Archive for the ‘autumn’ Category

I meant for this to travel with us to the cabin for the next two days but it didn’t make it there. When I plated it for the photo, I had to take a bite. And then I ate the whole pile. 

If it WOULD have made it to Christmas, it would have been the perfect antidote to all that sugar I know I’ll consume. 

Kale Salad

Told to me by my mom 

Kale (4 c finely chopped ended up giving me a pint of salad)


Lemon juice 

Sliced almonds 



Grated sharp cheddar (or crumbled feta)


Olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Black pepper

Remove the stems from the kale as well as the larger veins. Chop it very fine and place in a big bowl. Sprinkle with salt and a sprinkling of lemon juice.  Then comes the fun part. Get your hands in there and smash that kale all up. Really give it a good massage. You want it all to turn wet and dark green. 

Next toast your almonds. Use a skillet on the stove top or a pan in the oven. Whatever floats your boat. Than throw the hot nuts on top of the kale and give it a stir. Add remaining ingredients, but don’t overdue it on the balsamic. It’s a background flavor. And you don’t need much oil. Give it a stir and eat immediately or refrigerate up to a day or two. 


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 It’s here in the flesh! My mom’s cookbook: Baking with Whole Grains. This is a good one, folks. I’m not biased at all, of course. Nope, not at all.

 It was an exciting day when the first box arrived. It was several years in the making and what fun to see it all finished.

 We got to do a lot of taste testing along the way and it was all delicious.

The other day I tried a recipe that I hadn’t tasted before. We weren’t disappointed.

 Perfect for fall and with soup. Won’t you make this for dinner tonight? Pretty please? And then love it and buy the book. You know you want to.

My mom knows a lot about wheat. If you are confused about whole grains, she’ll help you out. I promise. There are tips and tricks for baking everything from yeast breads to muffins. And even a section on what to do with your failures. I love that part.

PS. $20 for a signed copy. You may pick them up at my house or I can mail. Shipping charges apply.
 Apple Cider Spice Bread

From Baking with Whole Grains

2 eggs

1/2 cup apple cider

1/4 cup plain yogurt

2 t vanilla extract

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup oil

3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour

3/4 cup whole wheat bread flour

1/2 cup all purpose flour

2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 t cinnamon

1/2 t nutmeg

Scant 1/2 t salt

1/3 cup chopped golden raisins (I used regular)

1 cup grated apple

1 t grated orange zest

Whisk the eggs. Add the cider, yogurt, vanilla, brown sugar, and oil. Whisk well and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flours, baking powder, baking  soda, spices, and salt. Mix and then add raisins, apple, and orange zest.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and gently stir, blending the dry ingredients up from the bottom. Don’t over mix. A few lumps are fine. Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan.

Bake at 350F for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

Yield: 1 9×5 loaf

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At this year’s soirée, my aunt served us the most wonderful soup. It was smooth and warm, flavors perfectly balanced. I don’t think my version beats hers, but this is what I came up with using what I already had on hand.  I really wished for more cilantro but the tiny volunteers in the garden only gave me six little leaves. Parsley had to do. 

 Only one child gagged, so I consider that a win. Baby even begged for more spoonfuls!  

 Winter Squash Soup with Corn Relish

Adapted from here

2 T olive oil

1/2 of a small onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 t minced cilantro 

4 cups cooked butternut squash 

1 (13.5 oz) can coconut milk

2-3 cups water 

1 1/2 t salt

Pinch red pepper flakes 

Corn relish, below

Heat oil in pot. Add onion and sauté for two minutes. Add garlic and stir and sauté another minute or so. Add remaining ingredients, except for corn relish, and cook until corn is soft. Purée with stick blender until smooth, adding more water if you want a thinner soup. Serve warm with corn relish sprinkled on top.

Serves: 4-6

Corn Relish

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

1 T minced parsley

1 T lime juice

1 T olive oil 

1/4 t salt

Dash black pepper 

Mix all together and serve with soup. 

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Apple Raspberry Pie

I made a pie recently. 

It was wonderful.  

 I never thought to combine apples and raspberries before but when you pick a handful of them, and decide you don’t feel like eating them on the spot, you throw them in the pie you happen to be baking. And if it ends up being a winning combination, you decide to tell people about it.   

Apple Raspberry Pie

(If you skip the raspberries, this is my normal apple pie recipe.)

5 cups peeled, sliced apples (a variety of sweet and tart is best)

3/4 cup sugar

2 T cornstarch

1/2 t cinnamon

Splash of water or cider

3/4 cup red raspberries

1 9-inch pie crust, unbaked

About 1/2 cup pie crumbs 

Cook the apples with the sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, and liquid of choice until just beginning to soften and the liquid is clear and thick.  Pour into prepared pie crust, sprinkle with raspberries and crumbs, and bake at 425 for 12 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 30 or so minutes or until good and bubbly and crust is golden brown. Serve warm or cool with ice cream or whipped cream, if desired. 

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This morning I cooked three pounds of dried beans. Then we had to go away before I could get them frozen. 4 o’clock found me needing something quick for supper and what do you know, the beans were still sitting out so I hunted down a salad recipe. Vegetarian recipe books are good ones for the bean recipes so i checked in my Fix-It and Forget-It Vegetarian Cookbook. Jackpot!

Cilantro is a relatively new herb for me. I did not grow up eating it and only really tried it when Brad requested that I make guacamole and the recipe I chose called for it. I ended up buying one of those sad grocery-store pots of the stuff. It made delicious guac so I bought an actual plant and, much to the children’s dismay, planted it. And the stuff readily reseeds itself so we will forever have cilantro. Sorry kids. 

The original recipe calls for half a bunch of parsley and half of cilantro. I cut way back since nobody is a fan of that many herbs around here. Nobody really likes bean salad either (except me) but sometimes I ask them deal with it. Sorry kids.   

(Other similar bean salads I’ve blogged: here, here, and a bean salsa here.) 

All that to say, this is quick, fresh, and delicious!  

Puerto Rican Bean Salad

Adapted from the aforementioned cookbook

4 cups cooked dry beans (I used black, kidney, and navy)

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1 bell pepper, chopped (I used frozen)

1 rib celery, chopped

2 T fresh parsley

2 T fresh cilantro

Couple of T pineapple juice

1/2 t lime zest

Good drizzle of olive oil

Good drizzle of red wine vinegar 

1 t salt

Drizzle of honey

3/4 t chili powder

1/4 t oregano 

Mix everything together and chill several hours before serving. 

Yield: about 5 cups 

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Dear me. It’s addictive.

I must be craving curry or something. I ate most of the curried apple and lentil salad earlier in the week and now I’m eating all of this butternut squash salad. Not that anyone else cares. They’d rather not touch it anyway.

The warmth of the curry and cayenne play really well with the sweet squash.


Warm Butternut Squash Salad with Curry

4 cups of peeled, cubed butternut squash
1 T olive oil
1 T minced onion
1 T apple cider
1 T cider vinegar
1 t honey
1/2 t curry powder
Big pinch salt
Few grinds of black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Big pinch parsley flakes

Mix the squash and oil together. Roast at 400 for about 25 minutes, stirring once, until browned a bit and soft.

Meanwhile, stir together remaining ingredients. When squash is finished, toss it with the dressing. Serve warm or room temperature.

Yield: about 3 cups

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I was not looking to use up the pepitas that had been in the freezer for a year but I was flipping through a magazine and came upon these little mocha munchies and thought I’d give them a go. I had, after all, signed up to bring “something random” to a family gathering over the weekend and I thought these fit into that category quite nicely.

I made these at 9 o’clock the night before. Brad tasted a few and probably would have eaten half of the batch had I not squirreled them away. They are delicious. Crunchy and a tad bit sweet with a definite mocha flavor. The extended family agreed.


Mocha Pumpkin Seeds
Adapted from Taste of Home Magazine October 2014

5 T sugar
2 T unsweetened cocoa powder
1 T instant coffee granules
Pinch of salt
1 egg white
3/4 pound raw shelled pumpkin seeds

Pulse sugar, cocoa, coffee and salt in food processor until fine. Set aside.

Whisk egg white until frothy. Add dry ingredients and pumpkin seeds. Mix thoroughly and bake at 325 on parchment lined baking sheet for about 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. They should be dry. Cool then store in jar.

Yield: about 4 cups

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