Wednesday, October 28, 2015

It's Pumpkin Time

New England Sugar Pumpkins are here! If you’re a pumpkin lover like we are at this time of year you’re on the hunt for the best local/organic sugar pumpkins for baking.

We bake and clean a few during prime season, and then use them for muffins, soups, and Thanksgiving tarts all winter long.

Just preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.
Wash n dry your pumpkin; place it on your baking sheet and knock the stem off with your heavy meat tenderizer/hammer.
Pierce the soft top with a knife providing a vent so the pumpkin can breath while cooking and bake an hour or more until soft.
Check after an hour and when sides are soft to the touch, remove and cool for cleaning.
When pumpkin is cool enough to handle split into pieces and remove peel and seed matter.
Place pumpkin meat in zip lock freezer bags; remove as much air as you can, and freeze up to 6 months. We like 1 pound packs; it’s about 2 cups and plenty for most recipes.

#baking #fallharvest #livinggreen #noordinarychick #naturalfoods #pumpkin

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Fall Pear Butter

6-8 pounds pears bartlet, bosc, kefir, red or any mix of large pears tender but not mushy (you need 6-8 pounds cleaned so you need to buy 8-10 pounds to account for waste)
5 lemons, juiced
2 cups organic Florida crystals sugar
2 cups scotch, bourbon, dark rum, calvados or apple cider *we use scotch

Pour the lemon juice into a stainless steel (*non aluminum) 8quart pot.
Peel, core, and rough chop the pears into lemon juice, tossing to coat and prevent browning.
When you get 1/3rd of the pears into the pot add the scotch (your choice of cooking liquid), and continue to add pears and toss to coat.
As soon as you get 2/3 rds of the pears into the pot add the sugar, toss to coat, and continue to add the rest of the pears.
After all your pears are in the pot place over medium/low heat and bring to a boil, stirring regularly to prevent sticking.
Reduce heat to a simmer; stir regularly, and cook until pears are translucent and saucy.
Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender to blend your pears into a smooth sauce with a few chunks.
Preheat your oven to 250 degrees.
Pour into a shallow (*non aluminum) baking pan; the more surface the faster it reduces, and bake about 8 hours, stirring well and scraping the sides every 2 hours until your pear butter is reduced by almost half.
Pour your finished pear butter into clean mason jars and freeze or water bath can to store.
* Aluminum cookware will change the color, texture, and taste of this butter.

#fall #gardens #livinggreen #naturalfoods #noordinarychick #pears #preserving

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Amazing Arugula

Arugula (Eruca sativa) *photo: this year’s self reseeded fall arugula

Also known as salad or garden rocket, arugula is one of the nutritious green-leafy vegetables of Mediterranean origin. It is a quick growing cool season crop, prefers well-drained fertile soil and full sunlight to flourish.

A member of Brassica family, similar to cauliflower, kale, and mustard greens, arugula is a rich source of certain phytochemicals that have been shown to combat cancer-causing elements in the body.

Arugula is also a great source of folic acid and vitamins A, C and K. As one of the best vegetable sources of vitamin K, arugula provides a boost for bone and brain health. It has many minerals including high levels of iron and copper, making it a good substitute for spinach if you’re paying attention to getting more vegetable based iron in your diet.

Centuries ago Romans discovered that those who ate it regularly were more sexually energized, and it became revered as a powerful aphrodisiac. It has since been used as a sensual enhancer throughout many regions of the world.

Don’t limit yourself to salads, try adding arugula to pastas, grains, sandwiches, wraps and soups, or blend it into a delicious spicy pesto. It has very few calories and tons of flavor so it’s a great green to help maintain a healthy weight without sacrificing great tasting foods.

No matter what your reasoning for eating it, arugula is a fantastic food to add to your diet any time of year, and especially while it’s young, tender and locally in season.

#arugula #gardens #healthygreens #herbs #livinggreen #naturalfoods #noordinarychick

Monday, October 5, 2015

Apple Season is Here!

Apple season is one of our favorite times of year; the weather is crisp, the leaves are beautiful, and the apples are delicious! A sure sign apple season is in full swing is Grandma's Apple Coffeecake starts to be a breakfast regular.

We visit as many local farm's as we can; share with our family, and laugh all winter long about which ones were our favorites, or maybe it's the cake! Here is an old Adam's apple chart to help you identify what to use in your favorite dish, or just the best picks to eat.
#apple #appleseason #coffeecake #gardens #livinggreen #naturalfoods #noordinarychick