butternut squash salad with farro and pepitas from smitten kitchen.com

1 medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds)
5 to 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup semi-pearled farro (see Note up top)
1/3 cup toasted pepitas (I used, and love, the salted ones)
3 ounces ricotta salata or another salty cheese, crumbled or coarsely grated (about 3/4 cup)(omit to make vegan)
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel squash, then halve lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Cut squash into approximately 3/4-inch chunks. Coat one large or two small baking sheets with 2 tablespoons oil total. Spread squash out in single layer on sheet. Sprinkle with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast until pieces are tender, about 30 to 40 minutes, turning them over halfway through the cooking time. Set aside to cool slightly.

While squash is roasting, cook farro in a large pot of simmering salted water until the grains are tender but chewy, about 30 minutes. (Since there are so many varieties of farro, however, if your package suggests otherwise, it’s best to defer to its cooking suggestion.) Drain and cool slightly.

While squash is roasting and farro is simmering, in a small bowl, whisk together sherry vinegar, water, 1/2 teaspoon table salt and granulated sugar until sugar and salt dissolve. Stir in onion; it will barely be covered by vinegar mixture but don’t worry. Cover and set in fridge until needed; 30 minutes is ideal but less time will still make a lovely, lightly pickled onion.

In a large bowl, mix together butternut squash, farro, red onion and its vinegar brine, the crumbled cheese and pepitas. Toss with 3 tablespoons of the remaining olive oil, use the 4th one only if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings. Eat now or later. Salad keeps in the fridge for up to a week.

Crazy carrot cake


1 1/2 Cups flour + 3 Tablespoons
1 Cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 Cup finely grated peeled carrots
1/2 Cup chopped walnuts
1/2 Cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon white vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
5 Tablespoons Canola oil
1 Cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. and grease an 8″ baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, mix the first 8 dry ingredients and blend well. Next, add carrots, walnuts and golden raisins – blend well. Last, add the wet ingredients – vinegar, vanilla and oil, then pour the water over top – mix well. Pour in greased baking dish.

Bake on middle rack of oven for *35 to 45 minutes. Check with toothpick to make sure it comes out clean, remove when ready. Allow to cool and top with your favorite vanilla or cream cheese frosting. Enjoy!

Links to Frosting Recipes
Basic Cream Cheese Frosting recipe from AllRecipes.com
Head here for a VEGAN CREAM CHEESE FROSTING from the Minimalist Baker

Note: *Oven baking times may vary, be sure to check your cake to make sure you do not over bake.

Lemon-Spice Visiting Cake from Dorie Greenspan

  • Butter and flour for the pan
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 large (or 2 small) lemons
  • 4 large eggs, at room temperature
  • ½ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 5 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • cup marmalade (for optional glaze)
  • ½ teaspoon water (for optional glaze)
  1. Center a rack in the oven, and preheat it to 350. Butter an 8 1/2-inch loaf pan (Pyrex works well), dust with flour and tap out the excess. (For this cake, bakers’ spray isn’t as good as butter and flour.) Place on a baking sheet.
  2. Whisk the 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, cardamom, ginger and salt together.
  3. Put the sugar in a large bowl, and grate the zest of the lemon(s) over the sugar. Squeeze the lemon(s) to produce 3 tablespoons juice, and set this aside. Using your fingers, rub the sugar and zest together until the mixture is moist and aromatic. One at a time, add the eggs, whisking well after each. Whisk in the juice, followed by the heavy cream. Still using the whisk, gently stir the dry ingredients into the batter in two additions. Stir the vanilla into the melted butter, and then gradually blend the butter into the batter. The batter will be thick and have a beautiful sheen. Scrape it into the loaf pan.
  4. Bake for 70 to 75 minutes (if the cake looks as if it’s getting too dark too quickly, tent it loosely with foil) or until a tester inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to a rack, let rest for 5 minutes and then carefully run a blunt knife between the sides of the cake and the pan. Invert onto the rack, and turn over. Glaze now, or cool to room temperature.
  5. For the glaze: Bring the marmalade and water to a boil. Brush the glaze over the top of the warm cake, and allow to it to set for 2 hours. The glaze will remain slightly tacky.
  6. When the cake is completely cool, wrap in plastic to store. If it’s glazed, wrap loosely on top.

Cinnamon Raisin Rice Pudding from thisolegal.com


1 cup Arborio Rice
1 1/2 Fresh Water
1/4 teaspoon Sea Salt
2 1/2 cups Low-Fat or Whole Milk
1-2 Cinnamon Stick
2 Eggs
1/2 c sugar
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1/2 cup Raisins
Cinnamon for garnish

In your Pressure Cooker cooking pot, combine water, rice, cinnamon stick and salt.

Lock the lid and close Pressure Valve.  Cook on High Pressure for 4 minutes.

When Beep sounds, allow a 10 minute Natural Pressure Release and then do a Quick Release to remove any remaining pressure.

Open lid and add 2 cups of the milk and the sugar to pressure cooking pot and stir to combine.

Add the eggs and vanilla into the measuring cup with the remaining milk and whisk well to combine.

Slowly pour into Pressure Cooker cooking pot, stirring as you go.

Select the Sauté or Browning function and allow pudding to come to a slow boil, stirring constantly. Continue to whisk for one minute only.

Remove cooking pot from Pressure Cooker, add raisins and mix together.

Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, sprinkled with cinnamon and nutmeg, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Rice Pudding will thicken as it cools.
Eat warm or put in refrigerator to chill.
If you prefer a firmer texture, cook for just 3 minutes.

Baby Bok Choy With Oyster Sauce from cooking.nytimes.com

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 ½ tablespoons oyster sauce
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (do not use seasoned rice vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon neutral oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
    1/2 tsp garlic/ginger paste
  • 4 to 6 bunches of baby bok choy, approximately 1 1/2 pounds, cleaned, with ends trimmed and cut in half
  1. Combine soy sauce, oyster sauce, sugar and rice vinegar in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a skillet or wok set over high heat. When it shimmers, add garlic and garlic/ginger paste, then bok choy, and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add reserved sauce over the greens to the skillet or wok, then cover it and allow to cook for 3 to6 minutes more, until bok choy has softened nicely at its base.

indian moong dal instant pot from twosleevers.com

1 c. yellow mung dal
4 c water
1onion diced
1 tomato diced
2 tbsp garlic/ginger paste
1 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp cayenne
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp corriander
1/2 tsp sugar
lemon juice and parsley or cilantro to finish

place all ingredients in instant pot.
cook for 20 min at high pressure then release naturally
mix in lemon juice and stir well
garnish with cilantro or parsley

Pumpkin Crazy Cake from michellestastycreations.com

1-1/2 cups + 2 Tbs. flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup solid pack pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 Tbs. Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
5 Tbs. canola oil
3/4 cup water

Frosting:
1-1/2 Tbs. Butter, unsalted at room temperature
2 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cups powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a bowl or the 8 x 8 pan you are going to bake in place the flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt. Mix with a whisk until combined.

Make three indentations (wells) two small and one large one in the flour mixture.  Pour the vanilla and vinegar into the small wells and the oil into the large well.

Pour the water over the whole mixture then add the pumpkin.  Mix well until completely combined.  If needed add more water up to a total of 3/4 cup.

Pour into an 8 x 8 baking dish.

Bake for 30-35 minutes or just until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Do not over bake.  Mine was done at just 35 minutes exactly.  Mine took 40 min

Cool the cake completely then frost.  (If you want this to be a dairy free cake choose a frosting without an dairy products instead of the following)

To make the frosting place the butter and cream cheese in a bowl and beat until completely smooth.

Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and mix until it is smooth.
Spoon the whole bowl of frosting onto the cake and spread to the edges.  Slice and serve.

Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad

5 ounces fresh spinach half a 10 ounce bag1 and 1/2 cups dry small pasta
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 can (15 ounces) can mandarin oranges
1 large Granny Smith Apple
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped*
Optional: Feta cheese

Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2-4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon each: paprika & onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppyseeds
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a food processor or blender (I used my small Twister jar on the Blendtec) combine the apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, (adjust — more or less to personal preference, we like a less sweet dressing and use about 2 tablespoons) paprika, and onion powder. Pulse or blend for about 10 seconds. Slowly add in the oil and pulse until just combined. Stir in the poppyseeds. IF you don’t have a blender or food processor you can combine the ingredients in a bowl or mason jar and whisk (or shake jar) vigorously.

  3. Drain the pasta once it’s cooked through and immediately toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the pasta. This helps the pasta soak in the dressing and the flavor.
  4. Chill the dressed pasta in the fridge.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the (washed and de-stemmed) spinach with the chopped celery in a large bowl. Add in the cranberries and a can of drained mandarine oranges.
  6. If desired peel the apple (We like to leave on the peel!) and then slice into thin slices. Toss with lemon juice and then add to the salad.
  7. Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Add in the completely cooled pasta and toss with the rest of the salad.
  8. If you want to toast the pecans, place them in a single layer in a dry saucepan (don’t add anything) over medium heat. Stir constantly until the nuts are barely fragrant — just a couple of minutes. Watch carefully as the nuts are VERY easily scorched/burned.
  9. Alternatively, you can candy the pecans if desired. Check the link in the last paragraph of the blog text for how to candy pecans. *UPDATE: we’ve found we like this salad even more with the pecans coarsely chopped- you’ll get more in each bite! 🙂

  10. Top the salad with the pecans and (if desired) feta cheese.

  11. Enjoy immediately.

 

General Tso sauce from NY Times

  • 1 small chunk of ginger, 1 1/2 inches long, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 small red dry Chinese chilis
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum, optional

In a blender combine ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sweet soy sauce, vinegar, mirin, and sesame oil. Add chilis, salt, sugar, and xantham gum, if using. Process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl, and set aside.

Yoder’s amish chocolate pie

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 9-inch baked pie crust (Try my Amish Never Fail Pie Crust recipe above!)
  • Whipped cream
  • Chocolate shavings
  1. In a large sauce pan, whisk together the sugar, flour, and cocoa.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the milk, yolks, and vanilla. Pour into the sauce pan.
  3. Turn the heat to medium and stir in the vanilla and butter. Bring to a simmer and allow to thicken.
  4. Pour into the baked pie crust and smooth the top. Let cool at room temperature for 2 hours and chill in the refrigerator for an additional 2 hours.
  5. Top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings.