10 Pumpkin Dessert Recipes for Thanksgiving

pumpkin dessert recipesThanksgiving arrives this week. Want to keep dessert in an autumn mood? Try these 10 pumpkin dessert recipes. Continue reading

Apple Chips Recipe

Apple Chips recipeWell, this being my first weekend since June without a farm market, I had a little more time than usual (not that there isn’t always something to do), so I decided to make some apple chips. I’d been dying to try them and they turned out being really easy, and REALLY tasty. Continue reading

Old Fashioned Peach Freezer Jam

peach freezer jamIt’s peach season here in NY, and there are certainly peaches a plenty to be had. So many in fact that there are often more peaches than one can eat during the season. So what to do to preserve those wonderful peaches and stretch their tasty goodness out for a longer period? Make peach freezer jam of course. Continue reading

Pumpkin Seed Brittle

Thoroughly enjoying my time off from getting ready for craft shows and changing instead to holiday mode. And what’s the first thing we all think of when it comes time to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday? Food of course!

I generally suck as a cook (really I do, ask anyone who’s ever eaten some of my mysterious culinary NON-delights), but once in a while I find that rare recipe that I’m actually good at (usually something in the area of baking that contains some sort of dough). So I recently stumbled upon a recipe for pumpkin-seed brittle. I must say, the stuff is delish! (and easy enough that even I can cook it). Continue reading

Slutty Brownies

Ok, I didn’t name this recipe. I know it sounds more like something out of a movie kids shouldn’t watch than a delicious dessert, but trust me, this is one of the richest, most decadent chocolate treats you’ll ever make. I found this recipe online and knew I had to try it. It’s pretty simple. Use your favorite recipe to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookie dough (I find the good old Nestle Tollhouse recipe works pretty well) and fill a 9×13 pan about a 3rd of the way up. Next cover the cookie dough with a layer of Oreo cookies. And finally, stir up a batch of brownie batter (go ahead make it easy with a boxed mix). Cover the Oreo cookie layer with the brownie batter. Cook as you normally would a pan of brownies, testing with a toothpick when done. These are great any way you eat ’em, but when you get ’em still warm, it’s especially excellent. Enjoy!

Edible Flowers

Everyone knows that flowers are pretty to look at, but a lot of people don’t realize that many of those delicate blossoms are also quite edible. A few years ago at the local farm market I attend, one of the vendors had implemented the ingenuous idea of selling “edible bouquets.” They were exactly what they sound like, aesthetically pleasing bunches of flowers that were also one-hundred percent edible.

A few edible flowers include:

Dandelions – Though generally thought of as a weed, dandelion leaves go great on a salads and rival many traditional vegetables with their health benefits. My family has used the dandelion heads for years to make excellent wine.

Squash blossoms – Those big yellow flowers that appear on your squash vines and eventually turn into pumpkins are very edible and quite delicious when fried up with a little butter and Cinnamon.

Violets – With violets both the flowers and the leaves can be eaten. They make beautiful candied flowers are also a good addition to jelly, so I’m told.

Day lilies – These flowers are often seen growing along the roadside. The blossoms have a sweet flavor even when eaten raw and provide a good source of vitamin C. (A warning, however, they are poisonous to cats)

Honeysuckle – As one might image the tiny blossoms of this plant have a sweet taste and go great when added to salad and the like.

Red Clover – Again, generally thought of as a weed, those big purplish globes that grow out in open meadows have some of the sweetest sugar you’re ever likely to taste. These are so good, I don’t even add them to food, I just grab a few and suck on the blossoms as I’m walking through the field. Tasty!

A fun way to use edible flowers is to “sugarize” them. You can make sugared flowers by boiling together a little water and sugar, which will create a type of paste. Dip your flowers in the sugar paste and let them harden. You can then use them to decorate cakes. Or skip the sugaring process altogether and just decorate the cake directly with the flowers for more vibrant colors. No marzipan roses here!
Copyright © Amber Reifsteck ~ The Woodland Elf

Blueberry Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Muffins

Having been unable to find a blueberry muffin recipe that I really liked, I created my own. It contains less sugar and more blueberries than most and for an extra punch of tastiness, I mixed in some oatmeal and some chocolate chips. I’ve been eating these all week and haven’t wanted to destroy the evidence yet, so I’ll post the recipe. I actually had a few plates of these disappear this weekend, so apparently others find them edible as well (a rare occurrence that I’ll be sure to savor). Enjoy.

Ingredients:
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 cup of rolled oats (oatmeal)
1/2 cup of whole wheat flour
1/2 cup of sugar
1/2 tsp of salt
1 tbs of baking powder
1 1/4 cups of milk (I used raw milk, but 2% or even skim would probably work fine)
1 egg
1/3 cup canola (or similar) oil
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 pint blueberries
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl and the liquid ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly add the liquid ingredients to the dry, adding in blueberries and chocolate chips. Stir until blended and a batter forms.

Spoon the batter into muffin pan filling each cup 1/2 to 3/4 high. Bake at 400 degrees for around 20 min. Muffins are done when firm to the touch and tops are golden brown.

Makes 12-15 muffins
Copyright © Amber Reifsteck ~ The Woodland Elf

Mini Pies

Mini PiesWhen you take a brown bag lunch to work multiple days a week, you’re bound to eventually come up with some creative, frightening, and even desperate concoctions. This is one of the more edible ones that I came up with back when I worked indoors at a desk job. It makes a nice after lunch dessert, and sort of breaks up the monotony. Continue reading

Kid Wine: A non-alcoholic alternative

With the holidays beginning Thursday, there will be many get-togethers, and many people driving home afterward. Instead of adding to the dangers of the road by serving wine, try this non-alcoholic alternative.

For years, Thanksgiving in my family has been synonymous with two things: listening to Arlo Guthrie’s 20 minute story/song “Alice’s Restaurant” and drinking kid wine. Kid wine is the name my family has for sparkling grape juice.

Sparkling grape juice is a great alternative to alcohol. The white in particular is a dead-on imitation of champagne, but without the alcohol. It tastes and smells enough like the real thing that we have had people believe they were actually drinking the real thing.

Sparkling grape juice can go with any meal as it is available in pink (the big favorite in my family), red and white. It is readily available in stores, but can be easily made at home.

To make your own, create a mixture of half ginger ale and half grape juice. For pink kid wine, use purple grape juice; for white kid wine, use white grape juice; and for red, use red grape juice (in this case, make the ratio 2 parts grape juice to 1 part ginger ale). Served chilled in wine glasses and enjoy.
Copyright © Amber Reifsteck ~ The Woodland Elf