Eat Better, Eat Together

October is Eat Better, Eat Together month, and with that in mind, as well as Stefani's Season of Soups, I thought maybe I'd share some food that our family enjoys together this month. (Not every day, but you know, sometimes.)

there's that sun

Along with chillier nights, I have definitely noticed that October has brought a shift in what we want to eat for dinner: cozier meals definitely have newfound appeal. Last night we made this easy, quick, and earthy Orecchiette with Sausage and Roasted Peppers followed with this deliciously simple Rustic Apple Tart.

pasta, sausage, roasted peppers

A lot of my "go-to" recipes come from Everyday Food ... I subscribed beginning with the first issue, and though I let it lapse in the last year, I have tons of them on hand to look through. Although I really love the idea of slow food, and consider myself to be a proponent of the slow movement, sometimes these quick (and pretty nutritious) recipes are just what we need around here. I try to stick to recipes that are from the month (or at least the season) that we're currently in, hoping to use a lot of in-season and seasonal ingredients.

"i'll just get that for you"

We also made some yummy, nutritious autumn cookies yesterday. The pureed raisins are great for my girl who is not so into raisins normally. We had these as an afternoon snack yesterday and for breakfast today ... yum! The recipe is from Martha Stewart Baby, Fall 2001. I couldn't find it on the website, so here it is:

1 thirty-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 cup raisins
1/4 cup boiling water
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (despite our dairy allergy, James and I seem to tolerate butter pretty well on occasion, which is good since I try not to overdo it with soy)
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup molasses (I always use blackstrap for added nutrition)
2 large eggs
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg (freshly ground is best)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose (or whole wheat pastry, in my world) flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
2 1/2 cups rolled oats

1. Line a strainer with a double layer of cheesecloth; set it over a bowl. Place the pumpkin puree in the strainer; wrap the cheesecloth around the puree. Weigh down the puree with a small can of soup or something with a similar weight; let puree drain for about 30 minutes. (I skipped this step. Does anyone know if it's really necessary?)

2. Preheat the oven to 350F. In a food processor, puree the raisins with the boiling water until no large pieces remain, about 1 minute. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Add the molasses, and mix to combine, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs; beat for 1 minute. Add the pureed raisin mixture and the drained pumpkin puree, and mix to combine.

3. In a medium bowl, combine the salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, flour, baking soda, wheat germ, and oats; stir to combine. Add the dry ingredients to the batter int he mixer bowl, and mix to combine.

4. Spoon the batter onto untreated baking sheets, making the cookies about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Use the back of a spoon dipped in water to press the cookies down slightly. Bake cookies until set and browning, 12 to 14 minutes (more like 15-16 in my oven). Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat with remaining batter. Store the baked cookies in an airtight container; they will stay soft for up to 1 week.


You'll have to excuse this next blurry shot -- we were in such a hurry to gobble these up that this is the only one I got. And now they're all gone!

pumpkin cookies

I promise to share some soup recipes and one for our favorite chili, too!