Showing posts with label sausage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sausage. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Instant Pot Breakfast Bowl Meal Prep Recipe

How to Meal Prep a Week's Worth of Breakfast Bowls in your Instant Pot

Make a week's worth of breakfast bowls containing cheesy eggs, sausage, and potatoes in one meal prep pressure cooker session.

photo of 7 servings of Instant Pot Breakfast Bowls in front of an Instant Pot

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Meal preparation and the Instant Pot is a match made in heaven. In this recipe we'll use the IP to simultaneously cook the components of a meaty breakfast bowl. With just 15 minutes of pressure cooking + natural pressure release time, you'll make enough to enjoy a hearty home-cooked breakfast every day!

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Make a week's worth of breakfast bowls containing cheesy eggs, sausage, and potatoes with one meal prep pressure cooker session.

This recipe came about because my son moved into a campus apartment with his Instant Pot, because I'd stocked his freezer with a Costco box of Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls, and because one of his roommates does meal prepping.

He developed the basic idea on his own during the fall semester. I thought of ways to streamline the process. Over winter break we put our ideas together and came up with this recipe. This recipe is a copycat version of Jimmy Dean Breakfast Bowls and Jimmy Dean Meat Lover's Breakfast Bowls.

Friday, November 9, 2018

Apple and Sausage Cornbread Stuffing

A cornbread stuffing with chunks of apple and turkey sausage along with sautéed celery and onions. If you're using gluten free cornmeal, this is a gluten free side dish for a holiday table.

image of a pan with Apple and Sausage Cornbread stuffing and a serving spoon

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Today you can turn on a TV and see chefs making recipes in well-lit studios right in their own homes. It wasn't always this way. In the 1950's, in Minnesota, watching a food show on Minnesota Educational Television meant a county extension agent coming into the studio to demonstrate a seasonal recipe or new product. Hot lights, unscripted--just wild & wooly cooking on the fly where anything goes. The original Reality TV.

photo of a baking pan of Apple and Sausage Cornbread stuffing

I grew up eating "Doc Billings Stuffing" on Christmas day at Mrs. Loomis' home, but it wasn't until I was older that I learned the story behind the name.

Eleanor Loomis was a Consumer Education Specialist in the Extension service of the University of Minnesota in the 1950's. She was on TV weekly, sharing buying tips, recipes, and cooking techniques. One week the theme of her show was Thanksgiving, and she brought in a special guest, Doc Billings. Doc Billings was a Turkey Specialist in the Extension service. For that episode she made her signature stuffing recipe--a moist rosemary-scented stuffing with apples and onions.

Doc Billings was aghast at how wet her stuffing appeared and threw a handful up the the ceiling. The cameraman followed the action all the way up, lingering on the glob of stuffing stuck to the studio ceiling. Mrs Loomis was mortified, her story became legend in my family, and I've always liked apples and onions in my stuffing. I also like cornbread stuffings, and oyster stuffings, and really I'm just a stuffing fan. Or call it dressing, if you prefer--I don't stuff my bird with it either way.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Asian Maple Sausage Meatballs (Gluten Free)

Sweet and heat combined into a gluten free Asian flavored meatball made with maple pork sausage and extra maple syrup. These little gems make a terrific appetizer or entree. Serve over rice or in lettuce cups.

photo of a dish of Gluten Free Asian Maple Sausage Meatballs served over rice

This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council. Recently I lunched with several Ohio farmers and bloggers at Bob Evans Farms corporate HQ. In addition to an easy recipe, I'm going to share my thoughts on the visit. First, it was very special to know that Bob Evans uses Ohio grown pork in their products, so some of the food we enjoyed could have come from animals raised by the farmers in the room. I like to support my local farmers and meet the folks who grow the food I feed my family.

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What struck me most about the day was the intersection of science and art that goes into our food. No, I'm not talking about molecular gastronomy (I'm not 100% sure what that even means). I'm referring to engineers working to produce soybeans that efficiently turn a piglet into my bacon. Sounds like magic, but it's science. Because of science, farmers like Phil Hord and Tom Graham can raise pigs to their mature weight of 270 pounds within 6 months. Tom feeds his hogs up to 6 times a day, and since he's showering in and out of the barn that means Tom's winter skin is chapped but his hogs are healthy and we're enjoying antibiotic free pork.  Raising pigs more efficiently means folks like Nathan Schroeder, a 4th generation Ohio hog farmer, can come back to the family farm and make a living without needing an off farm job.

scenes from a tour of the Bob Evans Farms corporate HQ
Do you see all of those microwaves? When they say "Test Kitchen" they really mean testing! The side dishes and entrees are tested in a variety of microwaves to ensure the directions work for most machines.

At the luncheon I learned more about the international work our Ohio hog farmers are doing. I knew from my visit with Mark Runyan of Oakview Farm Meats that Ohio hog farmers work with pork producers around the world. My first degree was in Animal Science, so when Rich Deaton mentions "genetic material" I know he's talking about frozen straws used for artificial insemination. That genetic material can travel all over the world. I didn't know that Tom exports young female pigs overseas. Ohio born hogs are creating dynasties to feed folks throughout the world. That's some pretty impressive science!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Sausage Pasty Meat Pie

A savory meat pie stuffed with seasoned pork sausage and vegetables.

photo of a sausage and vegetable-stuffed meat pie

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With Pi day (March 14, or 3.14) coming up, how about a meat pie? Meat pies make a wonderful dinner and a great leftover lunch. You can combine Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share vegetables with meat into a simple and satisfying vehicle for nourishment.

cooking the sausage and finely chopped vegetables for the sausage pasty filling

I did not grow up eating meat pies. My spouse did--in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where the pasty reigns supreme. Last summer we took the kids on a Lake Michigan Loop (up one side and down the other). We ate pasties in multiple places. Each was different (pasty sliders?!) and nearly all were amazing. [At one tourist place I had a merely 'good' pasty, but the brown gravy served alongside it was a new twist for me, so I considered that visit not a total loss.

a serving of sausage pasty meat pie

This pasty uses pork sausage. It was inspired by my visit to the Runyan family of Oak View Farm Meats where I received a basket of pork products to play with at home, including the pound of pork sage sausage I used in this recipe, and loads of ideas on how to use them. You can take a virtual tour of Oak View Farm Meats with me here. I wanted to make a colorful filling to stand out from the paleness of the sausage, so I grabbed what I had handy--some potatoes from the basement Strategic Winter Squash Reserve--and a package of marked down chopped vegetables from the store. The key is to use finely chopped vegetables so that you have a cohesive filling.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Sweet Sausage Bread

This quick nut bread combines sweet fruit and savory pork sausage for the ultimate in grab and go breakfast treats, with plenty of protein to get and keep you going.

close up of a loaf of sweet fruit and nut bread powered by a pound of pork sausage

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This post is sponsored by the Ohio Pork Council. They have compensated me for my time and provided the sausage I've used in the recipe below. Please see the link at the bottom of this post for a short survey and a chance to win a KitchenAid mixer with sausage attachment. That's a $350 value!

a slice of sweet sausage, cranberry, and walnut bread terrific with coffee or tea, or as a breakfast on the go

The BLUF (military acronym for Bottom Line Up Front) is this is a quick sweet fruit & nut bread that happens to use a pound of pork sausage. Meat and fruit in bread? It sounds crazy--but recall that mincemeat originally contained meat. Honest--you gotta try it! This recipe comes from Ruth Runyan of Oakview Farms. She and her family have been raising hogs in Urbana, Ohio for going on 4 generations now. You can read about my visit to Oakview Farms here. In this post I share how 3,500 Ohio farms raise enough pork to feed 25 million people. That's more than double Ohio's population, but these good folks share with plenty of other states. When you buy pork at the grocery store or farmers market, you are supporting Ohio farm families! (Hey thanks for eating locally and supporting local businesses. It's kind of a thing of mine.)

I was intrigued by the idea of using savory sausage in a sweet bread. After all, I like maple syrup on my breakfast sausage, bacon in my Maple Peanut Butter Bacon waffles, and I have been known to do "quality control" testing on the honey bacon at work. Sweet and savory just goes together. In addition to a hearty breakfast option, this bread can be served as a side dish (like I first tried it, with Perfect Grilled Pork Chops). I suspect it would make a terrific stuffing or dressing alongside a holiday meal. I bet you could even stuff thick cut pork chops with this bread! No matter what your application, it's an unusual recipe to add to your repertoire. If you enter the survey below, and win the KitchenAid mixer and sausage attachment, you could even customize your own sausage to make this bread!

the ingredients to make sweet sausage bread

Friday, November 11, 2016

How to Make White Pizza with Arugula and Sausage

A fast and easy white pizza with fresh creamy burrata cheese, peppery arugula, and Italian sausage.

a slice of white pizza with arugula, sausage, and burrata cheese

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This colorful pizza is a tasty way to involve cool weather greens in a family style pizza. When your Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share box is heavy on the greens, which happens at the beginning and end of the typical temperate season, it can be overwhelming. I wrote about my Greens Paralysis here, in a recipe for Slow Cooker Spicy Mustard Greens Soup. Rest assured, new seasonal eaters, even though I've been eating from the farm share for 11 years now, I still get stuck. There are myriad ways to eat greens. Having an idea of how to use each type of green (raw or cooked) helps a lot and is part of the reason I started this website.

Arugula is such a versatile green. This Fall we've been enjoying it as the basis for hearty main dish salads, tossed with a red wine vinaigrette and topped with boiled eggs, beans, peas, goat cheese, dried fruits and nuts. I've tossed arugula into pasta dishes for color, nutrition, and to get it out of the crisper while it's still fresh. I've processed and frozen arugula as arugula pesto when I didn't think we'd have time to eat it fresh. A leafy green that's yummy both raw and cooked is useful indeed.

A fast and easy white pizza with fresh creamy burrata cheese, peppery arugula, and Italian sausage.

Regular readers know that I am often working up to a year ahead. Since I'm a seasonal eater, by the time I get the photos out of the camera and the scribbled recipe notes onto a screen we're onto a new season. In fact, the Thanksgiving recipes I'm sharing now were created (and photographed and enjoyed--hot!) last year. I enjoy sharing ways to use the farm share here, but my family likes to eat food while it's hot, and I like to kick back and enjoy our Friday Night Pizza & Movie nights with them. So what I'm fixing for dinner tonight may appear on Instagram, but won't be on the website for a while.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Chicken, Sweet Potato, and Kale Soup

Colorful as well as flavorful, this soup recipe combines sweet potatoes and kale with chicken and . . . maple breakfast sausage? Yes. Just try it. It's yummy!

a bowl of chicken, sweet potato and kale soup with an egg salad sandwich on the side

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When the weather cools off I'm ready to make up a pot of soup. Seeing folks' soups simmering on Instagram compels me to head into the kitchen and make some soup for my family. Usually I open the fridge and see what farm share produce needs to be used up. I think all great soups started out that way--with whatever was on hand--and it remains my go-to method for soup making.  Using flavorful ingredients (stock instead of water, sausage instead of unseasoned meat) are a couple of shortcuts to a warming, filling, and enjoyable soup experience.

close up of a bowl of chicken, sweet potato and kale soup with an egg salad sandwich alongside

In the past I've shared several soup recipes. My Spicy Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder remains perennially popular on Pinterest. (No charge for alliteration). The Six Ingredient Spicy Mustard Greens and Chorizo Soup was my first time using sausage for double duty--as both a seasoning and a protein--a short cut I now use often while cooking for my family. When we're feeling under the weather, my Thai Turkey Cold-Busting Hot & Sour Soup is just the ticket. And underpinning all of these soups--stock. Doesn't matter if it's chicken stock or vegetable stock, using the scraps left from the farm share and turning them into soup stock is just plain Frugal, Eco, Farm Fresh Feasting. Or so I coined it 4 years ago.

part of the process of making chicken, sweet potato and kale soup

I keep a bag in the freezer and each time I chop carrots, onions, or celery--the tops, tips, peels and or skins go into the bag. Mushroom stems if I'm making beef or vegetable stock. Then I add some bones (for beef, turkey, chicken or ham stock) and I've got the beginnings of a great soup.  In fact, I picked up chicken necks and backs at the farmer's market recently and my next 'day off project' will be to simmer a big ol' pot of chicken stock.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Low Carb Swiss Chard and Sausage with Burrata

A low carb meal of sausage sautéed with Swiss chard and topped with creamy burrata cheese.

A low carb meal of sausage sautéed with Swiss chard and topped with creamy burrata cheese.

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It's good to have some simple cooking concepts in your back pocket for when you don't have a particular plan in mind for dinner, but you've got ingredients courtesy of you Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. This is another simple cooking concept.

A low carb meal of sausage sautéed with Swiss chard and topped with creamy burrata cheese.

Mentally [or print it out and physically] file it alongside Fast Greens and Pasta, a Concept Recipe and Fried Rice with Greens and Chicken. These are 3 different ways to get a bunch of cooking greens out of your refrigerator and into your belly. And my family liked them all.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Turnip, Potato, and Sausage Soup

A hearty soup, thickened with turnips and laden with chunks of potato and sausage. You can make this with as little as 5 ingredients!

A hearty soup, thickened with turnips and laden with chunks of potato and sausage. You can make this with as little as 5 ingredients!

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All the best soups seem to come out of what's handy and needs to be used up in the fridge. Even if they have fancy names, like Italian Wedding Soup or Mulligatawny Soup, I'm willing to bet that the very first pot happened because the cook tossed together what was on hand. It worked, so the ingredient combination was remembered, repeated, and eventually written down.

A hearty soup, thickened with turnips and laden with chunks of potato and sausage. You can make this with as little as 5 ingredients!

This soup was inspired by the need to use 2 kinds of turnips--salad turnips plus a bunch complete with greens, from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. My first version used only 5 ingredients and the family plowed through it for supper with a loaf of good bread, while my daughter polished off the leftovers at lunchtime.

I made it again, taking care to write down the ingredient amounts, and added an additional ingredient (onion) which made the soup even better I think. So no matter if you want to say "5 ingredient soup" or if it's not terribly outrageous to use 6 ingredients in your soup, if you've got turnips with greens, give this a try.

I used a combination of salad turnips and red turnips from the farm share in this soup. If you don't have both kinds, just use whatever turnips you've got on hand, and add some initially and save the rest for later in the recipe. I've made this soup with Italian sausage links and with crumbled sausage. I prefer the crumbled sausage because I liked how it distributed nicely throughout the soup, allowing the chunks of potatoes and turnips to take center stage.

Just like in my Spicy Corn and Sweet Potato Chowder, and my 6 Ingredient Spicy Mustard Greens Soup, using some sausage in a pot of soup, along with a flavorful stock, is an easy way to get a lot of flavor in a short amount of time with a short list of ingredients. I've got some stock recipes on the blog (Ham Stock from Easter leftovers, Vegetable Stock in the Slow Cooker, Thai Turkey Stock, Beef Stock) but those jars of soup base are quick ways to get loads of flavor as well. I even found one that fits my beloved canning jar storage caps (Amazon affiliate link) which was such a thrill for me I posted it on Instagram. It doesn't take much to thrill me.

A hearty soup, thickened with turnips and laden with chunks of potato and sausage. You can make this with as little as 5 ingredients!

For more recipes using turnips, please see my Turnip Recipes Collection. For more recipes using potatoes, please see my Potato Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me scrambling to deal with the onslaught of multiple kinds of turnips from the farm share. For more soup recipes, check out the drop down menus on the right side bar in the Soup category.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Pizza with Beet Greens, Potato and Sausage

A savory and satisfying pizza with a roasted garlic oil base topped with sautéed beet greens, potatoes and sausage.

When life rattles you, go back to basics to find your groove.

My groove is Friday night pizza night. My family likes to eat pizza and watch movies in the basement on Friday nights, and I like to use the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share to feed us.
You could say it's a winning combination.

Making pizzas using farm share ingredients is a technique I've developed over time, 10 farm share seasons to be precise. I've shared homemade pizza how to do so in My Pizza Primer and Seven Tips for Making Pizzas at Home posts. Not all pizzas have been winners so they don't appear on this blog, but for the most part adding some farm fresh vegetables to a pizza greatly enhances the flavor and decreases the remaining amount of veggies in the fridge.

My fridge--no, I want to talk about my freezers. I've defrosted and reorganized all freezer space in the past day, all because my neighbor called and said she was half an hour out with half a cow, and did we want any? Thanks to a friend who offered empty freezer in her garage for the 'ack I don't know what to do with all this there's no room'--i.e., the heart, tongue(s) and liver--I managed to fit everything in while still saving room in the fruit and vegetable freezer for putting up summer produce. I'm not back in that groove yet though--there are banana peppers to be pickled, and they can just keep hanging out on the plant because I am not yet ready!

For other recipes using beet greens, please see my Beet Recipes Collection. For other recipes using potatoes, please see my Potato Recipes Collection. These collections are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For other pizza ideas, and I've got a whole mess of them, please see the Visual Pizza Recipe Index, or my Friday Night Pizza Night Pinterest board.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Braised Turnips with Potatoes and Sausage

Turnips and potatoes, braised with sausage in broth.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

When I lived in Germany I attended many outdoor festivals. I loved the winter markets the best--what an experience! New-to-me sights, smells and foods. Once, when my folks were visiting we went to an outdoor market in Cologne. My mom walked up to a group of Germans who were sharing a paper cone of freshly roasted nuts and asked for a taste.

I was mortified. My mom enjoyed her spiced nut.

Now I've turned into my mom. While shopping at the base commissary* I got in line behind a cute little old lady buying turnips. I'd never seen anyone buy turnips before. We frequently get them in our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, so I was intrigued. Channeling my mom, I asked the lady how she liked to eat her turnips. She said she braised them with potatoes and sausage in a bit of broth. Here's my take on that conversation.

For other recipes using turnips, please see my Turnip Recipes Collection. For other recipes using potatoes, please see my Potato Recipes Collection. These are both part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For even more ideas, I've got an assortment of boards on Pinterest you're welcome to check out if you need a time suck!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Beetloaf, a Story about a Meatloaf

Valentine's Day is coming, and I'm sharing pink food. Beets are my go to pink food coloring for that vibrant color that is surprisingly found IN nature.

This story, as all good stories do, starts with a package of beef liver. You may think that's a weird way to start a post entitled Beetloaf. Let me be clear--just because I'm calling this Beetloaf in no way implies a lack of meat. There are many excellent vegetarian loaf recipes out there and this is not one of them. This just happens to be a meatloaf that also contains beets and, as it happens on my FB page, when I post something innocuous sounding like Roasted Beet & Arugula Pizza, my friends nickname it Beet-za. Today I'm skipping the middleman and going straight to the nickname:  Beetloaf.

Now, before Robert Barker arrived in our lives I didn't know what to do with all the beef liver in the freezer. [My neighbors kept bringing me more, slipping it in the house alongside the eggs when I wasn't looking.] I looked for ways to incorporate liver into our lives, much like I look for ways to incorporate beets into our meals. I hit upon an idea--what if I used beets + liver together? I know I like pickled beets in my Open-faced Liver Postej Sandwiches, so it stands to reason that I'd like them together in the same pan. I decided to add a pound of pork sausage and a pound of ground beef to the liver + beets primarily because I'd already done a mostly vegetable meatloaf, my {48.3% Meat}Loaf, and I knew the additional meat would be a hit with the teenagers. It was--my daughter dumped ketchup on it and declared it 'acceptable' (when in doubt, ketchup is my #5 tip to get your family to eat from the farm share). My son went so far as to say it was 'good'--high praise from him--and complain after I started using all the liver for Robert Barker--that he wanted to eat more beetloaf.

BOOM! Liver + beets are in our bellies and out of the freezer. That's a big win in my book.

For other recipes using liver you're going to have to wait until I create additional categories for my Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, but there is a search function on the left sidebar in the meantime. For other recipes using beets, please see my Beet Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For other recipes using ground beef, please see my recipe round up of 106 Food Blogger Recipes using Ground Beef.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Spicy Broccoli Rabe Deep Dish Pizza

Pan pizza stuffed with broccoli rabe tucked under a blanket of spicy sausage.

And now, for something completely unrelated to Thanksgiving. In honor of my spouse's birth month I'll share this pizza. It was his repeated requests and encouragement that caused me to try making a deep dish pizza in the first place. [Or NOT making one, as it turned out in the first place though I did get the hang of it the second time around.]

I've been making deep dish pizzas in my cast iron skillets at least one Friday Night Pizza Night a month, using whatever's fresh in the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share. Thanks to the long season of cool weather crops I feel I can still share this now--and I need a break from the holiday recipe palooza. This pizza is definitely a break from Holiday Hoopla. The spicy sausage kicks ya in the teeth asserts itself and the broccoli rabe manages to hold its own.
If any vegetable could hold its own in a fight, those in the broccoli family sure get my backing. They do so much to make us not want to eat them! However, the Happy Caterpillars which remind me that my food has not been sprayed with pesticides sure enjoy eating them. It's not just caterpillars that hitch rides in the farm share box. A ladybug and a striped beetle came in the other day with the dill. I could write a whole post on The Critters We Find In Our Farm Share but I just made a collage instead.

I'm noticing that the posts I'm writing the past few Thursday nights, for publication on Fridays, are short. I'll blame it on the dog. It's like having a toddler in the house--though a toddler that you can lock in a crate when you go to bed or to the store. Hopefully I'll be spending tonight at the library for NaNoWriMo being productive. In the meantime--for more recipes using broccoli rabe, please see my Broccoli Rabe Recipe Collection. For more pizza recipes, broken down by vegetarian or meat or fruit toppings, please see my Visual Pizza Recipe Index.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Roasted Garlic and Fennel Focaccia

Focaccia flavored with fennel seed and roasted garlic, in two thicknesses, and topped with an assortment of pizza toppings. Friday Night Fennel Focaccia Night, anyone?

Roasted Garlic and Fennel Focaccia | Farm Fresh Feasts

The subtitle of this could be "we I do the hard work so you don't have to" but that would imply that making focaccia is hard, which I don't think it is at all.  In fact, a secondary goal of this blog is to de-mystify and normalize the act of making pizza at home (to that end check out my Pizza Primer for photo tutorials on making pizza).
The primary goal of this blog is to encourage readers to support their local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms by providing practical support via recipes showing what to do with fresh vegetables, how to put up what can be saved for later, and how to use those stored vegetables in the off season. [Mission statements can be run on sentences, can't they?]
Roasted Garlic and Fennel Focaccia | Farm Fresh Feasts

I've shared focaccia recipes on the blog before, always on Fridays, since my family demands enjoys our Friday Night Pizza Night, and this time I decided to experiment with the pan size and see which we preferred.  I have a 10 inch and a 12 inch cast iron skillet (ok and a little '2 fried egg' size one from my friend Miho, but that's too small for focaccia).  I made a double recipe and tried a portion in each skillet. The results are shown in the first photo above.  For me, I like a thinner focaccia and prefer the 12 inch skillet, but if you wanted this as a bread the 10 inch skillet would do just fine.

Roasted Garlic and Fennel Focaccia | Farm Fresh Feasts

The other reason I'm sharing this recipe today is to tickle your brain about planting garlic this Fall.  If you live in an area where tulips grow, and you have access to a plot of earth, you can grow garlic. If you don't get cloves from your farm share, check out the farmer's market or a gardening friend. The garlic from the grocery store is usually treated to inhibit sprouting, and you don't want that. Plant the cloves, pointy tip up about 4-6 inches under ground, sometime after Canadian Thanksgiving and before American Thanksgiving. I get more detailed about how I grow 2 crops (garlic and basil) in a single raised bed over the course of the year in this post.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sausage Spinach Mozzarella Ball Pizza

Crumbled Italian sausage, fresh spinach, marinated mozzarella balls and artichoke hearts top this welcoming pizza

Sausage Spinach Mozzarella Ball Pizza | Farm Fresh Feasts

The subtitle on this pizza is Homecoming Pizza, and not the dance/football game kind.  If you're interested in the reason behind the subtitle, enjoy the recipe and meet me on the other side.  But first, here's how to make this yummy pizza.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Mac and Cheese in a Pumpkin from MELT

Creamy macaroni and cheese with bits of Italian sausage baked in a pie pumpkin from the new cookbook MELT:  The Art of Macaroni and Cheese by Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord

Mac and Cheese in a Pumpkin from MELT

I'm going to talk about this recipe first, then the cookbook where I got it.  Before I get too wordy, some notes:
MELT will be on sale on 22 October 2013.  You can preorder a copy from a variety of vendors, check here for a list of links (link to website).
If you preorder a copy, or even if you don't, you can participate in a $500 Le Creuset cookware giveaway!  Click here for details on the giveaway (link to website). 
I received a review copy* of MELT and chose to post my experience making this recipe from the book because it's tasty and uses seasonal vegetables from my CSA farm share.  I am not involved in the cookware giveaway (just passing the info along to you), I do not benefit from the links posted above, nor was I compensated for this post.  I do get to keep the cookbook, though, which rocks.
Mac and Cheese in a Pumpkin from MELT

What's all the fuss about baking in pumpkins? 

When I see photos of things baked in pumpkins I tend to think it's a gimmick, more for the presentation aspect than the actual taste.  I mean, how often do you see photos of the food actually being served? [Yeah, I went there.  Seems only sporting to share reality.]  As it turns out, while the mac and cheese in this recipe is delicious, it's even better baked inside the pumpkin!  How do I know this?  The recipe calls for a 5 pound pumpkin and the largest one I'd gotten from my farm share was only 2 pounds.  So I baked the rest of the mac and cheese in a pretty Polish pottery bowl alongside the pumpkin.  The pumpkin adds a creamy sweet vegetable base to the mac and cheese which is truly amazing.

What if I don't have access to little pumpkins?

Since I've lived around the world where seasonal, traditional American plant items are pretty pricey (I'm talking pumpkins and Christmas trees) I've given this situation a bit of thought.  I would suggest using a can of pumpkin puree (not the pie filling, just the puree) and spreading a layer of canned pumpkin along the bottom and up the sides of a 2-3 quart casserole dish, then adding the filling, covering, and baking as directed below.  No access to canned pumpkin?  Roast whatever winter squash is local to you, and spread that inside a casserole dish, cover and bake.