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  • October 30th, 2011
It’s really hard to believe that this concludes my weekly entry of recipes for the harvest!  I hope you enjoy a great bowl of soup made with the poblanos and cilantro, some wonderful pumpkin muffins to celebrate the season, the lush salads of spinach and mixed lettuces, young kale, winter squashes, and dressed with a sampling of honey from the farm!  Enjoy cooking as we have enjoyed planting, tilling, and harvesting all season long!  Cheers to great times in the fields and kitchen!

Lean Green Chicken Chili

as found on and in a Pampered Chef recipe book.

This was pretty good—I added some sour cream as a garnish and it helped “tame the heat” for the kids (and me!).   It’s a great way to use the fresh poblanos and cilantro.

  • 8 (6 inch) corn tortillas, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4 inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cup chopped poblano peppers ( 1-2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans reduced-fat chicken broth
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cups salsa verde (green salsa) or 1 (10 ounce) cans green enchilada sauce
  • 2 tablespoons minced cilantro


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Cut 4 tortillas in half and stack them one on top of the other. Cut into 1/2-inch strips & toss with 1 teaspoon oil.
  3. Spread tortilla strips in a single layer in a baking pan. Bake 10-12 minutes or until crisp, stirring once. Remove from oven and set aside.
  4. Fold each of the remaining 4 tortillas into quarters & and coarsely grate using a box grater or your favorite method. Set aside. (Cook’s note – I opted to just finely chop the tortillas rather than grating).
  5. Toss chicken pieces with cumin.
  6. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon of oil in a large soup pan, add chicken and cook 5 minutes. Remove chicken.
  7. Add poblano peppers, onion and garlic to pan. Cook and stir 3 minutes.
  8. Stir in chicken, broth, beans, salsa and grated tortillas.
  9. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer, uncovered, 15 minutes.
  10. Stir in cilantro, ladle into soup bowls and top with baked tortilla strips.


Spinach Salad

(1992 Southern Living Annual Recipes)

1 pound fresh spinach

1 apple, unpeeled, cored, and cut into thin wedges

2 tablespoons lemon juice

3 green onions, sliced

1 (2 ounce) package sliced almonds, toasted

2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup red wine vinegar

2 to 3 teaspoons sugar

3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Remove stems from spinach; wash leaves thoroughly, and pat dry.  Tear into bite-sized pieces.  Toss apple wedges in lemon juice; drain.  Combine spinach, apple wedges, green onions, and almonds; toss with bacon, if desired.  Combine oil and remaining ingredients in a jar.  Cover tightly and shake vigorously.  Before serving, pour dressing over spinach mixture; toss.  Yield: 6 servings.


Perfectly Perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake (from Tasty Kitchen).

Melissa Ballard, farmer and friend, made this cheesecake —-it was heavenly!  The meal she fixed was great….but this dessert was unbelievable!  Sounds timely, but it was worth it!!!


  • 1-¾ cup Gingersnap Cookie Crumbs (from About 40 Gingersnap Wafers)
  • 3 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter, Melted And Slightly Cooled Down


  • 24 ounces, weight Regular Cream Cheese (not Low Fat Or Nonfat), At Room Temperature
  • 15 ounces, weight Pureed Pumpkin (not Pumpkin Pie Filling)
  • 3 whole Large Eggs
  • 1 whole Egg Yolk
  • ¼ cups Sour Cream
  • 1-½ cup Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoons Ground Nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoons Ground Cloves
  • ¼ teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla

Preparation Instructions

Preheat oven to 350°. Prepare a 9″ springform pan by lightly spraying with cooking spray.

For the crust, pulse the cookies in a food processor until the crumbs are uniform. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt and pulse to combine. Transfer to a medium bowl and add the melted butter. Combine thoroughly with a fork. When the mixture is evenly moist, crumbly, and holds together when you squeeze a handful, it’s ready. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom, and very slightly up the sides, of your springform pan. Chill for 5 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes. Let cool completely.

Prepare a water bath while the crust cools. Heat a kettle or pan of water to a soft boil. Have a larger baking dish or roasting pan ready to set the springform pan inside it. Once the crust is cooled, set the springform pan on a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil and wrap the foil up around the outside of the pan.

For the filling, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the pumpkin puree and combine. Add the eggs and egg yolk, one at a time, incorporating each egg thoroughly before adding the next, and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each one. Beat in the sour cream. Then add the sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and flour. Beat just until combined, then beat in the vanilla.

Scrape the filling into the cooled crust and spread evenly. Set the springform pan in the larger roasting pan and add enough hot water from the kettle to come about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake until the top of the cheesecake is a deep golden color and the center is set, about 1 hour 30 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes. It’s ok if there is a slight jiggle to the filling. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and run a thin-bladed knife between the crust and the pan sides, to prevent the cake from cracking as it cools. Let the cheesecake cool to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack. Cover and chill for at least four hours or overnight before serving. Top individual slices with fresh whipped cream.


Roasted butternut and/or acorn squash, Rachel Ray

3 medium butternut or acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed

6 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and softened

1/2 cup maple syrup

Freshly grated nutmeg

Freshly ground black pepper


Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.  Place butternut squash halves on a large baking sheet with the cut-side up. Divide the butter pieces among all six halves, smearing it all over the cut side of the squash.

Drizzle each half with maple syrup and season with freshly grated nutmeg and ground black pepper. Roast the squash for 40-60 minutes, or until the flesh is tender when poked with a fork. You can serve each person a whole half each or you can scoop out the flesh into a serving bowl – whatever makes you and yours happy.  Serves 6.


Thanksgiving Pumpkin Muffins (Paula Deen’s My First Cookbook)


(There’s no need to hurry up to use your pumpkins—they will keep nicely for a while as decoration, then when you are in the mood to celebrate the season, just cook one up for puree).

These would be great for a lunchbox snack!

What you’ll need:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon allspice

3/4 cup light brown sugar

3 tablespoons molasses

1/4 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

15 ounces of pureed pumpkin

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup buttermilk


Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.  Spray 15 muffin cups with baking spray or place cupcake liners in muffin pans.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and allspice.  In another bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, molasses, oil, eggs, pumpkin, vanilla, and buttermilk.  Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir together just until combined.  Don’t overmix!  Muffin batter should be lumpy.   Lade the batter evenly into the muffin cups, filling them about three-fourths full.  Tap the pans on the counter to make sure you get all the air bubbles out.  Bake for 20 minutes.   Have an adult help you take the pans out of the oven using oven mitts or hot pads.  Put the pans on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes.  Run a butter knife around the muffins so that you can loosen them from the pans.  Let them cool completely on the wire rack.  Makes 15 muffins.


This week’s honey–it was gathered from the blooms of our vegetable plants!! It has been so neat to watch and learn about the wonders of honeybees this year!  Evidently in the first year of a hive, you are not supposed to expect to be able to gather any honey.  Due to the timing of the rains, the chances for lots of honey were slim, according to our beekeeper.  However, much to his and our surprise, we were able to get a little bit off of the hives while leaving plenty honey to feed the bees over the winter.  All of our CSA families and us got enough to sample—so if you are like me, you will use a little here and a little there to savor the flavors!  We are hoping we’ll get to harvest lots more from these amazing insects next year.


As this concludes the season of recipes for now, let me know if you come across a good one this winter—for posting when the ingredients are fresh or even for recipes using something you’ve put up.  We love sharing good tastes!


From our farm kitchen to yours, happy eating!


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