It has been a busy year. This past March we put up a 72 X 30 foot high tunnel and grew all our tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, some kale, eggplant and raspberries in it. Even though they did well I’m hopeful that this spring it will help give us the jump on early crops.In August we decided to order more chicks and decided on 16 Buff Orpingtons. It’s been fun watching them grow and we hope by the end of December they will be pulling their weight around here and providing us with plenty of fresh eggs.Most of the work is done for this year and its time to put our feet up and enjoy some quality down time.
It is easy to love fresh beets. Roasting them seems to enhance their sweet earthy flavor and probably the easiest way to cook beets. I’ve had more people tell me that they don’t like beets. Well, that was until they taste roasted beets. Roasting beets give them a deep, sweet taste. Serve these beets either as a side dish or in a salad.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Wash about 8 small beets well. Slice or chunk them and place in a roasting pan. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil, some kosher salt and pepper and mix well to coat.
Cook about 30-35 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out easily. Enjoy!
3 cups fresh cranberries, cut in half
1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
4 eggs (farm fresh are best!)
3 cups flour
1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of one 9X5X3 loaf pan. Stir together cranberries, sugar, oil, milk, vanilla, orange peel and eggs in large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients and pour into pan. Bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides of loaf from the pan, remove from pan and place on wire rack to cool completely (about 2 hours before slicing). Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days or refrigerate up to 10 days. Enjoy!
It’s hard to believe its that time of year again, our annual cranberry harvest. A time where family and friends come together to help us harvest our crop. I hope for a sunny, warm day with a crop that makes my husband proud. I’m thankful for the many hands that make it seem so easy.
What follows is my favorite easy recipe for cranberry sauce.
Whole Berry Cranberry Sauce
4 cups fresh cranberries (no need to cut them)
2 cups sugar
1 cup cold water
Mix together in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the stove and cool. Keep in refrigerator. This makes 2 pints of sauce.
If you’re a fan of butternut squash, you are going to love delicata. I’m a fan of butternut, its probably my favorite, but unless you cook it in a microwave that tough outer skin isn’t easy to work with.
Here’s the good part–delicata doesn’t require peeling. They’re easy to clean, cut and cook with a creamy rich flavor. Roasting it in a metal pan will brown and caramelize it–simply delicious!
Roasted Delicata Squash
Serves 2-4 as a side dish
2 to 4 delicata squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Clean the squash by running it under warm water and scrubbing it with your hands. Cut it in half lengthwise. (easy deal) Scoop out the seeds and discard them, or if you know me, bring them to me and we’ll feed them to the chickens!
Cut each half into 1/2 inch segments and arrange them single layer in a metal baking pan. Coat with the olive oil and salt. The browning occurs when the squash and the pan meet. Roast 10 minutes then carefully flip them over and continue roasting for another 7-10 minutes until both side of the squash are golden brown, about 20 to 25 minutes
Ok, for weeks now I’ve been telling everyone, “the tomatoes aren’t ready yet, maybe next week”. Here it is August 10th and not a single red tomato. Mother Nature has not been kind in the tomato area. I have MANY green tomatoes, Big Boy, heirloom Debarao and some short vine variety. About 35 plants in all. Please be patient, I’m not. I can’t wait.
What I do have is a lot of squash, and a lot of squash recipes for you to try. Stop by the market, pick up some squash, some recipes, and who knows…..maybe next week I’ll have red tomatoes!
Zucchini Pizza Casserole
A tasty, tomatoey casserole Serves 6-8
4 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini
2 eggs (farm fresh are best!)
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese 3-4 oz
2 cups (8oz.) shredded part skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 pound of ground beef (you can also use ground chicken or ground turkey)
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 medium green pepper, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 Heat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 13 X 9 inch baking dish.
2. Place the zucchini in a strainer; sprinkle with salt and let stand for 10 minutes. Squeeze out moisture.
3. Combine the zucchini with the eggs, parmesan and half of the mozzarella and cheddar cheeses. Press into the prepared 13 X 9 baking dish.
4. Bake, uncovered, 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Meanwhile cook beef, onion, and green pepper over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add tomato sauce, and spoon over zucchini mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining cheeses. Bake 20 minutes longer.
This makes two loaves or four of the mini loaves and two of the small foil loaf pans.
3 large eggs (farm fresh are best!)
1 cup oil
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups flour
3 cups grated zucchini (skin and all-but I remove large seeds)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
Prepare two loaf pans with either pam cooking spray or crisco with a light dusting of flour.
Mix all ingredients. Alternate 1 cup flour and 1 cup zucchini to make batter easier to stir. Bake at 350 degrees about 1 hour or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool 15 to 20 minutes and remove from pan. (if you make the four mini loaves reduce cooking time to 35 minutes) The small foil pans take about 40 minutes.
Delicious and easy. You can also freeze the loaves once they have cooled off in a gallon ziploc freezer bag. These are great to make while zucchini is in season and then pop them in your freezer to enjoy during the winter months. You’ll appreciate it even more then.
What Do I Do With All That Squash? Idea #1
2 pounds mixed squash (yellow crookneck, zucchini, scallop squash) washed and cut into comparable slices
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely sliced
2 tablespoons water
salt and pepper to taste
1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan.
2. Add onions and sauté’ for 3 minutes.
3. Add squash, salt and pepper and water.
4. Cover and bring to a boil.
5. Reduce heat and cook until tender, stirring frequently.
Serving size: 6
|Cook time||40 minutes|
|Misc||Serve Cold, Serve Hot|
- 4 cups fresh rhubarb (chopped)
- 3 tablespoons orange juice (mix the juice with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon cold butter (cut into small pieces)
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 2/3 cups shifted all purpose flour
- dash salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 2/3 cups quick cooking rolled oats
|Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter an 8 inch square baking dish. Arrange diced rhubarb in the prepared baking pan. Toss rhubarb with the orange juice and cornstarch mixture, then sprinkle with 1 cup sugar and the cinnamon, dot with the 1 tablespoon of cut up butter.|
|Combine melted butter with the brown sugar. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda; mix with oats. Combine the flour oat mixture with the brown sugar and melted butter mixture until well blended.|
|With hands, spread the crumb mixture over rhubarb. Bake for 40 minutes. Enjoy!|
Swiss Chard. Beautiful to look at. I planted the variety “Bright Lights”. But I had never tasted it and had no idea how to cook it.
Have I mentioned that my daughter-in-law is a vegetarian? A simple conversation, a recipe and swiss chard for dinner.
- 1 bunch Swiss Chard
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 clove Garlic
|Wash well. |
|Fold the leaf in half and cut along the spine to separate. This is one vegetable that you eat the greens as well as the stems.|
|Cut the stems into 1" lengths and sauté in a bit of olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until nearly tender.|
|Chop the greens coarsely and add to pan. I added a diced tomato, but hear its also delicious with zucchini, onions and hot pepper. The greens cook down quickly and you have a wonderful colorful, good for you (loaded with vitamins A & C and minerals iron and calcium) side dish.|
|You can store it fresh in a loosely closed bag in the fridge and it should last a week if you bought it fresh!|