October 24th, 2006

degas

Using Bread Crusts

I have some bread crusts (ends from rustic style woodstove-baked loaves) that I need to use up. They're about 3 days old now, but I've kept them sealed up so they haven't dried out. They're moderately dense, with very chewy crusts. I don't know how to use them! Bread pudding is my only idea (or the boring stuff, dipping in soup or making croutons), but I'm having friends over for an informal dinner tonight and I'd love to turn them into some sort of interesting main dish, maybe a casserole? Any ideas out there? Please help!
strength

Butternut Squash - Sweet Potato Soup

tonight or tomorrow night i'm going to try out this recipe i just though up, so i'd love some input before i give it a whirl.

Butternut Squash - Sweet Potato Soup

1 butternut squash
1 sweet potato
1 cup soy milk
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1/4 cup maple syrup
spices to taste (i'm thinking fresh ginger, nutmeg... what else? cloves?)

roast the squash, bake the potato, scoop out everything and combine it all and puree it.
i feel like it's going to be overly sweet though, i'm want something that's kind of on the border of sweet and savory.... thoughts?

Cream Puff?

Ok so I know this topic was posted here, but its been over 2 years since that post and maybe someone has discovered the answer (the 2 replies that question received didnt help :/ ).

I just tried to make cream puffs. Alas.. they didnt puff. I used an 'Allrecipes' recipe and substitued everything that needed to be changed (I havent tried the filling yet -- Im sure I could manage to make that work). It seems to be the typical cream puff recipe. I also checked vegweb.com to see what they listed, but decided not to try these ones since it had a not so good review (but I did use that egg replacer method from this one on the allrecipes recipe)

So does anyone know how to make a cream puff shell that puffs? I assume any sort of pastry recipe would work. Please help!
degas

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

This is a recipe that a friend sent to me. I tried it last night with some friends, and it was really great. It was described as "the perfect fall chili" (because of the beautiful colors) and won approval all around the table.

This is the original recipe, with our changes in parentheses:

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

2 medium-large sweet potatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2-3 cloves garlic (could easily take more if desired)
1 red bell pepper, diced (we added a second one, green)
32 oz. canned black beans (rinsed and drained)
28 oz. canned diced tomatoes (we used Italian seasoned ones and included the liquid)
2 small chiles, minced (jalapenos, seeds removed)
2 tsp. ground cumin (we ground it fresh, and it was fantastic)
salt to taste
(1 cup broth)
(dash of crushed red pepper)

Bake sweet potatoes until just firm; peel when cooled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes. Set aside. Heat oil in large soup pot. Saute garlic and onion until golden. Add red bell pepper, beans, diced tomatoes, chiles, and cumin; simmer for 15 minutes until vegetables are tender-crisp. (Here we added the broth and the crushed red pepper.) Add sweet potatoes and continue to simmer for at least 15 minutes until potatoes are to desired softness. Season with salt.

We served this with a slice of cornbread in the bottom of the bowl, which was fun and yummy. Great with red wine.