Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Freezer Tomato Sauce

Umm ... so I'm going to apologize that this blog post is about, oh ... a month too late?  Although I've heard rumor that the unseasonably warm weather in Minnesota has had some people still picking tomatoes - I made this recipe right after Labor Day weekend when my neighbor had given me carte blanche to raid her cherry tomato bushes.

I found this recipe on Leite's Culinaria, which is one of my favorite food blogs out there.   For those of you still harvesting tomatoes, give it a shot.  And if you're like me and dreaming of next year's bounty, go ahead and bookmark this for next year.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Soups for a Saturday: Crock Pot Turkey White Bean Pumpkin Chili

Earlier I expounded upon how food bloggers are particularly obsessed with pumpkin around this time of year.

After I tried this chili from Gina at Skinnytaste - I think I'm beginning to understand why.

There are no words to explain this chili.  Only that I Facebooked the link on my ShelleyBakes page and that I emailed no more than four people about this particular chili.  And since I used dried beans instead of canned, I actually started eating this soup when the beans were still a little crunchy.

I speaketh much truth ... this chili?  Wow.

My alterations ... like I said - I used dried beans.  No I'm not some dried bean purist who will tell you that there is some mythical difference between canned and dried beans that will result in unicorns prancing upon this earth.

There's a big difference ... there's a difference in time and convenience.  And I do think there's a difference in taste ... I prefer canned chickpeas to ones I've cooked myself, likely because of whatever funky bean liquid they've been bathing in. 

Having said that - I do think that dried beans take up less cupboard real estate in my cupboards than canned beans.  Plus, there's less waste overall (I buy beans from the bulk bins - reducing packaging/carbon footprint/whatever.).

For this recipe, I soaked my beans overnight and picked through them to get rid of any rogue pieces of whatever comes out of bean fields.  I then put in just shy of four cups worth of beans.

Since I put in soaked, but uncooked beans, I upped my chicken broth to four cups instead of two cups.

I also used ground turkey - the hot Italian sausage style, so I omitted the oregano.

Finally - I did not have chopped green chiles, but I did have a can of Rotel (10 oz.).  So I dumped that in, liquid and all.

I served with some cornbread ... and it was goooood.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Low Fat Pumpkin Bread

As sure as leaves fall on the ground during the fall season in Minnesota, the food blogs are full of recipes using pumpkin.  And who can blame them?  I mean - there's something about the warm scents of cinnamon and nutmeg that scream it's time to break out the jeans and sweaters.  And to enjoy the 50 and 60 degree temperatures, because you can pack up all of your shorts and poof!  Eighty degree weather will return for a week in the region.  That, and experience cautions me that we could very well see snow by Halloween.  Because that's Minnesota.

So to celebrate the season, I made this bread from Gina at Skinnytaste, but because I'm contrary and because I keep f-ing up bread recipes, I decided to put it in a Bundt cake pan.  And it is gooood .... it's not *as* good as some of your more traditional pumpkin breads that get some incredible moisture from an asston of vegetable oil, but the pumpkin puree does the trick.

Here are the changes I made:  Bundt pan instead of bread pan; omitted the pepitas, used Penzey's Baking Spice instead of pumpkin pie spice and sprinkled with some powdered sugar for the final product. 

If you decide to bake in a Bundt pan, cut the cooking time down to about 40-45 minutes.

This is actually the second pumpkin bread that I made this season ... the earlier one was from Rebecca at Ezra Pound Cake.  And while this one was good, the streusel decided to go rogue and dropped through the bottom of the bread.  I have no clue what I did.  But my neighbor Bonnie and my husband Ryan (and his D&D friends) did not really seem to care, so this was still a winner.