I had been keeping my pecans in the basement fridge so they would keep longer.  Now they just taste like old fridge.   This heavy dose of cinnamon fixed that.  Kind of.
Candied Cinnamon Pecans
Makes: not enough

1/3 cup pecans, sliced-lengthwise (I didn't slice mine)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar  (or light)
1 1/2 teaspoons butter, melted

Mix together the cinnamon and brown sugar.  Toss pecans with melted butter, then with the cinnamon/sugar mixture, tossing well to ensure a thorough coating.
Put the nuts on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 5 to 8 minutes, until sugar is caramelized.  Remove the baking sheet from the oven, slide the parchment together with the nuts off the sheet to cool, and set aside.

Great Minds Think Alike

The Mind of a Chef:  Rotten

Find Christina Tosi's Banana Cream Pie recipe here, using rotten bananas of course. 

Frozen Sour Cream

Sour cream cannot be frozen.  But if it happens it's still good.  Use it in cooking and baking.  You just aren't going to get a nice dollop. 
Roasted Butternut Squash Soup
Adapted from Food and Wine
Makes 3 cups

One-2 lb butternut squash, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
1/2 c sour cream or creme fraiche
1 c cream
1 c water or chicken broth
1/4 t. cinnamon 
1 T maple syrup
Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 375°. Butter a medium baking dish. Season the squash with salt and set it cut side down in the baking dish. Bake for about 1 hour, until the squash is very tender. Let cool slightly. 

Peel the squash. In a blender, puree all ingredients until very smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan and warm over low heat. Ladle the soup into bowls, garnish with roasted or candied pecans that are whole for chopped. 


Let's face it, why wouldn't you throw out a kohlrabi.  Especially when they look like this:
Kohlrabi and Apple Slaw
Serves 6

3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon white sugar
4 kohlrabi bulbs, peeled and grated (food processor with a shredding disk works great)
4 apples - peeled, cored, and diced(I shredded mine)

Whisk mayonnaise, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, and sugar together in a bowl.
Toss kohlrabi and apples together in a large bowl; pour mayonnaise mixture over kohlrabi mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Calories per serving: 204

Madly Managing Milk

I had 7 gallons of milk left from a expiration sale at the store.  And they will be selling more.  Tomorrow.  Did I mention I left the milk outside and now it doesn't taste very good.  So I let it sit out even more.
Cultured Buttermilk
From University of Cincinnati Clermont College

6-8 ounces active cultured buttermilk
        Check the label: it needs to say cultured buttermilk, and is not out of date.  (The bacteria die down over time)
3 cups whole milk (store bought works. 2% or skimmed too, but less rich.) 

Very clean 1 quart container with secure lid 

The amount is basically 1 parts cultured buttermilk to 4 parts milk if very fresh buttermilk is used otherwise the ratio is 1:3. 

Add a bacterial starter of 6 to 8 ounces of active fresh cultured buttermilk to a clean quart jar.  Use 6 ounces if you are certain of the freshnessof the starter (a ratio of about 1 part starter plus 4 parts milk).  When in doubt, use a full cup of buttermilk as starter (a ratio of 1 part starter plus 3 parts milk).  

Fill the jar with fresh milk.  Screw on the lid securely and shake to mix thoroughly.  Label with the date.  Let sit out in a warm part of the room until clabbered (like next to a wood stove).  It should be thickened in 24 hours.  If it takes longer than 36 hours, the starter was no longer active (the bacteria had died).  The buttermilk may or may not be tasty if it takes longer than 36 hours.  (If in doubt, it can still be used for baking.)  Twenty-four hours later (at room temperature), the bacteria have fermented the milk, the lactic acid causing the milk proteins to clabber.

When finished, the thickened buttermilk coats the glass.  The finished buttermilk should be refrigerated.  It keeps easily for weeks.  Fresher buttermilk makes better starter for cheese.

To make a gallon of buttermilk, add 1 quart buttermilk to 1 gallon of fresh whole milk in a large container, mix, and pour back into the original containers.  The next day, the whole five quarts are nicely thickened. 

Yogurt Without a Yogurt Maker
Go here for directions that work for you. 

I added 1 cup of plain yogurt to 2 quarts of milk and left it on my pilot light over night.  The more common ratio is 3 T yogurt to 1 quart. 

Exploding Beans

And I don't mean me.  I have canned baked beans so old some are bulging and one actually exploded.  This is a very bad sign.  I threw out the bulging ones since it means botulism.  The others?  They're still good.  Well, we are still alive. 
Baked Bean Soup
From Pillsbury 
Serves 4

3 slices bacon, chopped 
1 lb. lean ground beef 
1 (21-oz.) can baked beans 
1 (14 1/2-oz.) can ready-to-serve beef broth 
1 (5.5-oz.) can vegetable juice cocktail, or 2/3 cup
3 tablespoons ketchup 

Cook bacon in large saucepan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add ground beef; cook 5 to 8 minutes or until ground beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain.

Add all remaining ingredients; mix well. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally.

Garnish each serving of this soup with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of shredded cheese and some sliced green onions.  Serve with a mixed green salad and warm cornbread sticks. 

1 Serving (1 1/2 Cups): 420 calories