(or juice day for that matter)
Blender Breakfast (2 servings)
1 cup grapes
2 cup spinach
1 cup cold water
2 tablespoons freshly ground flax seed (i use a coffee grinder)
1/4 teaspoon Vitamin C-1000 powder
Combine ingredients. blend. enjoy.
Crostini is a great use for home dried herbs, and is my current favorite snack. Crostini, meaning “little toasts” in Italian, it is easy to make, works great as a use for day old bread, and keeps for up to a week in a plastic bag or glass container. They are also amazing served as appetizers, topped with fresh mozzarella, pate, roast peppers, or anything that strikes your fancy.
Fresh Herb Crostini
1 loaf French bread, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
Extra virgin olive oil
Dry herbs: Any combination you can think of (this batch is simply Rosemary & Thyme)
Salt & Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400*F
2. Arrange the bread slices on the baking sheet and generously brush with olive oil.
3. Combine herbs, Salt & Pepper and sprinkle over bread slices.
4. Bake for about 6 minutes, turning the baking sheet around in the oven halfway through the baking time to ensure even browning.
5. Cool Crostini completely before serving.
- Corinna Mantlo
A member of the onion and garlic family, leeks have a uniquely wonderful, almost sweet flavor. They are a rich source of vitamins C & A, and Folate. If new to cooking with leeks, have no fear, it couldn’t be simpler. Choose firm, stalks without withered tops. Remove tough, green tops, slice lengthwise and rinse thoroughly to remove sandy soil they are grown in. That’s it. Enjoy!
1 head Cauliflower, chopped
2 Leeks, chopped (use the white and light green portion)
1 Red Potato, chopped with skin on
1 tablespoons Butter
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 cups Chicken Stock or Vegetable Stock
4 cups Water
1/4 cup White Wine
Salt & Pepper to taste
fresh or dried Parsley for garnish
1. In a large pot, saute leeks in butter until soft, about 2 minutes.
2. Add olive oil, wine, and cauliflower and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
3. Add stock, water and potato and bring pot to a boil.
4. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes until all vegetables are soft.
5. Let soup cool, then puree in a blender, in 3 batches.
6. Reheat, garnish with parsley and serve.
Butters of all sorts are a winter staple. Pumpkin butter, though not can-able (see the USDA site for details) it’s a great fall harvest treat that’s quick to make, especially if you have frozen Pumpkin puree waiting in the freezer. See the Pumpkin Harvest post for details on preparing pumpkin for pie, butter and freezing.
Ingredients: Simply blend and serve
2 cups homemade pumpkin puree
1 tbsp freshly ground sunflower seeds (raw, without shells)
2 tbsp raw sugar
1/2 tbsp fresh, grated ginger
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tbsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
Just a quick note on pumpkin puree preparation. Whether you’re pulling them out of your garden or picking them up half price after halloween (jack o lantern pumpkins aren’t as flavorful as the sugar & cooking varieties), this is the 20 minute method to not using store bought Can-O-Pumpkin for all your holiday recipes.
1. Slice pumpkin in half. Scoop seeds and stringy pulp into a bowl. Set aside.
2. In a large pot with a steamer basket, bring a few inches of water to a boil. Fill steamer basket with the pumpkin slices, cover and steam for 20-30 minutes until cooked through.
And there you have it, pumpkin puree. The USDA does not recommend canning pumpkin mash or puree. See details HERE. I’ve tried it and had less than successful results. However, it will keep in the fridge for a week or so. Also, you can freeze cooked, blended pumpkin puree to be on hand quickly when needed when pumpkins are not in season.
To freeze, follow the above directions. Once cool. Pack into rigid containers leaving headspace, and freeze. Not a bad option by any means.
You can either dry them to bake and snack on or dry them to bag and plant next year.
Toasted Pumpkin seeds
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
2. Spread the pumpkin seeds on a medium baking sheet. Drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with salt.
3. Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted.
I love the image above (unknown source). It shows the simple cycle of the seed. For the seeds you collected from your pumpkin. To save seeds for next year, follow these simple steps.
1. Once you have a good amount of seeds rinsed, look over them and choose the biggest seeds. Plan on saving 3 times more pumpkin seeds than the number of plants you will be growing next year. Larger seeds will have a better chance of germinating.
2. Place the rinsed seeds on a dry paper towel. Make sure they are spaced out otherwise the seeds will stick to one another.
3. Place in a cool dry spot for 1 week.
4. Once the seeds are dry, store pumpkin seed for planting in an envelope.
PRINT YOUR OWN SEED PACKET ENVELOPES HERE
During a minute of downtime last week, amid a rush of volunteer organizing and fundraising (NYCVMS for Hurricane Relief) for the devastated community in the Rockaways (among so many others in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy) I sat down to clear my head and knit. Of course while trying not to think, i thought of yet another warm, winter drink to add to the recipe log. The idea was simple enough, Spiked apple cider, but then I got to thinking about old fashioned cider, and found a great little snippet in a dusty old copy that i couldn’t pass up…and my oh my, did we enjoy it!
Apple Water: This is given as a sustenance when the stomach is too weak to bear broth. It may be made thus, – Pour boiling water on roasted apples; Let them stand three hours, then strain and sweeten lightly: – Or it may be made thus, – Peel and slice tart apples, add some sugar and lemon-peel; then pour some boiling water over the whole, and let it stand covered by the fire, more than an hour.
- The American Frugal Housewife, Published 1833
I love the idea of roasting the apples (peeled and cored) and spices, to bring out the the cider flavor.
The Devil’s Apple Water
6 Apples, cut into chunks
6 cups water (or just enough to cover apples when in the pot)
4 Cinnamon sticks
8 Coriander seeds
8 Black pepper corns
4 teaspoons Honey
1 tablespoon Butter
Orange peel (or shot orange juice)
1. place apples in a large pot. Cover with water and bring to a boil.
2. Add spices, butter, honey and orange peel. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour or until apples are very soft. Strain.
3. Combine the Apple Water with Rum and more spices. Serve piping hot.
Ingredients (serves 6)
1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped
2 sweet potatoes, skin on, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 bunch kale, about 4 cups loosely packed
1 cup dry white cannelli beans
8 cups homemade vegetable stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2lb hot italian sausage
1/4 tspn red pepper flakes
salt & pepper
1. fill a large pot with cold water. Add dry cannelli beans and let sit over night until tender. drain and rinse.
2. in a large pot over high heat, add olive oil, saute until soft. Add sweet potato, cannelli beans and vegetable stock and red pepper flakes and bring to a boil. Lower heat and allow to simmer until sweet potato and beans are tender but still crunchy (about 25 minutes).
3. meanwhile, in a frying pan, cook sausages. slice and set aside
4. Skim the starch (grey foam) off of the soup. add salt, pepper.
5. Turn off heat and stir in kale
6. spoon soup into a bowl and top with a few pieces of sausage.