Late Summer Peach and Mint Bulgur Salad

We still have peaches filling the produce section of our grocery store with juicy, sweet smelling nectar.  I found this summer that I am definitely a peach person.  They just translate so well with other foods.  I love them with desserts and savory dishes, herbs, wines, fish, pork, chicken, vegetables, grilled, poached, raw, sautéed, flambéed.   It’s hard for a peach not to make anything better.

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Quick and easy, fresh and tasty.  All words that matter when we think about school kicking back in.   With peaches still hanging on to the season, I saw this salad and knew it would make a perfect cookout side, a last day of summer picnic lunch, or even an on the go salad.

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Thanks to Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked bulgur
  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup diced fresh peaches
  • ½ cup chopped hazelnuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup small fresh mint leaves

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Preparation

In a small sauce pot bring 2 cups water and bulgur to a boil. Place cover on the pot, reduce heat to medium, and cook about 10-12 minutes until tender.

While bulgur is cooking combine vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

Drain the bulgur from the sauce pot and give a quick rinse of cold water.  Add warm bulgur to the vinegar and oil mix and toss.  Allow to cool to room temperature and add the peaches and mint to the salad.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves 4-6

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Hold on tight to these last moments of summer; enjoy the longer days, the warm evening sunsets, and the family time.  Also- hold on to the peaches, as the perfect fruit will be gone soon.

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Roasted Peach Breakfast Bread Pudding

I’ve been walking thru the produce sections of the grocery stores and salivating over the smell of peaches.  It is stonefruit season and their perfume is overwhelming.  It radiates as strong as the ladies that obnoxiously dose themselves in bottled perfume, but with the natural, earthy, sweet scent that manages to make its way into my belly and switch on the I want to eat button.

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So far each week I have not been able to resist the tantalizing scent of the peaches and home they come!  Last week I found myself in with a familiar situation- ever had a lot of bread leftover from dinner? Or even just a half of loaf?  Maybe you have even had a walk in freezer full of leftover bread.  Luckily, the day old bread makes a great treat the next morning , especially when there are roasted peaches involved.

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Ingredients

  • 4 ounces sourdough, French or Italian bread, day old, 1 inch cubed (about 3 cups)    
  • 2 small peaches, diced in ½ inch cubes    
  • 2 tablespoons raisins or dried cherries    
  • 1/3 cup low-fat ready-to-eat granola cereal    
  • 3/4 cup low-fat or skim milk    
  • 2 tablespoons sugar    
  • 1 large egg 
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon    
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-calorie pancake syrup  
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened Greek yogurt 

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Instructions

The evening prior to serving, coat a 8 or 9 inch baking dish with pan spray.   In a mixing bowl combine the bread, fruit, and granola.  In another mixing bowl whip the milk, sugar, egg and cinnamon until combined.  Pour liquid into mixing bowl of bread and fruit and toss gently.  Pour all into prepared baking dish and cover, refrigerate overnight.

Turn oven to 350°F.  Bake the uncovered bread pudding for 30 minutes or until the bread is toasted brown. Serve warm with syrup and 1 ½ tablespoon Greek yogurt.

Serves 4

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The peaches are lovely in the breakfast dish, but fresh plums and nectarines are easily substituted. Any fruit can be swapped out if you prefer.  Skip the Greek yogurt and serve it as dessert one evening with a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt.

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This is a healthy yet decadent way to start any summer morning, and  certainly a guilty free way to use up that leftover bread!

Ginger and Ghost Pepper Peach Sangria

Summer started today,  although here in Florida, summer feels like it starts much earlier!  What is even more fun about June 21st, is that it is the unofficial start date of sangria season!  The perfect answer to the humid, sweaty days of Florida summers!  My favorite girl, @sweetsbymaggie is here for the week, and we love to enjoy sangria together, it is just what we do 🙂

A friend gave me a bit of homemade ghost pepper honey a few weeks ago, which is the hottest pepper out there blended into honey.  I also had a bit of ginger left in the cooler, so I made a ginger simple syrup to use it up before it spoiled.  I saw a bottle of white wine on the pantry shelf and I knew what direction we were heading. It is so fun to play with sangria flavors, once you have the general idea of how to make a traditional white or red sangria, I highly recommend getting creative with the flavors.  I love muddling herbs in ours, basil and cilantro are great.

Here is the recipe I used, it made about 5 quarts and took me about 20 minutes to do.  We left it overnight and the next day it was nicely blended, all of the flavors had time to hang out together and bond 🙂

Ginger Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chopped ginger

Put all ingredients into a heavy sauce pan and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. and cool.  The flavor will develop as it sits, so don’t be afraid to let it rest before you use it.

Simmer down Ginger!!!!!

Ghost Pepper Honey

  • 1 pinch ghost pepper flakes*
  • 3 teaspoons honey

Mix pepper flakes and honey together well, the longer the honey has to sit the stronger the heat will get.  A perfect item to have in your cabinet.

*You can use any pepper here, dry them slowly in the oven and then put in a coffee grinder to grind, you could even red pepper flakes if you would prefer.

Ginger and Ghost Pepper Peach Sangria

  • 2- 12 oz cans peach nectar
  • 1.5 liter Pinot grigio
  • 1 cup peach schnapps
  • 1 cup brandy
  • 2 peaches, cut in small bites 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 pint blueberries, muddled
  • 3 teaspoons ghost pepper honey
  • 2 cups ginger simple syrup

Sangria Fruit

Mix all ingredients together in pitchers (I used two which allowed room for stirring, and just split everything in half, for each pitcher).  Refrigerate for a few hours before serving.  If you let it sit longer then 12 hours check that the peaches haven’t been “overcooked”, they can become rancid over time.

Ginger and Ghost Pepper Honey Peach Sangria