Creamy Kale Dip

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This dip will work with chips, but even better with vegetables.

Kale, like most greens, is pretty healthy. You can do a lot with it. Use it in salads, steam it, saute it, add it into soups and casseroles, or add to a smoothie. It really is quite versatile.

It is also very easy to grow. I had never tried before this year, but my daughter requested it.

I grew it from seed. A ton of seeds come in a packet so I still have plenty left for next season. The leaves will keep coming back as long as you leave the middle part alone. It will keep going through a frost and even a light freeze.

So, if you want to try growing kale, make sure you have plenty of recipes to use it up.

I came across this while looking for ways to use my kale. The original recipe was for using both spinach and kale. But, I put my own spin on it.

Ingredients:

2 cups plain Greek yogurt

3 Tablespoons mayonaise

2 Tablespoons honey

2 cups finely chopped kale

2 cloves minced garlic OR 2 teaspoons garlic powder

3 – 4 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion

1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1/3 cup finely chopped carrot

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt (I use pink Himalayan)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika

Directions:

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving. I think it tastes best if made a day ahead.

After 3 days, it will get watery. It will still taste good, just thinner.

Makes about 4 cups of dip.

Serve with your favorite raw veggies or chips.

Tip~ If using table salt, use about half the amount.

Cream of Squash Soup

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This is a great and simple to make soup.

Use winter squash or pumpkin and you will have a savory treat in no time.

You will need a medium sized saucepan.

Ingredients:

1-1/2 cups pureed winter squash or pumpkin

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1-1/2 cups chicken broth

1 Tablespoon butter

1 Tablespoon flour ( gluten free, all purpose, oat will all work fine)

a couple pinches salt

dash pepper

1 cup milk

Directions-

In a large bowl mix the broth and squash puree together. Set aside.

Melt the butter in your saucepan. Stir in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, ginger, and flour.

Stir until bubbly.

Add the milk and over medium high heat, stir continuously, until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.

Cook for another minute and keep stirring.

Add in the broth and squash.

Cook and stir until it is heated through or a little longer if you it a bit thicker.

Tips~

If you have to bake a squash for this, you will need one that is about 1-1/4 pounds. If you use pumpkin, a 15 oz. can of pureed pumpkin will give you 1-3/4 cups.

For chicken broth use bouillon and water, store bought, or some already made that you have in the freezer.

I like the mix of ginger and nutmeg, but using either one alone will work great too.

Serves 3-4.

Cooking Up One of the Big Boys

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This is one of my larger long neck pumpkins. Not the largest I have, but it is pretty close.

You can call it a long neck pumpkin, brown neck, or Pennsylvania Dutch crook neck squash. Or, you can just call it tasty.

Last year a friend gave us one to try and bake things with it and report back to her on the flavor. Her and her family have a pumpkin patch and grow squashes and gourds and they were given seeds.

So, I kept some seeds and grew some of my own this year.

They went nuts and we have given away several, but I still have a lot left.

It is time to cook and puree.

They make great tasting pie and bars and muffins.

Since these are thinner skinned than actual pumpkins, I peel them first, chop them up, and bake until soft. That is usually for about an hour  to an hour and a half at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

But, you can cook them however you like.

Make pumpkin or squash soup. Use it in place of butternut squash in a recipe. Make pumpkin butter.

I think my neck long neck project will be trying to make pumpkin flour.

It sounds intriguing.

Apple Pear Crisp

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I love fruit crisps. Blueberry, rhubarb, peach, it doesn’t matter. My favorite will probably be the kind I had growing up~ apple.

A few weeks ago, I was out at my dad’s place to help pick pears and came home with pears and apples. What better thing to make? Apple Pear Crisp.

The two fruits blend together wonderfully.

This makes a big pan so plenty for a potluck or big family.

You will need a 9×13 inch cake pan.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit/ 191 Celsius.

Ingredients:

6 cups peeled, cored, and sliced apples (about 6 apples)

6 cups peeled, cored, and sliced pears (6-8 pears depending on type and size)

3/4- 1 cup brown sugar

1 cup all-purpose flour OR 2/3 cup coconut flour

1 cup oats

1/2 cup butter ( 1 stick)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon nutmeg

In a large bowl: combine the flour, brown sugar, oats, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With your hands or a fork, work in the butter until crumbly.

Set aside.

Spread the peeled, cored, and sliced fruit in the pan evenly.

Sprinkle the brown sugar mixture evenly over the pears and apples.

Bake for 45 minutes in the preheated oven or until the fruit slices are soft when you insert a knife into a couple.

Take out of the oven and remove to a rack to cool.

Coconut flour adds a little more nutrition, but it will be drier and won’t end up making it clump together. The crisp will also darken quicker.

Portabella Burger Bun

IMGP5889Do you love mushrooms? Do you want a low carb alternative to a hamburger bread bun? No matter the reason, this is a great change up.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit/204 Celsius

You will need a baking pan large enough to hold the amount of buns you want to make.

If you have a basting or pastry brush, that comes in handy. If you don’t have that, use a napkin or paper towel.

Ingredients for one bun:

2 large Portabella mushrooms

Olive oil, for coating

Carefully wipe off the mushrooms. With a spoon, scrape off the gills and pull out the stem(or cut with a knife).

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Lay the bottoms up and brush with a little olive oil.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Turn over and brush tops with olive oil.

Bake for another 10 minutes.

Take out of the oven and let them cool a few minutes before using to make your burger, using one mushroom for the bottom part and the other mushroom for the top.

Tip: The gills and stems can be saved in the fridge for a day or two and added to soups or spaghetti sauce or even to top a pizza.

These are a bit juicy, but the flavor makes it well worth it. Besides, isn’t that what napkins are for?

All That’s Going On

A couple weeks ago, my computer died and took some of my blog pictures.

So, it might take a while to get everything back to normal.

Over the week-end I was out at my dad’s and brought back a lot of pears and some apples.

I also have been harvesting some of my black beans. This was a first year for growing them and they turned out great, Who knew growing black beans was so easy? Just plant and let ’em grow and get dry and pick them. Store them in canning jars. If they aren’t quite dry enough, stick them n a bowl and let them air dry for a couple weeks, stirring with hands a few times a day.

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It is also time to dig sweet potatoes.

Not to mention the grapes.

Things are a bit busy, but a good kind of busy. 🙂

Hey!

It’s been a while since I posted.
I have been having some problems with my blog and have been trying to sort it all out.

I was having difficulty renewing my domain name so it ending up reverting to a blogspot and the name went into domain name purgatory.
It has now been released so I have been able to get it back, but it will not be hosted by blogger.

The search has not been working and the links on the pages got messed up when the name reverted back to a blogspot so I had to remove those.

I will be hard at work getting ruthsyummystuff.com looking all spiffy.
I still have welcome to me here and I will still be checking in on blogs here on blogspot.

Have a great Saturday!

Become Friends With a Farmer

Unless, you have acres of land and/or the time, it is not always feasible to grow everything yourself.

But, by getting to know some people you can barter food or get it at a good price.
Trade some extra zucchini for some broccoli or bell peppers.

I know some people that grow and sell potatoes.
For whatever reason, my potatoes never do that great.
I buy from them.

I get my eggs from a guy my husband used to go to school with.
I pay less than the organic ones at the store.
I know where they come from and what they eat.
They are really good eggs.

You might be able to buy a cow or pig for cheaper than buying meat from the market.
You are almost certain to, but all the cost is upfront.
Even after you figure the cost of processing at the locker.
Or maybe chickens too.

If you are not sure where to look, check the free papers you get with all the ads.
If you go to church, ask around.
Check Craigslist.
Do a search on the internet for what you are looking for.

Simple Chocolate Candies

simple chocolate candies with chia seeds added in

Most everybody likes some chocolate once in a while. But, sometimes you don’t have any on hand or you want to go with something healthy or you don’t want to go to the trouble of making them because it can be complicated and take a long time.

But, these candies are simple. Fast to make and as healthy as a candy that you are probably going to find.
The longest part is waiting for them to firm up enough to eat.

This will make enough for 12 candies.

You will need a mini muffin pan with 12 muffin cups.
You will need an immersion blender. A whisk will work or a regular blender.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
2 Tablespoons honey, preferably raw
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract, optional
Possible add ins are chopped nuts, dried fruit, coconut, or chia seeds

Take out your mini muffin pan. If you want anything in your chocolate candies, sprinkle some of what you are using in the bottom of each cup.
Set aside.
Melt the coconut oil.
Put in a container that you can easily pour from and that will allow you to use the immersion blender or whisk. Or pour into the jar of blender.
Add the honey and blend in well so it does not separate.
Blend in the cocoa powder and optional vanilla extract.
Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cups.
If you used a whisk, you will need to make sure to whisk between pours so the honey doesn’t separate.
Put into the freezer and keep in there for 30-60 minutes until the candies have firmed.

You can now take them out of the muffin pan pretty easily.
I have never tried just plopping them out. I take a knife and carefully lift them out.

If you have raw cacao powder, you will also get additional health benefits.

I do recommend keeping these in the fridge so they don’t melt or get too soft.