Tag Archives: onions

Cheese Olive Herb Bread & Mushroom Brie Soup

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It all started with the need to use up our Brie cheese.  I found 2 good looking recipes on Pinterest.  I decided to made this soup.  Some modifications that I made were to put the onions in the oven to caramelize as well as the mushrooms.  I did not have enough room on one cookie sheet so I used 2, 1 for the mushrooms and 1 for the onions.  I used a little less butter than called for to cook the garlic and make the roux.  And I just used fat-free milk not cream.  The soup was creamy and delicious!

For the bread, I sauteed an onion until golden and toasty to add to the bread dough. I did not put the sundried tomatoes in.  For the herbs, I used dried thyme and some Penzeys herb mixture.  Very good bread- moist and flavorful!!  Yummy with the olives, cheese, onion and herbs!

Stuffed acorn squash

Matthew:  I’ve been accumulating squash from my CSA for the past few weeks and I finally had a break in more perishable vegetables and was able to use some of them.  My friend Beth, who is a genius in the kitchen, sent me a recipe for Stuffed Spaghetti Squash with glowing reviews.  I instead used acorn squash, but it still turned out great.  The recipe also calls for marinara sauce.  It would have been great to use homemade sauce, but since I didn’t have any on hand, I found some good quality canned sauce.  As Beth said, this is really a great recipe for using up random vegetables.  I actually used so many vegetables that they didn’t all fit back in the acorn squash halves, so I had to use another baking dish for the extra.  This is definitely a d0-over!  Here’s the recipe:

Italian Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Prep: ~ 45 minutes total time, 20 active prep.  chop/saute all the veggies while the squash is cooking and it’ll be quick.

Ingredients:

– 1 spaghetti squash
– 1/2 T. olive oil
– 1/2 chopped:
celery
carrots
onions
bell pepper
zuchinni
summer squash
mushrooms
(or anything you need to get rid of)
– 2 cloves garlic, chopped
– 1 cup spinach
– 1/4 tsp salt and pepper
– 1/2 c. bread crumbs or almond meal if you’re going gluten free
– your fav marinara sauce (~ 1 cup)
– 2 oz. shredded mozzarella
– 1 oz. parmesan

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400F. Halve the squash length-wise and scrape out the seeds. Place the halves of the squash in a large pot of boiling water for 10-15 minutes. Set aside to cool.  (I roasted my squash which worked fine.)

In a large skillet, sauté the garlic and onion in olive oil. Add celery, carrots, peppers, salt and pepper and cook veggies until softened. Add zucchini, squash, mushrooms, and spinach and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Scrape the meat out of the squash and place in a large bowl. Add the sauteed veggies, breadcrumbs, and marinara sauce. Mix everything together, then return the mixture to the empty squash halves. Top with extra marinara, mozzarella, and parmesan cheese. Bake until the top is bubbling and melted.

Canning 101

Katie:  When my mom asked me if I wanted to take a pickle making class with her, I was kind of reluctant.  Canning pickles sounded like a pasttime for little old ladies.  But she was pretty persistent, so I agreed to try it.  When we got to the class, I was surprised that I wasn’t the youngest participant.  There was a span of about 3 generations of women gathered to learn how to properly can pickles.

Canning is also more scientific than I expected and involves exact methods and safety precautions.  The class was taught by Master Food Preservers through the UW Extension program.  While canning is somewhat time consuming, it was fun doing it as a group and sharing the work.  We worked together chopping and adding ingredients, and learned about the proper methods along the way.

After learning to can pickles, we also took a salsa canning class, which was even more popular.  We used 100 pounds of tomatoes and each took 2 cans of salsa home with us.  We also recently volunteered to can corn relish using locally grown and donated produce for a local food pantry, which became my brother’s introduction to canning.

Now that we’ve been able to learn the proper techniques, we’ve gotten the equipment ourselves and are looking forward to experimenting with other recipes and making gifts for others!

Useful Links:

Beet and Greens Wrap

Katie:  This weekend, I was confronted with something I hadn’t experienced in a long time:  having to cook only for myself.  While I always like the feeling of being able to cook for others and share a meal, I decided to use this as an opportunity to make something different that others might not appreciate as much as me!

I went to the farmers’ market on Saturday morning, which was filled with stands of fresh, locally-grown produce.  I chose some beets, which looked really good.  Since I had a leftover tortilla at home, I decided to make a wrap, adapted from this recipe for Beet and Greens Quesadillas.  I really liked the combination of vegetables and spices, and the feta cheese was the perfect addition!  I even had enough filling left over to use for another meal.

Beets and Greens Wrap

makes 2 wraps

  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 medium-size onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 unpeeled beet, sliced very thinly
  • 2-3 Tbsp. water
  • 1 bunch of beet greens, chopped
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tortillas
  • a handful of feta cheese

1. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet at medium-high heat.  Add the onion and beet, and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring frequently.

2. Add the water, greens, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt, and stir until the ingredients are well distributed. Add a little more water if necessary.  Cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft and all the water has evaporated.

3.  Warm the tortillas in the microwave for about 15 seconds and top with the vegetable filling.  Sprinkle with feta cheese, roll up, and serve.  Enjoy!

Soupe a l’Oignon (French Onion Soup)

Bill:  Jill was inspired to make some French Onion Soup this weekend.  She noticed that we had 3 containers of chopped onions in the freezer.  It was a good day for soup since it was only 40 degrees with a wind chill in the low 30s.  She used this Soupe a l’Oignon recipe from The Best of Cooking Light Soups and Stews cookbook.  It took a while to caramelize 6 cups of onions.  You can tell from the picture below where she’s reading her book.  The soup was topped with baguettes and cheese broiled in the oven.  It was really good.

Baked Gigantes in Tomato Sauce

Katie:  While I was home sick last week and didn’t have enough energy to move from the couch, I wasn’t feeling too great, but I was at least able to catch up on looking for some new recipes to try.  One that caught my eye was this recipe for Greek Baked Beans from Closet Cooking.  It looked really good, and I had never tried cooking with dried beans before, so I added it to my list of recipe ideas.

Once I was feeling better again, I decided to give Greek baked beans a try, using this recipe for Baked Gigantes in Tomato Sauce from Cooking Light.  First, I soaked the beans overnight, and then cooked them the next day in water.  I then prepared the tomato sauce, which was really flavorful and included carrots, onions, celery, a few different herbs, and honey.  It smelled really good!  Then, I mixed the beans and sauce together and baked them in the oven.   I had read a few comments warning not to overcook beans or they would fall apart, so I tried not to cook them too long. Unfortunately, I think I overreacted, since the beans could have been softer.  The sauce was very delicious, so I would still recommend this recipe, but with the tip of making sure that the beans are soft enough before combining them with the sauce.  I served the beans with Italian bread.

To go along with the beans and bread, I decided to make chicken. I remembered hearing Mom talking about a good recipe for stuffed chicken, and I think it may have been the same one that I decided to make.  This recipe for Chicken Breasts Stuffed with Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes from Cooking Light was surprisingly simple to prepare and definitely lived up to the rave reviews.  Even though it wasn’t perfect, this was still a very tasty meal!

Vegetable Lentil Stew

Matthew:  I wanted to make something healthy for dinner, so I went to the Willy Street Coop and just started getting good things that I thought might go together.  My grocery list included 3 beets, 2 parsnips, an onion, a can of roasted tomato sauce, and French green lentils.  At home I also had some vegetable stock, some red wine, and some herbs and seasonings (fennel, basil, oregano, salt, pepper).  The result was strikingly scarlet and really delicious!  I simmered the ingredients for about an hour, so the beets could cook and everything could meld together.  This is the first time I’ve used French green lentils and they turned out to be really good.  They are a bit more refined than those other lentils.  I liked this dish so much that I ate it for lunch and dinner yesterday.  I will definitely be making something like this again.