Category Archives: Fall

Lentil, chickpea, and vegetable soup – aka toddler candy

My 15-month-old daughter doesn’t eat much and is pretty picky about what she does eat.  She also changes what foods she will and won’t eat about every few days.  She definitely does not eat sautéed vegetables.  Possibly a problem for a vegetarian kid whose parents’ go-to meal is pasta with sautéed vegetables, but we discovered that vegetable soup for her is magical toddler candy.

I went to freeze the leftover soup for Andrew to take to work with him during the week and discovered that there were hardly any vegetables left.  She ate almost all of the vegetables out of the pot, and a large number of the ones that made it into our bowls, between last night and this evening.

Here’s what I put in it (approximate):
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
3 carrots
3 stalks celery
1 potato
3 medium-sized summer squash
2 cups green lentils
1 cup red lentils
1 cup cooked chickpeas and their cooking liquid
1/4 cup red wine

Dried herb and spices to taste:
1 vegetable bouillon cube (not really necessary)
2 bay leaves
oregano
basil
thyme
marjoram
cumin (preferably toasted, but I was lazy)
hot pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper

2 cups blended fire-roasted tomatoes
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt
1 tsp. sugar (optional)
Fresh basil
Extra-virgin olive oil

Start by heating water in a large tea kettle.

Begin heating a few Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil in a large soup pot.  Add the vegetables as you finish chopping them, the onions first, then garlic, carrots, celery, potato, and summer squash.  Stir to mix as you add them.

Wash and add the green lentils, red lentils, and chickpeas.  Add the red wine, herbs and spices, and pour in enough water from the tea kettle to make soup.

Once the lentils are cooked (about 40 minutes), add the tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, and add salt to taste.  Add sugar if needed.

Serve with a drizzle of good extra-virgin olive oil and some shredded fresh basil.

We have lots of fresh herbs and chard in the garden, but Ariella was sleeping, so I couldn’t go out of the house to pick them.  They would have been great additions.

We ate our soup with toast and beautiful tomatoes from our garden.

Apple Cake

This is one of my favorite desserts.  I love the apples, nuts, and especially the brown sugar sauce that goes over the top.

Apple Cake
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg, fresh grated
3-5 cups chopped apples
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2 tsp. vanilla

Sauce
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup milk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Butter and flour a 10″ tube pan.

Beat eggs with sugar until thick and form a ribbon when a spoonful is lifted and dribbled.

Add melted butter and beat.  When blended, stir in flour, soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and blend.

Stir in apples, pecans, and vanilla and mix.

Put in pan. Bake 1 hr 15 min or until cooked.  When cake is done, cool 5 mins in pan and then turn over on serving platter.

Sauce
Melt butter, add brown sugar, milk and pinch of salt and boil for 3 mins.  Prick holes in top of cake and pour sauce slowly over the cake.

Serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream if desired.

Plating done by Masha Rener

I would like to give credit to the person whose cake this is, but the friend I got the recipe from said she got it from a caterer in Kansas City over 15 years ago and she doesn’t know who it was.  Hopefully they won’t mind me reproducing it here, since they were willing to share it before.

Apple Pie

Pie crust
13 Tablespoons cold butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup ice water
1 3/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons sugar

Mix together the 1 3/4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 Tablespoons sugar. Cut in 13 Tablespoons of butter. Add the 1/4 cup of ice water and quickly work together with a fork. Switch to working with hands and as quickly as possible make the dough come together and knead briefly just until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide dough in half and on a lightly floured surface begin rolling out the dough. Roll it out until it forms a relatively even circle. To transfer the dough to the pie plate, fold it into quarters and position the inner corner at the center of the pie plate, then open to fill the pie plate. Form an edge by folding over or removing and/or repositioning any excess and pressing down with the side of your thumb to form a ribbed edge. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Makes two crusts.

Apple pie filling
1/2 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon flour
9 cups of peeled and chopped apples
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground cloves
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon of butter placed on top in pieces
Sprinkle sugar on top

Mix 9 cups of peeled and chopped apples, 1/2 cup sugar, 1 Tablespoon of flour, 1/2 tsp. cinnamon, and 1/8 tsp each of ground cloves, grated nutmeg, and salt. Pour the mixture into the pie plate on top of the crust. Cut up 1 Tablespoon of butter into small pieces and distribute them over the top of the apples. Sprinkle sugar over the top.

Bake at 375 F for 1 hour or until apples are soft and cooked.

Makes one pie.

Notes:
Either the filling can be doubled to make two apple pies or a single pie can be made with both a bottom and top crust. If a top crust is placed over the apples it can be brushed with milk and sprinkled with granulated sugar.

 

Over Thanksgiving I ended up with leftover pie crust, but not enough to make a whole pie.  We came up with apple pizza.  My crust rolled out and topped with apples, cinnamon, and sugar.

Pumpkin Pie

I developed this recipe, both the crust and filling, for my undergrad honors project.  Wednesday, November 24th, I will be baking it for the listeners of Great Taste, which streams live weekly at 7 PM from http://www.kruufm.com  It is also rebroadcast Fridays at 7 AM.

Pie crust
13 Tablespoons cold butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup ice water
1 3/4 cup flour
2 Tablespoons sugar

Mix together the 1 3/4 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 2 Tablespoons sugar. Cut in 13 Tablespoons of butter. Add the 1/4 cup of ice water and quickly work together with a fork. Switch to working with hands and as quickly as possible make the dough come together and knead briefly just until the ingredients are evenly distributed.

Divide dough in half and on a lightly floured surface begin rolling out the dough. Roll it out until it forms a relatively even circle. To transfer the dough to the pie plate, fold it into quarters and position the inner corner at the center of the pie plate, then open to fill the pie plate. Form an edge by folding over or removing and/or repositioning any excess and pressing down with the side of your thumb to form a ribbed edge. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Makes two crusts.

Filling
20 oz. baked pumpkin or other winter squash (my favorite right now is red kabocha, because of its smooth texture)
Add to pumpkin after baking:
2 (14 oz) cans sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
2 beaten eggs

Cut 1-2 pumpkins in half and scoop out seeds. Put face down on cookie sheet and bake at 400 degrees until tender. Approximately 45 minutes.

Scoop out the pumpkin from the skin and place in a bowl. Mash and blend with a fork. To the pumpkin add 2 (14 oz) cans of sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 tsp. each of ground ginger, ground cloves, salt, and grated nutmeg, 2 tsp. cinnamon, and 2 beaten eggs. Mix well and pour half into each pie crust.

Bake the pies at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Makes two pies.

 

Photos from making the pie for Great Taste:

Red kabocha squash

Winter Squash Ravioli

Dinner tonight is a recipe that I created for my undergrad honors project.  I’ve copied the recipe below:

Winter squash ravioli with brown butter and sage

Pasta by Tom Torpy
3 cups semolina flour
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon salt
1 cup water

Knead all of the ingredients together until a smooth dough is formed (can be done in a food processor). Let the dough sit in a covered bowl for 1/2 hour. Prepare the filling and sauce in advance or during the 1/2 hour the dough is resting. After 1/2 hour follow the instructions on a pasta maker, or divide the dough in two and roll out two large circles by hand. The dough should be as thin as possible without it being easily torn.

Filling
4 cups baked winter squash
Zest of one lemon
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tsp. thyme
1/4 tsp. salt
Fresh sage
1 stick butter

Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and stringy parts. Slice the squash into pieces and toss with olive oil and salt. Place on baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees until soft and well cooked, about 45 minutes.

Grind up European style crusty bread to form breadcrumbs. Add the breadcrumbs to a pan with olive oil and thyme. Stir often until the breadcrumbs become golden and toasted. Turn off the heat.

Scoop the soft baked squash off of the rinds. Put the squash through a ricer so that it is smooth. In a separate pan sauté the squash until dry. Add the breadcrumbs to that pan. Add the zest of almost one lemon, but save a bit to garnish, to the mixture and 1 cup of parmesan cheese. Mix thoroughly and add a bit of freshly ground black pepper and 1/4 tsp. salt or to desired salt level.

Cut the pasta into circles using a cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place a small amount of filling in the center of each circle. Use your finger to put a bit of water on one half of the circle. Fold the dry edge over to meet the wet edge to form a half-moon. Place the pasta in plenty of boiling salted water and cook for 3-4 minutes or until cooked to desired texture.

Brown butter and sage sauce
Heat butter in a pan over a medium-low heat until it begins to turn golden. Place the sage leaves carefully into the butter so that the leaves are resting top-side up on the butter and are not submerged. The butter should be hot enough that they begin to cook immediately. Sprinkle each leaf with salt. when the leaves are crisp, pull them out of the butter. Continue to cook the butter slowly until it turns a golden brown. Pour over the freshly made ravioli and garnish with the crispy sage, lemon zest, and parmesan.

 

Notes:
Use butternut squash, pumpkin, or banana squash.
A cream sauce is also very good with this recipe

Pickled Green Tomatoes

I only had a handful of green cherry tomatoes, so I opted not to can them, but refrigerate them instead.  I used a recipe from Williams-Sonoma The Art of Preserving.

Ingredients:
Cider vinegar
Water
Kosher salt
Bay leaves
Pickling spice
Garlic
Dill seeds
Fresh Dill sprigs
Celery seeds
Yellow onion
Green cherry tomatoes

The pickling spice, also from the cookbook, contains:
Cinnamon stick
Bay leaves
Cloves
Mustard seeds
Coriander seeds
Mixed peppercorns
Allspice
Dill seeds
Red pepper flakes

I let the jar sit out until it cooled and then put it in the refrigerator.  I think I’ll give it a day or two to sit and then try them.  Check back for an update in a few days!

Today should be the last day of blurry pictures, because I finally found the charger for my camera!

Update after a week:  Both the tomatoes and onions are delicious and amazing!

Pasta with Zucchini and Cream

Ingredients:
A little less than 1/2 lb pasta
1 zucchini
1 clove garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
White wine – dry
Cream
Fresh parsley
Pepper
Salt

Put the water on to boil.  Add some olive oil to a sauté pan and turn the heat to medium-low.  Slice the clove of garlic and the zucchini and add it to the pan.  Add just a splash of white wine and stir as needed.  After a few minutes add cream, more or less depending on how creamy you want it.

When the water has come to a boil, add salt and a little less than 1/2 lb. of pasta to the water and return to a boil.  Stir occasionally.  When the pasta still has about two minutes left, transfer it to the pot with the cream and zucchini, but save the pasta water!  Add pasta water as needed and stir frequently until the pasta is cooked al dente.

Top with parmesan, fresh parsley, and fresh ground pepper.

Serves two.

Notes:
I’ve been having trouble with the camera lately, so sorry about the blurry photos.  Andrew has a manual camera and I really need to take some time to read about how to adjust the settings.  I messed with them a bunch this time, but every single photo came out blurry.