Saturday, November 27, 2010

Daring Bakers' Challenge: Apple Cranberry Crostata

The 2010 November Daring Barkers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole.  She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata.  She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.
A crostata is an Italian tart that can be filled with fruit or pastry cream.  The base of the tart is a sweet short crust pastry, traditionally made from flour, sugar, butter and eggs.  My biggest challenge was to make the crust without the butter and eggs.  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Thanksgiving Meal Ideas

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays.  I love all of the fall foods that are traditionally eaten for this holiday...roasted vegetables, candied yams, stuffing and cranberry sauce.  I usually don’t tinker with my Thanksgiving recipes because my family gets annoyed when I do, they like tradition and besides, why fix something that’s not broken. 

The only thing we don’t eat is the turkey.  Last year, I invented stuffed tofu with mushroom gravy.  The mushroom gravy is excellent, and can hold it’s own against any turkey based gravy.  

My candied yams recipe is an all time family favorite.  Baked yams are sauteed in a mixture of Earth Balance butter substitute, maple syrup, barley malt and honey (or use agave to make this dish vegan)

If you prefer a side dish that’s less sweet, you can serve this roasted root vegetable medley.  It has a lighter orange maple glaze glaze.  This recipe is available in my archives as are all of the others I've posted here.

The big hit of last Thanksgiving were my squash stuffed bake apples topped with cinnamon and a touch of maple syrup. They would be an excellent side dish or dessert.

If you’re looking for a salad recipe, I recommend my Winter Cole Slaw.  It’s topped with cranberries and almonds and an orange mustard dressing.  

These are my Cranberry Pecan Cornbread Muffins.  They may be a little rich with everything else you may be planning for dinner but they’re an excellent morning after muffin.

The only recipe I don’t have to offer is a pie.  That’s a work in progress.  If it tastes as good as I hope it does, I’ll post it at a later time.

It’s been a tough year here in My Recession Kitchen but I’m thankful for what I have.  When I listen to world events, I realize that I’m very fortunate compared to so many people who have lost everything in fires, floods, earth quakes, tsunamis, and wars.  Have a very Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Growing Cilantro

I usually grow cilantro in late spring.  I love cilantro, it’s one of my favorite herbs, next to basil.  The frustrating thing about growing cilantro where I live is that it never lasts long.  Whether I grow it from seed or buy starts, it always bolts fairly quickly once the weather turns hot.  This summer was no exception.  However, this year I didn’t pull out the plants once they started to go to seed.  This year, I let the plants develop their seeds.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Vegetable Hand Pies

Butternut squash, spinach and mushrooms in an incredibly flaky crust.  My first try at hand pies was a complete success.  Last year, my daughter gave me this adorable little gadget for making pumpkin shaped hand pies.   I’ve been waiting for pumpkin pie season to use it, and that time has come.  Filling the pastry with pumpkin pie filling is the obvious choice but I went a different way and made savory vegetable hand pies for dinner instead.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Mushroom Barley Soup

It rained here yesterday and when the sky cleared it was cold and damp outside.  Rainy, cold Sundays always make me think about making soup for dinner, so that’s what I did.  I made a big pot of mushroom barley soup.  I haven’t made barley soup for many years, though I’m not sure why.  I used to make it a lot.  So much so, that when my daughter (who was about three years old at the time) got a new baby doll as a gift, she named it Barley.