04 August 2013

It's time for this month's Secret Recipe Club! The Secret Recipe Club is a group of food bloggers who secretly make one of someone else's dishes and post them all on the same day at the same time.  It's really fun, choosing a recipe to make, making the recipe, then reading about everyone else's recipes.  It's a great way to "meet" other bloggers and check out some great blogs that you never knew about before.

Secret Recipe Club

This month I was assigned to Sarah's blog, The Pajama Chef.  I've been following Sarah's blog for quite a while since we've both been in Group A for a long time now.  I also felt a special connection to Sarah when I learned that she was a student at Indiana University, which is my alma mater.  (I attended the campus at Fort Wayne.)  Go Hoosiers!  Sarah has a really great blog with some amazing recipes.  Despite the fact that July was crazy busy for me, I ended up making two of Sarah's recipes.  The first one was her Salmon with Lemon, Tarragon, and Garlic Sauce.

I was excited to try this because I had never cooked with tarragon before.  It was really good, but I used the wrong kind of mustard (regular Dijon instead of whole grain) and the sauce turned out a bit salty.  I fixed this problem by thinning it out with water, but that made it a bit thin, obviously.  It was still really good and my husband raved about it.  I will definitely try it again using the right kind of mustard.  I ended up liking the fresh tarragon more than I thought I would and look forward to cooking with it again.  (And btw, that is some purple jasmine rice that the salmon is sitting on.  It was a mix of white, black, and purple, and I had no idea that the purple color would bleed and infuse the whole thing.  Made for a weird-looking picture!)

The next recipe of hers that I tried was her Peach Shortbread Bars.  We had out-of-town friends staying with us overnight so I made these for dessert.  We had five kids ranging in age from 1 year old to 5, and these bars were a hit with everyone!  They are so easy to throw together, but they definitely deliver the "wow" factor.

Peach Shortbread Bars

1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg, beaten
2 peaches, peeled, pitted, and thinly sliced 

Preheat oven to 375°. Coat a 9×13 inch pan with baking spray. 

In a medium bowl, stir together the sugar, baking powder, flour, and ginger. Using a pastry blender or two forks, incorporate butter and beaten egg into the dry ingredients. Mixture will be crumbly.  Reserve 1½ - 2 cups of the crumb mixture and press the remainder into the bottom of the pan, pressing down to set. Cover crust with peach slices in a single layer. Top with reserved crumbs. 

Bake for 30 minutes, until topping is golden brown. Cool completely before cutting into squares.

Yield: 24 squares.

The only change I made to Sarah's recipe was to use powdered ginger instead of cinnamon and nutmeg.  I just really love the combination of peaches and ginger, so I had to try it.  I would say that the ginger flavor is pretty muted, being easily overshadowed by the gorgeous peaches.  

 Aren't they beautiful bars?  I love how the pretty red parts of the peach slices make an appearance.  Our friends thought they had two different kinds of fruit in them.

I am so glad that I had Sarah's blog this month, because I not only got a chance to cook with an herb I had never used before, but I also got a fantastic summer dessert recipe to add to my collection.  Thanks Sarah!

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  1. I have made these before and just love them. First time stopping by and love the blog!

  2. I think that salmon looks fabulous to me and one I want to try right away.

  3. These both looks so good - especially that salmon! What a cool rice color. :)

  4. I love purple rice, we buy the Korean kind. I think it makes for stunning photos. I would have liked to have dinner at your house so I could eat your salmon for dinner and the bars for dessert.

  5. Two really great-looking recipes. I'm always looking for new flavors with salmon, and I think I'll try that recipe this week (good to know about the mustard though!)

  6. Yum! Those peach bars look great :-)

  7. Kate | Food BabblesAugust 5, 2013 at 1:01 PM

    Ooo! I love shortbread bars and well, I've been on a SERIOUS peach binge lately so these are calling my name. Great pick!

  8. Great picks. Those shortbread bars look ah-mah-zing!
    This year's crop of peaches has been particularly good, and I just can't stop buying baskets of them... I have a feeling that these bars will be made sooner rather than later!

  9. I made a similar recipe not too long ago. Delicious!

  10. thank you for your kind words, lesa! you chose two tasty recipes, too! :) yum! so fun that we were paired together!!

  11. Those bars look really good, and the recipe sounds really easy, too. I will have to try them soon.

  12. Both the dishes look fantastic and I imagine they tasted great too. I'm quite eager to try the salmon out!