Posted on 2 Comments

Beer Bread

I love beer bread drizzled with honey. It’s great to bring to a party as an appetizer or to have for breakfast. My kids love it.

Just set it out for company, all cut up into little sweet squares. It all goes. I once gave it to a host and hostess for having us over for dinner with a blueberry-infused honey from a local farm stand. They still talk about it.

You can freeze it, too, if you are lucky enough to have the room in your freezer.

Here’s a recipe close to mine (which sometimes only includes more honey in the batter) from Food Happy with Debbie via Beer Bread

Posted on 8 Comments

Recipe: farm stand butternut squash and apple soup

Delicious recipe for butternut squash and apple soup

You know eating bright, colorful farm stand food is good for your body. Hot soup is good for your soul, especially as the days grow darker earlier and crisper air arrives. You also need a good use for all of those seasonal apples you just bought at the farm stand. Give my farm stand butternut squash and apple soup recipe a try!

Pick up a butternut squash while you’re there, and you’re most of the way to a delicious, fulfilling soup.

I make this soup every week during late summer and early Fall. The hardest part is slicing the skin off the butternut squash. The most fun part is using a handheld immersion blender to puree the soup. Yes, you could use a food processor or even a standard blender; it is just easiest to use the handheld.

Butternut Squash and Apple Soup

Total time: 1 hour

Need: large pot, long spoon, sharp knife, cutting surface, blender

1 butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed
1 onion
1 large apple or 2 small apples, peeled
2 small cloves of garlic
2-3 sage leaves
1 bay leaf
12 cups of broth/bouillon
Olive oil
Sea salt to flavor

1) Peel, remove the seeds and chop butternut squash into small pieces about the size of a large blueberry. Chop the peeled onion, too.

2) Use a tall pot if you are going to use your immersion blender later. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Saute butternut squash, onion, garlic, and bay leaf in the olive oil. Mix every few minutes.

butternut squash apple soup

I grow and dry my own bay leaves.

Live bay leaf plant

3) A little browning is good for flavor.  As the veggies start to brown, add enough water to keep them from burning.

4) When the squash is softened and starting to get mushy, add the chopped apple. Saute for a few minutes, mixing so nothing burns. Add a little water to ensure it won’t burn.

Butternut squash apple soup

5) Add sage and 12 cups of water and bouillon. As a shortcut, forget the water and bouillon, just add prepacked soup broth. Use chicken stock/bouillon if you are not a vegan. Use vegetable stock if you are.

Organic chicken bouillon

Here’s the bouillon I use (in 50% of my dishes). You can click the picture below to pick up some on Amazon. One link is for chicken bouillon. The other link is for vegan bouillon.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn for qualifying purchases.

6) Boil the soup for about 20 minutes, mix occasionally, until the apples are mushy. The soup should cook down to about 75% of the broth you added. Makes the flavor richer.

7) Taste the soup. Add a teaspoon of salt if you need a little flavor boost. Mix. Boil. Taste again.

8) Remove the sage and bay leaf.

9) When the apples are soft and the flavor is good, use your immersion blender to puree the soup smooth. It takes a few minutes. Watch your clothes. It splatters. If you need to use a food processor or standard blender to puree the soup, try to do it in smaller batches so you don’t make a mess. Serve with a little sprig of sage or toasted squash seeds as garnish.

butternut squash apple soup immersion blender

Posted on 4 Comments

Make Your Own Garlic Powder

garlic cloves in a basket at Off Center Farm Stand Woodbridge

Here’s a How-to that I recommend you don’t do. It sounds labor-intensive and smelly. Still, the impressive people behind the Two Branches Homestead went above and beyond in finding a use for extra herbs. You can learn more about all they went through to Make Your Own Garlic Powder

Posted on 8 Comments

Exclusive, easy farm stand recipe: fresh ground cherry salsa (with substitutes)

Ok, ok, I have already told you it’s hard to find ground cherries. Don’t be discouraged. You can substitute fresh or canned tomatoes or tomatillos for the ground cherries in this easy, quick fresh ground cherry salsa recipe. If you don’t like spicy food, you can use a sweet pepper or no peppers instead of jalapenos.

I hope you don’t see this recipe elsewhere in books or online. As far as I know, this one is really an original, my own masterpiece and a big hit with company!

Spicy Ground Cherry Salsa

food processor
1 pint ground cherries (substitute: tomatoes, tomatillos)
2-3 jalapenos (substitute: sweet pepper, no peppers at all)
2 small cloves garlic
1 small onion
handful of fresh cilantro
tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons ground cumin
Juice squeezed from 1/4 lime

1) remove ground cherries from their husks and rinse under cool water

Washing ground cherries or husk cherries in a vintage colander in my farmstand sink

2) remove the seeds from the jalapenos

slicing jalapenos to remove the seeds on a cutting board

3) cut the onion in half or in quarters

slices of onion and garlic in a food processor

4) put all of the ingredients into a food processor and grind them into a salsa

Fresh salsa in a food processor with cumin salsa verde jalapenos ground cherries

5) taste, preferably with a tortilla chip, and add more salt, lime or cumin to your liking

ground cherries => 1 large or 2 small cans of tomatoes
ground cherries => 1 pint tomatillos, you should cut these and cook them down a bit
jalapenos => nothing, you really don’t need them if you don’t like the heat
jalapenos => 1 sweet pepper

When you or your guests aren’t snacking on it, keep the salsa refrigerated.

The beauty of this recipe is how E-A-S-Y it is. Just throw everything into a food processor and serve. Ground cherry salsa chills well. The flavor gets richer and more delicious the next day. It keeps in the fridge for up to a week.

If you’ve been meaning to pick up a new food processor, here’s an option.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. 

Removing the ground cherries from the husks takes 5 minutes, but I tend to do that while I’m watching tv. Then I leave the naked ground cherries in a bag in my fridge.

Using canned tomatoes, I’ve made this recipe in a few minutes with guests standing in my kitchen waiting for appetizers. Maybe it took me five minutes, but that would include running to the garden to get jalapenos and cilantro.

Need some other ideas for things to do with leftover herbs?