The Last of the Summer Harvest

Don’t Squish the Squash! Squash gets a bad rep. Maybe the name puts people off, but in addition to being really healthy and easy to prepare it can be delicious. Winter squash, such as pumpkin is hard shelled and sturdy. Summer squash, such as zucchini is softer and bruises easily. Both are in season and in abundance at your local grocery store.

Pumpkin curry soup;
¼ cup butter
1 small onion, diced
¼ cup flour
1 tsp curry powder or more or less depending on your taste
2 cups of cooked pureed pumpkin or one can of pumpkin puree (make sure you don’t use the pumpkin pie filling) or any winter squash such as butternut or acorn
2 cups of milk or chicken broth or a combination

Melt the butter over medium heat, add the onion and cook until the onion is soft. Stir in the flour and curry until it’s a paste. Add the milk slowly, letting the mixture bubble after each addition. Add the pumpkin and stir. Heat it up until it’s hot. You could puree it with a stick blender or in a food processor if you want it smooth or leave the onions in bits if you want. Add salt to your taste. Serve hot.

Zucchini sauté with tomatoes;
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 medium onion, sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 medium or large zucchini, sliced in half rounds
2 tomatoes, sliced in half rounds
dash each of oregano, basil and parsley or use some Italian seasoning.

Heat a fry pan to medium then add the oil. Cook the onion slowly until almost soft. If you are using dried herbs, add them now. Then add the garlic and zucchini. Stir and cook until the zucchini until tendercrisp. Add the tomatoes and if you are using fresh herbs add them now.
This is a great side dish with anything off the grill or out of the oven. It is also fantastic over pasta as a vegetarian dish.

Chicken Paprikash

This delicious recipe came from my former roommates sister, Marion, who loves to cook and is a very good cook. I love any recipe the contains sour cream. It’s what’s for dinner tonight.

Chicken Paprikash
2 onion-chopped
2 T. paprika
1 cut up chicken
1 c. sour cream

Saute onions with paprika until soft.
Place chicken in oiled pan, cover with onions and paprika, bake at 350 F for 30-45 minutes or until chicken is done.
Remove from oven, stir in sour cream.
Serve with spaetzle or buttered noodles and peas and carrots.

Christmas Potluck Question-What to bring?

You’ve been invited to a Christmas party and it’s pot luck. First of all, celebrate because pot luck is not only easier on your host/hostess than a full serve menu, but it’s a great way to see what your friends are up to in a culinary sense. You want to bring something that will be a hit and make you look like the next “Martha” but you don’t want to spend the day in the kitchen. Here’s a tip (this one’s for free) double the recipe and save some for your own family, entertaining or another pot luck.

Feta Cheese Ball with Pita Chips
2 (8oz) packages cream cheese – softened
8 oz feta cheese-crumbled
4 Tbsp olive oil
5 green onions-finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 tsp dried dill
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cracked black pepper
Mix well and shape into 2 balls. To get a nice shape, line 2 small dessert bowls with plastic wrap and stuff the cheese mixture in them, then chill. This will give you nice half-rounds to put in the middle of a platter and surround with crackers or pita chips.
Make your own pita chips by cutting small pita bread into wedges, place on a baking sheet in a single layer, then spray with vegetable oil, sprinkle with salt and toast in a 450F oven for 8-10 minutes. Watch them carefully-they will burn before you know it.

Sweet and Sour Chicken Wings
2 pounds of chicken wings
Salt and pepper the wings, then bake in the oven until fully cooked.

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup vinegar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
Mix together in a sauce pan over medium heat until boiling.

1 14oz can pineapple chunks
1 green pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp cornstarch
Combine 1/2 cup of the juice from the pineapple with the cornstarch and stir into boiling mixture, simmer until thick. Stir in the pineapples and green pepper. Pour the sauce over the wings and serve hot as an appetizer or over rice as a main course.
You could use meat balls, pork cubes or chicken cubes and create skewers with a meatball, a piece of green pepper and a pineapple chunk.
When toting this dish to your party you could carry the sauce and meat separately, then assemble and warm it up when you arrive or have it all in a crock pot ready to plug in.