Tomato Peach Salad

I know it sounds weird. So weird. But I’ve been trolling this article for ideas, and I realized I had all the ingredients for this one (no. 2).

So here’s the original recipe: “Mix wedges of tomatoes and peaches, add slivers of red onion, a few red-pepper flakes and cilantro. Dress with olive oil and lime or lemon juice. Astonishing.”

And here are the specifics that I threw together:

  • 2 tomatoes (from my garden!)
  • 2 small peaches
  • 1/2 medium red onion
  • (small) pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped small)
  • juice of 1 lime (more wouldn’t hurt)
  • 1 tablespoon (or less?) olive oil

I don’t know about “astonishing,” but it’s tasty. And really pretty too — I’ll take a picture if I make it again.

Vanilla Pear and Strawberry Bread

So this is my very first attempt at creating a recipe. I was pleased enough with how it turned out that I am preserving it here, though I think in the future I would need to streamline the process. Read on; you’ll get why.

I started out making a batch of Smitten Kitchen’s Vanilla Bean Pear Sauce for Ian. The problem was that I didn’t know how many pears I had, and I just followed the recipe hoping I had the right amount. I had too few pears, and the sauce turned out way too runny and I thought maybe a bit too pungent for the babe (he tried it, but I couldn’t tell what he thought of it). Simon and I liked it, though (flavor if not texture), and I really didn’t want to just toss the batch. I poured it into ice cube trays, thinking I would combine it with a thicker puree, but then I had a change of heart, and maybe even a bit of inspiration.

I based the recipe on Brook’s Low Fat Blueberry Banana Bread but subbed out almost every ingredient. I chose the strawberries because (a) I had them and (b) I thought that if the balsamic taste didn’t totally get lost in the baking that at least balsamic goes well with strawberries.

Next time I would make the pears with the same recipe, but instead of dumping all the liquid in the blender at once, I would add it a bit at a time until I got the right consistency with the sauce. I also think the balsamic taste could have come through a little more in the bread, so I want to try macerating the strawberries with balsamic first.

I had fun trying to think through what would work . I am more confident in swapping and experimenting when it comes to cooking than baking, but this was a good first try.


  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup + 1 tablespoon vanilla bean pear sauce (you could also use 1 tablespoon oil in place of the extra tablespoon)
  • 1/3 cup vanilla yogurt (I used nonfat)
  • 1 3/4 cups flour (I used 1/2 whole wheat, 1/2 white)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries


  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Lightly grease 8 1/2×4 1/2×2 1/2-inch pan; dust with flour.
  3. Using electric mixer; beat eggs and brown sugar in large bowl until thick and light, about 5 minutes.
  4. Mix in pear sauce and yogurt.
  5. Sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt over mixture; beat until just blended.
  6. Fold in strawberries.
  7. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
  8. Bake bread until golden brown on top and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour.
  9. Turn bread out onto rack and cool.