Our winter squash are coming in and it is soup time in our house again. For dinner tonight a made arch and creamy winter squash soup with a side of corn muffins.
If you have some winter squash you may want to try this recipe.
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups chopped winter squash (I used kabocha squash for tonight’s recipe)
- 1 pinch each sea salt and black pepper
- 1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2-3 Tbsp maple syrup (can use brown sugar or coconut sugar)
- 1-2 tsp chili garlic paste (optional)
- Heat a large pot over medium heat.
- Once hot, add oil, onion, and garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add squash and season with a pinch each salt and pepper, curry powder, and ground cinnamon. Stir to coat. Then cover and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add coconut milk, vegetable broth, maple syrup or sugar, and chili garlic paste (optional – for heat).
- Bring to a low boil over medium heat and then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes or until squash is fork tender.
- Use an immersion blender, or transfer soup to a blender, and purée on high until creamy and smooth. If using a blender, return soup back to pot.
- Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more curry powder, salt, or sweetener as needed. Continue cooking for a few more minutes over medium heat.
- Serve as is or with garnishes of your choice.
The winter squash harvest is starting to come in. Unfortunately, the squirrels have reeked havoc on crops this year. Many summer and winter squash were eaten prior to maturity or scared by their little nails. Some of the Hubbard squash grew to maturity but were to scared for long term storage and needed to be processed immediately. I used one of these squash to make our first pie for the season since Hubbard, butternut, buttercup squash and pumpkin are interchangeable in pies and quick breads.
The recipe that I used is as follows. I hope that your family enjoys it as much as mine does.
- 1 medium Hubbard squash
- 1/2 stick butter, softened
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup evaporated milk
- 1 unbaked pie crust
- Maple Whipped Cream, optional, recipe follows
Maple Whipped Topping:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
- Slice into quarters, seed and bake squash for 1 hour in the oven on a baking sheet. When done, let cool.
- Scrape the pulp out of the skin, transfer to a large bowl, and mash. Set 4 cups of the mash aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat together butter, sugar, and brown sugar until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt.
- Add evaporated milk and stir mixture into squash. Beat together with mixer until smooth and pour into an unbaked pie shell.
- Bake on bottom rack of oven for 1 hour or until center of pie is firm. Serve warm. Add dollop of whipped cream if desired.
Maple Whipped Topping:
In a medium bowl, beat together whipping cream and confectioners’ sugar. Add maple syrup. Beat together until soft peaks form.
Dinner tonight is fresh from the garden. Tomato herb tart topped with fresh goat cheese, and a bowl of mixed greens.
The tart is made with a herb crust that was blind baked for 20 minutes so it stayed crispy. After letting the crust rest for 10 minutes I topped it with chopped mixed herbs, sliced tomatoes, fresh goat milk feta, basil salt, pepper, and finished the layers with a drizzle of olive oil. Then baked the tart at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. The resulting tart had a flaky crisp crust and juicy topping.
With the very warm wet summer this year we have a bumper crop of green beans, tomatoes and eggplant. This morning I used 12 pounds of our tomatoes and 4 pounds of eggplant to make some lovely jars of aubergine pasta sauce.
The recipe I use is as follows. Please keep in mind that the canning method is the one that I use in my house. Please follow the canning method and times that are appropriate for your household.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion , chopped
- 6 garlic cloves , chopped
- 1 large bell pepper , chopped
- 2 lbs eggplants, cubed
- 8 cups tomatoes , peeled & cubed
- 1/4 cup tomato powder or 1-6 ounce can of tomato paste
- 4 tablespoons fresh basil
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons dry oregano
- 1/3 cup date sugar (can substitute brown sugar)
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 cup dry red wine
- In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
- Add onion and garlic; cook until the onion is soft.
- Add tomatoes, eggplant, bell pepper, tomato paste, basil, oregano, hot pepper flakes, sugar, salt, pepper, and wine; stir.
- Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Blend mixture with an emersion blender.
- Put into hot jars and add prepared lids and rings. Screw rings on until finger tight.
- Process in hot water bath for 40 minutes.
No matter how much canning I do, the reduction in volume when fresh produce is processed always amazes me.
Our gardens are starting to produce fairly well so I have been doing a lot of canning and dehydrating of vegetables, which has also produces a lot veggie scraps. By the end of this weekend I had enough to fill a large crockpot and make a batch of vegitable broth this afternoon.
I find that making my own vegitable broth saves us a fair amount of money and taste better than any brand I have found in the market. To make your own broth fill a slow cooker with vegitable scraps. For this batch I used onion, mushroom stems, celery, tomatoes, beets, kale stems, broccoli, cabbage, carrot tops, and green bean tips (keep in mind that you can always store scraps in the freezer until you have enough to make a batch of broth). Cover the scraps with water until it is about an inch above the scraps, add salt, pepper and herbs to the pot and cook on low for about 10-12 hours.
Run the cooked scrap mixture through press to render as much liquid as possible and then pour through a fine mesh seive to remove the larger vegitable particles that made it through the press.
Place the pressed scraps in to your compost container.
Pour the the warm broth into prepared canning jars and pressure cook for 75 minutes at the pressure recommended for pressure in your area.
We are currently living through the wettest summer in a good number of years. The upside is that we have not needed to water our crops in almost two months and we are seeing a bumper crop of all types of green beans, pinto beans and kale. The downside is our tomatoes are splitting, cabbage is starting to rot, and the pumpkins and butternut squash are slow to produce, and slugs are starting to become a real problem. In an effort to reduces some of the water related issues we have let the ducks loose in the fields to help with bugs, have been canning and running the dehydrators at least twice a week, covered every flat surface in the house with tomatoes that need to finish ripening, and cooking all types of kale and Swiss chard dishes. For dinner today I made a Pistachio, Farro and Kale Salad with hot water cornbread. The dish was very easy to make, used several items from our gardens and was very tasty. If you would like to try the salad recipe it can be found at https://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/farro-kale-salad-recipe/
How are your gardens doing?
We have finally arrived at the Time in the growing season hat we can eat mainly out of our gardens. This morning I picked eggplant, sweet peppers, green beans, tomatoes and onions. A number of the fresh veggies noted earlier, and a block of tofu made by a local farm were used to create a Sriracha-spiced Stir-Fried tofu with eggplant and red bell peppers for dinner. There is nothing quite like the taste of garden ripened produce to make a very memorable meal.
If you would like to try this dish the base recipe can be found on Kalyn’s blog.
I made some minor adjustments to her recipe to fit what I had available in my gardens. I replaced the Thai basil with fresh Italian basil, the green onion with a freshly picked shallot, peanut oil with canola oil, and stevia with maple syrup. I also sliced the fried garlic and added it back to the dish at the same time as the sauce was added,
This morning I needed to stay in the kitchen while the pressure cooker processed our first batch of green beans for the season, so I baked a gluten-free double chocolate banana bread. The bread is easy to make and allowed me to use some of the almond pulp in my freezer from making almond milk and a couple of overripe bananas. An added bonus to this recipe is that it is only about 155 calories per slice and contains very little fat.
Point your browser to http://thetoastedpinenut.com/double-chocolate-banana-bread/ If you are interested in trying the recipe.
This time of year our chickens start producing a lot of eggs and there is a lot of milk avalable, so I make a lot of old fashioned recipes for family and friends. One recipe that I make often is egg custard. It only takes about five minutes to prepare, uses simple ingredients, and if made in single serving container can be pulled out and dressed up for guests.
My family likes the custard plain with a healthy sprinkle of nutmeg on top. For guests it can be pulled out of the refrigator, topped with fresh seasonal fruit and some fresh whipped cream. Some of my favorite fruit toppings are blueberries, raspberries and strawberries in simple syrup.
The custard recipe that I use is:
- 4 cups milk (room tempature)
- 6 large eggs (room tempature)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- fresh ground nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Place all of the ingridents in a blinder and mix until will incorporated.
- Pour mixture into 8-one cup baking dishes or a 9×13 inch pan. Place in a large pan with enough water to reach about 1 inch from the top of the custard dish(s).
- Sprinkle a bit more nutmeg on the top of each dish.
- Bake for about 45 minutes or until the custard has just set. Be careful not to over cook.
- Cool custard then cover and refrigerate. Will keep for 5-7 days in refrigerator.
Twice a month I take a Friday morning to make bread for my household. This Friday i took advantage of some early spring herbs and made a tabbouleh bread. The bread has a great sent, flavor and makes great sandwiches that are piled high with fresh feta or Farmer’s cheese and vegetables.
2 cup water
1/2 cup bulgar
3 T olive oil
1 T yeast
1 cup warm water (additional)
2 tsp salt
1 bunch flat leaf parsley chopped
6 green onions sliced thinly
Zest 1 lemon
5-6 cloves garlic chopped
6 cups flour (may use white or a white/whole wheat mix)
Cook the bulgar in 2 cups of water and the olive oil. Turn pan off when it comes to a boil and cool until lukewarm.
Dissolve yeast in 1 cup warm water.
Mix parsley, green onions, lemon zest, chopped garlic, salt, egg, flour, bulgar mixture, and yeast mixture well.
Allow dough to rest for fifteen minutes. Add more flour if needed to make a soft dough.The dough should be soft and slightly tacky, but not sticky.
Knead dough for 5 to 10 minutes by hand or by machine, until a smooth ball. Place dough in a greased bowl and allow to rise for one hour or until double. Punch dough down. Rest for 10 minutes. Shape into two loaves and place into greased pans. Let rise for 45 minutes or until double. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
Bread is great served with a olive oil and lemon dipping sauce or used on a sandwich of herbed feta cheese, sliced tomatoes and sliced cucumbers.
I just love having a large batch of fresh, colorful vegetables to work with. Fortunately, peaches are in and the vegetable gardens are producing well, so this morning I made and canned a batch of peach salsa.
Fruit salsa is so popular in my house that this is the second batch that I have made in the last week (all will be gone by next spring). I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do.
- 9 cups fresh peaches, mangoes, or a combination of both, peeled and chopped
- 2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice (fresh or bottled)
- 4 cups fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 2 large sweet peppers, diced
- 2 cups onions, diced
- 2 Tbsp dried jalapeno flakes (or fresh hot peppers if you wish. Add more or less to your desired heat level)
- 1/4 cup cilantro or parsley, chopped
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 T honey
- 2 T clear gel to thicken
- Mix peaches with lime or lemon juice.
- Combine all ingredients in large pot.
- Bring to boil over medium heat and cook for five or six minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Ladle into prepared canning jars.
- Screw on lids and process in boiling water canner for 10 minutes.