Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sweet Melissa Sunday plus Peaches and Cream Parfait

Sweet Melissa Sunday's choice for the week: Caramelized Onions, Sage, and Cheddar Muffins by Hanaa of Hanaa's Kitchen. Such a great savory muffin to go with Fall food such as soups, stews, chili. . .come to think of it, just about any type of dinner.
The recipe required little advanced preparation and the result was 20 perfectly domed and flavorful muffins.
Caramelizing the onions first allowed the flavor to mellow and blend the chopped onions with the cheddar and sage without any one ingredient standing out. If a cook puts in the right onion, wow, the flavor will be onion and then whatever is accompanying the powerful flavor.
The recipe is a great addition to my personal cookbook for fast, easy, and flavorful accompaniments. Thank you Hanaa for a great choice this week. To see how everyone in the SMS group enjoyed making the savory muffins, please click on the link here. To get the recipe now, click on Hanaa's blog: Hanaa's Kitchen, or buy the Sweet Melissa Cookbook.
Easy and showy desserts are sought after by so many of us. We work, we take care of families, we have last minute dinner parties and all of the above mentioned events mean limited time or last minute preparation for a nice dinner and dessert. Peaches and Cream Parfaits are just that dessert! Start marinating the peaches in brown sugar and flavoring of choice before starting dinner. Also, whip together heavy cream with honey and left sit in refrigerator while dinner is moving along. Dessert will be putting everything together in a pretty parfait or champagne glass for a grand finale.
Peaches and Cream Parfait:
1 recipe Honey Whipped Cream (below)
1 almond biscotti or 2 amaretti cookies, crushed by hand
1 recipe marinated peaches...(below)
Layer starting with the Honey Whipped Cream, sprinkle Biscotti or Amaretti cookie, then the Marinated Peaches and continue to the top of the parfait glass. Finish top with a dollop of the Whipped Cream and the remaining crumbs. Pretty and delicious!
Marinated Peaches
4 large peaches
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 T. Amaretto (OR use Peach Schnapps, Grand Marnier, Cointreau, or a dessert wine, Muscat Canelli, or Sauternes into the brown-sugar syrup)
Make a simple syrup with the brown sugar and 1/4 cup water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let cool. After cool, add the flavoring of choice.
For peaches, you can use canned peaches. Fresh peaches will require bring a pot of water to boil and having a bowl of ice water next to the boiling water. Dip peaches in boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds. Then remove and put into ice water. Peel skins off peaches and slice into 1/2-inch thick slices.
Mix the sugar syrup with the peaches in a bowl, cover with Syran Wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until ready to use.
Honey Whipped Cream
1 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
5 T. honey
Whip cold heavy cream in a chilled bowl using a wire whisk attachment at medium-high speed until cream starts to thicken.
Turn off mixer and add honey. Scrape down sides of bowl as necessary. Whip the cream on medium-high speed until it holds soft peaks. Use right away or refrigerate for about 1 hour.

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