Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sweet Potato Pie

***UPDATE 11/06: this pie is good but nothing like the tasty amazing flan like version I made this week.  Stay tuned for the new recipe. ***

This weekend has been gorgeous and we have spent many hours already out on the deck.  Today we are headed to a fall fest to check out the pumpkins and scarecrows.  We have this great place in our neighborhood that does outdoor movies and a bunch of holiday and art "stuff" all year.

Yesterday I looked at my growing pile of sweet potatoes and remembered that a friend from work gave me a recipe for sweet potato pie the other day.  The recipe looks great but I didn't have some of the ingredients so I did a google search and made this recipe instead.

I actually made my own crust this time too and it didn't turn out too shabby.

1 1/4 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c butter (or your favorite substitute), cut into 1/4 inch cubes
3 T very cold water

I put the dry ingredients in my food processor with the dough blade and pulsed a few times.  Added the butter and pulsed it until is was like coarse cornmeal, then added the water slowly and ran the processor until the dough came together.  I rolled it out to about 12 inches and placed it in my pie dish.  The pie dough waited in the fridge until I was ready with the filling.

For dinner, Pad Thai then....

We had the pie after coming home from watching the Charm City All-Stars roller derby team put a hurt on the Carolina roller girls.  When we left we were winning by 100 points...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Pumpkin Chili with Pumpkin Puree

...Squash, Squash, and more Squash continued....

I love this orange fleshed food and am excited to try so many new recipes this fall.  Just today a friend gave me a recipe for sweet potato (substitute squash) pound cake that I will try when I have somewhere to take it, so I don't eat it all.  Anything that starts with butter and ends in pound cake has got to be good :)

So to make the pumpkin chili....

For the chili:
1 Tbs olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 bell peppers, chopped   (farm grown)
1 lb sliced mushrooms
1 cup squash, pumpkin puree
8 oz salsa, your favorite...or not favorite so you throw it in the chili instead
8 oz black beans, cooked
8 oz garbanzo beans, cooked
1 Tbs cumin
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika

For the puree:
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree, or cooked squash
1 1/2 Tbs chili powder
2 Tbs soy milk, or half and half, or other creamy liquid of your choosing

Heat a pot and add oil, onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms.  Cook 5-7 minutes then add all spices and pumpkin puree, stir 1 minute.  Add salsa, beans, and water to your desired thickness.  Cook 10 minutes for flavors to marry a bit.

Make the puree:  place the ingredients in small blender and puree.

Place a dollop of pumpkin chili puree on your chili and sit down and relax with a nice hot bowl of yumminess.

Thanks to (Never Home)Maker for a great idea.

I wish you enough!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Squash, Squash and more Squash

After picking a few squash at the farm and roasting 7 of them I had to think of ideas for meals to use it up.  I froze a bunch for baby food and then made two yummy dinners with the rest.  **I was just thinking that I always say that my food is yummy....  the thing is that I do make things that I don't think are yummy, but they aren't posted here; or I have revamped them first.... so are two yummy things I made.

Squash and Pepper Soup with Tofu

2 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 onion, chopped
4 bell peppers, cut into bite size chunks
2 garlic cloves, chopped
4 c. roasted squash
1 c. veggie broth
1/2 c. half and half  (or soy milk)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon, ground
1/8 tsp allspice, ground
1/8 tsp nutmeg, ground
freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat olive oil.  Saute onions and peppers 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic and squash stirring 1 minute or until you can smell the garlic.  Add broth, spices, and heat for several minutes.  Remove from heat.  Using a wand blender I blended my soup at this point until pureed.  (You could do this in a blender)  Stir in half and half.  Enjoy!  If you want the soup thinner just add more broth, to make it thicker add more squash.

We ate ours with sauteed tofu and homemade bread.

Stay tuned for the next squash recipe: Pumpkin Chili with pumpkin puree inspired by (Never Home)Maker.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Farm Fresh Food

This week at the farm:

the sunflowers are blooming and it is a race to get them before the deer!

the squash are ripening for winter!

the figs are still green and may not ripen before winter, but I will have at least two more trees next year!

and the beans are almost ready to be harvested...

Happy Fall!

I wish you enough!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bean Soup and Potato Latkes

So this is kind of a two part post.  One for Bean Soup with Peppers; and one for Potato Latkes.  I paired them up at the end of the day for a great fall dinner.

I love making beans in the slow cooker, using dried beans because they are soooo much better.  But I have to plan ahead and sometimes that doesn't happen, but when it does, man, is it tasty.

So here is my thought process at 9pm one night this week:
I want potato latkes...
I should make enough to freeze so I can have them later too...
What should we eat with it?
Oh, I am picturing soupy, peppery homemade beans with apple sauce on the side, (feeling giddy about this idea)...
I'll make it tomorrow....

Keep in mind that I make more than we could possibly eat and then we will eat leftovers or freeze it for later.  So this soup recipe could be halved if you don't like leftovers.

Bean Soup:
The night before....
* Soak 1 lb dried beans in 6-8 cups of water over night in the slow cooker pot.  The package usually has soaking directions, use those.  I used half kidney, half garbanzo
* Cut peppers into bite size pieces: 4 bell peppers, 1 poblano and 3 jalapeno peppers for heat.  If you don't like the heat just use 6 bell peppers.

In the morning...

Add peppers to beans and season with:
1 Tbs oregano
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
Add water until it is even with peppers

Cook on low x 8 hours.  Go to work.  Come home and eat when ready...SO GREAT!

So, we ate this with potato latkes and it was pretty yummy.  I made a ton of them to freeze so it took me a while but you could easily make less in about a 1/2 hour.   Here is the recipe I used and I made 40 latkes.

3 lbs. assorted potatoes, coarsely shredded   (grown at the farm)
2 small sweet potatoes, coarsely shredded    (grown at the farm)
1 bell pepper, coarsely shredded                   (grown at the farm)
2 onions, coarsely shredded                      
4 eggs, beaten
4 1/2 Tbs flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste
1 Tbs veggie oil
1 cup fresh applesauce
** add any veggies you like.

Shred veggies, place them on a towel and soak up the extra liquid.  Place in a large bowl and add remaining ingredients.  Stir until well mixed.

Heat oil in pan or griddle, place about 1/4-1/3 cup of potato mix on pan or griddle and flatten.  Cook 4-6 min per side until browned and cooked through.  Enjoy with applesauce and, if you like, a little sour cream.

Remember that I made 40 of these?  Well to freeze them I put them on a cookie sheet to freeze them individually then moved them to a freezer bag by Glad.  Labeled the bag and will enjoy them for the next couple months.  To reheat: heat oven to 350 degrees and cook defrosted latkes 15-20 minutes.  This keeps them crunchy.  Or just toss them in the toaster and enjoy!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Time for Fun

So far this fall has been amazing.  We have made several small trips lately to enjoy the weather before fall chores set in and winter sneaks up on us.  I thought I would post a small guide about things to do with your family this fall because I have really enjoyed these places and am looking forward to visiting more.

Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge:  consists of 10,000 acres and hosts 267 species of birds, 35 species of reptiles and amphibian, and 36 different mammals.  The refuge is considered to have one of the best existing wetland habitat areas along the Atlantic Coast.
**Other nature centers and beaches nearby: Rehoboth Beach, Bombay Hook National Wildlife Refuge, Abbott's Mill Nature Center

Weber's Farm: a roadside farm market that has fall activities in the barn, and super yummy cider right now.
**Other farms near Baltimore with fall activities:  Larriland, Baugher's, Huber's, North Run, Lohr's

Maryland State Parks:  we recently rented this cabin at Herrington Manor State park.  It was so fun and nice.  There were tennis courts across the street, 5-8 miles of trails, and a lake that took 5 minutes to walk to.  The lake has a great beach and in the summer there is a lifeguard and open bath houses.  A 1-hr/day kayak rental is included in the price of the cabin.  I really enjoyed this trip and plan on going back this winter to enjoy the snow in the mountains.  This park was west of Deep Creek Lake but there are plenty that are close to Baltimore.  Check out the state park link above.

Do you have any fall traditions?
If you are in Baltimore, do you have more suggestions?

Rehoboth Beach

Have fun and enjoy the weather!!!

I wish you enough!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pad Thai

I love, love, love Pad Thai!  But lately it seems like whenever I order it out it is so greasy.  So I made it at home and it was super easy and so tasty.  This literally took me less than 1/2 hour.  

8 oz rice noodles
1 medium onion, quartered and sliced thin
1/2 bell pepper, sliced thin in 1 inch pieces
1 lb. tofu
2 cloves garlic, minced
4-6 scallions, sliced
2 Eggs
1 c. bean sprouts (optional)
1/2 lime, sliced (optional)
1/2 c. crushed peanuts, toasted (optional)

4 tsp. fish sauce
2 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt

Boil 5 C. water and soak rice noodles until desired consistency, 5-8 minutes, then drain and set aside.

Mix all sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat a wok or saute pan until fairly hot, add 2 Tbs olive oil and onion, bell pepper, tofu and saute 5-7 minutes or until tofu is slightly browned.  Add garlic and scallions and cook 2 more minutes.  Add noodles and sauce and mix well.  Push ingredients to side and crack both eggs into pan and scramble.  When done stir eggs into dish and turn off heat.  

If you like bean sprouts add them now.  Plate the noodles and sprinkle with peanuts and top with lime slice.  

I topped mine with roasted butternut squash...


I wish you enough.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

No Knead Bread

As promised, I am posting another bread recipe.  This beautiful fall weather is perfect for baking bread and this loaf is nice and dense to eat with a good soup or chili, or just by itself.  I was introduced to this technique by an interesting lady who couldn't eat, but read food magazines and recipe books all day preparing for when she could.

This is an easy recipe that doesn't take too much actual working time, but you do have to plan ahead to allow the bread to rise and rest in the fridge overnight.  I have made it several times and have frozen the loaf for up to 3 months with great results.  The dough can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 14 days and tastes more and more "sour" the longer it sits.  I usually can't wait that long to cook it all though.

This will make about four 1 pound loaves.

**Use a large Tupperware and wooden spoon:

**Stir together:
3 c lukewarm water
1 1/2 T granulated yeast
1 1/2 T kosher or coarse salt

6 1/2 c unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour

**Stir until moist and uniform, do NOT knead.  Cover with a lid that fits well but is not air tight.
**Allow to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (about 2 hours).
**You could bake this bread at this point but it is easier to work with if refrigerated 3+ hours.

To bake:
**Line a cookie sheet with a silpat or use a pizza stone sprinkled with cornmeal.  If you use a pizza stone you must preheat it; therefore you will put the loaf on a pizza peel to rest before sliding it into the oven.
**Sprinkle the dough with flour, pull off a 1 pound piece of dough
**Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on all sides, this should take 30-60sec.

**Place the shaped loaf on the silpat or pizza peel and let rest 40 minutes.  After 20 minutes passes preheat oven to 450 degrees F. and place a broiler pan in the bottom of the oven.
**Dust the loaf with flour and use a knife to slice a design in the top of the bread about 1/4 in deep.
**Once the bread has rested 40 minutes place it in the bottom 1/3 of the oven.  Quickly but carefully pour 1 cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the oven door to trap the steam..
**Bake 30 minutes or until the crust is browned and firm to the touch.  Cool before cutting.

Store the remaining dough in the refrigerator and use it over the next 14 days (if it lasts that long).

I wish you enough!