Share Your Seasonal Recipes

Please browse through some our seasonal recipes featuring a variety of seasonal vegetables and herbs. And feel free to send us your own recipe that we might be able to feature on our site and any comments about the recipes below.

Seasonal

January

from the kitchen of Engrid Winslow
Roasted Winter Vegetables
Even though your garden is sleeping, you can still enjoy this seasonal recipe.

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Dice or chop equal amounts of the following:

Potatoes
Beets (chop a bit smaller because they take longer to reach doneness)
Butternut Squash
Parsnips
Onions

  1. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet large enough that they roast instead of steaming. Toss with some olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for 30-45 minutes, stirring at least once.

Variations:

  • Substitute or add other vegetables such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, turnips, sweet potatoes, kabocha, acorn, delicata or other winter squash.
  1. Drizzle with balsamic before serving.
  1. Add pumpkin seeds during last 20 minutes of roasting.
  1. Add dabs of goat cheese while still warm but not too hot.
  1. Add fresh sprigs of thyme or rosemary

from the kitchen of Engrid Winslow
We know you can’t wait for spring and fresh veggies from your own garden – we can’t either! Here are a couple of smoothies and a juice drink made with readily available winter produce to tide you over. In addition they are paleo-friendly, gluten free, vegetarian and low in calories.
Tangy Apple Kale Smoothie (serves 1)
1 cup water
2 Granny Smith apples, seeded and cut into chunks
2 cups baby kale
1 frozen banana
Combine everything and blend until smooth.
Cinnamon Squash Pear Smoothie (serves 1)
1 pear, seeded and cut into chunks
1/4 cup frozen, cooked winter squash
1 tsp. Honey (or 1/2 tsp Maple Syrup)
1/4 tsp. Cinnamon
Combine everything and blend until smooth.
Early Riser Breakfast (serves 2)
1 beet
1/4 red cabbage
2 carrots
1/2 red bell pepper
1 orange, peeled
1 apple
1/2 lemon, peeled
Juice each item, combine and stir.

from the Kitchen of Engrid Winslow
Pesto is a “secret summer sauce” because it is so flavorful, adaptable and can be frozen to bring back summer memories during the dark of winter.
Some of the best ways to use pesto are:
Tossed into hot or cold pasta, add other veggies, chicken and/or shrimp
Folded into scrambled eggs or as a filling for omelets
Drizzled over grilled chicken, pork, lamb or fish
Smeared onto ricotta-topped, toasted bread
Swirled into mashed potatoes
Drizzled on salads, roasted or grilled veggies
A topping for pizza
Spread onto sandwiches
The best tricks for getting the most flavor out of your pesto are:
1) toast nuts in an even layer in a skillet over medium heat or in a 350 degree oven for 5-10 minutes (be sure to check often to prevent burning them).  You can keep leftover toasted nuts in the freezer so there are always some on hand.;
(2) use a good quality extra virgin olive oil;
3) don’t overprocess the sauce – those flecks of texture are yummy; and
4) grate your cheese fresh by hand each time and mix it in at the end of processing.
Basic Basil Pesto Recipe
1/3 cup olive oil
1 ½ cups firmly packed fresh basil leaves
½ cup toasted pine nuts
2-4 cloves garlic, peeled
¾ cup freshly grated Parmigiana-Reggiano cheese
¼ tsp. kosher salt or fine sea salt
Optional:  2 tsp. lemon juice
Process all but cheese in a food processor, add additional olive oil if a thinner consistency is desired.
Endless variations
-Try substituting any of the following for the basil:
Use a flavored basil such as Cinnamon (also called Mexican Basil), 1 cup arugula, 1 cup mint, 1 ½ cups spinach and ½ cup oregano, 2 cups of baby greens, 2 Tbsp. thyme leaves and 2 cups of broccoli raab, 2 cups parsley (Italian flat leaf works best)
Substitute ½ of the basil with lemon balm
-Use any of the following nuts in place of pine nuts:
Pecans (great with Parsley),
Hazelnuts (try with arugula and mint),
Walnuts (good with spinach),
Almonds (good with baby greens)
-Swap out the Parmesan for Asiago or Manchego

Picture of a loaf of Irish Soda bread.

Image by HomeMaker from Pixabay

History of Irish Soda Bread
By Engrid Winslow
Image by Rebekka D from Pixabay

The tradition of Irish soda bread is a much newer invention than the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day which began in 400 B.C.  A bread made without yeast to leaven it was first reported in the Americas when settlers and indigenous people used potash before the invention of baking soda in the mid-1800s. Due to Ireland’s financial strife and lack of access to ingredients, the inspiration for Irish Soda Bread was one of necessity. It made use of the most basic and inexpensive ingredients available: “soft” wheat flour, baking soda, salt, and soured milk. For soda bread, “soft” wheat flour, a low-gluten variety of flour used in most quick bread recipes, is ideal, rather than the hard wheat flour most likely to be found in yeasted bread. And, since Ireland’s unique climate is only suitable for growing wheat of the soft variety, soda bread became a perfect match for Irish cooks.

Soda bread was also an ideal Irish recipe as even families who lived in the most isolated areas with little access to cooking equipment were able to create this simple and filling dish. Since many of the lower-class and farmhouse kitchens had no ovens, the bread was cooked in iron pots or on griddles over open hearths. This unique cooking method resulted in the signature dense texture, hard crust, and slight sourness that soda bread is known for.

The traditional mark of a cross on the top was adopted for superstitious reasons. It was believed that cutting a cross on the top of the bread would ward off evil and protect the household. The shape of the loaves varies by region. Southern Irish regions bake their loaves in the traditional fashion—round with a crossed top— and Northern regions divide their dough into four pieces and cook triangle-shaped flatbreads (also known as Farl) on a griddle.

Modern recipes for Irish soda bread usually use buttermilk instead of sour milk and have other ingredients added such as butter, egg, currants, raisins, or nuts. Here is a traditional recipe followed by one that is richer due to some of those other mix-ins. Both recipes are a delicious accompaniment to green beer!

Photo of a 4-leaf clover.

Image by Rebekka D from Pixabay

Traditional Irish Soda Bread  (one round loaf)

4 cups unbleached white flour                                                   1 TBL salt

1 tsp baking soda                                                                             ¾ tsp baking powder

1 ½ – 2 cups buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients and mix thoroughly then add enough buttermilk to make a soft dough. Knead on a lightly floured board for 2-3 minutes until velvety and smooth. Place in a well-buttered 8-inch cake pan. Cut a cross on the top with a serrated knife and bake at 375 for 40 to 50 minutes. The loaf should have a hollow sound when rapped on the bottom.

Irish Soda Bread  (one round loaf)
4 cups unbleached flour plus an extra tablespoon for currants
4 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 3/4 cups cold buttermilk
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup dried currants
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
Combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Add the butter and mix on low speed until the butter is incorporated into the flour.
With a fork, lightly beat the buttermilk, egg, and orange zest together in a measuring cup. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the buttermilk mixture to the flour mixture.
Combine currants with flour and then add to the dough which will be quite wet.
Dump the dough onto a well-floured board and knead it a few times into a round loaf.
Place the loaf on the prepared sheet pan and lightly cut an X into the top of the bread with a serrated knife. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will have a hollow sound.
Cool on a baking rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

https://www.myrecipes.com/holidays-and-occasions/christmas-recipes/fresh-baked-bread-recipes

Great ways to use all that Summer Jam that you “put up”

by Engrid Winslow

– Swirl your favorite fruit jam into a bowl of yogurt and granola. In the bowl above, I blitzed some of the cranberry sauce with an immersion blender and swirled it into vanilla bean yogurt. Then I topped it off with some of the whole cranberries from the sauce and my favorite homemade granola.
– Use your jam for filling in homemade pop tarts.
– Top pancakes, waffles, or French toast with a big spoon of warmed jam. And a dollop of sweetened whipped cream!
– Or make a simple maple fruit syrup by heating some jam with pure maple syrup in a saucepan on the stovetop. Then spoon it over your favorite breakfast pancakes, waffles, or French toast.
– Stir jam into a bowl of steaming oatmeal or steel-cut oats, or into overnight oats.
– Make fruit butter for your favorite muffins or breakfast bread by beating together butter, a dollop of jam, fresh orange zest, and a touch of almond extract.
– Top a toasted bagel or English muffin with cream cheese or ricotta and a spoonful of jam.

– This smoothie couldn’t be easier to make:

In a blender, combine 1 cup fresh-pressed apple cider, 1 cup jam, 2 frozen bananas, 1 cup yogurt, and a dash of cinnamon. Blend until combined. Makes 2 large servings.

– Add a spoonful of jam to a tall glass with ice and pour in cold and bubbly club soda. Muddle and stir to combine, for a refreshing homemade soda.
– Swirl a spoon of jam into a vodka or gin cocktail with tonic water over ice. Or stir a bit of it into your favorite margarita!

– One of my very favorite uses for summer jam involves meatballs. In a large skillet, heat 1 cup of jam, 12 ounces of chili sauce, 1 teaspoon of cumin, and 1 teaspoon of black pepper. Fold in a 22-ounce bag of your favorite frozen cooked homestyle meatballs, thawed. Stir every now and then, until heated through. Top with chopped fresh parsley, if you like a little touch of fancy. Serve as a main entree with mashed potatoes or as an appetizer with party picks. This simple recipe delivers BIG flavor.

– Construct a delicious grilled cheese sandwich with layers of leftover turkey and a tart jam such as sour cherry, plus sharp cheddar. Or try apricot jam with brie and sliced ham.
– Make a glaze for roasted or grilled meat such as chicken, pork, beef kabobs or turkey by thinning jam with a bit of white wine, apple cider vinegar, stock or water.
– If you like to make your own salad dressings, try incorporating a bit of jam into your favorite balsamic or red wine vinaigrette.
– Here’s a super simple one: just add some jam to your favorite BBQ sauce.
– You won’t believe how wonderful a spoonful of jam is over a slice of cheesecake or you can use it as a sauce on a simple chocolate cake instead of frosting
– Slices of angel food cake or pound cake are irresistible when topped with jam and whipped cream.
– Make thumbprint cookies, filled with a dollop of jam after they cool.
– And it doesn’t get much easier than this: Warm the jam and spoon over scoops of vanilla bean ice cream.

Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen

by Engrid Winslow

Whether you want to bring one of these along to gift a hostess or surprise a friend or neighbor, these are easy and fun Holiday Gifts from the Kitchen. They will be welcomed by the recipient as they appreciate your thoughtfulness and good taste.

HOT COCOA
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 ounces semi- or bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until powdery. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 months.

To use: Heat one cup of milk in a saucepan over medium heat until steamy. Add 3 tablespoons of hot cocoa mix. Whisk over heat for another minute or two, until it begins to simmer and the mix is completely dissolved. Pour into a mug, and top with mini marshmallows or a dollop of whipped cream.

Variations: Mexican Hot Chocolate (with some chili powder, cayenne, and cinnamon), Mint Hot Chocolate (with mint extract instead of vanilla), Mocha Hot Chocolate (with a couple of tablespoons of espresso powder)

For gift-giving: Package in a pretty jar and decorate as you wish along with mini marshmallows and a pretty mug or two.

SPICE & HERB BLEND
This is a great addition to soups, stews, meatloaf, sauces, and ragouts. Yields 2/3 cup.

½ cup peppercorns 4 tsp. ground ginger 4 tsp grated nutmeg

1 tsp whole cloves 2 cinnamon sticks, broken up 4 crumbled bay leaves

¾ tsp. ground mace ½ tsp. allspice

Combine ingredients and grind into a powder. Sift and pack tightly into an airtight container and store away from heat and light.

SUGARED AND SPICED NUTS
1 egg white, 1 TBL water, 1 lb. pecan or walnut halves

2/3 c superfine sugar, 1 tsp salt, 2 tsp ground cinnamon

¾ tsp ground ginger, ¾ tsp ground allspice, ½ tsp ground coriander

Preheat oven to 250 with one shelf in the upper third and the other in the lower third.

Whisk the egg whites and water until foamy, add the nuts, and pour into a sieve to drain for 3 minutes.

Combine the spices and sugar and mix well in a large plastic bag. Add the nuts and shake to coat. Spread on two baking sheets so that the nuts do not touch each other.

Bake for 15 minutes, then stir and reduce heat to 225. Continue to bake, stirring occasionally until dried and crisp – this can take as long as 1.5 hours. Switch pans at the midpoint. Let the nuts cool completely and store them in an airtight container.

Pumpkin Seed Recipes

by Sam Doll

There are so many reasons to enjoy the month of October, but one of the truly special traditions is carving spooky jack-o-lanterns for Halloween! While making funny faces and creative carvings can be a blast, I get most excited about turning the slimy guts of the pumpkins into crispy, salty, roasted pumpkin seeds.

If you are interested in other Halloween Crafts, check out these 9 great craft ideas!

Pick the Right Pumpkin
Pumpkin seeds are a delicious, healthy seasonal snack that can be as creatively flavored any way you want! The first thing you need to do is pick a pumpkin!

Want to grow your own pumpkins? The Jack-O-Lantern variety is perfect for eating and carving.

Wandering through a pumpkin patch, it might seem impossible to know which pumpkin would be good for carving and roasting seeds. Lucky for you, the easy part is figuring out which ones are chock full of seeds. Just pick it up! The heavier the pumpkin, the more likely it is to be full of seeds.

If you need help picking out a perfect pumpkin for carving, check out this guide.

Harvest the Seeds
This is the fun part! Once you cut the top of your jack-o-lantern off, it’s time to get your hands dirty.

Set up two bowls. Scoop out as much of the guts and seeds as you can with your hands. Separate as many of the seeds from the pulp as you can and put them in one bowl. It’s okay if they are still slimy and still have a little pulp on them, you’ll clean that off later.

As you get near the end, use a large metal spoon to scrape down the inside walls of the pumpkin to clean out any remaining strands and straggling seeds. Wash up and finish carving your pumpkins!

If you need ideas or templates for carving, here are great ones!

Prepare the Seeds
Place the seeds in a colander and rinse the seeds under cold, running water. Use your hands to remove any pulp still attached. Once clean, remove them and set aside

Here are four other great pumpkin craft ideas.

Boil the Seeds
Depending on how many seeds you have, fill a saucepan or pot with water and salt it until it tastes like the sea. Bring to a boil and add the cleaned seeds.

Boil for 5-8 minutes until the seeds begin to look translucent. Remove the seeds to a baking sheet and pat them dry.

The boiling gives the seeds a pleasant salty flavor throughout and ensures that they cook evenly and without burning in the oven.

Roast ‘Em
Preheat the oven to 400-425 (this isn’t an exact science) and add the seeds. Roast until golden, crispy and delicious (about 10-15 minutes).

Remove them from the oven and add them immediately to a clean mixing bowl for seasoning.

Check out these incredibly delicious pumpkin recipes while you’re at it!

Season ‘Em
This is the fun part. No matter what seasoning you go with, you’ll probably want to use 1 tbsp of high-quality olive oil and some coarse kosher salt as a base. The oil helps the seasoning stick to the roasted pumpkin seeds and the salt helps elevate the other flavors.

Now, you can keep them simple and enjoy these classic fall snacks! If you are feeling a little wild, here are some other delicious flavoring suggestions.  The amount of seasoning will depend on how many seeds and what size you have, so start with a little and keep adding until it is just perfect

– Sugar and Cinnamon: I like a mixture of 4 to 1 white sugar to cinnamon (here is more information if you are curious). If you want it a little hotter, add more cinnamon to the mixture
– Curry: Any pre-made curry powder will work here, but you can make your own if you are feeling ambitious. I like this Thai Curry Powder
– South of the Border: Use a 1:1 cumin to red chili flake mix. If you like it really spicy, add some cayenne powder.
– Spicy and Savory: Use a 2:2:1 garlic salt (omit the kosher salt above if using this or just use garlic powder), lemon pepper, and cayenne to create a savory and hot mix.