Friday, October 29, 2010

Kitchen Composting | Blog Feature

Have you heard of Bonzai Aphrodite?

It's a great website about creative urban farming, delicious eating, and leading a healthy, nourishing, and conscientious lifestyle!

Recently she featured my article about Kitchen Composting on her blog.

Thank you Sayward!!

You can read it here.

Happy Composting!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Colcannon | A Hearty Fall Meal

This is a hearty potato dish from Ireland. I was watching Food Network and saw this being made in Ireland. We have an abundance of fresh potatoes form the garden and we had one last head of cabbage waiting to be used up. In Ireland, this is pure comfort food! I knew my husband would like it and it is so fitting for fall.


15-20 small red or yellow potatoes
1 small head of green cabbage
1/2 of a Ham or Pork Roast (Roasted or Cooked in the Crock Pot)
1/2 stick Butter
1/2 cup milk, half & half, or cream
2 tsp Salt


Wash your potatoes thoroughly. Leave the skins on. Steam them in a steamer pot or place them in a large stock pot with only enough water to barely cover them. Let them steam until cooked through or all the water is almost gone. This helps maintain some of the nutrients from the skin by steaming them first. Remove them from the pot. Let them cool. Then using a small knife or your hands, gently peel them. The steamed skins should fall right off.

Shred the head of cabbage and lightly steam it in a water bath or steamer pot until bright green.

Shred your cooked pork roast or ham.

Return your peeled potatoes to the pot. Add 1/4 stick of butter and salt. Mash the potatoes. Add milk, half & half, or cream.

Mix in the steamed cabbage.

Mix in the shredded pork or ham.

Serve with a pat of butter and a dash of salt.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Oregano Bread

• 1 packet dry yeast

• 3 1/2 cups bread or unbleached white flour

• 1 Tbs sugar

• 1 tsp salt

• 1 1/4 hot water (120-130 degrees, f.)

• 3 Tbs olive oil

• 3/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh oregano

• 1/4 cup dehydrated onion or fresh minced onion

• 2 tsp garlic powder

In a stand mixer combine all dry ingredients, including herbs and onions. Whisk well. Change to bread hook attachment. Add olive oil to hot water and with mixer running slowly, add water gradually in a steady stream. Allow bread hook to knead approx. 8-10 minutes 'til dough pulls away from the bowl and the sides are clean.
Form dough in a loose ball and place in a well oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap (or a moist towel if you prefer) to rise in a warm, shady spot for about 2 hours.

Remove risen dough to a board dusted in cornmeal, press and fold gently to remove large air pockets, form into a loaf and place in bread pan for the second rise of about an hour. Score with serrated knife or razor blade.

Bake in pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, then reduce oven temp. to 350 for remaining 20 minutes. Bread is done when crust is golden and knocking on the top yields a hollow sound.

Adapted from: One Good Loaf

Friday, October 22, 2010

Fall Lettuce Crops | Cold Crops

This year we planted a fall crop of lettuce and spinach. We're hoping it makes it through these frosty October nights. You can start cold crops (peas, spinach, kale, lettuce, radishes, cabbages) in August and you will be able to harvest in September & October. You can also plant these same crops in early spring. Sometimes as early as March in the Northwest. This gives you a head start on gardening and you'll be enjoying some veggies by the end of April.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup | A Delightful Fall Meal

Butternut Squash Soup

This is one of our favorite soups! It is light but still filling! It is very easy to make and it tastes so buttery and melt-in-your-mouth!


1 large Butternut Squash
2 cloves Garlic
3 TBS Olive Oil
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Pepper
1 tsp Paprika
4-5 cups Water
1 tsp Siracha Chili Paste (optional for added spiciness)
3/4 cup Cream or Half & Half (optional)

Peel the squash with a vegetable peeler. Cut it in half. Remove the seeds. Dice into small cubes. Toss with Olive Oil, Garlic (crushed), salt, and pepper.
Place on a roasting pan or cookie sheet at bake at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.
Test the squash with a fork to see if it is tender.

 Place the cooked squash into a stock pot. Add the water and/or cream or half & half and blend with a hand immersion blender until velvety and smooth. Add the siracha chili paste at this time for added heat.
If you don't have an immersion blender you could place the squash and water and/or half & half into a food processor or blender to blend.

 Serve with a sprinkle of Paprika and extra salt & pepper if desired.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chicken Alfredo

Chicken Alfredo is a quick and heart meal! It's definitely not diet food but it is delicious. And it's another meal in which you can eliminate the meat if you'd prefer.
The basics to an and Alfredo sauce is a white sauce or bechemel sauce. It is very easy to make and you can add any type of cheese to change the flavor. It is also the base for homemade Macaroni & Cheese.

1 cup Half & Half or Cream
2 cups Milk
3 TBS Butter
3 TBS Flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 package Penne pasta
3-4 Chicken Breasts, cooked and diced
4-5 pieces cooked bacon
Basil & Parmesan to garnish


Bechemel Sauce
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk the flour into the butter and cook on low-medium heat until it forms a light tan paste. Don't cook too long or it will darken and taste burnt. One your paste is light tan, whisk in the Half & Half or heavy cream. Allow this mixture to thicken and simmer. Once it has thickened, add the milk until you get the right consistency. If the sauce is too thin, let it simmer longer to thicken or add a small sprinkle of flour. If it is too thick, add more milk a little at a time. Once you complete sauce has thickened, add salt and parmesan cheese. Add more salt or cheese to taste. That's your alfredo sauce!

Boil your penne until al dente (slightly firm, still has a "bite" to it).

Add you crumbled bacon and diced chicken to the pasta. Add the Alfredo sauce and mix. Top with more bacon and basil and parmesan.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Chicken Soup from the Garden

All the ingredients for this soup (besides the chicken) came from the garden! It's so satisfying to make almost a complete meal from vegetables we grew entirely by ourselves! It turned out delicious! Instead of pasta we used potatoes from the garden to add starchiness and more heartiness.

1 whole organic chicken
2 quarts chicken stock
1 large onion or 3 small onions
3 large carrots
4-5 stalks of celery
1-1 1/2 lbs of Red Potatoes
2 cloves garlic
2 TBS Olive Oil


Boil the chicken in your dutch oven or stock pot for about 1 hour or until cooked through. Remove the chicken to cool and place broth into a bowl to cool so you can remove the fat later.

Prepare you veggies by dicing everything about the same size.
 Saute the veggies in olive oil in the dutch oven or large pot until soft and translucent.

Add the chicken stock from your chicken back in and more stock if desired for the right consistency.

Boil until the veggies are tender. About 25-30 minutes.

Then shred the chicken meat from the bone and add it to the soup!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Ginger Pumpkin Muffins

These are delicious on a fall day! They are moist and dense and very pumpkin-ey!


1 1/2 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup pumpkin purée

1/3 cup melted butter

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup water

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon allspice

1 teaspoon ground ginger

2-3 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts or pecans OR 1 cup Chocolate Chips

2 Tbsp well chopped candied ginger


Preheat oven to 350°F. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda.

Mix the pumpkin, melted butter, eggs, 1/4 cup of water, and spices together, then combine with the dry ingredients, until just incorporated. Do not over-mix. Fold in the candied ginger and chopped nuts or chocolate chips.

Spoon mixture into a prepared muffin tin. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Check for doneness with a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin. If it comes out clean, it's done. Cool on a rack.

(Recipe adapted form Simply Recipes.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Bizzare Carrots

Does anyone know WHY this happens to carrots? Half of our carrot bed has been plagued with this bizzare disease. They look like mutant carrots!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Cinnamon Raisin Walnut Bread

This delicious recipe is from our friend at A Chow Life. It's a great breakfast bread or anytime bread! I love the toasted walnuts for a crunchy contrast to the soft raisins! Her recipe is below!

1 package active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 tsp, plus 3 tblsp. sugar
2 and 1/2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 cup walnut pieces, toasted and chopped
5 tblsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1/2 cup water
1 cup raisins

Stir the yeast, warm water, and 1/4 tsp sugar together in a small bowl. Let the mixture stand in a warm location until the yeast starts foaming, 5-10 minutes.

Combine the flours, remaining sugar, cinnamon, salt, and walnuts in a large bowl. Stir well. Stir the yeast mixture, butter, and 1/3 cup water into the flour mixture. Then stir in the raisins or work them in by hand. Let stand 10 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand until it is smooth and elastic, about 7 minutes.

Lightly oil a large bowl and turn the dough in it to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl loosely with a kitchen town and let the dough rise in a warm location until it is doubled in bulk, 45 -60 minutes.
Oil a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Punch the dough down and shape it into a loaf. Press the loaf into the prepared pan and, again, cover it loosely with a kitchen towel. Let it rise in a warm place until it nearly fills the pan, 45-60 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake the bread until the top is browned and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped with your finger, 35-40 minutes. Remove it from the pan and let it cool on a rack.
Adapted from The New Basics Cookbook

Here's the link to her RECIPE.