November 30, 2011

sourdough baguettes

2011.11_sourdough baguettes
My sourdough baguette recipe is still a work in progress. Last time my dough was too wet causing an unshapely loaf, this time it was too dry causing a dense crumb...

I should clarify that we are not doing the Dark Days Challenge full-time, just a minimum of once per week, and that these are not local flour baguettes.  Though we do have access to local whole wheat flour so I am sure at some point I will post a picture of a local loaf!

November 28, 2011

honey glazed carrots and a november salad

2011.11_honey glazed carrots and a november salad
We're starting things off easy peasy for the Dark Days Challenge. Though to be honest, my original plan was spoiled - literally. I had planned on making matang, a Korean candied sweet potato, but the sweet potatoes that Eric picked up last weekend from the farmers market did not survive the week. I was pretty bummed so I took myself on a walk.  During said walk I realized that I could just make honey glazed carrots instead.  When I got home I cut up the carrots, steamed them for about 5 minutes, then coated them in honey and cooked for a minute.  Since I steamed instead of fried, I didn't get the crispy matang effect but, hey, it was good anyway.

And as planned, we threw together a simple local salad of tender mixed greens, goat cheese, and homegrown counter-ripened tomatoes.  The only thing not local about this meal was homemade vinaigrette!

November 27, 2011

boulder, colorado - 150 mile local food radius

For each person "local" can mean a different thing.  For you it could mean a region, a state, a set number of miles from your home, a town, or even your own backyard.  I personally think that it's a worthwhile lifestyle experiment to set a limit and test if you can live within it for a little while (a few years ago we did a month long experiment of local eating with only a few exceptions).  It reveals where your food supply systems might be broken.  Like maybe there are laws getting in the way of local, small dairy farmers.  Maybe you live in a grain growing state but you can't buy any local grain because it makes more sense for agribusinesses to ship everything across the country to be processed, over processed and shipped back to you.  It's interesting to see how the invisible web around you is working.  And on a more positive note, a local eating challenge helps one truly appreciate an occasional orange that's been flown across the country.

Anyway, for the sake of the Dark Days Challenge, the winter time rule-of-thumb definition of local is a 150 mile radius. The image above is what that looks like for us here in Boulder.

dark days challenge!

We signed up for the Dark Days Challenge!  For the next four months, we will be posting once a week about our locally sourced, home cooked meals.  It should be a wintery adventure!

November 26, 2011

potato leek soup

2011.11_potato leek soup
I was excited to find leeks at the last farmers market. I usually think of them as a springtime plant, but there they were. And the weather is perfect for soups like this!

November 25, 2011

eric's super vegan stuffing

2011.11_veggie stuffing
Stuffing is one of my faves. I think this stuffing came out really good. The secret? frying the bread cubes in margarine. Also, I used two types of bread--one a cranberry walnut bread--for added interest and texture.

10 c. bread cubes (4 c. cranberry walnut, 6 c. sourdough/white)
at least a cup of margarine
a few stalks celery
1 carrot
1 small onion
1 apple (granny smith) (diced into small pieces)
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1 c. walnuts
2 t. sage
2 t. thyme
1 t. salt
black pepper
2 T. apple cider vinegar
2 c. veg. broth
1 T. vegetarian mushroom oyster sauce
sugar (for candying walnuts)

First, make your bread cubes. Then melt 1/2 c. or so of the margarine and fry the bread cubes until they are crispy and golden (you may have to do this in two batches).

Second, cook the celery, onion, and carrot in margarine until soft. Add the sage, thyme, salt, and pepper, followed by the fried bread cubes, cranberries, and apple (diced into small pieces). Mix well.

Break the walnuts into pieces and toast them in a little bit of oil, adding sugar so they get caramelized. Add half of them to the bread cube mixture, and save the other half to sprinkle on top.

Heat up the vegetable broth and add the apple cider vinegar and mushroom sauce, mixing until dissolves. Pour this over the bread cube mixture and mix until the broth has been soaked up by the bread cubes. Transfer to a baking container. I used two loaf pans, which kept the whole thing from drying out too much, yet allowed the top to get nice and crispy. A casserole dish would work fine also.

Sprinkle the rest of the candied walnuts on top and bake for 15-30 min at 425°F.

November 20, 2011


Haha, they look like eggs.

This was my first time trying to make kolaches, a Czech pastry. I have fond memories going to a Czech bakery with my parents to get kolache. They didn't quite come out like I remember them... These have apricot filling. Julie had made the Polish version before, which is called "kołacz", and is basically the same thing, just a different shape maybe; it seems ka-lotch-key is just a generic Slavic word for cake.

November 13, 2011

winter white sangria

2011.11_winter white sangria
We cooked up this winter white sangria from "Some Like it Hot: 50 Drinks to Warm Your Spirits" by Holly Burrows and Katie Walter.  It involves white wine, sugar, orange slices, lemon slices, and thyme heated for half an hour.  I look forward to trying other recipes from this book.  Yay for chilly weather and warm mugs!

November 12, 2011


Pretty ugly tuber, eh?  We made soup with it following this food network recipe.  It was decent.  Don't know that I will rush out to buy another celery root...

November 10, 2011

kofta balls

2011.11_kofta balls
One of the things I miss about living in Urbana-Champaign, Illinois is Monday night all-you-can-eat Krishna dinners at the Channing-Murray Foundation/Red Herring. I recently made vegetable kofta balls, which were frequently served at the dinners. Here is the recipe I used: Baked Kofta Balls. Basically it is grated vegetables, flour, and spices. I was really surprised at how well the balls held together without any eggs or egg substitute. Along with grated cauliflower, I chopped up some sauerkraut that Julie made recently, since we didn't have any cabbage. I'm sure any vegetable will work—I plan on trying it with winter squash.