The Baker Upstairs: 2022

9.28.2022

Breadstick Bones

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These breadstick bones are so cute and so easy to make! They’re the perfect side dish for your Halloween feast!
These breadstick bones are so cute and so easy to make! They’re the perfect side dish for your Halloween feast!
Hello friends! I have another super tasty Halloween recipe for you today. These garlic parmesan breadstick bones are so cute, so fun, and so easy to make! They’re the perfect accompaniment to any of your fall soups, stews, or pasta dishes, and they are so buttery and delicious. They’re an absolute favorite at my house!

These breadstick bones are a fun twist on my favorite Olive Garden-copycat breadsticks. They’re super soft and fluffy on the inside, chewy on the outside, and topped with so much buttery garlic parmesan deliciousness. The dough is easy to make, with just a handful of ingredients, and you can make a batch start to finish in about two hours (which is great for those days when I forget to start dinner until late in the afternoon!).
These breadstick bones are so cute and so easy to make! They’re the perfect side dish for your Halloween feast!
Shaping the breadsticks into bones was easy and quick. I rolled each of the breadsticks into a long rope (about 12 inches long), then cut a 2-3 inch slit on each side of the rope. I then rolled each side of the slit up into a little spiral in opposite directions to make a bone shape. Easy peasy!
These breadstick bones are so cute and so easy to make! They’re the perfect side dish for your Halloween feast!
Since a good breadstick is always tastes even better with a dipping sauce, I paired this breadsticks with some homemade marinara sauce. The sauce is the perfect complement to these breadstick bones! I also like that it’s bright red, so you can call it blood sauce or something if you want things to be a little creepier at your Halloween party. šŸ™‚ Creepy or not, these breadsticks are super delicious and easy to make too!
Breadstick Bones

for the breadsticks:
1 cup and 2 tablespoons warm water
1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 – 3 1/4 cups flour

for the topping:
2 tablespoons butter melted
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese

for serving:
marinara sauce

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let sit until foamy and bubbly. Add the salt, oil, and two cups of flour, and mix to combine. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to form a soft dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Knead until smooth, then place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise for one hour.

After the dough has risen, gently punch it down and divide it into 16 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12 inch rope, then cut a 2-3 inch slit on each side of the rope. Roll the dough on either side up the slit into a spiral, in opposite directions, to make a bone shape. Place the breadsticks on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes to an hour, until doubled in size. During the last 10 minutes of rise time, preheat the oven to 425. Bake 12-14 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and brush with the melted butter, then sprinkle with garlic salt and parmesan. Serve warm.
These breadstick bones are so cute and so easy to make! They’re the perfect side dish for your Halloween feast!

9.21.2022

Halloween Ghost Brownies

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These Halloween ghost brownies are so adorable, and so rich and decadent! They’re the perfect Halloween dessert!
These Halloween ghost brownies are so adorable, and so rich and decadent! They’re the perfect Halloween dessert!
I’m so excited to finally start sharing Halloween recipes with you! Halloween is my family’s favorite holiday, and we start celebrating pretty early around here. We decorated the house for Halloween on Monday night as a family, with some fun fall snacks and spooky music playing, and I love how cozy and festive it feels now. I know it’s a little early to decorate, but I just love enjoying the season for as long as possible. Of course, one of the best ways to celebrate is with festive food, and these adorable and delicious Halloween ghost brownies are just that! They’re so easy to make, and so rich and chocolatey. They are truly brownie perfection!
These Halloween ghost brownies are so adorable, and so rich and decadent! They’re the perfect Halloween dessert!
I’ve recently fallen in love with Dutch process cocoa, so that’s what I used for these brownies. I love that it gives them a deep brown color, and a really rich chocolate flavor. To boost the chocolate flavor even more, I added some Guittard chocolate chips, and a few chocolate jimmies just to make things extra festive. Lastly, after the brownies baked, I topped them with white chocolate Reese’s ghost candies. They’re so cute, and I love how simple it was to make these already delicious brownies even more fun! The combination of dark and white chocolate, and chocolate and peanut butter, makes these brownies absolutely irresistible.
These Halloween ghost brownies are so adorable, and so rich and decadent! They’re the perfect Halloween dessert!
These brownies are so simple to make, and you don’t even need a mixer! I usually melt the butter in a saucepan, and then just make the brownies in the pan to save on dishes, but you could easily melt the butter in a microwave safe bowl instead. The brownie batter is made with simple ingredients that I always have on hand, which means it’s easy to whip these up whenever the chocolate craving strikes.
These Halloween ghost brownies are so adorable, and so rich and decadent! They’re the perfect Halloween dessert!
After baking, these brownies have a lovely fudgy consistency, without being too dense or dry. They’re just slightly chewy on the edges, but so rich and moist in the middle. I added the Reese’s ghosts immediately after they came out of the oven, but if you don’t want them to be as melty as mine were, I would recommend letting the brownies cool for 15 minutes or so before placing the candies on top. Either way, they’re adorable! To make my ghosts extra cute, I added some black sprinkles for eyes, but they are totally optional. You could also use a food-safe marker or candy eyes instead if you prefer. These Halloween ghost brownies are the perfect Halloween dessert!
Halloween Ghost Brownies

1 cup butter
1 cup + 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
1 tablespoon chocolate jimmies
12 Reese’s white chocolate ghost candies

Preheat the oven to 350. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with parchment. In a medium pot, melt the butter over low heat. Add the cocoa powder and sugar, and mix to combine. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour, salt, and baking soda, and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and sprinkle with the chocolate jimmies. Bake 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool 10-15 minutes, then place the ghost candies on top. Let cool completely before slicing and serving.
These Halloween ghost brownies are so adorable, and so rich and decadent! They’re the perfect Halloween dessert!

9.19.2022

Fresh Peach Salsa

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This fresh peach salsa is so juicy, sweet, and delicious! It's simple and quick to make, and adds so much great flavor!
This fresh peach salsa is so juicy, sweet, and delicious! It's simple and quick to make, and adds so much great flavor!
That's right, it's another peach recipe! Most of the peach recipes on my blog are desserts (as they should be) but for a fun change, here's one that goes well with savory dishes. This fresh peach salsa is delicious on top of tacos, tostadas, or enchiladas, and also is pretty fantastic just eaten with chips. It's loaded with juicy peaches, and has such a lovely combination of flavors! It takes just a few minutes to make, and is a fun and unique addition to your dinner menu. 

My kids are pretty wimpy about spice levels, so I used a seeded and ribbed jalapeƱo for this salsa, but if you like things spicier you could leave the seeds and ribs in, and/or add more than one jalapeƱo. The red onion adds some nice flavor and a little kick without being overwhelming. My peaches were really sweet and ripe, but if you're using peaches that are a little more tart, you may want to add a little sugar to the salsa. It's not overly sweet, but I really like the balance of sweet and savory in this salsa. 
This fresh peach salsa is so juicy, sweet, and delicious! It's simple and quick to make, and adds so much great flavor!
One of my favorite ways to eat this salsa is as a topping for grilled or breaded fish, but it goes with pretty much everything! I served it with some carnitas tacos last week and my husband said they were the best tacos ever. This fresh peach salsa is the perfect late summer side dish! 
Fresh Peach Salsa

3 medium ripe peaches, diced
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 small jalapeƱo, ribs and seeds removed, finely diced
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon salt

In a medium bowl, mix together the peaches, red onion, jalapeƱo, cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving, or up to 3 days.
This fresh peach salsa is so juicy, sweet, and delicious! It's simple and quick to make, and adds so much great flavor!

9.16.2022

Instant Pot Summer Corn Chowder

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This Instant Pot summer corn chowder is a great way to enjoy a tasty soup without heating up the whole house! It's simple to make and so delicious!
This Instant Pot summer corn chowder is a great way to enjoy a tasty soup without heating up the whole house! It's simple to make and so delicious!
It's always weird to me when the weather starts turning colder and people are like, "It's soup season!" In my house, soup isn't a season, it's a lifestyle. We eat soup all year round, even when it's boiling hot outside, because it's my absolute favorite. I would choose a good soup for dinner over just about anything. Our kitchen unfortunately doesn't have an air conditioning vent (the previous owner blocked it off and installed the fridge in front of it - why?!?!?) and it has a large west-facing window, so it gets incredibly hot during the summer afternoons. The last thing I want to do is go in there and cook a hot pot of soup. But since I have an incessant need to eat soup, even when I don't want to cook it, it's a good thing I have an Instant Pot to save the day!

I love that the Instant Pot can cook my soup for me without adding to the already stifling temperatures in my kitchen. If you don't have the same heat issues that I do (or just want to spend more hands-on time making your soup) you can definitely make this soup in a pot on the stove instead. The instructions are more or less the same, you'll just sautƩ the vegetables, then add the broth, potatoes, and seasonings, and simmer until the potatoes are tender. Last, make the roux in a separate pot, and pour it in. It's easy and delicious either way!
This Instant Pot summer corn chowder is a great way to enjoy a tasty soup without heating up the whole house! It's simple to make and so delicious!
I like to make this chowder with fresh sweet corn from the farmers market, but if you don't have any available, you could use frozen corn instead. Red potatoes are great because you don't even have to peel them (although you can if you want to!). The combination of flavors in this soup is delightful, and it's the perfect way to showcase that fresh summer sweet corn (even when it's too hot outside to cook). This soup is a winner!
This Instant Pot summer corn chowder is a great way to enjoy a tasty soup without heating up the whole house! It's simple to make and so delicious!
Instant Pot Summer Corn Chowder

2 ears fresh corn
1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 cup crumbled bacon pieces
5 cups chicken broth
3-4 medium red potatoes, cut into bite sized cubes
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cups half and half

Husk the corn and cut the kernels from the cobs. Heat the oil in the instant pot insert on saute mode. Add the corn, onion, and pepper to the pot and cook until the vegetables are soft. Add the garlic and bacon to the pot and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Add the chicken broth, potatoes, salt and pepper to the pot and cancel the saute mode. Add the lid to the pot and turn the knob to seal. Cook on the manual setting at high pressure for 15 minutes. Let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then quick release the remaining pressure.

While the pressure is releasing, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Whisk the flour into the butter to form a paste. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until golden and bubbling. Slowly whisk in the half and half, a little at a time, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. When the flour mixture has thickened, remove it from the heat and pour it into the instant pot. Stir to combine. Serve hot with additional bacon pieces sprinkled on top.
This Instant Pot summer corn chowder is a great way to enjoy a tasty soup without heating up the whole house! It's simple to make and so delicious!

9.14.2022

Cinnamon Peach Syrup

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This cinnamon peach syrup is so sweet and delicious! It's the perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream - you name it!
This cinnamon peach syrup is so sweet and delicious! It's the perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream - you name it!
I mentioned last week the glut of fresh peaches that I worked my way through last month, and I have another delicious fresh peach recipe to share with you today! This cinnamon peach syrup is always a favorite at my house. It's sort of a cross between a syrup and a sauce, with chunks of sweet and juicy peaches and a sweet cinnamon-y syrup base. My kids love to pour it over everything, from breakfast foods like pancakes and waffles, to desserts like ice cream or doughnuts. It's so versatile and good for so many things! I generally like to make it with fresh peaches, but you could definitely use frozen peaches in a pinch. It takes only a few minutes to make, and adds the perfect sweet touch to your breakfast or dessert!
This cinnamon peach syrup is so sweet and delicious! It's the perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream - you name it!
This syrup will keep in the fridge for about a week, or in the freezer for several months. I think it's best warm, but my kids will eat it either warm or cold. (They would probably just sit down and eat it with a spoon if I let them.) Be sure to add the lemon juice to the syrup, because it will prevent the peaches from turning an unappealing brown color. (Yuck!) This syrup is so simple and delicious, and it's a great way to enjoy fresh summer peaches!
This cinnamon peach syrup is so sweet and delicious! It's the perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream - you name it!
Cinnamon Peach Syrup

1 1/2 cups fresh peaches, chopped
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon corn starch
2 tablespoons water

Add the peaches, sugar, and lemon juice, and cinnamon to a medium pot and stir well. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. While the mixture is heating, dissolve the corn starch in the water and whisk until smooth. Add the corn starch mixture to the peach mixture and stir well. Let simmer 2-3 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Remove and let cool slightly before serving. Store in the refrigerator.
This cinnamon peach syrup is so sweet and delicious! It's the perfect topping for pancakes, waffles, ice cream - you name it!

9.12.2022

Tomato Pie

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This cheesy and savory tomato pie is so easy to make and so delicious! It's the perfect way to enjoy those fresh garden tomatoes!
This cheesy and savory tomato pie is so easy to make and so delicious! It's the perfect way to enjoy those fresh garden tomatoes!
What's that? Another fresh tomato recipe?!? Yes! I told you, they are coming out of my ears right now. I've seen people posting versions of this tomato pie for years, and have been totally intrigued. But since some of my family members hate raw tomatoes, I've always been a little hesitant to try it. My husband won't eat tomatoes on pizza (which is very sad, since I love a good margarita pizza), and picks them out of most things unless they are cooked way down. (Ironically, one of his favorite foods is this roasted tomato soup. Go figure!) My oldest isn't quite as picky about tomatoes as he is, but she definitely does not enjoy a raw tomato. So I was a little skeptical that the tomatoes in this pie would actually cook down to the point that my husband and daughter would eat it.

The result? I was pleasantly surprised at how much they both liked it! My oldest especially loved it and asked to have the leftovers in her school lunch the next day. My husband said it tasted great and he really enjoyed it, but he was a little bothered by the idea of eating something called tomato pie. So I guess I should come up with an alternate name for this dish, and then we'll all be on board with it! :)
This cheesy and savory tomato pie is so easy to make and so delicious! It's the perfect way to enjoy those fresh garden tomatoes!
The recipe is a little weird, with just a handful of ingredients. And let me tell you, it took me... a while... to get over the idea of mayonnaise in my pie. Here is where I confess that I am generally pretty mayonnaise-phobic and only like one brand of mayonnaise, and only in very small amounts (like scraped very sparingly over the bread in a turkey sandwich). What I can tell you is that you don't taste the mayonnaise in this pie. It's just cheesy and tomato-y and delicious! My toddler kept calling it "za-za" (her word for pizza) and that's really what it tastes like! It's like a pizza, but with a pie crust instead of a pizza dough crust. 
This cheesy and savory tomato pie is so easy to make and so delicious! It's the perfect way to enjoy those fresh garden tomatoes!
It's very important to get the excess moisture out of the tomatoes before you assemble the pie, or the pie will end up a soggy mess. I lined a baking sheet with paper towels, laid out all of the tomato slices in a single layer, then sprinkled them with kosher salt and added another layer of paper towels on top. The salt helps to draw the moisture out of the tomatoes (yay, chemistry!). Kosher salt has less sodium than table salt, so if you don't have any kosher salt on hand and need to substitute table salt, you will want to use it a little less liberally so your finished dish isn't unbearably salty.
This cheesy and savory tomato pie is so easy to make and so delicious! It's the perfect way to enjoy those fresh garden tomatoes!
This tomato pie is such a delicious way to use fresh garden tomatoes!
Tomato Pie

for the crust:
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cold butter
1/4 cup buttermilk (or milk plus a splash of vinegar)

for the filling:
6-10 medium tomatoes (about 2 pounds), cored and sliced
2-3 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried basil

To make the crust, in a medium bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together the flour and salt. Grate the cold butter into the flour mixture, and cut in using a pastry blender or the paddle attachment, until the pieces of butter are no larger than pea sized. Add the buttermilk, and mix until the dough just starts to come together. Turn out onto a floured surface and gently work into a ball, handling as little as possible. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least twenty minutes, or until ready to use.

While the crust is chilling, line a baking sheet with paper towels and lay out the tomato slices in an even layer. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the kosher salt, then add a layer of paper towels on top. Let rest 10 minutes, then gently pat the tomatoes to remove the excess moisture. In a small bowl, mix together the mozzarella, mayonnaise, garlic powder, and basil.

Roll out the pie dough on a lightly floured surface to fit your pie pan. Press it gently into the pan and crimp or roll the edges to make a crust. Place 1/3 of the tomato slices in a single layer on the bottom of the pie dish (a little overlapping is fine). Spread half of the mozzarella mixture over the tomatoes, then layer another 1/3 of the tomato slices over the top. Spread the remaining mozzarella mixture over the top, then top with the last 1/3 of the tomato slices. Bake 35-45 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
This cheesy and savory tomato pie is so easy to make and so delicious! It's the perfect way to enjoy those fresh garden tomatoes!

9.09.2022

Garden Tomato Spaghetti Sauce

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This savory and flavorful garden tomato spaghetti sauce is easy to make, and incredibly delicious!
This savory and flavorful garden tomato spaghetti sauce is easy to make, and incredibly delicious!
I really went big on tomatoes in my garden this year, and it is paying off right now in spades! Every time I go down to check on the garden and gather the produce, I come back with a big basket full of tomatoes. If you also have tomatoes coming out of your ears this time of year, I have another delicious recipe to share with you! This garden tomato spaghetti sauce is amazingly delicious. It's so savory and flavorful, and easy to make too! It does take a little time (all of the best spaghetti sauce recipes do!) but most of that time it's just bubbling happily on the stove with no effort required from you except an occasional stir. I've already made several batches of this sauce this year, and probably have several more in my future. It is the absolute best!
This savory and flavorful garden tomato spaghetti sauce is easy to make, and incredibly delicious!
Peeling the tomatoes can be a bit of a pain, but the easiest way I've figured out to do it is to cut a small x in the bottom of each tomato with a sharp paring knife, then put the tomatoes in boiling water for a couple of minutes. From there, move them to an ice bath, and the skins should slip right off really easily. Once they're peeled, you'll core them, then pulse them a few times in a blender or food processor just to break them up a little. 

I like to use a combination of ground beef and mild Italian sausage in my sauce, but you could substitute ground pork or ground turkey, or use all beef or all sausage. I haven't tried a vegetarian version yet, but it's on my list to try! (And since I once again have a giant pile of tomatoes on my counter waiting to be used, that day may be coming quite soon.) Once the meat is cooked and drained, you'll add the tomatoes, as well as some beef broth, tomato paste, and seasonings. Let it all simmer together for about an hour, and you're all set!
This savory and flavorful garden tomato spaghetti sauce is easy to make, and incredibly delicious!
This sauce freezes really well (I just scoop it into quart sized deli containers), and you can use it to make delicious spaghetti, lasagna, baked rigatoni - you name it! It has such a delicious depth of flavor and tastes amazing. I really don't know if I've ever had a better spaghetti sauce than this one. There's something extra delicious about knowing that I grew the tomatoes I used in it. If you don't have a garden, you could easily use tomatoes from the farmers market to make this sauce. The tomatoes are abundant and generally pretty inexpensive in the farmers markets around here right now. If you love garden tomatoes like I do, you definitely need this sauce in your life!
Garden Tomato Spaghetti Sauce

3 pounds fresh garden tomatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 pound ground beef
1 pound italian sausage
1 6 ounce can tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons dried basil

Wash the tomatoes and cut a small x at the bottom of each tomato with a paring knife. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill a bowl halfway with ice water. Add the tomatoes to the boiling water for 2-3 minutes, then move to the tomatoes to the ice water bath. Peel and core the tomatoes, then slice into quarters. Add the tomatoes to a blender or food processor and pulse 3-4 times, until the tomatoes are broken up slightly but not pureed. Set aside.

In a dutch oven or heavy pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. Add the ground beef and italian sausage to the skillet and cook, crumbling into smaller pieces, until browned and cooked through. Soak up the excess grease with paper towels. Add the tomatoes to the pot, as well as the tomato paste, beef broth, sugar, salt, Worcestershire, and dried basil. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally, until thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
This savory and flavorful garden tomato spaghetti sauce is easy to make, and incredibly delicious!

9.07.2022

Peach Streusel Muffins

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These buttery and sweet peach streusel muffins are bursting with juicy peaches and topped with a decadent cinnamon streusel!
These buttery and sweet peach streusel muffins are bursting with juicy peaches and topped with a decadent cinnamon streusel!
If I had to choose a favorite summer fruit, it would almost certainly be peaches! A perfectly ripe and sweet peach is a thing of beauty. My family has a tradition of picking and bottling peaches every summer, and we love enjoying those sweet summer peaches all year round. This year we visited a local orchard and ended up picking 91 pounds of peaches, which I think is a new record for us!
These buttery and sweet peach streusel muffins are bursting with juicy peaches and topped with a decadent cinnamon streusel!
My toddler wasn't incredibly helpful with picking the peaches, but she did really enjoy pointing at them and taking a few bites out of them while I wasn't looking. :) I tried to make the most of our peach bounty, and ended up bottling 28 quarts of peaches. I also made 4 peach crisp pies (3 of which went into the freezer for us to enjoy in the future), a batch of fresh peach salsa, some adorable peach hand pies, and these peach streusel muffins. I'll be sharing all of the peach recipes in the next few weeks, but today let's focus on these beautiful little muffins!
These buttery and sweet peach streusel muffins are bursting with juicy peaches and topped with a decadent cinnamon streusel!
I used my go-to never-fail muffin base, and the sweet peaches and crisp cinnamon-y streusel were the perfect addition. The muffins are so light and tender, with a sweet buttery flavor, and the juicy peach bits and crumbly streusel just take them over the top. They're super easy to make, don't require a mixer, and I can usually make a batch, start to finish, in about thirty minutes. These muffins are the perfect way to enjoy those delicious fresh peaches!
These buttery and sweet peach streusel muffins are bursting with juicy peaches and topped with a decadent cinnamon streusel!
Peach Streusel Muffins

for the muffins:
2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup buttermilk, warmed
1/4 cup canola oil
4 tablespoons melted butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 cups finely chopped peaches

for the streusel:
1/2 cup flour
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat the oven to 425. Add 18 paper liners to two muffin tins. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together the buttermilk, oil, melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and mix until just barely combined. Gently fold the peaches into the muffin batter.

Scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling 3/4 full. To make the streusel, whisk the flour, sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon together with a fork in a small bowl. Drizzle in the melted butter and whisk until the butter is blended in and the mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle the streusel over the tops of the muffins. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until light golden brown on top and cooked through.
These buttery and sweet peach streusel muffins are bursting with juicy peaches and topped with a decadent cinnamon streusel!

9.05.2022

Roasted Tomato Soup - Perfected!

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This delicious and savory roasted tomato soup is a great way to use those garden tomatoes!
This delicious and savory roasted tomato soup is a great way to use those garden tomatoes!
It's tomato season at my house! This year my husband and I accomplished what I've been dreaming of for several years now, and moved our garden from the back corner of our yard to the side of the house. The garden area is much bigger now, and has much better light. My husband built six raised beds for me to make it easier to care for the plants, and we were able to plant a ton of tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs, peppers, zucchini, pumpkins, and strawberries. We even have an automatic irrigation system that waters the plants a few times a week, which means I don't have to go out with a watering can or hose every morning. (Score!) Our plants have grown like crazy, and we are finally reaping the rewards of all of that hard work! Our twelve tomato plants are putting out so many tomatoes that I can hardly even keep up with them.

I first started making this roasted tomato soup about two years ago, and it is our absolute favorite way to use those garden tomatoes! My kids love it so much that they've been asking me all summer when the tomatoes will be ready, so I can make this soup. I've made the soup over and over and and over since I posted it originally, and with time I've perfected the recipe to make it even more delicious. It's a little smoother and creamier, and has even more flavor. I've made a total of fifteen quarts of this roasted tomato soup for the freezer so far this year, and since the tomatoes just won't stop coming, I can see plenty more soup in my future!
This delicious and savory roasted tomato soup is a great way to use those garden tomatoes!
To begin with, the tomatoes are roasted on a sheet pan in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and onions. I always use a variety of tomatoes, whatever I have on hand. Usually I use a yellow onion, but a red onion will work in a pinch too. You'll want to roast the tomatoes until they are starting to brown and are bursting out of their skin.
This delicious and savory roasted tomato soup is a great way to use those garden tomatoes!
Once the tomatoes are done cooking, let them cool a little, then puree them in a blender or food processor. I use the smoothie function on my Blendtech, and that works great for me. My family is very sensitive to the tomato skin and seeds, so I like to push the puree through a fine mesh strainer to get rid of them. If your family is less picky and can handle a few seeds in their soup, you can definitely skip that step. 
This delicious and savory roasted tomato soup is a great way to use those garden tomatoes!
From there, you'll make a soup base with a roux, then add half and half, chicken broth, and seasonings. You'll add the tomato puree, and simmer until thickened. It's super easy to make, and comes out so creamy and delicious! I used dried basil because I didn't have any fresh basil on hand (my basil plant died earlier this summer - boo!), but fresh would work well too. 
This delicious and savory roasted tomato soup is a great way to use those garden tomatoes!
This recipe makes about 3 quarts of soup, or about twelve servings. I usually serve one quart to my family for dinner, with grilled cheese sandwiches or garlic bread on the side, and then freeze the other two quarts. It freezes beautifully (I just use quart sized deli containers), and it's easy to pull a quart out of the freezer on a busy day when I don't feel like cooking. I love that I can still preserve the taste of those sweet and flavorful garden tomatoes, all year round!
This delicious and savory roasted tomato soup is a great way to use those garden tomatoes!
Roasted Tomato Soup

3 pounds fresh tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into wedges
salt and pepper to taste
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup flour
1 cup half and half
5 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Preheat the oven to 450. Place the tomatoes and onions on a large rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 25-30 minutes, then remove and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Scoop the tomatoes and onions into a blender, and pour all of the juices from the pan into the blender. Blend until smooth. Pour the tomato mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds and skin.

In a heavy pot or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook 2-3 minutes, until bubbling and golden. Slowly pour in the half and half, whisking constantly to prevent lumps. Whisk in the chicken broth gradually. Add the salt, sugar, dried basil, and garlic powder and whisk to combine. Add the tomato puree and whisk to combine. Cook 10-15 minutes, until thickened.
This delicious and savory roasted tomato soup is a great way to use those garden tomatoes!