peach + Burrata Salad

Grilled Peach + Burrata Salad |

Guys, I started graduate school. Things have been busy. It still feels a bit surreal, that in less than 5 years I'm on track to be Dr. Buckley. I still don't feel like I'll ever be smart enough to live up to the title, and try to hold off thinking about it because there is a lot of work to be done between now and then. Nevertheless it's all super exciting. I get to read like 300 pages a night, most of which is actually super interesting, and all of which I'll actually integrate and use in the profession. 

Grilled Peach + Burrata Salad | Kneading Home

Though it's barely a recipe, this is the first that I've made in the new apartment. Finding my way around the new kitchen has been a bit awkward. The day after we moved in I had my first bout with my new electric range. You see, I've been anxious about having to switch to electric since we signed the lease. Everyone told me how finicky it is, how it takes forever to heat up and provides limited control for temperature. Cast iron also takes forever to heat up, so when I turned on the stove for the very first time to make crispy fried eggs in my cast iron I took everyone's advice and turned it all the way up to high. The pan smoked, as it usually does, the fire alarm went off. No biggie. Setting the fire alarm off while cooking is something most apartment dwelling cooks are used to. But then it kept going off. Until I heard fire trucks, and sirens which eventually lead to a knock on my door by three fire men and the doorman completely dressed in fireman garb, gas masks, oxygen tanks and all. It was one of the most mortifying moments of my life. Needless to say, I steered clear of the stove for a solid week after the incident and our smoke detector is now fitted with a perfectly sized piece of aluminum foil we put up every time we cook. 

We've made this salad now a handful of times. It's simple and perfect for savoring those last juicy peaches of the season. One of my favorite things about Chicago is the Farmer's Markets. There's one within biking distance of our apartment almost 7 days a week. I'm in heaven pretending winter is never going to come! 

Grilled Peach + Burrata Salad | Kneading Home
Grilled Peach + Burrata Salad | Kneading Home

Grilled Peach + Burrata Salad
Serves 2-4 as an appetizer

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 peaches
3 big handfuls arugula
~1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 heaping tablespoon pine nuts
4 oz burrata* 
freshly ground salt + pepper to taste

Heat the balsamic over medium heat until just barely simmering. Stir occasionally until the mixture thickens to the consistency of syrup and reduces by two thirds. It will take around 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, heat a grill or grill pan over medium heat. Quarter the peaches then cook over the grill just until grill marks appear. Flip the peaches, cooking both sides. 

Toss arugula with olive oil and a generous amount of freshly ground salt and pepper. Top with pine nuts, peaches, and burrata then drizzle with balsamic and serve. Option to serve with a toasted baguette or a slice of toasted sourdough.

*If you can find an authentic italian deli, that would be your best bet for finding great burrata. Otherwise I usually get mine from Trader Joes. If you can't find burrata, high quality mozzarella stored in liquid could work. 



Summer Peach Breakfast Smoothie

Summer Peach Breakfast Smoothie | Kneading Home

If you're like me and OD'ed on carbs this weekend, this post is for you! This summer I (re)discovered the smoothie. Particularly the breakfast smoothie. Until about June my attempt to eat better breakfasts had been by way of granola, eggs, and oatmeal. But waking up on hot summer mornings, nothing sounded more disgusting to me than warm breakfast. Even the idea of food grossed me out. But smoothies - sweet, cool, and refreshing? Now you're talking. So I started exploring the art of the green smoothie. I realized you can pack in a ton of spinach in and so long as you match it with a little bit of fruit it will taste fantastic. 

As summer began to wind-down, and I started buying peaches like a crazy person, this became my go-to smoothie. It's sweet and creamy, and leaves me full for hours and hours. 

Summer Peach Breakfast Smoothie | Kneading Home
Summer Peach Breakfast Smoothie | Kneading Home

Let me preface this by saying, despite making these sweet treats almost everyday this summer, I do not own a Vitamix. In fact, the blender I've used every morning we recently saw on sale at Target for $15. That's right, hold your laughter please. I survived daily summer smoothies with my husband's old $15 blender from college. #firstworldproblems? And though it wasn't without frustration, if I can do it anyone can. I believe you shouldn't let fancy gadgets hold you back from cooking your little heart out, because I sure as hell don't. 

That being said, can I say, I am currently OBSESSING over Vitamixes online. I never thought I could justify spending $600 on a blender, despite the rave reviews. But then I discovered that they sell certified-reconditioned machines, which are apparently, "almost" like new, and literally cost half the price! So my finger is on the trigger, and with a summer's worth of blender-frustration, I just might pull it.

So Vitamix users, I want your input, is it worth the splurge? Will it really change my life, homemade almond milk and all? 

Summer Peach Breakfast Smoothie | Kneading Home
Summer Peach Breakfast Smoothie | Kneading Home

Summer Peach Breakfast Smoothie 
Makes 1 quart 

1 banana 
1 peach
3 large handfuls baby spinach
1/3 cup frozen mango chunks
1/4 cup greek yogurt (optional)
1 1/4 cup almond milk
2 tbsp ground flax seed

Place all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth. 

Notes: I find if you have a lower-quality blender, like me, placing the ingredients in your blender in the order listed, hugely improves blending ease. 

Peach Bourbon Pecan Cobbler Ice Cream

Peach Bourbon Pecan Cobbler Ice Cream {dairy-free} | Kneading Home

Happy Friday! We've survived the week. We deserve something special. Luck for you, I've got just the thing. I've been wanting to share a peach recipe as well an ice cream recipe before it starts cooling down and peaches leave us for the season. Then I had the brilliant idea to combine the two. And guys, the final product is everything I dreamed and more. This ice cream is the sweet, sweet, love child of peach bourbon pecan cobbler and vanilla bean ice cream. Oh, and it's dairy free and probably the best thing I've ever created. 

Peach Bourbon Pecan Cobbler Ice Cream {dairy-free} | Kneading Home
Peach Bourbon Pecan Cobbler Ice Cream {dairy-free} | Kneading Home
Peach Bourbon Pecan Cobbler Ice Cream {dairy-free} | Kneading Home

I hope I didn't offend anyone when I said "dairy-free", and if I did, give me a moment to defend myself. You see, my husband is a bit of an ice-cream snob. It's one of the few things he makes in this house, it's sort of his "job" to make the ice cream. He also happens to hate coconut and is highly skeptical of healthy, particularly vegan, adaptations of classics (one time I made him vegan mac and cheese and he practically divorced me, let's just say that's never happening again).  So I knew I had my work cut out for me. And let me tell you, you let this ice cream soften on the counter a bit, and I swear to you, you cannot tell it's dairy-free. It is so creamy and smooth. The secret is 1. the egg yolk custard (sorry vegans) and 2. using coconut cream. It's also got lots of brown sugar, a touch of maple syrup, a homemade crumble, and perfect summer peaches cooked in bourbon, coconut oil, and more brown sugar and maple syrup. Oh and the ice cream has those perfect little beads of vanilla caviar that add that extra touch. Like I said, it may be the best thing I've ever made. 

And as for the husband, he happily served himself not one, not two, but three giant scoops of the stuff with a huge grin on his face while he insisted that it wasn't that good. Yeah, right. Actions speak louder than words, my friends. 

Peach Bourbon Pecan Cobbler Ice Cream {dairy-free} | Kneading Home
Peach Bourbon Pecan Cobbler Ice Cream {dairy-free} | Kneading Home
Peach Bourbon Pecan Cobbler Ice Cream {dairy-free} | Kneading Home
Peach Bourbon Pecan Cobbler Ice Cream {dairy-free} | Kneading Home
Peach Bourbon Pecan Cobbler Ice Cream {dairy-free} | Kneading Home

Peach Bourbon Pecan Cobbler Ice Cream {dairy-free} 
Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen 
Makes 1 overflowing quart 

For the custard: 
2 egg yolks, room temperature 
1/4 cup cane sugar 
1/4 cup brown sugar 
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 13.5oz can full-fat coconut milk 
1 13.5oz can coconut cream
1 vanilla bean 
pinch of sea salt 

For the peaches: 
3 ripe yellow peaches 
1 tsp coconut oil 
1 tbsp brown sugar 
1 tbsp maple syrup 
1 tbsp bourbon (optional) 
pinch of sea salt 

For the crumble: 
1/2 cup Earth Balance (or butter)
1/2 heaping cup of all purpose flour 
1/3 cup cane sugar 
1/4 cup pecan pieces 
pinch of sea salt 

1. Make the custard. In a double broil over, whisk egg yolks, sugars, and maple syrup together over medium heat until mixture becomes smooth and sugar has melted. Slowly whisk in coconut milk, followed by coconut cream. Slice open vanilla bean and using the backside of a knife scrape the beans out of the pod, add the vanilla "caviar" to the custard along with the vanilla pod. Add pinch of salt and whisk for 2-3 minutes until completely smooth and incorporated. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Pour custard through a fine-mesh sieve, and discard vanilla pod. Refrigerate mixture for 1-2 hours.

2. Make the crumble. Cut earth balance (or butter) into small chunks and freeze for 15-30 minutes (this makes the crumble extra crumbling and keeps it from caking - it's worth it, trust me). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. And line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Combine flour and salt in a medium bowl, add cold butter and using your hands, work the butter into the flour until it becomes the consistency of very chunky (delicious) sand. Add the sugar and pecans. Bake for 25-30 minutes until slightly brown, removing from oven at about about 20 minutes to break the crumble into chunks, giving it a good toss so it cooks evenly. Once finished remove from heat and let cool completely. 

3. Make the peaches. Thinly slice peaches, leaving the skins on. Heat coconut oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add in peaches, sugar, maple syrup, salt, and bourbon and stir for about 5 minutes until mixture becomes extremely fragrant and peaches soften. Let cool. Then add mixture to a food processor and pulse until desired chunks are achieved. Refrigerate mixture. 

4. Make the ice cream. Follow the instructions on your ice cream making. Pour cold custard into maker, when the ice cream is about 75% done, add in peaches and about two thirds of the crumble (reserving the final third to sprinkle on top of the ice cream). Transfer to a container, top with more crumble, and freeze. 

5. Serve. This ice cream does best after sitting at room temperature 20-30 minutes. Because of the low sugar content and lack of actual dairy, it does have a tendency to get icy. Letting it rest until it just begins to melt around the edges is the way to go. To serve top with even more crumble and enjoy!

Recipe Notes: 

I've made regular ice cream enough times to know, there is no reason you couldn't do this same recipe using a combination of heavy cream and milk instead of coconut cream/milk. At some point, I will do this and post an update on here.