Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Blueberry Crumble Pie

The pie filling is:

6 cups of fresh (or frozen) blueberries, rinsed and stems removed (if using frozen, do not defrost)
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1 tbls lemon juice
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup white granulated sugar or other sweetener like honey or maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Gently mix the blueberries, sweetener, flour, allspice, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Transfer them to the chilled bottom crust of the pie pan and crimp the edges with your fingers. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.

The crumble is:
3/4 cup flour
2/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated raw sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
8 tbls (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 3/4-

inch pieces

Mix the dry ingredients together and cut in the butter with two table knives until a granular, crumble forms. Sprinkle over the top of the filling. Bake for 40 minutes, covered with foil, shiny side down. Uncover and bake for 5 more minutes.

Set out to cool for at least 20 minutes to let the filling gel. Whip heavy cream and sugar. Best served slightly warm!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tibetan Beet Chicken Stew

This recipe produces a heavenly scented meal. It took some effort to prepare the beets. They needed to be peeled and chopped and that can be a bit messy, but if the hot pink won't wash off of your hands or cooking surfaces, use baby wipes.

1 whole hen quartered (I used 4 thighs with legs from Plato Dale) laid on 4 tbls of sesame seed oil in the bottom of a crockpot. Add in 3 small to medium sized onions chopped with their greens, 20 crushed garlic cloves, 4 chopped carrots, 12 beets peeled and chopped.

The stew is flavored with Advieh, a blend of seasonings similar to a masala, made up of: 

2 tbls each of black peppercorns, cloves, cumin seeds, cinnamon, cardamom seeds, bay leaves
¼ cup coriander seeds
1 tsp dried crushed chillies
1 tbls dried rose petals (optional)

Pour in a vegetable stock made from carrots and onions and celery leaves boiled soft in water and then pureed. 6 to 8 hours on low. Strain out the cardamon pods and bay leaves. Serve over rice.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Summer Squash Spaghetti

In June, my husband Bob, on a whim, bought me the Pederno World Cuisine Tri-Blade Plastic Spiral Cutter after I showed him how nifty it was.

The promise of easily created homemade curly fries and vegan spaghetti had me squealing when the box finally arrived later that week.

The first dish I made was summer squash spaghetti with a Singer Naturals garlic scape pesto sauce.

I made a fresh loaf of Bistro Bread and whipped together some Strawberry Jam made with rhubarb. Slices were spread thick with Danish blue cheese and jam.

The salad had herbs from the garden and balsamic vinaigrette thinned jam.

It was all so delicious that I can't wait to use it over and over again.

SOLE of Buffalo's Urban Agricultural Series - #3 Seed Bombs

On Saturday, May 11th, SOLE of Buffalo taught how to make seed bombs,  how to handle first harvests, and how to prepare for second plantings. There was a steady stream of people who came to pack handfuls of bombs the hour that we were set up at the Foundry.

These bombs were made using bagged organic soil from Urban RootsCelluClay, and a mix of native seeds.

The soil was moist, so extra water was not needed. They were packed into silicon ice trays and hand packed into spheres and stored in egg containers for easy drying and storage.

Although many of the seeds came from Annie's garden, seeds were also provide by The Sample Seed Shop.

This local company provides high quality seeds for reasonable prices. Check out Remy's Facebook presence for seasonal updates.

The classes take place at the Foundry, the epicenter for indie artisans and crafters. Check them out! If you are interested in coming to future classes, contact Annie Levay-Krause via email and keep an eye out for more information on SOLE's main website or through their Facebook presence.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Cherry Fairy Cakes - No Eggs!

We get a weekly share from Plato Dale Farms. This week included a large container of fresh sweet cherries. Dark, blood red; they were quickly washed, pitted, and minced.

On the morning of the 4th of July I had planned a number of dishes using cherries we had picked at Singer Naturals Farm, including fairy cakes.

In the early evening, after a late lunch, my daughter Leto was hit by a car while riding her scooter. She spent six days in the hospital and had the Titanium Elastic Nail System (warning - graphic) inserted into her broken femur.

I promised her when we got home I would make all sorts of cherry based treats, especially these cakes. Here we are eleven days later, eating these flower scented, squeezable, dainty bite-sized muffins.

Blend together 1 tsp each of baking soda and baking powder, 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup yogurt, 1/2 tsp almond extract, and 1 cup minced fruit. Add in 1 3/4 to 2 cups of flour, depending on how juicy your fruit is. The batter should be quite thick.

Spoon into a oiled muffin tin or papers. Bake at 350* for 15 minutes. Makes 54 fairy cakes or 24 regular sized muffin/cupcakes.

Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee, 
fresh fruit, and good company.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Cherry Pinot Grigio Jam

We picked over 15 lbs of tart cherries at Singer Naturals Farm the last day of June, on my husband's birthday. All of the cherries were processed and bagged and then frozen. On the morning of the 4th of July, I made Cherry Pinot Grigio Jam early in the morning while the air was still cool.

I used 4 cups of minced cherries, 1 1/2 cups La Fiera's 2010 Pinot Grigio, 3 cups sugar, and 2 boxes of fruit pectin.

Bring to a boil, scrapping down the sides frequently, for ten minutes. Turn the heat down and simmer the jam for 40 minutes until thickened. 

Bring 6 half pint jars and their bands to a boil in a large pot of water fitted with a rack. Boil for 10 minutes. Remove the jars using tongs. Simmer the lids in a small pan, to soften the rubber flange.

When the jars are dry but still hot, use a slotted spoon to fill the jars with the thickened berries leaving 3/4 inch of headspace to allow for pressure to build during the canning process.
Wipe the rims, set on the lids, and screw on the bands fingertip tight. Place the jars in the rack in the large pot and add enough water to cover the jars with about 3 inches of water. Cover and bring the pot to a boil, then to lower the heat to medium for 10 minutes. Remove the cover and after 5 minutes, remove the jars. Set them on a dish towel on the counter and let sit undisturbed for six hours.

Sometime during the first hour your lids will make a pop noise, signaling that they're sealed. After six hours press on the lids, they shouldn't move at all. If they push in, they're not sealed. Try again with a new lid. These will last stored in a cool dark place for up to a year, though with how this tastes I don't see how they would last a month! Refrigerate after you open the jar.

Barley and Beef Stew

4lb roast from Stand Fast Farm
3 large potatoes
4 carrots
4 green onions
4 celery stocks

Everything is layered on top of the roast in a crock pot. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and 1 cup of water or beef or vegetable broth. Set to medium heat and cook for 6 to 8 hours. Serve over barley pearls.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cherry and Shaved Chocolate Gelato - No Eggs!

Back in May of this year, I went to Singer Naturals Farm and interviewed Tom Szulist.

The beautiful pale cream flowers frosted the trees along the road; a perfume of sweet fruits yet to come floated through the car windows. We were eager to return when the cherries were ready to pick.

The first varietal of cherry came in early because of the weather, so the U-Pick was opened on the last weekend of June. To celebrate my husband's birthday, the family went cherry picking, with the promise of all the sweets to follow.

The Cavaliers, whose deep red color shone like candy, were picturesque and hung in clusters of ten to twenty. The berries were light, but their combined weight had the boughs hanging low.
We picked exactly 778 cherries, nearly 15 pounds of fruit. I only know exactly how many because I had to clean off, wash, pit, and bag halves and minced 778 cherries. Out of this we only lost 32 due to over ripeness.
The pitter was from Singer's shop, and it made short work of the two giant bags of drupes. The chopper helped immensely! I ended up with several bags of minced, chopped, and halved cherries.

I made gelato with 2 cups of cherries, 1 cup of light cream, 2 cups 2% milk, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 3 tbls cherry juice, and 1/2 cup shaved dark chocolate.

Scharffen Berger, a subsidiary of Hershey's since 2005, does not advertise its chocolate as "Fair Trade" chocolate, but has a policy of not buying beans from the west coast of Africa, where the industry is know to practice slavery and use child labor, unlike it's parent company who was slow to respond to it's poor production practices.

The gelato was blended slowly in my Krupps ice cream maker, packed while still very soft, then put in the freezer. It's intensely flavored, smooth, and very rich.  It's so rich that, like the Caramel, Irish Sea Salt, and Madagascar Vanilla Bourbon Ice Cream, a little bit goes a long way.