Savory-Sweet Rutabaga Pudding

From the website Somewhere between a fluffy ricotta dessert and mashed potatoes, this delectable rutabaga pudding has all the qualities needed to become a standard in your culinary repertoire. This dish will surprise you in many ways: in taste, in texture, in ease of preparing, and in the compliments it will bring to your table. It pairs exceptionally well with lamb. Friend of the Farm (adapted from Nika Hazelton's Way with Vegetables). Serves 6 to 8.

1 large rutabaga (about 2 pounds), peeled, cut into 2-inch dice
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
butter for greasing the baking dish
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk, beaten
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1 tablespoon maple syrup
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1/3 cup raisins, plumped in hot water for 15 minutes and drained (optional)
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the rutabaga and 1 teaspoon salt, partially cover, and cook until the rutabaga is very soft, 30 to 45 minutes. (You will need to reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.)

Preheat the oven to 350° F. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with butter.
Beat the eggs and egg yolk in a medium bowl. Stir in the cream, bread crumbs, maple syrup, and nutmeg.

Drain the rutabaga, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Mash the rutabaga thoroughly with a potato masher or run it through a food mill. If the mixture seems dry, add a little of the reserved rutabaga water as you mash. Add the egg mixture, raisins, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grindings of pepper; stir to combine.

Transfer the rutabaga pudding to the prepared baking dish. Smooth the top and dot with butter. Bake until lightly golden on top, about 45 minutes. Serve hot.

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

Aren't new cookbooks great? Another one from the Cook's Garden by Ellen Ecker Ogden this week. This is a recipe that Lisa who gave me the book keeps raving about. And given that the frozen shredded zucchini is the ideal ingredient, it's a perfect week for this. This one has been a real crowd pleaser at her house. She tops it with cream cheese frosting and likes it best after its been refrigerated. It gets dense and more moist and rich. To substitute the frozen zucc, just thaw it and squeeze out the moisture and toss in.

1 C unbleached all-purpose flour
1 C whole wheat flour
1/2 unsweetened cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 C sugar
8 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 C (+) olive oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/3 C sour cream or yogurt
3 C grated zucchini (about 4 medium sized zuchhini)

Position the rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F.
Butter and lightly flour a 9x13 - inch pan
Sift the flours, baking soda and powder, and salt all together into a medium bowl.
In another bowl use a mixer on high speed to beat together the sugar, butter, and oil until well combined.
One at a time, add in the eggs, beating well after each addition.
Gradually stir in the flour mixture, blending just until smooth.
Stir in the sour cream, then the zucchini.
Spead evenly into the pan!
Bake until the cake springs back when pressed in the center, about 45 minutes.
Cool completely on a wire rack.

Rhubarb Dream Bars

I just came across this recipe on the website while looking for something appropriate for a smaller amount of rhubarb. With a combination of a shortbread base topped with rhubarb, walnuts and coconut, how could you go wrong?

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup cold butter or margarine
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups finely chopped rhubarb
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup flaked coconut

In a bowl, combine 1 cup flour and confectioners' sugar. Cut in the butter until crumbly. Pat into a lightly greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for 13-15 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

In a bowl, combine the sugar and remaining flour. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in rhubarb, walnuts and coconut; pour over crust. Bake 30-35 minutes longer or until set. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Blueberry Cobbler

There are lots of blueberry cobbler recipes out there. This one is pretty standard, though you could choose one that uses honey and whole grain flour that would also be delicious. I just wanted to throw out the idea. This is a very good recipe however!

1 pint blueberries
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
6 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons butter
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons sugar
1 pinch ground cinnamon

Optional - 1/2 lemon, juiced (or 1/4 cup orange juice)

Lightly grease an 8 inch square baking dish. Place the blueberries into the baking dish, and mix with vanilla and lemon juice. Sprinkle with 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of flour, then stir in the tablespoon of melted butter. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, stir together 1 3/4 cups of flour, baking powder, and 6 tablespoons sugar. Rub in the 5 tablespoons butter using your fingers, or cut in with a pastry blender until it is in small pieces. Make a well in the center, and quickly stir in the milk. Mix just until moistened. You should have a very thick batter, or very wet dough. You may need to add a splash more milk. Cover, and let batter rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Spoon the batter over the blueberries, leaving only a few small holes for the berries to peek through. Mix together the cinnamon and 2 teaspoons sugar; sprinkle over the top.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the top is golden brown. A knife inserted into the topping should come out clean - of course there will be blueberry syrup on the knife. Let cool until just warm before serving. This can store in the refrigerator for 2 days.

Maple Cinnamon Scented Whipped Cream

The key to whipping up cream quickly is to store the bowl and beaters in the freezer until ready to use. I like this on pear crisp that is made with walnuts. Best to use an electric hand beater for speed, but a blender will do in a pinch or if you are up for it, an icy cold wire whisk.
1 cup Butterworks Cream
1 pinch salt
1 T Brandy, Rum or Vanilla Extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 to 4 T Maple Syrup
In a large, icy cold glass or melamine bowl, beat the cream with an electric beater for a few minutes, until beginning to thicken. Add salt, liquor or extract, cinnamon and 2 T of syrup. Continue to beat until cream is thick. Taste and add more syrup as needed. Beat until the cream is thick, slightly clotted and ready to serve.

Mini pumpkins with maple ginger apples

4 mini pumpkins, tops sliced off and seeds scooped out. Save the tops
4 apples
1 small onion, in thin verticle slices
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
Dash red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 350
Bake pumpkins in a baking dish with an inch of water for about 30 minutes.
Core and chop the apple. In a small skillet, heat the oil and saute the onion, garlic and ginger until fragrant. Add salt, and the red pepper if using and saute a few minutes more. Add apples and maple syrup; cook for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and fill each pumpkin with 1/4 of the apple mixture. Return to oven, along with the tops for 20 minutes, until pumkins are cooked through and the apples are tender.

Cabin Fever Strawberry Shortcakes

In the mood for spring food? Since we have these great frozen strawberries, this seems like a good antidote to too much snow! This recipe has a few steps, but don't worry, it goes together easily. While the scones are baking, cook the strawberry sauce. While those both cool, whip the cream. Assemble just before serving. Serves 4 to 6.

Crisp Maple Wedges

A really thin, crisp cookie with delicious maple flavor. Adapted from an recipe. Makes 8 wedges.

4 oz. cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2/3 cup maple sugar, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole-wheat pastry flour
1/4 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350°F and put a 9-inch tart pan with a removable bottom in freezer to chill. Blend butter, all but 2 tablespoons of the maple sugar and vanilla in a food processor just until smooth, about 30 seconds. Sift flour and salt over butter mixture. Note that some germ flakes will remain in your sifter. You can just add those to the processor as well. Pulse just until all of the flour is incorporated into the mix.

Press evenly into an 8 circle in the middle of the chilled pan, then sprinkle evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons maple sugar. The cookie will spread during baking. Prick all over with a fork and freeze 5 minutes.

Bake in middle of oven until edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack 5 minutes and, while still warm, cut into 8 wedges. Cool completely before removing from pan.

The recipe says that you can keep these in an airtight container at room temperature 5 days, but I don't think that they'll last that long.

Chocolate Soy Cream Pie

Serves 6-8.

2 blocks Vermont Soy extra firm tofu
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 cup Vermont honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup Vermont Soy Chocolate soymilk
1 Baked single pie crust
Whipped cream
Fresh mint sprigs

Process tofu, cocoa, honey, cinnamon and chocolate milk together in a food processor or blender. Scoop recipe into your favorite baked homemade crust and chill for 2 hours. Garnish with whipped cream and mint just before serving. Or fold in the whipped cream to make a luscious, but not vegan, mousse.

Fresh Apple Griddle Cakes

A friend of mine emailed me a link to a New York Times article that included this recipe. I just happened to pull it up this morning and made it for the boys. We all loved it! I adapted it slightly. Serves 4, unless you eat like my boys, in which case it serves 2.

5 ounces (about 1 cup) whole-wheat pastry flour
1 1/2 TB maple sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup milk, or as needed
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1 large apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
butter or oil for greasing the griddle

Heat a large griddle or skillet over medium heat. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, butter and egg. Pour into flour mixture and stir just to combine. Add apple and stir until mixture is well blended. The batter should be thick but fluid enough to be poured; if necessary, add a bit more milk.

Grease griddle. Scoop batter 1/4 cup at a time onto griddle, placing scoops several inches apart so batter can spread. Let sit until batter is beginning to dry around edges and cakes are lightly browned underneath, about 3 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until browned, about 3 more minutes. Transfer to a warm platter, dot with butter, drizzle with maple syrup and serve.

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