Monday, October 29, 2012

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

I love to carve pumpkins for Halloween.

It's fun to get together with friends to create our jack-o-lanterns. 

The great thing about jack-o-lanterns in Fairbanks is that they freeze solid, so they have the potential of being around all winter... or at least until the moose find them.  The moose love it when I carve pumpkins for Halloween.  This girl was certainly not shy about enjoying my jack-o-lantern for a midnight snack a couple years ago...

Our blank canvases...

It's always fun to scoop out the seeds and the gook from the inside of the pumpkin!

Saving the seeds in a bowl...

and then I picked out all the big chinks of pumpkin gook...

Rinsing the seeds to get some of the sliminess off the seeds...

Sarah swears by soaking the seeds in salt water overnight, but we didn't have the patience for that.... half an hour worked just fine.

We spread the seeds into two different casserole dishes and John sprinkled a bit of paprika (chile powder is good too!) on one and just plain salt on the other.

And then into the oven at 400°F for ~ half an hour until the were nice and toasty brown, stirring occasionally.

VoilĂ ! And then once they cooled, we stuck them in air tight containers.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lingonberry-raspberry streusel bars

During this past berry season, I had a lot going on, so I didn't get out nearly as much as I usually do to go harvest wild berries.  I'm bummed not to have loads of wild blueberries and lingonberries in my freezer, but I did manage to go pick some raspberries at the farm with my friend Linda, and we got a bunch!  We were originally only going to stay for an hour, but it was such a gorgeous Friday evening and the air had a crispness to it foreshadowing cooler weather to follow, so we blew off our other plans for the evening and continued to pick and pick and pick.

So this winter, I'll be using these cultivated raspberries to supplement my recipes that call for wild berries.

These streusel bars are quite versatile.  The original recipe calls for lingonberry jam and lingonberries, but I usually mix and match a bit-- using different types of jams (or multi-berry jam) and different types of berries, such as lingonberries, raspberries, or wild bluberries.


2 1/2 cups gluten-free flour mix
1/2 tsp xantham gum (if the gluten-free flour mix doesn't already have some in it)
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks (1 cup) butter

3/4 cup lingonberry or raspberry jam
3/4 cup lingonberries or raspberries
1 tbsp lemon juice

2 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup  rolled oats
1/2 cup pecans (or walnuts)


Preheat oven to 375° F.

Start by cutting the two sticks of butter up into little pieces.

Combine the flour, (xantham gum, if needed), sugar and salt in a mixing bowl.

Add the butter one chunk at a time while mixing at a low speed.

Mix until the butter is thoroughly blended in; it will have a crumbly texture.

Set aside 1 1/4 cups of the flour mixture to use in the streusel topping.

Butter a 9x13 pan (realistically, you can skip this step since the crust has plenty of butter in it and I've never had a problem with it sticking to a glass dish).

Press the remaining flour mixture in the bottom of the pan, creating a small edge around the perimeter.

Bake 14 to 18 minutes-- until the edges begin to brown.

In a small bowl, mix together the ingredients for the filling-- the jam, the berries, and the lemon juice.  Mash up the berries a little bit with a fork.

To the 1 1/4 cups of flour mixture that you set aside, add in the brown sugar, oats, and nut.

 Mix in the last 2 tbsp of butter into the streusel topping.

After pulling out the crust,

spread the jam filling evenly over the crust.

I didn't think in had enough berries in it, so I sprinkled another handful of raspberries over the top.

Gently sprinkle the streusel topping evenly over the jam filling. Return the pan to oven and bake 22 to 25 minutes-- until topping is deep golden brown and filling is bubbling.

Let the bars cool before cutting (but I have found that you can get away with not waiting too long!) Cut into squares to serve.

I made these when I had friends coming over for a bbq, and the streusel bars were a big hit!

Oh no, Martin goes in for the last one!  I guess there won't be any leftovers...

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Curried sweet potato with kale

On my last trip to Juneau, I ended the trip by visiting and staying with my friend Marie and her family.  Marie is also gluten-free, so we often discuss and recommend new recipes.  She was telling me about the delicious sweet potato-kale dish she made many times.  Since there was kale to harvest from her garden, we though we'd make it for dinner to accompany a silver salmon her husband had recently caught.

olive oil
~ 3 sweet potatoes
big bunch of kale (we inadvertently had some chard mixed in with the kale)
curry powder (maybe a good heaping teaspoon or so?)
salt and pepper

Begin by peeling and cutting the sweet potatoes into small bite-size cubes.

Toss into a steamer and

steam until tender.

Mince the garlic.

Tear the kale into bite size pieces.  It cooks down quite a bit so we probably threw in about enough kale to fill half of a gallon-sized ziplock bag.

Heat a bit of olive oil to a wok,

saute the garlic,

and add in the kale.

Cover the wok and let it cook down.

Cook it until it's tender and shiny green.

Add in the curry powder, salt, and pepper.

Then toss in the steamed sweet potatoes,

and mix it all together.

It's especially good served with wild Alaskan salmon!

 A perfect dinner for my last night hanging out in Southeast Alaska with friends!