At this time of year harvest time is almost over. A few herbs, beets, turnips, carrots, and horseradish are still in the ground waiting to be used.
Horseradish is a very interesting root we use in many of our recipes. Horseradish is a perennial plant of the "Brassicaceae Family" which includes mustard, wasabi, broccoli and cabbage. We harvest our horseradish after we have a frost. After we dig it from the ground, we peel it somewhat like you would peel a carrot, wash it and grind it with an old fashioned meat grinder which proves to be the most difficult part. Horseradish fresh from the ground is a powerful substance. The aroma is so strong that recently my husband purchased a military surplus gas mask to process our horseradish. With the mask, he can process between 8 to 10 pounds of ground horseradish without taking a break to wash out his eyes with clean water or a break to clear out his lungs.
Horseradish with time lessens in strength, but it still transmits a wonderful, more mild flavor 6 months after being processed. We use it in many different ways such as; adding it to ground meat for flavor, spread on roasts, to flavor cole slaw, in certain cocktail drinks and in cream sauces. We also make a spicy horseradish mustard that is a wonderful condiment on sandwiches or with sausages.
So next time you wish to spice up your food, try horseradish. It truly is a unique and flavorful food.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
What a busy year at the market! My Kids' Kitchen has been making breads and jams for all our local and tourist customers. The favorite bread this year is our "Maple Oat bread". Made with our delicious maple syrup which we made this spring. Another favorite is our "Triple Berry Jam" made with local island strawberries, blueberries and raspberries.
Soon fall products will be available like our delicious "Maple Pumpkin Butter" and "Apple Butter" both are wonderful on sandwiches, toast, and scones. Another favorite this year are our pickles. We have added "Dilly Beans", and "Bread and Butter Pickles" along with old favorites of "Garlic Dill Pickles and Pickle Beets" to our table. All made with our garden vegetables and without the use of pesticides. Of course the children are part of taste control, letting us know if they are tasty enough for selling.
A new item "Cheesy Bread Sticks" has been added to our collection of breads. A customer asked us to add this to our table because she thought they would do well. She was right and now we have added these fragrant items to our table regularly.
Soon the weather will turn blustery and the tourist will return home but hopefully they will have purchased a little bit of Vermont that will last with them throughout the winter season.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
With record amounts of snow this winter, those living in the Lake Champlain area knew that our spring was going to be soggy. Dealing with melting snow and then receiving record amounts of rain in April, it met flooding for many communities around the Lake Champlain valley this year.
As always, hearty "Islanders" are surviving this obstacle with the added difficulty of getting on and off the the Lake Champlain Islands. We hope with many days of sunny weather the lake will finally recede. Everyone including gardeners can then begin the clean up of debris and putting in their gardens.
It is amazing how hardy perennials are. Even with all this rain, they are persistent as they poke through the wet ground. Herbs like sage, tarragon, chives, and thyme among others are growing quickly. Asparagus, horseradish and rhubarb are poking out of the soggy soil also along with daffodils, tulips, bleeding hearts and all the early blossoming perennails.
As gardeners, we are so pleased to see life among the flooding. It brings joy and satifsfaction that even though some things may not be pleasant, life still continues on a cycle.
We are now harvesting asparagus and thought you might enjoy an easy recipe for a quiche using this delicious early spring vegetable. It is quick, easy and very tasty. Great for a brunch, lunch or a light dinner.
ASPARAGUS QUICHE RECIPE
2 cups of fresh asparagus chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste
Favorite pie crust recipe
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place pie dough into pie pan and pre-cook crust for 15minutes. Let cool for several minutes. While crust cools, saute chopped asparagus and onion in a saute pan until tender. Let cool. While the onion and asparagus cool, whisk four eggs into medium sized bowl. Add cream, cheeses,salt and pepper to bowl and stir until blended. Add onion and asparagus mixture to pie crust and pour egg mixture on top of the vegetables. Place in oven for 30 minutes or until golden.
Monday, March 21, 2011
In the Champlain Valley in Vermont, the maple season began in mid March this year. With near perfect temperatures, the sap has been flowing quite nicely. Once we gather the sap a long process of boiling the syrup until it is at the perfect density begins. This takes quite a bit of time which gives us time to decide what to do with the delicious product when it is complete.
Below is a recipe for our Maple Walnut Scones. These are great warm or cool and taste perfect with a cup of tea.
MAPLE WALNUT SCONES
4 cups of flour
2 tablespoons of sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup butter
2 large eggs
3/4 cup of light cream
1/4 cup Vermont maple syrup
1/2 cup of Walnuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a mixing bowl add flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Either grate butter or break butter into bits and work into the flour mixture until well incorporated. Crack eggs in a measuring cup and gently mix. Add enough cream approximately 3/4 cup to the egg mixture until you have a combination of 1 1/4 cup of liquid. Add this mixture and 1/4cup of maple syrup to the flour mixture. Stir until mixture comes together. Add walnuts to the scones and pat out into a 8-10 inch circle. Cut scones into 8 pieces and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cook for 20-25 minutes or until slightly golden.
Monday, February 14, 2011
It is amazing how in the summer we are bombarded with so many different kinds of vegetables. It is impossible to eat everything we harvest therefore we think of many ways to preserve as much as possible so we can enjoy these foods throughout the winter. We pickle cucumbers and beets, freeze green beans, can tomatoes, dry our herbs and tomatoes and place root vegetables in our basement in hopes that they will survive. The other day we were in the basement and noticed that a few of our butternut squash stored well this winter.
So I decided to use them in a recipe that the children like. We are fortunate that our children enjoy eating many different kinds of foods. However, like most we are always trying to find ways to include a few more vegetables daily. Therefore I decided to make these muffins. They are simple, nutritious and the kids love them.
BUTTERNUT ALMOND MUFFINS
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
*Prepare Butternut Squash
Place the entire squash on a baking sheet. Use a fork to poke holes
throughout the squash so it can release steam. Put the squash in the oven at
350 degrees until you can insert a fork easily through the flesh about
1 1/2 hours. Cool, then cut squash open, remove seeds, using a spoon remove flesh
from squash. Mash squash or put through a food processor until smooth.
3 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups butternut squash
1 1/4 cups oil
3/4 cup sliced almonds
Mix oil and sugars together, add eggs and mix well. Add squash to mixture. Stir, gently, add dry ingredients slowly and mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Lastly, add the almonds to the batter. Divide batter into your greased muffin tins and place in a 350 degree oven.
Bake 35-45 minutes -makes 12 large muffins,
Bake 25-35 minutes -makes 2 1/2 dozen medium sized muffins
Bake 20-30 minutes -makes 4-6 dozen small muffins
Saturday, January 8, 2011
The holidays are finished and the New Year has begun. As the new year begins, we have been thinking of ways to improve the work we do at My Kids' Kitchen. We think it is important to set goals like creating new recipes for our customers to enjoy and hopefully add new customers who will enjoy our food. The children sometimes have different ideas such as, how can we improve cookie recipes by adding more chocolate, always having oven baked bread at their fingertips and of course how to have fun in all situations.
We hope in the New Year to bring other wonderful recipes from foods we have in our garden or treats you can make year round to our blog readers. Recipes including english muffins, Valentine Day treats, and sun dried tomato recipes will soon follow.