Roasted Cauliflower

Last week was a whirl wind of activities! We learned that our deployed son was coming home! Now, we were already planning for his return, since we had a window when he told us he was coming. However, that window closed and he was still on the other side of the world. So when we got the new date, I didn’t tell a soul for fear that it would change again. It didn’t, and I finally got my hug!

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Then the next day I was totally surprised to have my 2Lt show up at my door!!! It seems that everyone in the family knew he was coming except me. That’s ok, because I just love surprises like that!! He came to surprise his girl who was playing in her first university symphony orchestra concert. He had to tell her though, because she already had plans for the weekend!

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I just love having my family come home, and my heart was almost full!  I was totally missing my girl,  but I am thankful that she and Sammy should be here for Thanksgiving. I can’t wait to squeeze that little man again!

This recipe was originally created for potatoes, but I used it last week with cauliflower. It turned out great, and the hubby loved it. It could be used as a potato substitute or as a veggie side dish.

1 large head cauliflower

1/4 to 1/2 c. water

1 tsp. garlic powder (or fresh minced garlic)

1 tsp. onion powder

1 tsp. sea salt

1/2 c. dried parsley (I used dried cilantro since I had no parsley)

1/4 c. butter, melted

Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and place in a microwave-safe dish. Add the water and cover. Microwave until mostly tender. Strain the water and gently squeeze the cauliflower to remove any extra water.

Lightly spray the dish and return cauliflower to it. Sprinkle the garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and parsley or cilantro over the top of the cauliflower, and gently stir to combine. Pour the butter on top of the mixture.

Place in a 350* oven and bake uncovered until cauliflower is tender and slightly golden, about 30 minutes.  Enjoy!

 

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Autumn Vegetable Soup

While many people think that social networking can be a great waste of time, and I can agree a little here, I have found it a fun way to reconnect with family and friends from the past.  Not too long ago I reconnected with my cousin’s daughter.  I think I met Jessica years ago when she was just a tiny thing, but I’ve not seen her since.  She shared this wonderful recipe the other day and gave me permission to share it here.  With the cold weather coming (even here in the south), soups are great on the menu!

 

I experimented a little this afternoon with a soup and it turned out better than expected! Here is an easy recipe for autumnal soup that amounts to roughly 100 calories per 1 1/2 cups!

 

Makes two servings:

 

2 cups of chicken stock

1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Whisk together with paprika, salt, and pepper over low heat and let simmer. (I did this part while the onions and carrots were cooking).

 

1/2 cup yellow onion (1 small onion) rough chop

1/4 cup carrots sliced

1/2 cup mushroom (whatever you prefer)

1/4 cup zucchini

1 cup kale shredded

 

1/4 tbls olive oil

2 cloves of garlic

Salt, pepper, and other agreeable seasoning

 

Sautee oil, onion, and carrot together in a covered pot over low heat, stirring occaisionally. When slightly softened, add mushrooms and zucchini, stir, and cover. Once those have slightly softened toss in the kale.

 

Give the veggies a minute or two more then pour over the broth and stir. Separate into two bowls and add raw, pressed garlic and stir.

 

Enjoy!

Making use of the garden goodness

As I mentioned in my last post, the summer went by all too quickly.  I did manage, however, to finally get my kitchen/dining room painted!  After 11 years with the same white walls, this is a definite improvement!  The color is Hazelnut Creme!

While some of our fruit trees and bushes did well this growing season, our garden left a lot to be desired.  Whether it was too wet and then too dry, or too hot for too long, the point is that the results of our labor in the garden were slim!  The hot peppers produced the most.  We had a few tomatoes, but I longed for more for canning and home-made salsa.  Tim had to make an unexpected trip to PA last week and brought me some very nice tomatoes and zucchini grown by Mennonite farmers nearby his parents’ home.  Here are two recipes for making the best use of these two garden veggies.

Zesty Zucchini Skillet

4 c. chopped zucchini

1 c. chopped onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp. vegetable oil (I used olive oil)

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. dried oregano (I used Italian seasoning)

1/4 tsp. salt

1/3 c. picante sauce (I used salsa)

1 med. tomato, peeled and chopped

1/2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese (I used cheddar)

In a large skillet, saute the zucchini, onion, and garlic in oil for 2 minutes. Add cumin, oregano, and salt.  Stir in picante sauce; cook and stir for 5-7 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Add tomato; cook for 1-2 more minutes or until heated through.  Remove from heat; sprinkle with cheese.

This recipe brought rave reviews from both Russ and Ben, who normally don’t like zucchini!

Fresh Salsa

10 medium tomatoes

1 lg. bunch cilantro (I use half)

1 bunch green onions

1 medium/large red onion

1 clove garlic

1 green bell pepper

8-10 hot chili peppers (or whatever variety of hot pepper you enjoy)

1 lemon

pickling salt to taste–about 2 tbsp.

Process all vegetables coarsely in food processor. Mix together in large mixing bowl.  Squeeze the juice of the lemon over mixture and add the salt.  Stir together.   Makes about 2 quarts.   I have also added yellow, red, or orange bell peppers.

Although my kids prefer the cooked salsa I make, this fresh salsa is Tim’s favorite!  Enjoy!