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Showing posts from September, 2012

Roasted Pumpkin

S ugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins are arriving at supermarkets & farmer's markets right about now.  With the start of Fall it seems so fitting and very much of the season to roast a few of these delicious squashes for pies, custards, breads or muffins.  So simple to prepare for us to enjoy, it's no wonder I roast several of them whenever I get the chance to do so.  Pumpkins contain a lot of beta carotene which converts to essential Vitamin A that we need for good overall health.  One cup of this flesh contains in excess of 500 mg. of vital potassium (per the University of Illinois), so why not take advantage of some now?  Having cup after cup of smooth puree at my disposal (I keep it frozen in one cup portions) enables me to whip up a batch of pumpkin bread  or some tasty pumpkin custards  should the mood strike me.  Canned pumpkin is a convenient foodstuff which I highly recommend keeping in stock in one's pantry.  It's reliable, consistent and quite good.  Havi

Specialty Baking Pans & Molds

Specialty baking pans and molds are designed for specific breads, cakes, custards, pastries and cookies.  Pandoro molds, pots de creme cups and kugelhopf pans are but a few of the pans I'm referring to, which may or may not be familiar to you.  Many bakers, like myself, have some of these pans in their kitchens, because we enjoy using them throughout the year to make the most delectable treats.  Professional bakers and those who are passionate about their craft will more than likely have everything on this list I've compiled.  For them, the pans are not extras, they are necessities and essentials to their baking, testing and creating. I feel it's important for every baker, whether a novice or a more experienced one, to expand their knowledge & vocabulary when it comes to this subject.  Knowing what a pan is for and what one should bake in it might encourage more of us to try new recipes and broaden our baking repertoire.  Why shouldn't we attempt a savarin at h

Line Drying at Home

With more of us trying to reduce our carbon footprint these days by taking certain measures in our daily lives, I feel it's important for every household to line dry their laundry either all of the time or at least part of the time.  Line drying at home has been a way of life for us ever since we moved into our first house.  It's just always made sense to me, because it's how mom used to dry her laundry while I was growing up.  She had a dedicated area at the side of the house with a built-in clothesline for the weekly wash.  Mom dried her laundry this way more out of a sense of economy than anything else. My utility/mudroom in the annex provides plenty of space in which to line dry indoors.  It is bright with plenty of windows to provide cross ventilation if I open them; this dries things quickly! Now that I'm older I too want to economize as much as I can, while reducing my energy consumption at home.  Line drying is undoubtedly one way to go about this a

Enjoying the End of Summer

The grounds around our home are still thick, lush & verdant, yet I can already sense the approach of Fall around me.  Nature is making it known in small, subtle ways that change is in the air and that the end of summer is upon us.  I'm relishing in the last of those large ripe tomatoes from my farmer's market, thinly sliced on top of crostini, sprinkled with a bit of fine sea salt & drizzled with the fruitiest of extra virgin olive oils; this is a marvelous appetizer.  Although the sweet white corn from the Amish farms in Lancaster County is finished until next year's crop, we are now enjoying their deliciously crisp apples by the pound!  I must make something with them very soon. A lovely butterfly is enjoying this native Joe's Pie Weed. I don't know about you but I welcome the change of season with gusto, because it seems to usher in the colors, flavors & aromas I find to be the most comforting.  It is right about now that I begin to think a