Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Fresh Peach Cake With A Pistachio Crunch Topping

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If I had to make a dessert that my guests might think I worked all day on, this would be the one. It’s sweet with a kiss of saltiness from the pistachios on the top. The cake is so moist, and I will tell you my secret for that in a minute. I start with making the batter.

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In an electric mixer with the paddle attachment I add in room temperature unsalted butter with the mixer on low. To that I add the sugar and turn the mixer up to med speed for about 3-4 minutes until the butter is light and fluffy. Next some good vanilla and two room temperature eggs, one at a time. I let that mix together for a minute before adding in room temperature sour cream and my secret ingredient, ricotta cheese. Let that all combine before the dry ingredients go in. Now for the dry I have flour, baking powder, baking soda, and Kosher salt that I’ve sifted together in a bowl. I slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until just combined, then I turn the mixer off. You don’t wont to over mix the ingredients once the dry has been added to the wet. Remove the paddle attachment and scrape as much batter off the paddle as possible. You want all that delicious batter for the cake.

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Next I’ve peeled, cored and then sliced five peaches that I’ve got sitting in a bowl. I also have another bowl with cinnamon sugar that I mixed together. Using a 9 x 9 pan that I’ve buttered really well, so that the cake will come out easily, I add half the batter to the bottom of the pan, like you see in the picture below.

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Using an off set spatula, I spread the one half of the batter out evenly.

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After laying the first half of the sliced peaches onto the batter, I sprinkle them with a dusting of the cinnamon sugar that I made. Next I add in the second half of the batter and spread that over the sliced peaches and lay the rest of the slice peaches, pressing them gently down slightly into the batter. Once more with the rest of the cinnamon sugar, really sprinkling it all over every part of the cake. Finally I top the peach cake with chopped pistachios. I set this in the frig for about 15 minutes to let it rest and then I preheat my oven to 350 degrees. After 45-50 minutes if a tooth pick comes out clean, the cake is ready to let cool completely, before cutting.

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Prep Time; 15 minutes
Yields: 6 servings
Cooking Time: 45-50 minutes
Bake: 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes

1/4 pound of room temperature butter ( 1 stick)
1-1/2 cups of granulated sugar ( 1/2 a cup reserve for cinnamon sugar)
1 tablespoon of good vanilla extract
4 ounces of room temperature sour cream
4 ounces of room temperature ricotta cheese
2 large room temperature eggs
2 cups of sifted all purpose flour
1 teaspoon of sifted baking powder
1 teaspoon of sifted baking soda
1 teaspoon of sifted Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Directions: Place wet ingredients into mixer first as stated above, approx. 3-4 minutes to make the butter and sugar mixture light and fluffy. To that add the rest of the wet ingredients, vanilla, eggs, sour cream, ricotta cheese. until it’s all well combined. Next add the sifted dry ingredients, flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda, slowly, Once, just combined, the mixer off.  Spread 1/2 of the batter into a buttered 9 x 9 pan. Lay the half of the sliced peaches on top, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Now add the other half of the batter, spread that evenly over the first layer, add the other half of the sliced peaches. Press these peaches down slightly into the batter. Add the rest of the cinnamon sugar all over the top. Finish with the chopped pistachios. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes until cake tester comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely before cutting.

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Scrambled Eggs With Chives And Goat Cheese Breakfast Casserole

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This is one of my “go-to” breakfast recipes. I’ts everything you want for breakfast all in one dish. The topping, well… I love Pico de Gallo so yes it’s in there along with potatoes, sausage, cheese, and scrambled eggs. First, let’s take some help from the grocery store to make this wonderful breakfast as quickly as possible.

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To start, in a large non-stick saute pan, on med heat,  I sauteed some diced onion, with red and yellow bell peppers in a little unsalted butter. Then, adding in a bit more butter I added in some store bought shredded hash browns. I stirred all these ingredients together so that the melted butter would coat the peppers,onions, and hash browns. Now let the hash browns do their thing and don’t touch them for a couple of minutes so they brown really well before turning them. Once you’ve turned them, let them brown for another couple of minutes on the other side. After the hash browns with peppers and onions are done. Place them into a casserole dish as the bottom layer to this breakfast feast. Next the sausage.

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In my freezer, I just happen to have some breakfast sausage links. I sliced them up and browned them off in the same large skillet that I browned of the hash browns in. Now you could of course use the bulk breakfast pork sausage, or even the spicy variety. It’s just that, this is what I had on hand that day. I sauteed the sliced sausage pieces off until they got nice and caramelized on the outside, and laid them on top of the hash brown in the casserole dish. Using the same pan, I started on my scrambled eggs that have been mixed with heavy cream , and mixed with chives and goat cheese. I took some paper towel and just wiped out any left over fat that may have been released from cooking the sausage slices. Honestly, there wasn’t much at all. Low and slow, I scrambled the eggs, and when they were done, I turned the heat off and added in chopped fresh chives.

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I spread the scrambled eggs with the chives on top of the sausage. To the eggs, I crumbled some fresh goat cheese. The heat coming off of all these ingredients in the casserole dish melts the goat cheese beautifully. Now if you know anything about me, I will put Pico de Gallo on everything I possibly can. This is no exception. So all over the top I lay on the Pico.

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So what you have is those delicious and familiar breakfast item on the bottom with a cold citrus and spicy fresh salsa on the top. I ask you, what could be better?

Yields: 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes (for the veggies and Pico de Gallo)
Total Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes
Ingredients for Pico de Gallo: (search Pico de Gallo two ways on my search bar)
1 package of shredded store bought hash browns
4 tablespoons of unsalted butter ( 1 tablespoon for sauteing the pepper and onions, reserve the rest for potatoes)
1 red bell pepper diced
1 yellow bell pepper diced
1 onion diced
1 package of breakfast sausage of your choice (mild or spicy)
1-4 ounce package of goat cheese
3 tablespoons of chopped fresh chives
1/4 cup of heavy cream
10 large eggs beaten
1-1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt ( 1/2 a tablespoon for the hash browns)
2 teaspoons of black pepper ( 1 teaspoon of black pepper for the hash browns)

Directions: First saute the onion, and peppers in the butter. Next add in the rest of the butter, let it melt and then add in the potatoes. Stir until everything is coated, and on med heat, let them brown on both sides. This may take around 10 minutes. After the potatoes are done, lay them in the bottom of a casserole dish. Next the sausage, then lay them over the potatoes. Then scrambling the eggs that are mixed with heavy cream for richness, chives for a mild onion flavor, and that glorious goat cheese for their finish. Place the eggs with chives over the sausage. Top the eggs with crumbled goat cheese. Finally the Pico de Gallo for that burst of flavor and color.

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Beef And Barley Soup

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Having worked at a few diners in my day, the words that are often spoken are “Soups On!”  I’ve made the soups, and served them too. My beef and barley, #soup was definitely a favorite on those cold Florida days. Let me start by showing you how I cook the barley.

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I start with low sodium chicken broth in a large pot. and some good barley. Next I add the barley to the chicken broth and bring them up to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook the barley until all the liquid has been absorbed.. This may take around 20-25 minutes to happen, so while the barley is cooking, I start the soup at the same time. The barley will have soaked in the flavor of the chicken broth which will make them really plump and delicious. Once the barley has finished cooking, I place a lid on it, move the pot off the heat, and let it sit until I’m ready to add it into the soup.

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Moving forward, in a large heavy bottom pot, I heat up some olive oil. To the oil I add in diced onion and let it saute until the onion is translucent. Next some minced garlic, dried oregano, crushed red pepper flakes, Kosher salt, and black pepper. I stir that around for just a minute before adding in the ground beef. Here I’m using a very lean type, ground sirloin. I want to use the very best ingredients for this soup so the finished product will be delicious. I let the ground sirloin cook on med high heat, with the onions, garlic and spices until it’s nice and brown in color. When the meat has finished browning I add in all my veggies. I have diced celery, diced carrots, and a can of fire roasted diced tomatoes. Remember to cut all the veggies around the same size so they cook evenly.  I stir all these ingredients together and let cook for a minute before adding in my liquid.

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I’m adding in some low sodium beef stock instead of beef broth. The stock has a deeper and richer flavor, and I thought it would be delicious in this soup. You want to make sure that that you add enough liquid. What I do is, to add enough beef stock where the liquid comes up to about 2 inches from the top of the pot. If you think you don’t have enough liquid, then you can always add in some water. Still on med high heat, I bring everything up to a bubble before reducing the soup to a simmer and letting it cook for around 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes I add in all that delicious barley that I’ve already prepared.

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I let that continue to simmer for another 15 minutes, so the barley can marry with all the other flavors in the soup. Turn the heat off and cover the pot and it’s ready to eat. Wait!, what about some home made croutons for the top. I just happen to have a nice baguette left over from yesterday that would work just perfect. All I did was to slice the baguette up and drizzle the slices with olive oil, salt and pepper and toasted them off in the oven until golden brown. “Soups On!

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Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40-45 minutes
1-1/2 cups of barley
1 quart of low sodium chicken broth
2 pounds of ground sirloin
1 -1/2 quarts of beef stock
1 diced onion
1 cup of diced carrots
1 cup of diced celery
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1-1/2 tablespoons of Kosher salt
1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1-15 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes

First you want to have all you veggies prepped, and the can of tomatoes opened and ready before starting the soup. Start by cooking the barley in the chicken broth at the same time you start the soup. After about 20 minutes of simmering on low keep your eye on the barley to make sure all the liquid has been absorbed so that you can remove it from the heat. Place a lid on it to keep it warm while the soup is cooking. After the soup has been simmering for at least 30 minutes then add the cooked barley, and continue simmering for another 15 minutes. At this point the soup is done. Place a lid on the pot to keep it hot and make yourself some delicious home made croutons for the top. I like to even throw on some shredded cheese. You know everything is just better with cheese!

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Pan Seared Wild Salmon With A Chili Lime Rub And Mango Salsa

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It was a special week night me for Steve and I because we were given 2-16 ounce wild salmon fillets as a gift. You know how expensive salmon can be, especially wild salmon, forget about the fact they were 16 ounces each. Now, it is no problem for either of us to finish a piece of salmon this size at all, because of how much we love salmon. I do want to tell you that because it was a week night, I wanted the sides to be as special as the star, and I think rice is a great pairing for fish. They really have some great choices at the store that are quick cooking, brown or whole grain, and I’m not afraid to use them at all. The one that I found by Minute Rice was so good. All I did for it was to cook it in low sodium chicken broth for flavor, and I threw in a few golden raisins for some sweetness. I also found 2 beautiful heirloom tomatoes that I simply sliced up with a sprinkle of Kosher salt and pepper. Next I made a quick mango salsa and let those flavors marry in the frig while I moved forward.  You can find that recipe on my “Pico de Gallo Two Ways” at the search bar on my blog. All three of these side dishes took no time to pull together while the salmon was cooking. I have talked about a good friend of mine who owns Spice Blends, and she gave me a chili lime rub blend that I thought would be perfect for this salmon. All I did was to get my cast iron skillet screaming hot with a light coating of Canola oil. I brushed the top side of the salmon with Canola oil, then sprinkle the rub on. I set the fish in the pan, skin side down for about 5 minutes. These pieces of salmon were about 2-1/2 inches thick at their widest point, so I wanted them to get a good start on top of the stove. Now in the mean time, the oven was preheated to 450 degrees ready for the fish. Then I placed the pan into the hot oven to finish cooking. About 5-7 minutes. Next, I turned the dial to broil, and broiled the salmon for about another 5 minutes. That was it. I took the pan out of the oven and covered the pan with foil to let the salmon rest for a minute while I quickly sauteed off 6 large wild shrimp that I got at the store for a special garnish. In a small plastic bag I marinated the shrimp really quickly with Kosher salt, pepper, minced garlic, lime zest, and a tablespoon of olive oil. While the salmon was resting, in a small saute pan, I melted 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter on med high heat. The shrimp will saute very quickly. I tossed the shrimp in, and in 2 minutes, or when they turned pink, they were done. You don’t want over cooked shrimp. Now all the components for this dinner are finished, its time to plate. The brown rice with the golden raisins, the heirloom tomatoes and mango salsa that have been waiting in the frig, and finally the shrimp along with the start of this dinner, the Pan Seared Salmon With A Chili Lime Rub. I rented the movie “Boyhood”, and it was, “Dinner and a Movie”.

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