Saturday, August 9, 2014

Food, family and a giveaway!

Hello everybody! I'm taking a break from writing a new contemporary and all the craziness that summer brings.
 First, there's this!
On August 12th, a boxed set of historical fiction is releasing and I'm so excited to be part of it! It's been quite the learning curve and I feel so very blessed to have found this great group of historical authors. Everyone has pitched in with marketing, digital art, reaching out to reviewers/ bloggers/ magazines, etc. Instead of doing everything on our own, we divided and conquered! So, keep an eye out for TIMELESS, coming to an ereader near you!

But while getting this ready, we had another celebration.
When most of my kids were little, we had this MAGICAL babysitter, Cassey? She came over to the cafe to help me make artisan savory pumpkin rolls way back in October 2012. 
Well, she had a baby (here she is, chillin') and Julianne is such a hoot!
Here's Robert, being the best big brother ever...
He's got mad skills at making the baby giggle.
 They asked us to be godparents and we were so thrilled! Here is Julianne in her baptismal gown. It was made by her great aunt and I searched her out at the reception so I could ask about it. She said it took her ten months and 25 yards of cotton batiste. The petal pattern is her own creation, and it has pintucks, lace inserts, smocking, and tiny pearl button. It was amazing!
I think is my favorite picture. Sure, the dress looks pretty but look at those CHUBBY BABY ARMS.
Robert was baptized, too, and it was so inspiring to see the entire family welcomed into the Christian tradition.
 Here's my husband holding Julianne over the font. (I spy a chubby foot!)
And of course, she started crying! (Looks like Fr. Dave is crying, too!)The water couldn't have been cold. It was about 105F in that little country church! It was way out in the farmland of Dayton, Wa. I'd show you a picture but there's really nothing much there but wheat and farmers and vineyards...
 And peaches! (See what I did there? haha) So, I had these peaches and wasn't sure what to do with them so I went to the source of all wisdom... facebook. I asked my friends what I should make and I got some amazing recipes! But one appealed to my almost (two days away) thirteen year old. So, peach pot pie it was!
This recipe is from Laura Weimer, and it is DELICIOUS. I'm just going to cut and paste her directions because I did it exactly as she said... which is really rare for me.

Peach Pot Pie 
Peach filling 
1 1/4 cups sugar 
1/2 cup cornstarch 
1/4 tsp. salt 
6 lbs ripe peaches (about 16-20 medium), 
peeled, pitted, and sliced 1/2 inch thick 
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice 
2 TBSP butter or margarine cut up 
 Biscuit Crust 
2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp salt 
1/4 cup plus 
1 TBSP sugar 
4 TBSP butter cut up 
1 large egg, 
beaten 2/3 cup plus 2 TBSP heavy or whipping cream 
 Prepare Peach Filling: In large bowl, combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Add peaches and lemon juice; toss to coat well. Spoon peach mixture into 13" by 9" glass baking dish and dot with butter; set aside. 
 Preheat oven to 400 degree F. 
Prepare Biscuit Crust: In medium bowl, with fork stir together flour, baking powder, salt and 1/4 cup sugar. With pastry blender or 2 knives, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. (Or to make it easier, like me, put the flour, bp, sugar, and salt in a food processor and mix; add the butter (cut into small pieces) a few at a time and pulse while adding. Make sure the butter is COLD. turn on or pulse for about 5 more seconds, then continue.
(For some reason I have no pictures of this!)
Stir egg and 2/3 cup cream with fork and add to flour mixture. (do this outside the processor) The dough will seem like it is not wet enough, but keep working it together with your hands and lightly knead it and it will all begin to come together and that way it remains flaky. Once it is all together in a dough, divide this into 12 pieces and flatten each one into a roundish shape and place on top of peaches. 
 They will expand as they cook, so don't worry about them covering the whole thing. Brush dough with remaining 2 TBSP cream, and sprinkle with remaining 1 TBSP sugar. Place sheet of foil under baking dish to catch any overflow.
 Here's the biscuit dough sprinkled with sugar and brushed with cream. It's actually more like a scone, I think.
 Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until peaches are tender when pierced with knife, filling is bubbly, and crust is golden. IMPORTANT: You will need to cover the dish with foil about 1/2-3/4 of the way through to prevent the biscuit from over browning.
 Here they are, half-way done. My house smelled so good I could have sold tickets.
 Cool for 1 hour but is best served warm with whip cream or ice cream!
Each serving: 385 calories/ 13 g. total fat 8 g. saturated 66 g carbs.
 I put on the whipped cream but of course I didn't really let the peach pot pie cool down so it started to melt right away. Just imagine it fluffy and light!
It tasted sooo good. Like fresh scones with peach pie filling. 
I hope you're all having a wonderful August and enjoying the sweetness of friends, family, faith and the bounty around you!

To celebrate the summer, I'm giving away two copies of Emma, Mr. Knightley and Chili-Slaw Dogs! I wish I could send you peach pot pie... but sadly, I think books would be easier. Enter below for a chance to win. What are you all up to this summer? More importantly, what's cooking??
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