Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sort of Homemade Bread and Tomato Soup

This cold weather has prompted me to start making soups and bread.  This is one of my favorite times of the year to cook because I get to start baking again, and I love how my house smells when baking bread, cookies, chickens, and....

Yesterday my co-worker gave me a taste of a super yummy soup made with tomatoes, butternut squash, garlic, and basil.  It inspired me seasonally because if you have any tomatoes left when butternut squash is in season you should count yourself lucky.  I decided to try this and came up with a too-much-tomato-not-enough-squash soup.  Luckily we grew lots of squash this year so I'll just add to the base and then freeze some for a cold day down the road.

I started by getting the bread ready to bake.

I call it sort-of homemade because I made it in my bread machine.  I have been a bit against these for years because I like the act of kneading the bread and watching it rise.  But with a toddler underfoot and not much time on my hands this is the best thing.  And it is pretty good too.  I just followed the directions in the bread machine book for the basic recipe and substituted 1/3 of the flour with whole wheat.

While the bread was baking I roasted 3 butternut squash and 1 head of garlic:

I made a lot of tomato sauce this summer and froze it so I used that as my base to the soup.  Then added onions, basil,  roasted squash, and garlic.

I loved this soup when it was chunky....

But didn't love it once I pureed it the the stick blender...

It is way too tomato-y.  It was good but not what I was shooting for.  So I saved the soup and am going to roasted 3-4 more butternuts and add them to the soup.  Hopefully it will be super tasty and will freeze well to enjoy in a month or two when it really snows.  Thank you to Jean and her daughter for inspiring to make this soup.

**A little note about roasted garlic.  This might seem like a lot of garlic to put in the soup but once garlic is roasted it is actually a little sweet and very mild.  I think roasted garlic fits into my favorite food category.

To roast garlic chop off the top until the cloves are just exposed, drizzle with olive oil, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  You could also do this in the summer on the grill.

A weird tidbit is that I think that when I eat too much garlic, like this whole head, I actually have nightmares.....hmmm.

Enjoy this rainy cold day by baking up some yummy food and making your tongue smile.

I wish you enough!

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fried Green Pumpkin

My favorite food this week happened by accident.  We have been picking winter squash at the farm...

and found a nice small green one, so I decided to slice it up and try it out.

**see PS note below**

 It is wonderful!  Light, creamy, and tastes like the best summer squash ever.

And unfortunately I didn't get great pictures of it because it didn't last too long in that pan.

PS: that big white root behind the pumpkin is a type of daikon radish called a forage radish.  We use them at the farm as a cover crop and a natural way to loosen the soil.  The are supposed to grow to 18 inches long and when they die the soil is loose around the roots making it easier to work the field the next year.

I wish you enough!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lasagna Casserole

In honor of my amazing friends who are running a half marathon tomorrow I am posting this carb laden joy.  As I said in my last post "There are not many things I like more than having a whole meal in one bowl."  

I love lasagna but I always think it takes way to long to put together.  For this casserole I just layered all the normal ingredients except for the noodles; I used curly noodles rather than the typical flat lasagna noodle.  The total time was about 1 hour including the 25 minute bake time.

I used homemade tomato sauce from this summer but you could use jarred sauce to make this even quicker.  My only recommendation is to add a bunch of fresh oregano to any sauce, your taste buds will love you.  

There are no exact measurements here, just be creative and your guaranteed to love your creation.

To begin:
** Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

** Boil your pasta until al dente, it will cook more in the oven.

** Choose your fillings, I used:
sliced carrot
chopped onion, peppers and mushrooms
minced garlic
ground turkey

**Saute veggies adding garlic near the end.  When slightly soft add sauce and a bunch of fresh oregano, stir until warm and turn off heat.  If you use meat, brown it in a separate pan and add it to the sauce or just make it a layer at the end.

** Mix 2 cups ricotta cheese and 1 cup Parmesan cheese in a bowl.

** In a large dutch oven or glass dish layer noodles, sauce, and cheese mixture until full then top with 1 cup mozzarella cheese.

** Bake uncovered 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and browned on top.

** Enjoy and then enjoy the next day because we all know it tastes better the next day.

I wish you enough!  And I wish the best to my strong friends for tomorrow, you will be great!!!!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Taco Salad

There are not many things I like more than having a whole meal in one bowl.  There is something about having a bunch of yummy food hugging in a bowl that makes it taste so good.... and I guess if it's is spicy it's even better.

This taco salad is super easy and fast!

Heat a large heavy bottom pan and saute:
red bell peppers

1 lb. ground turkey until browned

Taco Seasoning and 2 Tbsp tomato paste

In the meantime shred some lettuce, open a bag of shredded mozzarella cheese, some guacamole and sour cream.  If you like salsa get that out too.  You could also eat some tortilla chips with this if you like the crunch, but I am cutting calories so I just added extra lettuce.

I like to put the hot stuff on the bottom with the cheese so it will melt first:

Then I layer all the cold ingredients.  In this case lettuce, sour cream, guacamole, and homemade Salsa Verde:

Then I stir it up and enjoy all the flavors together!

With this dinner I had a nice red wine called Equation.  We bought it in Sheperdstown WV in a nice little store called Grapes and Grains.  It is a local wine and was pretty tasty.

I wish you enough!