Monday, September 12, 2011

What we ate last week: some recipes and some community love

To be honest, I sometimes post these "retrospective" entries either when I've dropped the ball and not posted in a while, due to general busy-ness, or (more often) when all my recipe photos turn out like crap.

Not this time. Well, sort of, since most of my photos did turn out like crap this week.

But I thought it was a great reflection of the power of the blog community I'm working on being a larger part of that my creations last week all seemed to be linked to someone else in the community.

1. Ajvar
I harvested a bunch of red peppers from my fading garden (why do the peppers take so damned LONG?) and asked my Facebook followers for suggestions on what to do with them. Val suggested ajvar, a spicy roasted pepper and eggplant spread from Serbia, and pointed me to a great recipe featured on NPR.

Now this one is a keeper. We ate it both as an appetizer on french bread and then again alongside a lovely broiled halibut for dinner. Very versatile, very delish!

Recipe link: Ajvar

2. Pear and pecan bread
Regular Ninj readers will remember how excited I was that our new house came complete with a wee orchard ... and may be wondering why they haven't seen too many posts on the bounty. Well, it's because the house also came complete with fruit-loving deer that come out of the woods at night, butt themselves against the trees and eat all the fruit that falls.
They are just vermin with long legs, I swear.
As a result, I ended up with only a pitiful handful of pears ... but they were very juicy and yummy so I wanted to be sure not to waste them. I found a great recipe for Pear and Pecan Bread in the always-reliable Joy of Cooking and mentioned on Facebook that I was baking the bread.

Well, wouldn't you know it's a favorite of Eve's at The Garden of Eating? And she's modified it a bit to make it a little less sweet and dense, although I thought it was just fine.

Try it both ways and see which one you like better.

Recipe link: Pear and pecan bread

3. Preserved tomato sauce
I knew that the end of tomato season was upon us but, honestly, I was dreading the canning process because I didn't feel like skinning all the tomatoes. Lo and behold, I had just started following Grow It Cook It Can It and what should I discover but a post on preserving tomatoes "with almost no work" (hot diggity!), including NOT removing the skins and with an emphasis on freezing rather than canning. This was perfect, as I have a ton of freezer space available this year and not a lot of energy for canning right now.

I put up 18 pounds of tomatoes as a puree that will make a spectacular base for sauces and soups this winter, using the easy-peasy instructions from The Girls' Guide to Guns and Butter.

And I've even got some nice Sun Golds left over to try the cherry tomato bisque this week.
Recipe link: Tomato sauce for freezing

So, a huge and heartfelt THANK YOU to all the great bloggers and blog-followers out there, for all your inspiration, encouragement, instruction and support.

Now go bake some cupcakes or something.

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