Soup- Creamy Winter Squash

Posted by on Feb 26, 2012 in Recipes | 1 comment

Winter Squash, Pumpkin

Winter Squash, Pumpkin

Each fall, we put up a fair sized seasonal display- pumpkins, gourds, mums, baskets, etc.- at our Townsend TN Bed and Breakfast‘s front entrance.  While it is lovely, you can thank pesky raccoons for this recipe.  They found us a couple of years ago and started nibbling on all the edibles.  AND they wouldn’t clear their plate, a nibble here, and a nibble there.  Kind of like “Taste of Chicago”, little bites to taste everything.  It was driving my mom crazy, and she started bringing some gourds inside.  One day she sat down and started reading James McNair’s cookbook, Squash, and came up with Creamy Winter Squash Soup.  The pumpkin shown has been sitting on our laundry room counter for 3 months.  Had a soup supper last night at church so, Mom decided to give me a little more folding space in the laundry room and whacked into it!

Pumpkin Winter Squash Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Winter Squash Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds


4 Tbsp butter
1 medium to large onion, chopped
(original recipe called for 1 C of chopped leeks and ½ C of chopped shallots)
1-½ pounds pumpkin or other winter squash, which is about 3 C pureed cook pumpkin
1-quart chicken stock
1 C whipping cream or half and half
1 C orange juice, I like the OJ with heavy pulp or fresh squeeze your own and zest
it before you squeeze it reserving the zest for the garnish below.
1 tsp ground ginger
Salt to taste
Fresh round white pepper to taste

For Garnish:
Cream fraiche or sour cream
Toasted pumpkin seeds or
Toasted hazelnuts
Maybe some orange zest

Squashes other than pumpkin may be used (butternut or hubbard or buttercup) with good results.  Cut up your pumpkin into large pieces, maybe 4 or 5,  and scoop out the seeds and stringy portion. Place on a cookie sheet with sides, and put a cup or so of water on the tray, cover with foil and cook at 350° until tender but still holds its shape.  Remove from oven.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt your butter over medium high heat.  Add onion and sauté till tender about 8 minutes.  Scoop out the pumpkin from the shell and add to the pot along with the chicken stock or broth.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer until squash is very tender, about 30 minutes.

We use a Hamilton Hand Blender right in the pot and beat until smooth. (If you don’t have a hand blender, transfer to a blender in batches and blend.) Add cream, orange juice and spices.  Place over medium heat until hot, but don’t boil.  Serves 6.

 TIP:  If you want to toast the pumpkin seeds, you could spend all day trying to get the stringy orange stuff off. Instead place a half a cup in a colander and run cool water over them.  It will separate the seeds from the orange stuff and you can pick the orange stringy stuff right out.  Place the seeds on a cookie sheet with sides.  Sprinkle generously with salt and bake in a 300°  oven till crisp.  Check every 10 minutes and stir with a spatula.  Don’t worry about drying the seeds before placing them in the oven, the moisture helps.   865-448-3070

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Breakfast- Spinach Mushroom Frittata

Posted by on Feb 19, 2012 in Recipes | 6 comments

Spinach Mushroom Frittata
Spinach Mushroom Frittata

1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic minced
3 oz fresh spinach
4-6 oz fresh mushrooms, sliced
1- 10 oz can mild diced tomatoes & green chilies, drained, I use Rotel
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
12 large eggs beaten
1/2 –3/4 cup feta cheese crumbled

This will serve 4 to 6 people depending on what else you are serving with it.  You can increase it to 16 eggs for 6 to 8 people and leave the other ingredient the same quantities.  The original recipe called for herb and garlic feta cheese, I’ve used plain and it seemed all right.

Saute garlic in olive oil, 30 seconds; add spinach for 1-2 minutes till wilted.  Add mushrooms for another 2 minutes then add tomatoes and stir.  Beat the eggs and salt and pepper together and add to frying pan.  Semi-cook pulling away from sides and bottoms of pan occasionally.  When ¾ set, place in a 350 oven for 10-20 minutes till puffy!   865-448-3070


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Breakfast- Sausage Crouton Egg Tomato Casserole

Posted by on Feb 5, 2012 in Recipes | Comments Off

Sausage Tomatoes Eggs Cheese Crouton Casserole
Sausage Tomatoes Eggs Cheese Crouton Casserole

1 pound bulk pork sausage
1 pound bulk Italian Sausage
1 medium green pepper, chopped
1 C sliced fresh mushrooms
½ C chopped onion
2 ½ C onion and garlic croutons
8 eggs
1 ½ C milk or half and half
1 C (4oz) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 C (4oz) shredded cheddar cheese
4 Roma Tomatoes, thinly sliced
½ C grated Romano or Parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, cook both sausages until meat is browned.  Drain well in a colander, pressing on it with paper towels.  Saute onion and green pepper.  Spray a 9X13 glass casserole dish.  Place croutons in bottom of pan.  Top with onion and green pepper mixture.  Place ½ the meat on top of the green pepper-onion.  Saute the mushrooms briefly in the skillet and place on top of the meat mixture in the casserole.  Top with remaining meat.  Beat eggs with milk or half and half and pour on top.  Cover with saran wrap and let sit 8 hours or overnight in the fridge.

Remove from fridge 30 minutes before baking.  Place in a 300 oven for 1 hour.  Remove and sprinkle cheddar cheese on top, then the mozzarella.  Spread tomatoes on top of that and lastly the Romano cheese.  If you have some fresh chives sprinkle a few of those on top.  Put back in the oven for about 20 minutes.  When you remove it from the oven let it stand for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.  Yield: 10-12 servings   865-448-3070


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Coffee Cake- Blueberry Almond Sour Cream

Posted by on Jan 9, 2012 in Featured Recipe, Recipes | Comments Off

Award Winning Blueberry Almond Coffee Cake

2011 Award Winning Blueberry Almond Coffee Cake


For the Filling:
6 oz of almond paste, that has been frozen
2 C of blueberries
1 T flour
the zest from 2 lemons

For the Cake Batter:
2 C all-purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
¼ t salt
1 ½ sticks butter (12T) room temperature
1 ¼ cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 t vanilla extract
1 C sour cream
2 T powder sugar for dusting cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray and flour a 10” bundt pan.  Put the almond paste in the freezer.  Mix the blueberries with 1 T of flour and the lemon zest and put to one side.  Beat together the butter and sugar till smooth.  Add eggs one at a time and while scrapping down the bowl beat till light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and beat.  Sift the 2 C of flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda together, then alternate between adding and mixing in the dry ingredients and the sour cream.  (End with the flour.)  Spoon 1/3 of the batter into to the bundt pan.  Layer ½ of the almond paste by grating it onto the batter, then ½ of the blueberry mix.  Add another 1/3 layer of batter, then the rest of the almond paste and blueberries.  Finish with last 1/3 of batter.  Bake for around an hour, test with a toothpick.  Cool for about 20 minutes, then flip onto a plate and dust with powder sugar.   865-448-3070

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Soup- Homemade Tomato

Posted by on Oct 13, 2011 in Recipes | Comments Off

1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
5 C fresh diced tomatoes or 2 cans (14- ½ ounces each) diced tomatoes undrained
2 cans (10 ¾ ounces each) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
1 ½ C milk
1 tsp sugar
½ to 1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp sugar
½ to 1 tsp paprika
1/8 to ¼ tsp garlic powder
1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, cubed

In a saucepan, sauté onion in butter until tender.  Stir in tomatoes, soup, milk, sugar, basil, paprika and garlic powder.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes.  Stir in cream cheese until melted.  Yield about 2 quarts.

This is my favorite tomato soup recipe.  Mom doesn’t put the sugar in (although I think it was nice!) and when it calls for 2 cans of chopped tomatoes we use 4 to 5+ cups of fresh- diced tomatoes from the garden.  When we get a surplus of tomatoes we used to freeze them whole, but now I dice 5 cups, put them in a baggie and freeze them.  Then in the middle of the winter we pull them out and make a batch.  You can make the soup ahead of time and freeze the soup also.  Marginally it is as good as eating it freshly made.  Kathy 865-448-3070


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Muffins- Lemon Raspberry Streusel regular or gluten free

Posted by on Jun 1, 2011 in Recipes | Comments Off

Lemon Raspberry Streusel Muffins

Lemon Raspberry Streusel Muffins


1/2 C Butter, softened
1 C sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp lemon extract
zest from one lemon
½ C half and half (milk may be substituted)
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
2 C flour or
2 C fresh or frozen raspberries

1/2 batch of Gluten Free Lemon Raspberry Streusel Muffins

1/2 batch of Gluten Free Lemon Raspberry Streusel Muffins

Streusel Topping:

1/3 C Sugar
1/4 C All Purpose Flour
2 T Butter

Cream with an electric mixer butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs.  Then add lemon extract, zest, and half and half.  Mix in baking powder, salt and cinnamon.  Briefly beat in flour just until mixed.  Hand fold in raspberries.

Use regular size muffin tins.  You can spray the tin and put batter directly into the tin or spray the top area of the tin and use paper lined cups for the wells (The latter works the best.)  Fill cups so they are crowned a little over the top, makes 11 good size muffins. Mix the sugar and flour together for the streusel topping, then cut in butter to make crumbles.  Divide mixture between the 11 muffins and sprinkle on top.  Bake at 375 degrees F for about 40-45  minutes.  Test with a toothpick.  Serve hot with butter.

For gluten free, I  use McArthur Gluten Free Flour.  You might have to add an additional 1/4 cup flour to the 2 cups of flour to thicken it up for  a whole batch.  What is even better, use the regular amount of flour and add 1  teaspoon of Xanthan Gum.  It is a thickener.  You can find it in the specialty foods area of your grocery store.  They turned out wonderful using this.   Gluten free has a tendency to be crumbly even more so if you are adding more flour.  This took care of that and if you hadn’t told me they were gluten free, I wouldn’t have been able to tell! 865-448-3070


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