Friday, December 30, 2011

Creamy Potato and Sausage Soup

Boil 5 sausages (Spar's fresh Polish Sausages) in 1/4 cup of water until the skins are firm. Remove and cut into bite sized pieces. Scrape up any brown bits in the bottom of the pan.
Dice 5-6 large potatoes and add to the pan along with 1 1/2 cups of water. Add the sausages back in. Cover and continue to cook for 15 minutes.
Whip 1 cup of sour cream into 1 1/2 cups of milk. Stir into soup. Partially mash the potatoes, just enough to break up some of the cubes and to thicken the soup. Flavor as you like.
 We love our creamed soups with sun dried tomatoes, and of course loads of fresh crusty bread with butter.
These sun dried tomatoes in olive oil with rosemary are from Mediterranean Organics.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gingersnap Gingerbread Geodesic Domes

3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup unsulphured molasses
1 large egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
2 cups mix of whole grain wheat and white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground ginger1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until light and fluffy (about 2 - 3 minutes).

Add the molasses, egg and vanilla and beat until smooth. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and spices. Add to the butter mixture and mix until well combined. Cover and chill the batter for about 30 minutes or until firm. 

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out the dough and cut the necessary number of shapes to create your gingerbread "house". This dome used trapezoids, pentagons, and hexagons. A regular house might use rectangles and triangles. Design one on paper, mock it up in cardboard and then use those cardboard pieces as patterns for your final product.

Bake for 12 minutes. You'll need to recut the cookies once they're done baking to give them nice sharp clean edges.
Do this while they are still warm so the cookies don't snap or shatter. Make the 1 inch snaps out of the left over dough.

The houses will not be for eating as you will be using Royal Icing to put them together. Royal Icing is made using 1 lb powdered sugar, 1 tsp of water and two egg whites. Beat until smooth and glossy. If you want it colored, drip in food coloring now and mix until the color is fully incorporated.

Use the icing as mortar, sticking tiles to your frame, together, or to add details. Use your imagination!
Leto's dome for school got plugged with orange candies at each corner, creating a blue and orange igloo.
Short i sound...

Mannie's dome had curly peaks of icing in the corners.
The Occupy Buffalo Food Tent got this one in honor of their dome that allows them to gather together in the cold and wind in general comfort to talk about different issues. They are one of the very few Occupy groups in the United States treated with respect and dignity and the City of Buffalo is actually listening to and working with them.

These gingersnaps are easy to make with applesauce as substitute for eggs. You end up with a snap more like the Swedish Anna's Ginger Thins, which are super duper scrumdiddlyumptious!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Yule Gadget Fast

It's that time of year again where the extras get shut off and put away. 

No electric gizmos, no television, no purchasing anything but basic essentials, no car use except when necessary, no phone use except when necessary. 

I'll welcome visitors and mail and am happy to go visit folks via walking.
Want to go on a Yule fast with me? If you do, tell me all about it.

I'll see you all on December 28th!

Much love,


Chocolate Chip Cookies - No Eggs!

1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup applesauce (The snack cups are perfect for this recipe.)

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add the applesauce, beating well. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Lagniappes, Farmers & Builders, Santas in Kilts, and Burmese Children in Christmas Tree Skirt Capes

Where do I start? Last night was....
I was looking forward to going to the Opt-Out Launch Party hosted by Buffalo's Farmers & Builders, but wanted to eat before heading over. I stopped at Lagniappes for their mac & cheese and ended up with this giant dish of veggie with no tofu and a tasty cup of coffee.

While huffing, puffing and sweating through this superbly hot and spicy dish and sucking down coffee I chatted with the ladies as they worked. I really love coming here and recommend it to all my friends. Which was another bonus as a long time friend was in the middle of her first visit with a group of other friends when I walked in. I love that Buffalo is just a big living room. That where ever you go in this city, you're bound to run into friends and loved ones.

The Opt-Out Launch Party was fantastically rustic. The house on North Pearl is in the midst of long term reconstruction. As I sat in the kitchen chatting with folks, the wood stove churned out tasty eats and soft plumes of smoke wove through the exposed ceiling beams. If you're interested in becoming engaged in "A vision for an alternative political-economic paradigm. Community-focused political participation. Individual economic freedom. Down-sizing, in-sourcing, copy-lefting. Communities of people, farms, workspaces, funspaces, artspaces and marketplaces. Autonomously belonging." then check out their website.

As I headed home I drove west on Allen and stopped to let four men in kilts, Santa coats and hats cross the road. They stopped in front of the truck and blew kisses and shouted thanks. I thought how amusing and charming that there was a roving band of kilted Santas. When I got closer to home, deeper in the West Side, a large group of Burmese children ran across the street crowing and laughing and throwing fruit at each other, all while wearing Christmas Tree skirts as capes and some with Santa caps on.

I had half a mind to just keep driving around the city to see what other nonsensical things might put themselves in my path. But I figured that had to be the best part of my day, and to quit while ahead.

Cafe 59

Bowl of Tortellini Soup and Grilled Cheese Texas Toast Sandwich combo at Cafe 59 located on the corners of Allen and Franklin in Allentown. This delightful combo was served with no flair but a lovely smile and a perky "Enjoy!". I went for a meeting and left with a full belly and a head swimming with ideas. Thank you Cafe 59 for making my lunch time meeting so cheery!

Cafe 59 on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tuscan Pigeon Peas and Artichoke Bread with Smelt

2 cups of soaked Pigeon Peas
& tomatoes,
olive oil, garlic, basil, and onions, sea salt and ground dried chili
 Bread recipe:
2 cups flour
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 tsp yeast
Sprinkle of sugar and salt
Mix well and let rise for 2 hours. Roll out and spread Pea mixture.
 Roll up tightly. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.
 Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Smelt can be fried or baked, either way they are tasty little bites.

This Bean bread is usually made with cannellini, but I found these beautiful Pigeon Peas and decided to see if they would translate well in this recipe. They were an excellent substitution. Little, firm, earthy, they added a different level of flavor to the mix that were quite enjoyable.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oven-roasted Sausage, Garlic and Sweet Potato

 8 large sausages
1-2 sweet potatoes
2 large carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
Quartered 1 garlic bulb, top sliced off
1/2 cup stock
3 tbls olive oil
3 tbls honey
2 teaspoons dried mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
A small handful of fresh sage leaves
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the sausages in a casserole dish with the sweet potatoes, carrots, onion, garlic and olive oil, making sure not to overload the dish. 
 In a small bowl, mix together the stock, mustard powder and honey. Pour the stock mixture over the sausages and vegetables, tossing to make sure everything is coated.
 Season with salt, pepper and sage. Roast in the oven for 45 to 55 minutes. Make sure to spoon over any remaining juices into the serving dish.

Bob made an outstanding bruschetta salad and we enjoyed this with a bottle of Magic Hat's Howl.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Childhood memories: S#*\ on a Shingle, also known as White and Brown SOS

When I was a little girl I lived on some variation of SOS. Chipped beef with mushy peas. Chipped beef with mushrooms. Chipped beef with tinned green beans. Grandma would make a huge soup pot of it and dish it out breakfast, lunch or dinner over the course of the week. I ate it with rice pudding or oranges or overly cinnimony apple sauce or some other sugary treat.

This was always thick and gloppy and bland with a heavy layer of pepper on top, poured out onto white bread and eaten with glee. I loved how the bread turned into a sticky paste that had to be scrapped off the back of my top front teeth with my tiny finger nails. No, I really did like this stuff. I also figured it was time to introduce my childhood favorite to my kids.
But as you can probably tell, there was no way in hell I was going to make it like Grandma. She never washed the packing salt off the dried beef, so there was always a salt crust forming on the cooling jell of the cream. She also used a can of condensed creamed soup and condensed milk and an egg and capers and I figured that was why I was always sicker than a dog afterwards. Between all of that fat and salt and my egg allergy I was hot mess. But eating it made me so happy.

So I still used a condensed cream of mushroom soup, but this was from Pacific Natural Foods (I love their nifty packaging!) and I used sour cream and milk and seasoned it with a bit of pepper and scrubbed the salt out of the dried beef.
We had a big scrumptious salad with carrots and tomatoes so I didn't overwhelm them with a plate of white & brown (which of course they didn't touch!). Once they finished that they got a bit of Ambrosia's Organic Devon Rice Pudding with cinnamon sprinkled on top. I even served it hot instead of cold and jiggly like I had when I was little. I bet you'd like this too if you gave it a go!

I should add the note that my youngest flipped her lid that I had put all of this on top of perfectly good plain white bread. We're still going through "What is the matter with your food touching or mixed together? All right all ready I'll plate it separately!" Though this doesn't apply when it's pot roast and veggies; that has to be mixed. Yeah I don't get it either....

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Rennisance Chicken Stewed in La Fiera Puglia's Moscato, Shallots, Apples, and Dried Fruits

Chicken fried then stewed in La Fiera Puglia's Moscato, dried cherries and currants, a sliced Pink Lady apple, minced ginger and shallots, and freshly grated cinnamon and nutmeg.
 Dredge chicken thighs in flour, salt and pepper and fry in olive oil. Then remove from the pan and drain on paper towels.
Add 1 1/2 cups Moscato to the pan and scrape up the flour bits. Add dried fruits, minced shallots and ginger, sprinkle in the cinnamon and nutmeg.
Stir well and then layer in the apples. Cover and reduce the heat, cooking for 10 minutes. Then add in the chicken and continue to cook for 20 more minutes.

Serve with bread and butter and the the rest of the Moscato.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Linking together My Ethical Garden and SOUL of Buffalo

My Ethical Garden, SOUL of Buffalo, and The Land of Peapodriot are now linked together in purpose and direction. It took a bit of work to get the vision solidified but now each serves their purpose in the over arching theme of Love of All Things Food. It is my hope that you will continue to visit and try out the unique recipes here, test your green thumb by following some of the organic urban gardening suggestions found at My Ethical Garden, and get involved in Buffalo's growing push-back against GMO's and increase your connection with local farmers and CSA opportunities.   

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Leftover Turkey Soup

Take the bones and what ever bits of turkey are left and put them into a very large soup pot. Add 6 to 7 cups of water and boil for one hour. Remove all of the bones and using a fork separate the meat and put back into the pot. Add cubed potatoes, bite sized pieces of carrots and extra scallions. Continue to cook until the vegetables can be easily pierced. This soup will be sweet if you use the Ginger Maple Scallion Glazed Turkey recipe. Flavor it as you please.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Mile High Apple Pie

3 ounces (6 tablespoons) butter, chilled
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) lard, chilled
6 ounces (approximately 1 cup) all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/4 cup ice water, in spritz bottle

Place butter and lard in freezer for 15 minutes. When ready to use, remove and cut both into small pieces.

In a large glass or ceramic bowl, combine flour and salt pulsing 3 to 4 times with a  hand mixer. Add butter and pulse 5 to 6 times until texture looks mealy. Add lard and pulse another 3 to 4 times. Spritz surface of mixture thoroughly with water. Pulse 5 times. Add more water and pulse again until mixture holds together when squeezed. Place mixture in large zip-top bag, squeeze together until it forms a ball, and then press into a rounded disk and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Chill your pie pan in the fridge.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Cut along 2 sides of the plastic bag, open bag to expose dough, and sprinkle both sides with flour. Cover again with plastic and roll out with a rolling pin to a 10 to 11-inch circle. Open plastic again and sprinkle top of dough with flour. Remove pie pan from the fridge and set the pan on top of the dough. Turn everything upside down and peel plastic from bottom of dough. Set aside the second disk of dough. Trim edges if necessary, and then place back in the fridge for 15 minutes.

Peel, core and cut up 10 to 12 nice sized Ginger Crisp or Golden Delicious apples and pile into the center of pie. Sprinkle liberally with sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add several pats of butter. Layer second crust on top and pinch edges. Make no less that 4 slits. Wash crust liberally with heavy cream, half & half or whole milk and then sprinkle well with sugar. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown.

Serve warm with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!