Archive for November, 2009

Scratch Pumpkin Pie

Every November I make Pumpkin pies. Usually a lot of them, as we have friends who love them. We buy organic pumpkin close to Halloween, don’t carve them and then roast them right before Thanksgiving.

To roast them, I cut them in half and scoop out the seeds – we make toasted pumpkin seeds with those – then I quarter the pumpkin. Put the pumpkin quarters on a baking sheet and roast at 350º for around an hour until nice and fork tender. It will vary depending on how big the pumpkins are.

Once they’re roasted, let them cool, then scoop them out of the skin and puree in a food processor or blender until smooth. You can refrigerate the puree for up to three days or freeze it. We use the puree for pies mostly, but also pumpkin bars, cookies and muffins on occasion.  Using fresh pumpkin is less expensive and much more delicious as well.

Here’s our favorite recipe. It makes two, 9-inch pies. Quite often I double it and make four.

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What I am Thankful for

I hope everyone had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving.  We had dinner at home with friends and family gathered here.  It was a wonderful holiday.  I am thankful for our family and friends.

We made our first Heritage turkey, which was very good and made our usual holiday side dishes, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, green beans and cranberry sauce. We found an organic cranberry sauce this year, which was wonderful. I am thankful for the amazing meal we enjoyed together.

Today we are making a turkey broth, with a recipe from Tender Grassfed Meat, by Stanley Fishman. I am grateful to Stanley for writing this book. We are using it more and more in our daily cooking.

Last June we got four baby chicks.

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Monsanto in the News

I do look forward to the day that there’s no GMO’s left. It’s time to encourage our farmers to grow real food. We can all do that by buying organic & pesticide free food from our local farmers – Mom

Monsanto guilty in ‘false ad’ row

France’s highest court has ruled that US agrochemical giant Monsanto had not told the truth about the safety of its best-selling weed-killer, Roundup.

The court confirmed an earlier judgment that Monsanto had falsely advertised its herbicide as “biodegradable” and claimed it “left the soil clean”.

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Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

We ordered some wonderful grass fed beef recently and one of the cuts we got were short ribs. They need to be cooked long and slow, and are best eaten the next day.  They’re SO good. Short ribs are an inexpensive cut of meat, we paid $3.00 a pound and four pounds made six servings. The meat is similar to brisket, but even better. 🙂  Serve with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans and you have a delicious and comforting meal.

Red Wine Braised Short Ribs

These braised ribs are even better the next day–on their own or inthe delicious sandwich that follows.

Original Recipe by Tom Valenti, chef and co-owner, Ouest, New York City

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Homemade Hummus

We make hummus a lot, and with teenagers in the house, it goes fast!

This is our basic recipe and we play with it a lot. You can make it to taste and experiment with different herbs. We’ve made parsley hummus, chive hummus, spinach hummus – we always use garlic, and sometimes scallions.

Recently we’ve tried taking the skins off of the chickpeas, after they’re cooked. This is time consuming but makes a wonderfully smooth hummus. If you have time, it’s worth the effort. You can also used canned Organic chickpeas, but chickpeas are so easy to cook and it’s less expensive too.

Basic Hummus

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Avoiding GMOs

Avoiding GMOs—It’s Harder than You Think

By Stanley A. Fishman, Author of Tender Grassfed Meat

Want to avoid GMOs? You’re not alone. Polls consistently show that 90 percent of the people polled would not buy a product if they knew it contained GMOs.

Perhaps that is the reason that the United States government has made it illegal for manufacturers and sellers to label a product as containing GMOs.

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GMO Flax Seed

Curried, Orange & Ginger Chicken

Curried, Orange Ginger Chicken

This was the first time I cut a chicken down like this and it wasn’t too hard. Prep time was only about 15 minutes and the chicken is cooked in 35-40 minutes. It was really delicious – the sauce makes the dish.  I only had blood oranges, which is why they look so dark in the picture – but they worked. We served it with a fresh green salad and baked sweet potatoes.

Whole chickens are much less expensive then buying individual parts, and if you have a Trader Joe’s nearby they have very reasonably priced organic chicken.


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Garlic Roasted Potatoes

This is one of our kids favorites. You can use any types of new potatoes, red or white, I’ve also made it with regular baking potatoes when I’m out of new ones. I’ve used many different seasoning, although this is our basic one. I’ve used lemon zest, tarragon, whole garlic cloves, parsley, chives, depending on what I have on hand. Your kitchen will smell wonderful and your family will thank you. 🙂


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