Saturday, September 10, 2011

Yummy Peach Tarts

What you will need:

1 package Pepperidge Farms Pastry Puff (thawed overnight in refrigerator)
1 large fresh peach (I used Palisade peaches)
1 to 2 T honey (depends on the sweetness of the peach
1 T craisns
1 tsp corn starch
1 tsp flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
small pinch salt
1 egg beaten

What to do:

Peel, pit, and chop into small cubes the peach an place in medium mixing bowl  Add honey, craisns, corn starch, flour, cinnamon, and salt.  Toss together lightly and set aside.

Sprinkle flour lightly on clean counter top or pastry cloth.  Place thawed pastry puff on floured surface and slightly roll out a bit so that you can get six rounds cut out with a 3 inch round cutter.  (Each box of dough comes with two sheets and you should be able to get six rounds out of each sheet.) 

Place a small amount of peach mixture in the middle of a round.  (Appx. a tablespoon or so)
Dot with 1/4 tsp of butter or less.  Beat the egg in a small bowl and use a pastry brush to brush around the edge of the bottom layer.  Place the top over the peach mixture and press gently the edges together of the dough.  Take a fork and press around the edges to seal the tart completely.  Use the fork to poke holes in the top of the pastry to allow the pressure to release while baking.  Brush the top and edges of the tart completely with egg wash and then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or raw sugar if you want. Cinnamon sprinkle is 1 T sugar to 1/2 tsp cinnamon.

Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes until tarts are golden brown.  Makes six tarts.
Cherry filled is pretty good too!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Relaxing in Prescott, AZ

Don and I, along with Greg and Denice, decided we needed a break from some intense work and dealing with daily life and opted to check out Prescott Arizona as a possible future retirement site (albeit, the economy will get so bad that we won’t ever be able to retire). So we loaded in the car and headed south through Albuquerque to catch I-40 through Flagstaff.  Flagstaff is an awesome town and I will talk about it in a later article.
Slide Rock State Park.  Nice swimming hole!
We took Highway 89 through Sedona which is an absolutely stunning drive.  We love the colors of the rocks and the formations, the beautiful flora, trees, and wildlife, and streams.  As one travels along the road it descends in elevation rather quickly into a canyon that displays all this beauty and empties into the town Sedona. Well kept, clean, and pristine the town is filled with artisans, retirees, the affluent, and those who believe that Sedona is the vortex of the universe or some such weirdness.  Lots of ESP going on there which leaves me feeling quite uncomfortable. However, there are excellent vegetarian restaurants with all types of menus. 
Cottonwood, another town on the route slightly south and west of Sedona, is another option for one wanting to retire with more mild temps but still like the cool with a lightly higher elevation.  Clean and middle class it was pleasant to drive through.

Seventh-day Adventist Church in Prescott.

Panoramic View of Prescott

Panoramic View of Prescott
A real surprise, and one we really want to revisit, was Jerome.  This is a town built literally on the side of the mountains.  Quaint shops and restaurants now live in the historical buildings once occupied by miners and those services that kept the mining town running back in the day.  It was awesome to drive through and wish we had time to stop.  But as I said, we will come back!
A high school classmates of Don's, Russ Palmer. We visited his
home in the southern hills of Prescott. Beautiful place!
Prescott is a beautiful place set partly on the side of the hills and valley.  There are several small towns within a few miles of each other including a somewhat newer looking Prescott Valley.  Anyone with any desire to live in this area, can.  Many of the housing areas have HOAs (Home Owner Associations).  If you don’t mind a corporate group telling you what you can do with your land and home and also paying dues than these places can be quite nice.  However, there are many other places that don’t have HOAs.  And now is also a good time to buy as the housing market has crashed and the prices are more than reasonable on many offerings.  There’s many different ranges of homes from multi-million dollar, 6,000 sq ft. homes to 700 Sq Ft homes for $30,000 or so. 

Because it was Labor Day Weekend there was a street fair going on in the courthouse town square.  I was told by a local that they have big “dos” throughout the year and they are well attended.  He was right!  Lots of booths with a variety of art, jewelry, pottery, furniture, clothing, and various cuisines.

It took about 2 hours to get through.  On one side of the square is “Whisky Row” where all the saloons and bars are.  On the opposite side of the square is antique row with shops galore to browse through.  I found some silver coins and a pedestal cake plate for pretty descent prices.

We ate breakfast at SuAnn’s Apple Pan.  The food was really good with great omelets, “Marks Fried Potatoes” , light and fluffy biscuits.  Denice got a homemade cinnamon roll but I thought it was a bit dense though the flavor was good. The décor was all “Apples” and stuff –kind of late eighties and nineties.  The prices are very reasonable and by the time we left there was a substantial line waiting to get in.  That’s always a good sign.

My favorite place was a small Bakery called Grama’s.  Grama said she had been there over 20 years but didn’t know exactly.  The store is located on Gurly Street.  She doesn’t have a website or email.  She says she doesn’t time.  When I asked if I could take her picture she said she was usually a very private person but she allowed me too because of my blog.  Even private people don’t say no to free advertisement.
She doesn’t post her prices.  She doesn’t have to.  People who go there know what to expect and are willing to pay because she is an excellent baker.  Her offerings are totally homemade and fresh out of the oven!  I bought a Lemon Crème Napoleon and Raspberry Crème Napoleon that were to die for.  She has “Grama’s” Big Cookies, Bear Claws, Apple and Cherry Turnovers, Cinnamon Rolls, various pies and more.  I’m sure her fare changes each day and she keeps some of the classics.  I wanted some of everything. She only accepts cash!  She doesn’t want to deal with credit card machines and bounced checks.  “I don’t have time!”
Delicious pastries homemade by Grama.
Though she may seem unfriendly and very busy, she really is a nice person.  She is just hard working and when I mentioned retirement she said, “Oh, I will never do that!”    There is one table with six chairs or you can walk a few paces to the square and relax on one of many benches or the steps of the courthouse and luxuriate in homemade goodness.