Recipe 18/36 Pumpkin/Riesling Sorbet

2 cups of pumpkin Purée
1 1/4 cups of a good Riesling wine
1/4 cup of water
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground clove
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg


  • mix all Ingredients together and let me them chill in the fridge for six hours
  • mix them in your ice cream maker following the vendor directions, my Kitchen Aid took 20 minutes

  • Notes
    This tasted really good, but the texture was a bit off, it clumped together, instead of an even sorbet. I think I should have brought the liquid to a boil and made a syrup with the sugar and added the spices. I adapted this recipe from a recipe from the cookbook The Perfect Scoop.. I need to contemplate how to get it to smooth out more. This makes about two pints.

    To make pumpkin purée, the standard procedure is to halve a pumpkin, then bake it for an hour at 300 degrees, then scoop it out and puree it. I peel first (make stock from the cuttings), bake for 300 degrees for an hour, chop fine and blend.


    Recipe 16/36 Pumpkin Pie, Full Dairy, Gluten Free

    2 cups of pumpkin pulp purée from a sugar pumpkin
    1 1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 cup packed raw sugar
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 eggs plus the yolk of a third egg
    2 teaspoons of cinnamon
    1 teaspoon fresh diced ginger
    1/4 teaspoon fresh ground allspice
    1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
    1/4 teaspoon fresh ground cloves
    1/4 teaspoon fresh ground cardamon


  • Standard procedure is to halve a pumpkin, then bake it for an hour at 300 degrees, then scoop it out and puree it. I peel first (make stock from the cuttings), bake for 300 degrees for an hour, chop fine and blend it. I then add the spices and let the flavors meld for a few hours in the fridge.
  • Mix sugars, salt, in a large bowl. Beat the eggs and add to the bowl. Stir in the pumpkin purée. Stir in cream. Whisk all together until well incorporated.
  • Pour into pie shell and bake at 425°F for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes reduce the temperature to 350°F. Bake 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean.
  • Pie Shell
    1 cup of very finely chopped almonds or almond meal.
    3 tablespoons butter
    2 tablespoons heavy cream

    I work the butter into the almond meal with my hands until the butter is pretty evenly worked in. Then add the cream and work it in until its wet. Then press it into the pie pan and work it until its flat and pie crust looking. Then put it into a 350 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes.

    One in the oven, this took a long time to set up, next time I make it, I will probably add another egg. That said, it was a great pei. The crust drew rave reviews from the crowd and the cream gives it a mouth feel superior to evaporated milk.

    Recipe 7/36 Mushroom cap pizza

    I got this idea while flaming around Seward co-op looking for ideas. I must have had a hankering for pizza and when I saw the huge mushroom caps that Lisa likes to use for ‘meaty’ textures, I got the idea to use them as a base for pizza


    I had my doubts about this concoction, but it worked out really well. It is a strong mushroom flavor, but it still tastes like pizza.

    3 Large mushroom caps (the ones that run 3-6 inches in diameter)
    1/3 cup of pasta sauce
    1/3 to 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese
    1 medium clove of garlic
    Half a yellow onion
    Half a green or red pepper

    Lisa does not like mushrooms al dente so I stuck them in the oven at 200 degrees to warm up while I did the rest of the prep. Mince the garlic and Dice the mushrooms and onions ands sweat them for five minutes on loan heat with some salt and olive oil. Heat the sauce to a simmer. Grate the cheese. Pull out the mushrooms caps and raise the oven heat to 500, add 1/3 of the sauce to the inside of each cap, split the cheese among the three caps and then add the vegetables. Place them back into the oven and let them cook until the cheese is melted and starting to brown (I think the broiler would work equally well). Plate and serve

    Recipe 3/36: Potato soup

    This started out as a cream of potato soup recipe, but since Lisa not a cream soup person and is working to minimize her dairy intake, I decided to forgo the dairy and replaced it with a light brown rue to add mouth feel.  I had intended to put a stick blender to some of the vegetables, but by the time it was done, it really didn’t need any more.  For Lisa, I went the extra mile and didn’t use AP flour, replacing it instead with a Bob’s Red Mill GF AP flour.   This turned out to be a really good heavy soup.  I got a loaf of artisan bread from the local bakery and we had cheese sandwiches and soup for dinner last night.


    2 medium russet potatoes cubed
    1 large carrot, diced
    1 small stalk celery with leaves, diced
    1 medium onion, diced
    1/2 cup crimini mushrooms
    1 1/2 teaspoons salt
    1/2 teaspoon of pepper
    1/2 teaspoon dried chives
    1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
    2 cups of chicken stock
    1/4 cup of flour
    1/4 cup of oil


    Chop the carrot, celery and onions and sauté over medium heat for 2-3 minutes and then set aside.  Add the oil and flour into a pan over medium low heat and stir for 5-7 minutes until you have light brown rue.  Add the sautéed vegetables and chicken stock and set to medium heat.  Chop the potatoes and add them and all the spices to the soup, bring it up to a simmer and let simmer for 25 minutes.  Chop the mushrooms and add them when the simmer is complete, give them a few minutes to heat through and then serve.

    Recipe 2/36 – My savory breakfast shake

    My wife started making us breakfast shakes a couple of years ago. Fruit shakes, with yogurt and other goodness. Since those early heady days, the shakes have gone through a lot of modification as she has focused on changing her diet. The dairy disappeared, flax, vegetable powder, hemp powder, romaine, kale and other green goodness was added. Finally the shakes reached a point where my palette could not handle it any more. The flavor and consistency made it a struggle to consume and I started to give them up.

    Instead I started eating junk and quickly realized that having something good in the morning was important. Som I sat down to peruse her books of shakes, but wasn’t finding any recipes that I liked. I couldn’t figure out how to balance out fruity sweetness and the savory odds and ends that were pitched in because they were good for us. Then I recalled last fall when I made a massive amount of a homemade V8 style tomato juice and thought that perhaps a purely savory drink might take care of my issues. I scrawled down a recipe on a post-it note and it worked out pretty well, with only some minor adjustments to the ingredients.


    • 1 tomato
    • 1 small clove of garlic
    • 1 cup of green tea
    • 1/2 tsp. of ground pepper (I grind 8 peppercorns with the flax)
    • 2 tsp. ground flax seed
    • 1 scoop of protein powder (we use hemp, but whey, soy or your choice)
    • Any two of the following:
      • 1 romaine leaf
      • 1 chard leaf
      • 1 kale leaf
      • 3-4 spinach leaves
    • Either one of these two:
      • 1 tsp. of ground fennel
      • 1 tsp. of ground cumin
    • Some combination of 2 tsp. dried:
      • Parsley
      • Oregano
      • Basil


    I grind all the spices and flax fresh and toss them in first along with the herbs and protein power, then I had the leafy staff and finally I quarter the tomato and toss it in. Take everything for a spin until its bright green and smoothish looking, glass and drink.

    Lisa tried the drink and through that she might like it as a raw old soup for lunch, but didn’t see it as a breakfast drink.

    This week I bought fresh parsley and tossed some in instead of dried. It seemed to make the final product a brighter green and possible a little fresher testing, but I’ll have to experiment some more. I think fresh basil or cilantro along with the fennel could be a winner, although my wife won’t drink it if it contained either fennel or cilantro.

    Recipe 1/36 Dairy fee iced chai

    While I am don’t include dairy or eggs as part of my weekday vegetarian goal for the week, I am trying to reduce to my overall dairy intake. I used to be a gallon or two of milk kind of guy, so cutting back and drinking other healthy alternatives was a good idea. Also, being a once a day coffee shop iced chai drinker was a habit that is not particular good for me and expensive to boot. It also slips this entry into other of my goals to cut back on what I spend in coffee shops and to drink more green tea.

    I have made my own ice chai with varying degree of success over the last few years. At is best is was nearly as good as coffee shop chai at it.s worst it was… well, just not all that good.

    One of my issues was the annoyance of getting the flavor of the spices out on a regular basis while retaining the health qualities of green tea. I wasn’t able to get the right mix of fresh tea, milk, spices and convenience that I wanted.

    It wasn’t until I contemplated dairy free chai that I had the idea that I could integrate my dairy replacement with my spice extraction and have everything that I was looking for.

    I had settled on cashew milk as my dairy replacement. I figured that the nutty flavor would meld well with the favors well and not over power the drink.


    3 cups of water
    1 cup of cashews
    1 stick of cinnamon
    2 tsps of whole cardamom (or 6-8 lightly crushed pods)
    2 whole cloves
    6 black peppercorns
    Half a star anise
    1 or 2 tbs of honey


    Add the whole spices to the water and then bring to a full boil, stir in the honey until it dissolves into water. Turn the heat of and let set for 30 minutes. Poor the water into a container, straining out the spies, let the liquid cool to room temperature then add the water and cashew nuts to a blender. Turn on the blender on a low speed setting for 30 seconds or so, then turn it up to high for about a minute, Return mixture to container and refrigerate.

    To make the ice chai, use a ratio of 2/3 green tea to 1/3 spiced cashew milk into a glass with ice. The particulates in the cashew milk will settle as it sits, so its good to give it a stir before adding it to the glass. If the glass sits for a while between sips, give it a swirl before you drink or you’ll find the bottom of the glass has a much stronger nut flavor that the first half.

    Soft Pretzels

    From Senior Alton Brown of Good Eats comes this pretzel recipe that I’m making to round out this German inspired cooking day.


    • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
    • 1 tablespoon sugar
    • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 package active dry yeast
    • 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
    • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
    • Vegetable oil, for pan
    • 10 cups water
    • 2/3 cup baking soda
    • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
    • Pretzel salt


    Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.

    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.

    Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.

    In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Make a U-shape with the rope, holding the ends of the rope, cross them over each other and press onto the bottom of the U in order to form the shape of a pretzel. Place onto the parchment-lined half sheet pan.

    Place the pretzels into the boiling water, 1 by 1, for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack for at least 5 minutes before serving.

    Spicy German mustard

    • 1/4 cup yellow mustard seed
    • 2 Tbsp. black or brown mustard seed, heaping
    • 1/4 cup dry mustard powder
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
    • 1 small onion chopped
    • 2 Tbsp. firmly packed brown sugar
    • 1 tsp. salt
    • 2 garlic gloves, minced or pressed
    • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
    • 1/4 tsp. dried tarragon leaves
    • 1/8 tsp. turmeric


    In a small bowl, combine mustard seed and dry mustard. In a 1- to 2-quart stainless steel or nonreactive saucepan, combine remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered, on medium heat until reduced by half, 10-15 minutes. Pour the mixture into the mustard mixture. Let mixture stand, covered, at room temperature for 24 hours, adding additional vinegar if necessary in order to maintain enough liquid to cover seeds. Process the seeds and mixture in a blender or food processor until pureed to the texture you like –this can take at least 3 or 4 minutes. Some prefer whole seeds remaining, others a smooth paste. The mixture will continue to thicken. If it gets too thick after a few days, stir in additional vinegar. Scrape mustard into clean, dry jars; cover tightly and age at least 3 days in the refrigerator before using.
    Makes about 1 1/2 -2 cups.


    I am starting the kraut today so that it will be ready for the 17th.   I always worry about these fermenting foods that I’ve never done before, I hate fretting for two weeks when trying something new and discovering that I’ve messed up an element of the recipe and created something icky.

    Drawn from the Funny Man Who Cooks, Wynn moniker’s for Alton Brown of Good Eats.

    In large mixing bowl, mix cabbage thoroughly with salt, juniper berries, and caraway seeds, using hands or tongs. If using your hands, make sure that they are very clean prior to mixing. Let stand for 10 minutes.

    Pack cabbage mixture down into a large plastic food container. Top with a lid smaller than the opening of the container and place a glass jar filled with the quart of water on top of the lid. Place in cool area overnight (65 to 70 degrees F). In a day, the cabbage should have given up enough liquid to be completely submerged. The jar serves as a weight to keep the cabbage submerged and away from air.

    Check cabbage every other day for approximately 2 weeks and skim the surface of scum, if necessary. Let stand for 4 weeks. Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

    Prep Time: 15 minutes

    Inactive Prep Time: 4 weeks