Weekends are Back!

standard May 15, 2011 Leave a response

I love being HOME on a Saturday! I have missed the early morning trips to the farmer’s market, running through the neighborhood before everyone is up, baking a hot breakfast, prepping food for the week. Although the only one of those things I did this Saturday was the Farmer’s Market, I am still enjoying knowing I have more Saturdays like it to come.

I did finally get a chance to making some almond butter and cashew butter this weekend. I love how much easier it is to make in the food processor versus the mini prep chopper. I made plain roasted cashew butter and then experimented with the almond butter. I should have actually measured the ingredients so I could remake it the same way – it came out fantastic!

Cinnamon Maple Almond Butter

Makes about  1 cup.

Ingredients (measurements are approximate as I just tossed things in):

  • 2 c unsalted toasted almonds
  • 1/4 c hemp seeds
  • 2 T flax seeds
  • 1/4 c maple syrup
  • 2 T cinnamon
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Steps:

  1. Grind almonds, hemp seeds, and flax seeds together in a food processor.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Stop and scrape down the bowl as necessary. Be patient. This may take  a few minutes to get smooth.
  3. Seal in a jar and store in the fridge (so the oils from the almonds and seeds do not go rancid).


For the cashew butter, I just processed 1 cup of toasted and unsalted cashews with a tablespoon of coconut oil and a pinch of salt. The cashews processed very easily, so I got runny cashew butter very quickly. It definitely won’t last long!



Apple Butter Success

standard September 26, 2010 1 response

My kitchen smelled like fall on Monday.  I think the most remembered smell from my childhood is my mom cooking applesauce. It’s beautiful. Since Macintosh apples are only available for a short while, I try to get as many as I can and make applesauce until I am sick of it. This year, I am going to try to quick can some of it for year round use.

Mom’s Applesauce

This recipe has been edited from her original recipe to my taste.

Ingredients:

  • 12 Macintosh apples
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/4 c sucanat
  • 3-5 T cinnamon

Steps:

  1. Peel and slice apples. Put all slices into a large stockpot.
  2. Add water and sucanat. Turn burner on medium-low, cover the pot, and let simmer for 25-45 minutes until mushy.
  3. Mash mixture with a potato masher. Add cinnamon to taste. I usually dump it in until it turns the color I remember that it’s supposed to be, but that’s hard to judge through the internet.
  4. Enjoy while its WARM. It’s 10 times better than cold applesauce

I filled 2 pint-sized canning jars with applesauce, and left the rest in the pot for my apple butter experiment. It was maybe another 1 1/2 pints?

Maple-Cinnamon Apple Butter

Ingredients:

  • 3 c Mom’s Applesauce
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 T maple syrup

Steps:

  1. Heat applesauce over medium heat. Add cinnamon and maple syrup and stir to incorporate.
  2. Let simmer for 1 – 1 1/2 hours or until thick. When it coats a wooden spoon and seems sticky, it’s done.

This filled one canning jar once it cooked down. It is  especially delicious on banana bread and whole wheat crepes.

You can really see the color difference! The sugars in the apples caramelize and turn the butter a rich brown color.

Meals last week were so-so. I ended up not even following the recipes in The New Vegetarian Epicure because they were too basic and seemed easy enough to just freehand. If you are looking for vegetarian party planning, check it out. Otherwise, it’s not worth it.

THIS week’s book however, looks promising.  The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet features recipes with only 5 ingredients and is broken up by food type. There are also meal planning ideas and a grocery list in the front. One downside is there are no baking recipes – it’s all lunch and dinner foods. Maybe that means I should take a baking break this week? If I find some canned pumpkin, though, it will be a baking FEAST this week in the kitchen!