Pumpkins and Squash, oh my!

We joined a Community Sustained Agriculture Farm (CSA) delivery service last year.
Most of the time I remember to go on to their website the weekend before the delivery date but this Sunday I completely flaked and forgot to change my order.
So then you get what is seasonal, a total surprise most of the time.
In my box this week were 2 pumpkins, a squash the size of a small dog, a jumbo leek, celery, kiwi’s and 7 pears.

IMG_0975

Clearly this called for a big knife. The pumpkins were  the size of a soccer ball!

I love to make soup, so I decided to use the squash and pumpkins.
I tweaked a recipe my daughter sent me.

I’ll write out the recipe for less, this yielded enough soup for 2 big containers, 3 small and a square large container.

 

Curried Pumpkin Squash soup.

1 medium size pumpkin
1 squash
Medium onion
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Olive oil, for frying onion and drizzling over pumpkin/squash
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 to 1 teaspoon mild or medium spicy curry powder
1 teaspoon Tumeric powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbs Heavy cream
1 tbs butter (optional)

 

Line cookie sheet with wax paper.
Preheat oven to 350f
Cut pumpkin in wedges, discard the seeds
Slice squash in half and then cut that half in another half
Place all on cookie sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper  on
Bake on 350 until you can pierce veggies with a fork, turning them over halfway (it took me 50 minutes)

In a pan sauté the onions until caramelized, reduce heat and add wine and sage.
Lets simmer until almost reduced, add Tumeric.

Let the veggies cool off and then peel with a paring knife.
If you have a stick blender:
Add scooped veggies to the pan with the onions and add about 2 cups of broth.
Blend until smooth,adding more broth if needed.
If you do not have a stick blender use a regular blender and slowly add broth until your soup has the consistency of a slightly thick smooth liquid.
Taste and add heavy cream,curry powder, salt and pepper to taste.
Stir in the butter and garnish with a little splash of heavy cream.

Enjoy!

Aye Spicy!

Last week my friend Kev. posted a picture of Jalapeno Poppers he brought to a party and I was slightly jealous. I wanted some and he wasn’t sharing any.
Time to make my own then.

The recipe is decidedly simple as all out but it packs a nice punch of flavor.
Added bonus, I ended up with 8 medium poppers at a grand total of 240 calories.
Excellent little snack if you keep to eating only 2 or 3.

poppers

You will need for 2 servings:

4 jalapenos
4 tbs of cream cheese ( I used Boursin)
1 package of Prosciutto or 8 slices of thin bacon (ask the butcher to slice for you)

Cut jalapenos in half, scoop out seeds.
Fill evenly with cream cheese
Wrap with bacon and put on a cookie sheet.

WASH YOUR HANDS REAL WELL!(trust me)

Preheat oven to 300 degrees and allow poppers to cook a little for 10 minutes.
Set broiler on low and place poppers on the middle rack.
Broil for about 10 minutes making sure bacon doesn’t burn.
For an additional 3-5 minutes broil on high.
Let cool a little and enjoy!

You can easily double this recipe by doubling the ingredients.
I think you’ll want to because mine were gone as soon as TallOne found out I made them.

Hot hot weather!

The weather has turned incredibly hot, very unusual for the time of year.
Granted we get this thing called “Indian Summer” but with temperatures close to 100 Fahrenheit?
So into the archives I went for this easy, cooling soup.

Because I do not want peels in the soup I used a simple chefs trick to remove the peels.
You’ll need:
Pan deep enough to cover tomatoes with water
paring knife

Boil the water
Using your paring knife score the top of the tomato cross wise


Immerse into hot water, reduce the heat!
Peel will come off after about 5 minutes
Take tomatoes out of the water and once they are cooler gently peel the skin off.

For the Gazpacho
4 tomatoes, I prefer vine ripened for taste
1 shallot
garlic, 2-3 cloves
2 tbs olive oil
2-4 Basil leaves
salt and pepper to taste.
water
Prepare tomatoes
saute shallot with garlic in olive oil until soft
in a food processor mix all ingredients together but do not overmix.
Keep one basil leaf on the side, cut it fine
At this point you can decide how thick you want the soup by slowly adding water to the mixture.
Cover and chill, when you are ready to serve it taste and add salt and pepper if needed.
Garnish with basil.

Bok Choy salad with chicken.

Our Asian market sells Bok Choi by the bag.
There have to be at least 10 heads in the bag, way too many to use in a stir-fry so sometimes they go unused and ultimately spoil.
This salad is easy and refreshing.
Lunch made really simple and healthy!

½ cup of finely minced spring onion greens
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbs. mayonnaise
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 tsp. soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp. finely minced fresh oregano
1 head of bok choi, finely chopped
1 cup of radish, cut into coins
¾ lb of grilled chicken breast, thinly sliced

Prepare the dressing by adding all ingredients except the bok choi and radishes.
Allow to marinate for ten minutes (this will ease the bite of the onions and let the flavors meld together).
Meanwhile, prepare the bok choi and radishes, and then toss with the dressing. Refrigerate for 15 minutes while you grill the chicken.
Add the meat to the salad.

Enjoy!

Baba Ghanoush, super easy.

In my organic farm delivery last week I got an eggplant.
My boys don’t like eggplant unless it’s made into this lovely dish.
It’s vegetarian and the Tahini gives it a tiny bit of punch.
You can buy Tahini at most Middle Eastern stores.

1 Eggplant
¼ Cup lemon juice
¼ Cup Tahini
2 Tbs sesame seeds
2 Cloves minced garlic
1 ½ Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper

Make a dozen holes in the skin of the eggplant with fork. Place eggplant on cookie sheet in oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally.
The eggplant should be completely mushy on the inside and the skin may look black. (this can be done on a grill.)
Dunk eggplant in cold water and peel off skin.
Blend eggplant, lemon juice,tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic together using either an electric mixer or immersion blender. Stir in olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Enjoy!

Sweet potato soup

Curried Sweet Potato soup with crab.

4 sweet potatoes (or butternut squash)
4 tbs butter
4 cups vegetable broth
1tsp salt
1 clove crushed garlic
1/2 tsp pepper
1tsp curry powder
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2-4 ounces crab per person
Sliced almonds (optional)

Cut sweet potatoes in half and lay on roasting dish with the cut sides down
Add a little water and butter to the pan, about 1 tbs butter and 3 tbs water.
On 225 f in the oven cook the sweet potatoes until a fork can pierce them
Let cool and spoon ‘meat’ out of the shell
Stir-fry the cut-up tofu in a tbs of olive oil with salt and pepper, add sliced almonds if wanted.(set aside)
In a blender or food processor mix sweet potatoes with 4 cups broth, all the spices, butter and blend until smooth.
Soup should have the consistency of a chowder
Add crab and heavy cream on low heat and let it get warm enough for the crab to be heated.
Taste again and add salt, pepper or a little curry to the soup
This soup does get better when it’s a left over, but sure to store it no more than 2 days in a good closed container.
Enjoy!

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Soup’s on!

I like soup, but most of all I like soups you don’t need to bind.

This one is definitely a favorite and the kids don’t realize it’s gluten free because it doesn’t taste cabbage-y.

Cauliflower soup:

3 shallots
1 medium to large cauliflower, about 4 cups.
2 tbs butter
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
pinch of nutmeg
8 slices bacon
1/2 cup heavy cream

cook shallots in butter, add pre-cooked cauliflower and saute
puree mix with broth
add heavy cream
offer crumbled bacon on the side.

Enjoy!

Super simple and fresh.

Sometimes I make something just because I have ingredients and I want to experiment.
We were having a warm day and today’s harvest from the garden is cherry tomatoes and basil.
I only had a handful of tomatoes, not enough to feed 4 people.
But I had my heart set on Caprese Salad.
Bit of digging in the fridge yielded a cucumber and one ball of mozzarella.

I liked it, they thought it was good.

Summer Salad

1 cucumber cut small
8 ounces cherry tomatoes
6 basil leaves, cut small
1-2 balls mozzarella, cut in chunks
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs lemon juice

Combine cucumber, tomatoes and basil
Mix olive oil and lemon juice, taste if it is too tart add a bit of olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste
Add cheese to vegetables and drizzle the dressing over salad.
Toss lightly, that cheese wants to fall apart.

Enjoy!
A perfect salad for the 4th of July or any BBQ.

Roasted Bell Peppers

I always grill my bell peppers for a tasty side dish to have with grilled food.
But not everyone has a BBQ or maybe you’d want to make it in the dead of winter when grilling is somewhat cold!
Just in time for the warm weekend a recipe that doesn’t need a BBQ.

Roasted Sweet peppers

3-4 bell peppers, cored and sliced.
Mixing colors red, yellow, green and orange you’ll get a fun dish.
1 clove garlic minced
1 tsp of your favorite cooking herb, I like rosemary.
1 table spoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tbs lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425

Toss peppers, garlic, herb and olive oil together
Season peppers with salt and pepper
Cook peppers on a baking sheet for about 5-10 minutes, peppers should be soft not charred
Drizzle with lemon juice

Serve cold or warm.

Enjoy!

Other foodies out there.

I want to share some of my favorite cooking websites.

http://blog.yourlighterside.com/
I’ve know Jamie for years now and love her website.
Everything is indeed better with bacon and she has the best lowcarb foods out there.
Want pizza with a crust, she has it lowcarb.

http://KitchenWizardMari.com/
If you are ever stuck for what to do with leftovers. Mari also has excellent curry bases and overall great cooking videos.

Amd last but not least, my friend Laura’s blog.

http://joyofcookingfairy.blogspot.com/

Laura works for Penzee spices. I love my Penzees spices.
Some recipes.
http://penzeys.com/recipes

Disclaimer:
If you decided to use a recipe on any of these sites and repin or repost please be so kind to credit the website!

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