Tag Archives: Fall

Squash Harvest Bread

This bread makes me miss Seattle. My last couple of years in Seattle, I was lucky enough to be walking distance to Macrina Bakery, a gem of this city. I would walk down the street with my then boyfriend, and we would stop in for a quick pastry and coffee before the work day. I loved these mornings walking through Queen Anne. When I moved, I made sure to buy a copy of their cookbook as I knew how much I would miss this bread.

It’s much warmer in LA of course, but now that fall is here I love making this bread, and the recipe calls for 2 loaves, which my office mates are always quite happy about. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do.

*I was too lazy to hunt down all of the nuts needed so this is a modification of their original recipe

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Recipe

  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1/2 cup pecan halves
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin (or roasted squash purée)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and oil two 9 x 5 loaf pans. Spread the walnuts and pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 15 minutes. You can also do this on the stove by putting them over medium heat in a pan stirring frequently so they do not burn. You can tell when they are finished by the fragrant toasted smell and they will start to turn slightly golden, beyond of course their normal nut color. Let the nuts cool and roughly chop them into smaller pieces and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and half of the chopped nuts. The remaining half will be for garnish. Mix together.

In a stand mixer, combine oil and sugar and beat with the paddle attachment for 5 minutes. Add 2 cups of the pumpkin or squash purée and mix for another 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time.

Remove bowl from stand mixer and add in the flour mixture in small amounts, waiting until it is full combined. Mix in the buttermilk until all of the ingredients are just combined. You do not want to over mix or it will make the bread dense.

Pour the batter into the two prepared pans and sprinkle the remaining nuts over the top of each loaf.

Bake loaves on center rack for one hour, or until golden brown. Test the center to make sure it is fully cooked with a skewer or thin knife, it should come out clean when the loaves are finished. Let cool in the pan for 20 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

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Dad’s yam side dish

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I was trying to think of a more clever name for this incredibly delicious Thanksgiving side dish that my dad makes, but really it’s just a series of memories that come to mind. This reminds me of childhood, of fall in the northwest, crisp fall weather, and epic movie days with my sisters over Thanksgiving weekend. My dad makes the best Thanksgiving dinner, and this side dish, while very simple, is always a family favorite.

In the last couple of weeks I’ve been adding squash to just about ever dinner I’ve been making. After having this side dish I know that this is going to be a regular rotating as well, there is no need to only try it with your Thanksgiving meal.

Recipe

I left the skin on with this version and I really liked it. In a medium sized pot, heat over medium heat then add 2 tbs of butter, and diced yams. Cover and cook while stirring frequently for about 20 minutes until the yams are fully broken down, and the consistency of mash potatoes. Add 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Sugar is optional as the yams themselves are quite sweet. You can also substitute the butter for olive oil. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do.

  • 4 yams
  • 2 tbs unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

Fall Squash Soup

 

IMG_3904This last Sunday I was in my happy place. I spent the day relaxing in the kitchen making whatever came to mind. In this case it was a comforting fall soup, and roasted chicken with preserved lemons, and olives. I only have pictures of the soup, but the chicken was so delicious that I have every intention of making it again soon.

After a hot summer, I have always loved the changing of seasons. Now that I live in LA, it’s nice to know that come fall, we still get that cool crisp air first thing in the morning at an night when the sun goes down. As everyone knows we’ve been in the middle of a terrible drought. Last Friday it finally rained down here, and I woke up early Saturday morning to the sound of rain outside of my window. Made me really homesick for the Northwest. This much needed rain made for the most beautiful crisp weather over the weekend.

I’ve made variations of this soup for the last decade or so. My mom introduced me to butternut squash soup, and we’ve made it together more times than I can count. Her version, which I’ve adopted, you add apple, pears, and chili pepper for a little kick. Feel free to use whatever squash you happen to have. In this version I had half of a small pumpkin which was roasting in the oven so it didn’t make in the picture.

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Recipe

  • 2 small sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 small pumpkin
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 ripe pear
  • 1 apple
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tbs. turmeric
  • 1 tbs. fresh ginger minced
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 4 cups vegetable broth

Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees roast the pumpkin until a fork easily pierces the skin.

In a large pot, heat up the olive oil on medium heat, then add the diced fennel, onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes until all of the ingredients are soft and cooked through. Add the diced apple, and pear and cook for another 5 minutes stirring frequently. Add the salt, pepper, chili powder, turmeric, and minced garlic. Stir well to incorporate the seasoning evenly. Add the 4 cups of vegetable broth and cook on a medium heat for 30 minutes. If you have an immersion blender blend the soup off the heat until it is your desired  consistency. If you do not, blend in batches in the blender. Heat back up on the stove and taste for seasoning. I like to drizzel the soup with olive oil for a little extra flavor and serving aesthetic. Enjoy

Rustic Apple Crumble

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This time of year I could bake apple desserts everyday, this is not even an understatement. The funny thing is that I am not a huge apple eater generally. Occasionally I’ll grab one for a snack, or slice up with peanut butter on the side, but really we’re looking a few times a year tops. When it comes to apple desserts however, and the turn of summer to fall I can go all out.

I’ve been reading Molly Wizenberg’s Orangette food blog since about the very begging of food blogs. If you haven’t visited her site please do, she is a wonderful writer, and her blog is full of both beautiful photos, and amazing recipes. She wrote a few years ago about this apple crisp recipe, from Nigel Slater, that I have been wanting to make ever since originally seeing it. Other apple cakes and pies always seemed to get in the way, and I’m glad that I finally gave this one a chance. My co-workers also loved it.

apple crisp 2Recipe adapted from Nigel Slater

My favorite part of this recipe, which is the first time I have tried this technique, is that you cook the apples, butter, and sugar together for a few minutes to caramelize before baking. I think by doing this it really deepens the overall flavor. Also a note on apples. I like using Granny Smith apples, they don’t break down as much as others when you bake them, and I think the tart flavor complements the sweet, but feel free to use whatever you like best.

For the filling

  • 4 granny smith apples
  • 1/3 cup sugar. I had turbinado sugar on hand.
  • 2 tbs. unsalted butter

For the topping

  • 7 tbs. cold unsalted butter cut into pea sized cubes
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbs Turbinado sugar
  • 1-2 tbs. ice cold water

Peel and core the apples and cut them into 1/2 inch thick slices. Heat up a medium sized sauce pan on medium heat and add the butter until it melts and starts to foam. Add the apples and sugar and stir well to coat the apples. Let the apples cook for about 5 minutes or until the juices thicken into a golden syrup. Place cooked apples and juices into a pie dish.

To make the topping dice the butter into pea sized cubes and put into a medium sized bowl. Use your fingers to incorporate together until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. Drizzle with the ice water and incorporate together until lumps form. Evenly distribute crumb topping over apples and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until golden brown on top and the dessert bubbles on the sides of the dish.