I mentioned this last year a few times also, but Colorado is very under-rated as a peach state. I’ll probably get hell for this but I swear that CO peaches are better and more flavorful than Georgia peaches. I asked a smart person why this was last year and they explained that at the higher altitudes apparently the sugars crystalize better and make for a sweeter fruit.
I’m not sure about all of that, but I know I can’t get enough of them this time of year!
One of my favorite ways to use them is to smash them into a grilled cheese. This peach sandwich also features some homemade sausage patties that are a bit spicy and sweet.
Serve this with a mimosa and it’s a great little brunch sandwich!
You always hear how it’s soooo cheap to start a blog, and it’s true that it’s cheaper than, say, starting a newspaper. But, there are still a lot of hidden costs involved, especially if you start getting decent traffic to the site. Macheesmo, as a middle-aged, middle-trafficked site, has a bunch of random expenses including hosting and software. Not to mention the costs it takes me to photograph, test, and write all the recipes!
Obviously, I do it primarily for love, but I did make the decision to start showing ads on the site a few years ago to help offset some of the costs of the site.
But, those people that sign up for the Macheesmo Meals program that I launched on Wednesday are supporting the site so much more than any ad ever could. So, if you sign up for the meal plan service, you will no longer see any ads on Macheesmo. You have to be logged in for this to work, but the site should remember your login assuming you are using the same computer.
Of course, there are many other benefits of the Meals service (like four wonderful meal plans every freakin’ month), but this is just a little icing on the cake to make your reading experience on Macheesmo better.
I’m finally home this weekend after a few weeks of travel, so let’s do a poll! This month’s Cook’s Illustrated is one of the best in a while. Pick something from it!
Baked Summer Veggie Taquitos – Taquitos are one of my favorite Tex-Mex dishes but they are kind of labor intensive. Patience is a virtue for sure, especially if you are frying them. These really do look worth the work though. (@ Healthy Delicious)
Abundance Salad – This just screams late summer to me. Tomatoes and corn and avocados is one of my favorite flavor combos so I wanted this salad to jump out of my monitor and onto my plate when I saw it. (@ Dine and Dish)
The Seafood Terrine- I’ve messed around with a terrine once or twice and it’s pretty hard to do without the proper equipment. Watching an expert demonstrate via video though makes it look very easy and accessible. (@ Ruhlman)
Cucumber and Gin Sorbet- Anything with gin in it is probably going to be bookmarked by me. I love drinking and cooking with it, especially in the summer. Love this recipe. (@ Bitten Word)
Connect with me!
Throughout the week I love chatting with people and sharing fun and interesting stuff around the web.
I’m really excited about today. For the last few months I’ve been working on a new section of the site and today is the day that I’m sharing it with you all!
The new section of the site is called “Macheesmo Meals” and I wanted to spend today talking about it, why I decided to create it, and how it can hopefully help you!
The Problem With Cooking…
I spend a lot of time chatting and emailing with people about cooking (as you might imagine) and over the years I’ve come to the conclusion that one of the hardest parts of cooking is not the actual cooking, but it’s planning what to cook.
After all, there are gazillions of blogs online (like this one), thousands of cookbooks published every year, and any number of other sources for delicious recipes, but when it comes down to actually putting dinner on the table, it can be difficult to figure out how to make it work.
I’m a big data guy though and I didn’t want to just go on my guess. So last year, I sent out a quick poll to my email subscribers and asked them all how I could make cooking easier. The responses were eye-opening to say the least. It turns out that most people like to cook, but here are the top four ways they need help:
The truth of it is that even though I love sharing sometimes elaborate recipes with you all, most people just want to be able to feed their families on a Tuesday after working 10 hours. That’s the problem that I wanted to help solve with Macheesmo Meals.
What is Macheesmo Meals?
In short, if you signup for Macheesmo Meals, you’ll get the following:
Four meal plans each month. In each plan will be three dinners plus bonus recipes.
Plans will be posted on Thursdays so you can shop on the weekends.
Extras including shopping lists, preparation tips, ingredient substitutions, coupons, and a members-only forum!
These plans are focused around recipes that use real food and are all designed to be made on a weeknight (the dinners take under an hour from start to finish). The meals in the plans are quick, healthy (with the occasional indulgence), and doable.
Signing up will also give you access to a members-only forum so you can brainstorm and collaborate with me and the other Meals subscribers.
You’ll also have access to a special form where you can ask me a question that goes straight to the top of my inbox!
Are you Charging for this Sucker?
The short answer is yes. It takes a lot of time for me to make these and there are some extra costs involved in running a community like this (time/software/etc.) That said, I did my absolute best to keep the program super-affordable.
Ultimately, the plan will cost $12/month or $98/year, but right now I’m offering the program at a dumb-cheap price of $9/month. I originally was going to only give this lower price to the first 50 people who signed up, but I opened up the program to my email list on Monday afternoon and they snatched up most of those spots.
So I’ve expanded it. If you are one of the first 100 people who signs up, you’ll lock in this rate and it’ll never go up. Pinky promise.
You can read about the “I’m a Human Being Guarantee” on the Meals Sign Up page, but the short of it is that if you decide you don’t like the plans for any reason, you can easily cancel and I’ll refund your last payment (or a prorated amount if you’re an annual subscriber).
What Does a Plan Look Like?
I’ve already posted the first meal plan which you can have access to right away if you sign up. Because it’s August, the meal plan is all about tomatoes!
Besides this lovely benedict recipe, there are three other complete dinners that take under an hour to make and feature beautiful, ripe tomatoes.
Each meal also includes a preparation timeline so you can see how I actually make the meals along with common substitutions (vegetarian, etc.) Also, I encourage people to ask questions on the member-only forum where other members (and me obviously) can help with questions.
Also, there is a shopping list with each plan!
These lists are easy to print out, check against your pantry, and head to the store! I try to leave plenty of room so you can add to the lists and have one simple page that’s split up by grocery section.
Will The Blog Change?
I got this question a few times from people. This is very important. Nothing will change here on Macheesmo. I’ve been posting recipes and stuff on the blog for almost five years and I will absolutely continue doing so. Obviously, I will still answer questions and comments just like normal!
If you have any questions at all, leave a comment below! I’m really excited about Macheesmo meals and I hope you take a minute to check out the features and hopefully sign up!
Quick Admin Note #1: I’m back from knee surgery and feeling good! It’s going to be a slow recovery but faster and easier than my ACL recovery so I’m in generally good spirits about it.
Quick Admin Note #2: This is a big week on Macheesmo! I’m launching a new part of the website later in the week and I’m nervous/excited to share it with you all. More to come on this announcement on Wednesday or if you’re on the Macheesmo email list you’ll get a sneak peak of it tomorrow!
Okay. Back to the subject at hand: Buns. I’ve only made one kind of burger bun on Macheesmo before and these are a very different beast from those kaiser rolls. Since these buns are from a brioche dough, they are slightly sweet and have a soft interior crumb but are sturdy enough to hold up to any burger.
The good news is that you don’t need any fancy mixer or anything to make them. Just a little elbow grease will do the trick!
About a year and a half ago I tore my ACL playing basketball. I had the surgery and everything seemed to be okay, but my knee never really healed 100%. It would hurt when I did somewhat strenuous activities like jog or ski which is the whole reason I had the ACL repair to begin with!
I went to a different doctor for a second opinion and they ran a bunch of different technical and physical tests on me and basically determined that while the ACL repair was strong, I did manage to amass a huge amount of scar tissue at some point. I guess this could either be due to a sloppy surgery or (probably more likely) improper physical therapy during recovery.
Or it could be just the way a wacky body heals sometimes.
In any event, I decided to take the doctor’s recommendation and have a quick “clean-up” knee surgery that will remove a lot of the troublesome scar tissue and hopefully make it easier for me to get back to living an active life!
So I’m in Vail this weekend getting all of this done and working on my therapy. I won’t be posting over the weekend, but will be back on Monday!
No poll this week, yet again, because I’ll be out of town!
Very high on my list of baffling grocery store aisles is the salad dressing section. When I look down that section I see wasted money and calories. Most of the dressings use cheap oils and lots of salt and then they charge you $4/bottle for the stuff.
To be fair, this dressing might cost $4 to make. I didn’t do the exact calculations, but it’s leaps and bounds ahead on the flavor train thanks to using really good pecorino cheese.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, but once you start feeling comfortable mixing your own salad dressings, you can just eliminate that aisle all together from your grocery store lists.
A few weeks ago I saw a new mix of quinoa in the bulk section of the grocery store. It was called rainbow quinoa and had three different quinoa varieties mixed together. It looked really cool and I figured it would work well in a salad with lots of fresh, crunchy veggies.
I also experimented with a new spice I got at the Sabra factory courtesy of the Spice Station: Sumac. It’s a really interesting spice and if you can get your hands on some, it goes great in this quinoa salad.