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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.

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Broccoli, Bacon, Pasta, and Parmesan Frittata (Spaghetti Omelet)

Committee meeting working lunch, 5/17/12

Frittatas are a great way to use up leftovers. The basic idea is that you can combine any pre-cooked ingredients (broccoli, bacon, and pasta, in this case) with enough eggs to cover them, then add seasonings (parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, here) and cook until set. A different recipe that follows this basic idea is the Spanish Potato Omelet. Feel free to experiment with this recipe to see what vegetables and starches you like best with your eggs.

  • 4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups cooked broccoli (steamed, boiled, roasted, leftover – it all works)*
  • 3 cups cooked pasta, any shape (leftovers are perfect for this)
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper, to taste

Heat a large skillet. Add bacon and cook on medium heat until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon to a large bowl and leave grease in the pan. Turn off the heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

To the bowl with the bacon, add broccoli and pasta. Add eggs, cracking each into a small bowl or cup before adding it to the large bowl (this is to make sure that a bad egg or pieces of shell won’t ruin your whole mixture). Add cheese, salt, and pepper.

Turn the heat back on under the skillet with the bacon grease. When the grease is very hot, add the egg mixture and allow to cook over medium heat until cooked about halfway through, about 7-10 minutes.

Flipping the frittata: using potholders or oven mitts, place a large plate over the skillet. Take the whole business over the sink (just in case) and flip the half-cooked frittata out of skillet and onto the plate. Put the skillet back on the stove, then slide the frittata back into the pan, raw side down.

Continue to cook until fully cooked through, 5-7 minutes, then flip or slide onto a plate.

Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Serves 8.

*Broccoli can be grown in your Nebraska garden.

Hard Boiled Egg Guide

This method of hard boiling eggs is nearly foolproof – you pretty much can’t overcook them this way. So no more dark gray rings around the yolks!

Note: use older eggs for hard boiling – they are easier to peel.

Choose the right size pot: all your eggs should fit in a single layer on the bottom.

Cover with water: add water to cover the eggs by 1 inch.

Bring to a boil: place over high heat and allow water to come to a boil.

Boil for 1 minute: once the eggs come to a boil, allow them to stay at a rolling boil for a minute.

Turn off the heat: turn off the heat under the pot and set a timer for 14-17 minutes – the larger your eggs, the longer you’ll need.

Cool: place eggs in cold water to cool quickly

Peel: make a lot of cracks in the egg. Start peeling at the bubble at the rounded end of the egg, and make sure you get underneath the membrane below the shell, peeling off the membrane as you go.

Bread Pudding with Rhubarb Sauce

Community meeting training dinner, 4/23/12

Beautiful? Not quite. Delicious? Definitely.

Bread Pudding
Bread pudding is incredibly easy to make, and the results are delicious. It’s also a great way to use up old, stale bread. You can use wheat bread here for a little extra nutrition in your dessert.

  • 2 cups 2% or whole milk
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups bread, torn into small pieces (use any leftover stale bread you have)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 1 ½ or 2 quart sized baking dish or casserole.

In a large bowl, whisk together all ingredients except for the bread. Place the bread in the casserole in an even layer. Pour the milk mixture over the bread. Press the bread gently to help it absorb the liquid, then allow to sit for 10-20 minutes.

Bake for 45-50 minutes, until no longer liquid in the middle. Serve warm.

Rhubarb Sauce
Use this sauce with the bread pudding, or use it to top yogurt, ice cream, or anything else you’d like.

  • 4 cups rhubarb,* chopped into ½ – 1 inch pieces
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons water, divided use
  • ½ cup sugar (more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch

In a large pot, combine rhubarb, ½ cup water, and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until rhubarb is completely tender and falling apart. Taste the sauce, and add more sugar if it’s too tart.

In small bowl, combine cornstarch with remaining 2 tablespoons water. Stir well, breaking up any cornstarch clumps. Add the cornstarch mixture to the rhubarb and return to a boil for 1 minute, stirring. The sauce will thicken.

Remove from heat. Allow to cool at least slightly before serving.

Note: if you want a smooth-textured sauce, you can blend the finished sauce with a blender, immersion blender, or food processor. Always be careful when blending hot liquids, since they can splash and burn you.

*Rhubarb is a perennial that will keep producing tasty stalks year after year in your garden.

Hearty Green Salad with Beans, Eggs, and Peppers

Committee meeting working lunch, 4/19/12
Community training dinner and demonstration 4/23/12
Community training dinner 4/3/13, without beans and using dill instead of oregano

This salad is a meal in itself – with lots of healthy protein from the eggs and beans along with the vegetables, it’s a great lunch or dinner. All the components of the salad can be made in advance.

Dressing:

  • ⅓ cup plain yogurt (NOT vanilla)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable, canola, or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried or 2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano

Salad:

  • 10-14 ounces lettuce*, any variety, washed and dried
  • 1 cup cooked beans*, any variety (see bean-cooking guide for instructions, or use canned)
  • 4 eggs, hard-boiled (see instructions here) and chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers*, chopped

Dressing: Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.

Salad: In a large bowl, combine lettuce, beans, chopped hard boiled eggs, and chopped red peppers. Add dressing and toss to coat. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed. Serve immediately.

Serves 6-8 as a side dish, 3-4 as a main course.

*Lettuce, beans, and peppers can all be raised in your garden.

Tortilla Española (Potato Omelet) with Kale

Committee meeting working lunch, 11/29/11 – Served as a large, round sandwich with aioli between homemade bread, cut into wedges.

tortilla española with kale, pre-flip

There’s no kale in a traditional Spanish tortilla, but it’s a simple and tasty addition that incorporates healthy garden produce. You could add in any cooked green of your choosing.

  • 1 bunch kale or other greens (or use leftover cooked greens, or omit)*
  • 1/3 c olive oil (or vegetable oil, if you, like me, are on a very tight budget – don’t tell the Spaniards)
  • 6 medium-sized potatoes, cut into 1/3″ rounds (Spaniards would peel, but I didn’t)*
  • 1 onion, chopped*
  • salt
  • 9 eggs (you may need more or fewer eggs depending on the size of your pan – just make sure the potatoes are submerged in eggs when cooking the tortilla) Read More