Category Archives: What’s for Supper?

Scalloped Potatoes and Leeks

As far as I’m concerned, the best part of eating ham for dinner is having scalloped potatoes alongside it on your plate.  We have a freezer full of ham steaks that need to be used up before December, when our next round of pigs will be all grown up.  Have I shown you piglet pictures yet? I can’t remember, so here you go!

Anyway, I had a big bunch of local leeks in my fridge, so I decided to add them into my normal recipe and it was delicious! I don’t measure when I make this recipe, since it’s all about the layering, so these measurements are just estimates.  Seriously, you want to make this recipe!

Scalloped Potatoes and Leeks

  • 1 clove of garlic
  • half stick of butter
  • 3-4 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced OR 8-10 small red potatoes, washed and thinly slided (no need to peel them!)
  • 2 large leeks, well washed, halved and sliced
  • 4-6 Tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used cheddar this time, but any cheese you like will do)
  • salt and pepper to taste (I like LOTS of black pepper, and add a little bit to each layer)
  • 2 cups whole milk

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Cut the garlic clove in half, then rub the cut side on the inside of the a 9 x 9 pan to flavor it, then use 1 tsp of butter to grease it.  Begin with a layer of potatoes by placing them in the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle them with salt, pepper, and about a Tbsp of flour, then dot with about 1 Tbsp of butter.  Add another layer of potatoes, more salt, pepper, flour, and butter.  Next layer in about half of the leeks.  Add another layer of potatoes, salt, pepper, flour, and about half the cheese.  Add another layer of potatoes, salt, pepper, flour, and butter.  Add the remaining leeks, then another two layers of potatoes, salt, pepper, flour, and butter.  Pour in the milk until the potatoes are mostly submerged, then press the layers down with your hands.  Top with the remaining cheese, some more pepper, and maybe even some more butter.  Bake for an hour until bubbly and the cheese is nicely browned, then let sit for about 15 minutes to cool and thicken before serving.  I’ve found that if I double the recipe I need to bake for up to an additional half hour to make sure the potatoes aren’t crunchy.

Ham? What ham? Pass the scalloped potatoes and leeks, please!

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Stuffed Peppers – Meatless Monday

This is a versatile recipe. I can imagine using this recipe for making stuffed summer squash or eggplant in summer, too.  Whatever’s in abundance in the garden can be chopped and added to the stuffing, and you can use fresh tomatoes instead of the canned crushed ones.  If you want a vegan recipe, use olive oil instead of butter and skip the cheese.  The mushrooms in the stuffing give it a “meaty” texture, but you can always add sausage or hamburger if you have die hard meat eaters.  If you have nothing to stuff, the rice mixture makes a nice side dish, too.  You can adapt this recipe to satisfy everyone! Serves 6.

  • 3 bell peppers, any color
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup diced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 28oz. can crushed tomatoes with basil
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (optional)

Slice peppers lengthwise and remove seeds and membranes.  Set aside.  In a large skillet, saute the onion in the butter or oil.  After a few minutes, add the carrot, mushrooms and garlic.  Season with salt and pepper.  While the vegetables cook, pour half of the tomatoes into the bottom of a baking dish.  Arrange the peppers in the tomato sauce.  Add the rice and remaining tomatoes to the skillet and stir to combine.  Taste for seasoning and adjust to your taste.  Fill the six pepper halves with the rice mixture and bake in a preheated 350°F for 30 minutes.  Top the peppers with cheese, then continue baking for another 10-15 minutes.

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I am an Urban Homesteader!

*in spirit!*

This post is part of the Urban Homesteaders Day of Action.  For some background on Urban Homesteading, visit Crunchy Chicken.

Since we’re not really urban homesteaders, I’ve decided to participate by preparing a meal that celebrates some of the ideals of urban homesteading: growing and producing your own food, increasing self-sufficiency, reducing waste and energy consumption, and building community.  This is the story of tonight’s supper!

It’s late winter, so I’m really depending on our stored food and the community food system.  My garden is buried under snow, but I can still make a local, sustainable feast. 

piglets 007

My husband’s family raised this pig at their home.  We have a freezer full of pork, bacon, ham and sausage, all from one pig.  We know how he was raised, what he ate, how he was treated and how his life ended because we were there. 

ed pig

We believe that if you eat meat, you need to respect the animal that’s nourishing you.  We’re thankful to this pig for feeding our family.

Both sides of our family make maple syrup (and are in the process right now!) It’s a part of our New England heritage, and we love to use maple syrup to glaze meat, as a sugar substitute for baking, and of course on pancakes and waffles.

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When you make it yourself, you really appreciate the work that goes into maple syrup, and the 40:1 ratio of sap to syrup!

I feel that apples represent all the beauty of local food.  Break away from the bland monochromatic mush at the supermarket.  Grow, pick or preserve your own, and you’ll never be able to go back.  While our own trees are still a few years away from producing, my family’s farm is our source for apples. 

I grew up surrounded by apple and peach trees, but even tiny lots can fit a few dwarf trees. 

You don’t have to be 100% self-sufficient.  Do what you can, then support local farms and artisans.  The staples that I’m using today come from around our state, through a delivery service called Connecticut Farm Fresh Express.  Locally grown and ground white cornmeal, milk in refillable glass bottles, butter, free-range eggs, honey, acorn squash, garlic, shallots and salad greens round out our supper tonight.

While the words Urban Homesteading may have been trademarked, the lifestyle is not for profit.  Urban Homesteading is for the good of all Earth’s creatures.

Recipes

Maple Mustard Crusted Pork Roast

  • 2-3 lb pork loin roast
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, cut into slivers
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp maple syrup

Sprinkle pork loin with salt and pepper all over.  With a sharp paring knife, cut tiny slices all over the pork, and stuff the garlic into them.  This will make the whole roast taste garlicky.  Spread the mustard and maple syrup onto the pork.  Bake in a 375 F oven for about 45 minutes to one hour, until the internal temperature reaches 155 F.  Let the roast rest for 10 minutes (the termperature will increase to 160 F while resting), covered, before serving. 

New England Johnny Cakes Cornbread

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1 egg
  • 3 Tbsp honey

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Mix all ingredients in a large bowl, and pour into a bread pan that is greased with butter.  Bake 30-35 minutes until top is browned and bread is cooked through.  Slice and serve hot with maple syrup for Johnny Cakes.

Sauteed Cinnamon Apples

  • 3 peeled and thinly sliced cooking apples
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • water or apple cider as needed
  • cinnamon to taste

Combine all ingredients in saucepan.  Cook over low heat until apples are very soft, adding small amounts of water as needed so the apples don’t burn or dry out.  No sugar necessary!

Maple-Roasted Winter Squash

  • 1/2 of a large winter squash, peeled and diced in large chunks
  • 2-3 shallots, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp butter, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp  maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup walnuts (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a glass baking dish.  Bake in a preheated 375 F degree oven, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and browned, about 1 hour.

Remember that every meal has a story. 

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Thanksgiving Recipe Roundup

wild turkey

Wild turkey in our driveway

I love how everyone seems to have their specialty when it comes to Thanksgiving dinner.  I’m planning to do a roundup of Thanksgiving recipes here next week, so please share a link (or a few links) to your favorite appetizer, turkey, side or dessert!

Read more about my family’s Thanksgiving traditions.

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Food, Baby!

Since I’m a proponent of whole, local, seasonal foods, I’m planning to skip cereals and purees and allow Joshua to try different foods and experience their textures, flavors and colors on his own developmental timeline.  

Continue reading…

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Pumpkin and Winter Squash Recipes

You can use pumpkin and winter squash interchangably in recipes to change things up a bit and enjoy the whole harvest.  Sugar pumpkins, butternut, acorn and hubbard squashes are some of my favorites.  Here’s how I like to serve them.

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Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Spicy Squash Soup with Kielbasa and Corn

Spicy Sea Scallops and Pumpkin Pasta

Twice-Baked Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash Walnut Bread

Butternut Squash or Pumpkin Cheesecake

Butternut Squash Pie

And don’t forget crafts!

glitter pumpkins 007

Glittery Pumpkins

Santa Gourds (Just remember to keep them so you can paint them!)

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