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Archive for the ‘winter’ Category

Lemon Curd

Hello sunshine! 

 When we first got married, my husband wasn’t too keen on drinking water. Since I wasn’t too keen on buying gallons of sugary drinks, I took it upon myself to make homemade ones. I figured at least I wouldn’t be bringing home lots of plastic bottles, even if I wasn’t saving him from a sugar overload. 

So I asked my aunt to buy cases of lemons for me every now and then, to turn into lemonade. She gets things super cheap from stores around where she lives. 

Fast forward to now and I no longer need to make gallons of drinks. Occasionally, sure, but not habitually. 

So yesterday I see my aunt and she hands me a bag of lemons. Maybe it was just in memory of what she used to hand me? I don’t know but at any rate, these were discounted ones and they need used as soon as humanly possible. So far I’ve used four of them in this spoon-lickin’ goodness.   

Lemon Curd

Zest of 3-4 lemons (depending on their size), finely chopped

3/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup sugar 

5 large eggs

Pinch salt

1 stick butter 

Place everything except butter in a double boiler. I just use a glass bowl set over a sauce pot with a bit of water in the pot. 

Heat water and keep at a simmer while you whisk the lemon mixture. Cook and stir until thick, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the butter. Chill and serve however you like. I love it on toast or with vanilla yogurt. Tho if I’m being totally honest, a lot gets eaten straight from the jar with a spoon. 

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups 

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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)

Salt

Lemon juice 

Sliced almonds 

Craisins

Raisins

Grated sharp cheddar (or crumbled feta)

Honey

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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IMG_4738Here’s another quick lunch idea for you…20 minutes from start to finish.

IMG_4740I found this recipe in one of my cookbooks and had intended to make it for an international potluck a few weeks back. Unfortunately (but fortunately for me), Leila made an early appearance and we could not attend the potluck as she was a mere 18 hours old. The cookbook calls these croquettes but they remind me more of a fritter so I changed the name.

IMG_4741So I stuck them on this week’s menu and we loved them. Ate the whole batch for supper so I whipped up a second batch for lunch today and we ate the whole thing again. Delicious.

IMG_4745I especially love the bits that stick out of the edges and get extra crispy. Of course.

IMG_4746Vegetable Fritters

Adapted from Extending the Table, page 131

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

2 eggs

1/4 cup milk or water

2 medium potatoes, coarsely grated

2 medium carrots, coarsely grated

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 clove garlic, minced

oil, for frying

Mix everything together well. Heat a good layer of oil (1/8 inch?) in a skillet until almost smoking. Drop mounded spoonfuls into oil. Flatten with the back of a spoon to about 1/2 inch or less. Fry until browned, flip, and fry until that side is browned. Remove from skillet and drain on a fancy piece of newspaper. Serve hot, either plain or with condiments of choice (ketchup is what we went for).

Serves: 3-4 as a main dish, 6-8 as a side

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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.

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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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This is what one of my cousins brought as her contribution to the evening meal last week. She’s a funny one, that cousin. Always claiming she is the opposite of a domestic goddess.

SONY DSCI guess because of that, I didn’t expect much from her pan full of crisp. But, she insisted that we all taste it and tell her it’s delicious even if we then turned around and made faces at someone sitting next to us. SONY DSCSo we dutifully took small bowls of the stuff. It knocked our socks off. And we weren’t lying to her. I know this because the leftovers got left here and I ate them all within the next day and then heard tell that another cousin went home and made it, too.

SONY DSCAnd here it is. Since I can not leave well enough alone, I made a few minor changes. Equally delicious as her’s was.

SONY DSCUpdate: Ok, after typing the recipe, I realized I changed more than I thought. Mostly just health-freak changes. Sorry cousin!

Cranberry Apple Crisp

Adapted from One Hundred Dollars a Month (Hi Mavis!)

12 oz cranberries (1 bag)

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup orange juice

5 tart apples, peeled, cored, sliced

1/2 cup butter, cold and cubed

1 1/2 cups rolled oats

1/2 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

pinch of salt

1 t cinnamon

In large sauce pan, cook cranberries with white sugar and orange juice until cranberries are softened and sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes. Stir in the apples and pour it all into a 9×13 baking dish.

Combine oats, brown sugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon. Cut in the butter until well incorporated (I used my hands). Sprinkle on top of the fruit and bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes or until quite bubbly and topping is browned a bit. Serve warm or cold with milk or ice cream.

Serves: 10-12

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A perfect Christmas soup, what with those reds and greens. Also a perfect antidote to all that sugar I know you’ve been nibbling.

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I first had this soup at a family get together a few years ago. One of my aunts made it. It’s a hearty and meaty stew. Typically I try to stretch meat in soups but this is one that I usually leave as is.

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Italian Peasant Stew
Adapted from Taste of Home
1 pound bulk pork sausage*
2 onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t cayenne pepper
3/4 t fennel seed, crushed
1/2 t basil
1/2 t oregano
1 quart diced tomatoes, undrained
1 quart chicken stock
1 quart white beans (whatever you have on hand)
10 oz frozen spinach, chopped, no need to drain
2 cups shredded chicken
Salt to taste

*or use Italian sausage and skip the fennel

Brown sausage and onions. Add garlic the last minute. Add seasonings, stock, tomatoes, and beans. Simmer 30 minutes. Add chicken and spinach and through. I like to make this a few hours ahead and then leave it sit on the stove til supper, reheating if necessary. The extra time blends the flavors beautifully.

Serves: 10

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These cookies pack quite a bit of citrus punch in each bite. They look like they would be extremely delicate but they had this sort of caramel-y chewiness to them. Not that they tasted like caramel, they just felt a bit like it.

So citrus-y. The bit of orange peel on the tops was perfect. Me thinks, I do, that if you like orange and lemon flavors, you will love these cookies.

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A note: I realized upon typing out the recipe that I used baking powder instead of soda. That could be why mine don’t look quite like the picture in the magazine. Or perhaps it’s because I used cane sugar, which has a bit of color to it. It’s not snowy white like regular sugar. At any rate, I’ll still make these cookies again, hence the posting of this recipe.

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Citrus Wafer Cookies

Adapted from a Taste of Home recipe

1/2 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup cane sugar

1 egg

1 t orange extract

1 t vanilla extract

1 t orange zest

1 t lemon zest

1 cup unbleached flour

5 t cornstarch

1/4 t  baking soda

pinch salt

very thin strips of orange zest

Cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the egg, extracts, and zests and beat well. Combine the flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Mix into creamed mixture. Drop by teaspoons onto parchment lined baking sheets. Top with a strip or two of orange zest. Bake at 350 for about 8 minutes or until barely golden.

Remove from pans and cool on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container between sheets of wax paper.

Yield: about 4 or 5 dozen

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