Tag Archives: apple

Holiday Pizza Pizzazz

Tonight’s pizza was an interesting combination of ingredients that turned out to be fabulous! It reminded me of Ina Garten’s Sausage Cranberry Stuffing for her Roasted Turkey Roulade.

I started with our homemade white wheat sourdough crust and prebaked that for 5 minutes at 425F. Then I drizzled the crust with some black raspberry vinaigrette (2 parts organic black raspberry jam, 1 part blueberry red wine vinegar, 1 part organic olive oil – whisk together over low heat until evenly combined).

For the toppings, I used cooked, crumbled sausage along with goat cheese,  caramelized onions, thinly sliced granny smith apples, chopped fresh mushrooms, chopped pecans, dried cranberries and fresh cilantro. Then I baked it for another 8-10 minutes at the same temperature, until the crust was golden and the cheese was just beginning to brown. Wow! I will definitely make this again! It was delicious! The crust was thin and crisp, the vinaigrette, cranberries and apples added a nice, sweet tang that paired beautifully with the creamy goat cheese and fresh nuttiness of the pecans. I think I’m craving another piece just writing this post!

What crazy toppings have you put on your pizza that gave it some pizzazz?!

This Week’s Basket and Recipe Ideas

This week brought us another beautiful basket from Milk and Honey Organics!

Quick Fixes for This Week’s Basket:

  • Fuji Apples (Apple Pie, Chopped Apples on Oatmeal)
  • Banana, Yellow, Eco (Peruvian) (Peel and freeze in baggies for Smoothies, Use in Banana Splits, or Dehydrate Banana Chips for a fun snack)
  • Blueberries, North Carolina (Great in Pancakes or on top of your favorite Cereal with a handful of Chopped Nuts)
  • Broccoli, Local (Steam and Top with Cheese or eat fresh in a Broccoli Salad)
  • Carrots, With Tops (Chop and Steam, then top with a little butter and brown sugar or orange marmalade; or you can always make Carrot Cake)
  • Lemons, Choice (It’s a great time of year for lemonade!)
  • Lettuce, Green Leaf, Local (Great for fresh salads or lettuce wraps)
  • Tommy Atkins Mangos (Use as an Ice Cream Topping or add to a Smoothie)
  • Portabella Mushrooms (Slice on top of homemade pizza; brush with olive oil and sea salt and add to shish-kabobs; saute in butter and garlic until golden brown, add shiraz and simmer about 10 minutes, add sharp cheddar cheese and melt)
  • White Peaches, South Carolina (Great on oatmeal or sliced with whipped cream)
  • Yams, Covington Sweet Potatoes, N.C. (Sweet Potato Fries, Chips, or Wedges)
  • Parisi Chard (Add to a Quiche or Egg Casserole, or eat raw in your salad)
  • Parisi Kale (Add to a fresh salad with roasted nuts and a sweet and spicy Asian-style salad dressing)
  • Parisi Patty Pan Squash (Scoop out the center, saute with garlic in olive oil, and spoon back into the shell to serve) 

Other Recipes for This Week’s Basket:

Toad in a Pattypan Hole (http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2010/07/toad-in-pattypan-hole.html)

Fuji Apple Crisp with Vanilla Ice Cream (http://www.nibbledish.com/people/worldpeas/recipes/fuji-apple-crisp-w-vanilla-ice-cream)

Peaches and Green Smoothie (http://foodloveswriting.com/2011/05/25/peaches-n-green-smoothie/)

Honey-glazed Carrots (http://nourishedkitchen.com/honey-glazed-carrots/)

Cinnamon Sweet Potato Hashbrowns (http://nourishedkitchen.com/sweet-potatohashbrowns/)

Roasted Carrots and Mushrooms with Thyme (http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2006/03/roasted-carrots-and-mushrooms-with.html)

Kale and Lemon Chips (http://www.elanaspantry.com/lemon-kale-chips/)

The Perfect Salad (http://myjourneytolean.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/recipe-the-perfect-salad/)

Sweet Potato and Edamame Hash (http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-potato-and-edamame-hash-10000001975698/)

Swiss Chard and Swiss Cheese Egg Pie (http://myjourneytolean.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/recipe-swiss-chard-and-swiss-cheese-egg-pie/)

Sweet Potatoes with Collards and Aduki Beans – substitute Kale or Chard for Collards (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/2840)

Swiss Chard Wrapped Salmon (http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/2642)

Mango Breakfast Parfait with Cherry Banana Soft Serve (http://ohsheglows.com/2011/05/31/mango-breakfast-parfait-with-cherry-banana-soft-serve/)

My Idealistic Thanksgiving Feast

Most people wait until Christmas to have visions of sugar plums dancing in their heads. I, on the other hand, dream about food often. The funniest part is it usually doesn’t include sugar plums (or desserts in general, for that matter) and I’m usually day-dreaming. Food is, always has been and always will be a passion in my life…especially delicious, nutritious and aesthetically pleasing food!

With Thanksgiving less than one week away, I have been dreaming of turkey and cranberry-everything! If I could create my perfect Thanksgiving feast, I think it would include the following recipes:

Fresh Pomegranate, Sliced Apples and Honey

Ina Garten’s Roasted Turkey Roulade (I would use boneless, skinless turkey breast and a lean turkey sausage instead of pork sausage for the stuffing)

Giada De Laurentiis’ Butternut Squash Soup with Fontina Cheese Crostini

Roasted Red and Sweet Potato Wedges, Carrots, Garlic and Brussel Sprouts (drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper, 450F, 45 minutes)

The Pioneer Woman’s Green Bean Casserole (I actually really like green beans, so I might reduce the cream sauce by half)

Mom’s Cranberry Relish

Ina Garten’s Ultimate Ginger Cookies

Mom’s Cran-Apple Pie with Pecan Crumble Topping and my Great-Grandmother’s Perfect Flaky Pie Crust recipe

Whole Wheat Mushroom Apple Smoked Gouda Pierogies from Simply Life Blog

Simply Life's Whole Wheat Pierogies

I found this recipe on one of my favorite blogs: Simply Life. My first experience with pierogies was actually in Poland! After college graduation, I packed my bags and went on a two month Baltic Musical Missions Team to Poland and Latvia with a group of friends. Living out of a duffle for two months and sleeping on the floor is quite the experience – one everyone should have at some point in their lives, in my opinion. We did concerts two or three nights a week, played music on street corners while passing out tracts and concert invitations, and did sports clubs and children’s Bible clubs too. It was a blast! I think I need to pull out my European scrapbook and reminisce tonight.

Anyway, back to pierogies! Pierogies is one of my favorite dishes. It’s basically a dough pocket filled with your favorite things: meat, cheese, fruit, whatever. One of my favorites is blueberry filling. Another is filled with mashed potatoes, spinach, and feta. I came across this recipe today and can’t wait to try it. For the full picture illustrations on how to make these, check out Simply Life’s blog. Okay, here it is:

Whole Wheat Mushroom Apple Smoked Gouda Pierogies

Ingredients:

For the Pierogi Dough:

  • 1/4 cup smooth applesauce, plus more for serving (optional)
  • 1 tbs. olive oil, plus more for cooking
  • Salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

For the Filling:

  • 1 tbs. olive oil
  • About 6 oz. button mushrooms, sliced
  • Salt
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Thyme, fresh or dried, to taste
  • Paprika, to taste
  • 1 cup smooth or chunky applesauce
  • About 1/3 cup smoked gouda, shredded or chopped into small pieces

Directions:

1. Make the pierogi dough by whisking the applesauce, 1 tbs. olive oil, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 egg and 1/2 cup warm water in a bowl. Place the flour in another bowl and slowly stir in the applesauce mixture.

2. Place the dough onto a floured surface and knead 1 to 2 minutes, until smooth, dusting with flour as needed. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside about 30 minutes.

3. Make the filling by heating 1 tbs. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and cook until browned, about 4-6 minutes. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Season with salt to taste.

4. Roll out 1/2 the dough to less than 1/8 inch thick, keeping the other 1/2 covered with plastic wrap. Cut the dough into rounds using a drinking glass or cookie cutter. Meanwhile bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Beat the remaining egg in a small bowl and set aside.

5. Stir in the thyme, paprika, 1 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup water. Bring mixture to a simmer. Cover and cook about 5 minutes. Then uncover and cook until thickened, about 4-8 minutes.

6. Top each round with 1 tbs. of the mushroom filling (it may not seem like a lot but if you put too much it won’t seal up properly). Sprinkle with a touch of smoked gouda cheese. Brush the edges of the dough with the beaten egg and fold in half. Seal by gently pushing down with a fork along the edges. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.

7. Heat about 2 tbs. olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Boil the pierogies in batches (I did about 5 at a time), for about 5 minutes each, then transfer to the heated skillet. Cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes. Serve with applesauce, if desired, and enjoy!

Recipe: Vegetarian Black Bean and Quinoa Fiesta

Talk about a Vegetarian Delight!

Get ready for a nutritious and delicious explosion of flavor in your mouth. This is a new recipe I created last night that was so yummy I had to share! I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for lunch today! And it’s ready in less than 30 minutes!

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 c. dry quinoa
  • 3/4 c. 2% organic milk
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 2 tsp. organic butter
  • 1 tsp. garlic infused oil (you could use 1 tsp. olive oil and 1 minced garlic clove)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 organic leek (white and light green portion only)
  • 1 can organic black beans (about 10 oz.)
  • 3 oz. feta cheese crumbles (1 good size handful)
  • 2 organic roma tomatoes, chopped
  • sour cream and paprika to top
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced

Instructions:

  1. Prepare quinoa: combine water, milk, and quinoa in a medium pot and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and cover, simmering for 15 minutes (until moisture is absorbed).
  2. Heat large saute pan with butter and garlic oil. Slice leeks into strips or rounds and add to pan. Sautee with salt and pepper.
  3. Drain black beans and add to cooked leeks.
  4. Add feta cheese and stir till beans are warm and feta is melted into mixture.
  5. Add diced tomatoes and warm through.
  6. Serve black bean mixture over the quinoa; top with a dollup of organic sour cream and avocado slices; sprinkle with paprika. Goes well with all natural tortilla strips and Publix Greenwise Organic Salsa.

Servings: 2 good source dinner portions or 4 side dish portions (in case you want to serve tacos, grilled chicken or steak strips on the side).

Apple Picking Season

It’s National Apple Month, after all. If you live between the Upstate SC and Asheville, check out Sky Top Apple Orchards for a Pick Your Own Adventure! They have a wide variety of apples and other fruits, as well as locally grown honey, apple cider, and other apple treats. For directions, apple recipes, and tips on how to pick the best apples, check out their website here. They also have picnic areas, hayrides, and an animal farm for the kids! And you can’t beat the view! Personally, I can’t wait for October to get here: Pink Lady Apples are my favorite!

What’s in season, you ask? This helpful guide is available on Sky Top’s website:

Type

Harvest Schedule

Characteristics/

Best for

Sour Cherries Late July (By Appt) soft flesh; sour, tart

cobbler, pies, baking, snacking

     
Grapes Late August

NOW PICKING

Great for snacking
     
Asian Pear   August

NOW PICKING

extra crisp, juicy, slight honey flavor

slicing, salads – perfect substitute for honeycrisp

     
Honeycrisp August

FINISHED

round, crisp, mild honey flavor

snacks, salad, sauce

Gala Late August

NOW PICKING

crisp, firm, juicy, mild and sweet

Snacking, Pies and Salads

McIntosh (Macs) Late Aug/Early Sept

NOW PICKING

small, round, tender, juicy, aromatic, sweet

snacks, sauce, salads, sauce, graphic design

Red Delicious September

NOW PICKING

long with knobby ends; sweet, juicy

snacks and salads; not suited for cooking/baking

Golden Delicious September

NOW PICKING

elongated, slightly crisp, mild, sweet

all purpose – reduce sugar when using in pies

Cortland September

NOW PICKING

  round, sweet with hint of tart & tangy, slow to brown when cutsalads, kabobs, garnishes
Jonagold Mid September

NOW PICKING

crisp, juicy, sweet-tart

pies, baked desserts, sauces

Jonathon Mid September round, firm, spicy, sweet and crisp  sauces, snacks, salads, pies, applesauce
Mutsu / Crispin Mid September

NOW PICKING

cider, sauce, eating, Cooking
Blushing Gold Late September Tart, Pies
Ida Red Late September Large; firm texture, tangy, Similar to Jonathan

Snacks, Applesauce, Baking, All Purpose

Staymen October Tart, All Purpose
Cameo October round; extra crisp, sweet, hint of tart

all purpose, especially snacks, resists browning

Red Rome October perfectly round; crisp, somewhat tart

cooking, baking, sauteeing

Winesap October Tart, All Purpose
Granny Smith October extra crisp and very tart

cakes, pies, applesauce, winter keeping

Red Fuji October round, sweet, juicy, firm

all purpose especially snacks

Gold Rush Mid October Specialty
Pink Lady Mid October crunchy, sweet, tart

snacks, salad, baking

Arkansas Black Mid October Tart, Winter Keeping

German Festival – Homemade Organic Style (Feb. 9, 2010)

This weekend, I made a batch of vegetable boullion from a friend. I don’t own a food processor yet, but I do have a food grinder attachment for my KitchenAid mixer, so I just threw all the ingredients through the fine grind plate. Recipe here: 101 Cookbooks: Homemade Bouillon . I didn’t have celery root, so I just used 7 oz. of celery. I also added some ground pepper (so I wouldn’t have to add it later when I use it to cook). Recipe made about 3 small canning jars of bouillon. You may want to keep 1 in the fridge and freeze the other 2 (or give them as gifts). Use 1-2 tsp. bouillon to 1 c. of water for vegetable broth.

That said, I started with a little olive oil and 4 Coleman Organic Mild Italian Chicken Sausage over Medium heat. They’re precooked, so just turn them until they’re lightly brown. Then I added 1 heaping teaspoon of the bouillon into the skillet, sauteed for a minute, then added 1/2 lb. of Organic Sauerkraut, 2 apples (cored and sliced), and 3/4 c. water. I turned the heat down to Medium Low and let it simmer till the moisture was absorbed and everything was heated through.

Meanwhile, I heated another skillet over Medium high heat with 2 Tbsp. oil and 2 Tbsp. butter. Then I sliced organic potatos into thin rounds and browned them in the butter-oil mixture. The butter gives it a great flavor and the oil helps keep the butter (and your potatos) from burning. Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper to season. I served these with some Organic Ketchup and Spicy Brown Mustard for dipping.

Absolutely delicious! And 100% natural/organic.

Bon Appetit!
Melissa