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Slice of Life

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Peachy taste of sunshine

Lunch yesterday was peaches. Yes, I ate three absolutely delicious, juicy, sweet peaches that tasted like a mouth full of sunshine and summer.

When picking the perfect peach, first check out the area closest to the stem. If it’s green, this is an indicator that it may have been picked too soon and isn’t ripe, while a creamy yellow color usually means it’s good to go, ready to eat now. Of course, the firmness of the peach is also a factor.

You can easily substitute nectarines or apricots for peaches in most recipes.

Peaches and Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

2/3 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

3 tablespoons butter, melted

3 fresh peaches (sliced) or 1 (15 ounce) can sliced peaches, drained but save the liquid

Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon reserved peach juice

Topping:

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9-inch round cake pan. In a bowl of an electric mixer or food processor, combine the flour, baking powder and salt. Add the egg, milk and butter, and beat until combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and set it aside. Place the peach slices over the top of the batter.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, sugar and peach juice until smooth. Spoon the filling over the peaches on top of the cake batter.

Combine the remaining sugar and cinnamon, then sprinkle the mixture on top and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serves 6 to 8.

Cornmeal Chicken with Peach Salsa

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pounds)

2 tablespoons oil

Salsa:

5 medium peaches, peeled and chopped (3 cups)

1 large tomato, chopped (1 cup)

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

3 tablespoons oil

2 tablespoons white or rice wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

In large bowl, mix all salsa ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until serving.

In shallow dish, combine the cornmeal, salt and the pepper. Coat chicken with cornmeal mixture.

In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook the chicken for 15 to 20 minutes, turning once, until juice is clear when center of thickest part is cut. Serve with salsa. Makes 4 servings.

– Modified from BettyCrocker.com Slice of Life is a food column that offers recipes, cooking advice and information on new food products. It appears Sundays. If you have a question about cooking or a food item, contact Eileen Goltz at ztlog@frontier.net or write The Journal Gazette, 600 W. Main St., Fort Wayne, IN 46802.

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