Sunday, October 4, 2009

Harvest Moon, Stress Relief and a Tale of Salt


I decided that cooking would provide the stress relief I needed after a very hectic week. I had a couple of recipes that I had bookmarked a while back that seemed like just the ticket. Lots of steps, mixing, chopping, and not so much measuring. I am not much of a baker 'cuz I really don't like measuring, and really, what is a pinch or smidge? I like the kind of cooking that involves music playing, dancing around the kitchen and not so much attention to detail. How much? Oh this looks like it could be that much! Ya know that kind of cooking? Any way, recipes are more suggestions to me so off I go and get all the things that are listed on my "suggestions" and some things that are not but might be good! I like to cook, like to make mistakes cooking and like to think that I am a good cook. But my son is fond of telling folks that my moistureless chicken breasts were legendary...so maybe I am only a good cook in my own mind!

And so I made Roast Pumpkin Cheese "Fondue" and boys and girls it is GOOD!!! I made it in 2 small sugar pumpkins instead of one 7 lb (!!) one. The first one I took to work and had my co-workers be my taste testers. Some liked it, some didn't (not pumpkin people..isn't there an island they can live on?) and so I made the second one for a birthday. The first one was really good, but the pumpkin lacked...something...I couldn't decide what, but something. Now I am not a big salt girl, it's okay but I don't really add it when I am cooking except in very small amounts. I am always scared of too much salt. The recipe said to salt the inside of the pumpkin and I sorta did but for the second version, I rubbed the inside with one of those blends of many herbs without salt and it made a world of difference...just to the pumpkin. It's hard to improve on cheese and cream! (okay, I used half and half...)

Next I took on Olive Oil Granola which was an odd choice for me since I don't really eat granola. I don't do wheat germ in any form, size, shape or recipe so granola has pretty much been off my list since the ole hippie days when we lived on it in some form or another for days on end. My other gripe with most granola is that it is too sweet. I know, I know and yes I am afraid of foods that are too sweet too, like fudge...yuck!! I guess I need an island too. But back to the granola...
The recipe calls for coconut chips, but I don't do coconut for any reason either... it is a major allergy and I do like to live through meals so no coconut for me. I think I can come up with something to substitute and so onward to granola land. I pretty much stuck to the recipe except that I substituted slivered almonds and sunflower kernels for the coconut and added flax seeds. But the mistake I made this time was all about the salt. I didn't add what the recipe called for since some of the nuts I used were not raw and were dry roasted and lightly salted. I also forgot that my crappy oven heats higher than it says and so the first batch of this was a little toastier than I think it should have been - read burnt here! Another thing my son remembers from childhood, I was good at burning things. We had new neighbors that had chickens and one day I sent him over to see if they wanted the burnt biscuits I produced. Our neighbor said that the chickens loved burnt stuff and Dave replied, "they are gonna love living next door to us!" But... batch number 2 was just fine, but it coulda used a little salt...
I used Greek honey yogurt and spiced apples instead of ricotta and berries...yum!

7 comments:

moongipsies@msn.com said...

sounds nummy

Paula said...

This all sounds so good.

Just last weekend I finally discovered pumpkin soup.....I added some hot red chili and a dab of sour cream. OMG

Yep, salt will really make your dish sing.

Allegra Smith said...

I love pumpkin and I love you. A pinch, btw, is what an Italian man uses when you have your back turned to get your attention. A smidge is what happens when you try to take some mascara off with the most care you can manage and guess what? Yeah, that's a smidge. A smudge is bigger. Hugs from here.

Paula Scott said...

Definitely sounds yummy even for the lactose intolerant!
And, that was the most beautiful moon rise I've seen in a while.

Stephanie said...

omg...this sounds amazing. Can you please send my daughter and husband off to that island of pumpkin dislikers....

x..x

Christina said...

i love pumpkin! love it!
how are you, my friend?
all these recipes sound, lovely.

Shadow said...

Throw in some dried cranberries or dried cherries....instead of the coconut....that would give it some tangy goodness...I would try it like that...sounds really delicious.