Friday, September 20, 2013

Peach and Blueberry Crostata

If you're wondering what a crostata is, it is just an Italian term for a rustic pie. It's the same ingredients as a pie just without all the precision and work! In my pie crust I use a whole wheat pastry flour. I find it at our little local Amish Bulk store. It's perfect for all my baking needs. I hope you can hunt some down and test it out for yourself. The local Farmer's Market had the most delicious organic peaches this year! We mainly just ate them by the dozens but towards the end of the season came this perfect crostata that I sincerely wish I had another piece of right now! Enjoy!
Ingredients for the crust: Makes 2 medium crostatas

1 3/4 cups  flour of choice
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons unbleached or raw sugar
1 1/2 sticks butter
1/3 cup of very cold water 
2 tsp apple cider vinegar- I know sounds weird. Trust me, it's fine.
Stir the dry ingredients together to incorporate. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until it resembles a wet sand consistency. Add half of the cold water and the vinegar. Stir until a dough forms. If it is still too dry add a bit more of the water. You may not need the full amount. That's fine. Once a dough ball begins to form, divide the ball into two and wrap both in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for one hour. At this point you could freeze the dough too for future uses. If you want to make one very large crostata, leave it in one ball to roll out after it has chilled.
*I have also done this crust in my food processor. The order of the steps would be the same*
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Ingredients for the pie filling:
2 cups of thinly sliced peaches with the skins on- trust me on this one too. So much easier.
1 cup of blueberries- fresh or frozen
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup of  unbleached or raw sugar
Toss to combine all the ingredients. Pile in the middle of the rolled out pie crust and flatten around into a circle. Roll the edges of the dough up onto the fruit. Brush the dough with some milk and sprinkle with some sugar. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees and then reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake for another 30-35 minutes or until bubbling and the crust has browned.
Well hello you pretty thing.... Love the sugared crust!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Whole Wheat Pasta with Sausage and Peppers

My husband and I visited an organic farm stand on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Among their produce, jarred goods and fresh roasted coffee selection was a happy little fridge full of their own farm grown pork products. Bacon, of course, and to our surprise, different options of hand made sausages... that they had made that morning! Amazing. How could I not make the hubby his most favorite Olive Garden dish of all! Needless to say, it was far better than the chain restaurant's version and he was one happy guy.
whole wheat pasta boiled
olive oil
bell peppers
salt and pepper
italian sausage
parmesan cheese
fresh basil
Prepare the pasta in liberally salted water. Once the pasta is done, take out 3/4 of a cup of the pasta water, for later use, and set aside. Drain the pasta, toss it in olive oil and set aside.
Add 1/3 cup of olive oil to a large frying pan and cook the sausage. I actually removed mine from the casing and crumbled it up as it cooked. While it cooks dice up the onion and pepper. Once the sausage is cooked through, remove from the pan and set aside. Add the onions, peppers and garlic to the same pan. Salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes until softened. Whisk in the saved pasta and then add the sausage and pasta back into the pan with the vegies with another good drizzling of olive oil. Stir to combine. In the midst of stirring sprinkle with more salt and pepper and a few good shakes of parmesan cheese. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh basil pieces. It is really good served with a big salad and this awesome homemade bread..... Enjoy!                              

Kale and Cabbage Sautee

If there was ever a vegetable that I would encourage people to not eat raw it would certainly be Kale. Except for being hidden in a delicious berry smoothie! Along with being baked into chips or floating in soup, it is equally delicious sautéed. This recipe is not only easy and nutritious but definitely delicious and worth trying as a side to your family's next meal. I served this with the Pan Seared Paprika Chicken and it was great.
1 bunch of Kale
1 small onion
1/3 cup of olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
2 cups of shredded or thinly sliced red cabbage
slivered almonds
1 tsp each of salt, pepper
1/2 tsp of paprika  
1 TBSP sugar or honey
*To process the kale, hold the stem of the kale in one hand, pull the leaves up and off the stalk. Once this is done with all the leaves, lay them together and fold them up. Dice into small pieces*
Dice the onion and sauté in olive oil on medium to low heat for a minute or so. Dice or zest, I use my small zester, the garlic into the onions. Add in the cabbage and kale. Season with salt, pepper, paprika and sweetener. Saute for 10 minutes and Enjoy!

*** The leftovers made the most wonderful stir-fry!!! Oh my goodness. I will just skip right to the stir-fry next time! ***
I added rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, a very small drop of sesame oil and a bit more sweetener. I finished it with toasted sesame seeds. It. Was. Awesome....

Slow Roasted Speghetti Sauce


Red Sauce....
My life revolves around a good red sauce! It could have everything to do with it being my number one craving while pregnant with both of my babies. I found myself with a bounty of tomatoes this summer and not enough time to do the old standby method of processing them. I decided to try this shortcut out and it worked perfectly for this busy mama! Hope you enjoy.
Preheat oven to 275 degrees
Olive Oil
Garlic Cloves
Seasonings of your choice
*This recipe can be made with a small or large quantity of tomatoes. It's just adjusting the seasonings according to the amount*
Slice tomatoes and toss with olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a sheet pan.  Also add in 2-5 cloves of garlic, depending on your amount of tomatoes. Roast for 2 hours. Allow to cool and food process until smooth. Add salt, pepper, dried oregano, dried basil, red pepper flakes and sugar to taste. Don't be afraid to keep tasting and get it perfect. That's it! All done! So easy and delicious!