Since becoming pregnant, it seems like the world is speeding up. This summer has been so fast-paced. By the first week of september, I will have been gone for about 6 weeks of the summer traveling. Really, this is all just an excuse to say why I’m posting three posts at a time…
I’ve spent a lot of this summer reading reviews on car seats, strollers, pacifiers, and cribs. For a little baby, she sure has a lot of gear! By the way, anyone have a favorite stroller or car seat? That’s the last item I need to register for! It’s so much fun to pick out all these things she’ll get to use when she gets here. And I feel like I should get a whole degree for this research! I’m learning everything from breastfeeding to babywise sleep methods to making my own baby food!
Her nursery is coming along – can’t wait to post pictures for you all! Our apartment feels like it’s getting smaller as we shuffle furniture around to try to make more space for her.
By the way, if you haven’t heard already, we have a name! Our baby girl is Piper Mae French.
We chose Piper because of Pastor John Piper. He was a strong influence on both mine and Drew’s conversions, and we felt that each time we explain her name, because of his work, we also have an opportunity to share the Gospel. Plus, she seems like a pretty feisty baby, and we wanted a spunky name. She is continually kicking and rolling around.
When we had our ultrasound to find out the gender, it took the tech two hours to get all her pictures. She said our baby was one of the most active she’d ever seen. That’s Drew’s baby for you! She has all his energy.
Because of all the craziness, cooking has taken a different direction for me. I haven’t been able to put all the hours into it that I normally like, researching and cooking slowly, so these next few posts will be quick and easy meals.
One thing I’ve made all the time this summer is ricotta. I am extremely passionate about all the things you can do with it. This is a quick and fun summer dessert, and it’s also an ode to my dad, Jeff, who is always looking to get away from chocolate in desserts (which is basically all I make…).
Tips on making your own ricotta:
1. Don’t be afraid! It sounds daunting, but it’s so incredibly easy!
2. Don’t skimp on buying cheesecloth – use it! It’s worth the result.
3. Stir the milk constantly to avoid scalding and burning.
Ingredients (Makes two dessert portions)
1. 2 fresh peaches, halved with pitt removed (I use a whole peach per person so figure accordingly)
2. 1 cup fresh ricotta (recipe below)
3. 1 1/2 tbsp honey
4. Balsamic vinegar (to drizzle on top at the end)
5. 1/2 cup brown sugar
6. 4 tbsp unsalted butter (plus 2 tbsp at room temp for rubbing the peaches)
Recipe for peaches:
1. Melt 4 tbsp of butter into a medium-sized skillet over medium-low heat.
2. Rub the peaches down all over with the room temp butter
3. Coat the top of the peaches with brown sugar to create a firm layer
4. Place peaches face down in pan so brown sugar side is down
5. Leave the peaches for about 1 1/2 minutes, then carefully check one. The brown sugar should be caramelizing.
6. Once skin is caramelize, flip peaches to let the bottom cook in the pan
7. Tilt the pan toward you and, using a spoon, baste the top of the peaches in the excess butter. Repeat till browned.
8. Remove from the pan and top with honey ricotta and balsamic vinegar.
Honey Ricotta Ingriedients:
1. 4 cups whole milk
2. 1 cup heavy whipping cream
3. 1 tsp of salt
4. 2 tablespoons of lemon (for a more lemony flavor, you can increase to 3 or 4 tbsp)
*5. 2 tbsp of honey (this is for the honey part of the honey ricotta peaches recipe)
*Cheesecloth, strainer, and medium-sized bowl
1. Heat milk and heavy cream in a heavy sauce pan over medium-low heat. Add salt when the milk begins to steam.
2. Stir continually to avoid scalding.
3. When the milk mixture begins to boil (a low boil), remove from heat and add the lemon juice
4. Allow the mixture to sit off the heat for ten minutes.
5. Pour the mixture into your cheesecloth strainer and allow to sit for 1 hour
6. Move to air-tight container and refrigerate.
*The ricotta will keep for up to a week.