Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

When the days grow shorter and the temps colder, I know it’s time for the slow-roasted goodness of this soup. The apples add sweetness while the cayenne provides a touch of heat, and pureeing it in its entirety gives it a rich, silky texture.

I could tell you I make this soup entirely for its flavor, but the truth is I equally adore the warmth and aromas that arise from the oven as the vegetables slow roast. Garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds from that recent pumpkin you carved or baked. Enjoy with a loaf of crusty bread smothered in fresh cream butter. Hello fall! Continue reading

Slow Cooker Savvy: Apple Chutney

Apple sauce, apple butter, and now apple chutney!  My autumnal affair with apples has nearly come to an end, culminating in this sweet and spicy chutney perfect for complementing Indian dishes all winter long.

You can make this foolproof recipe on the stove top, but I found it cooked well in a slow cooker, allowing me to run errands while it simmered. It makes a large batch, enough to preserve 3+ pints. If you are seeking a smaller amount, simply halve the recipe. It keeps well in the refrigerator when stored in a sterile jar, and a little goes a long way. Continue reading

Slow Cooker Savvy: Apple Butter

With all the apples I picked from my neighbor’s yard last week, I tossed a large batch in the slow cooker to make apple sauce and … ended up with apple butter! Turns out that the long, slow cooking time required of apples for apple butter makes your crock pot a rock start (again!). And with minimum ingredients, the recipe itself couldn’t be easier.

Use whatever size slow cooker you have, filling it to the brim with apples and adjusting the ingredients accordingly; I used a 6 quart cooker. The large resulting quantity is ideal for preserving and the fragrant butter makes a well-appreciated gift, right at home spread on toast or paired with nut butter. Continue reading

Applelooza!

I’m not sure what it is about this summer – the hot dry temps maybe? – but the two apple trees in my neighbor’s yard are absolutely brimming with fruit!

Traci is already one of the best neighbors ever, accompanying me on walks and to yoga class, watching out for our dogs, offering energy work, and even digging through my recycling bin one morning this week when I had a panic attack on my way to work thinking my missing keys accidentally found their way there. Seriously. I’m that nuts and she’s that awesome. 🙂

And Traci happens to be the owner of said apple trees which she says have produced more fruit this year than in the eight previous years she’s lived there. Lucky for me, she graciously opened them up for picking. I can’t ever turn down an opportunity for free, beautiful, organic fruit! Continue reading

Fennel, Apple and Radish Salad

You may have already heard me mention the Earthbound Cook, a cookbook featuring 250 recipes for delicious food and a healthy planet, by Myra Goodman, co-founder of Earthbound Farm. She provides worthwhile eco-tips amongst great recipes, including some on egg labels that I shared earlier.

With a bounty of fresh radishes ready in the garden, this recipe was a perfect pick. The subtle anise flavor of fresh fennel partners perfectly with sweet and tart apple, and the radishes add just a bit of peppery heat. We enjoyed this salad with friends on a night with temps still in the 90s, and it paired perfectly with a chilled rose wine. Continue reading

Fresh Pear and Toasted Walnut Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

PearWalnutSaladThe apple cider vinaigrette on this salad really pulls the flavors of cheese and fruit together. It originally came from foodnetwork.com where it was the companion to a roasted butternut squash salad. However, because saying the word “squash” sends SoulDaddy running for the door, I happily dished up another accompaniment for the flavorful vinaigrette.

Light and full of flavor, this salad is a perfect match for cooler weather when apples and pears also happen to be at their peak. It pairs beautifully with heavier cheese dishes such as fondue or homemade mac and cheese, but stands up just as well to a hearty soup or stuffing at your next table. Continue reading