Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Willowtree Farm Full Share CSA + Eggs 2016









Yummy Kale and Feta burek, recipe here! 





A delicious pie using the ginger gold apples! Recipe for pastry here



The thanksgiving share, the brussel sprouts and yellow beans came in handy. I was going to include sweet potato but kept my menu simple instead. We ate the cauliflower leading up to thanksgiving. Keeping the brussel sprouts on the stalks kept them fresh and tender right up to the day, just a little something I noticed!




On tuesday right after thanksgiving we got this! A little sparse but it's post harvest so I'm guessing things are slowing down. I would have liked to see a delicata squash but I guess I can go get one myself from a local farm!





And the final box...  It was a great season!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Paleo Split Pea Soup (Squash)



Here's an interesting recipe! Very minimal ingredients and get this.. it's a split pea soup without the split peas, so what does that make it? I'm calling it a Paleo split pea soup because I hear Paleos don't eat beans and this squash tastes like a bean!

Gotta admit when I saw this strange looking dark green wort covered squash in my pre-thanksgiving CSA basket I wasn't too enthusiastic. Still baby's gotta eat and a squash is a squash so I set out to roast that thing. First of all it's very hard to cut so be careful! Even just peeling it was a challenge and I had to cut small pieces and then remove the skin with a sharp paring knife.

I boiled some for baby in a small pot and the rest I roasted in the oven to see how it would turn out. The results were very interesting! It's a dry squash either way, but even more dry and "Flaky" ? I don't know how to describe it's texture... for the boiled one on the stove I needed to mash and add in a lot of the boiling stock back into it to create a smooth consistency. 
The baked one was rather odd, it had been tossed with a bit of oil and it just stuck to the pan and so no real roasting achieved. I tossed it into a pot and added water and cooked it further then mashed it up... the result was a soup! A one ingredient soup! 
I tasted and it was similar to a lentil or split pea soup, really similar.  I set out to flavour it and opted for a curry.

In a bit of oil I browned some onions until almost crispy and set aside. With the remaining oil I added a sprinkling of curry powder and then added the squash and blended, seasoning lightly with salt. A dash of chicken stock is nice too and voila! It's absolutely delicious, I tell you!

Who knew? These buttercup squashes are amazing! I can imagine it would make a fantastic "pumpkin" pie with it's dry texture, no extra sogginess.  I had to contact the farm to ask what the name was as I had no idea and they told me it's a buttercup variety called "Sweet Mama" so next time you see it do give it a try and let me know what you come up with!


Thanksgiving 2016


Happy Canadian Thanksgiving all!

This year I went super simple (I know I said that last year but really this time I mean it!) We picked up our turkey from the farm (Clement's Poultry in Courtice) as per our annual thanksgiving family tradition and with the addition of our little boy this year! Hooray!

 We ditched the stuffing and salad and went buffet style with the good old brined and roasted turkey with a couple of veg on the side (heirloom carrot and Brussels) mashed potato and gravy made from the turkey pan drippings. It all comes together really quickly because the veg is cooked stove top while the turkey is going in the oven, you can work on the veg as soon as the turkey comes out and is tented and resting. All the veg got a quick steam - I shocked the carrots with cold water to keep their colour - and then a toss in some butter with a drizzle of maple syrup, keepin' it healthy for the baby!
Potatoes were boiling too in salted water and got a quick mash with a splash of warm milk and a glob of yummy butter!
We had a small cheese platter and a couple of slices of country bread.  This year the cranberry sauce had a spicy aromatic twist of fresh ginger and a dash of cinnamon!

Dessert was made ahead of time, super simple and using a recipe that doesn't include any corn syrup! The yummy cream cheese pastry crust complimented the sweet filling. The addition of unsweetened hand whipped cream was a nice touch (I usually step out into the garden for a brisk whisking session, and what a gorgeous cool day it was this thanksgiving monday!)

Hope you had a good one :)




Maple Pecan Tart
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home 


Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened
6 ounces cream cheese, softened (3/4 cup)
2 cups all-purpose flour

FILLING:
4 large eggs
1 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup maple syrup
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Dash salt
2-3 cups pecan halves

Whipped cream (unsweetened) optional


Directions:
In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Gradually beat flour into creamed mixture. Shape into a disk; wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1 hour or until firm enough to handle.
Roll pastry into a circle; transfer to fluted tart pans with removable bottom. Trim pastry even with edges (leftovers enough to make one poptart!). Refrigerate 20 minutes or overnight.

When ready to bake Preheat oven to 375°.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the first six filling ingredients. Pour into tart shell; arrange pecans over tops. Bake 25-30 minutes or until centers are just set (mixture will jiggle). Cool on wire racks. If desired, serve with unsweetened whipped cream. Refrigerate leftovers. Serves 8.







.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Pistachio & Walnut (Gluten and dairy free Cookie)



Today I'm sharing a Gluten and dairy free cookie Recipe! These were covered in the Christmas baking back in 2012 but I'm doing a bit of a switch up. These are almost like the filling inside baklava but without the dough! Super yummy and a nice healthy treat!

I can imagine you could make endless variations using other nuts like hazelnuts or pecans, think about the nut you're using and choose the right sweetener for the job that complements it. My recipe says honey for the pistachio but I wanted to do a walnut too so even though honey goes with walnut I switched it up using pure maple syrup. Adding a dash of fleur de sel to the batter of each brings out the sweetness and flavour so I highly recommend that!

Add a splash of rose water or orange blossom water if you wish. Or almond extract to bring out the flavour of the almond and give more of a marzipan flavour.

These taste better and better as they sit so this makes for an easy and quick make ahead recipe for your guests!


PISTACHIO COOKIE (GLUTEN FREE) 

INGREDIENTS:
1 CUP ALMOND MEAL
1½ CUPS FRESHLY GROUND PISTACHIO FLOUR
¼ CUP UNPASTEURIZED HONEY
2 EGG WHITES
Pinch of fleur de sel of Sea Salt
1/2 tsp of orange blossom water (optional)

1-2 CUPS CHOPPED & HULLED PISTACHIOS (for texture)
================= 

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine almond and pistachio flours with the egg whites and mix well.
Gently warm honey and stir into the almond pistachio mixture. If the mixture is too wet, add more pistachio or almond flour, 1/4 cup or less at a time. It should remain fairly moist. Balance it out with more flour and another egg white, if needed. On parchment paper, spread out 1-2 cups of chopped pistachios or another nut preference. Using a spoon, scoop out 1-2 inch balls and dip the tops into the chopped pistachio. Flatten the balls slightly with a fork and bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow the cookies to bake longer they are soft to the touch.

Note: Watch the bottoms, mine almost browned a little too much.  Always stay close to the stove when baking.
Add a splash of rose water or orange blossom water if you wish. Or almond extract to bring out the flavour of the almond and give more of a marzipan flavour.


Walnut cookie (GLUTEN FREE) 

INGREDIENTS:
1 CUP ALMOND MEAL
1½ CUPS FRESHLY GROUND walnuts 
¼  CUP UNPASTEURIZED HONEY (or maple syrup)  (add more to taste as walnuts can be bitter)
1-2 cups chopped walnuts or whole walnut halves for decor 
2 EGG WHITES
A pinch of fleur de sel or Sea salt

================= 

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine almond and walnut flours with the egg whites and mix well.
Gently warm honey (or maple syrup) and stir into the almond walnut mixture. If the mixture is too wet, add more walnut or almond flour, 1/4 cup or less at a time. It should remain fairly moist. Balance it out with more flour and another egg white, if needed. In a plate spread out 1-2 cups of chopped walnuts or another nut preference. Using a spoon, scoop out 1-2 inch balls and dip the top part of the ball into the walnut pieces then place on tray (it's better to avoid having the chopped nuts underneath or they burn)
Alternately roll balls and simple place on tray then add a half walnut to the top of each pressing in gently. I sprinkled a little sugar on top too.  Flatten the balls slightly with a fork and bake for 12-15 minutes. Allow the cookies to bake longer if they are soft to the touch.

Note: Watch the bottoms, mine almost browned a little too much.  Always stay close to the stove when baking.