Thursday, December 13, 2012

Farm Fresh

I have been getting a box of produce from Farm Fresh to You. I am really enjoying it but I keep getting fennel. They sent along recipes and this one is a hit! Its great with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Roasted Carrot, Fennel & Apple Soup


1 lb carrots (cleaned and cut into 1" pieces)
2 med. apples (peeled, cored and cut into 16 wedges)
1 sm/med fennel bulb (white part only, cut into wedges)
Olive oil
1 clove garlic (finely minced)
1 tablespoon ginger (grated)
kosher salt
3-1/2 cups chicken stock

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Farenheit.

2. Place carrots, apples and fennel onto baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Make sure to coat pieces evenly with oil. Bake in oven for 45 - 60 minutes. Carrots should be still somewhat firm, but apple and fennel will be soft.

3. Remove carrots, apple and fennel from oven and put into large saucepan (include the oil from the pan as well). Add garlic and ginger and large pinch of kosher salt to saucepan. Pour chicken stock over vegetables. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Transfer contents of saucepan to blender, in batches and puree until smooth. (Be careful blending hot liquids.) Add more chicken stock to thin out soup to desired consistency.
     (I just use an immersion blender and blend it all in the pot)

5. Ladle into bowls and garnish with dried cranberries, crumbled goat cheese, walnuts, croutons or any combinations of these.

Serves 4

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

TWD: Gingerbread Baby Cakes

It looks like all started well. I haven't been able to join in TWD for a while because of weddings so I was looking forward to jumping back in. I had all the ingredients and had even read helpful hints.

The batter looked good and smelled great. I was looking forward to the smell filling the house while it baked. I knew I did not have a baby cakes pan but the recipe said you  could use a 10" cake pan. I thought I had one. I filled the pan with batter and even thought to myself "wow, that pan is full".
Here is the epic FAIL!! The pan was full - too full. Almost over half way through I noticed the smoke. I looked in the oven and it was lava streaming down the pan. I took a spatula and scrapped the bottom of the oven. Thinking it couldn't rise anymore.
Wrong!!! It kept growing and spilling over. The smoke was intense but the down draft and open windows were working or so I thought. My weary working housemates came home to the smell of burning molasses instead of Christmas cheer. I tried to scrape more off the bottom and get it totally baked but finally had to give up when Jamie felt that all our clothes would start smelling too.
It wasn't pretty but the flavor was good. It was gooey gingerbread with ice cream for me. Tom thought it had great flavor. I am not making this again until I get the baby cake pan or as one other baker suggested use a bundt pan.
I feel like a learned a good lesson on this one...3/4's full rule. Fill no pan more then 3/4's full. I am humbled. Oh yeah, its also important to know how big a 10 inch pan really is.

Thanks to our host  Karen of Karen’s Kitchen Stories. You can find the recipe on her blog.