Blooming Glen Farm | Recipes
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Recipes

P1016499Greens are probably the best food to add to our diets to improve nutrition. They provide cancer-fighting vitamins & minerals, the fiber we need for heart & digestive health, & assistance to our body’s detoxification processes. They’re also really easy to add to our meals; a great way to start is by simply adding a handful of chopped up greens to whatever you’re cooking — sauces, salads, soups, stir-fries, casseroles, just about everything! Another great strategy for getting more greens into our diets is to keep a green side on-hand; make the recipe below to serve with your meals throughout the week!

This recipe also makes use of two super flavorful ingredients that we’ve been finding on our shares lately, garlic scapes & fennel. Scapes have been called a “vegetable, aromatic & even herb all in one,” & I would also put fennel in that unique (& delicious) category.  Both fennel & scapes also give us a nutritional boost with fiber, antioxidants, & phytonutrients.

Add your favorite plant-based protein to make the this dish heartier & more complete — chickpeas, seitan, or quinoa would be tasty.  You can also enjoy this recipe hot or cold.  Eat immediately after preparing as a hot side dish, or let cool & use as an ingredient in a whole grain wrap or mixed into a green salad.

Sautéed Greens with Scapes & Fennel

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Ingredients
1 tbs cooking oil
5 garlic scapes, sliced
1 fennel bulb & stems, sliced up to fronds
1/2-cup white wine or broth
6-8 cups kale, chard, &/or collards, stripped from stems & chopped
1 tbs red wine or balsamic vinegar
Nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese, & sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions
Heat oil, scapes, & fennel in skillet until veggies are tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add wine or broth & stir in greens until coated evenly. Allow greens to reduce about 5-7 minutes, stirring often & adding additional wine or broth if needed. Remove pan from heat & toss with vinegar. Serve with optional toppings.

Post & photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, health counselor, & co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating & living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com

Our sixth annual pie bake-off contest brought in 24 pie entries. Over 100 votes were cast for the people’s choice award, and our panel of three judges deliberated at length to come to a consensus on the top three winners for the judges vote. We were clearly all winners for tasting such an incredible array of beautifully crafted pies, from Maple Walnut, Cherry Berry and Caramel Apple, to Snickerdoodle, Apple Crumb, Peach Ginger, Maple Cream and Harvest Berry to name just a few. This year there was no overlap between the judges and the people’s votes, though clearly rich chocolaty pies (with a few pecans and fruits thrown in for good measure) rose to the top. This year, three of our six winners were under the age of 18. A common theme- have fun baking and don’t be afraid to experiment!

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Pie judges (left to right): Julia Thomas, Buck Hazzard and Rose Vaeth

Leading this year’s judging panel was Rosemary Vaeth, “veteran of the pastry world, long-time member of the food service industry, and deeply opinionated individual.” Rose is still thrilled that she managed to score a spot on the judging panel two years running.

Julia Thomas, a CSA member and former pie bake-off winner with her Banoffi Pie Recipe, joined us for the first time as a judge. She brings a background as a private chef to famous rock bands, having travelled extensively over the years cooking and baking for the likes of ZZ Top, Queen, Aerosmith and Elton John. Julia remembers one particularly daunting task in the early 90s of arriving in a communist Russia and bartering for food and buying provisions on the black market to feed 400 band and crew that same day. “It was quite the challenge! Forget menu planning! Arriving in Rome at 5am and being met by 16 scooters to take me grocery shopping was also another fond memory. I love the unexpected, that’s why I always enjoy the unusual veg we get at Blooming Glen!”

Buck Hazzard, baker at Crossroads Bakery in Doylestown for the past 8 years, just returned from a motorcycle road trip out west that included a stop over in Pie Town, New Mexico. Reflecting on the pie bake-off experience, Buck says “having community support for our local farmers is the tie that keeps us grounded, and holding a pie contest allows us to celebrate together the love of the simplest things in life: food and friends.”

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S’mores Pie
by Emily Williams
Judges Votes: First Place

Emily Williams- “My name is Emily and I am 10 years old. I have been baking pies for 2 years now, but I have been baking for 4 years.  I decided to make a s’mores pie because I love making (and eating) s’mores.  I was signed up for the contest at first just because my friend signed me up. My quote is, “Thank you Dakota for signing me up. You’re a great friend.”

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Emily Williams, and friends, with her award for winning Judges first place.

Ingredients
1 stick of butter
1/2 cups white sugar
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup of flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
7 ounces, weight container of  marshmallow crème
8 whole (1.55 Oz bars) Hershey chocolate bars, unwrapped
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 and spray a 9″ pie pan with baking spray. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar together until they are well combined, then add the egg and vanilla and stir them in.  Stir in the flour, graham cracker crumbs, and baking powder.

Divide the dough in half. Press half the dough in the bottom and up the sides of the pie pan. Then spread the marshmallow creme over the bottom crust. Separate the chocolate bars into rectangles and place them over the creme.  Then put the marshmallows on top.

With the remaining crust pat sections of the dough onto the top and around the marshmallows. Make sure some of the marshmallows are showing.  Sprinkle the top with chocolate chips. Bake your pie 20 minutes until lightly brown.

Remove the pan from the oven and set on a wire rack.  Cool the pie completely before cutting.

The winning Ground Cherry Pie is the first pie in the foreground.

The judges tasted first. Scott Brown’s award winning Ground Cherry Pie is the first pie in the foreground.

Ground Cherry Pie
by Scott Brown
Judges Vote: Second Place

Scott has been baking as a hobby for over 25 years. He started out making cookies and in the past few years he has been making amazing muffins and breads for the gang at the office (his wife owns local business, Harmony Clean). At the holidays, he and his wife Vicki make 15 different cookies for family members. Vicki Brown- “I think it is the best part of the holidays! Scott loves to find new recipes and we are hoping when he retires from his job as a union concrete guy that he starts a bakery!”

Crust Ingredients
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups flour
1 stick of butter cold
1/4 cup oil (veggie)
1/2 cup milk

In a food processor mix sugar, salt, flour. Add butter and oil until crumbly, drizzle milk in processor until combined. Divide into two 1-inch round discs and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.

Pie Filling Ingredients
4 cups ground cherries (Bakers Note: we bought these at Bolton’s Farm market-you have to peel away the outer layer)
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix all together and add to pie crust, place top crust on, bake at 350 until top is golden brown and juices are bubbling.

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Pumpkin Chocolate Mousse Pie
By Josie Gilmore
Judge’s Vote: Third Place

Josie, last season’s winner of the people’s choice award with her Chocolate Caramel Pie, is a senior at Council Rock H.S. You’ll see her every Saturday slinging veggies behind the Blooming Glen Farm booth at the Wrightstown Farmers Market. Josie was inspired by her famous chocolate mousse recipe to find a pie that would pair chocolate mousse with the seasonally appropriate pumpkin.  Josie is currently applying to colleges where she can pursue her love for science.  “I love chemistry and baking is similar to it in a lot of ways. Maybe that’s why I’m good at baking!”

Ingredients
1 (8.8-ounce) pkg. Biscoff cookies, crushed
5 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup chopped pecans (optional)
4 egg yolks (well beaten)
2 heaping tablespoons flour
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
2 cups milk, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla
pinch salt
3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
1½ cups canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
3 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
6 tablespoons water
1½ cups cold whipping cream
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1¼ cups powdered sugar
sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings for garnish

Instructions to Make Crust: Preheat oven to 325 F. Butter a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2¾-inch sides. Mix cookie crumbs, melted butter and nuts in a medium bowl until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and up 1 inch of the sides of the pan. Bake at 325 F for 15 minutes. Cool completely.

To Make Filling: Make a paste of the egg yolks, flour, sugars and small amount of the milk in a heavy medium saucepan. In a microwave-safe bowl, heat remaining milk 1 minute. Slowly add milk to the egg mixture and, stirring constantly, cook over medium low heat 7-10 minutes or until thickened (mixture will thicken more as it cools). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla and salt.

Measure out 1 cup of the filling and put into a separate bowl. Add chocolate to the remaining filling and stir to melt. In reserved bowl, add pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice. Pour chocolate filling into a medium bowl, then press plastic wrap onto the surface of both of the fillings, to eliminate a skin. Refrigerate about 30 minutes. Soften the gelatin in the water for about 5 minutes in a microwave-safe dish.

In a medium chilled bowl, whip cream until stiff peaks form. Microwave gelatin until it dissolves and starts to bubble around the edges, around 30 seconds. In a small bowl, cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar. Stir in 1/3 of the dissolved gelatin into each of the 3 filling bowls (about 2½ tablespoons each–however, I only used 1 Tbsp) and combine well. Fold in 1/3 of the whipped cream into each of the 3 fillings.

Spread chocolate pudding onto cooled crust. Place in freezer for 10 minutes to become firmer. Layer with the cream cheese filling, then place into the freezer for another 10 minutes. Top with the pumpkin layer.

Cover and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. Garnish with sweetened whipped cream and chocolate shavings before serving.

People's Choice winners, left to right: Rose Vaeth, Chloe Nazemi, Allison Seelaus

People’s Choice winners, left to right: Lori Guerin, Chloe Nazemi and Allison Seelaus with the trophy.

Maple Brown Butter Rum Peach Pie
by Allison Seelaus
People’s Choice: First Place

Allison Seelaus- “A little bit about myself, baking is my passion. I graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in New York City and hold a Baking and Pastry degree. Ever since I was two years old, mixing cookie dough with my family, I knew I was going to be a Baker/Pastry Chef. Baking is my life. Currently, I am a Pastry Chef at Normandy Farm Estates producing desserts and bread for over 400 residents daily.

Why I chose this pie:  I love everything about this pie from the bubbly caramel filling to the crispy crunchy streusel. Having ripe peaches is key because it makes the pie so sweet and just perfect! I knew this pie would please many taste buds because it includes flavors like cinnamon, allspice, spiced rum and maple syrup which are known flavors of fall.”

Pie Filling Ingredients
3 pounds ripe peaches (about 6 peaches)
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 ½ tablespoons flour
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch of allspice
½ cup sugar
¼ cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons spiced rum
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons butter

Streusel Ingredients
1/3 cup pecans
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour
½ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
Pinch cinnamon

Crust Ingredients (from Smitten Kitchen):
2½ cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, very cold
Vanilla Bean Ice Cream, to serve

If making homemade crust (you can also use frozen or refrigerated pie crust), start with that. Pour one cup of cold water into a bowl and add in a few ice cubes. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk 2½ cups flour, 1 tablespoon sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt until well-combined. Take out your butter. It needs to be very cold, so you may want to put it in the freezer for a few minutes to really get it solid. Cut the 2 sticks of butter into ½” pieces Use a pastry blender or food processor to combine the flour mixture and butter pieces until the butter is broken up into pea-sized pieces. DO NOT OVERMIX.

Drizzle half of the ice cold water over the mixture (making sure not to accidentally pour in any ice cubes). Using a rubber spatula, mix together the dough until large lumps form. Use your hands to knead it all into one smooth ball. Divide the dough in half, shape into disks (balls first, then flatten a bit), and wrap in plastic wrap. Let chill in the fridge for at least an hour and a half before rolling out. Stays good in fridge for one week, longer in freezer.

When your dough is ready, flour everything. Your counter, your rolling pin, the dough itself. You want a lot of flour. Press your rolling pin down in the center of the dough disk and push outward. Roll in that direction a few times, then lift and do a quarter turn and roll that direction a few times. Continue rolling, turning the dough, and rolling again until the entire crust is rolled out into a 12″ circle. Work quickly, you don’t want the dough to warm up.

Place the pie crust in your pie pan and fold the excess, overhanging dough underneath, so the pie is now the size of the pan. Crimp the pie crust by making a “V” or pinching shape with your thumb and forefinger on the outside of the crust. Then, using your other pointer finger, push the crust from the inside to fit in between the V-shaped fingers. Continue all around the crust. Refrigerate for another 30 minutes.

As you wait for your crust to cool, make the filling. Peel and slice the peaches, and then toss in a large bowl with the cornstarch, flour, cinnamon, salt, and allspice. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the sugar, maple syrup, rum, and water. Stir JUST UNTIL the sugar dissolves and then let come to a boil. Resist the urge to stir while it boils. Swirl the pan occasionally to make sure the caramel is browning evenly, but DO NOT STIR. Once the caramel turns a deep amber brown, remove from heat and add in the butter, swirling the pan until the butter completely melts.

Pour the caramel over the peaches and mix well. Pour the peach-caramel filling into the prepared pie shell and place in the refrigerator once more.

Sprinkle the pecans on a baking sheet and toast for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside until cool enough to handle, then chop.

In the same small, heavy-bottomed saucepan you used for the caramel, melt a stick of butter over medium heat, stirring frequently. Cook until the butter turns golden-brown. Set aside.

Whisk together the 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons flour, ½ cup sugar, 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, and pinch of cinnamon. Mix in the pecans. Drizzle over the browned butter (which now should be slightly cooled) and mix until crumbs form. Crumble the streusel mixture on top of a rimmed baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Remove the filled pie pan and the streusel from the refrigerator. Sprinkle and crumble the streusel over the pie filling until the pie filling is completely covered. Cover the pie crust with foil and put in the oven for 15 minutes. Make sure to put a baking sheet or pie drip catcher underneath, as it WILL bubble over and make a mess! Remove the foil, reduce heat to 350 degrees F, and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes. The crust should be golden brown and the caramel should bubble when the pie is ready.

Texas Caramel Pecan Pie first pie in foreground.

Lori Guerin’s winning Texas Caramel Pecan Pie is the first pie in the foreground.

Texas Caramel Pecan Pie
Lori Guerin
People’s Choice: Second Place

When she heard about the Blooming Glen Pie Bake-off returning for another year, Lori decided to do something she hadn’t since she moved back to Pennsylvania from Texas more than twenty years ago: bake a pecan pie.  Although a former Houston resident, the inspiration for her submission came from much closer to her Pennsylvania home.  “When I was an undergrad at La Salle, I would meet my friend Doreen after a long week to share coffee, stories, and a slice of pecan pie at the Howard Johnson on the Boulevard; I enjoyed recreating that.”

Crust Ingredients
1 1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening
3 tablespoons cold water

Mix the flour and the salt together, add shortening and cut into flour mixture. Add water and mix gently with a fork. Gather pastry into a ball and spread along the bottom and sides of pie tin.

Optional: add 2 teaspoons (about) flaxseed meal, pinch each of cardamom and nutmeg to the flour and salt before adding the shortening. Bakers Note: “I am an Irish cook…so I tweak every recipe, every time. In this case a bit of flax meal, cardamom and nutmeg mixed in the flour for a little pop for the crust.”

Pie Filling Ingredients
1 ½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
½ cup sugar
¼ cup water
½ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
½ cup evaporated milk
1 ½ cup pecan pieces
¾ teaspoon vanilla

Combine first five ingredients and mix well. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in milk, pecans and vanilla and mix very well. Pour into pie shell.

Bake 10 minutes at 400, reduce heat to 350 and bake 35-40 minutes, until center barely jiggles. Cool completely before slicing and serving.

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Chocolate Mousse Pie
by Chloe Nazemi
People’s Choice: Third Place

Chloe Nazemi, age 9- “I picked the recipe because I thought it would be different because not a lot of people probably make a mousse pie with lavender crust and lavender whip cream. I’ve always loved experimenting with baking without recipes. Sometimes the baked goods turn out great, sometimes terrible. I used a recipe for the mousse pie because I’ve never made one before and I had no idea how to do it.” What do you enjoy most about baking? “I think it’s fun because I get to use different ingredients to make new things. I like it because the end result is always a surprise!”

Crust
Make your crust (any recipe will do, or a frozen dough store bought one also works). Lay crust into pie plate. Sprinkle a large pinch of culinary lavender over the surface and press into the crust. Bake according to recipe, set aside.

Chocolate mousse Ingredients (Ina Garten recipe)
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels
1 ounce unsweetened chocolate (chopped)
1/4 cup brewed coffee (freshly)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
12 tablespoons unsalted butter (diced, at room temperature)
8 extra large eggs (separated, at room temperature)
1/2 cup sugar (plus)
2 tablespoons sugar (divided)
kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy cream (cold

In a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the two chocolates, coffee, and vanilla extract. Cool to room temperature. Beat in the softened butter.

Meanwhile, place the egg yolks and the 1/2 cup of sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed for about 5 minutes, until pale yellow; when you lift the beater, the mixture will fall back on itself in a ribbon. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the chocolate mixture. Transfer to a larger mixing bowl.

Measure 1 cup of egg whites and freeze or discard the rest. Combine the cup of egg whites with a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of the remaining sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until stiff but not dry. Mix half of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then fold the rest in carefully with a rubber spatula.

In the same bowl of the electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the heavy cream and the remaining 1 tablespoon of sugar until firm. Carefully fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Pour the mousse into the pie crust plate and spread out evenly. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for a few hours or overnight and up to a week.

Chloe’s addition to the recipe: Make lavender whipped cream to decorate just before serving. Make this whipped cream as stated above and ADD a good pinch of culinary lavender before whipping. Watch as the whip turns lavender in color. It’s delicious!

Post and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.  Tricia and her husband Tom have been farming together since 2000. Blooming Glen Farm is celebrating its 10th season bringing high quality certified organic vegetables, herbs, fruits and cut flowers to our local community.

P1016490 smWell, maybe not 100 ways… but spaghetti squash is so incredibly easy to prepare and so versatile, I bet we could think of 100 ways pretty quickly!  Spaghetti squash can be served as a simple side dish or as a flavorful full meal, and although I won’t list exactly 100 ways to eat it here, the preparation possibilities are truly endless. 

Nutritionally speaking, spaghetti squash is most notable for its high fiber and vitamin C content. The heart- and belly-healthy fiber found in this squash not only promotes cardiovascular health, but also helps maintain blood sugar levels and keeps us feeling full longer. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that plays a role in everything from boosting our immune systems to protecting our skin.

Use the basic roasted squash recipe below as a starting point, then try out the side or main dishes listed, or experiment by using your own favorite flavors.

Spaghetti Squash 100 Ways

P1016492 smBasic roasted spaghetti squash: Preheat over to 400-degrees. Cut squash in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds with a spoon, being careful not to dig into the flesh of the squash. Place squash halves on a baking sheet or in a baking dish, cut side down. Put a little water on the pan, enough to just cover the cut ends of the squash. Bake for 30-45 minutes (smaller squash will cook more quickly), until squash is tender and a fork can easily pierce through the skin/peel and flesh. Remove the squash flesh by scraping a fork lengthwise across the inside of each half. Toss squash with a little oil or butter, salt and pepper.

You can also microwave spaghetti squash: Pierce squash all over with a fork or paring knife. Place in microwave and cook for 10-15 minutes, until squash is tender and a fork can easily pierce through the skin/peel and flesh.

As a simple side, toss above-cooked squash noodles with:

  • Lemon zest and chopped fresh herbs
  • Chopped tomatoes and garlic
  • Tomato sauce and nutritional yeast or Parmesan cheese
  • Capers, lemon, and parsley
  • Butter and scallions

As a main dish:

Taco-style
Grapeseed oil
1/3 cup onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 cup black beans
1 cup tomatoes, chopped
1 cup peppers, chopped
1/2 cup tomatillos, chopped
Toppings: shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa, crushed tortilla chips, shredded cheddar cheese
Method: Heat a large pot with oil, sauté onion, garlic, chili powder and beans until everything is tender and heated through. Add tomatoes, peppers, and tomatillos and cook ~5-7 minutes minutes, until peppers are just tender. Add squash and combine well. Serve immediately with toppings.

Buffalo and Blue Cheese
Grapeseed oil
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chickpeas, or mock chicken, shredded or chopped
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup cabbage, shredded
1/2-1 cup wing sauce
Toppings: green onion, chopped celery, blue cheese crumbles
Method: Heat a large pot with oil, sauté onion, garlic, and chicken until everything is tender and heated through. Add carrots and cabbage and cook ~3-4 minutes, until crisp tender. Add squash and combine well. Toss with hot sauce, adjusting amount to desired spiciness. Serve immediately with toppings.

Pad Thai
Grapeseed oil
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1 cup cubed tofu (baked tofu works great)
1 cup bean sprouts
1 cup carrots, shredded
Whisk together sauce ingredients:
3 tablespoons tamari sauce
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons orange juice
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Toppings: chopped green onions, chopped peanuts, sesame seeds, sriracha sauce
Method: Heat a large pot with oil, sauté onion and tofu cooked/heated through; cooking time depends on whether you’re using raw or baked tofu. Add sprouts, carrots, and half the sauce and cook ~3-4 minutes, until crisp tender. Add squash and remaining sauce and combine well. Cook for a few minutes over low-medium heat, allowing flavors to meld together. Serve immediately with toppings.

gfg_head shot mPost and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOne of the most common barriers to health eating that I hear is time. Between family & friends, work & school, hobbies & activities, there just never seems to be enough time, does there?

There are two tricks that I always recommend — and use myself: 1) A little meal planning & food prep each week, and 2) A repertoire of quick, simple, & adaptable recipes.  The Summer Veggie Noodle Bowl here serves double duty, playing a part in both of those tricks!  Prepare a big batch at the beginning of the week & reheat for lunches or dinners throughout the week, & when the seasons (or contents of your pantry) change, simply adapt the ingredients to what’s available.  Bonus: this dish taste great both hot & cold.

Summer Veggie Noodle Bowl

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Sauce
2/3 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup tamari or liquid aminos
2 TBS sesame oil
3 TBS agave (or other sweetener)
6 gloves garlic, minced
1/2+ tsp crushed red pepper

Noodle bowl
1 package (~10 oz) brown rice vermicelli*
1 tsp sesame oil
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cups zucchini &/or summer squash, shredded or julienned
2 cups carrots, shredded or julienned
kernels from 2 ears of corn
1 head escarole, chopped
1 can (~1-3/4 cups) black soy beans**
Sesame seeds for garnish
* Or 1 package (~9 oz) whole grain soba noodles or 1 package (~8 oz) whole wheat angel hair pasta.  Or, change it to a whole grain bowl & use any whole grain (brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, etc.)
** Or shelled edamame, chickpeas, adzuki, other bean, or any other protein of your choice.

Directions
In a small bowl, whisk together the sauce ingredients until combined & then set aside.

Prepare noodles per package instructions, drain & stir in a small splash of sesame oil to prevent sticking.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add zucchini, carrots, corn, escarole, & 1/3* of the sauce & sauté for 5-7 minutes, until heated through. Stir in beans & sauté another 5 minutes, until beans are heated & escarole is cooked down. Stir in noodles & 1/3* of the sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until everything is heated through. Garnish with sesame seeds & serve immediately.

* If you’re making a batch that will be reheated, reserve 1/3 of the sauce for reheating.  Otherwise, use 1/2 the sauce while cooking the veggies & 1/2 the sauce when stirring in the noodles.

gfg_head shot mPost and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

bg_blog lentil potato chard salad 2This versatile summer salad is not only packed with flavor & nutrition, but also uses several recent share ingredients.  We’ve talked about the healthy stuff in potatoes & Swiss chard here before; combining them with lentils, a good source of both plant-based protein & iron, allows this salad to stand in as a hearty side or a main dish.  Roasting the potatoes & chard brings a smokey flavor & unique texture that contrasts perfectly with the raw ingredients. Note: this is a good time to roast some other veggies (beets & kohlrabi, fennel, peppers, eggplant, turnips, etc.) while you have the oven on!

Try serving this salad on top a bed of chopped spring greens, with a side of grilled string beans & your favorite protein, or topped with a fried farm-fresh egg.

Roasted Potato & Chard Salad with Lentils
bg_blog lentil potato chard saladIngredients
1 cup black, green or brown lentils (black pictured)
6 potatoes (~1-1/2 lb), cut into cubes
3+ cups Swiss chard, roughly chopped
Salt & pepper
Grapeseed or other high-heat cooking oil
3 spring onion bulbs (~1/3 cup), finely diced
1 fennel bulb (~1/3 cup), finely diced — or try celery
1-2 clove green (or other) garlic, minced
3 TBS lemon juice
2 TBS Dijon mustard
1 TBS olive oil
1/2 cup fresh herbs, finely chopped (optional)

Method
Preheat oven to 400-degrees.

In a medium pan, bring lentils, water, and ~1/2 teaspoon salt to boil. Simmer the lentils until tender, ~20 minutes. Drain and put aside

Meanwhile, toss potatoes with a little grapeseed oil & a sprinkle of salt & pepper, then place on a single layer on a cookie sheet. Roast until tender & lightly browned, ~20 minutes. Repeat with Swiss chard, roast until wilted & drying, but not crispy, ~10 mins.

In a large bowl, combine the onion, fennel or celery, garlic & lemon juice, then allow to sit for a few minutes. Whisk in mustard & olive oil. Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Add lentils, potatoes & herbs to the bowl & toss to combine. Serve warm or chill until ready to serve.

gfg_head shot mPost and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

BeetsBeets are a staple veggie at the farm, making an appearance both at the beginning & end of the season each year. Like many root vegetables, beets have lots of vitamins & minerals, including those that help grow red blood cells (folate) & those that that help build sturdy & strong bones (manganese). Also like many root vegetables, much of the nutrition in beets lives in or near the skin, so skip the peeler & simply scrub them clean before eating.

Enjoy beets raw & cooked: Use slices of raw beets in a veggie dip or hummus, or dice them up small & add them to a green, grain or pasta salad. Use a grater to shred raw beets for slaws or to use in breads, muffins & even cookies! Of course, the sweetest way to eat beets is by roasting them. The simple recipe below combines beets with another CSA staple, kohlrabi. You can serve this dish as is, or use it as a base for a more hearty meal:

  • Serve chilled & topped with cooked quinoa & plain yogurt (pictured below)
  • Mix in chickpeas or black soy beans
  • Use as a pita filling with hummus
  • Top with plain yogurt or sour cream & minced chives
  • Serve on top of a chopped green salad
  • Combine with a cooked whole grain (brown rice, bulgur, farro, etc.)
  • Top with sunflower or sesame seeds

Roasted Beets & Kohlrabi with Fennel
BeetsIngredients
8 beets
8 kohlrabi
3 fennel
1-1/2 tablespoons grapeseed or other high-heat cooking oil
salt & pepper

Method

Preheat oven to 400-degrees. Trim tops off beets, scrub clean & dice. Trim, peel & dice kohlrabi. Slice fennel bulbs & stems, up to fronds. Toss beets, kohlrabi & fennel with a bit of grapeseed oil, salt & pepper.

Place vegetables in a baking dish, cover & bake for 25 minutes. Sprinkle with a little more salt & pepper, stir, recover & return to the oven. Bake until just tender, about 20 more minutes.

gfg_head shot mPost and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!

We are thrilled to introduce you to plant based nutrition educator Kris Keating. Kris has joined us at Blooming Glen on Tuesday and Thursdays to prepare lunch for our hungry farm crew. It’s no small task to feed 14 field weary farmers- I advised her to approach it like she was feeding a team of athletes. And what wonderful meals we have enjoyed so far! Kris, founder of the Soleil Kitchen, is a chef with a focus on fresh organic whole foods. Kris is excited to be a part of Blooming Glen Farm and to continue her mission of putting healthy plant based cuisine ideas within reach of the local community. She will be sharing some of her wonderful recipes (and stunning photos) with you through this blog and hopefully doing some demos and tastings during CSA pick-ups as well.

Kohlrabi and Radish Salad

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Ingredients, Serves 2 entree or 4 appetizer
1 head green leaf lettuce, chopped
1 medium kohlrabi, julienned (or 2 small)
2 carrots, julienned
4 radish, sliced finely
2 tbs dried cranberries
A few fresh dill sprigs

Toss all ingredients together in large bowl except radish, cranberries, and dill. Divide evenly among two/four plates and garnish with sliced radish, cranberries, and fresh dill sprigs. Pair this with the creamy lemon-garlic dressing and you have a colorful and delicious salad with a unique blend of farm-fresh flavors and textures.

Note: An easy and quick way to julienne your vegetables at home is by using a handheld mandoline. Kyocera makes an inexpensive and good quality mandoline that can be purchased on Amazon.com for less than $25.

Creamy Lemon-Garlic Dressing

Ingredients, Makes about 4 servings
1 cup water
1/4 cup cashews
2 tbs tahini
2 tbs fresh lemon juice
2-3 dried dates
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic (or 1 tsp granules, or 1 stalk green garlic)
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pinch of tumeric (for color)

Blend until smooth using a high-speed blender. Store leftovers in a sealed glass container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Note: If you do not have a high-speed blender, you can soften the dates and cashews by soaking them in 1 cup of water overnight. You can then prepare your dressing in the morning using a standard blender.

Photo and recipe by Kris Keating, plant based nutrition educator, detoxification specialist and raw food chef and instructor.

As a certified Raw Food Chef and Instructor from Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in Fort Bragg, California, Kris incorporates a creative blending of culinary art and raw food nutrition into her meal preparations. She has a special knack for transforming simple whole foods into tasty dishes that are not only minimally prepared but beautifully presented as well. Kris enjoys creating recipes that inspire people to return to eating more fresh plant-based and embrace the valuable connection between cuisine and health. For consultations, classes and more, check out her website, Kris Keating Consulting or follow her on her Facebook page where she will also be posting her delicious recipes from the farm.

Blooming Glen Farm’s 5th annual pie bake-off contest dished up some real winners- namely the 100 plus people who got the chance to taste the 14 delicious pie entries. Whether your taste ran to classics like apple and blueberry, or standards with a twist like peach cranberry, honey bourbon pecan, or sweet potato with ginger whip cream, or you prefer fridge pies like chocolate mousse with salty peanut caramel or blueberry dream, or maybe you like to be adventurous with the more unusual banoffi pie or spicy mexican hot chocolate, there was something for everyone.

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Our judging panel went ahead of the eager crowds and evaluated the pies on taste, appearance, crust and texture and awarded their top three choices (actually top four, since they had a tie for third). Our first judge was Susan Kahn from Bucks County Cookie Co. Susan’s cookies and delectables are a Wrightstown farmers market favorite. Susan will be opening a brick and mortar bakery in just a few months in Doylestown behind Cross Keys Diner, so keep an eye out! New to the judge panel this year was Rosemary Vaerth, a graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia Baking and Pastry program, and a veteran of the gluten-free and vegan baking scene in southeastern PA. Lastly, Farmer Tom’s father, also Tom Murtha and affectionately referred to as Pop, came back to judge for a second year, contributing his expertise from over 80 years of pie eating enjoyment.

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Apple Pie
by Angelina and Adrian Arias with the help of their dad, Angel Arias
Judges Vote: First Place

Angel Arias- “I was a professional chef for over 11 years, but never much of a baker. Usually my wife is the baker at home. I now just enjoy making culinary creations for my family and friends, but most of all for my kids! My daughter Angelina (7) and son Adrian (4) help their mother each week to pick up the vegetables at the farm. Angelina who is starting to have a passion for all things organic and farm related, was super excited about the Harvest Fest, and even more so that there was going to be a pie contest. She told her brother about it and they both asked me to help make a pie to enter -since their Mommy was out town for the weekend.

So we went to the local orchard to pick our apples and made 2 pies on Saturday. The kids were so serious about it –that when their friends came knocking on the door for them to play, they sent them away on their very own, and went right back to working on the pies-very dedicated little chefs –if I must say so myself!”

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Judges Vote winners, Julie Thomas, Lexi Berko, Bernadette Rodrigo, and Adrian and Angelina Arias.

“When I asked them what their favorite part was when making the pie- ‘My favorite part was putting decorations on the top crust!’ said Angelina. ‘My favorite part was slicing the apples with the apple slicer!’ said Adrian.”

“I also asked them how they felt when they announced that they were the winners. ‘I feeled weird and fast because I was running!’  – Adrian. ‘I felt weird, excited, nervous, surprised and shy all at the same time. I felt wowed-out!’ -Angelina.”

Pie Crust Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons salt
3 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup Lard
1 egg
1 teaspoon white vinegar
5 tablespoons water

In large bowl combine flour, salt, and sugar- mix it well, add lard cutting it until mixture resembles cornmeal. In a small container mix egg, vinegar, and water. Add it to flour mixture, stirring it with a fork. Cut dough in half, make 2 balls and wrap them with plastic wrap. Keep in the refrigerator while making pie.

Pie Filling Ingredients
8 apples peeled and sliced (I used Empire apples)
½ c. granulated sugar
½ c. brown sugar
zest of 1 lemon chopped fine
juice of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
½ c. coconut oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ c. water

In a large bowl combine apples, white and brown sugar, lemon zest and juice, nutmeg and cinnamon.

In a small sauce pan heat coconut oil at medium temperature- once oil is completely melted, whisk in flour to make a paste then add water, mix it well and add it to apple mixture.

Roll out one of the pie crusts put it on the pie dish. Add apple mixture. Roll out second crust cover pie.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes and then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake it for an additional 35 to 40 min.

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Honey Ginger Peach Pie
by Lexi Berko
Judges Vote: Second Place

Lexi Berko- “I chose to bake this particular pie with ingredients that were very local, both the ginger and honey coming directly from Blooming Glen Farm. My partner and I are the resident beekeepers at BGF and with a surplus of both ginger and honey, I thought they would make a perfect pie pair. This pie was a hit among the yellow jackets and judges buzzing about the pie tasting table and it made me very thankful for the endless labor put forth by our honeybees! (And they inspired my beecomb design of the top crust.)”

Pie Filling Ingredients
5 large, ripe peaches or 7 medium (or 5 to 6 cups of frozen sliced peaches)
1 cup wildflower honey
3 tablespoons peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger 
juice of half a lemon (about one tablespoon)
big pinch of powdered ginger
pinch of nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of salt
Frozen Pillsbury pie crust

Combine honey and fresh chopped ginger in a small saucepan and heat on low for 20 minutes. While the honey is warming up, pit, peel, and slice the peaches so they’re about 1/4 inch thick. Put the slices in a large bowl and squeeze the lemon over them. Add the powdered ginger, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, and salt. Pour the heated honey and fresh ginger over all. Mix gently until the honey and spices are evenly distributed, then taste and adjust sweet, spice, and lemon as needed.

Roll out the top crust. Retrieve the bottom crust from the refrigerator. Pour the filling into your bottom crust. If there is too much liquid to fit in the pan with the peaches, fill the pan not quite to the rim with juice and set the rest of it aside. Smooth the filling into a mound with your hands. Place the top crust over the filling. Trim off any excess dough and fold an upstanding ridge. Cut large steam vents. Bake on 425 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes until the crust is blistered and blond. Rotate the pie 180 degrees to assure even baking, then lower the temperature to 375 degrees and bake for another 50 to 60 minutes until the crust is golden and the juices start to bubble slowly at the edge — possibly longer if you’ve used frozen fruit. Cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before serving.

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Lemon Blueberry Meringue
by Bernadette Rodrigo (last year’s grand champ in both categories for her Cherry Pistachio Pie and 2012 second place winner with her Almond Pear Pie with a Raspberry Glaze)
Judges Vote: Third place, tie
People’s Choice: Third place

Bernadette Rodrigo- “This pie was inspired by our recent trip to Maine. Lemon seemed like a natural complement to the sweetness of the berries and the meringue adds the wow factor.”

Pie Crust Ingredients (makes 2)
2 ½ cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
½ pound butter cubed (2 sticks)
3 egg yolks
¼ cup ice cold water

Mix flour and sugar in a large bowl. Cut in butter to resemble coarse meal (pea size pieces). In a small bowl beat egg yolks and add water. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir with a fork until evenly distributed. Dough will be crumbly. Turn out onto counter and press the dough to form a ball, then divide in 2 and form 2 discs. Wrap each disc in plastic wrap and refrigerate.

Pie Filling Ingredients
3 cups of blueberries (wild Maine berries, available frozen in markets)
¼ cup flour
½ cup sugar
1 tablespoon butter

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Mix first 3 ingredients in a bowl then spread evenly in raw pie shell. Break the butter into small pieces and sprinkle over berries.

Roll out one pie crust and prepare pie pan. Bake until fruit bubbles in the middle, about 45 minutes.

While pie bakes mix one 15 ounce can of condensed milk with ½ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice. Reserve in refrigerator.

Meringue Ingredients
5 egg whites
½ teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
3 tablespoons sugar
pinch of salt

Beat eggs until frothy. Add next two ingredients. Continue to beat adding sugar a little at a time. Stop when stiff peaks form.

When pie is baked and cool, spread reserved lemon mixture over the top. Cover entire pie with meringue and bake at 375 degrees about 10 minutes or until browned. Best served cold.

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Banoffi Pie
by Julia Thomas
Judges Vote: Third Place, tie

Julia Thomas- “I love baking at home, particularly in my big red Aga stove that stays on all the time in the winter…typical British farmhouse! I’m a bit of a freestyler when it comes to cooking and I love it when I pull ingredients together from my fridge/ freezer and cupboards to create something new and exciting. That’s why I love Blooming Glen farm so much… you never know what you will get and what will inspire you.

However, one recipe I always follow exactly is Banoffi pie! It  is hugely popular in the UK, but often varies on its base and the ingredients. I was lucky enough to learn this recipe over 25 years ago from the original creator, as I worked with him at the Hungry Monk restaurant and this version is by far my favorite.”

Sweet Shortcrust Pastry Ingredients
(
Bakers Note: my recipe below makes enough for 2. You can leave out sugar for regular pastry and add more flour + a tablespoon of iced water)
350g plain flour
120g powdered sugar
250g butter
1 tablespoon crisco
Pinch of salt
1 egg
Egg white for glazing

In food processor whizz together flour, salt and sugar for a few seconds and then add in the butter and crisco in small pieces. Crack in the 1 whole egg and pulse till it makes a ball. Wrap in plastic and put in freezer to rest for about 20 mins or in the fridge for about 45mins. Roll out on a floured surface and line your pie tins, trim off excess dough. Prick with a fork on bottom of pastry case to make air hole. Chill in fridge again for 10 mins. Line with parchment paper and dried beans or ceramic baking beans  to weigh it down and cook at 350F for about 20 mins. Remove parchment paper and brush pastry with egg white. This seals it and stops you getting soggy pie. Return to oven for 5 mins.  

Pie Filling Ingredients
1 tin condensed milk – previously boiled for 3 hrs (covered in water unopened)  – you can do several tins at once and then keep in your pantry indefinitely. Be careful not to boil dry as they will explode and not to open the cans when hot either – you will get burned! This makes a delicious toffee filling, you can keep it as a standby and then make this dessert in a hurry or emergency.
5 Bananas
1 pint whipping cream
1 teaspoon instant coffee  – crush to powder
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/4  teaspoon cocoa powder

Whip the the cream with the instant coffee and powdered sugar until thick and smooth.

Spread the toffee over the base. (You can use the back of a spoon dipped in hot water to help spread it or warm the toffee a little first. Cool off once spread in fridge if necessary, so cream won’t melt.

Peel and then cut in half lengthwise the bananas and lay them on the toffee. 

Finally spoon and spread the cream over the top and sprinkle over the cocoa powder from about 14″ high so that it is a nice fine covering.

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Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pie
by Josie Gilmore
People’s Choice: First Place

Josie Gilmore: “I’m currently a junior at Council Rock High School North and my favorite subject is chemistry. I have never made a pie before, but I have taken some cooking/baking classes and worked at my mom’s cooking camps every summer since I was 9. I chose to make a chocolate caramel pecan pie because I really love pecan pie and wanted to incorporate some more delicious flavors into the recipe. I’m really excited to have won this contest and I can’t wait to try and defend my title next year!”

Prepare your favorite crust for a 9-in pie pan

Pie Filling Ingredients
2 large eggs
2/3 cups sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
4 teaspoons unsalted butter
¾ teaspoons vanilla extract
23 caramel squares
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
¼ cup semisweet chocolate chunks
1 cup pecans, chopped small
more pecan halves for decoration on top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll out pie dough onto a lightly floured surface to about 1/8 inch thick. Wrap dough around rolling pin and place onto center of pie pan (I used a disposable aluminum pan). Press dough up sides and trim extra dough around edges, flute edges.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, corn syrup, 4 teaspoons melted butter, and vanilla, set aside. Sprinkle chocolate chunks evenly over bottom of tart shell.

Place caramels, cream and 1 tablespoon butter in a microwave safe bowl and heat until caramel is melted, stirring every 20 seconds. Stir chopped pecans into caramel. Pour caramel mixture over chocolate chunks, spread evenly. Pour egg mixture over caramel filling. Arrange pecans on top however you like.

Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake 45-60 minutes, until filling is set. If pecans begin to brown too quickly, place a tent of aluminum foil over top. Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

Baker’s Note: I used extra pie dough to cut out pumpkins and stars, baked them separately for 10 minutes and used for decoration.

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Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie
by Michelle Guerriero (2012 Pie Champ with her Maple Custard Pie with Candied Bacon, and 2011 second place winner with her Orange Marscapone Pumpkin Pie)
People’s Choice: Second Place

Michelle Guerriero- “I recently made some Mexican hot chocolate for my family, which I make by simmering milk with a dried chili pepper, then adding melted chocolate and cinnamon. It’s a lovely treat as the weather turns cool, and anything with cinnamon is a winner in my house. This is what inspired my Mexican Hot Chocolate Pie. My first attempt at the pie was a little spicy, so I had to make a mild version. When steeping the chili pepper, don’t overdo it! It can creep up quickly! Or you could omit the chili pepper altogether.”

Pie Crust Ingredients
12 graham crackers
5 tablespoons melted butter
1 tablespoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons sugar (optional)

In food processor, pulse all ingredients together until crumbly. Press into pie pan and bake for 12 minutes on 350. Remove and wait to fill with filling.

Pie Filling Ingredients (modified from recipe found on cooks.com)
1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
2 cups brown sugar
3 whole eggs
1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla (regular is just fine)
1/2 cup half & half
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 small dried chili pepper 

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon Mexican vanilla

In a mixer with a whisk, combine softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing approximately 1 min. between each egg. Mixture should be nice and fluffy. Stop until it is time to add next ingredients. 

In a small saucepan, combine half and half, vanilla, and dried chili pepper over medium-high heat. Bring mixture to a simmer (not boil!) and remove from heat. During the simmering is when you can play with the “heat” in your pie. You may only add the chili pepper for a quick minute, you may want to steep it longer. Taste the mixture until it is to your liking, then remove chili pepper. 

With the mixer going again, very slowly add the milk mixture to the bowl. Do not add too quickly or it will cook your eggs! 

Once combined, pour all ingredients into your pie crust and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes, or until the middle of the pie jiggles a little, but the edges are firm. Remove and cool pie.

Make whipped cream if desired by whisking heavy cream, cinnamon and vanilla until soft peaks form. Add whipped cream, sprinkle of cinnamon and chocolate chips on top.

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tcheadshotPost and photos by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner. Tricia and her husband Tom have been growing together since 1996 and farming together since 2000. They started Blooming Glen Farm in 2006. Tricia is passionate about food, community, art and nature and the intersection of all four.

 

 

Autumn is my very favorite time of year. I am not a summer person and prefer shorter days and squash and beets over tomatoes, cucumbers and long hot days. I have been making soup every day for the past 10 years, so soup season means plenty of smooth no-brainer cooking. I love cooking from an effortless place of creativity. We will be featuring soups in the demos for the duration of the CSA season. 

Last week’s demo recipe was a super easy soup and a great way to use up some of those tomatoes you may have hanging around. The recipe calls for tomato juice and chopped fresh tomatoes. Feel free to improvise with whatever tomato/ stock mix you have on hand. You can always add more water if the consistency is too thick. I served mine with black bean salsa and chunks of roasted squash, because I love black and orange together. I also think topping with fresh avocado, queso fresco, tortilla strips and cilantro would be awesome. I use either a immersion blender or Vitamix, the immersion blender being by far my favorite tool in the kitchen (sorry Vitamix). Thanks to everyone who visits me at my table. This has been an amazing experience of which I am so grateful!

Squash Chile Tomato Soup

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Ingredients
3 ribs celery, diced
2 onion, diced
2 cups pepper, diced
1 sweet potato, diced
2 cups fresh tomato, diced
1 kabocha squash, roasted and scooped from its skin (could also sub in a butternut or 2 delicata)
12 oz tomato juice
2 cups water
1/8 tsp tumeric
1/8 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chile powder
1 tsp salt
2 dried ancho chiles soaked in 2 cups hot water (remove stems once softened )- add chile water to the soup too.

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Sauté veggies in 2 tablespoons oil. Add liquids and seasonings, and simmer over medium heat for 30 minutes, until veggies are soft. Puree. Garnish. Enjoy!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPost and recipes written by Kristin Moyer, Farm Chef Educator at Blooming Glen Farm and passionate farm-fresh food advocate. Kristin cooks at The Perk in Perkasie, does private catering and serves on the Pennridge Wellness Committee, working to create edible school yards in Pennridge School District. Together with Blooming Glen Farm she hopes to someday start a Community Supported Kitchen at the farm.

Editing by Tricia Borneman, Blooming Glen farmer and co-owner.

 

 

 

Are beautiful and bountiful sweet peppers taking over your fridge?  It won’t be long before they are a distant memory. Use the tips below to put them to good use now, and to preserve some of their summer flavor to enjoy during the upcoming fall and winter months.  Bonus:  Most of these tips and ideas will also work poblanos as well.

Peppers!Rockin’ raw peppers:  There’s nothing like the just-picked taste of farm-fresh peppers (and raw veggies have a special nutritional profile), but eating a side of sliced peppers at every meal can certainly get a little boring.  Try mixing it up by using peppers as the base for a veggie salad; this Summer Pepper Salad also takes advantage of the season’s cucumbers, while this one uses tomatoes.  Slice peppers thinly to add to wraps and sandwiches, or dice them up small for pasta and grain salads.  Gazpacho is a classic summer dish that you can always add extra peppers to.  You can also use raw peppers as the base for other cold soups, dips and dressings.

Peppers as a vessel:  Slice peppers in half, remove ribs and seeds, and then lightly steam or roast.  You can now use the pepper halves as a vessel in which to stuff all kinds of yummy eats.  We’ve posted a few stuffed pepper recipes here on the blog, including Freekah Stuffed Peppers, Poblanos and Mexican-style Quinoa and Green Pepper Dolmas.  I also love using eggs as part of a stuffing; this Baked Eggs in a Bell Pepper and Breakfast Stuffed Peppers use a whole egg cracked into pepper halves, while this Broccoli Quiche in Colorful Peppers uses an egg mixture.  Get creative with your stuffing fixins’ — just about any veggie, meat, grain or bean combination will work, so the possibilities are near endless!

Preserving peppers:  The no-fuss method to preserving peppers is to simply slice them into spears, place them on a cookie sheet in a single layer and place in the freezer until they’re frozen solid, and then transfer them to an airtight, freezer-safe container.  You can then use them in stir-fries, soups, sauces and other dishes.  Roasted peppers also freeze very well, holding their flavor and texture quite nicely; check out this method for roasting and freezing.  Roasted red peppers can be used on their own, or as an ingredient for soup, hummus, sauce, and pasta dishes.  And, of course, you can always make like Peter and pickle those peppers! 🙂

gfg_head shot mPost and photos by Mikaela D. Martin: Blooming Glen CSA member since 2005, board-certified health counselor, and co-founder of Guidance for Growing, an integrative wellness practice in Souderton. Read more about healthy eating and living on her site, http://guidanceforgrowing.com!