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  • I'm Kristen, a clumsy but determined home cook and crafter living in the Boston area with my husband, B, and I have an interest in all things food and craft.

    This blog was created to keep track of my various projects and adventures. They may not all be successes, but my goal is to remain unintimidated by whatever engages my curiosity.



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Roasted Butternut Squash and Apple Soup


When the leaves start to change and the first chill of the season is in the air, or when Mother Nature decides to blindside us with a freak October snowstorm, then there’s one thing that I always start to crave, and that’s soup. I’m a big fan of the “orange” soups – carrot, sweet potato, squash, or any combination or variation thereof – because they warm my chilled tootsies and put me in the mood for all of the fun things that cooler weather brings, but also because they’re so good that you wouldn’t guess that they’re also very good for you.

I like this particular soup recipe, well, because it tastes great, but also because it’s so easy to make. Roasting the vegetables not only saves time that you would otherwise spend standing and stirring at the stove, it also provides a more complex sweetness to the finished recipe. And while your squash, apples, onions, and garlic are doing their thing in the oven, you can whip up a quick balsamic apple and onion relish that adds a pop of intense flavor to your bowl of squash and apple goodness.

This recipe has been shared on the Gluten Free Holiday link up, where you can find lots of healthy, gluten free recipes and tips for the holidays.

Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Balsamic Apple & Onion Relish

Ingredients

For the soup:

1 large butternut squash (approximately 2 1/2 lbs.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 2 inch pieces*
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into sixths
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tart, firm apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
salt and cayenne pepper to taste (I used 3/4 tsp. kosher salt and 1/4 tsp. cayenne)
4-5 cups vegetable or chicken stock

* buttercup or kabocha squash also works well

For the relish:

2 tart, firm apples, cored and cut into a 1/2 inch dice
2 medium onions, peeled and cut into a 1/2 inch dice
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. On a large cookie sheet, or in a large roasting pan, toss the squash, apples, onions, and garlic with the olive oil to coat. Season with salt and cayenne pepper. Roast, stirring every 10 minutes, until everything is fork-tender and slightly browned, about 40 minutes.

2. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and place half in a blender or food processor, along with 2 cups of stock. Process until you have a smooth puree. Repeat this process with the other half of the vegetables and the stock. Transfer the pureed mixture to a large pot or bowl, and add more stock if the soup is too thick. Serve warm, topped with the Apple and Onion Relish (directions below).

3. To prepare the relish (I like to do this while the vegetables are roasting), heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the diced apples and onions and sautee for about 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the apples have started to soften. Turn the heat to low, add the salt, and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the onions are lightly caramelized. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

soup recipe adapted from Dr. Andrew Weil
relish recipe by Kristen Magee

Posted in Food, Gluten Free, Soups | 2 Comments »

Sugar Free Nectarine Raspberry Jam

This summer’s home canning season has been pretty darn excellent for a couple of reasons. First, I’m so happy to see that low sugar/no sugar pectin and pretty much every other home canning supply is becoming easier for me to find here in the urban jungle. A few years ago, I had to go on a canning supply scavenger hunt every time I needed jars or seals, and I wasn’t always successful. I’m very thankful that supplies are always readily available online, but sometimes you need something last minute, you know? Anyway, I think it’s awesome that home canning is gaining more popularity again.

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Posted in Alternatively Sweetened, Food, Jams, Spreads, and Butters | No Comments »

Sugar Free Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I’ve never understood why some people are so disparaging of vanilla. Boring vanilla. Plain-vanilla. Yada yada yada. How about exciting vanilla or explosion of yummy flavor in my mouth vanilla? Personally, I’m a huge fan of vanilla, and I think I would describe this ice cream as holy crap this is awesome vanilla.
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Posted in Alternatively Sweetened, Desserts, Food, Gluten Free | 2 Comments »

Gluten and Sugar Free Peach Raspberry Cobbler

The fruit dessert brainstorming started as soon as we hopped into the car after receiving our first CSA fruit share of season. Local peaches? And fresh raspberries? The fruit gods were smiling on me that day. I immediately earmarked both for something, though I wasn’t immediately sure what. A crisp, maybe? No, a cobbler. Definitely a cobbler. I had been wanting to repurpose my buttermilk biscuit recipe as a sweetened cobbler topping, and this was my chance.

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Posted in Alternatively Sweetened, Desserts, Food, Gluten Free | 2 Comments »


Farmer Dave's CSA


This past week’s CSA was quite a haul, and I figured that I’d do one overall shot, instead of shots of individual items, because there was so much great color going on. And let me tell you, this wasn’t even everything that we received! The biggest surprise of the week was the watermelon. I thought that we might get cantaloupe sometime during the season, but never in my wildest dreams did I expect to walk in and see baskets of lovely little watermelons. Totally made my week.

We also received nectarines, peaches, blueberries, a bulb of fresh garlic (another unexpected goodie), an eggplant, more tasty tomatoes, peppers, scallions, Swiss chard, carrots, zucchini, green beans, basil, lettuce, and many, many cucumbers. I’ve really been trying to stay on top of the cucumbers, so we’ve been eating plenty of salads. Sometimes I just cut up a cucumber or two and add a little feta cheese and oil + vinegar dressing. So simple and really, really good.

Posted in CSA 2011, Food | No Comments »


Farmer Dave's CSA Week Eight


It’s so rare to eat a tomato that actually tastes like a tomato when you have to buy your tomatoes at the grocery store, so we were in our glory when we received TWO kinds of tomatoes in our CSA box this past week. The tomatoes didn’t last long enough to actually put into a recipe because we gobbled up both kinds within a day or two. Fresh summer tomatoes are awesome just as they are.

And, of course, I can’t forget all of the other great goodies that we received in our box, like a bunch of fresh basil, three different kinds of peppers (green bell, cubanelle, and jalapeno), green beans, cucumbers, summer squash, lettuce, lots of blueberries (these were great on my breakfast yogurt this week), peaches, and nectarines. This was a very tasty week.

Posted in CSA 2011, Food | No Comments »

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