It’s that time of year again!

The leaves are falling, the air is getting that crisp feel, and it’s time to get cooking! October is a favorite month of mine. Although, I can find something I like in every month. Canning is one of my favorite things to do. This time of year you can find such great soup making ingredients, such as, squash. I love squash! I was given a beautiful, huge squash from a friend’s garden. I feel so good about cooking with it because I know exactly where it came from. I love to experiment with spices. One of my problems is I go by taste, so I really don’t measure anything when it comes to creating dishes. Baking is a different story because there is a science to ingredients reacting with one another to create beautiful desserts. I hope you will be able to find this inspirational to experiment on your own.

Squash soup:

Start with any squash( I have combined different types such as butternut squash and cucurbita)

Bake them on 375 split in half, face down in about an inch of water. I salt my water a little bit with Himalayan Pink Salt. Bake for about 45 minutes or until the squash is tender.

Scrape the squash out and toss the meat into a blender. Add 2 cups of chicken bouillon water. I use the powder bouillon because it has a more flavorful impact on my dishes vs the cubes. I will add a bit more water to the mixture until I get the consistency I prefer. Make the consistency not too thin. It will thicken a little with the cream. The cream will add a great fat that will bring out the individual flavors you are about to add to the soup. Salt and fat are two components that can make or break a dish.

Blend well until creamy. Then take the mixture and put it in a large pot. Turn the burner to medium heat and add half and half. I added probably about a cup. Stir well. I did add about a 1/8-1/4 tsp of  cayenne pepper and a few twists of a grinder of black pepper. After the pepper additions, I sprinkled nutmeg until it had a full, unique flavor. Then I canned the soup in quart jars.

Remember, this is just a guide to get you cooking. Some squash is sweeter naturally than others. Taste your ingredients first and then decide how to use them. A friend of mine recommended a book called the Flavor Bible. I love that book. It is so helpful in pairing flavors, especially if you are not familiar with certain flavors.

Have fun exploring and experimenting!

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Comfort food that is actually good for you!

Hi guys!

I am going to share what I just made. I recently have been cooking up a storm every Sunday and canning the food.  I know that if I don’t do this, I eat poorly. I did some experiments in my kitchen and I will share this receipe I made up. It is soooooo good!

How I thought of this was I was cooking a ham in the oven, so naturally, I had to think how can I use the ham bone. I decided to high tail it to the store to pick up a bag of split peas. If I am going to go through the trouble of canning, I may as well make a ton! So, I picked up 2- 1pound bags and went home. I had never ever cooked this before, so with the help of the internet, I learned how to cook the peas. Whenever I cook, I always add my own flare to it.  Here is what I did:

In a large, huge pot, I poured in 8 cups of hot water. Then I dumped the peas in it. I turned the stove on high and I boiled the peas for 25 minutes. I turned the burner off and let it sit for 1 hour.

In another pot, I filled it with 4 cans of sliced carrots, one cut up celery stalk, one cut up onion, fresh cilantro, 1/2 tsp of black pepper, garlic powder, and salt. I cooked the veggies until tender, added the ham bone to the peas, and combined the veggies into the pea pot. I cooked the mixture until the peas were tender.

After I tasted it and like the taste, I removed the ham bone and threw everything in the blender. After it was pureed, I put it back in the pot. I thought it needed a little something, so I added some milk, a little more salt and pepper, then stirred it up. To Top off the soup I threw in small pieces of ham! Delicious!!

If you are going to can the soup, fill the hot soup into hot jars and boil in a canning pot for 40 minutes. Allow to sit and seal before putting it in the cupboard.

The next time I am in a hurry, I can pop open my soup and eat it!

Nutritional value of peas:
In addition to folates, peas are also good in many other essential B-complex vitamins such as pantothenic acid, niacin, thiamin, and pyridoxine. Furthermore, they are rich source of many minerals such as calcium, iron, copper, zinc, and manganese.
Green peas nutrition facts and health benefits
http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/green-peas.html

 

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