Monday, February 24, 2014

Surprise! I am blogging again at a new address. 
Visit me at Wholly Rooted:

Thursday, November 10, 2011


This is the time of year I start wanting rich aromatic foods that make the whole house smell amazing as they cook. That are warm and comforting when it is cold and dark. Gingerbread is a favorite for all those reasons. This smells amazing and is delicious with a steaming mug of cocoa or coffee.

This recipe is slightly tweaked from the ski house cookbook. I make gingerbread something or other every winter, and this recipe is a great version and super easy to make.


2 cups organic all purpose flour
2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 large egg
3/4 cup blackstrap molasses
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil (I used organic sunflower)
1 cup boiling water
some butter for the pan

optional:: powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 350º. Butter a 9" round cake pan (I used ceramic pie dish).

In one bowl stir together the flour, ginger, cinnamon, cocoa, cloves, allspice, salt, baking soda.

In another large bowl whisk together the egg, molasses, oil and brown sugar.

Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and stir. While stirring, add the boiling water, and stir until combined.

Pour the batter into the pan and put into the pre-heated oven for 35-45 minutes. A toothpick in the center should come out clean. Be sure not to over bake - the moist stickiness with gingerbread is the good part!

After removing from the oven let cool a bit before cutting.

Once cool you can sprinkle powdered sugar on the top of the whole cake, or if you are not eating it all right away, sprinkle right before serving.

Serve with just the powdered sugar, or with some fresh raspberries!

Monday, October 10, 2011

pumpkin purée & roasted seeds

While canned pumpkin may make a showing when there is nothing else, I really do like making my own pumpkin purée. The canned stuff is not usually even from pie pumpkins (but from some butternut type of squash). It is easy, although it takes planning ahead if you want to make a pie or cake or bread. This time of year I find it easiest to stick a tray of pumpkin in to roast every time I use the oven - and the freeze it for later!

So, to start. Take a pie pumpkin. Not a huge carving pumpkin (not so tasty) but the smaller ones that will be called pie pumpkins. Clean. Cut off the top. Cut in half or quarters.

Scoop out all of the pulp/seeds (save those!). Place in a baking dish in a 350ºF oven (I usually do cut side down, but you don't have to), and bake for 30-45 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft.

Let cool. Peel back the skins, use a knife if you need a little help. Some pumpkins are more liquidy than others, so I like to put the scraped pulp first into a strainer and let sit for a bit for the extra juice to drip out. From there you can smooth however you like - whiz in a blender or food processor, run through a food mill, or simply use a potato masher. Put into a container and freeze, or use immediately!

Now, what to do with all of those seeds? Take the pulpy seedy blobs and run your fingers through to extract as many seeds as you can. Don't worry if there are tiny bits of pumpkin still in there. Take your pumpkin seeds and put into a saucepan. Just cover with water, and add a nice big pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain. Most recipes skip this step but boiling them with a pinch of salt first really gives them better flavor, and the outer husk part is not as tough so it is crunchy but delicious.

Place a teaspoon of oil (I used sunflower oil) on a cookie sheet, and pour your pumpkin seeds over it. Use your fingers to coat all of the seeds. Now, add your seasoning. Sea salt, brown sugar, paprika, chili powder...find your favorite!

Today I used 1/2 teaspoon of yellow curry powder, 1 Tbsp of dark brown sugar, and a pinch of sea salt. SO good.

Gently stir the pumpkin seeds to coat in your seasoning mix. Spread evenly on the sheet and place in your oven while you are baking the pumpkin chunks. Stir every 15 minutes or so, and continue baking in the oven until they are golden - about 30-45 minutes, depending on how many seeds you have on the tray (all pumpkins are different, so...). Remove from oven and let cool.

SO good! I am using these pumpkin seeds (well, what I have not eaten!) in a trail mix. And tomorrow I'm making a batch of pumpkin butter with the puree.

pumpkin seeds:: "Pumpkin seeds are a very good source of the minerals phosphorus, magnesium and manganese. They are also a good source of other minerals including zinc, iron and copper. In addition, pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein and vitamin K."

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

lentil millet chili

I love chili on cold days. I just don't always like the bigger chewy beans. This chili uses lentils and millet. The smell, texture and flavor are totally chili and the lentils and millet add such an earthy tone. This so so so good, and made in a slow cooker bubbles away all day filling the house with amazing aroma. This can be made with or without meat. Both are fantastic!

::lentil millet chili::

2 cups dried lentils–any kind (I used 1/2 green, 1/2 red)
2 cups cooked millet (see below)
16 oz canned tomatoes, or 3-4 large diced tomatoes
1 cup tomato paste or juice (I use homemade so it is more juicy, you can also just use 1 can tomato paste)
4-6 cups stock
1 large onion, diced
1 pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
3 tsp paprika
1 tsp coriander powder
1+ tsp chili powder (to taste/heat)
2 tsp salt, or to taste
freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp chopped parsley
1 Tbsp corn flour (optional)

freshly chopped chives or cilantro for serving
sour cream or plain yogurt for serving

Add a bit of oil to a hot large pan, and toss in the onions and garlic. Saute for a few minutes, add the peppers. Let cook for a few minutes, stirring gently. If you want meat, add up to a pound of ground beef or turkey and stir until browned. Empty the pan into your crock pot. Return pan to heat, add in the tomatoes, stock, and tomato paste and stir in the lentils. Bring to a boil. Pour into crock pot. Add all of the spices. Add the warm cooked millet. Stir. Cook on high for 1 hour, reduce heat to low and simmer in the crock pot for 4-6 hours.

In the last 30 minutes add 1 Tbsp corn flour/harina (optional) to thicken the chili. The millet thickens it a bit, but if you like really thick chili, the corn flour does it. Stir in the chopped parsley in the last 30 minutes as well. Add any additional salt/pepper to taste.

Serve with some fresh cilantro, grated cheese, chopped chives, a spoon of plain yogurt or sour cream...all great.

The stock measurement has a range because your liquid needs may vary depending on what kind of lentils you use. Start with the base amount, and after a few hours add more if it needs it. You want enough liquid for the lentils to absorb and plump up, but not be too thick or dry.

To cook millet:
Add 1 cup of millet to a hot sauce pan. Lightly pan toast them, don't burn. Add 2 cups of water or stock and a pinch of sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer with the lid on 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, and add to the chili using a fork (don't stir or scoop hard, or it will clump).

Lentils are an excellent source of molybdenum and folate. They are a very good source of dietary fiber and manganese and a good source of iron, protein, phosphorus, copper, thiamin and potassium.

Millet is a good source of some very important nutrients, including manganese, phosphorus, and magnesium! It is also gluten-free.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

csa box:: week 15

in the box:: beets, carrots, kale, lettuce, spaghetti squash, tomatillos, variety of tomatoes, pepper, onions, garlic, potatoes, cilantro.

extras I bought this week:: potatoes, butternut squash, oregano, chives, thyme, cilantro

What is in season where you live? How long is your growing season?

Monday, September 26, 2011

something old, something new.

Apple season is nice in that it goes on a long while. Some things are in season for such an instant that it feels like I must run run run to save it all while I can. Having a few months for apples means we can not only preserve and save, but also enjoy now. So, for apple season, here is a new recipe, as well as several from the archives that I make every year. An apple a day?

::baked cinnamon apples::

This recipe is my tweaked version of the one found in Apples for Jam by Tessa Kiros.
3 Tbsp butter
4 baking apples, cored & halved
1/3 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
grated fresh nutmeg
pinch allspice
2 Tbsp ruby port
1/2 cup fresh apple cider
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Butter an oven proof dish, just large enough to fit 8 apple halves quite compactly (a pie dish worked perfectly). Place your apples in a baking dish cut side up.

Put a bit of butter on each apple center. Mix the sugar, cinnamon and allspice and sprinkle over the apples. Grate fresh nutmeg over the top, and drizzle with port. Pour the apple cider in the pan around/under the apples.

Bake for 30 minutes, then dribble the pan juices over the apples and add some more (hot) cider to the dish if needed. Bake for another 20-30 minutes until the apples are creamy on the inside and brown on the top. (time may vary a little based on the type of apple you are using)

Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a spoon full of freshly whipped cream. Or, if you like take the juices from the bottom of the baking dish after the apples come out of the oven. Pour the liquid into a saucepan and heat on high to boil. Reduce heat, simmer a bit, and reduce slightly. Drizzle this thickened essence of apple over the top. SO GOOD!

+ + + + +

Some of my favorite recipes that I go back to often. I may tweak and poke around with different spices or types of apples, but the basic recipes always stay the same.

::carmelized apple tart::

::baked apples::

::apple butter::


What are your favorite apple recipes?

an apple a day:: "Apple polyphenols are standout nutrients in this widely loved fruit. These polyphenols include flavonols (especially quercetin, but also kaempferol and myricetin), catechins (especially epicatechin), anthocyanins (if the apples are red-skinned), chlorogenic acid, phloridizin, and several dozen more health-supportive polyphenol nutrients. Apple is a good source of fiber, including the soluble fiber pectin, and it's also a good source of vitamin C."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

csa box:: week 14

Week 14! We have settled into the groove of picking our CSA up at the farm and then stopping by the apple orchard on our way home (apple season!). We are lucky to live just a few miles from both.

in the box:: butternut squash, sorrel, mixed greens (swiss chard, brussel sprout greens), peppers, sage, an onion, a head of garlic, purple potatoes, carrots, and a lot of tomatoes!

I buy as many extras as I can this time of year! I dry the herbs, and can/pickle/freeze everything else.

extras:: carrots, broccoli, chives, thyme, cilantro, parsley, beets, potatoes

orchard:: We get a gallon or two of freshly pressed cider every week (raw!). We are still sampling apples. This week we have Chenango Strawberry and Jonamac.