Thursday, October 28, 2010

Winter Squash (pumpkin) Bars

I brought these into work today and they were gone before lunch. They make a VERY moist crumb. Absolutely delicious and a good way to use of leftover canned pumpkin which is exactly what I used it for! This is from the "Fall" section of my new cookbook, Simply In Season. I made a half recipe, but I will post the full.

As the title is Winter SQUASH Bars, I am very interested in trying to make it with a different kind of squash, I wonder if the flavor will change at all. Has anyone every done that? Have you used a butternut or acorn squash in place of pumpkin for a dessert recipe?

Winter Squash Bars
Yields 24 "bars" when cut in bar form. I just left it in the pan and scooped it out.

Preheat oven to 350 F.

2 cups winter squash or pumpkin
3/4 cup oil
1 1/2 cups sugar (WOA, that's a lot of sugar, I cut it down a bit..)
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
Beat together in a mixing bowl all of the above ingredients

1 cup flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Sift all of the above into a separate bowl. Mix the wet in with the drive. Don't overmix. Pour into a lightly greased 11x17 inch jelly roll pan (or whatever fits/is the equivalent that you have). Bake in preheated over for 25-30 mins.

Mine baked for about 15 mins longer at least.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Roasted Eggplant Soup

Another gem from who adapted it from Bon Appetit magazine. She suggests seasonings for an alternative taste and it was this way that I made it. It was delicious!!

Roasted Eggplant Soup
adapted from Bon Appetit
Serves 4

3 medium tomatoes, halved (I quartered them)
1 large eggplant (about 1 1/2 pounds) halved lengthwise, or 3 smaller ones
1 small or medium onion, halved (I quartered it)
6 garlic cloves, peeled (I used 3 )
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried
4 cups chicken or veg stock
1/4 cup heavy cream (optional, or more to taste)
3/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (opt, I omitted because it didn't need it IMO)

Preheat oven to 400F. Arrange tomatoes, eggplant, onion and garlic on large baking sheet (you'll need two). Brush or drizzle vegetables with olive oil and roast for 20 mins. Remove garlic so it doesn't burn and return the trays to the oven for an additional 25 mins until the vegetables are browned in spots and tender soft. Remove from the onion and scoop the insides out of the eggplant (though since you puree it all, next time I am not throwing away the skins) and scoop into a large soup pot. Add the rest of the vegetables, thyme and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Cook until onion is very tender. (Here is she says about 45 mins or longer, but since I had chopped some of the vegetables smaller mine were practically ready to puree after boiling). Cool slightly.

Puree soup. Add cream and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper and add additional spices. I used 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp red pepper. Sprinkle with goat cheese if using.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Chicken and Noodles

I posted this recipe last winter and thought it was so good. Little did I know. I made true homemade chicken and noodles tonight. It was given to me from a friend from church. I didn't make the noodles but I bought from the Amish who make them from scratch. This dish screams love as it takes a good half a day to prepare but most of that is just letting the meat cook.

6 to 8 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
2 to 3 carrots, peeled and cut a few times
3 to 4 celery stalks
1/2 to 1 onion, quartered
2 to 3 bay leaves
1 package of good noodles

Put all ingredients (except noodles) in a pot big enough to fit everything in and fill with water to where it's just covered. Bring to a boil, then reduce and let simmer for 3 to 4 hours. Take the chicken out and let cool. Once it's cooled remove bones/skin/nastiness from thighs. Set Aside.

Back to the water that's now broth, remove all the veggies and then run through a strainer. I don't have a strainer so I put a dish towel over my crock pot dish and poured the liquid over that to catch all the stuff I couldn't pick out. Once it's strained let cool so you can skim the fat off the top. There wasn't much on mine so I'm sure you can skip this step if time is an issue.

Bring the broth back to a boil and boil the noodles. (After the noodles were done I could tell it was going to be too soupy for our liking so I poured some of the broth back out and froze it for later use.) After noodles are done put chicken back in and mix about 1 cup of water to 1/4 cup cornstarch together and mix in the pot of goodness (or until your desired thickness is reached.)

Served with mashed potatoes and a salad.

It's worth every minute spent on it. And that's all folks.

Goat Cheesecake with Hazelnut Brittle and Blood Orange Caramel Sauce

I only made this once, years ago. It was delicious, though, so when a friend who has gone dairy-free for her nursling asked if a goat-cheesecake was possible, I responded in the affirmative. And I typed this whole thing out while MY baby slept. All that hard work should be shared with MANY wonderful ladies, I think, so, without further delay...

Goat Cheesecake with Hazelnut Brittle and Blood Orange Caramel Sauce

1 egg
1 Egg yolk
10.5 oz goat cheese
5 oz crème fraiche
3.5 oz granulated sugar
Pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 300, grease six indivudal sized ramekins
Mix eggs, sugar and salt together, whisk until smooth.
Add goat cheese and and whisk smooth
Add crème fraiche and whisk unstil just combined. (Do not overwhisk, or cake will be grainy.)
Pour into molds, and bake 20-25 minutes, ratating halfway through. Centers should be just set.
Remove from oven, allow to cool. Chil in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. Loosen with knife to unmold. These will keep refrigerated for 4 days.


1/8 tsp cream of tartar
½ c toasted skinned and finely ground hazelnuts
¼ tsp finely ground salt
1/3 c water
Preheat oven to 350, line an 11x17 baking pan with archement (or silpat, love those)
Place sugar, cream of tartar and water in a small sauce pan, cover. Heat on high until it boils, uncover, reduce heat to medium high and cook until sugar is dark golden brown. Pour onto prepared shhet to cool and harden. Break into small pieces and grind fine in food processor.
Stir in ground hazelnuts.
Place clean parchment or silpat on baking sheet, spread caramel/nut mixture evenly in a thin layer.
Bake until caramel melts and bubbles, about four minutes. Remove, and sprinkle sea salt over hot caramel.
Cool, and regrind, will keep in airtight container for up to three weeks.

Blood Orange Sauce:

4.5 oz granulated sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
½ c blood orange juice
¼ to 2 tbs water
Combine sugar, cream of tartar and water in a saucepan. Cover and dook over high heat until the mixture boils. Reduce heat to med. High until sugar is dark goolden brown.
Remove from heat and CAREFULLY add OJ (it will bubble!)
Return to heat and whisk so caramel dissolves and mixes with OJ
When mixture boils again, remove from heat, transfer to heat proof container, and place in fridge to chill and thicken before using. (Keeps for a week).
Coat cheesecakes with hazelnut brittle dust, dot or drizzle with sauce, and enjoy!