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Monthly Archives: September 2012

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Committee Meeting working lunch, 9/27/12 (used roasted cushaw squash puree)

These soft, chewy cookies have all the flavors of fall. You can use canned pumpkin, or you can use roasted squash puree from any kind of winter squash.

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour (or substitute more all purpose if unavailable)
  • 1 1/2 cups rolled oats or quick cooking oats (not instant)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice OR 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (OR puree from any other winter squash)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips OR raisins OR dried cherries/cranberries

Heat oven to 350. Grease baking sheets.

In a medium bowl, mix together both flours, oats, baking soda, spices, and salt.

In a large bowl using an electric mixer if available, cream butter and both sugars. Add pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla and beat to combine. Add flour mixture and mix until combined. Add chocolate chips or dried fruit and mix in.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto cookie sheets. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until lightly browned and set. Cool at least 2 minutes before removing from sheet.

Yield: about 48 cookies.

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Sweet Corn Soup

Committee meeting working lunch, 9/27/12 (previously frozen)

This soup is the taste of summer sweet corn in a silky bowl. You can make it during the summer and freeze it in individual portions for a little taste of summer whenever you want. You can also use frozen corn, either from the store or put up from the summer.

  • 6 ears sweet corn, husks and silk removed, cleaned
  • Water
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Salt
  • Black pepper

Use a knife to slice the corn kernels off the cobs. Save the kernels for later use. Place the cobs in a pot with just enough water to cover them. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer while you prepare the rest of the soup. (If using frozen corn, skip this step.)

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5-6 minutes. Add carrot and celery and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes more. Add the corn kernels and stir.

Turn off the heat from the simmering cobs. Leaving the cobs in the pot, pour the water over the corn and vegetable mixture until corn is just covered. (If using frozen corn, just use regular water.) Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until corn is tender, about 6-8 minutes.

If desired, you can leave the soup chunky. For a smooth texture, puree either using an immersion blender, or in batches in a food processor or blender (be careful blending hot liquids – they can splash painfully). If desired, pass pureed soup through a sieve, pressing liquid out with a spatula, to remove any tough kernel pieces.

Add milk, then add salt and pepper to taste. The salt should make the flavors brighter. If it tastes salty, you’ve gone too far.

Serves 4.

Roasted Red Pepper and Eggplant Dip

Garden training session picnic, 9/19/12

This dip is a great new way to use fresh summer vegetables. Try it with raw vegetables, crackers, bread, or even as a sauce with chicken, pork, or beef.

  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1 large bell pepper (red, orange, or yellow)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

OVEN METHOD (preferred): Preheat oven to 400. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise and place cut side down on greased baking sheet. Place whole pepper on sheet. Roast until both eggplant and pepper are tender (the pepper may take a little longer).

MICROWAVE METHOD: Slice eggplant in half lengthwise and pierce the skin with a fork in a few places. Cut the top off the pepper and remove the seeds. Place eggplant and pepper on a plate and microwave on high for about 8 minutes, until both are tender.

Peel the pepper and eggplant: place hot cooked pepper in a sealed container for 20 minutes to steam. Afterwards, peel off the skin with your fingers. If roasted whole, remove seeds and stem. Peel the eggplant when it’s cool – you should be able to take the skin right off.

In a food processor or blender, combine cooked peeled vegetables and all remaining ingredients. Process until smooth, then taste and adjust salt as needed.

Yield: about 1 cup

Toasted Squash Seeds

Seeds are the “free gift with purchase” when you have a squash. Turn them into a tasty snack with this recipe.

  • Seeds from one winter squash (pumpkinbutternutacorndelicata, etc), separated from pulp
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable, canola, or olive oil
  • 1 large pinch salt
  • Spices of your choice:
    • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder

Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Spread the seeds on a baking sheet and cook for about 30 minutes. Every 10 minutes or so, stir the seeds around a bit so they cook evenly. Seeds are done when they are crisp and golden brown.

Note: some seeds (especially from acorn squash) may begin to pop. Once they’re popping in the oven, they’re done.

Roasted Squash Puree 

Roasted squash puree can be substituted for canned pumpkin in any recipe. You can make a large batch and freeze it to use whenever you need.

  • 1 winter squash, any variety (butternut, acorn, delicata, buttercup, hubbard, red kuri, cushaw, etc)

Preheat oven to 400. Slice the squash in half in whatever way is easiest. Using a large spoon, scoop out the seeds and pulp. Save the seeds for toasting.

Place squash halves cut side down on a baking sheet. Roast until completely tender, about 90 minutes (timing will depend on the size of your squash). Allow to cool.

When cool, scoop the squash flesh away from the skin and place it in a bowl. Using a fork, mash the squash until it is fairly smooth. If desired, you could use a food processor, but a fork usually does the job well.

Use as you would canned pumpkin. Freeze for later use if desired.

Winter Squash (Pumpkin Spice) Angel Food Cake

Committee meeting working lunch, 9/6/12

Garden training picnic, 9/19/12

This light, airy cake becomes perfect for fall with the addition of pumpkin or squash and fall spices.

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup cooked squash puree (you can use canned pumpkin, or any winter squash roasted and mashed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (about 12 whites)
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar

Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, combine flour and powdered sugar. Whisk or sift together to combine well. In a separate small bowl, combine squash or pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set both bowls aside.

In a very large bowl, use an electric mixer to begin beating the egg whites. When they get foamy, add the cider vinegar, vanilla, and salt. Continue to beat until whites are no longer clear, then gradually add the white sugar. Beat until shiny stiff peaks form.

Dust the flour mixture over the egg whites and gently fold in, using a spatula to cut down to the bottom center of the bowl, then slide up the side and fold the mixture over. Repeat this folding motion, turning the bowl to get all sides, until no flour streaks are visible.

Add the squash mixture to the batter and repeat the same gentle folding in motion, until fully incorporated.

Gently spoon into an ungreased tube pan or angel food cake pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes, until cake springs back when gently poked. Invert the cake pan on a rack or a stand that keeps the cake off the table. Allow to cool completely while upside down before removing from pan and serving.

Serves 10-12.

Simple Cornbread (with less fat!)

Committee meeting working lunch, 9/6/12
Community meeting dinners: served with sausage and root vegetable stew, pork chili

This lower-fat cornbread is moist and flavorful – you’ll never have to go back to the butter-heavy cornbread of the past.

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt (or use vanilla and omit sugar)
  • 1/4 cup sugar (omit if using vanilla yogurt)
  • 2 eggs

Preheat oven to 400. Grease an 8×8” pan.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, and salt. Mix thoroughly. In a separate medium bowl, combine yogurt, sugar, and eggs, mixing well. Add the yogurt mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake 20-25 minutes, until the bread is lightly browned and springs back when gently poked in the center.