Sunday, September 30, 2012

Winter is coming....

In the famous words of the Starks "Winter is coming."

The mornings are becoming frigid... as are the nights. This morning in particular is a cold and rainy Sunday. Leo has refused to get out of bed, even to eat breakfast!

The weather leaves me craving warmer and often more hearty foods.

As you may know (or have noticed) I like all of my foods mixed together-- I tend to disgust those people who enjoy their foods neatly separated on their plates. Thus, one bowl wonders, like soup, tend to fit the bill for me!

Last night I decided to make a Kale soup. I tend to look at recipes, but then I am always too impatient to go shopping for ingredients/ I like to improvise so I used the basis of Rachael Ray's Chourico an Kale soup 

My version wound up something like this:

Kale and Italian Sausage Soup: 

* 1 Tablespoon olive oil
* 2 medium onions, chopped
* 2 white potatoes, chopped (I left the skin on, feel free to peel if you prefer).
* 8 cloves of garlic, diced
* 1.5 quarts chicken broth
* 1 -20 oz bag of frozen chopped kale (fresh would be ideal but..)
* 1 pound italian sausage (I used sweet, but hot would also be delicious), cut into bite sized chucks
* 1 carrot
* kernels from 1 ear of corn
* 1 cup frozen peas
* 1 can (~14.5 oz) of pinto beans
* 1 can (14.5 oz)  diced tomatoes
* 2 bay leaves
* black pepper

  1. In a large pot or crockpot, saute chopped onions and potatoes in olive oil until tender.  
  2. If using fresh kale add this in to the pot, and with bay leaves and garlic. If using frozen just add in the ba leaves and garlic. 
  3. In a large pot or crock pot add in everything else. 
  4. I simmered mine on low over night. If you are in more of a time crunch cook at a rolling boil and then cook at medium until potatoes are tender. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Apple-Carrot Soup

Apple picking inspired a lot of desserts- but I felt I should also make something a bit more healthy out of the apples - so I found a recipe for apple carrot soup and adapted it.
  • 2 tablespoon(s) margarine or butter
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 medium Golden Delicious apples - roughly peeled and chopped (I used Junga-golds -- my soup was really sweet-you could probably cut this down to 3 apples.)
  • 2 pound(s) carrots, peeled and chopped  (I cheated and used a bag of frozen carrot coins)
  • 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and chopped  (Used a bag of frozen)
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth  (This is used from scratch broth I made)
  • 1 tablespoon(s) brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon(s) peeled and grated fresh ginger (I admit I just used ground)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used fresh cracker black pepper and NuSalt)
  • Fresh chives for garnish
1. Melt butter or margarine in a dutch oven over medium - high heat.
2. Add in onions and cook until soft (About 10 minutes).
3. Add in apples, carrots, squash, broth, sugar, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
4. Reduce heat and cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

  5. Once Carrots and squash are tender, use an emersion blender to blend until smooth.

    Serve with fresh chives for a garnish. Bon appetite!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Swedish Apple Pie

As promised.. the apple recipes begin!

I made 2 apple crisps the first day back from the orchard but was afraid to try an apple pie, as my one experience with making pie dough went rather poorly. I was telling this to my friend Bruce when he busted out a delicious apple dessert (we were at his apartment, and unbeknownst to myself, he had also just gone apple picking.) Turns out he had a recipe for an easy-breezy apple pie! So, I stole it.

Swedish Apple Pie: 

About 4 Medium/large apples – peeled, cored and sliced.
1-2 TB cinnamon sugar (aka ground cinnamon and sugar) \
¾ cup butter
1 cup flour (I used brown rice flour, can also use all purpose)
1 cup sugar
1 egg
½ cup chopped nuts (optional) (I used pecans)

Preheat oven to 350*

    This was my first layer of apples
  1. Fill pie dish about 2/3 of the way full with apple slices.  
  2. Sprinkle apples with cinnamon sugar.  (I actually forgot this step!)
  3. In a small pan melt ¾ cup butter.  Remove from heat.  
  4. Add to butter the flour, sugar, egg and nuts.  Mix with a spoon until blended. 
  5. Pour over apple slices.
  6. The batter will sort of seep in between the apple slices, but you can give it a hand by squishing it in too for a more uniformed apple to crust ratio.
  7. Bake until golden brown (About 30 minutes).

Mine looks black rather than golden brown because half way through I realized I forgot the cinnamon sugar step and I sprinkled cinnamon on top! Doesn't look to pretty- but still delicious.


Monday, September 24, 2012

Apple Pickin'!

Earlier this summer Jordan and I were traveling through Ipswich to go to the “Crane Estate” ( which by the way, we never made it to…) when we drove by Russell’s Orchard which had strawberry picking at the time (which is what we wound up doing instead).  

Whilst at Russell’s we ate cider donuts, fed the goats and chickens, and purchased some fruit wine, as well as picked an obscene amount of strawberries.

So this fall, I decided I wanted to go apple picking. So we headed back to Russell’s! 

I actually do not remember the last time I went apple picking… I am sure I did it at some point as a child, but I have no recollection of it. For some reason apple picking always reminds me of an old Care Bear movie we had that involved Hugs and Tugs apple picking from a magical regenerating tree—which I am pretty sure was a play on some bible story or another. 

Anyway, Jordan was telling me how apple picking was very intense and involved lots of climbing trees to get the best apples. Turns out that may have been what he remembered from when he was younger, but we could practically reach the tops of most of the trees from the ground.

We got a fine variety including MacIntosh, Gala, Cortlands, Jungagolds, and Fiji's

The picking was a lot easier than Jordan made it sound like it was going to be, half of the apples were already on the ground- and in pretty good shape!

 In the end, we may have gone a bit overboard... we left with 32 pounds of apples! 

Expect apple recipes in the near future!