Monday, November 26, 2007

creamy butternut squash soup.

The butternut squash soup we made from our farmer's market produce was great! I love butternut squash--and this soup is a bit more savory than some, and is great with some rustic bread and a fresh grate of some yummy Gruyere over the top before serving.

Take 1 butternut squash--peel it, cut in 1/2, scoop the goop, and dice. Steam on the stove.

In a skillet, combine 1 diced cipollini onion, 2 cloves chopped garlic, 2 small/med. chopped leeks, a drizzle of olive oil, sprinkle of course sea salt, and a few cranks of pepper. As it starts to soften, add 1 Tbsp butter, and keep stirring until onions are pretty much transparent. Add some white wine (3 Tbsp?) and stir.

Put the skillet of goodies, the steamed squash, and 6 cups of stock (I used veggie, you can use chicken too) in a crock pot on high. I added 1 Tsp of yellow curry powder for some spice and flavor (mmm). Let cook on high for 1-2 hours. Turn crock pot to low, add 1 cup of milk, and stir.

Before serving, use an immersion blender to make a fine smooth soup (or blend in batches). Super good, super fresh, and local but for the spices!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

irish coffee

It is the night before Thanksgiving, I have a brine in the works for our local heritage turkey, fresh herb bread just out of the oven, the eggs came fresh from a local farm just an hour ago for pumpkin pie and quiche...but I am going to post a recipe for...................Irish Coffee.

Today is the first snow, my husband is off of work, and we are not working this weekend - so a little warmth and comfort while we cook and prep for our holiday is a must.

How to make it:

Brew a fresh pot of fair trade organic coffee (yum). In mugs, measure 1 Tsp of brown sugar and 1 shot of good whiskey. Stir to dissolve sugar. Ladle fresh cream over the top (we used super fresh skimmed from our milk), using a spoon to diffuse. If you like, squirt/spoon fresh organic whipped cream to top it off...

I know, I used Scotch Whiskey when the recipe is for Irish Coffee and I'm about as Irish as they come. But as long as it is a GOOOOOOOOD rich peaty whiskey, you are set! Yum.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

from amaranth O's to coconut granola...

We like to make fresh yummy snack-age for not only the kids, but also for a certain dad to take to work. Rather than run all over to buy a big list of ingredients which ends up making for expensive "granola", we like to use what we have. I always have some cereal in house that I bought that sounds healthier or has less sugar which of course no one wants to eat. That is a great thing to use in granola, as you sweeten and make it into something everyone likes. SO I had a box of amaranth peach O's (oh yes, you wonder WHY the kids wouldn't eat it, I know...). From that plus some organic oats, coconut and some extra added goodies, we made an amazing snack. Kids can pretty much mix this up on their own, but the little ones need help measuring.

1 box O cereal. I used Amaranth Peach O's.
2 cups organic quick oats (or you can roll your own...mmmm.)
1 cup UNSWEETENED organic dried coconut (don't use the sweet sticky stuff)
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 Tbsp organic butter, melted
1 Tbsp black strap molasses
4 Tbsp organic unsweetened coconut milk (or 1 Tbsp virgin coconut oil)
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp bee pollen (sounds odd, but it adds crunchy sweetness and is good for you!)

Mix the oats, cereal and nuts in a big bowl. In a separate bowl melt the butter, then stir in the molasses, coconut milk, & maple syrup. Drizzle over the dried mix in the big bowl. Mix well QUICKLY (spoon or hands). Sprinkle cinnamon over while tossing. Spread mix on a big baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes at 350ºF. Stir it all up and return to oven another 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle bee pollen over the top of it all. Let cool. Eat!

Don't be tied to a recipe either...add different ingredients like dried fruit, cereals, nuts, flax, coconut oil-whatever you have. The coconut milk and dried coconut work with many flavors, add a nice richness to tie it all in together, and just smells and tastes amazing (and coconut is not only good, but good for you).

Sunday, November 11, 2007

stuffed baked apples.

We picked a lot of apples this year - there are so many things apples can be used in - soup, desserts, drinks, cereals, breads - the list goes on. We have to keep reminding ourselves to USE THEM though. Seems that since they are away in a dark cool place, we tend to forget. This weekend we remembered and made a delicious baked apple dessert - super easy, but great flavor.

I have made baked apples before, but thought it would be tasty to stuff them with something. It turned out GREAT. is our stuffed baked apple recipe.

6 baking apples
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 Tsp. cinnamon
dash nutmeg
dash ginger
2-3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 Tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 cup maple syrup (or brown sugar)
3 Tbsp. good rum (optional)

Peel the apples about 2/3 way down. Carve out the seeds of the apples, leaving a hole for stuffing. Don't core through the bottom!!!!

In a bowl, mix together 1/2 cup oats, 2-3 Tbsp softened (not melted) butter, 1/2 Tsp vanilla extract, 1/2 Tsp cinnamon, dash of nutmeg & ginger, and 1/4 cup (or less) maple syrup. Mix until thick and lumpy. If you use brown sugar it will be thicker - if you use maple syrup it will be more runny (you can add more oats if need be to get thick). Stuff mixture the holes in the apples. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.

Place apples in a pan, and bake at 325º for about 1.5 hours until soft. For extra steam, I placed a pan of water on the bottom rack during baking.

As an option, drizzle 3 Tbsp good rum over the top of the apples before baking - then after about 45 minutes baking take a spoon and scoop up liquids from the bottom of the pan and drizzle over the top and into stuffing. Gives a richer flavor.

Cool and then eat as is (don't forget to drizzle!) or with ice cream.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

creamy acorn squash soup

We have been making meals to use all of the varieties of squash and pumpkins we received both in our CSA box, and which we bought at the pumpkin picks. I had baked 2 squash the other day, and had a whole bag of the puree. Soup sounded like a good idea - and it turned out delicious!!!!

First, you need to bake your squash. Cut 2 acorn squash in half, scoop out seeds, and place skin down on a baking pan. Cook 30 minutes at 350, turn over, cook another 30 minutes or so. It should be soft enough to scoop out the flesh easily.

Flesh of 2 acorn squash (cooked, see above)
2 onions (chopped fine)
2 carrots (sliced fine)
2 Tbsp butter
1-2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 Tsp sea salt
1/2 Tsp fresh ground pepper
1 Tsp curry powder (I used mild yellow curry powder)
4 cups stock/broth, warm (I used veggie, but you could use beef)
1/3 cup red wine
1 1/2 cups milk

Saute the chopped onions, carrots, and garlic in a skillet with a dash of oil. Let cook until tender - turn heat down and add butter and red wine to skillet and stir.

Make sure your smushed squash is warm, and put it in a crock pot. Add the onion/carrot/garlic/wine/butter mixture. Stir in the warm broth - stir until the squash puree is incorporated. Add the salt, pepper and curry powder. Cook on high for 1-2 hours. Reduce heat to low, add the milk (do a taste test and add more salt/pepper to taste) and let it all cook together in the crock pot another hour or two on low.

I used an immersion blender to make the soup extra smooth before serving, and cranked a little fresh ground pepper on top. OH my, it was good.

And extra bonus - everything except for the oil & spices were from local sources!

Monday, November 5, 2007

eat local for thanksgiving

The Crunchy Chicken blog has created a pledge to Eat Local for Thanksgiving this year. What does this mean? Try to use foods that are in season, local, and organic.

"In your pledge you can state what you are planning to do, whether that be acquiring a local turkey to getting all your vegetables at a farmer's market, etc. It's totally up to you. The point is to think about where each food source comes from and buy it locally or don't serve it if it's out of season or has to travel miles to get to your plate. "

So go pledge!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

pumpkin bars made w/fresh pureed pumpkin

Wondering what to make with those little sweet pie pumpkins you got at the pumpkin pick? These pumpkin bars are super pumpkin tasting - not too sweet but definitely dessert.

How to make it? First you have to cook your pumpkins.

Take 2 small sweet pie pumpkins and cut them in half. Place on baking sheet and bake at 350º face down 30 minutes, turn them over, bake face up 30 minutes. The inside should be soft. Let cool and then scoop out the insides. You can take the pulp and run it through a food processor or a food mill to get it the consistency of canned pumpkin (smooth & creamy).

Now for the Pumpkin Bars!


1 1/2 cups quick oats
1 1/4 cups flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 Tsp sea salt
1/2 Tsp baking soda
3/4 cup butter (softened)

You can add 1/2 cup of crushed nuts if you like too...

2 cups pumpkin puree
2/3 cup milk
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice)
1 egg

Mix together crumb ingredients: oats, flour, brown sugar, salt, baking soda & butter. Should be crumbly. Press 1/2 of the mixture into a lightly buttered 13x9 pan. Bake at 375º for 12 minutes.

Make the filling:
Mix together filling ingredients until blended and smooth. Spread it over baked crust. Sprinkle the remaining crumb over the top. Return the pan to the oven and bake 30 more minutes.

Cool and cut into squares.

Spiced Whip Cream Topping:
We made our own whipped cream topping. It is tasty. Take 1 cup of heavy cream. Whip it in your KitchenAid -- while it is going, add 1/2 Tsp. vanilla, a dash of cinnamon and 1/2 Tsp. maple syrup (optional). Whip until it is whip cream consistency. Serve over bars. YUM.

New Glarus Brewing Co...Organic Revolution.

We try to buy local goodies for the bulk of our food & beverage purchases if we can. This includes wine and beer.

Today my husband stopped in at the New Glarus Brewing Company when we were in the area, and discovered that they have an organic beer which is naturually carbonated and 100% bottle fermented (and made using Wisconsin organically malted barley). So, of course, we had to get some.

Straight from the drinkers' mouth (that would be Brice):

The beer has a light flavor, clear golden color. Not sure about "dancing on my palate," but it does have a nice carbonation with more than just the initial beer flavor, which is a nice surprise. Overall, an enjoyable beer - even more so knowing its organic.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

CSA Box This Week

Today is the day. Our final CSA box pickup of the season at the farm.

This week in our box:
Lettuce, arugula, mizuna, saute greens, hakuri turnips, red radishes, green cabbage, celeriac, rutabaga, onions.