Thursday, October 31, 2013

Festive Fall Dinner for Halloween

Happy Halloween! Growing up the tradition in my family was to have cheese fondue for dinner on Halloween and although it's a tradition that would be fun to cary forward I was feeling like what I really needed today was some vegetables so I'll postpone have fondue for a bit and decided to work with some seasonal flavors and colors of fall instead.  

I started by looking up how to cook this lovely red kuri squash I had. It seemed similar to a kabocha squash to me so I ended up using this recipe from Nom Nom Paleo. Which was also interesting to me because I have coconut oil but haven't really figured out when to use it yet...  I sliced the squash tossed it in coconut oil seasoned with salt and pepper and roasted it in the oven at 400 for 30 minutes. 
I had harvested the last two kohlrabi bulbs from my garden and decided to try a kind of latke fritter type thing with it. I grated the kohlrabi and squeezed as much liquid out of it as I could. I added diced onion, garlic powder, salt, pepper, breadcrumbs and a scrambled egg. Then I heated up some oil in a frying pan and when it was hot put scoops of the kohlrabi mixture in to fry.

I also picked some kale from the garden and sautéed that with garlic and picked some beet greens too for garnish. Lastly I sliced up a watermelon radish I had for a little extra color on the plate.

Since the trick-or-treaters shouldn't be the only ones getting a treat we also had miniature pumpkin whoopie pie mini muffins. I cheated a bit here. I had found a box of Trader Joe's Pumpkin Bread Mix in my pantry so I baked the mix in mini muffin tins. Right when I removed them from the oven I stuck a chocolate chip on top so they'd look like little pumpkins with a stem on top. While those were cooling I made  whoopie pie filling: beat 1 stick of butter with 1 2/3 cups of powdered sugar, then add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 2 cup of Fluff (since it was invented right down the road). I sliced the mini muffins in half and put a scoop of fluffy filling in. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cool Night, Hot Toddy

I'm trying to fight off a cold on this lovely fall night.
Sounds like the perfect time for a Hot Toddy!

Put about a tablespoon of honey in the bottom of a mug with one clove, a cinnamon stick, a teaspoon lemon juice and a tea bag, heat water and pour into mug to make tea, when tea is ready, remove the tea bag, add a shot of bourbon and a lemon wedge for garnish

Monday, October 21, 2013

Potato Soup

The weather's starting to get colder and feel like fall. So it seemed like a good day to make soup. I happen to have potatoes and leeks on hand so that's where I started... there and with a little help from Simply Recipes.

Heat a tablespoon of butter and toss in chopped leeks 
add some chopped fennel let cook down a bit
I chopped up and added some fresh herbs from the garden and chopped and added an apple
I had frozen chicken stock I'd made so I threw that in and let it melt 
peeled, cut and added the potatoes and then let it cook until the potatoes were soft. Lastly I tossed in some Tabasco and salt and pepper. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

some cooking with Cashew Cheese

I used to be a vegetarian. That was many years ago now but I still tend not to cook meat. I really admire people that can take that a step further and make amazing vegan food. I've been following Wholly Vegan, mostly on Instagram, and always find myself thinking "that looks delicious!" I had been curious about cashew cheese. I like cashews and cheese... how could this be bad? And the basic recipe for it sounded easy to do, so I made some cashew cheese

Soak 1 cup of raw cashews for at least and hour
strain then blend with 1/4 cup of water
add juice from 1/2 a lemon
1/2 teaspoon of salt
clove of garlic
blend it all together

Now that I had this cheese what would I do with it? I'm not sure how long it will last before it goes bad.

The first day I tried a stacked caprese salad with fresh tomato and basil from my garden. 

I layered a slice of tomato put a little salt and pepper, cashew cheese and fresh basil. 

I tried stuffing a small poblano pepper, I sliced it in half, filled it with cashew cheese and baked it then topped with some fresh tomato

The last thing I tried was stuffing a cucumber. I sliced it in rounds, removed the seeds, placed the cucumber on a slice of watermelon radish then filled the whole where the seeds were with the cashew cheese and topped with a slice of avocado, some watermelon radish slices, salt, pepper and pomegranate seeds. 

I had a lot of fun with the cashew cheese and look forward to doing more experimenting with it. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Raspberry Mint Tea

I haven't been able to keep up with the raspberries in my garden so I've been trying to think of other things I can do with them. Today I made some fresh tea, I picked raspberries and mint from my garden and poured boiling water on top. The raspberries ended up making it a little bitter but a bit of honey sweetened it right up.