Monday, October 31, 2011

Harvest Monday 10/31/11

I didn't harvest much this past week.  Got the community plots cleaned up and there were quite a few little green peppers and since I didn't need anymore in the freezer, I put them in the dehydrator.

Had my first harvest of basil on the aero garden so made a batch of compound basil garlic butter.

Wanted something to brighten up my meatloaf dinner the other night so went out in the snow and picked a little parsley from my small places to chop and sprinkle over the plate and ended up with a little more that I needed so it is now dried.

Still have carrots in the ground that I hope to get to today and an still hoping the brussel sprouts will get bigger but not sure there is any hope on that.

Don't forget to visit our host of Harvest Monday at Daphne's Dandelion to see what everyone is harvesting.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Cooking with less sugar

Most of my adult life I have been cooking for a juvenile diabetic so am used to exchange diets etc.  I would make special desserts for my son that were geared specifically to his exchange diet.  However now my brother who I care for has been diagnosed being a borderline diabetic but has no set diet just watch the carbs and sugar intake.  I have been working on my regular baking recipes to reduce but not totally eliminate all sugar.  I plan on posting some of my recipes and how I have adapted them and still enjoy them myself.  I had some lemons that were getting old and DB loves lemon are so this is what I made and I even liked it with no sugar.

5 cups water divided
1/2 cup splenda
1 cup of lemon juice

Since the original recipe called for 1 cup of sugar with one cup of water made into a simple syrup, I put the splenda into 1 cup of water but it dissolved immediately I didn't have to heat it.  Added the lemon juice and 4 more cups of water and it was just perfect.  Not too sweet, not to tart.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard

It was yet another good week for putting away for winter.  Still not quite done but with snow on the ground this morning I am afraid it will be winding down soon.

Picked the first basil from the Aero Garden this week so made a compound butter with it.  It is great on pasta.  I store it in the freezer and when I want it just take it out and cut off what I need.
Basil/Garlic Compound Butter
2 oz Fresh basil leaves (about 2 bunches)
10 oz Butter, softened (2-1/2 cubes)
1 tsp Garlic, minced
1/4 tsp Salt
1/8 tsp Black pepper
3 T Grated parmesan cheese plus additional for garnish
1 T Grated romano cheese
1 lb Fresh Linguine or angel hair pasta
1 lb Medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

Wash and dry basil leaves.  Remove the leaves from the stems and discard the stems. Place basil in food processor and process until finely chopped. Process in two batches if necessary to get a uniformly chopped basil. Remove from processor and reserve.

Place butter in small mixer bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip butter until whipped. Add garlic, salt, pepper, parmesan and romano cheeses, and basil; mix until incorporated.

Basil butter can be used immediately or stored covered in refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.

Shrimp Scampi over rice with the Basil/Garlic Compound Butter

Fried hot Italian Cabbage from the cabbage I picked this week.
Hot Italian Cabbage
Olive oil
Garlic chopped fine
Cayenne Pepper
Shredded Cabbage
There is no set recipe for this dish.  I was taught to me by an Italian friend who was an owner/chef of a local restaurant.  It was an old family dish.
Saute the garlic and cabbage in the olive oil until the cabbage has started to wilt.  Add some canned tomatoes that have been squished in your hand or you can us fresh peeled tomatoes.  Add cayenne to taste as well as salt and black pepper.

First batch of carrots canned  5 pints.

Finally process the sauerkraut

The rest of the beets 

The last of the tomatoes that had ripened in the house made into tomato juice.
I was also able to pick more peppers when I cleaned up the community Plots this week and put them in the dehydrator.
Marcia also asked that I post my Cabbage Role Recipe that I should last week coming from the freezer.
Cabbage Rolls
1 large Cabbage
2 eggs
4 tsp salt
4 T Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 C Chopped Onion Sauteed
1/2 Cup of Milk
2 Cups Cooked Rice
2 Pounds of Ground Beef (I prefer 80/20 for taste and moisture)
Leaving the cabbage whole remove the core and drop into boiling water to slightly soften the leaves.  Remove the large leaves and set aside.  I find it necessary to dip the cabbage in boiling water more than once.  
Mix the rest of the ingredients together and put in the refrigerator to chill.
Cut the tough stem from the middle of the leave then overlap the leaf from side to side to make a solid leaf again.  Place some of the meat mixture in the leaf at the stem end and roll up like an eggroll.  Place seam side down in a slow cooker.

1 large can of tomato juice or about a quart and a half of homemade
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 6 oz can tomato paste
3 tsp onion powder
3 tsp garlic powder
1/4 C Worcestershire Sauce
Pour over rolls and cook on low 6-8 hours
I know that some folks bake them and they shred the leftover cabbage that is too small to use for rolls and place some under the cabbage rolls and some on top before they pour the sauce over them.  Cover them with foil and bake at 350 degrees but I don't know the exact timing.
Be sure to check our host for this week 
And see what everyone else has in their cupboard. 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Harvest Monday 10/24/11

Well the temperature here on the mountain finally fell to 32 degrees for the first time this morning but still no frost.  However I picked down and pulled most of the garden over 2 weeks ago when we were threatened with frost.  This week I did finally harvest the rest of the beets which I have cooked and need to get canned today.
 Shelled the dried cannelloni beans.  Ended up with 1/4 pound for seed next year.
Also did the shelling beans 3/4 pound

 Dug half the carrots.  9# 14 oz. Was very satisfied with the experiment of the modified square foot method of planting I used.  First time I have had carrots to harvest since I have been planting here.
Last of the cabbage 10 # 12 oz.
I also harvested the first of the basil in the aero garden.  Had enough to make a batch of cheese/basil compound butter which is now in the freezer for future use.
Don't forget to visit our host of Harvest Monday
And see what everyone else has in their basket this week. 

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard 10/20/11

It is that time of the year unfortunately when many more things are coming out of the cupboard than are going in.  Did put up a couple of things this week.  Made clam chowder and vegetable beef soup.  At least the carrots and the potatoes came from the garden originally.
 Buckwheat Pancakes
 Since a recipe for pancakes make many more than enough for one breakfast the rest to into the freezer for future breakfast.  They are wrapped in wax paper and stacked in a bread bag so the stand up in the freezer and take up less space.  Good recycling also.
Spaghetti sauce made and canned earlier with tomatoes, basil and peppers from the garden with a cube of basil from the freezer to give it a fresh flavor when heated up.

Texas Garlic Cheese toast to accompany the spaghetti and meatballs made of fresh homemade French Bread and spread with a garlicky cheese spread.

--Black Angus Garlic Cheese Bread--
1 loaf french bread
1/2 cup butter
1 cup shredded jack cheese
1 cup shredded asiago cheese
1 cup mayonnaise
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, pureed
Split french bread loaf into halves horizontally. Mix butter, cheeses,
mayonnaise, green onions and garlic in a bowl, blending well. Spread the
cut side of bread with spread. Bake at 350 degrees for 7 minutes, then
place under broiler about 3 minutes longer. Cut into slices and serve.
Vegetable beef soup
Clam Chowder
From the garden to the freezer to the table.  Gilumpkis and Spaetzle
Don't forget to visit our host of Thursday in the Cupboard
and see what others are doing with their harvest. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Harvest Monday 10/17/11

Sadly the garden is coming to a close as fall has arrived and with it come cold nights.  Still no frost however.  Yesterday I did go out and dig a few carrots for soups I was making.  I was pleasantly surprised to find I actually had carrots the size they were suppose to be.  I have never had any luck with carrots here before.  Only problem is I need to get them out of the ground as it seems either the mice or the voles has also discovered I have carrots.  I would like to keep a lot of them for fresh carrots during the fall and into the winter.  Does anyone have any ideas how I might do this.

My 2 lonely butternut squash
Totals This week
Carrots 1 lb 1 oz
Squash 2 lbs 7 oz
Don't forget to visit our host of Harvest Monday
And see what everyone else has in their basket this week. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gathering and putting up 10/13/11

First thanks Robin at The Gardener of Eden for starting Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard.  I am sure there will be many to share how they preserve the bounty from their garden and how they use them during the long cold winter months that many of us endure.

From Mid July until late October my steam canner, pressure canner and boxes of canning jars become permanent fixtures sitting in their boxes on the floor in my kitchen.  It seems they are in uses a number of days away during that time.  But I can and freeze year round not just while the garden is going.  I love to cook and still do everything in big batches as I did when my family was growing up even though there is now only me and my brother that I am the caregiver for.

Hear are a few of the times that made their way into jars this week.
 I am still canning tomatoes.  Did a couple of batches this week.
 My lonely 2 pints of cannelloni beans.  Hope to do better next year but did get enough dried for my seed for next year.
 One of my favorite tools.  The Squeezo.  At the end of the tomato season I use the scrubs to make tomato juice.  The gadget makes it so easy.  No peeling, coring, just cut them up and cook them down.
 This pot was full before cooking.
 This is after my buddy the squeezo
 Total waste from the pot of tomatoes
 Final product
Finally braved the task and got 2 pints of pickled Hungarian Wax Peppers.  Since I am allergic to the oils in hot peppers it takes me a while to get my courage up to do them.  Took a benedryl then dropped the peppers into boiling water for just a minute and came through the process without the throat swelling shut.

Also had a chicken to stew up for dinner the other night so made stock from it at the same time.  Canned two quarts of the stock for later use and made creamy chicken soup with one quart.

Creamy Chicken Soup
1 quart of Chicken stock
1 Carrot diced
1 Potato diced
2 Stalks of Celery Diced
1 Small Onion Diced
1 Pint Canned Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Condensed Cream Soup Mix Cream of Condensed Soup Mix

Cook soup until vegetables are tender.  In a bowl add enough water to Soup Mix to make a slurry then slowly stir into the soup.  Allow it to come to a boil and thicken.

(Note I do not add the Chicken Bouillon to the mix when I make it)

Happy cooking.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Harvest Monday 10/10/11

Well with the threat of 20 degree weather this past week I pretty much stripped the garden.

 Raw zucchini marinating.  Goes great with cheese and crackers.

Totals for the week.
Zucchini the little ones weight in at 10 oz.
Also picked to large ones that weighted over 5 pound each
1 1/2 pounds Hungarian Wax Peppers
5 oz. jalapeno peppers
2 lbs 1 oz green peppers
Cannelloni Beans enough for next years seed plus canned 2 pints
Shelling bean enough dried for next years seed.
About a 1/4 of a bushel Paste tomatoes that are still green
Don't forget to visit the host of Harvest Monday
And what everyone else has harvested.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

De visit to the Pumpkin Patch

Yesterday was a beautiful fall day and a perfect day to take the DGD and DGGS to the pumpkin patch for a hay ride and to roam through the pumpkin patch to find that just perfect pumpkin.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Harvest Monday 10/03/11

Things are continuing to go slow when it comes to harvesting.  Did get a few things this week and am starting to get things preserved for winter what was harvested earlier.
Of the potatoes I dug had 5 pounds 11 oz of little potatoes that won't keep so canned them.
What few onions I got were so small I canned them.  Not much to show for a whole bed of onions.
6 quarts of tomatoes
4pounds 8 oz of green peppers

2 more pints of salsa from cherry tomatoes

 Last of the tomato seed for next year were harvested and fermented now drying.
Don't forget to visit the host of Harvest Monday
and see what others harvested this week.