Heirloom Meals: Savoring Yesterday's Traditions Today

Sunday November 14, 2010

Life at Boulderwood:
Cruelty in the Chicken Coop

Sometimes the news with animals isn't always good. This week we witnessed cruelty in the chicken coop. What I've observed with chickens is as the ladies age, the roosters are very mean to them. So much for respecting your elders. One of the older girls was molting and growing back her winter feathers and the other chickens picked on her. She was outcast and scared. She is now in chicken heaven, in peace - at least that's how I see it.

Friday November 12, 2010

Carole’s Concoctions:
Diabetic Friendly Heirloom Recipes

Gearing up for the 2-day shoot on Monday and Tuesday.  About to head out to buy ingredients and will spend weekend prepping and making each of the following dishes in 3 stages of completeness:
1st:     Completely cooked and plated for beauty shots
2nd:   Partially done
3rd:    All individual ingredients measured out and in ramekins or mixing bowls

Pumpkin Cupcakes
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
4 eggs
4 Tbsp canola oil
2/3 cups applesauce
1 cup lowfat buttermilk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 3/4 cups pumpkin
Makes 18 cupcakes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium bowl whisk together the first 8 ingredients (all the dry ingredients).
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, canola, applesauce, buttermilk, brown sugar and pumpkin.  Once that is well blended, add the flour mixture in 3 batches to make sure it is well incorporated.
Fill cupcake tins about 3/4 full.  I recommend using a non-stick cupcake tin.  Place in middle of the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until your tester comes out clean and the cupcake springs back when you touch it.  Remove from oven and let cool before icing.
1 8 oz packages of low-fat cream cheese
2 Tbsp skim milk
1 tsp vanilla
3 packets stevia
zest of one lemon
Blend until smooth with an electric mixer.  Ice the cooled cupcakes and enjoy.

Apple Cheesecake Torte
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 Tbsp melted butter (or margarine)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
Cream Cheese Filling
2 - 8 oz. packages of low fat cream cheese at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar ( or sugar substitute)
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs at room temperature
2 large tart apples such as Granny Smith - peeled, cored and sliced
1/4 cup sugar (or sugar substitute)
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Combine all crust ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse meal.  Press into bottom and up about 1” of the sides of a 10 inch springform pan.  Bake for 5 minutes, cool to room temperature.
Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees.
Beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with an electric mixer until smooth.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Spoon mixture into crust.
Mix apples sugar, cinnamon and vanilla.  Spoon over cream cheese mixture and then sprinkle with walnuts.  
Bake for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake another 45 minutes  until your tester comes out clean.  Cool on a rack and then carefully remove sides of springform pan. When completely cool, turn upside-down, remove bottom of pan, place plate on top and flip over.  And ENJOY!!!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies (gluten free as well!!)
1 cup chunky peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat Oven to 350
Mix all ingredients together.
Spoon onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes in middle of oven until golden. 

Chicken Breast Cacciatore
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
4 garlic cloves, pressed
1 Tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup minced parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450.
Mix the EVOO, garlic, paprika and 1/4 cup parsley in a small bowl. Place chicken breasts in a baking dish and spread 2 Tbsp of the olive oil mixture on top of the breasts.  Add the remaining olive oil mixture to the diced tomatoes and then pour over top.  Place in middle of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.  Top with remaining parsley and serve over brown rice with a side salad.

Roasted Pork Tenderloin and root vegetables
2 small pork tenderloins
1/4 cup EVOO
1/4 cup dijon mustard
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp rosemary, minced
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
4 sweet potatoes, sliced
3 onions, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 apples, peeled and sliced
 salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400.
Mix the EVOO, mustard, vinegar, garlic, rosemary, s and p together.  Rub over pork.  Place pork in rack in middle of roasting pan. Toss the potatoes, onions, garlic and EVOO together and spread in bottom of roasting pan. Bake for 40 minutes.  Remove pork, tent with tin foil and let sit; meanwhile put veggies back in oven for the 5-10 minutes that the pork is resting. Slice pork to desired thickness, place on platter with vegetables.

Leftover Brown Rice Stir-Fry
Leftover rice - 2-4 cups
3 Tbsp EVOO
Any and/or all the following veggies:
1-2 onions, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 green or red pap per, chopped
1/4 cup low-sodium, gluten-free soy sauce
1 egg (optional)
In a large frying pan or wok, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil.  If using all, start with onion, then add mushrooms and pepper, then carrots, garlic and broccoli.  Saute until browned and desired doneness. Toss the brown rice with 1 Tbsp of EVOO and add to veggies.  Turn the heat up so the rice browns for about 5 minutes. Add the soy sauce which nicely deglazes the pan and then add an egg if desired.

Turkey Meatballs
1 lb ground turkey (can also use grass fed beef)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 slice whole grain bread soaked in 1/4- 1/2 cup skim milk
2 Tbsp minced parsley
1 egg
1/4 cup pecorino romano OR parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375
Mix all ingredients together until well-blended.  Roll into balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake 20-30 minutes until nicely browned, checking and turning as you go.
Use your own sauce or a jar but make sure no sugar added!!  Add turkey balls to sauce and heat.  Serve over whole wheat spaghetti.
Jen’s Simple Pizza
1 whole wheat lavash wrap
For red sauce:
1 small can tomato sauce
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 Tbsp EVOO
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
dried oregano, basil or italian seasonings 
salt and pepper to taste
low fat shredded mozzarella
Preheat oven to 400
Heat the EVOO in small saucepan.  Add garlic, pepper flakes, and seasoning and heat for about a minute being careful not to burn the garlic.  Add the tomato sauce and cook over low-medium heat.  Spray the baking sheet with pam. Place the lavash on baking sheet and add sauce and a handful of shredded cheese.  Bake for 10 minutes or so until cheese is melted and bubbling.
For the white topping:
2 onions, sliced
2 Tbsp EVOO
Crumbled goat cheese or feta
Sliced olives
Arugula and balsamic vinegar (optional but delicious!)
Saute onions until golden.  Spread on lavash, add cheese and olives and bake as above. Throw a handful of arugula on top of oven-hot pizza with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar for a special treat!

Thursday November 11, 2010

Heirloom Breeds & Seeds:
Meet Farmer Lisa

Lisa Dachinger is a dear friend.  Lisa grew up in NYC and now lives the life of a farmer. She is a first generation farmer who became a farmer because she's passionate about feeding her family the freshest and most nutritious food possible.

Over the past 20 years she has grown vegetables and eggs and has evolved into raising the finest grass-fed lamb, pork and veal.
Lisa will be our Thursday blogger starting next week -  November 18th. She will chronicle her move to a farm in Richmond, MA where she has increased her herd and is taking on new and different challenges.

Welcome Lisa and we all look forward to hearing about your journey - the ups, the downs, the rewards and perils of being a woman farmer.

Tuesday November 09, 2010

Tabletop Tuesdays:
Hot Pot Top Tip

Try saying that three times fast!!
How many times have you lifted a pot lid to peak or check on the progress of your dish to find you've scorched your fingers?  Granted some of the All-Clad pots now have heat-resistant lid and pot handles, but many don't.
And leave it to my oh-so-clever Mom to come up with a solution for one of her pots.  Check it out:

Two wine corks - how simple!!  Love you Mom.

Monday November 08, 2010

Ms Murky Mondays:
Liberty Medical Diabetes Videos

Well, well, well.....it's Monday already and there is much to do.  Next Monday and Tuesday we will be shooting 8 webisodes for a company called Liberty Medical. 

My mission: Make 8 Heirloom Recipes diabetic-friendly.

The recipes I will be doing:

Pumpkin Cupcakes
Apple Cheesecake Torte
Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip cookies (gluten free as well!!)
Chicken Breast Cacciatore
Nana's No-Fail Baked Fish
Roasted Pork Tenderloin and root vegetables
Turkey Meatballs
Jen’s Simple Pizza

The recipes are written and tested.  The cool thing is, with the exception of the cupcakes and torte, my other recipes are healthy in their own right and did not need tweaking!!

So stay tuned as I share this journey with you!! And remember, November is National Diabetes Month!!
With diabetes becoming an epidemic,  I am happy to be involved in a project to help people eat better.

Sunday November 07, 2010

Life at Boulderwood:
A Visit from a Buck

Sunday morning at the farm....About 6 weeks ago I wrote about the hatching of one chick.  I am happy to report she (I hope she's a she) is looking like a miniature chicken and is foraging for bugs happily with her Mom.

 Meanwhile, the others find pecking around in the barn the best spot for nourishment.


And Burt and Uni continue to be up to their old BFF tricks... checking out all the sights, smells and sounds.

I LOVE our animals - always a source of amusement. Oh and the horses and cows are doing great.  They had an extra member of the herd this morning - a BIG Buck. They all stared in amusement as the buck gracefully hopped over the electric fence.  I think they have buck envy!!

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