Male And Female Peppers: Fact Or Fiction? – PepperScale

Great article from PepperScale.This is in response to a post I saw on Facebook this morning.

A plant world sex scandal… Do bell peppers have a gender? Some say they do. The idea has been around for a while but only recently has it caught traction. According to the theory, there are distinct male and female peppers and the gender indicates whether a bell pepper has more seeds or whether it […]

Source: Male And Female Peppers: Fact Or Fiction? – PepperScale

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Finally, 6 of 6 Zucchini Recipes: Zucchini Nut Bread Cookies

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These cookies, cousins of zucchini bread, are perfect for packing up as picnic fare -even if the picnic table is right in your kitchen. The sweet cream-cheese filling can be sandwiched between two cookies if that is what you choose, kind of like a modified moon pie. I personally loved them with no filling. Very good. And I could tell myself I was getting my vegetables and therefore, it was healthier! Oh the delusions we entertain!

Prep Time 25 minutes • Total Time 2 hours

Ingredients
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Coarse salt

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature  (for the cookies AND the filling)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup finely grated zucchini
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Filling
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt into a bowl.

Beat 1 stick butter and the sugars until pale and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla.

Beat flour mixture into butter mixture. Mix in zucchini, oats, and walnuts. Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.

Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop (about 2 tablespoons), drop dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing about 2 inches apart. Bake until edges are golden, about 17 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Filling: Beat together remaining 1/2 stick butter, the cream cheese, and confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Spread 1 heaping tablespoon filling onto the flat side of 1 cookie, and sandwich with another cookie. Repeat with remaining filling and cookies.

Delicious Pumpkin Pie With Lower Sugar

This a delicious pumpkin pie recipe that uses splenda and a little bit of brown sugar. It’s very good and hard to tell it’s low sugar. I roast my own pie pumpkins.

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How to roast pumpkins: Buying cans of pumpkin is easy but in my opinion you never know how long that pumpkin has been in the can. It is incredibly easy to raost your own. Pie pumpkins are better for baking than the ones people use for jack 0’lanterns. They are smaller, less stringy and sweeter.

To roast a pumpkin, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half, scrape seeds out (you save them for roasting), place pumpkin halves, cut side down on a rimmed cookie sheet covered in foil. By placing them upside down, they don’t dry out (form a crust) and they steam.Bake pumpkin for about 30 – 50 mintues, dependent on size of the pumpkin, until they are easily pierced through the skin  with a fork. They sometimes look like they are collapsing. Let them cool. I scrape the pumpkin straight from the baking pan into the blender.

Here’s a tip: pour in the half and half (3/4 cup)and then place enough pumpkin that the liquid rised to the 2 3/4 cup line on the blender. 

I love this recipe because it is so simple and doesn’t dirty up every dish in the house. Put all your ingredients into the blender, blend and pour.

Ingredients:
1/2 Package pie crust
2 Cup mashed pumpkins
3/4 Cup splenda
1/3 Cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamom
2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
Pinch Salt
3/4 Cup half and half
3 Large Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla

Note: You can use 1 tablesppom of premade pumpkin pie spice instead of mixing your own

Instructions : Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Fit piecrust to pie plate. Mix all ingredients in a blender, pour into pie plate. I put the pie pan on the oven rack and then fill, it keeps spills to a minimum. Bake 50 – 60 minutes or until set in the center

Update on the Uncle David’s Dakota Dessert Squash in My Last Post

I tried the smallest Uncle David”s Dakota Dessert squash and it was really good, First I roasted it with nothing on it to get the flavor. The first bite was a little vegetal, the next, in the thicker part of the piece was dry and slightly sweet. I was a little concerned I wouldn’t get full flavor since it was the smallest and least developed off the bunch.

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Once I tasted it for unadulterated flavor, I threw some butter, brown sugar and spices; mace and allspice on top. You could also use apple pie spice or nutmeg. I put the dish back into the oven, at 350 degrees until it melted. Oh boy was it good!

Winter Squash Harvest 2016

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Check out all my squashes! This is what we harvested after our first frost.New England Pie pumpkins (although two of them got a little ahead of themselves and grew a bit bigger than they should have, but I am sure they will be as delectable and sweet for pies as their smaller brethren), Aunt Reba’s acron squash and Uncle David’s Dakota Dessert squash. Whew, what a name. For those of you who wonder where I got my seed, I found a new seed company called Fedco . Frdco Seeds Can’t wait to try these. I like my winter squash sweet and dry so here’s hoping they are as good as their descriptions.

pumpkins-and-squash-2016---4.jpgThe pie pumpkins were not all the way orange but are turning. They also took over the garden, even running up into a pile of pots we had on the side of the shop.

pumpkins-and-squash-2016---3.jpgUncle David’s Dakota was almost as exuberant. However, I am pleased to say that Aunt Reb’s, as advertised, was not about to take over the world. It stayed in a 3 to 4 foot area, behaving very politely to it’s neighbors. don’t we all wish our own neighbors were as well behaved!

So, you couldn’t feed the neighborhood with this harvest but there are only two of us now and it is enough. My husband would rather have a root canal without out anesthesia than eat winter squash so it’s all on me. Yummmmmmm/

What a Fabulous Idea: The Apple Dust Especially

This is from the blog site: One Tomato, Two tomato. Thanks to the blogger. Apparently you can do this with the skins taken off tomatoes when you are slipping them in order to can them. What a great idea!

Dried Apples and Apple Dust

I am constantly creating new healthy items that are easy to pop into lunches or have for snacks.  Since it’s the middle of winter, my local apple orchard isn’t exactly open.  But my coop had several bags of “seconds” organic apples for only 99¢ a pound.  Time to fire up the dehydrator.

My latest endeavor is apple dust and dried apples.  I got the idea for apple dust from drying leftover tomato skins from canning.  The skins are dried in the oven, then pulverized, and used to sprinkle on pasta, pizza, rice and beans.  Why not do the same for apple peels?  My dust (more like bran) had a lovely pink color from the apple varieties I used and a light apple flavor.  The best part of the dust is the kick of fiber, antioxidants and nutrients found in apple peels.  Don’t let them go to waste!  I like to add apple powder to yogurt, oatmeal, pancakes and muesli. The actual dried apples were pretty good, too.  They barely lasted a week in my house.

5 of 6 Zucchini Recipes: Zucchini Cornmeal Cookies

Better late than never, right? I fell off of my horse 6 weeks ago and haven’t felt too good lately. Broke 5 ribs and sprained my ankle. Too make matters worse/better? I am having a total knee replacement in 2 1/2 weeks. To make a long story short, I haven’t been able to complete my zucchini recipes. So here goes. These are brilliant cookies. Yummmmm

Zucchini Cornmeal Cookies

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 teaspoon packed finely grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)

1/2 cup fine cornmeal

1 medium zucchini, grated on small holes of a grater (about 1 cup)

med104831_0909_lemon_cornmeal_vertInstructions :

 Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar with a wooden spoon until pale and fluffy. Stir in vanilla, lemon zest, and salt. Add flour and cornmeal and mix until mixture is crumbly. Add zucchini and stir until a thick dough forms. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto two parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until cookies are light golden brown at edges, 25 to 30 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Let cool completely on wire racks.