Friday, October 17, 2008

More Fall Favorites and New Ones

Squash, mushrooms, wine and cream - hard to miss with that combination. We had half of a butternut from our farm share last week, so I was looking for a good way to use it. I remember from last fall some squash with stuff on pasta combinations that we enjoyed. I found this on Epicurious: Farfalle with Butternut Squash, Mushrooms and Spinach

As usual, I adapted the recipe to use something we have - in this case, I used swiss chard in place of the spinach. Our little chard plants have just kept chugging along, producing all summer long. Grady says it likes the location and the environment.

If you use Epicurious recipes, you probably know that they have a feature in which previous users can rate the recipes. Many of the ratings of this recipe said it was kind of bland and I would have to say it was a little bit on the bland side. I grated fresh nutmeg and used more than the recipe suggests and I think those steps helped. I might use more pepper or even add some dried red pepper if I make it again.

Then, browsing through my Farm to Table Cookbook, I found a recipe for "Toffee Apple Upside Down Cake" since I had a bunch of apples on hand and was looking for a dessert idea. This is a good news, bad news story. On the not-so-good side was my success in making the caramel toffee layer. I've never been good with anything that involves melting sugar. I seldom make candy because of this challenge. But, this seemed like it would be pretty reasonable to pull off. Unfortunately, my "caramel" layer turned out more like solid plastic - good for scraping my car windows if we get ice. So, I ended up pulling it off the top of the cake. The good news is that it didn't really matter - the cake was delicious without it. Besides, Ivy Manning suggests that this cake can be used as a coffee cake for breakfast as well and that 's probably all the better without the candy on top! I'll definitely make it again with or without the caramel layer. We're going to go up to the Hood River Fruit Loop Tour again next weekend, so we will have a big supply of apples on hand for the next month or so.

This is a great time of year for local eating with so many fruits and vegetables that are new this time of year and still plenty that are fresh and local. And, for those of us with that delayed summer, we're still getting tomatoes along side the squashes and greens and apples and pears.

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