Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Tropical Curried Acorn Squash Soup

A warming winter squash soup spiced with curry, sweetened with banana, and luscious with coconut milk. This soup could be vegetarian depending on your stock choice.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2014/10/tropical-curried-acorn-squash-soup.html

On a quest to add vegetables to as many recipes as I can--to utilize the produce from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share before it spoils--I end up cooking most every day. That often means that we have a variety of leftovers available. Sometimes, making a simple dish like this soup is a great way to dress up a dinner of leftovers.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2014/10/tropical-curried-acorn-squash-soup.html

If you've read this blog before [thank you!] you may have . . . um, not exactly heard but how 'bout heard inside your head . . . me talk about how I put up carrot peels, celery leaves, onion skins etc into Soup Packs (link to my Frugal Eco Farm Fresh Feasting post). I've shared recipes for how I make Chicken Stock, Beef Stock, and Vegetable Stock. I've also shared how I put up pumpkin puree. Hey, guess what? Putting up acorn squash is no different!

When I have the oven on--and I am thinking on all cylinders--I will roast an extra squash and save the puree for another use. If I've got a jar of stock, a container of roasted squash puree, and a ripe banana in the freezer this soup almost makes itself. I just need to chop and sauté an onion [but I'm teaching my son to master onion chopping, so I didn't even do that step].

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2014/10/tropical-curried-acorn-squash-soup.html

I know it may seem strange to use banana in a savory recipe, even though I've done it before in my Ham and Banana Pizza. I've also combined squash and banana in muffins--which will appear sometime this Fall on a coming Muffin Monday--but this is not as sweet of a soup as those muffins.  This is a savory soup with a hint of sweetness and a nice amount of spice. With an immersion blender this comes together quickly and makes a nice, warm, first course for a cold weather meal.

For other recipes using acorn squash, please check out my Acorn Squash Recipe Collection. For other recipes using ripe bananas, please check out my Banana Recipe Collection.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cranberry, Chicken, Spinach and Leek Enchiladas

Leeks and frost-kissed farm share spinach, sautéed with chicken and cranberry salsa in a creamy enchilada, topped with spicy salsa verde.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2014/10/cranberry-chicken-spinach-and-leek.html

Too early to break out the cranberry salsa? It pairs so nicely with salsa verde I couldn't resist. I'm tempted to try and make some of my own this year, since our farm share--and my spouse's coworkers--have provided so many hot peppers.  I've put up salsa twice, and have just enough ripe tomatoes left to put up a third batch.  In the mean time I put up a batch of hot pepper jelly as well--then promptly gave most of it away.  Between the canning and the freezing I'm trying to keep up with the supply of vegetables that I'll feed the family during winter. [I feel like the Ant, though I really want to lie down and read my book like the Grasshopper--so I'm going to keep it short and sweet and go do just that.]

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2014/10/cranberry-chicken-spinach-and-leek.html

Want more enchilada recipes? Try my Clickable Collage. More recipes using spinach? Here's the Spinach Recipes Collection. More recipes using Leeks? Try this collection. More recipes using Cranberries, in various permutations? Look here.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Slow Cooker Apple Chai for a Crowd (or Yourself)

Warm apple chai tea, easy to serve from a slow cooker and plenty for a crowd. This DIY Apple Chai recipe keeps in the fridge for single servings too.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2014/10/slow-cooker-apple-chai-for-crowd-or.html

In an online food blogger group we've been discussing recipe testing. From cookbook author/bloggers to 'here's what I ate today' bloggers, everyone has an opinion and we're not afraid to share it! It's been an interesting discussion.

With a recipe posting schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday (12 to 13 posts/month) I've got flexibility in what I choose to post. Let's take the past 24 hours as an example. I hosted a book group in my house yesterday and served Asian Pear Cardamom Cream Muffins, Asian Pear & Pear Butter Soaked Oat Muffins, Sweet Potato, Turkey Sausage & Gouda Breakfast Casserole, Sweet Potato, Hatch Chile, Cornbread & Queso Breakfast Casserole, sliced apples with Apple Cream Cheese Toffee Dip, and Slow Cooker Apple Chai.  Are the recipes on the blog yet? Um, no! I just got the dishes done! The rest will appear when it's seasonal [Hatch chiles in August, and when do Asian pears appear in the stores?].
That's 6 recipes, or 2 weeks worth of blog posts [and about 6-7 hours of food preparation, 81 photos that need to be edited, 3 sinks full of dishes to be hand washed, an additional dishwasher load, 2 extra trips to the grocery store, and plenty of writing and typing as that's part of my process. Though if we're talking hours, I started thinking about what vegetables from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share I'd have to use up--and what would go over best with my guests--about a week ago and mentally walked though the muffins and casseroles a few times before picking up a knife. I've been hacking at just this post all afternoon/evening, too, in between band fruit fundraiser captain meetings and AFO fittings, and in lieu of reading a book or watching TV. We all make choices on how to spend our 24 hours, and this is how I choose to spend mine]. 
http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2014/10/slow-cooker-apple-chai-for-crowd-or.html

The recipes that I share on this blog are what my family [and my book group, and my coworkers, and the high school marching band] eats each week. If it works and I have good notes on ingredient amounts and cook time, I won't make it again. [I mean, while we enjoyed Beef Tongue Nachos and Caramel Toffee Apple Parfaits I'm not going to serve them 4 times just to make sure the first 3 weren't flukes.] If a recipe doesn't work--it doesn't appear on this blog. Period. Failure photos do make it to my FB page, however. We're all human--except the spambots. Sometimes I'll need to tweak things a bit, like I did with the Double Chocolate Raspberry Muffins. Sometimes the recipe testing can go too far and I just need to stop the madness and put it on the blog already.