Friday, October 23, 2020

Squash and Bean Soup - Weekend Recipe

This soup is a bit different because you serve it over couscous to give a unique texture.  I like how you can make it in the crockpot.  I like dry beans so I pull them out and soak them overnight and use 1 cup cannellini beans and 1 cup soaked chickpeas (garbanzo beans.)



Squash and Bean Soup

  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 piece fresh ginger
  • kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 2 clove garlic
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1/4 cup dried apricots
  • 1/4 cup roasted pistachios
  • 1 scallion
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 can chickpeas

DIRECTIONS

1.      In a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker, whisk together the coriander, ginger, 2 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add the onion, squash, garlic, and thyme and cook, covered, until the squash is tender, 3 hours on high or 5 hours on low.

2.      Twenty minutes before serving, place the couscous in a medium bowl. Add 1 1/4 cups hot tap water, cover and let sit for 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork and fold in the apricots, pistachios, scallion, parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

3.      In a medium bowl, mash half the cannellini beans with a fork until fairly smooth. If the slow cooker is on low, turn it to high and stir in the mashed beans, then add the remaining beans and chickpeas and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Ladle the soup into bowls and top with the couscous mixture.


RECIPE THEME

Each month a theme is chosen and a number of recipes on that theme from my massive archive will be shared.  This year we have 12 new topics, different from the topics of last year.  

To find the recipes of last year, check out this recipe link or search the blog with the topic Recipe2018, or Recipe2019 

You can search the monthly theme by looking for the theme keyword in the search box and it will pull up the recipes on that theme as posted, so look at the bottom of the recipe in each posting for the KEYWORD in the () to search for each  month.  All recipes this year will be tagged Recipe2020 so you can find them all.

The themes are:

Feb 2020 - Footbal Tailgate Favorites (AppFeb)
March 2020 - Kabobs (KabobMar)
April 2020 - Brunch (BrunchApr) more in 2021 also
May 2020 - Non-Traditional Pizza (PizzaMay)
June 2020 - Stir Fry Dishes (StirJun)
July 2020 - Salads with no lettuce (SaladJul)
August 2020 - Pickled things (PickleAug)
September 2020 - Quiche (QuicheSep)
October 2020 - Squash Soups (SquashOct)
November 2020 - Pumpkin (again) (PumpNov)

December 2020 - Turkey Recipes (TurkDec)

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Vegan Summer Squash and Pesto Soup - Recipe Theme

If you have a few leftover summer squash as the frost moves in, this is a great soup to help use them up.  You can also use your other garden produce to make this flavorful and unique soup that can use up all your remaining fresh basil. This is another crock pot recipe, can you tell where my cooking of soups tends to gravitate?  Hubby does not like to make soup and I don’t like to be in the kitchen for long periods which makes crockpot soups my favorite.  


The butter-based pesto topping is what makes you love this soup as one last time to enjoy the flavors of summer. And the butter is great on pasta, rolls, and steamed vegetables too! Leftovers of both can be frozen. 

Vegetable Soup with Pesto Butter

  •  1 large onion, chopped
  • 3/4 pound new potatoes (1-inch diameter), halved
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 summer squash (8 oz. each), halved lengthwise and sliced crosswise into 1/3-inch pieces
  • 1/2 pound green beans, halved
  • 1/2 pound sugar snap peas
  • 1 quart vegetable broth or stock
  • 1 cup (packed) fresh basil
  • 1 small clove garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
  • 4 tablespoons butter or vegetable butter substitute
  • 3 ears corn, kernels cut off (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 large tomato, diced

Directions:

Layer the onion and potatoes in a large, lined slow cooker; season with salt and pepper. Add the squash, green beans, snap peas and broth. Cover and cook until the potatoes and squash are soft and the beans and peas are crisp-tender, about 2 hours on high or 3 hours on low.

Meanwhile, make the pesto butter: Using a food processor, puree the basil and garlic until finely chopped. Add the parmesan, butter/butter substitute, 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Process until the butter comes together in a ball. Transfer to a small bowl.

Stir the corn and tomato into the finished stew; season. Top each serving with pesto butter.

 

RECIPE THEME

Each month a theme is chosen and a number of recipes on that theme from my massive archive will be shared.  This year we have 12 new topics, different from the topics of last year.  

To find the recipes of last year, check out this recipe link or search the blog with the topic Recipe2018, or Recipe2019 

You can search the monthly theme by looking for the theme keyword in the search box and it will pull up the recipes on that theme as posted, so look at the bottom of the recipe in each posting for the KEYWORD in the () to search for each  month.  All recipes this year will be tagged Recipe2020 so you can find them all.

The themes are:

Feb 2020 - Footbal Tailgate Favorites (AppFeb)
March 2020 - Kabobs (KabobMar)
April 2020 - Brunch (BrunchApr) more in 2021 also
May 2020 - Non-Traditional Pizza (PizzaMay)
June 2020 - Stir Fry Dishes (StirJun)
July 2020 - Salads with no lettuce (SaladJul)
August 2020 - Pickled things (PickleAug)
September 2020 - Quiche (QuicheSep)
October 2020 - Squash Soups (SquashOct)
November 2020 - Pumpkin (again) (PumpNov)

December 2020 - Turkey Recipes (TurkDec)

Friday, October 16, 2020

Creamy Wild Rice Soup - Weekend Recipe

This is a slow cooker recipe I got from a newly published book from Rockridge Press called Slow Cooker Soups by Pamela Ellgen.  It is quick to prepare and easy to serve.  You just put it in the crock pot and later you have a meal.

 


Creamy Wild Rice Soup (serves 6)

4 cups diced butternut squash

1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1 ½ cups wild rice
1 yellow onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp curry powder
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
1 15-ounce can full fat coconut milk
12 cups vegetable broth
Sea salt
Freshly black pepper
Fresh mint, thinly sliced (for garnish)
1 cup full-fat yogurt

Put squash, tomatoes, rice, onion, garlic, curry powder, red pepper and coconut milk and broth in a slow cooker.  Stir then cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

Turn off the heat.  Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.  Divide the soup among serving bowls.

Top each bowl with fresh mint and a drizzle of yogurt.  I don’t eat yogurt, so I used sour cream on top.


RECIPE THEME

Each month a theme is chosen and a number of recipes on that theme from my massive archive will be shared.  This year we have 12 new topics, different from the topics of last year.  

To find the recipes of last year, check out this recipe link or search the blog with the topic Recipe2018, or Recipe2019 

You can search the monthly theme by looking for the theme keyword in the search box and it will pull up the recipes on that theme as posted, so look at the bottom of the recipe in each posting for the KEYWORD in the () to search for each  month.  All recipes this year will be tagged Recipe2020 so you can find them all.

The themes are:

Feb 2020 - Footbal Tailgate Favorites (AppFeb)
March 2020 - Kabobs (KabobMar)
April 2020 - Brunch (BrunchApr) more in 2021 also
May 2020 - Non-Traditional Pizza (PizzaMay)
June 2020 - Stir Fry Dishes (StirJun)
July 2020 - Salads with no lettuce (SaladJul)
August 2020 - Pickled things (PickleAug)
September 2020 - Quiche (QuicheSep)
October 2020 - Squash Soups (SquashOct)
November 2020 - Pumpkin (again) (PumpNov)

December 2020 - Turkey Recipes (TurkDec)

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Beef and Butternut Squash Stew

I misplaced my squash soup recipes when I was moving shelving units and rebuilding the Herb Room earlier this month.  I kept thinking they would turn up as I put things away, but nothing.  So I pulled out this recipe that I shared in the Garden Club Newsletter back in 2017.  It is a nice chunky stew rather than a squash puree type soup.



Beef and Butternut Squash Stew 

3 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 pounds stew beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup Marsala wine
1 pound butternut squash, trimmed and cut into 2-inch cubes
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
3 to 4 cups beef broth
2 tablespoons fresh chopped flat-leaf parsley
Crusty bread, for serving

Directions

In a large soup pot heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, rosemary, and thyme and sauté until the onions are tender, about 2 minutes. Toss the beef cubes in salt and pepper and flour. Turn up the heat to med-high and add the beef to the pot. Cook until the beef is browned and golden around the edges, about 5 minutes. Add the Marsala wine. Using a wooden spoon, gently stir up all the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the butternut squash and sun-dried tomatoes and stir to combine. Add enough beef broth to just cover the beef and squash. Bring the stew to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Season the stew with additional salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley. Serve with crusty bread alongside.


Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis


RECIPE THEME

Each month a theme is chosen and a number of recipes on that theme from my massive archive will be shared.  This year we have 12 new topics, different from the topics of last year.  

To find the recipes of last year, check out this recipe link or search the blog with the topic Recipe2018, or Recipe2019 

You can search the monthly theme by looking for the theme keyword in the search box and it will pull up the recipes on that theme as posted, so look at the bottom of the recipe in each posting for the KEYWORD in the () to search for each  month.  All recipes this year will be tagged Recipe2020 so you can find them all.

The themes are:

Feb 2020 - Footbal Tailgate Favorites (AppFeb)
March 2020 - Kabobs (KabobMar)
April 2020 - Brunch (BrunchApr) more in 2021 also
May 2020 - Non-Traditional Pizza (PizzaMay)
June 2020 - Stir Fry Dishes (StirJun)
July 2020 - Salads with no lettuce (SaladJul)
August 2020 - Pickled things (PickleAug)
September 2020 - Quiche (QuicheSep)
October 2020 - Squash Soups (SquashOct)
November 2020 - Pumpkin (again) (PumpNov)

December 2020 - Turkey Recipes (TurkDec)

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

End of Season Tool Care and Purchasing

Now is the time to shop for gardening tools.  They are on sale at season end and you can get them cheaper than in the Spring.  Here is a list of essential tools that you should own to get your gardening done with ease. It’s also a good beginner list of garden tools that will give you a great foundation to help create your beautiful garden.

Garden Spade or Shovel: You will certainly need a spade to dig up your beds or to plant a tree or bush. A round point spade is made to easily cut through the soil for planting. A shovel is necessary to dig and prepare large holes or entire beds for planting.


Garden Claw
: This tool is a fairly new addition to the garden tool family. It’s basically a long-handled cultivator. The garden claw is terrific for turning the soil and preparing beds with new soil. Soil needs to be aerated and the claw does a good job of this. This cultivator is great for mixing in fertilizers, compost, or new top soil into your existing bed.

Hand Trowel: A hand trowel is a mini spade that is used to plant small new plants and flowers. It’s ideal for working in tight spots in your garden and great for digging out those weeds!

Bypass Pruners: Pruners are needed to keep your plants trim. Pruning plants actually encourages proper growth and keeps the plant from getting unruly and unsightly. Bypass pruners are used for new, soft growth on bushes and flowers. To trim large branches; long-handled loppers should be used. Shears, which resemble an extra-large pair of scissors, are good for trimming bushes, hedges and smaller branches.

Corona Bypass Pruners

Hose and Watering Can: With no water there is no garden! To water large areas you will need a hose and it is worth spending the money on a good quality rubber hose. Don’t forget a watering can for light watering of your new plantings or your display pots.

Rake: We need clean up tools after we finish our gardening! A rake is wonderful for getting all that debris off your lawn. Lawn and leaf rakes are perfect for this chore.

Broom: Yes, a broom does belong on this list. I don’t mean the brooms you use inside your house but a straw type broom to whisk up all the debris on your walkways and patio areas. I find my broom to be very useful when cleaning up, especially after I have been harvesting and laying bundles of herbs on my patio table.

 

WINTER TOOL CARE

If you already have your tools, remember to care for them properly when you put them away for winter. Before wintery weather arrives, don’t forget to protect and put away your valuable tools, too. 

Hand Tools: If you have rinsed off and dried your rakes, shovels, trowels, garden forks or other hand tools after each use, you won’t have to do much at the end of the season. But if they are dirty, don a pair of goggles before using a stiff-bristled brush to scrub off any mud or rust. Fine sandpaper or steel wool will take care of small, rusty spots. 

Sharpen any dull tools you use for digging or cutting and file down nicks. Wear heavy gloves to protect your hands while doing this. Don’t have the proper files or sharpening stones? Your local hardware store or garden center may be able to handle these chores for you. 

Next, gently run your hands down the wooden handles to check for cracks or splinters. A medium-grit emery cloth or a piece of sandpaper will smooth rough, weathered wood. Replace broken wood handles; tapes and glues don’t usually last. To remove a tool head from the handle, protect your eyes with safety goggles and strike the head with a ball-peen hammer. Never hit metal with a nail hammer, which can cause dangerous metal fragments to fly off. 

Coat the metal parts of your tools with light oil or spray them with a lubricant like WD-40 before putting them away. To protect the wooden handles, apply linseed oil. Hang your tools in a shed or garage, out of the weather, until you’re ready to use them again. If you prefer, keep small hand tools stashed in a bucket of sand mixed with oil; it will help guard against rust. 



Garden Sprayers: Wash your sprayers inside and out with soapy water, using a sponge or scrub brush. Spray some of the soapy mixture through the lines to clear them. Then rinse thoroughly with clean water, spraying again to flush the lines. Allow the sprayers to dry thoroughly before storing them out of the weather. While you're at it, store the chemicals you use in the sprayers away from freezing temperatures. 

Garden Hoses: Remove nozzles and drain the hoses. When they're dry, mend any leaks with electrical tape or garden hose repair tape. Replace the ends of hoses and washers, if needed. Coil the hoses to keep them from kinking and hang them out of the elements.

Thanks to HGTV for these end of season cleaning tips

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Homemade Body Butter - Bath Blend of the Month

Body butter is smooth and creamy and designed to make skin silky smooth.  As the fall weather turns chilly and the heat comes on in the house, your skin can become dry and flaky.  This mixture will keep a summer glow to your skin as you keep it soft into the winter months.


Homemade Body Butter

6 oz Coconut Oil

2 oz Cocoa Butter

2 oz Essential Oil of Choice

Food Coloring (Optional)

Mixer

Directions:

Melt both your coconut oil and cocoa butter. You can melt them over a double boiler, or in a microwave safe bowl in the microwave in 20 second bursts, stirring in between each burst.

Once the oil and butter have melted, place them in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes. Do not place in freezer. Once the oils and butter are opaque, using a stand or hand mixer, beat on high for 4-5 minutes. The mixture should become thick and creamy. If after 5 minutes of beating it doesn’t become thick, refrigerate for 5 more minutes and beat again.

Once the oils become creamy, refrigerate for 5 more minutes. After 5 minutes, add in your essential oil and food coloring and beat until well incorporated. Once stiff peaks form, spoon into a clean container and seal.

 

Will last up to 6 months in an airtight container.


To USE:  Scoop out about 1 to 2 Tablespoons and smooth over skin, especially face and neck.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Colby Squares Quiche Treat - Weekend Recipe

This great quiche recipe is perfect when you make it with an herb flavored crust.  It is a traditional crust recipe seasoned with Italian Seasoning which I share the recipe at the end.  







You can make this as an appetizer to serve at a family gathering this fall or as a brunch item making it in a square shape rather than pie shaped.

Colby Squares Quiche Treat 

1 Herb Crust (see below)

2 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken

1/3 cup green onions, chopped

8 ounces Colby cheese, grated

6 slices crisp cooked bacon

1/8 tsp salt

2 Tbls Parmesan cheese, grated

1/8 tsp paprika

4 large eggs

1/8 tsp white pepper

¼ tsp dry mustard

Onto or into prepared (not baked) Herb Crust (see below) sprinkle with chopped turkey or chicken, then onion.  Cover with cheese.  Crumble bacon over cheese.  Beat eggs with salt, pepper, and mustard.  Stir in milk.  Pour carefully over filling.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and paprika.  Back on the lowest rack of 400-degree oven, 25 to 30 minutes or until set in center.  Cool on wire rack. Serve warm or cold.  Makes 8 dinner servings, 16 appetizer strips.

HERBED CRUST

½ cup sifted flour

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp Backyard Patch Italian Seasoning

½ cup firm butter

¼ cup cold milk

Combine flour, salt and Italian seasoning.  Cut in butter with knives or pastry cutter until particles are the size of peas.  Sprinkle with cold milk, adding just enough to make a stiff dough.  Shape into a square and roll on a floured board into a sheet about 12 by 16 inches.  Fold into thirds and lift into a 9x14x2 inch baking dish or 9 x 13 metal pan.  Unfold.  Fit carefully into the dish, trimming edges with the top of dish.  Fold crust down ¼ inch to form a rim and press with tines of a fork.


RECIPE THEME

Each month a theme is chosen and a number of recipes on that theme from my massive archive will be shared.  This year we have 12 new topics, different from the topics of last year.  

To find the recipes of last year, check out this recipe link or search the blog with the topic Recipe2018, or Recipe2019 

You can search the monthly theme by looking for the theme keyword in the search box and it will pull up the recipes on that theme as posted, so look at the bottom of the recipe in each posting for the KEYWORD in the () to search for each  month.  All recipes this year will be tagged Recipe2020 so you can find them all.

The themes are:

Feb 2020 - Footbal Tailgate Favorites (AppFeb)
March 2020 - Kabobs (KabobMar)
April 2020 - Brunch (BrunchApr) more in 2021 also
May 2020 - Non-Traditional Pizza (PizzaMay)
June 2020 - Stir Fry Dishes (StirJun)
July 2020 - Salads with no lettuce (SaladJul)
August 2020 - Pickled things (PickleAug)
September 2020 - Quiche (QuicheSep)
October 2020 - Squash Soups (SquashOct)
November 2020 - Pumpkin (again) (PumpNov)

December 2020 - Turkey Recipes (TurkDec)

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