Pheasant Wild Rice Soup

It was a dark, blustery night in late October. The cupboards were nearly bare, and so the double dippers went to the fridge to see what might be there. The double dippers opened the door…

…and out popped a black, leathery, deformed  devil’s toe!!! AHHHHHH!!!! They leaped back in horror and after a cautious glance at one another and a synchronized head nod, they bravely decided to inspect the situation further.

They opened the fridge door once again and said in unison, “The Claw’s back!” And both knew what was in store for dinner. “Get me the butcher knife,” one dipper said to the other, “We’re having pheasant wild rice soup!”

We thought we’d entertain you with a spooky story in the spirit of Halloween. But don’t worry this soup is not spooky at all. We would describe it as wild though (wild pheasant + wild rice = wild soup).

Thanks Dad and Kipper (our 13 year-old yellow lab who’s still got it!) for bringing home the 6 plump pheasants from your South Dakota hunting trip last week. We have some tasty recipes up our sleeve for the remaining pheasants so stay tuned.

This soup is savory, hearty, and very Minnesotan. Served with freshly baked pop-overs (which only semi-popped for us), this is a perfect fall or winter meal to warm your belly.  Happy double dipping!

Recipe – adapted from the Complete Hunter Game Bird Cookery

Makes 8 to 10 cups

Ingredients

  • 6 cups ready-to-serve chicken broth
  • 3 cups (12 oz.) cut-up cooked pheasant (1-inch pieces)
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice
  • 3-4 medium carrots, chopped (1 cup)
  • 2 stalks celery, sliced (1 cup)
  • ½ cup peas (we used frozen Green Giant)
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. snipped fresh parsley (dried parsley will also work)

Method

  1. In a 6-quart Dutch over or stockpot, combine all ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat. Cover. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  3. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until veggies are tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving.
  5. Serve with freshly baked pop-overs or whole grain bread and enjoy!

Sweet Potato Spice Scuffies (Scone/Muffin/Cookie combo)

There we go putting vegetables in our desserts again. Remember our dark chocolate beet cupcakes? In those bad boys we hid the vegetable and made the chocolate the star. Not so this time. The creamy sweet, sweet, sweet potato is the big Kahuna of this dessert.

What is this dessert? A scone…not quite. A muffin…nope. A cookie…close but no cigar. It’s a SCUFFIE! The hybrid of all three (SCone mUFF cookIE).

We recently went shopping at CostCo and came home with a gigantic crate of sweet potatoes (#sweetpotatoproblems). After some creative brainstorming, the solution hit us in the face. We adjusted our mini-scone recipe to incorporate sweet potatoes. We thought we would end up with the same texture as the mini scones. But our minds (and mouths) were blown! The sweet potato made these treats light and fluffy like a scone, moist like a muffin top, and bite size like a cookie. Hence, this was a scuffie.

Scuffies are a party in your mouth. There’s cinnamon and nutmeg, hints of maple syrup, treasures of dark chocolate chips, and of course sweet potato. So put on your party hat, invite your friends over and make some scuffies.

Happy double dipping!

Recipe – a Double Dipper Original

Makes a Baker’s Dozen “Scuffies”

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup peeled, mashed sweet potato (we used 2 large sweet potatoes)
  • 1 ¾ cup spelt flour
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp. 1% milk
  • ½ tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. brown sugar
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick mat.
  2. Peel sweet potatoes and boil until soft enough to mash. Thoroughly mash or puree the sweet potatoes until there are no chunks.
  3. In a small bowl mix the apple cider vinegar and milk, and set aside for a couple minutes until it curdles.
  4. In a large bowl mix together the wet ingredients (vanilla extract, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar + milk mixture)
  5. In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and brown sugar).
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well. Fold in the sweet potato puree. Then, fold in dark chocolate chips. We found that it was best to combine the ingredients using our hands.
  7. Scoop batter onto baking sheet so that each scuffie is about 1 ¼ inch in diameter. They’ll expand in the oven.
  8. Bake for about 12-15 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or apple cider. Enjoy!

Baked Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Mushrooms, Tomato and Goat Cheese

Happy 27th anniversary of your 29th Birthday Mom!

Last night we made a birthday dinner for our mom. And not to toot our own horn but we really out did ourselves on this one. Baked chicken stuffed with goodies to satisfy any birthday girl…fresh spinach, savory sautéed mushrooms in garlic, sweet roasted tomatoes and creamy, tangy goat cheese.

 This is not a quick, every-day meal. It’s a little tedious and requires a lot of prana (love, lots of love). But it’s worth every ounce of energy.

We served the chicken with our balsamic glazed brussles sprouts along with roasted buttercup squash topped with cinnamon, nutmeg and apples.

We enjoyed the meal with a glass (or two) of a bold cabernet, El Casillero del Diablo (translation: the Devil’s Locker…our Spanish majors are good for something!)

We also decided to get really fancy fancy last night (said with our best British accents) and put on formal dining gowns (i.e. we weren’t wearing sweat pants) and feast in the dining room with mood lighting and candles.

Atmosphere + Good Food + Double Dippers = Perfect Birthday for the Big Dipper

Happy double dipping!

Recipe – A Double Dipper Original

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tsp. lemon zest
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, fresh
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 3 ½ oz. package shitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced (sundried tomatoes would be a delicious substitute)
  • 1 oz. goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line baking sheet with foil.
  2. In a large bowl marinate the chicken breast by adding lemon zest and juice, black pepper, garlic powder and paprika. Allow to marinate for 20-30 minutes.
  3. While chicken is marinating, sauté mushrooms over medium heat with olive oil and garlic. This takes about 15 minutes.
  4. In a medium sized pan, over medium-high heat cook chicken breast for 3 minutes per side.
  5. Remove chicken from the pan and slit the thickest part of the breast to create a deep pocket.
  6. Stuff chicken with a spoonful of mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes and goat cheese. Save some mushrooms, spinach and tomatoes to top the chicken with when ready to serve. Secure each breast by placing 2 toothpicks through the middle to hold the stuffing in place.
  7. Place chicken on baking sheet lined with foil and bake for 20-30 minutes. But check chicken after 10 minutes because ovens vary and your chicken might cook faster.
  8. While chicken is baking, add extra spinach and tomatoes to left-over mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes to create extra topping for the chicken.
  9. When chicken is done cooking, remove toothpicks and top with mushroom mixture and extra goat cheese if you want.
  10. Serve accompanied by your favorite fall/winter veggies and enjoy!

Butternut Squash Chili in a Pumpkin Bowl

Piping hot

Unbeatable taste

Mouthwatering

Piquant flavor

Keeps you wanting more

Inviting

Nom nom nummy

Take a bite of this butternut squash chili served in a PUMPKIN bowl and you will experience all of these sensations!

 

We have not overdosed on pumpkin and squash yet. We mix pumpkin puree into our oatmeal at breakfast, top our salads with bright yellow roasted squash at lunch, and last night we had both for dinner. The perfect combo.

We saw this recipe on another food blog a few weeks ago and could not get it out of our heads. It had become quite the distraction. Pumpkin…squash…pumpkin squash chili…that was all we could think about. So we decided to put a stop to this terrible distraction and made the chili last night.

Each bite contained a hot kick from the chili powder followed by a cool sweetness from the butternut squash and pumpkin beer we spontaneously decided to add to the broth. Accompanied by some tasty goodies…navy beans, kale, onions, and red pepper, this dish was hearty. The most entertaining part of the meal was that we served the chili in a pumpkin bowl! We roasted the pumpkins for 30 minutes in the oven so that the flesh was soft and creamy, allowing us to grab a nibble of pumpkin with each bite of chili. An edible bowl!

This meal warms your belly, not to mention it’s quick, low cost and great for entertaining. A fun and filling fall meal. Happy double dipping!

 

Recipe – adapted from dailygarnish.com

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 mini pumpkins
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 gloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup chopped celery
  • 1 small butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 15 oz. can navy beans (or beans of your choice…black beans or white beans work)
  • 1 cup canned diced tomatoes
  • ¾ cup fresh diced tomatoes
  • 2 handfuls of baby kale
  • 1 tbsp. chili powder or more to taste
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin beer

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees F. Take mini pumpkin and slice top off about ¾ of the way up from the bottom of the pumpkin. Scoop out the insides of the pumpkin. We used a grape fruit spoon.
  2. Sprinkle the insides with pepper and roast on a baking pan in the oven for 30 minutes.
  3. While the pumpkins are baking, make the chili. In a large pot add the olive oil and turn heat to medium.
  4. Add chopped onion and celery and minced garlic. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
  5. Add chopped red pepper and butternut squash and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  6. Add drained and rinsed beans, diced tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, paprika, vegetable broth, and pepper. Simmer on low-medium for another 5 minutes.
  7. Remove pumpkins from the oven and fill bowls ¾ of the way full. Place pumpkins back in the oven for another 20-30 minutes or until butternut squash are soft.
  8. Serve as a fun fall meal and enjoy!

Dark Chocolate Coffee Mini Scones

 

Delightful clouds of sweet chocolate coffee joy in your mouth. That’s what these light and fluffy dark chocolate coffee mini scones are!

 

It has been a lazy and chilly Saturday afternoon and these gooey, comforting scones were the perfect treat to provide some warmth. And after our grueling work-out this morning (we’re training for the Twin Cities Monster Dash on October 27th), we thought we deserved (and needed) some extra fuel in the form a baked good.

We adapted this recipe from a blog that we really enjoy reading, ohsheglows.com. It called for spelt flour and although we’ve never baked with this type of flour before we thought we’d give it a whirl. Spelt flour is a whole grain and has more protein than wheat flour. Extra fuel! Another crazy twist to this recipe is curdled milk. Quick science lesson (we are the daughters of a chemistry teacher after all). pH measures how acidic a substance is. In normal conditions milk has a pH of about 6.5, meaning it’s just slightly acidic. But when you add apple cider vinegar which has a pH of 4.25 (much more acidic), the pH falls and the protein structure of the milk changes, causing the milk to curdle.

Why use curdled milk in baking? Sour curdled milk in your refrigerator is disgusting. But the curdled milk that we made as part of the batter gives the scones a moist and fluffy texture. Chemistry is awesome!

So put your lab coat on (or apron if you prefer), and curl up with these dark chocolate coffee mini scones! Happy double dipping!

Recipe – adapted from ohsheglows.com

Makes 15 mini scones

Ingredients

  • 1 ¾ cups spelt flour (or whole wheat pastry flour or all-purpose flour)
  • 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup very strong coffee
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. 1% milk
  • ½ cup + 2 tbsp. dark chocolate chips

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or a non-stick mat.
  2. In a small bowl mix the apple cider vinegar and milk, and set aside for a couple minutes until it curdles.
  3. In a large bowl mix together the wet ingredients (oil, vanilla extract, coffee, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar + milk mixture)
  4. In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar).
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well. Fold in the dark chocolate chips.
  6. Scoop about 1 tbsp. of batter per mini scone onto baking sheet.
  7. Bake for about 12 minutes until golden brown.
  8. Enjoy with a hot cup of coffee or apple cider. Enjoy!

Balsamic Braised Brussels Sprouts with Shallots and Garlic

 

Brussel sprouts seem to be a neglected vegetable. Reasons why:

1. Your grandma over-cooked them in the microwave when you were a child rendering them inedible, but insisted you eat them anyway because they are good for you.

2. They are often synonymous with boring and flavorless.

3. They are intimidating to prepare. What do you do with a baby cabbage?

Here is a recipe that will make you stop neglecting this vegetable, balsamic braised brussels sprouts. We browned the brussels in olive oil along with shallots and minced garlic, and then added balsamic vinegar to give them a sweet and tangy glaze. It’s packed with flavor and is a satisfying side to any fall or winter meal. This dish is sure to make you forget your childhood nightmares of eating brussels sprouts. Happy double dipping!

Recipe- adapted from www.smittenkitchen.com

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus an extra glug or two for drizzling
  • 2 pounds medium-sized brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons thyme leaves

Method

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add brussels sprouts, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté, tossing frequently, until lightly browned, about 7 to 10 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat, add shallots and garlic, and sauté until fragrant, 2 minutes.
  3. Increase heat to high, add balsamic vinegar, and cook, tossing frequently, until sprouts are glazed and tender, about 20 minutes. Taste, adjusting seasoning if necessary, and sprinkle with chopped thyme.
  4. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve warm. Enjoy!

Parmesan-Rosemary Pumpkin Wedges

We’re still pumped about pumpkin! And have discovered a new delicious way to enjoy it! We’ve never considered preparing the whole pumpkin, until we found this recipe while browsing the October edition of Coastal Living Magazine. We’ve carved pumpkins for Halloween, placed them on the table as a center piece for Thanksgiving dinner, and have savored every bite of Grandma Patty’s famous pumpkin pie. But eat the whole thing? Who does that?

We do now! We used a small sugar pumpkin which has a texture similar to an acorn squash. After some internet browsing, we learned that you don’t want to use a jack o’lantern pumpkin because it’s too watery and doesn’t taste very good. We cut the pumpkin into wedges, sprinkled them with parmesan cheese, olive oil, lemon zest and rosemary, and roasted them in the oven for 30 minutes.

These were the best “fries” we’ve had in a while!  These pumpkin wedges have the perfect combination of texture and flavor to pack a punch! Texture: silky flesh with a crunchy rosemary-parmesan topping. Flavor: sweet pumpkin, zing from the lemon zest, salty kick of the parmesan cheese. Our mouths are watering as we write.

Serve these pumpkin wedges as the star of your meal or make them as a snack to nibble on! Happy double dipping!

 

Recipe – adapted from Coastal Living Magazine October 2012 Edition

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds unpeeled seeded pumpkin or other winter squash, cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest, divided
  • 1/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs or panko
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Method

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Place pumpkin wedges in a single layer on a large parchment- or aluminum foil–lined baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil, turning wedges to coat evenly.

2. Stir together Parmesan, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl. Sprinkle pumpkin wedges evenly with cheese mixture. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until tender.

3. Serve as a tasty and unique side to your meal. Enjoy!