Monday, November 29, 2010

Pumpkin soup

Delicious pumpkin soup!  You can make this with other hard squashes too, like acorn or buttercup.   You can use canned pumpkin, fresh, or frozen. 

Pumpkin Soup

28 to 32 oz of cooked pumpkin
1 quart of milk
2 T butter
1 T honey
2 T maple syrup
1 T brown sugar
Juice of an orange
1 t marjoram
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg
Salt and pepper

Process the pumpkin and some of the milk together if needed. Pour into a large saucepan and heat together with the rest of the milk through the orange juice. Heat only to a simmer. Add the spices and serve hot.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Cranberry apple sauce

My usual cranberry sauce has an orange processed into it, but I decided to try for a gentler, sweeter version in one of the batches I made this year.  Here's my regular recipe for Cranberry Sauce.  Instead of orange, I added two honey crisp apples, peeled and chopped, and only one cup of sugar.  Maybe even a bit less sugar next time!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

What to do with the leftovers (OAMC)

More treats with leftover turkey

Basic turkey soup

Lemon turkey soup

Turkey rogan josh

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cranberry sauce

This year, I varied my Cranberry Sauce recipe (only slightly) by using clementines instead of larger oranges.  I used 2 to 3 clementines for each bag of cranberries.  Not a huge difference, but we did like it!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Homemade Oreo cookies

I experimented around with various "Oreo Cookie" recipes, including the one from More Top Secret Recipes until I felt that the flavor was about as good as it was going to get.  The picture above is actually from an earlier batch that didn't quite make the grade, but was still quite tasty in its own way.  The recipe below is the one that finally satisfied me.  Using Duncan Hines instead of another brand led to a more elastic dough, which meant smoother edges and thinner cookies.  This is one of those times when I break my own rule about not buying packaged mixes or using shortening...

Homemade Oreos

18.25 oz package of dark fudge cake mix (I think Duncan Hines came out the best)
1/3 c water
2 T shortening

In a large bowl, sprinkle the water over the cake mix and cut in the shortening. Use your hands to mix it very well, kneading until the moisture is evenly distributed. Place the dough in the fridge while you make the filling. Preheat the oven to 325 and cut parchment for your cookie sheets.

1-3/4 c powdered sugar
1/4 t vanilla
1/4 c shortening
1-1/2 T hot water

In a medium bowl, mix all the ingredients together by hand. Place filling in the fridge while you bake the cookies.

From the cookie dough, dip out balls of approximately 3/4 inch. Roll them round and use the bottom of a glass (sprayed with oil) to flatten them to around 2 inches across. Place on the prepared cookie sheets and bake as follows: Bake 6 minutes, remove and cool on the sheet. Flip the cookies over and bake 5 minutes, remove and cool on the sheet. Flip again and bake 4 minutes. Remove and press cookies down slightly with fingers, or else with a tool to create a pattern. Remove cookies when cooled.

From the filling, dip out balls of approximately 1/2 inch. Place in the middle of a cookie (the bottom side), and use another cookie to gently press and spread the filling. Makes approximately 2 dozen cookies.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mediterranean seafood stew

This stew is likely to turn out to be different every time you make it, depending upon what seafood looks good when you go to the market!

Mediterranean Seafood Stew 

Olive oil
Leek, chopped
Onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Stalk of celery, chopped
Green pepper, chopped
Fennel bulb, chopped
1 t turmeric
1/2 t cayenne pepper
28 oz can of diced tomatoes
1/3 c tomato paste
1/2 t thyme
Bay leaf
3 c clam juice or mix of juice and other stock
1 lb firm white fish, cubed
Mixture of any of the following:
Salt and pepper

In a stockpot or dutch oven, cook the leeks, onions, and garlic in oil until soft. Add the rest of the vegetables through the cayenne pepper and cook until they are soft too. Add the rest of the ingredients through the clam juice and bring to a boil. Lower heat to simmer and cook covered for about 20 minutes. Add the seafood just before serving and cook till done, about 5 minutes.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cornish game hens

Cornish game hens average around 1-3/4 lbs each, which make them a lot faster to cook than a full-sized chicken or turkey!

Cornish Game Hens

Clove of garlic
Rosemary, sage, or thyme
Lemon wedge
Salt and pepper

Stuff the hen with the garlic through the onion. Sprinkle the skin with salt and pepper and roast until the internal flesh temperature is 165 degrees and the juices run clear. For an average sized bird, that means approximately 35 to 40 minutes at 400.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Beef and lentil stew

This recipe is a variation on the Lamb and Lentil Stew that I shared many moons ago!  I made a few changes to the original recipe, so I'll give you the update here. 

Beef and Lentil Stew

Olive oil
1 lb stew beef
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, mashed
2 T fresh ginger, grated
1-2 T curry paste, or your favorite mix of Indian spices (optional, my mixture is here)
2 c beef stock
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
2 c lentils, pre-soaked
10 oz spinach
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 red hot pepper, chopped

Pre-soak the lentils, 2 c lentils in 4 c water. Drain before using. Brown the beef in oil in a dutch oven, sprinkling with flour. Remove meat and set aside. Saute the onions, garlic, and ginger. Add the curry paste or spice mixture of choice and heat through. Add a small amount of stock and scrape up all the browned bits. Add the rest of the stock, the tomatoes, and the beef, and simmer for 2 hours. Add the lentils and cook until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. [Note - some varieties of lentils cook faster than others.] Add the spinach and peppers, and cook until peppers are tender, about 10 minutes.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Rye bread

I've been searching for awhile for a rye bread recipe that works well in my bread machine.  I've never had problems with rye bread when I've hand mixed and formed it, but I was having flop after flop when I tried to adapt it for my bread machine.  It tasted great, but always seemed to form a big air bubble and collapse on top!

Finally, here is one that worked well, tasted great, and made a very pretty 1.5 lb loaf:

Rye Bread

1-1/4 c water
1 T butter, softened
2-1/2 c bread flour
3/4 c rye flour
2 T dry milk powder
2 T sugar
1-1/2 t salt
1 t caraway seed
2-1/2 t yeast

Use the basic setting and choose a light or medium crust.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Spinach is good just about any way it comes, especially if it's baby spinach. But here's a really easy way to jazz it up a bit.


1 T toasted sesame seeds
2 t soy sauce
2 t toasted sesame oil
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 c water
1/2 lb baby spinach

In the bottom of a wok or dutch oven, toast the sesame seeds. Add the soy sauce through the garlic and simmer until garlic softens. Add the water and the spinach. Turn down the heat and cover until spinach wilts. Stir to coat spinach with sauce.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Carrot cake

I have long been in search of the perfect carrot cake and frosting.  The frosting is especially problematic for me as I've got a real slime-aversion.  Most cream cheese frostings, with additional butter thrown in, are just too thick and sweet for me.  But I found what is for me the perfect frosting, and now I think I've also come up with the perfect cake.  It's ok with me if you prefer a different version...there is always room for another carrot cake!

Carrot Cake

2-1/2 c sliced carrots
2 cans (12 oz) apple juice concentrate 
1-1/2 c raisins
2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c wheat germ
2 T baking powder
2 T cinnamon
1/4 c vegetable oil
4 eggs
1 T vanilla
3/4 c applesauce

Use food processor to coarsely grate the carrots.  Add the raisins and 1 c of apple juice concentrate to the bowl and process a bit more.  Pour into a large bowl and add all the ingredients in order, stirring in.  Pour into a prepared 13 x 9 inch pan.  Bake for 55 to 60 minutes at 350.

Cream Cheese Frosting link

Friday, November 5, 2010

Punjabi masalah lamb stew

I've shared the recipe for Punjabi Masalah Lamb before, but this is a variation.  Instead of fresh tomato, I used a can of diced tomatoes, and added a can of black eyed peas, some carrots, and more liquid.  We had it served like a stew over some basmati rice. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Mountain stew

The Appalachian Mountains ran to the east of where I grew up in Pennsylvania, but thoughts of the trail dominated when it came to hiking.  There are versions of mountain stew all over the country, I believe, but here is mine, dedicated to the beautiful Appalachians.

Mountain Stew

Bacon grease (or olive oil)
2 onions, chopped
Stalk of celery, chopped
1 lb kielbasa, sliced
1 quart of chicken stock
4 carrots and/or parsnips, sliced
Rutabaga, peeled and cubed
2 - 3 potatoes, cubed
1/2 cabbage, chopped

In a dutch oven, saute onions and celery in grease or oil until softened.  Add the kielbasa and brown it.  Add stock and pepper and simmer for about 20 minutes, covered.   Add the vegetables except for the cabbage and add more water if needed.  Simmer covered for about 40 minutes.  Add the cabbage and simmer for about 30 minutes.     

Monday, November 1, 2010

Beef burgundy for a fall day

One of our favorite beef stews!  I've already shared the recipe, but I didn't manage to get a good picture before.