Tuesday, November 18, 2008

winter salads

as much as i love all of the heavy, rich winter dishes, i also adore a good seasonal winter salad.

poking around for thanksgiving(US) recipes, i stumbled into some salad recipes i'm dying to try:

Winter Fruit Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

Beet, Orange and Apple Salad

Roquefort Pear Salad

Missy's Candied Walnut Gorgonzola Salad i make this with spinach all the time! throwing in a tart apple or sweet pear never hurts either!

Fennel and Orange Salad this one really caught my eye. i just have a good feeling about these flavors together...

there are so many yummy salad recipes out there for winter! just because its freezing outside, doesnt mean your meals cant be fresh on the inside!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

yes, more pumpkin recipes.

ok. so. as i mentioned before, i have 10 sugar pumpkins to break down and turn into fabulous foods. in my search i found a recipe from apartment therapy's the kitchn for ">pumpkin tortilla soup. when i started reading the recipe for this one i immediately thought two things: 1) OMG! that sounds so good! and 2) hey, look at that, no meats...

copied commentary and recipe:

One might not expect a meatless tortilla soup to be very hearty, yet this is actually quite satisfying without animal, or even soy, protein. Pumpkin puree (made from scratch or canned) and cubes of avocado add creamy richness and balance the soup's tomatoes and spice. Tortillas appear not only as crispy garnish but they are also cooked into the soup, infusing it with texture and flavor.

Pumpkin Tortilla Soup
Serves 6

12 (6-inch) corn tortillas
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped cilantro, plus more sprigs for garnish
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Chile pequins, other dried hot peppers, or cayenne pepper to taste*
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree or canned pumpkin
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
5 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon salt
Vegetable oil for deep-frying
1-2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed

Cut 6 of the tortillas into 1/2-inch squares.

Heat 4 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, cilantro, and chopped tortillas and cook, stirring frequently, until onion is soft.

Add cumin and crushed peppers or cayenne and sauté for another minute.

Add pumpkin, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and salt and stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for one hour.

While the soup is simmering, cut the remaining 6 tortillas in half and then into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until very hot but not smoking. Fry tortilla strips in two batches until crisp and light golden (about a minute). Using a slotted spoon, transfer tortilla strips to towels to drain.

To serve, ladle soup into bowls and garnish with tortilla strips, avocado, and cilantro.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ok, so i cheated. i'm using my tasy tuesday post to update here too! but its really YUM! i love pumpkin. its very efficient to bake from scratch (imo), my son loves pumpkin and i control everything that goes in it so i know whats going into the boy too! i challenge you veggies out there to come up with a fabulous vegan alternative to my pumpkin pie i know it can be done!!!

so, here are my punkin recipes from when i made a punkin pie. Kinda. I have a tendency to tweek things here and there. You know, add an extra pinch of this, a smidge of that, exclude this other thing because I forgot it at the store. In other words, don't be afraid to make these recipes your own. My tweeks worked out for me.You get the idea. Anywho, these are the recipes I used. I know I found them at 3 different sites and I have no idea where I found them since I copy all my recipes into word docs with out links. I win! Sorry to the people who took the time to post these things on the internet in the 1st place. The recipes are GREAT and the advice is solid! If YOU happen to know where I found any of these, leave me a comment with the link and I will update the references! On to the PIE!

Selecting the Pumpkin
When selecting a pumpkin for making a pie, be sure to choose a small pumpkin that is a variety specifically grown for eating, such as sugar, cheese, or milk pumpkins. They may also be called pie pumpkins and generally weigh from 2 to 4 pounds. Do not select the Jack-O-Lantern variety, which is not as sweet and has flesh that is tough and stringy. Select one that has good orange coloring and is heavy for its size. It should be firm, free of blemishes and have its stem intact. Pie pumpkins will yield approximately 1 cup of puree per pound of pumpkin.
Once the pumpkin has been purchased, it can be stored in a cool, dry area for approximately a month. Do not store in temperatures below 50°F. Do not refrigerate fresh pumpkins or wrap in plastic.

Pumpkin Preparation
~Wash the exterior of the pumpkin with cool water to remove any dirt and debris from the outer surface.
~Remove the stem from the pumpkin and cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise.
~Scrape out the seeds and stringy fibers from the center of the pumpkin using a metal spoon. Discard the stringy fibers and if preferred, the seeds can be saved for roasting. (recipes to follow)
~Leave the pumpkin in halves or cut into quarters if desired.

Preparing Fresh Pumpkin Puree
~Preheat the oven to 350°F.
~Coat the cut surface of the pumpkin halves with vegetable oil. ~Place pumpkin halves cut side done in a roasting pan. Add 1 cup of water to the pan.
~Place the pumpkin in the preheated oven and bake for 60 to 90 minutes.
The pumpkin should be baked until the flesh is very tender. Poke with a fork to check for doneness.
Note: The pumpkin halves can also be cooked in the microwave. Place the halves in a microwave-safe dish, add 1 cup of water and cover. To fit properly in the microwave-safe dish, the halves may have to be cut into smaller pieces. Place in the microwave oven and cook on high for 15 minutes. Test for doneness by poking with a fork. If not completely tender, return to the microwave and continue to cook for 5 minute intervals, checking tenderness after each interval. Also note, i didnt do this....
~When the pumpkin has cooked to proper tenderness, remove from the oven and place on a cutting board or cooling rack. Allow to cool until it can be handled comfortably.
~Scrape the flesh out of the pumpkin halves and discard the skins. Place pumpkin flesh in a large bowl.
~Mash the pumpkin by hand using a potato masher. Mash until all the pumpkin is a smooth consistency.
~Another method that can be used to puree the pumpkin is to mix it with a hand mixer. A blender or food processor can also be used.
~Drain moisture from the puree by placing it in a sieve lined with paper towels or a double layer of coffee filters. Be sure the sieve is placed in a bowl to catch the liquid as it drains from the pureed pumpkin.
~Cover the puree with plastic wrap. Place in the refrigerator and allow puree to drain for at least 2 hours. Drain overnight if possible.
~After draining, the puree should be about the same consistency as commercially canned pumpkin.
~If the puree will not be used immediately, place it in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours. For longer storage, freeze the puree in measured quantities. Mark the container with the date, contents and quantity. Freeze up to 3 months.

Making Fresh Pumpkin Pie
The recipe below is for a traditional pumpkin pie. The pumpkin puree can also be used in any recipe calling for commercially canned pumpkin. A 15 oz. can of pumpkin is equal to 1 3/4 cups of pumpkin puree.
Traditional Pumpkin Pie
1 single pie crust, 9 inch
1 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 c. light corn syrup
3 eggs, beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
whipped cream for serving
Have the single 9 inch pie crust prepared and chilled. (recipe to follow) Preheat oven to 350°F.
~Combine flour in with the brown sugar and stir until they are evenly distributed.
~Add the brown sugar and flour mixture to the pumpkin puree and heavy cream. Beat until well blended.
~Add the salt, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Stir into pumpkin mixture.
~Add corn syrup and beat until well blended.
~Add the beaten eggs and vanilla to the mixture.
~Beat the eggs and vanilla into the mixture until thoroughly mixed.
~Pour pumpkin filling into the unbaked pie shell.
~Place the pie in the preheated oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes.
~Check after 30 minutes to see if it looks like the crust is going to brown too much. If so, place a piece of foil over the pie. Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of baking time so crust will finish browning.
To check for doneness, insert the tip of a table knife in about 1 inch from the center of the pie. The knife will come out clean if the pie is done.
Or, gently shake the pie and if about an inch of the center jiggles a little, the pie is done. The center will set from the heat of the pie after it is removed from the oven. If more than just the center jiggles, continue to cook and check for doneness at 5 minute intervals.

When the pie is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool completely before serving. Serve with a spoonful of whipped cream on each slice.

TOTALLY AWESOME PIE CRUST RECIPE! (yes, thats what i saved it as...)

1 double crust
• 1 1/2 cups five roses all-purpose flour or any all-purpose flour
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/2 cup shortening
• 1/3 cup ice-cold water
~Mix Five Roses Flour, salt and baking powder together.
~Cut in shortening with two knives or pastry blender.
~Add ice cold water, a little at a time, using just enough to bind the mixture so the dough can be patted lightly to form a ball. HANDLE AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE.
~Form 2/3 of dough into a round disc and place on lightly floured board. Save remaining dough for top crust. Roll dough from center outward, with a light, even pressure, to form a circle 1/8 inch thick and an inch larger than the pie plate.
~Fold double and lift gently into pie plate. Unfold and fit loosely in place. DO NOT STRETCH.
~Trim edges, allowing 1/4 to 1/2 inch extra all around. Put in a generous amount of filling. Heap fruit filling in center because it will cook down during baking.
~Roll out top crust; fold double and cut slits or fancy design near center to allow steam to escape.
~Brush edges of bottom crust with water, fit top crust over filling and lightly press top edges together. Trim edges evenly and flute.
~Bake as directed for pie filling.

~Yield: One 9 inch double crust pie or two 9 inch single shells.
*Single Shell:.
~Use only 1/2 of dough for each single shell. Arrange bottom crust in pie pan as above.
~Press pastry to rim of pie plate; flute.
~Add filling. Bake as directed for filling.

for my 10" pie baker, i used pretty much all of the dough...

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!

When roasting pumpkin seeds you need not worry about the type of pumpkin you're getting the seeds from. i think. what i mean to say is that you CAN use the seeds from a jack-o-lantern pumpkin and they'll be fine.

1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons melted butter or oil (olive oil or vegetable oil work well) (i prefer olive oil)
salt to taste (i prefer kosher)
Options To Taste:
garlic powder
cayenne pepper
seasoning salt
Cajun seasoning blend

Preheat oven to 300° F.

While it's O.K. to leave some strings and pulp on your seeds (it adds flavor), clean off any major chunks. Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter or oil and seasonings of your choice. Spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown.

enjoy the pumpkin tastiness! i'm working on a pumpkin muffin. i'll posts any successes! happy tasty tuesday!

Sunday, November 2, 2008


are few and far between, huh? oh wells. its cold in some places and getting there in others, so that means more time inside and more warm, yumtastic cooking!

here's to more mommy meal updates and lots of them!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Roasted plum sandwich

*GASP* someone is here...

This one is inspired by my favourite restaurant in Seattle (their cookbook to be exact)-Cafe Flora.

2 large plums (ripe nectarines and peaches work too)
4 slices of bread
Your favourite sharp cheese (or smoked cheese), we like lots of shaved asiago
1tsp of pesto mixed with 2 tsp of mayo
2 tsp of ground walnuts or pecans

Pit 4 whole plums and slice in half. Placce flesh side up and roast for about 10 mins at 300 degrees. Set aside to cool/prepare the remainder of the sandwich.

Toast all 4 slices (just 2 per sandwich)
Skim toasted bread slices with mixed mayo/pesto/walnuts.
Add cheese and plum slices.
EAT immediately.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Vegetarian Stew and Dumplings

A hearty mushroom stew, perfect for the fall/winter or a comfort food day.

2 stalks of celery, chopped into bite size pieces
3 large carrots, chopped same
1 small sweet potato, chopped same
4 medium potatos, chopped same
1/3 of a chopped red onion
15 large quartered mushrooms
1 tsp of fresh ground pepper
1 package of stroganoff seasoning
1 can of half fat mushroom soup
2 tbsp of flour
2 cups of water

Put everything but the flour into a crock pot, on high, for 3.5 hours.

Once finished, you will have too much liquid. Take out 1/2 of it and set aside in a pot. Set on simmer.

Sprinkle the flour all over the stew (the sweet potatoes will be over cooked-but this is good). Gently mix and serve.

2 cups of flour
2tsp of baking powder
1 tsp of salt
2 tsp of room temp butter
3/4 cup of milk
1 tbsp fresh chopped chives (optional)

Mix the flour, salt and baking powder. Cut the butter in, then pour the milk over top and mix in the chives. Add more milk to make it doughy (if needed). Drop chunks into the simmering liquid. 1/2 a tennis ball in size takes about 10 minutes.

Friday, June 6, 2008

CONSUMER (or diaper changer) ALERT!

the tuna for lunch idea was BAD! BAD! BAD! tuna does NOT digest well. infact, it digests poorly and the end result is BAD! BAD! BAD!

proceed at your own risk.