Sheared Bliss


A dinner date with history
December 31, 2013, 1:55 pm
Filed under: Colorado, Food, History, Museum | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Looking for something fun, educational, entertaining, and delicious to do in the new year?  Have you ever wanted to step back in time and taste history?  This is your chance.  The Littleton Museum will be hosting Mastering the Art of Frontier Cooking with Miss Beecher early next year.

Enjoy the 1860s farm in a unique way! Prepare a meal using “receipts” from cookbooks published in the 1800s. With assistance from the interpreters, you will churn, roast, bake, and boil a delicious feast. Once the food is prepared, you will dine by lamplight in the cozy cabin.

This is one of my very most favorite events to do at the museum.  If you would like to join us for this truly unique experience, call the Littleton Museum at 303-795-3950 to register for the January 11th, February 8th, or March 8th dinner.

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Tasty Tuesday
October 1, 2013, 2:40 pm
Filed under: Food | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Since I’ve been eating grain-free for a few months now, I’ve tried a lot of the recipes for paleo pancakes that are floating around the internet.  Most of them involve some combination of almond flour, coconut flour, eggs, and sometimes bananas.  They’re fine.  Nothing to write home about, but they sort of, kind of fulfill the pancake craving.  Then on Sunday morning, inspired by this recipe and this one, I improvised.  These pancakes are different.  These I would eat on purpose even if regular pancakes were an option.  In fact, we just ate the last of this batch today and I’m already thawing the pumpkin puree to make more.  The chestnut flour is really important here.  Don’t try to replace it with coconut flour or something else.  Or at least don’t blame me if you do try and they turn out badly 🙂  Chestnut flour is popular in Italy so if you don’t see it with the alternative flours at your grocery store, try looking with the imported foods.

Paleo Pumpkin Pancakes

(Makes 12)

  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup chestnut flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. Mix all ingredients together.  A stick blender works well for this, but a whisk would be fine too.
  2. Heat a greased skillet over medium low heat.
  3. Pour 1/4 cup of batter into the skillet and jiggle the skillet to spread it out a little.
  4. Cook for 2.5 minutes then flip carefully using a large spatula.
  5. Cook for 30 seconds on the other side.
  6. Serve with your favorite toppings or cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

They reheat well in the toaster.  I suspect they would freeze and reheat well too, but I haven’t tried it yet.

Edit: I was short of chestnut flour for the second batch so ended up using 1/4 cup chestnut flour and 1/4 cup potato starch.  It tasted ok, but not as good as the batch with the full 1/2 cup of chestnut flour.  It also made for a runnier batter.



Tasty Tuesday
September 17, 2013, 4:07 pm
Filed under: Food | Tags: , , , , ,

Today is beautifully warm and sunny but the last week of cold rain was a reminder that fall is coming.  Here’s a recipe that’s going to be part of our regular rotation this fall.

Stuffed Squash

  • 1 large or two small squash – something with a hard rind like a mature pattypan, acorn, or turk’s turban
  • 1/2 pound breakfast sausage – I used pork but I bet it would work well with turkey
  • 1 onion – diced
  • 1 or 2 carrots – diced
  • 2 ribs celery – diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic – minced
  • 1 apple – peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1/2 cup beef (or chicken) broth
  • Dried sage
  • Dried parsley
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup almond flour
  • Butter
  • Molasses
  1. Preheat the oven to 400º.
  2. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds, and put it in a baking pan.
  3. Melt a pat of butter in a large frying pan.  Saute the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and apple.
  4. Add the sausage to the pan and break it up with a spoon as it cooks until it’s cooked through and thoroughly mixed in with the other ingredients.
  5. Add the broth and season with salt, pepper, dried sage, and dried parsley to taste.
  6. Sprinkle almond flour over the stuffing and mix it in until starts to soak up the broth and bind everything together.
  7. Season the squash halves with salt and pepper and put a pat of butter in the bottom of each hollow.
  8. Pack the stuffing into the squash halves, mounding any extra on top and packing it down well.
  9. Top each stuffed squash half with a pat of butter and a drizzle of molasses.
  10. Pour a little water in the baking dish and cover it tightly with foil.
  11. Bake for an hour at 400º.
  12. Remove the foil and raise the temperature to 425º.  Bake for another 10 minutes or until the tops are browned.


Can she make a cherry crisp, Billy Boy?
July 11, 2012, 12:38 pm
Filed under: Baking, Food | Tags: , , ,

It’s fruit season, and that means crisp.  As various fruits have come into season over last few weeks, I’ve been riffing off of this recipe.  The first time I played it straight and went with the strawberries and rhubarb the original recipe calls for.  Since then, I’ve tried blueberries and, most recently, cherries.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/22038373@N07/7511511346/in/photostream

Filling

  • 3 cups fruit* (pitted and/or chopped small as necessary)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon or lime juice

Topping

  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 1/4 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts**
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350°.  Mix filling ingredients together and pour into a pie plate or other appropriately sized baking dish.  Mix topping ingredients together and crumble over the fruit.  Bake for 45 minutes or until the topping is brown and the fruit is bubbly.  Yum!

* Since there’s very little sweetener in the filling, you want the fruit to be sweet on its own so I used sweet cherries instead of sour pie cherries.

** Use any nuts you like.  I used pecans with the strawberries and rhubarb, walnuts with the blueberries, and almonds with the cherries.



Maple Bacon Pumpkin Soup
March 19, 2012, 11:56 pm
Filed under: Food | Tags: , , , , , , ,

I realize that most people eat pumpkin in the fall.  However, we get so many winter squashes from our CSA in the fall that I bake them, puree them, freeze them, and then eat them all year long.  Last week I made pumpkin soup.  It was good, but I couldn’t help thinking that it would be even better with bacon.  Because really, what isn’t?  So this week I made this soup.

  • 1 piece bacon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups pureed pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon real maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 of a whole nutmeg, grated
  • salt to taste

Cook the bacon in a sauce pan until crispy.  Remove the bacon and sautee the garlic in the bacon drippings.  Add the chicken broth, pureed pumpkin, maple syrup, heavy cream, nutmeg, and salt.  Bring to a simmer.  Remove from the heat and blend with a stick blender if you want to make it extra creamy.  Serve with the crispy bacon crumbled on top.  Makes two servings.

It was delicious.  Even more delicious than a teething ring.



Pumpkin Carrot Cake Muffins
February 20, 2012, 3:36 pm
Filed under: Baking, Family & Friends, Food | Tags: , , , , ,

My baby is three months old today.  To celebrate, we went to the pediatrician.  Then, since that’s a terrible way to celebrate, I made muffins.  This is my current favorite muffin recipe, modified from this one.

  • 1 1/2 cups flour (I used Pamela’s Bread Mix.  If you use a GF flour that doesn’t contain xanthan gum you’ll want to add some.)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 cups shredded carrots (This is two gigantic carrots or probably more like 3 or 4 normal sized carrots.)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (This is about half a can of pumpkin puree if you don’t have a freezer full of the homemade kind.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chunks (Use any combination of nuts and dried fruits you like here.  I like walnuts with raisins or dried cranberries.)

Preheat oven to 350°.  Put all dry ingredients including sugar in a bowl and whisk to combine.  Add shredded carrots and toss to coat the carrot shreds with flour.  In another bowl combine the pumpkin, eggs, vanilla, and olive oil.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined.  Mix in the chunks.  Scoop into a muffin tin (greased or lined with muffin papers unless you really trust the non-stick power of your bakeware).  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes until they pass the toothpick test.  Eat immediately with butter or cool completely before storing in an airtight container.

Wiggles can’t eat muffins yet so he ate his lamby rattle instead.



Peach-a-palooza!
September 20, 2011, 11:47 pm
Filed under: Food | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

CoworkerA has the hookup – the peach hookup, that is.  She knows a guy.  Or, more accurately, her step-uncle’s niece who has family on the Western Slope.  Through this convenient connection, she managed to procure this:

That’s 50 pounds of peaches.  Or, if we want to get technical, 50 pounds of peaches minus whatever, CoworkerA and I ate before this weekend.  We spent about 12 hours this past Friday and Saturday dealing with these lovelies.

We made peach butter from this recipe.

We made peach jam from this recipe (minus the brandy because we couldn’t be bothered to go to the liquor store).

We canned peaches using a recipe from Tart and Sweet.

Final count: 20.5 half pint jars of peach butter, 25.5 half pint jars of peach jam, 8 pint jars of peaches, and 6 peaches left over.

Oof!  And yum!