Sourdough Delicata Loaf

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sourdough delicata loaf

we grew some delicata squash this year and they are super sweet, extremely starchy, and little.  perfect for baking with.  success as cupcakes, but also very successful using the sourdough muffin/loaf foundation recipe.  maple syrup for the sweetness plus a little bit of cane juice sugar and some pumpkin seeds for crunch sprinkled atop.

these delicatas are also beautiful braised in apple cider – see Andrea Chesman’s Recipes from the Root Cellar (reprinted here, but the original book is well worth the investment – I’ve many favourites that I go to in the winter from it)

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Duck Dinner

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waiting for browning

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almost ready for the slow cook

everyone raves about duck. whole duck. we usually portion our birds, but I thought, “eh, what the heck”.  the beer braised muscovy recipe on this site (scroll down or ctrl + F once you’re there to find it) intrigued me … we have a “smoky” beer that we brewed (a little heavy handed on the carmelization of the malt, heh, heh) which worked out deliciously.  I got a little carried away with the dried fruit, so it was a bit overpoweringly sweet.

verdict: nummy.

but I’d still rather portion our birds.  look at all the goodies we get out of duck day vs. whole ducks that each result in a meal or two for a family.

Success!

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Halloween treats

yes, this is at least a week late, but I wanted to show off the great treats everyone contributed.

from the top: piped chocolate webs & pumpkins decorated with dried fruits, pumpkin cupcakes with carrot juice coloured coconut oil frosting, home made Jell-O & cream gummy worms and gelatin & black cherry juice gummy worms.

the party was a hit, the kids had a great time, and I didn’t feel bad about the treat options available that K could eat.  score!

Colour Free

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wheat free vegan delicata squash cupcakes with carrot juice coconut frosting

I’m used to avoiding additives, wheat, dairy, eggs, etc. but it gets challenging with a little girl once she’s got friends coming over expecting “normal”.

I don’t do “normal” very well.

nevertheless, this time, I think I did almost normal pretty darned well (even the sugar content was off the chart on these babies – gotta try a vegan confectioner’s sugar-free frosting, now!).  the one thing I’m the most “attagirl” pleased with was the frosting.

carrot juice.

ok, hyper-carrot juice: I blendered three carrots with just enough water to pulpify them not too bad (no, I haven’t got a Blendtec or Vitamix, pity me), I pressed the results through a nut mylk bag, and reduced the juice on the stove until I didn’t dare go any further.  the results were a little off-putting visually (slightly burnt orange separated out like flakes of very old paint floating on the carrier medium), but tasted amazing: super, super sweet & carroty.  I added what probably was just shy of 1 tbsp of this carrot reduction to the coconut frosting and zammy!  look at that gorgeous colour!!  and no weird flavour profile.  beautiful!

and the kids gobbled them up (well, they were still full of sugar…)

Wormy!

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red wigglers

thanks to this great recipe, our home-made Halloween treat worked amazingly well. K brought some to preschool the next day and the kids & teacher honestly thought she’d brought real worms!

Plantain

we discovered the joy of barbequed bananas a number of years ago: I don’t remember what induced me to try it, but we had a hot grill from some kind of post-flesh-conflagration, a bunch of ripe-ish bananas and I love deep fried bananas so I thought “eh, what the heck”.

delicious.  if you’ve never tried, do. stick whole (unpeeled) on still hot (not screaming) but cooling grill.  works fine for oven baking at 350F for about 20 minutes (or until oozing & soft –  might want to stick them in a pan, I use cast iron). must use ripe bananas; kind of disappointing otherwise.

so this week’s findin’ fridays post is related, sort of.

plantain.

Photo of four varieties of bananas.

Photo of four varieties of bananas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

another “what’s that?” from K at the grocery store, and at $0.88 per pound, I figured, “eh, what the heck” and repeated experiment above with plantains (again, post-flesh-conflagration success, this time on the Cobb).

additional notes: also successful oven baked whole at 350F for around 20 minutes, but divine with maple syrup mashed into the scooped-out flesh.  ice cream would be great, too (alas, none here, egg allergy).

apparently acceptable to paleo diets.  whatever.  they’re nummy.  and a cheap treat/dessert.  also great baked & blended with steamed taro root for pudding.

turns out there are a lot of savoury options, too.  check out the links for some other plantain ideas (hmmm…)

Chocolate!!!

did that get your attention?

we’ve got a (just up the hill) local chocolate maker that’s trying to raise funds to buy a winnower (I doubt that’s the model, but it’s to give you an idea)

the great thing is that if you love chocolate, you, too, can help them buy this great piece of equipment for their expanding family business.

check out Organic Fair Chocolate’s indiegogo campaign.  maybe you’ve got some extra love you wanna spread around this Christmas, or maybe you just wanna indulge.   if you’re looking for really, really high quality, delicious (real) chocolate, get it here first!