I like simple things and simple cooking. My tattered copy of The Joy Of Cooking is always with me, and I refer to it often for basic recipes that I adapt to make my own, and I highly recommend it for every kitchen, whether antiquated or not. This recipe is a slight variation on the Joy Of cooking Quick Banana Bread recipe. Enjoy!
Preheat oven to 350°
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
The juice of 1/2 lemon + 1 tsp grated lemon rind
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups ripe banana pulp
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pumpkin seeds
place batter in a 4×8″ greased bread pan. Top with 1/4 cup more nuts or seeds, and bake about 1 hour or until a toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean.
(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