Eat & Drink

Old Fashioned Banana Bread

 

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bananabreadI 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!

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 350°

COMBINE:

1  3/4 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg

COMBINE:

1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted

2/3 cup sugar

The juice of 1/2 lemon + 1 tsp grated lemon rind

STIR IN

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.

Let cool.

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Eat & Drink, juice for health

Happy National Spinach Day!

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HH Vege JuiceWell, I have to admit I didn’t know it was National Spinach Day until a friend on Instagram clued me in, but really…what day isn’t spinach day?!

(or juice day for that matter)

Blender Breakfast (2 servings)

1 banana

1 cup grapes

2 cup spinach

1/2 cucumber

1 cup cold water

2 tablespoons freshly ground flax seed (i use a coffee grinder)

1/4 teaspoon Vitamin C-1000 powder

popeye1

Combine ingredients. blend. enjoy.

– Corinna

Eat & Drink

Herb Crostini

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Herb_Crostini

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

Cooking Instructions

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.

Enjoy!

– Corinna Mantlo

Eat & Drink

Cauliflower, Leek, Potato Soup

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happy homesteader leek soup 1

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!

Ingredients

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

happy homesteader leek soup

Directions

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.

Eat & Drink

Pumpkin Butter

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

 

Eat & Drink

Pumpkin Harvest

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.

 3. Meanwhile. under running water and using your fingers, separate seeds from stringy pulp. Save seeds and discard the pulp. See note at end of post for what to do with seeds.

4. When the pumpkin is cooked through, let it cool and cut away skin. Cut pumpkin into chunks.

5. In a blender, puree.

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.

As to seeds,

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.

Seeds for planting

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

Eat & Drink

The Devil’s Apple Water

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)

Rum

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.

      

Enjoy,

– Corinna