Oregano Pesto

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IMGP6194I love pesto! It is simple to make and a great compliment to pasta.

Pesto can be made with different herbs. Basil is the most commonly thought of pesto.Oregano goes very well in the garden. If you grow it, you are probably trying to figure out ways to use it all before it takes over the garden.

You will need a food processor  or, in a pinch, a blender.

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh oregano leaves

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic OR 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder

1/2 cups nuts of your choice

1/2 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Add the oregano, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and nuts  to a food processor.

Turn on and let the ingredients come together.

Slowly, add the olive oil until it is all mixed in.

Put the pesto into a bowl and taste. Season with salt and pepper as you like.

This will make enough to coat 3 cups of cooked pasta.

It is also good for pasta salad or as a topping. or dip for homemade bread.

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The Whole Gluten Free Thing

Well, it  is official.

My primary doctor has stated that I should not have gluten anymore. I go to see a GI doctor in a couple weeks to discuss it. Whether anything will be figured out for sure is up in the air.

Either way, I am gluten intolerant.

I do not plan to turn this blog into a gluten free recipe blog.

If you find a good cup for cup gluten free all purpose flour, you can still make the recipes on here.

Certain things, such as cinnamon rolls probably won’t turn out right.

That is one thing I may need to experiment with.

Gluten is in wheat, barley, rye, and oats may be contaminated unless they are labeled GF. There is also the reading of the labels and knowing what certain terms mean. Tocopherols, or vitamin E, may come from wheat germ oil and that gets added to chapstick sometimes. Brewer’s yeast is a by-product of making beer and may be grown on wheat or barley.

Some chocolates are made with barley malt as a sweetener. Corn flakes and Rice Krispies also contain barley malt.

I also have to watch cross contamination. If it is something with no gluten but uses shared equipment, it could be a problem.

This is going to take awhile to get it all sorted out.

All of this has taken a toll on my energy level.

Between that and the holidays, I just have not gotten much accomplished on here.

Ham Hash

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This started out as one of my dishes named hodge podge. If I like what I came up with, it gets a name. So, this is now known as Ham Hash.

I am sure you have probably heard of Skillet Hash or Corned Beef Hash. Basically fried potatoes and roast beef. I thought that I’d try ham and see what happened.

You will need a large skillet with a lid.

Ingredients:

2 medium size potatoes, scrubbed and cubed

1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1 small/medium onion, chopped

1/2 of a small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 of a small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 – 2 cups chopped ham

salt to season

pepper to season

1/2 teaspoon paprika powder

2 Tablespoons oil for coating the skillet

Directions:

Add the oil to the skillet and heat up over medium/high heat.

Add everything to the skillet, but the ham and seasonings.

Season with the salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir til everything is mixed well.

Cover with lid and check once in a while to prevent burning or sticking.

After 5 or 10 minutes, lower the heat and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender.

Dump in the ham and mix in.

Cover and let the ham heat up with the rest of the food.

Let that go for a few minutes.

Time to serve!

This will serve 4-6 depending on if you eat it alone or with something else.

For the Holidays

Things have been busy for me lately.

I’ve been trying to get everything done and some things get a bit neglected.

I had hoped to be publishing my second Yummy Stuff book about now, but I am still waiting to see if my old hard drive can be recovered.

This is what I get for not having everything moved onto my portable drive.

Beyond that, I have been getting out decorations and figuring out things for gifts.

I have been posting links on my Facebook page for goodies that I have posted in the past.

I do need to get some new recipes up and I promise to get that done soon. I have some pics done, Just have to get them up.

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. 🙂