Sunday, September 25, 2011

Red Pepper and Lime Soup

Since we had an abundance of bell peppers and cayenne peppers (shown) in our CSA boxes from "Cooper's CSA Farm & Maze", I decided to whip up this Mexican-inspired soup!!!  I added an entire, fresh, large cayenne pepper (sans seeds and ribs!) to the double batch of this soup I made, so it has quite a kick!!!  Use fresh limes for this recipe as the bottled variety doesn't have as fresh a taste.  I decided to pressure can my soup (as you can see I also made potato leek soup!)  so that I have fresh, homemade soup on hand when the weather turns really chilly!!

1 large onion, chopped
4 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small fresh red chili, sliced
3 tbsp tomato paste
3 3/4 cups vegetable stock
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lime
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Cook the onion and bell peppers gently in the oil in a large saucepan, stirring occasionally, over medium high heat until they are softened but not coloured.
  • Stir in the garlic, chili and tomato paste.  Add half the stock, then bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer gently for about 10 minutes.
  • Let cool slightly then puree either with an immersion blender, or in a food processor or blender.  Return to the the pot and add the remaining stock, the lime rind and juice, and salt and pepper.
  • Bring the soup back to the boil, then serve immediately!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Easy Peanut Butter Cookies

For some reason my kids have been on a complete peanut butter kick lately?!  Anyway, before they headed off to school today they put in a request that I try and make peanut butter cookies for their after school snack.  Now, anyone who knows me knows that I am a self-confessed non-baker.  So I pulled the jar out of the cupboard and went online.  This recipe comes from the Kraft website and it is by far the easiest recipe EVER!  I have already tasted one cookie and they're yummy!  Next time I am adding chocolate chips!!
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
  • Preheat oven to 325F.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients until well mixed (I used my hand mixer).
  • Roll dough into 1 1/2" balls and space 2" apart on a greased cookie sheet.  Flatten each ball with a fork (to give the cookie it's traditional cross-hatching on top!), and place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Remove from oven and let cool on a rack.
  • ENJOY!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dutch Apple Pie

This has to be one of my favourite apple pie recipes - it is super-easy and I have received LOADS of compliments on it (one of my friend's sons told his Grandmother that it was way better than hers! LOL!)  Since we have an abundance of apples on our snow apple tree this year (at least that's what variety I have been told they are!), I whipped up one of these ~ much to the family's delight!!!

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
3/4 cup butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 1/4 cups cold water
3 cups diced peeled tart apples
1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • In a large bowl, combine the flour, brown sugar, oats and butter.  Set aside 1 cup for crumble topping.  Press remaining crumb mixture into an ungreased 9" pie plate; set pie plate aside.
  • For filling, combine the sugar, cornstarch, and water in a large saucepan until smooth.  Bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes, or until completely thickened.  Remove from the heat.
  • Stir in apples and vanilla extract.  Pour into crust; top with reserved crumb mixture and Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
  • ENJOY!!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back to School!

"It's the most wonderful time of the year!"

Although my kids HATE me singing that annoying 'back to school' song from the "Staples" commercial, I truly feel like fall is the most wonderful time of the year.  Now I know many of you will debate with me that it is in fact still the tail-end of summer, but with the trees already displaying tinges of autumnal colour, the thermometer is reading lower temperatures due to the northerly winds, and the sun is setting earlier ~  it just feels like fall to me already!
Since India and Devon are heading back to school tomorrow (grades 5 and 3), my mind turns to lunchbox snacks.  I admit it.  I HATE MAKING SCHOOL LUNCHES!!!!  But it is a necessary task at this time of year, and one that doesn't need to be daunting if a little premptive planning is employed!  (Yeah, talk to me come December, I know!)  Our apple and pear trees have burst forth with an amazing amount of fruit this year and we have already enjoyed a Dutch apple pie from the grounders.  So I sent the kids out to the front meadow to pick apples and pears this afternoon, while I fired up my canner and got all the necessary items to make "blushing apple/pear sauce"!
I have a feeling that the house will smell of sweet apples for quite some time as the children collected so many both my kitchen sinks are overflowing, as well as a couple of milk crates!!!
I just gave both India and Devon a little taste of the first batch (which I added some organic brown sugar and cinnamon to) and they are already begging for bowls-full!

If you want to make some homemade blushing applesauce, just click here for the recipe!