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HearthBeats: Recipes from a Kitchen Witch

Merry Meet all… this time of year has so many possibilities. With the harvest just finished.. we have so much to choose from.. it is amazing. This month not only will I have Samhain recipes.. but some good old fashion tummy filling recipes as well.

apples


Magic Baked Apples

When you polish an apple on your shirt before taking a bite, you are
continuing an ancient tradition. The Celts rubbed apples to drive
out evil fairies hiding inside the fruit. Medieval Christians
thought the practice kept away the devil. These customs reflect the
belief that apples contain Earth energies.

Magic Apples Recipe:
4 medium-sized apples
8 tbsp brown sugar
4 tsp butter
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

Rub the apples over your heart then core them. Place in a baking
dish. Fill each center with 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon butter,
and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Add 1/4 inch water to the pan. Bake 30–40
minutes at 375°F.

Hallowmas Cakes

1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups cake flour, sifted
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup confectioner’s sugar

In a mixing bowl, combine vegetable oil, chocolate, and granulated sugar.  Blend in eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition.  Add vanilla.  Stir in flour, baking powder, and salt into oil mixture.  Chill for several hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350° F.  Roll about a Tbsp. of dough into a ball.  Drop balls into confectioner’s sugar, and roll until coated.  Place balls about 2″ apart on a greased baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes.  The cakes should be  soft and the edges firm.  Do not over bake; they burn easily.  Makes about 3 doz.
Autumn Butter

1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup butter, softened

Mix all ingredients until well blended. Spread onto your favorite muffins, quick bread, sweet crackers, or drop a dollop onto morning pancakes


Greenman’s Blend

This is a classic cheese blend made with fresh herbs that can be frozen to store.
2 tablespoons fresh chives
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1-1/2 tablespoons fresh marjoram
1 tablespoon fresh basil
1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon thyme
1 clove garlic
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Chop the herbs and garlic in a food processor; add pepper. To make spread, add 1/2 cup blend to 8 tablespoons softened butter (or margarine), 1 pound softened cream cheese (or light cream cheese), and whirl until blended. Chill in refrigerator for several hours.
Store in freezer for up to 3 months in an airtight container.
The herbs can also be stored frozen in butter; then add the cream cheese just before serving.
If frozen, thaw in refrigerator, and then re-blend with an electric mixer before serving.
Variation. Chop the herbs in a food processor and add enough olive oil to form a thick paste that can be stored in the refrigerator for a week to 10 days or can be frozen for 2 to 3 months. Pack paste in glass jars and cover with a layer of olive oil to prevent drying out. Use to make marinades or add to steamed vegetables, soups, and stews.

Suggested Use cheese spread on crackers or raw vegetables. Warm cheese spread in a saucepan and add Parmesan cheese to taste for an Alfredo sauce to serve over pasta.

herbal properties:
Chives———–protection
Parsley———Calms and protects the home. Gives added energy, and vitality.
Marjoram——–Cleansing, purification, dispels negativity.
Basil————- love, exorcism, wealth, protection.
Lemon Thyme—-cleansing, purification. Healing, strength.
Garlic———–cleansing, purification, dispels negativity. Strong protection..
Black Pepper—–protection, exorcism
Dragon’s Breath Samhain Dip

There are two heads (yes, entire heads) of garlic in this dip!
(That’s why it’s called Dragon’s Breath).
But when garlic is roasted, it becomes sweet and nutty.
2 heads garlic
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
8 oz. Brie cheese (or cream cheese if you cannot eat brie)
1/2 tsp. Seasoned salt
Cut top 1/2″ off the top of the garlic heads. Remove some of the
loose papery skin, leaving the heads intact. Place each on a square
of foil and wrap well. Bake at 350 degrees 50-60 minutes, until the
Garlic is very soft and begins to brown. Cool until easy to handle.
Squeeze each head to remove the soft roasted cloves.
In a food processor( or electric mixer), process Brie cheese with the seasoned salt and
Garlic cloves. Refrigerate several hours
to blend flavors. Serve with crackers or sliced French Bread
Blood Orange Sangria
Ingredients
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups apple juice
2/3 cup Triple Sec (orange-flavored liqueur)
1/2 cup sugar
4 whole cloves
3 seedless blood oranges, each cut into 16 wedges
2 (750-milliliter) bottles fruity red wine
2 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
1 lime, cut into 8 wedges

Preparation
Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher, and stir until sugar dissolves. Cover and chill 8 hours or overnight. Discard cloves and cinnamon sticks. Pour sangria into individual glasses, including the fruit.
Yield 16 servings (serving size: about 1 cup)

Pentacle Pumpkin Pie

Ingredients:
1 1/2lb fresh Pumpkin
4oz super fine Sugar
3 eggs
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3 teaspoons cinnamon
5 tablespoons evaporated milk
10oz flour
2 1/2oz hard butter
2 1/2oz crisco
3-4 tablespoons water

1) Place Pumpkin (cored, peeled and diced) into a colander over boiling water and steam for about 20 minutes (or until tender). Then mash to a pulp and set aside to cool.

2) Sift the flour and 2 tablespoons of cinnamon into a bowl. Cut in the butter and crisco until the mixture looks like fine breadcrumbs.

3) Mix with water to form a firm dough, knead lightly and roll out onto a floured board.

4) Lightly grease and then line a round Pie pan with the pastry, reserving the pastry trimmings.

5) Bake at 375°F for 15-20 minutes.

6) Whisk the eggs and sugar together adding the nutmeg, ginger and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Fold in the mashed Pumpkin and 4 tablespoons of milk, then pour into the pastry case.

7) Roll out pastry trimmings and cut into strips. Form pentacle with strips, using milk to stick down, then brush remaining milk over any visible pastry.

8) Bake at 375F for about 40 minutes or until filling has set. Sprinkle with a little sugar and serve hot or cold! Delicious hot with ice cream or whipped cream!
Baking in advance of your Samhain celebrations can enable you to add a touch of Kitchen Witchery to it, and preparing food with love and care is a great way to imbue them with that extra special energy that home cooked foods really have.

Pumpkin Pie Cake

1 box yellow cake mix
1 stick melted butter
1 egg
Beat with a spoon and set 3/4 cup aside
Pat dough into the bottom of 9×11 pan
1 large can pumpkin
3 eggs
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup evap. Milk
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Mix and pour over cake dough

Add 1/4 cup sugar to remaining dough, mix with a fork to crumble and sprinkle over top .
Sprinkle with chopped nuts. Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.

The end of summer is the perfect time to enjoy these savory-sweet pork chops. The combination of apples and squash will get you ready to welcome fall.

Apple Crisp

8 cups peeled, cored &thinly sliced apples(granny smith)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 or 2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup regular rolled oats
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine (cut into 1/4″ chunks)
3/4 cup chopped pecans
Vanilla Ice Cream

Preheat oven to 350….

in a 9″ square baking dish or shallow 1 1/2 to 2 quart casserole,
mix apples with granulated sugar,2 tbsp. cornstarch and cinnamon…

In a bowl, combine rolled oats, brown sugar, butter and 3/4 cup flour..
Rub mixture between fingers until butter pieces are no longer
distinguishable…Stir in chopped pecans.. Sprinkle topping
evenly over apples…
Bake crisp on middle rack of oven until apples are tender when
pierced and topping is brown and bubbly, about 45 minutes to 1 hour…
If topping browns first cover with foil…
Spoon apple crisp, warm or cool into bowls…
Top with scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream..

Harvest Pork Chops recipe
Servings: 4

Ingredients:
4 boneless pork loin chops, 1/2 inch thick, trimmed
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Nonstick cooking spray
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, peeled, minced
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate
2 Granny Smith apples, washed, quartered, sliced thin
1 pound butternut squash, trimmed, peeled, seeded, diced into 1-inch cubes
1 teaspoon ginger

Directions:

Season the pork chops with pepper. Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chops and cook for 10 minutes, turning once, until well browned. Remove from pan, transfer to paper towels to drain and keep warm.

Add the onion and garlic to the skillet. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until the onion is soft and the garlic is golden. Stir in the broth, orange juice, apples, squash and ginger. Heat to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the squash is fork tender. Return the chops to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Sausage-Stuffed Squash

1 medium acorn squash
6 oz. Bulk pork sausage
1/2 cup chopped celery, optional
2 TBSP chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped peeled tart apple
1 tsp. All-purpose flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup sour cream
1/8 tsp. Salt
1/3 cup diced process cheese (Velveeta)
Cut squash in half; remove seeds. Place cut side down in a greased 13-in.x9-in.x2-in. Baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 for 25 to 30 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, cook the sausage, celery if desired and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink. Add apple; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Drain. In a bowl, combine the flour, egg and sour cream until smooth; stir into sausage mixture.
Turn squash over; sprinkle cut sides with salt. Stuff with sausage mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted.
YIELD: 2 servings.

Butternut Squash and Apple Casserole
This butternut squash casserole includes apples and is topped with a buttery spiced crumb topping with brown sugar.

Ingredients:

* 1 small butternut squash (about 2 lbs)
* 2 apples, cored, peeled, sliced
* 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
* 4 tablespoons butter, cold
* 1 tablespoon flour
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
* 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Preparation:

Peel, seed, and cut squash into small slices. Place squash and apple slices in a baking dish, about 11- x 7-inches Combine brown sugar, flour, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg; cut in butter with fork or pastry cutter until crumbly. Sprinkle crumbs evenly over sliced squash and apples.
Cover and bake at 350° for 45 to 55 minutes.
Corn Bread with Honey Butter

1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tablespoons butter, softened
2 tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.  Combine the cornmeal, flower, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium-sized bowl.  In a small bowl, beat the buttermilk, oil, and egs.  Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients; mix thoroughly.  Pour the batter into a greased 8 x 8 x 2 inch baking dish let sit on counter 5 minutes..  Bake for 25 minutes.

While the cornbread bakes, blend the butter, honey.(with electric mixer if possible)

Serve hot or cold. With the honey butter

And here is a helpful tip for your kitchen..

Storing Apples

Buy apples on sale and store them through the winter! . There are so many varieties, and they are such a great food. Thankfully, there is always some variety available in the stores year round. To save money, you can buy them on sale and store them. Almost any kind of apple will keep for several months if properly stored., even though we do not have root cellars like our grandparents may have had to store their produce; We still can effectively store apples with just a box and some newspaper. One of the important steps in storing apples is to store them so they don’t touch each other. If one apple rots, it will spread to the others if there is not a barrier between them. That is the reason for the newspaper.

Each apple should be individually wrapped with the newspaper (use only the black and white paper). They should be carefully placed in a box, and then the box placed in a dark room. You could use your garage, a pantry, an unheated porch or your basement. Anywhere where it is dark and cool (but not freezing) will work.

Only store apples without bruises or soft spots, and with the skin in perfect condition. Apples that have thicker skins will store longer than ones with thin skins, like Red Delicious. Jonathan is an example of an apple with a thick skin. Some varieties actually taste better after a few months of storage.

Until next month

Merry Cooking and Blessed Eating

The Hearthkeeper

Yield:  12 servings