Sunday, October 21, 2012

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chippers

Sense of Home Kitchen

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chippers
~Sense of Home Kitchen~

Makes approximately 5 dozen

1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
3 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups peanut butter (creamy or chunky)
4 1/2 cups oatmeal
3/4 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup butterscotch chips

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Cream sugar, brown sugar, and butter together.  Add eggs, vanilla, honey and mix well.  Stir in baking soda, peanut butter, and oatmeal and mix until all ingredients are moist.  Add chocolate chips and butterscotch chips and stir until just combined.

Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheet and place in preheated oven.  Bake for 9 minutes, or until just lightly golden.  Remove from oven and let cool on sheet for a minute or two, they will firm up and finish cooking. Leaving these cookies in the oven until brown will make them crispy rather than chewy.  Cool on rack until room temperature, store in air-tight container in freezer.  Take out of freezer several minutes before serving, they will thaw quickly and taste "from the oven" fresh.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Cookies

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinegar

Sense of Home Kitchen

Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinegar
~Sense of Home Kitchen~

The amount of ingredients needed depends on how many and how large of servings you desire.  Below is a list of ingredients, alternate tomatoes and fresh mozzarella sprinkle with onions and fresh herbs, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and enjoy!

Fresh garden tomatoes, sliced
Fresh mozzarella, sliced
Red onion, thinly sliced (or use your home canned red onions in vinegar)
Fresh tarragon (basil, if you must)
Aged Balsamic Vinegar

Alternate tomato and mozzarella, sprinkle red onion and tarragon, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and lick the plate clean.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Salads

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Honey Date Walnut Bread

Sense of Home Kitxhwn

Honey Date Walnut Bread
~Sense of Home Kitchen, adapted from Gourmet 1990~

Delicious plain, as well as, with a little homemade crab apple jelly or mascarpone (but then what isn't good with mascarpone).

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups homemade kefir or plain yogurt
2 1/2 cups chopped dried dates tossed with 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Butter and flour two 9- x 5-inch bread pans, set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl sift together the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the softened butter and honey with an electric mixer, beat in the vanilla, eggs, and kefir or plain yogurt.  Gradually add the flour mixture, beating until just combined.  Stir in dates and walnuts.  Divide the batter between the two prepared 9- x 5-inch pans and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until tester comes out clean.  Cool on rack.

Serve plain or topped with mascarpone or homemade jellies.

Sense of Home Kitchen / Recipes / Bread

Thursday, October 4, 2012

A Year of Preserving

Sense of Home Kitchen

I have spent a lot of time this year preserving produce from our garden or the gardens, trees and bushes of relatives and friends.  Some of the results of that time spent are shown in the (somewhat blurry)  photo above, some are tucked into our freezer.  I have recorded in the list along the side the items preserved.

I have now moved from preserving to using the product in the foods I prepare.  I have used the red onions in vinegar on a simple snack: cracker, cheese and pickled onion, unbelievably good.  I need to add homemade crackers to my To Do list over there on the right hand side of the website, I have wanted to do that for a long time.  We have already gone through two jars of salsa, we love that stuff.  Applesauce is what I have been eating for breakfast, mixed with plain yogurt or eaten alone, either way there is no comparison to the applesauce or yogurt I could have purchased, making all this time and effort worthwhile, not to mention the amount of money we have saved.  There are hundreds of dollars worth of food in the pantry and freezer that I preserved for a small fraction of the cost.  Some of the food is from foraged sources, such as the asparagus soup and the crab apple juice.  Others are from free sources, our family's apple trees or rhubarb plants.  Much of it came from our garden, not free, but nearly.  The canning jars I have reused for years, next I will invest in reusable lids, should have done that years ago.

These pie pumpkins provided seven quarts of purée and a quart of toasted seeds.  The purée will be used in pumpkin walnut breadpumpkin pancakespumpkin briochepumpkin pie, and these pumpkin chocolate chip muffins that I am making today.  There is so much more that can be done with pumpkin and I look forward to discovering some new recipes this winter, I believe I have seen some savory sauces made with pumpkin and that intrigues me.

I have also harvested rose hips.  In the photo above they are resting in the slightly curved base of my mixer, where they fit perfectly.  The larger hips are from bushes with larger flowers, leave the flowers on the bush after they die and you will be rewarded with rose hips, in the same family as apples and crab apples, they sweeten after the first frost so that is the best time to harvest.  They are packed with vitamin C, though there is more present in the fresh than in the dried rose hips, some is lost in the drying process.  I have made myself tea with the rose hips, just steep 4 to 8 fresh hips in boiling water for 10 - 15 minutes.  After they have steeped, drink the tea and eat the rose hips, they still hold some of the nutrition.

I would like to make rose hip jelly, though I am not sure I have enough of the berries yet, there are a few on the bushes that had not turned red yet so I will gather them and see if I have enough.  If so I will share the information in a post.  If not they will make more delicious tea.