Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall Soups

My favorite fall soup is a butternut squash soup with honey and ginger. I don't feel like finding the recipe right now. I'll post the recipe for the soup I made last night instead.

Squash and Apple Cream Soup

1 medium onion
3 lb butternut squash
2 apples
4 cups chicken stock
1 cup Apple juice
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 tbs olive oil

Add olive oil to your stock pot. Coarsely chop the onion and saute it while you deal with the squash and apples (don't forget to layer your salt and pepper here). Peel, remove seeds from, and chop the butter nut squash. Peel, core, and chop the apples. Add to the pot and add all of the liquids as well. Make sure the squash and apples are covered. If not you can add more juice, water, or stock.

Boil for 40 minutes. When the squash is soft, use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. Add cream, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir to mix. and serve.

Here's what it looks like when done. Credit for the photo. It's not mine.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Farm Fresh Shepherd's Pie

Shepherd's pie is a staple in my "comfort food" repertoire. It can be as easy as browning meat, adding a bag of frozen corn, and topping with mashed potatoes. Or you can take a bunch of different vegetables from your CSA distribution and sandwich that in the middle instead. Adding cheese on top of the mashed potatoes, and making a gravy while it bakes are things I do that make this one of our favorite meals at home.

Farm Fresh Shepherd's Pie Recipe

8-10 potatoes
String beans
1 LB ground turkey
Montreal Steak Seasoning or equivalent
Chicken Broth
Cheddar Cheese

Preheat Oven to 375 degrees F.

Bring a 6 qt Pot of water to a boil and add potatoes and cook for 20 minutes. Drain water (reserve a cup to add back into mashed potatoes). Add butter, salt, pepper, water, and milk and mash until desired consistency of mashed potatoes is met. Put aside.

Slice carrots and beets, toss with salt, pepper, and EVOO and bake for 30 minutes.

Heat a skillet and brown ground turkey (beef or whatever). Add Montreal steak seasoning if you got it to add flavor. When the meat is done, layer it at the bottom of a lasagne pan. Top with the cooked beets and carrots and uncooked string beans (string beans take less time to cook). Layer the mashed potatoes then top with cheese. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, uncover and bake until the cheese is brown.

In the meantime make gravy. I usually deglaze the meat skillet with butter, add flour, make a roux, and slowly whisk in chicken stock until I make a tasty gravy.


Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hiatus Explained

I apologize to all my fans out there for such a long delay between blog updates. I have a great excuse though, I got married! I promise I'll be back. Root season is quickly approaching, and I'll share some of my recipes with you, my loyal fan base. But in the meantime, here's proof of my alibi.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Confused little flowers

We have a lots of different plants growing in our gardens. From strawberries and hostas to catnip and tomatoes, there's almost every type of plant life represented.

Today I saw something that didn't really fit. I'm not sure what it is.

But it definitely looks like a spring bud.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Aaron's adapated chicken salad

Summer offers numerous activities out here on the north shore of Massachusetts. Starting in June, the Crane Estate at Castle Hill offers a summer picnic concert series. For twenty-five dollars, you can bring a car load of people and set up a picnic. The views are spectacular, the music is good, and the bugs really aren't that bad. We attend most Thursday nights.

Having the farm share helps us contribute lots of healthy dishes to the picnic. We bring green salads, pasta salads, and potato salads. We have also made different wraps, pizzas, and sandwiches. There is so much potential for cold and finger foods we always have more than enough to eat. And the spread is always very unique.

Last week I made a potato and chicken salad that I really liked. I'm usually not a fan of potato salads, but the combination of ingredients seemed to click for me on this recipe. It's a mix of a few recipes I found on the web. Basically I tried to include things that I had on hand when I made it. I used purple Peruvian potatoes from our farm share. They added a nice color to an otherwise monochromatic dish, and hold up pretty well due to the starch content.

Chicken and Peruvian Potato Salad

3 chicken breasts
5 purple Peruvian potatoes
2 eggs
Handful of chopped dill pickles
2 tbs. of sweet relish
1/3 - 1/2 jar of drained capers
1/2 cup mayonnaise
juice of 1/2 lemon
chopped dill
salt to taste

Boil and chop the chicken breast and potatoes, and hard boil the eggs. Slice the eggs when they're cool. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, potatoes, eggs, pickles, relish, capers, mayo, lemon juice, salt, and chopped fresh dill. Stir everything together and chill. Serve cold.