This year our pumpkin patch is truly worthy of a visit from the Great Pumpkin himself. We have been very blessed with beautiful perfectly sized pie pumpkins.
While most think of baked goods when it comes to pumpkins, there is a hidden gem that a waits. Pumpkin Soup. Here is my recipe.
- 1 tsp Coconut oil
- 1 large onion coarsely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic diced
- 1/4 cup of brown sugar
- 1 tsp of cinnamon (I like cinnamon so I use more like 2 tsp)
- 1 tsp of fresh crushed ginger (Again, I tend to be heavy handed on the fresh ginger root. You can also used ground powdered ginger.)
- 2 cups of vegetable broth
- 2 cups of water
- 1/2 cup of heavy cream (you can also use a heavy coconut cream, this does change the flavor a bit.)
- 1 four pound pumpkin
- pinch of salt
- grind of pepper
- Immersion Blender
- Dutch Oven
- Sharp Large Knife
- Sturdy large spoon (for scooping out pumpkin guts)
- Halve your pumpkin, scrape out “guts” (save your seeds for roasted pumpkin seeds if you like).
- Peel your pumpkin:
- TIP: Peeling a pumpkin is hard work. If you have a microwave you can “cheat”. Quarter your pumpkin halves. Place on a microwave safe platter, cover with a microwave save cover and use your potato setting for 2 potatoes. Repeat for the other half.
- Remove from microwave and cool. At this point you can just peel off the rind of the pumpkin. Easy peasey.
- Chop your pumpkin in cubes and set to the side.
- In your Dutch Oven, on medium heat; add in your coconut oil, garlic and onion and saute until golden.
- Add in your pumpkin cubes, broth and water.
- Bring to a steady boil for about 5 minutes.
- Reduce heat and add in Ginger, Cinnamon, Brown Sugar and stir until well mixed and the sugar is dissolved.
- Simmer until pumpkin is fork tender. So you can easily pierce with a fork.
- Remove from heat.
- With your Immersion blender, blend until the contents are smooth.
- Fold in your cream until well mixed. DO NOT return to heat.
- Add in a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve in Bowls with a drizzle of cream.
Side Note: My husband likes to add a touch of heat to this soup. As a suggestion use a sauce or Pepper that has a Citrus overtone, such as a Lemon Drop Pepper.
Rabbit is a wonderful lean meat. Whether domestic or wild rabbit makes a wonderful meal. This is a very basic stew recipe which uses a whole rabbit and lots of mushrooms. I use my Dutch oven for this stew.
- 1 whole rabbit. (Cleaned and cut up into pieces)
- 3 cups of mushrooms your choice (my favorites are baby Bella’s, oyster, morales) cut up in large pieces.
- 2 small turnips, peeled and diced
- 1 parsnip peeled and diced
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup cooking Sherry
- 2 small onions diced
- 8 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of fresh or dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon parsley flakes
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon of ground black pepper
- In your Dutch oven, melt your butter.
- While Butter is melting, dust your rabbit pieces (yes leave the bones in the meat) with flour.
- Brown your rabbit in the butter. Just brown the outsides.
- In a separate skillet, sauteed your onions, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil.
- Add in your sauteed ingredients over your rabbit pieces.
- Add in your parsnip and turnips.
- Sprinkle in your herbs and pepper.
- Add in your chicken broth.
- Move your stove eye heat to medium.
- Add in slowly while stirring your cooking Sherry (white cooking wine works nice too, just don’t mix the two).
- Simmer for 1 hour.
- Turn down to low.
- Using some of the broth (take out about a half a cup) stir in a spoon or two of flour to make a rich gravy and stir back into your stew.
- Turn on low until ready to sit down to enjoy.
- Yes the bones stay in the entire time.
- Serve and enjoy with some sourdough biscuits.
Until next time,
Mrs. Kay Rice
This time of year the greens really start coming in. After awhile one gets tired of salad so here is a comfort soup made from fresh kale. You can also substitute or mix fresh spinach or collard greens with or instead of the kale. Nothing warms the soul like a hot bowl of soup at the end of the day!
- 4 cups of chicken broth
- 1 cup of water
- a “bunch” of fresh kale (or greens) stripped from their stems and chopped
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 6 yellow or red potatoes diced
- 4 large garlic scapes (message me to find out what this is or google it!)
- 3 medium golden beets
- 2 large carrots
- 1 tsp of fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp of fresh basil chopped
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1 lb of ground sausage, already browned (I use spicy sausage for an extra kick)
- Pour your stock and water in your large crock-pot
- Dice and chop all your veggies and put in your crock-pot
- On the potatoes, cut out any eyes but keep the skins on the potatoes, dice small
- Carrots, scrap off skin and root hairs and dice large
- Golden beets: cut off the greens and “tail” and scrape off skins, dice large. (You can add the fresh beet greens if you like as well, strip off the stem. Waste not want not.)
- Dice your garlic scapes small.
- Add in your herbs.
- Brown your (spicy) sausage in a separate pan until cooked.
- Add the sausage and any juice from the pan into the crock-pot.
- Stir the contents.
- Set on High for 2 hours then move to low to finish cooking.
- Add salt to taste and some fresh basil just before dishing up.
Enjoy and let me know how you enjoy this recipe.
Until Next Time,
Mrs. Kay L. Rice
Beef (or any meat) Stew
On February 16, 2017 at Quest Community Church, Westerville, Ohio, we will once again be joining together to work on our meal-prepping skills. The second recipe for this class is a traditional Beef Stew (The first recipe, is Cranberry Chicken posted on 2/11/17 on this site). Stew is a traditional standby in the Rice Household. It is perfect for meal-prep as a freezer meal before and after being cooked. If you enjoy canning, it can also be prepped in individual and family servings by using a PRESSURE CANNER (please see the post on this site for Turkey/Chicken Stew, under the canning and preserving page). But I digress. The nice thing about stew is that it can be made with pretty much anything you have on hand as well as tweaks here and there for what you like and what you don’t like. Example: Some people my love parsnips, others may not, some people think you are weird putting in peas in a stew, some say oh that’s a must have. My Grandma and Mom would refer to their stews as “refrigerator stew”, that meant anything left over from previous meals got thrown in a pot and cooked as soup/stew. In short the “waste not want not” method of country cooking.
For our class on 2/16/17, I will be outlining the meal prep freezer way to put up stew before cooking, although here and there I will also outline other methods. Ready? Here we go!
Ingredients for each meal:
- 1 lb of meat (beef, venison, pork, turkey, chicken…)
- 1 1/4 cups diced onion (I prefer red onion but its your preference)
- 2 tsps. (or 4 cloves) garlic, minced
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons of Thyme
- 1 cup of carrots diced/sliced (I like lots of carrots, so about 5 carrots sliced)
- 2 cups of diced/sliced celery
- 1/2 cups of frozen peas (do not get canned, they get squishy)
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 tablespoons of parsley (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of APPLE CIDER Vinegar
Ingredients to be added the day of cooking:
- 1 tsp of Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
- 2 Cups of Broth (to match the meat you use)
Freezer Containers needed if freezing:
- 1 quart freezer bag
- 1 gallon freezer bag
- Pen to write contents and cooking additions for day of cooking
BEFORE CLASS DIRECTIONS:
- Label you large gallon freezer bag with the title of your recipe and date prepared:
- example: Beef Stew 2/16/17
- Keep your quart freezer bag with your large gallon freezer bag.
- Since we will be working with raw meat, please, make sure you keep your product fresh and sealed and COOL in transport to and from class and put in the freezer as soon as you return from class. You also may want to prepare the meat and keep in your refrigerator at home and then add to your bag once you return from class.
- Cube your meat into small pieces. I will be using venison for my stew.
- Make sure you trim off any grisly or large fat portions (and skin if poultry).
- Put in your quart freezer bag and press out any air and keep cool.
- If you brought the meat with you, keep cold in your cooler while we prep the rest of the items.
- Chop all of your vegetables starting with your onion. Add each to your gallon bag after you finish with them.
- Side note here: I also like to add things like parsnips, sweet potatoes, fresh beets, peppers, potatoes, spinach and frozen lima beans or black eyed peas. I’ve even been known to throw in butternut squash cubes.
- Add in your frozen peas (or other frozen veggies) to your bag.
- Your bag is getting full now. Carefully add all of her herbs and shake so it flakes down over your veggies.
- Add in your tomato paste and “squish” it through the bag.
- Add in your Apple Cider Vinegar to your meat.
- Now, we need to add our meat. Since we have all these wonderful veggies in here, we do NOT want to taint them with raw meats!!! Very carefully, put your meat in its bag sealed, in the large gallon bag on top of the veggies. Meat is in the bag, but not touching your veggies. If you cook your meats ahead of time, you can add them directly in the bag, however, your meat will be very shredded when you cook the stew (which is fine, its a texture thing).
NIGHT BEFORE COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:
- Take out of the freezer and stand upright and thaw over night IN the refrigerator.
DAY OF COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:
- Very carefully open your gallon bag and retrieve the meat bag.
- Open the meat bag and dump the contents in the crock pot.
- Dump the veggie/seasoning contents over the meat in the crockpot.
- Add in your 2 cups of broth (to match the meat) to the crock pot.
- Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
- Add your salt and pepper before serving to retain flavor and not needing to re-add.
FREEZING AFTER COOKING:
Stews and soups are great for freezing left overs for other meal preps. Put in a large gallon bag or in individual sized freezer safe containers and place level in your freezer. You can reheat later in the microwave or stove top quickly because everything is already cooked.
CANNING AFTER COOKING:
I enjoy canning left over soups and stews in half pint jars individual servings that I can grab and go for work or for a quick lunch and dinner. ALL SOUP and STEWS must be PRESSURE CANNED. The rule of thumb is the amount of time for the longest pressure cooking standard ingredient. Example: Meat and beans must be canned (half pint or pint) for 75 minutes and quarts need to be canned for 90 minutes at a pressure of 11 lbs. If you are unfamiliar with a pressure canner don’t make soup your trial run.
I look forward to seeing you all in class and for those who can not attend, I hope you enjoy this recipe, and let me know what you think.
Until Next Time,
Mrs. Kay Rice