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Sweet Meat Pumpkin Corn Chowder

January 29, 2012

 Sweet Meat Pumpkin Corn Chowder

1 Sweet Meat Pumpkin
wash outside well, cut in half, remove seeds. Either microwave (covered) on high for 15 minutes or bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes in the oven. Scoop out and mash with a fork. Can be frozen

1 cup chopped onion
3-4 cups chicken broth
2 cups creamed corn
stir together and bring to simmer, then add
10 cups mashed sweet meat pumpkin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
simmer until hot. Serve with dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt and chopped cilantro.
Makes 8 Servings.

Sweet Meat Pumpkin Pasta Bake

January 29, 2012

 Sweet Meat Pumpkin

1 Sweet Meat Pumpkin
wash outside well, cut in half, remove seeds. Either microwave (covered) on high for 15 minutes or bake at 350 degrees for 60 minutes in the oven. Scoop out and mash with a fork. Can be frozen

1 TbspOlive Oil
1 pound ground beef or italian sausage
cook beef and add:
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp crushed pepper flakes
1 Tbsp dried sage
1 cup chicken broth
6 cups mashed pumpkin (more or less to taste)
4 cups cooked pasta (any leftover type, rotini, ziti, macaroni, etc)
salt and pepper to taste

pour into baking pan and sprinkle with 4 tbsp parmesan cheese. Bake at 400 F for about 10 minutes to melt the parmesan. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving if desired. Makes 4 Servings.

Christmas Baking – Traditional German Lebkuchen Nutrition Facts

December 4, 2011

Lebkuchen Nutrition Info

I have entered the ingredients including the chocolate and powdered sugar used for the glaze on NutritionData and calculated for 48 cookies per recipe.  If you’re watching your fat intake, skip the chocolate drizzles which adds 2g fat and 13 calories per cookie.
Recipe and Instructions.

Glazed Lebkuchen Heart and Star

Glazed Lebkuchen Heart and Star

Nutrition Info per cookie

Nutrition Info per cookie

Christmas Baking – Traditional German Lebkuchen made EASY

December 3, 2011

Lebkuchen!

Front of unglazed Lebkuchen

Front of unglazed Lebkuchen

A traditional German baked Christmas treat, somewhat resembling gingerbread. Lebkuchen were invented by Medieval monks in Franconia, Germany in the 13th century.

If you have ever tried to make Lebkuchen, you probably think I must be out of my mind to try this at home. This has to be the messiest cookies one can make. Check out my made-EASY step-by-step instruction and amaze your family and friends with these tasty home-made treats!

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups flour
  • 1 box light brown sugar (1 pound)
  • 4-5 Tablespoons Lebkuchen spice (see below)
    —mix all dry ingredients together
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 glass honey (pint/8 ounces)
    —mix moist ingredients together

Combine and knead into a smooth dough, let rest (covered) at room temperature overnight.
Form into shapes and bake at 325F for 10 minutes until light brown.  Glaze as desired. Makes approximately 50 cookies.

Lebkuchen spice:
Mix equal portions (I use only a hint of nutmeg and twice as much cinnamon) of ground: Cinnamon, Anis, Gloves, Nutmeg, Coriander, Cardamon, Staranis (if available)

Lebkuchen Dough

Lebkuchen Dough

If you try to roll this sticky dough out, you’ll either have to add so much flour that it will ruin the flavor or you’ll end up with an incredible mess and nothing resembling the shape you cut.  You’ll swear to never do this again.

Here’s my made-easy method:

Get a bowl of water and drop you cookie cutters in.  line your cookie sheets with wax paper or aluminum foil.  I use 3 cookie sheets in rotation (deposit dough, oven, cooling).  barely moisten the palm of your hand with water, place a lump of dough on it and flatten a bit, cut out shape and place on cookie sheet. Don’t worry if they aren’t perfect or still have imprints of your fingers or hand.
The cookies will expand to 3-4 inches, leave plenty of room between them!

Using cookie cutter

Using cookie cutter in my hand

Cookie cutter in bowl of water

Cookie cutter in bowl of water

Raw cookie on wax paper

Raw cookie on wax paper

Fresh from the oven

Fresh from the oven

The most difficult part is letting the cookies cool nearly completely before removing the foil or paper. To remove foil, flip over and gently peel off.  To remove wax paper, wet the paper with water and peel off.  If your cookies are too warm, the foil or paper will not come off easily.  Just wait a little longer and try again.

Peeling off foil

Peeling off foil

Moist wax paper ready to peel off

Moist wax paper ready to peel off

Back of cookies

Back of cookies

This recipe makes about 50 cookies.  Decorate with sugar and/or chocolate glaze.  Some people like sprinkles and others insert almonds before cooking.  They are soft inside and will keep for weeks when stored in an airtight container.  May also be frozen.  Enjoy!

Summer Dormant Daylilies

July 22, 2009

Look at this picture, see the daylilies?
Which daylilies? Where?

Summer Dormant Daylily Patch

Summer Dormant Daylily Patch

It’s almost impossible to believe these daylilies were in full bloom with fans over an inch in diameter in early June.

Climate change. Surely something is changing. After the soggy spring, summer rolled in hot as Hades in June. Temperatures topped 100 on the side porch thermometer and we saw nary a drop of rain since the end of May. Even our daylilies went heat-dormant, something almost unheard of in our Zone 6b/7a Tennessee garden.

Close-Up of Dormant Daylily Patch

Close-Up of Dormant Daylily Patch

Plants have enormous capacity to adapt to whatever Mother Nature sends their way,  check out this close-up picture:

With the cooler temperatures in July they are poking their  green heads back out of the mulch, soon to be their former size.

I can hear my plants sending the message: Don’t overly worry, be flexible and patient; most things will work out in the long run. Maybe that’s what part of gardening is all about — listening to the plants.

Tomato Envy – Sidewalk Plantings

June 17, 2009

Are your tomatoes falling all over themselves and growing to wherever they want to grow? Or are yours neatly arranged in rows? Are they into bondage – all tied up or surrounded by a cage?

We broke from the traditional vegetable garden this year and our tomatoes have been given free reign of the front border. The idea was to easily share the excess harvest with the walkers in our neighborhood. So far, they haven’t done much as Mother Nature has ceased to provide them with the moisture they like. Our friends are  talking about the, albeit green,  baseball size tomatoes on their plants. I am having a serious case of tomato envy!

I am hopeful the plants will catch up in good time and provide us with plenty of tomatoes to eat fresh, make pasta sauces and freeze for use during the winter. If you’re walking along the sidewalk, please help yourself when they’re ripe, just leave one or two for us now and then!

Come and take a Tour of our Unusual Greenhouse

May 30, 2009

Not all greenhouses are built the same. You already knew this. Come and see ours:

Greenhouse

Greenhouse

Small, yes.
Plants, yes.
Fans and ventilation, yes.
Water, yes.
Electricity, yes.
Looking like a greenhouse, no.

Read about us and go on a short tour with me in this article by Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter Karen Nazor Hill.

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