Autumn stew

Still needing to use some of the pumpkin that I roasted, I decided to tackle (never home)maker’s Autumn Stew.

I made several changes to the recipe. I kept doing taste tests as I was cooking it and it just kept tasting so starchy and bland. Finally, at the end I added some extra things to make it taste a little brighter and was content with the results. Addendum: The left overs were even better than the original product. The flavor was awesome the next day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into coins
  • 2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes(I used one fire roasted and one regular)
  • 29 oz roasted pumpkin puree(or canned pumpkin)
  • 32 oz broth of choice(veggie, chicken or beef)
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 1/2 cup corn(I used frozen from this past summer)
  • 1 sweet potato, diced and parboiled
  • 1 yukon gold potato, diced and parboiled
  • 1 cup of autumn spiced beer(I used Hoptober)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • juice of one lime
  • 2 tablespoons wing sauce(I used Frank’s)
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large stock pot, heat oil over medium heat and cook onion until translucent. Add carrot, tomatoes, pumpkin and broth to pot.

 Bring to a boil. Immersion blend the soup, until it’s slightly chunky. Add chickpeas, beer, potatoes, peas, corn and spices.

Simmer for 45-60 minutes.

When ready to serve, stir in juice of one lime and wing sauce in pot. Scoop into bowls and serve with pumpkin biscuits or crusty bread.

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Sangria popsicles

In honor of my college friend Mel coming into town tomorrow, I’ve made some adult popsicles.

I made them in silicone cupcake liners so they are smaller than a regular pop.

I diced up some nectarine.

Add sangria.

Freeze. Alcohol has a much lower freezing point that most things you make popsicles out of. Some home freezers don’t ever get that cold, but with high hopes, I made them well ahead of time for extra freezing time. If they don’t freeze, at least we will have some well chilled sangria!

Candied ginger and ginger simple syrup

Instructions: The only thing you have to bring to New Year’s Eve is a bottle of top shelf alcohol and the ingredients to make a signature drink.

If you know my friends and their level of creativity, that is a tall order. After searching several food blogs, food magazine and top shelf liquor websites, I combined a few recipes and created the Ginger Smash. Also inspired by the incredible Whiskey Smashes I had on Christmas at NoMI with Brock.

The first thing I needed to do was to make candied ginger so that I would end up with ginger simple syrup to put in the drink. I mostly followed David Lebovitz’s recipe.

I started out with a pound of ginger. Yes, that’s a lot of ginger.

Then I peeled the pound of ginger. I used a knife, not the suggested back of the spoon method that was recommended.

Next up, I hauled my trusty mandolin out of the cupboard and sliced it very thin. He recommends 1/8in slices. My slices were a little thinner. The important thing is that they are uniform.

Put them in a non-reactive pan on your stove top and just cover them with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and let ginger simmer for 10 minutes.

Drain the ginger after 10 minutes and return to pan. Add four cups of water and four cups of sugar and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer. Simmer until consistency of thin honey.

Pour syrup and ginger through a strainer. Separating syrup and pieces of ginger. Toss pieces of ginger in granulated sugar and lay out to dry(at least overnight). The candied ginger can be stored an in airtight container for a month. It’s delicious on its own or can be used in other recipes like ginger scones.

Pour syrup in jar and use for cocktails!

Ginger Smash:

Pour one part ginger simple syrup and two parts Makers Mark into shaker filled with ice. Squeeze one half lemon or lime in to shaker, then add lemon or lime half into shaker. Shake for 20-30 seconds. Strain and pour over rocks in a highball glass. Garnish with piece of candied ginger if desired. Strong and tasty.