Thursday, September 30, 2010

Loving the fall

I just love this time of year. Even on day like today where the rain won't stop, I just can't wipe a silly grin off my face. The leaves have already started to turn (due to all that drought, no doubt) and it definitely smells like fall. Yesterday was my farmer's market day and I bought a bunch of apples that smelled so good it was out of this world. You just don't get produce that smells like that anymore- and they taste pretty darned good too!

I'm officially "in" with the vegetable farmer who now gives me a hug when I see him. I'm not trying to brag, but he gave me a $2 discount. My loot at the farmer's market was sizeable and I'm psyched to start cooking some fall recipes. In the lineup are:

I can't remember which one I was planning on doing, but here are two similar recipes: one is Apple-Parsnip Soup, the other is Curried Apple Soup

Kris is demanding a repeat from last year of The Pioneer Woman's Apple Dumplings

I love cooked apples! Spice Pork Tenderloin with Sauteed Apples

My favorite farmer "convinced" me to stock up on sweet potatoes for the season. Gonna need a few more recipes to use up the 25 pounds in my garage. Two Potato Beet Hash with Poached Egg and Greens

Here's another one! Sweet Potato and Sausage Soup

I made the original version of this (which is a Cinnamon Bun) for Christmas a few years ago and it was a huge hit. This year we're adding apples for some Caramel Apple Sticky Buns

This might be the most exciting thing I've ever seen: Pumpkin Gingerbread Ice Cream Sandwiches

I also need to get my hands on a bottle of Eric Bordelet's Cider:

He is based in Normandy, which is in the Northwestern part of France and is famous for their ciders. When in Normandy, please try the butter. If Provence runs on Olive Oil, then Normandy runs on butter. And they use that delicious butter to make Crepe Sarrasin (a heavy but divine buckwheat crepe.) which should really only be had with some dry apple cider. Did I mention that Mr. Bordelet also make pear cider? Because he does and I might like pear cider even better.

Eric Bordelet with a 300 year old pear tree

Let the fall season begin!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Finally Fall

Up at 8am on a Sunday gave me the chance to mess around in the kitchen before people started waking up and if there is any chance that I might be able to bake something before they do wake, I have to at least try. The latest issue of Cooking Light had a couple different banana bread recipes and this is the one for which I had most of the ingredients. Yes, I didn't have peanut butter, but I had spiced rum. It's the sort of household I run.

This recipe really turned out. It uses a lot of mashed bananas- and let's face it, when you have one black banana, you usually have 2 or 3. The orignal recipe used plain yogurt but I did not have that on hand, so I went with the dairy product I always have in my fridge: sour cream. I'll put sour cream on just about anything- strawberries, pizza, sweet potatoes ect. And it really works here too. You're just gonna have to trust me. Or substitute the yogurt back in!

Bananas Fosters Bread

Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe from October 2010


  • 1.5 cups mashed ripe banana
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted and divided
  • 1/4 cup cognac or dark rum, divided
  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs
  • 6.75 ounces all-purpose flour (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350°.

Combine banana, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 5 tablespoons butter, and 3 tablespoons spiced rum in a nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat; cool. Place banana mixture in a large bowl. Add sour cream, remaining 1/2 cup brown sugar, and eggs. Beat with a mixer at medium speed.

Combine flour and next 5 ingredients (through allspice) in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to banana mixture; beat just until blended. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; place on wire rack.

Combine remaining 1 tablespoon melted butter, remaining 1 tablespoon cognac, and powdered sugar; stir until well blended. Drizzle over the warm bread

Monday, September 20, 2010

Now wouldya like a bushel of corn?

Do you know how much corn is in a bushel of corn? I had an idea that it was a lot. If it's a measure of unit used by a farmer, it's probably too much food for my kitchen. "But ya see, it's the end of the day so I can make you a real good deal." I already had 5 pounds of tomatoes, 3 sweet potatoes and 2 white and purple striped eggplants in hand. I had only brought so much cash. "you got a checkbook?" no. He noticed my shirt. "you work here?" no, but I work at site down the street. "I tell you what, you go get your car and pull it up here and I'll bring the corn over. You just come back next week with $15." I'll be right back.

For your information, a bushel of corn is about 50 ears- as in: I'm up to my ears in corn! and I couldn't be happier!