Posts tagged: real food

Classic Pumpkin Pie

By , November 19, 2012

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With an eye toward Thanksgiving this week, here’s my own recipe for classic pumpkin pie, along with my own crust recipe.

Neither recipe is the most decadent you’ll find out there because heavy, fatty things don’t agree with me. So if you’re wanting to make a pumpkin pie that’s on the lighter side, try this one. I make it every Thanksgiving. The crust is not really rich and flaky, and probably won’t wow any chefs out there, but it is humble and it does the job. I like it.

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Lindsey’s Classic Pumpkin Pie

Rounded 2/3 cup of rapadura (or white or brown sugar)

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp, heaping, of cinnamon

1/2 tsp, heaping, of powdered ginger

1 tsp allspice

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp nutmeg

2 eggs, beaten

3/4 cup whole milk

3/4 cup half-n-half (light cream)

1 15-oz can Libby’s pumpkin (or 2 cups cooked pumpkin or winter squash, pureed, and cooked down if too watery — the healthfood store brands of canned pumpkin are way too watery. I learned my lesson to use Libby’s!)

1 9-inch pie shell (recipe below)

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Preheat oven to 425°.

Mix sugar, salt, and spices in a small bowl.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl, then stir in pumpkin, sugar-spice mix, and the milk and half-n-half. Mix until thoroughly combined, but don’t get overzealous (like, don’t do what I did once and overbeat with egg beaters — it beats too much air in, and makes a souffle-type thing!)

Pour into unbaked pie shell.

Bake at 425° for 15 minutes, and then reduce temperature to 350° and bake 40-50 more minutes until a knife inserted into the center of the pie comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack for at least 2 hours.

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Lindsey’s Not-Too-Rich 9″ Pie Crust

2 cups flour (whole wheat, or white, or a combo)

1 Tbsp sugar

Scant 1/2 tsp salt

6 Tbsp cold butter, cut into pieces (salted or unsalted, either is fine)

Ice water (you’ll use about 3/4 cup)

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In a medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in cold butter.

I like to use my fingers to rub in the butter and blend until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Mix the ice water in, 1 Tbsp at a time, stirring lightly with a fork after each addition, until a dough is formed. (3/4 cup is about 12 Tbsp.) Try not to overwork the dough. Small bits of butter will be visible — this is what you want.

When a good, workable dough is formed — not too dry, not too sticky — wrap in cellophane and refrigerate until ready to use.

When ready to roll out, lightly flour your work surface and rolling pin.

Roll into a circle. Transferring to your pie plate is made easier by folding the dough in half and draping it over your rolling pin.

Trim off any excess dough, but leave enough extra around the edge to fold under and crimp with three fingers, as in the photo below.

If you do have a little extra dough, you could use a cookie cutter to cut out a little something-or-other (a maple leaf, for example) that you can bake and then place on top of your finished pie as decoration.

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Homemade Arnold Palmer

By , October 17, 2012

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Iced tea and lemonade — it’s a great combination!

I’ve been perfecting my AP recipe over the summer and I’ve got it just the way I like it. You may want to make slight adjustments according to your tastes of course.

(I find myself craving and making Arnold Palmers when I’ve got some extra nausea goin’ on and plain water doesn’t appeal. So keep it in mind for hydration during times of illness, too.)

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Lindsey’s Homemade Arnold Palmer

1 tsp good quality black tea OR 1 teabag (for APs, my favorite happens to be Mountain Rose’s bulk Nepalese Black Tea)

3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (~ 1 medium lemon)

2 Tbsp honey or maple syrup

1 cup cold water

1 cup ice, OR an additional 1/2 to 1 cup of cold water

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Boil water for brewing the tea. (Decaffeinate the tea first, if you like.)

Then, in a mug or measuring cup, pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over the tea and allow it to steep for several minutes — only 1/2 cup because you’re making a concentrate.

While the tea is steeping, in a tall glass combine 1 cup of cold water, the lemon juice, and the honey or maple syrup. (If you’re using honey, you may need to dissolve it in a little bit of warm water first.)

Once your tea has steeped for at least several minutes, strain out the leaves and pour into your glass with the water/lemon/honey.

Add either 1 cup of ice OR 1/2 to 1 cup of additional cold water — depending on how cold you want it, how soon you want to drink it (waiting for the ice to melt, you know), and how strong you like it. I usually like mine not-as-cold, ready immediately, and on the more dilute side, so I add the full 1 cup of water in place of the ice.

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It's lovely to take on picnics

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Harvesting Our Apples

By , October 12, 2012

Well it’s been an awesome year for fruit here, since our usual blossom-killing frost mercifully did not occur this spring. And so “Make more applesauce” has been somewhat of a standing order on my to-do lists of late. What a blessing, to have so much free organic fruit! My mom’s recent comment in an email made me giggle, asking me what I’ll do with all my time once the apples are through!

The apple tree in the backyard is Red Delicious variety, but the apples are really not good for fresh eating, however they make great applesauce! So F and I harvested them all recently and I’ve been picking away at them, cutting out the wormy parts, peeling them, chopping, and then cooking and canning them.

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What kind of fruit are you harvesting this autumn?

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From Nature With Love

By , September 6, 2012

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Fresh from our garden. Luscious!!!

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Kelp Noodles!

By , August 13, 2012

Have you tried kelp noodles? I just tried them for the first time this week and I like them! They have an unexpected crunchy texture and, somehow, a completely neutral taste. They’re also a raw food, and made only of seaweed. I mixed them into my solar-cooked “stir fry” for breakfast this morning, yum. I like the fact that they’re made from kelp, so they add iodine and trace minerals to my meal. My still-delicate tummy also gave them a thumbs up, as far as digestibility goes.

They cost about $3.50 at our local health food store.

Have you tried them? How do you like to eat them??

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The stir fry was delicious by the way — I love making those because you can toss anything in and it always comes out great. This time it was: Bean sprouts, yellow squash, onions, garlic, Nama Shoyu soy sauce, and a tiny bit of sesame oil…steamed in the solar oven…and served over kelp noodles…topped with more Nama Shoyu, fresh Thai basil, culantro (or you can use cilantro which is similar), and chopped green onion tops.

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My Cat’s Breakfast

By , August 9, 2012

This is random, but I thought I’d show you Liz’s breakfast. She loves it. It’s organic honeydew and cantaloupe (her favorite fruit), and raw turkey food that I make in batches and freeze into individual portions. Pretty good start to the day, no?

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Soup of the Day

By , July 13, 2012

This was a delicious little lunch for today. I pulled the beef broth out of the freezer, and the rest is from my own garden! With everything cut into little pieces, it cooked up in just a few minutes.

beef broth

scallions (white part)

celery

kale

potatoes

…and at the table, I stirred in some raw homemade sauerkraut with some of its juice, which leant a wonderful brightness to the soup!

And I just remembered I have some soaked & cooked lentils, which I think would also go well in this soup.

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Our Airplane Food

By , June 9, 2012

Yay, we’re headed out pretty soon for Hawaii! We like taking our own food, so this is what we’ve got for the 2 hours at the airport plus the 7 1/2 hour flight:

Salads (all homegrown – lettuce, chives, oregano, dill, parsley)

Grapes

Watermelon, pears, and peaches

Raspberries

Halved lemons to squeeze onto the salads

Larabars

Homemade concord grape fruit leather

Cashews

Pepperjack cheese slices

Wasa crackers

Slices of sprouted grain bread

Whole Wheat Gingerbread muffin

Some little sweet treats

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I love eating my own food on the plane and it feels good to be taking all this good stuff. Plus we can re-use the containers while we’re travelling too — for picnics or whatever… and then fill them back up with tropical Hawaiian goodness to eat on the plane ride back. (Or with sea shells, as the case may turn out to be…)

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Nettles!!

By , May 1, 2012

As I mentioned in this post, I found nettles! This was really very exciting because now I can collect my own instead of continuing to purchase my usual dried nettles for tea. And for the very first time, I had freshly cooked nettles and they’re amazing! A mild and pleasing taste. I cooked them in some salted water, and ended up drinking every last drop of the broth too — it was thick and delicious — almost meaty. They’re so good for you, too. High in protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Cooked nettles

Nettles & white beans

And I love nettles tea because it works better than an antihistamine pill for me. This was an accidental discovery; I’m allergic to bee stings, and I get honeybee and ‘mixed vespids’ venom immunotherapy shots every 6 weeks so that my body gets desensitized to the venom. Normally I get a big, itchy 3″ wide welt on each arm where I get the shot, and I take a Claritin pill the morning of the shots to help counteract that. However one day I had some strong nettles tea before my shots, along with the pill. No welt! No redness! No itchy! At first I didn’t realize it was the nettles, until another time when I’d forgotten to take the antihistamine pill and only had nettles tea, and same thing! No welt. Finally I realized it was the nettles tea, and the pill wasn’t even really necessary. So now I make sure to have nettles tea before my shot, and every day for at least about a week afterward. It’s quite magical. If you have seasonal allergies (mercifully, I don’t), you might try nettles tea!

My favorite nettles tea:

2-3 Tbsp dried nettles

~1/2 Tbsp dried mint

~1/2 Tbsp dried lemongrass

In a mug, pour 8-12 ounces boiling water over herbs, cover, and steep about 15 minutes.

So anyway, back to the fresh nettles. I couldn’t believe my luck with finding patch after patch of them, and while I often travel with an empty plastic bag (you never know what you’ll need it for!), I didn’t have one with me on the walk. However my mom had packed snacks in a bag, and thank goodness she had! Precious, precious bag. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to collect any. Disappointing!

I had an empty little sandwich baggie which I used as a glove to pick them, though still got plenty of stings on my wrists. (The stinging compounds are easily neutralized once the nettles are either boiled or dried to a crisp.) I stuffed the bag full, and also took some plants with roots and have planted those in pots outside, hoping they’ll decide it’s a satisfactory location to grow. I’ve read that nettles are particular about where they grow; you might think you have the ideal location for them — but they have the last word.

Do you cultivate your own nettles? Have any growing tips?

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As you can see, the living room was full of nettles for a while. I ended up getting about 3 gallons, dried.

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