Category Archives: preserving

Pumpkin Ravioli with garlic & thyme

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Flavor party over here! New top 10 favorite dinner item!

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                                               Pumpkin Ravioli with garlic and thyme butter sauce.

The inspiration for this recipe was Kim Barnouin’s Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook.  It’s a vegan, healthy you, healthy Earth, “crunchy” kinda cookbook with some fabulous recipes and a sassy undertone. 😉  I used her recipe exactly for the ravioli pasta but changed every ingredient in the ravioli filling… just due to what I had on hand and thought would be good.  So thanks for the diving board, Kim. The original recipe can be found in her cookbook under “Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Sauce.” 

Start out by making the ravioli. Kim says you can make them a day ahead and refrigerate or freeze for 2 weeks.  I plan to be a risk taker and make several batches and keep in freezer for a few months…. I’ll update this later if that is a horrible idea.  I would love to experiment with other types of homemade ravioli. 🙂

roll out the ravioli

Ravioli or wonton wrapper recipe from Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup warm water

Mix flour and salt then slowly stir in warm water until stiff. Next, knead dough on a floured surface for about 5-7 minutes until smooth. Place ball of dough in a bowl and cover with a towel for 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces and roll out on a floured surface until about 2 mm thick. Then cut into 3×3 inch squares (ish).

Pumpkin Ravioli Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups pumpkin (or any other kind of squash)
  • 1/4-1/2 stick of butter (decide how rich you want it to be or how many extra miles you want to walk tomorrow;)
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (The recipe called for panko which I discovered I am out of so I thought I’d use Italian… which I was also sad to discover I was out of so I put a piece of Oregon Herb bread from Great Harvest in the food processor… perfection.  Use whatever you choose… or have in the pantry.)
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • salt and pepper

Blend butter and pumpkin in food processor or with electric beaters until smooth. Transfer into a bowl and stir in breadcrumbs, cheese, salt and pepper.

Put a tablespoon or so of the mixture onto a ravioli then fold over, dampen edges (just dip fingers in a cup of water and run over edges) and press firmly together to seal off in a triangular form.  Trust me; it’s easy.  My hubby made most of them! You can do it! 🙂

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Get a pot of water boiling and once it is rapidly boiling plop the ravioli in for 5-6 minutes. Strain. Serve with garlic butter &thyme sauce or sauce of your choice.

Garlic butter & thyme sauce

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 stick of butter

1 tablespoon of fresh thyme (or any other fresh herb you think would be good)

Mince the garlic and prepare the herbs while the butter melts on medium-low

Add garlic and fresh herbs until garlic softens and get close to browning.

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Pumpkin Butter- Spreadable Pumpkin Pie

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A while back I went pie pumpkin picking at one of my favorite pick your own farms in my area.  I love going here because it supports family farming and small business, their produce is cheaper and more natural than the grocery store, and I get to pick it right off the plant- so it is about as fresh as it gets! Plus the view is to die for:

This particular day I had a Groupon for the value of $30 that I paid just $15 for to use at this farm.  I was very excited because that is an awesome deal.  By the way if you want to join Groupon, it is a daily offer for your area for a small business.  They just e-mail you the offer each morning and if you interested you can buy it- if not- just delete the e-mail.

OK moving back to pumpkin butter-  So I picked two pie pumpkins on the beautiful fall morning that I visited the farm.  One became my Autumn Spice Soup and the other I used to make this delicious pumpkin butter.

I also used one store bought pie pumpkin and an orange fall squash.

I washed and sliced the pumpkins/squash in half and roasted in the oven until they were soft:about 45 minutes on 425*.

I pureed the softened pumpkin and put it in a big crock pot. Then added all the good fall spices along with a hearty helping of brown sugar.  Now that I have learned that allspice is actually its own unique ingredient, I decided I would purchase it.

I then stirred it up and let it cook on high for about 5 or 6 hours.  It turned from a bright orange into a dark carmel brown.  I was sick the weekend I made this, so I didn’t have the energy to do anything with it after it cooked so I let it cool and put it in the fridge for a few days.  One evening after school I felt motivated enough to can it, so I broke out the canner and got all the water boiling while I heated the pumpkin butter on the stove.

You can see from this picture how much its consistency and color is like a carmel.

Once the jars, lids and pumpkin butter were sterilized and hot, I started filling the jars with this oooey gooey goodness.

I then processed the jars in a boiling water bath for at least 40.  Apparently the USDA does not recommend home canning of pumpkin butter because it is so thick that processing cannot properly heat through to kill bacteria to the level necessary for leave it on the shelf canning.  I canned it, but am keeping it in my fridge.  I also canned in half pint jars and cooked it to smithereens in the crock pot and again on the stove. So I feel comfortable they would be okay on the shelf, but since I want to use these as Christmas presents and don’t want to kill anyone- they are living in my fridge.

What is good for you in this pumpkin butter?

Pumpkin:  Pumpkin flesh or pulp whichever is less gross sounding, has lots of great nutrients.  It is super rich in beta carotene which of course helps keep your eyes healthy, but also your skin and immune system (some makeups contain pumpkin because of this).  Beta Carotene is also a free radical fighter (to help fight against disease and cancer.  Also high in potassium, magnesium, iron, fiber and vitamin C.

All of beautiful fall spices are very healthy for you as well and have been discussed previously.

Eat, Enjoy and stay healthy!

Homemade Applesauce

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I had a beautiful fall weekend picking apples with my friend Reese a few weeks ago.  We went to the orchard I used to go to with when I was little and hunted down 4 pecks of delectable apples!

 

A sample of Apples

 

It wasn’t until about 2 weeks later that I finally got around to turning these apples into applesauce.  We went to my parent’s for the weekend and my mom, husband and I set to work on a Friday evening to turn this fruit into a healthy sweet treat!

First, we washed and sliced the apples:

Then we simmered the slices in Apple Cider for about 6 minutes or so until they softened:

Next, we put the softened apples through our fruit/vegetable processor which separates the pulp of the fruit from the skin/seeds etc..  On one side you get yummy apple sauce, the other skin and such.  I was Amazed that it pressed out looking just like applesauce- the right consistency and everything!

 

Apple Waste

 

 

Applesauce!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, we put the applesauce on the stove in 2 batches:  one plain, one with spices like cinnamon and clove.

Once applesauce was hot through, we filled hot sterilized jars, topped off with a little lemon juice (to preserve) and processed in a canning water bath.

Making a lot can be a long process, but it was really easy… although I did have two hard working helpers, Thanks Mom and Craig! 😀

What’s Good for you in all natural applesauce??

Apples!! high in plant chemicals like flavonoid quercetin which has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory action and may help prevent Alzheimer’s Disease!  Also rich in flavanoids for heart and lung health.

cinnamon- anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, can help relieve bloating and heartburn and protect against stroke.

Eat, enjoy and stay healthy!