Let's EatSeasonal Recipes
Winter’s End Cake
The last pumpkin of 2022 proved to be the inspiration for my number one favorite pumpkin cake ever. I will admit that all my tinkering to come up with something new led to a rather complex recipe, but a lot of my ingredients were holiday purchases. I just cleaned out the cupboards and, as often happens, I ended up creating a happy accident.
Christmas Soul Cakes
Among the sweet myths and traditions in Celtic lore is the giving of Soul Cakes. Some speculate that Soul Cakes are the precursor to trick or treat: children and the poor were given soul cakes to exchange for coins from wealthier folks. Purchasing a Soul Cake bestowed blessings on the purchaser, and eating a Soul Cake, in some religions, released a loved one’s soul from purgatory.
Shepherd’s Pie for Someone Special
I find the greatest pleasure I get from cooking is giving someone I love a special dish, honoring their place in my life with a meal that is both nutritious and delicious and something unexpected. The gift I gave my husband this holiday season is a Very Special Shepherd’s Pie. Got somebody special in your life who needs to be reminded how much you love them?
Rumblin’ Ernie’s Farm: Sweetest Carrots this Side of the Mississippi
This is Ben. He is one of my favorite people at the Goshen Community Market. Ben runs Rumblin’ Ernie’s Farm, and he grows the biggest, sweetest carrots this side of the Mississippi. Not kidding. When Ben first showed up at my market with that steady supply of carrots, it was a game changer for my menus. I have been using his carrots all summer and into this fall. How could I not showcase them on the blog?
Inspired Salsa with Nods to Mollie Katzan and Brazil
In my beloved original Moosewood Cookbook (now held together in loose page segments by tape and paperclips) I landed on one of my favorite Mollie Katzan signature recipes: Brazilian Black Bean Soup. I had everything I needed, except for one big orange. It sounded SOOOOOOO good, except….it was nearly 100 degrees outside and soup is…hot…. I turned the page and kept going.
But an hour later I was still thinking about the rich tangy-sweet flavors of this vegan soup. So I decided to turn back and turn this favorite recipe on its head a bit.
Banana Split Overnight Oats
We eat a lot of oatmeal in our house. All winter long it is only McCann’s Irish Steel Cut Oats, cooked slow overnight in my cute Crockette. But in summer, I need a different approach to getting my oats—something cool and creamy and fast. So, from June to September, I switch to overnight oats, taking full advantage of summer fruits. In this case, in honor of the June Strawberry Moon, I created a play on traditional banana splits to whip up a nutritious, easy to prepare breakfast that’s loaded with market strawberries.
Lemon Corn Muffins with Berry Jam Filling
Berry season is near perfection in the month of June in farm country. One berry arrives and as it is making its exit another appears…like magic, of course. It is the season of iced tea on the front porch, picnics and patio dinners. What better way to celebrate summer than with a sweet buttery muffin filled with freshly made market jam…or your own jam, if you are of a mind.
The Backyard Buffet
One of the many benefits of making this change is how delicious and nutritious things become—not just for the pollinators we hope to attract but for us, too. I thought a couple of recipes using what grows without any help in the backyard was worth its own post. Featured on our buffet today are stinging nettles, sweet violets and dandelions.
Garlic Scape Soup with Leeks and Potatoes
Every spring, as the first fresh produce comes to market, I start planning for the winter months ahead. Some vegetables lend themselves better to freezing than others, of course. My new potatoes, spring onions, carrots, leeks and asparagus usually just get enjoyed fresh (though I have frozen asparagus with success for winter pureed soups). The spring broccoli and cauliflower are good freezer candidates—if you can contain your appetite not to eat all that goodness right up. And a winter staple after the last of my stored garlic is gone has always been garlic scapes—good to freeze and great garlic flavor for soups, stews, sautés. And this year, one stuffed bag of scapes remained. What to do?
Sweetheart Spirals: Chocolate, Hazelnut and Date Caramel Rolls
In the snowy depths of wintery February, I like to think that Valentine’s Day comes along to warm our hearts with homemade cards, paper mâché roses and sweet treats of rich chocolate, creamy caramel and crunchy toasted nuts. Actually, I do more than think about it; I bake!
Winter “Green”: Carrot and Squash Soup
With stores of hard sweet carrots from my crisper, a sturdy vermillion squash called Potimarron from the pantry shelf and rusty shallots snatched from my basement storage cart, orange becomes the new green! Steaming bowls of antioxidant power and beneficial beta keratin will warm us up and keep us healthy on cold winter afternoons and evenings.
Special Sides: Sprouts and Spuds
One of my favorite winter greens are those cute little cabbages know as Brussel sprouts. They are easy to fix in a million ways and bring a real freshness to wintertime meals. They are a family favorite with us now, but that used to not be the case. Years ago when I was much, much less experienced in the kitchen I tried boiling them, steaming them—all to everyone’s disappointment. Then I found recipes for shredding them and sautéing them. That changed everything.
Extra-Special Rice Pudding
Long ago, when my daughter was in grade school and my grandma lived with us out in the country, I used to make this rice pudding dish. The original version came from a way-back issue of Cooking Light Magazine and involved a lot of low-fat ingredients that I would not be using today. But we loved it—all of us—even Grandma, who was not a rice fancier. This dish was meant as a dessert, rather a decadent one, even by Cooking Light standards, but the enticement of warm rice pudding on a cold December day made this a special weekend breakfast treat in our house. Even if I added the optional amaretto liquor!
Squash and Potato Casserole with Spiced Cornmeal Crumble
I cannot think of a more autumn vegetable than squash—any kind from pumpkins, to butternuts, to Acorn. Squash is comfort food that can be served at breakfast—maybe in a hash or just roasted with maple syrup—enjoyed at lunch—as in little squash bowls filled with hearty grains—or for dinner, which is where we are landing today. A Squash and Potato Casserole that can be a weekend meal with plenty of leftovers or the star attraction for that Thanksgiving buffet.
Rocky Road Biscotti
Biscotti is one of my favorite cookies, especially as the season of gift giving begins. It’s sturdy, stores well and can be made at least a week before delivery. I’m always looking for ways to turn basic biscotti into something special—not that basic biscotti isn’t special on its own. But you know what I mean…something to surprise and elevate.
Vegan Liver and Onions (aka: Eggplant and Shallots)
This dish is inspired by a variety of eggplant known as Fairytale, and these sweet tiny globes live up to their whimsical name. About “Barbie” size and variegated purple and white, as pretty as a Monet. Really cute and probably only showing up at farmers markets, Fairytales can perplex cooks as they consider how to prepare them. Most regular eggplant recipes just won’t work here. So I had to come up with something new.
Harvest Equinox Cake
For the entire summer, I have luxuriated in the most amazing organic carrots—quite the treat at the farmers market because they are not usually plentiful, organic or not. Carrots take up lots of garden space and can grow in really wonky shapes and sizes—not at all like the pristine orange spikes you find in the grocery stores. That’s why carrots are prime food waste in the conventional world of agriculture—cheap, only perfect and taken totally for granted. Market carrots can be a hard sell to perfect-produce loving consumers.
Roasted Okra with Ground Cherry Habanero Marinade
I am always looking for new ways to use ground cherries, those golden globes of farmers markets across the Midwest. I’ve been developing recipes for these one-of-a-kind berries (Actually they are a member of the tomatillo family!) since I started this blog way back in 2015.
This year, I decided to try them as a base for a marinade, using fresh basil from my garden and a fresh blonde habanero pepper (just one, as they are HOT).