Cider Whipped Squash

We eat a lot of squash during the winter. The multitude of varieties gives way for all sorts of different cooking options, from my favorite Poppy Squash Pancakes, to Stuffed Acorn Squash, to this Cider Whipped Squash. It works with most any variety, though I prefer it with ones that have a darker orange flesh. This is a super easy recipe and a good way to “spice” up squash without getting too crazy.


Cider Whipped Squash 2

Cider Whipped Squash
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Cider Whipped Squash
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  • 1 each medium Squash of your choice
  • 1-2 each Apples peeled and cored
  • 3/4 cup Apple Cider
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp Butter
  1. Peel the squash and remove the seeds.
  2. Cut the squash into equal sized chunks. Do the same with the apples.
  3. Place all of the ingredients into a baking dish.
  4. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 1 hour or until the squash is soft.
  5. Once baked through, whip the squash as you would mashed potatoes.
  6. Serve as is or with some maple syrup.
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German Style Pork Hocks

When I think pork hock, or any knuckle/bone cut for that matter, I think soup. Last weekend Mike suggested pork hock for supper but not in soup. Apparently the German restaurant south of town makes them in a fashion other than soup. So I did a little searching. Everything I found was pretty basic, nothing too exciting. So as usual I decided to do my own thing.

I kept it basic as the other recipes I found did. I also added sauerkraut,  and an apple for a bit of slight sweetness to counter to kraut just a little.

Pork Hock

I know it’s not the most beautiful picture you’ve seen, but it’s a pork hock in sauerkraut. What did you expect? I can assure you it tastes really good despite my photography.

I served this with mashed potatoes, pork gravy and corn. Of course, we all dished our plates in the typical “mashed potato meal” way… mashed potatoes, topped with corn, then kraut, followed by meat, then gravy and before it was even tasted, add some salt and pepper. I used to be very particular about my food touching, I don’t know what has happened over the years but I now load my potatoes just like the rest of the family. (and I’m eating sauerkraut, something must have broke…)

German Pork Hock
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German Pork Hock
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  • 1-2 each Pork Hock
  • 2 each Celery Stick
  • Carrots same amount as celery
  • 1 each Yellow Onion
  • 1 each Apple peeled and cored
  • 2 each Garlic cloves
  • 1 each Bay Leaf
  • to taste Salt and Pepper
  • 1 quart Sauerkraut
  1. Roughly chop everything except the bay leaf, pork and sauerkraut.
  2. Place all the ingredients except the sauerkraut, including pork and leaf in a cast iron stock pot.
  3. Add enough water to cover. Bring to a simmer for 2-3 hours.
  4. Drain the cooking liquid and reserve it.
  5. Add the Sauerkraut to the meat.
  6. Place the pot in the oven and bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Basting as needed with the reserved liquid.
  7. Use the remaining liquid to make a gravy if desired.
  8. Serve over mashed potatoes.
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Little Boy Bars – A cross between Lara Bars and granola bars

I really like Lara Bars as well as granola bars so does the little boy. Rather than buying them I have started to make a version of them at home. They contain less sugar and I can add or subtract ingredients to get different flavors. Below is the basic recipe that I came up with. They were a hit with the little boy and much less expensive than the store bought ones.

Little Boy Bars -

I have started to make a couple batches of these at a time and freeze them. That way I can just take out a couple at a time. He has been hooked on “cookies” lately and if I call these a cookie and keep them in the cookie jar, he doesn’t think twice that they aren’t a cookie per-say.

Little Boy Bars
2 ea.         Eggs
1/2 c.        Raisins
1/2 c.        Figs
1/2 tsp.     Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp.      Cinnamon
Pinch         Kosher Salt
1 tbsp.       Molasses
2 tbsp.       Honey
1/3 c.         Natural Peanut Butter
1 c.            Unsweetened Coconut
1/4 c.         Ground Flax Seed
1 c.            Old Fashioned Oats

In a food processor, blend the coconut, flax, and oats, just until they are evenly chopped. Set the oat mixture aside. Again in the food processor, place the remaining ingredients and blend until the raisins and figs are well-chopped. Combine the wet and dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.
Line an 8×8 pan with parchment paper. Press the dough into the pan.
Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes. Allow the bars to cool before cutting.

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Making Pear Cider Vinegar

This summer I purchased a case of pears and should have ordered at least two. I canned the fruit and saved the peals and cores to make cider vinegar. It is finally ready and tastes so good!

pear cider vinegar http://wildflowerfarm.orgI went about making the vinegar the same way I made apple cider vinegar, I added more sugar to this batch though.

All the scraps went into a two gallon crock with a few handfuls of granulated cane sugar and enough water to cover everything. I placed plastic wrap over the top and laid a flour sack towel over the top and brought it to the basement, which for the time being was the root cellar. It stayed relatively cool down there which caused the fermentation process to go much slower. Slow fermentation is just fine as long as it is “working”, if it stops fermenting it will most likely sour or go bad.

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The Dandelion Wine Has Been Bottled!

Last spring I spent a morning picking dandelions in the front yard and using an old recipe that I wasn’t too sure how correct it really was I made wine. More on the beginning of this can be found in the link above.

I left off with the bottles being fitted with balloons. After that I received a call from my aunt, who knows her wine. She said wine will age better and have better flavor if it is aged in bulk rather than in the bottles. So I jumped on-line and ordered a large cask with the “little burp cork deals”. As soon as it arrived the bottles were emptied and everything was left to age in the cask.

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