Recipes from the SFT home kitchen

I have been spending as much time as possible in the kitchen during my brief break from the SFT. See below for a few of my most successful recipes of the season. Take caution though, I don’t measure very often unless I am baking,¬†so use your judgement when it comes to quantities. Have fun and be creative!

Thumbprint Cookies

These have been gobbled up quickly at every event and there have been multiple requests for the recipe. Don’t tell anyone, but they’re healthy, too! (Modified from here.)

Ingredients

1 C rolled oats (I use a little less than 1 C and add a half package of Apple and Cinnamon flavored Instant Oatmeal. An accidental discovery that really improves the cookie!)

1 C pecans

1 C whole wheat pastry flour

1/2 C coconut oil, melted

1/2 C honey (I use a little less than 1/2 C and add a little maple syrup to reach the required amount.

1 tsp salt

1/2 jar jam of your choice (I prefer Thimbleberry – a local favorite)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Add pecans and oats to blender, grind until a coarse meal forms. Transfer to large bowl, add flour, oil, sweeteners and salt. Stir to combine well. Roll into small balls, place on cookie sheet. Use thumb to make small indentation. Fill with a bit of jam. Bake for 15 minutes or until they just begin to brown.

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Cranberry Cream Cheese Spread

This is yummy on some fresh bread, crackers or your morning toast. Simple and delish!

Ingredients

1 package of cream cheese

2 scoops of plain yogurt

dash of orange juice

2 tablespoons honey

dried cranberries to taste

chopped pecans to taste

Instructions

Stir the cream cheese a bit, until softened. Add yogurt, oj and honey. Mix well. Add desired amount of cranberries and pecans, stir until distributed evenly. Chill until served.

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Dried and Fresh Fruit Stuffing

This was an experiment that I threw together at the last minute to try my hand at a vegetarian stuffing. It turned out quite well. You can add other dried fruits, I just used what was in the cupboard.

Ingredients

A few cups of dried, cubed bread (I made my own from some artisan whole wheat and rye breads)

1 onion, diced

2 apples, diced

Dried cranberries (or other dried fruit) to taste

Pecans (or any nut you wish) to taste

Olive Oil and/or butter

Seasoning – groundsage, celery salt, poultry seasoning, salt

Vegetable stock

2 eggs, beaten

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 F. Make bread crumbs if necessary (Dry out slices of bread in low oven. Crumble or cube once cool.) Saute onion in olive oil or butter until soft and translucent. Add apple (celery could be a nice addition here) and spices, cook until soft, another 10 minutes or so. Mix bread, onion mixture, desired amount of dried fruits and nuts. Stir well. Add stock until moist, stir in egg, transfer to buttered casserole dish. Bake covered at 350 for 30 minutes, remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

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Lentils (that even get Dad’s approval)

Not a holiday recipe, but this meal is a staple of mine. I made it for my folks the other day and there were no leftovers. Dad was stoked to discover that healthy meals can taste good too!

Ingredients

1 1/2 C green lentils*

Vegetable stock

Carrots, finely chopped

1/2 onion, finely chopped

2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced

1 bunch kale, destemmed and chopped.

Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

Directions

Soak lentils for an hour or so. Heat olive oil in large saucepan. Add onion, garlic and carrot. Cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add lentils and a bit more oil, toast for a minute or two. Add broth (I use one whole container) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until lentils are cooked, about 30 minutes or so. Add kale once most of the liquid is absorbed, cook until greens have just wilted. Salt and pepper to taste.

Optional: Add in some browned, crumbled sausage for a non-veg meal.

*French green lentils keep their form and make a much better dish than plain green lentils, but either will work just fine.

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Crowd favorite – Butternut Squash Risotto

I don’t have a foodie photo so here is a pic of the Griz and I on our way home from Montana last week. The sunset in eastern Washington was amazing and this photo has not been edited at all. The color saturation was unreal!

I spent a lot of time in the kitchen while in Montana last week. I really enjoyed planning and preparing meals for my good friend recovering from surgery. Though all of our food was delish, the hands-down winner was butternut squash risotto. Here’s the recipe (amounts are estimated) in case anyone feels like expanding their palate!

Butternut Squash Risotto with Spinach and Portobellos

2C arborio rice

1/2 onion, diced

1/2C white wine

8 (or so…)C chicken/veggie stock

A bunch (3/4C maybe?) of parmesan or other hard cheese, shredded

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and diced

2 portobello mushrooms, stems removed

a few handfuls of spinach

Flat parsley, minced

Salt & pepper to taste

Roast the squash in some olive oil, salt and pepper in 375 oven until beginning to brown. Set aside. Also roast mushrooms until tender. Chop and set aside. Warm broth in small pot. For risotto, heat olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed pot. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add rice, stir and cook for a few minutes. White spots will start to form on the grains. Stir in white wine and cook until evaporated. Start to add broth 1/2C at a time, stirring fairly continuously and not adding more until the prior cup is absorbed. Rice will begin to get creamy. Keep adding broth and stirring (this is important!) until risotto is done and then remove from heat. Stir in desired amount of cheese and stir until melted. Then add spinach and mix until wilted. Finish by stirring in the squash, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Top with a bit more cheese and minced flat parsley.

This a delicious meal to share with a large group. I hope you enjoy!

Update: It turns out that a photo of our risotto was indeed snapped… YUM!