All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast. ~John Gunther

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Squash soup and squash seeds. take two - with pictures.

So, I made squash soup and toasted seeds the other day and posted about them without taking pictures.

Today I gave it another try, but this time I took some pictures.

Changes: the squash soup this time was more of a root vegetable soup - in addition to a winter squash, a delicata, another little one, and a butternut squash, I also roasted 4 beets and a kohlrabi. I roasted the beets on top of the squashes because I was worried they were too small. That turned out not to be necessary.

In the actual making of the soup this time I just added one can of coconut milk and an equal amount of water and about 1.5 teaspoons of thai red curry - and then used the immersion blender. The color was way cool this time - I think because of the beets.

For the seeds - I did the same procedure as last time, except this time I went dessert themed, and I tossed them in t tablespoons of melted butter and 2 tablespoons of maple syrup with a sprinkling of pumpkin pie spice.

they were *really* good.

vegetable soup made with water and tomatillos

I have made this soup twice now, so I am starting to feel like a real expert.

We are getting lots of great vegetables from the Stone Soup Farm CSA, and the regular distribution ended last week. One of the things we got was tomatillos, which like like little green tomatoes wrapped in corn husks.

When I don't know what to do and it's fall, I make soup. Mark Bittman explained to me in How to Cook Everything that it is okay to make soup with water instead of stock, so I did. Here's the story:

dice an onion, a giant carrot, a celery stock. dump in soup pot with olive oil.
Cook on low while you cut potatoes into chunks (I also added rutabaga in the second time I made this soup.) add the potatoes (Mark B. calls these hard vegetables). then you add the tomatillos - take the husks off, wash, and then chop. I added about 1.5 cups of tomatillos and also a can of tomatoes.

Salt and Pepper

Then add a parmesan rind (optional, but recommended.) I also added marjoram and thyme.

Then add about 6-8 cans of water (I use the tomato can to get all the juices.)

while it comes to a simmer, chop a bunch of chard or kale, 3 or 4 green or red peppers, and a bunch of parsley, if you have it. Once the water bubbles, add those things (Mark B. terms these soft vegetables) and 2 bay leaves.

Soup the first time:

Soup the second time:

Now let it cook. The longer the better. and it will be even better the next day.

Serve it with crusty bread and olive oil for dipping the bread into and also with parmesan for on top of the soup.

(more second time):

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

thai red curry squash and coconut milk soup (and toasted seeds)

So I read this blog, SouleMama, which is written by a woman in Maine. She tends to make pretty and delicious things. I don't manage the pretty things much, but I do aspire to the delicious.

The other day, in her post about fall's harvest, she recommended a recipe from 101 cookbooks. It was perfect. I had an acorn squash, a sugar pumpkin, and two butternuts at home aching to be eaten. it's been too warm for them to store well, and I knew I needed to cook them before they started to rot.

I split them all in half, scooped the seeds out into a separate bowl (so I could make Simply Recipes toasted pumpkin seeds - recipe acquired via 101 cookbooks' toasted pumpkin seeds) and then lay them all out on a cookie sheet with the cut side up. I sprayed them with a little canola spray, and then rubbed them with butter and ground salt over them, letting most of each pat sit in the holes formed by the scooped out seeds. I put it in the oven at 375 for an hour.

When they came out, the squashes smelled and tasted delicious. I almost gave up on making soup to just eat them right there. but then I decided that was too much squash for little old me and I settled into just a few bites and scooped the rest out laboriously into a big soup pot. (this was probably the hardest part - the squash skins were so tender they just sort of fell apart - and there was butter everywhere).

then I turned the heat to medium high and added two cans of coconut milk (first press - not light.) once it was getting simmery, I turned off the heat and hit it with the immersion blender till it was very smooth. Then I added a little more than a teaspoon of red thai curry paste and some smoked paprika, and blended some more.

Then I went out dancing.

the next day the soup was still sitting on the stove with the lid on. Iw as going to have some friends over, so I heated it back up, added some water (I have no idea how much - just until the thickness seemed good) and some salt, and... voila! serve with bread. delicious reheated.

while I was out dancing I also put the bowl of squash seeds in the fridge covered with a towel. The next day I rinsed them in a colander as best as I could, picking out the squash-meat chunks, and then I put them in a saucepan of boiling water with some salt. I simmered them for 10 minutes. I drained them in the colander, and then tossed them with about 3 tablespoons of melted butter in a bowl.

I spread the seeds out on a cookie sheet and put them in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 12 minutes. I took them out, sprinkled them with smoked paprika, and put them in a bowl. they were the best snack ever. soo good. and they were nice and tender so they didn't need shelling. and it wasn't just the pumpkin, but also the other squashes, and all the seeds were good.

(p.s., while I was making these foods, I may have dropped gina marie's camera on the floor and broken it... I will try to salvage some pictures when I can...)

apple crumble

I listened to mark bittman and also to my instincts.

We had 2 and a half bags of apples, 3 cartons of pears, and ripening was happening fast. (apple picking is tempting but dangerous). So I made apple desserts all weekend: two apple crumbles and an apple pie. I wasn't in love with this apple pie, so I'll post about it when I am ready to try again. Hopefully you will hear about gina marie's peach pie soon! (mouth wateringly delicious. peaches are truly a gift, and so is gina...)

but the apple crumble - you can't really do wrong... I followed mark bittman's recipe for streusel topping in "How to Cook Everything" - I don't have it in front of me - but something like this: put a stick of butter and 1 cup of brown sugar in the mixer. cream together. add a little cinnamon, a pinch of salt. add half a cup of chopped nuts (I did this in one and skipped them in the other - I sorta liked it better without, but it depends on whether you like nuts.) finally, slowly mix in a cup of flour. it will get crumbly. leave it in the bowl (I refrigerated one bowl of topping over night before using to no ill effect.)

the apples - I made them like I make apple pie: cut the apples up (about 16 pieces per apple) (7-8 apples for the big pan you see in the picture - I used 6 apples for the smaller pan that I forgot to photograph.) mix with a tablespoon of brown sugar, juice of half a lemon, and 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves (you can add mace or allspice too, if you want. Did you know mace is part of the nutmeg plant? so cool. Ok, moving on.)

Toss the apple mixture. put it in the buttered glass pan, cover with crumble, somewhat evenly. Cook at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes in the oven.

eat with ice cream for dessert or just warmed up for breakfast. it's pretty good.

Monday, October 5, 2009

popcorn: outside edition

So, from our farmshare with stone soup farm, we get popcorn each year.

(picture courtesy of stone soup)

It lasts for years, literally, which is great. I went on a camping trip over 4th of july weekend and tried to recreate the magic of popcorn on the stove with popcorn on the campfire.

it came out deliciously (healthy amounts of salt and butter were included.)

what you do, is you use your thumb to take the kernels off the corncob. you put them in a pot with some oil and a lid, and then let it get hot. then they pop. and it's delicious. also - I have found that the kernels that don't pop the first time around will often pop if you try them again after you have taken out the popped corn.

This is pretty fun.

grilled farmshare of joy.

Over the summer there was a lot of grilling. one of the special things that happened was a lot of grilling packets.

to grill in a packet: chop vegetables, add oil or butter, add spices/salt, wrap in tin foil. Grill until delicious.

so easy, and the things taste amazing.

Good combos include: pretty much any vegetable with garlic and oil, any fresh herbs you have are good.

I did an experiment and did some potatoes with butter and some with olive oil. I expected the buttered ones to be better, but actually they were both really good!

You can even do dessert, you'll see some peaches grilled in a packet with ice cream down here.

We also did some skewering, which is nice if you want the char and grill marks, but the packets really pack a flavor punch!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

stone soup breakfast - eggs!

So our farmshare from Stone Soup Farm is gifting us with delicious eggs this year that are from the chickens they have been raising on the farm!

gina marie and roommate emily and I went and saw the chickens earlier this spring.

Here is a gratuitous picture of gina marie and baby cows.

After our first farmshare delivery, I decided to whip up a little sandwich for myself in the morning. fresh spinach, cheddar cheese. A perfect egg. a little pepper and salt.

We are getting delicious bread from El Jardin bakery with the farmshare as well, so I sliced that up. this one is 8 grain.

I spread the spinach and cheese from the pan onto the bread

plus egg, and voila! delicious.

A few days later, I had some of that odd pesto I had made, and so I made another breakfast sandwich. this one was sans spinach, plus tomato and pesto. and on different a country loaf type deal.

I love eggs.

adventures in pesto

we got a lot of garlic scapes a few weeks ago. I had seen a mention of garlic scape pesto, and decided to make it. Without really consulting a lot of recipes. It turns out that it's a little harsh without any basil, but it worked okay.

My pesto was basically the followwing things combined in the magic bullet: olive oil, chopped garlic scapes, slivered almonds, microplaned pecorino romano, salt, pepper. and I just added until it seemed pretty good. It was a little harsh on its on, but really mellowed when cooked with veggies and made into a pasta sauce.

Gina then made delicious pesto. I hope she posts about it. hers was better than mine. I have things to learn!