Thursday, April 28, 2011

Grape Juice

Last summer we were given 16 lbs of grapes. That is a lot of grapes and we had limited fridge and freezer space. We decided to make grape juice out of them. 

Rinse 3 lbs of grapes. It is okay to leave in the seeds. Place them in a crock pot. You can fill it to the top with grapes. Add 1/2 cup of water and let simmer for 8 hours. Then drain all of the pulp out the pot and drain the juice into another bowl. Let the juice cool, then pour it into plastic bottles. This juice is delicious and will last in the fridge for about a week. Throw it out when it starts to taste like wine. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Cream of Mushroom Soup

Chris and I do our shopping on Sundays after church. I have found that often on Saturday I have a bunch of left over vegetables from the week that are about to expire. So I make what I call "Saturday Soup." I just throw all the vegetables in the Crockpot and hope it turns out well. Chris calls it "Wife Soup." Well one weekend I found that I had a whole lot of left over mushrooms and not much of anything else. So what do you do with a whole lot of mushrooms, some onions, a lemon and 1/2 cup of cream. I made cream of mushroom soup.  The really long vegetable in the picture is green onions. For some reason they are sold really big here and we usually have to fold them in half to make them fit in the vegetable drawer.
4 small green onions or 1 large, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tsp thyme
1/4 cup of butter
2 lbs mushrooms, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup of cream

Cook the onions, garlic, lemon and thyme in the melted butter until the garlic is golden, about 1 minute. 
Add the mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are soft about 2 minutes. 
Add the flour and cook for another minute, stirring constantly. 
Remove from heat and add the broth. Return to the heat and cook on low for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Wisk in the cream, heat until warm. Do not let it boil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve. 

Roast Chicken

The flavor in this chicken was amazing. I didn't have fresh herbs so I used dried and it still came out great. 

1 roasting chicken
Black pepper
2 tablespoons dried thyme or 1 large bunch fresh thyme, plus 20 sprigs
1 lemon, halved
6 pieces of garlic
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter, melted
1 large yellow onion, thickly sliced
4 carrots cut into 2-inch chunks
2 tables spoons dried fennel or 1 bulb of fennel, tops removed, and cut into wedges
Olive oil
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken inside and out. Salt and pepper the inside of the chicken. Stuff the cavity with ½ the thyme, lemon, and garlic. Brush the outside of the chicken with the butter and sprinkle again with salt and pepper. Place the onions, carrots, and fennel in a roasting pan. Toss with salt, pepper, 1 tablespoon thyme, and olive oil. Spread around the bottom of the roasting pan and place the chicken on top.
Roast the chicken for 1 1/2 hours, or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh. Remove from oven and cover with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes. 

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Stuffed Acorn Squash

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 large Acorn Squash
4 cloves of garlic
1 med onion, chopped
1 lb hamburger
1 lb mushrooms
1 med zucchini
1/2 cup red peppers, diced
1 (15oz) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon thyme
1 tablespoon curry
pinch of nutmeg
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a 9x9 pan add enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Place squash skin side up. I sliced off a thin layer of the bottom of my squash so that it would sit flat when I stuffed it. Add 1 inch of water. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

While the squash is baking brown hamburger with garlic and onions.  When the hamburger is brown and the onions are translucent, add peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, thyme, curry and nutmeg. Cook down then add diced tomatoes.

When the squash is done, turn them face side up and stuff with stuffing. Place back in the oven and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until the squash and vegetables are soft and ready to eat.

If you have left overs of the stuffing it is great over pasta for a second meal.