Monday, October 20, 2014

Cranberry, Chicken, Spinach and Leek Enchiladas

Leeks and frost-kissed farm share spinach, sautéed with chicken and cranberry salsa in a creamy enchilada, topped with spicy salsa verde.


Too early to break out the cranberry salsa? It pairs so nicely with salsa verde I couldn't resist. I'm tempted to try and make some of my own this year, since our farm share--and my spouse's coworkers--have provided so many hot peppers.  I've put up salsa twice, and have just enough ripe tomatoes left to put up a third batch.  In the mean time I put up a batch of hot pepper jelly as well--then promptly gave most of it away.  Between the canning and the freezing I'm trying to keep up with the supply of vegetables that I'll feed the family during winter. [I feel like the Ant, though I really want to lie down and read my book like the Grasshopper--so I'm going to keep it short and sweet and go do just that.]


Want more enchilada recipes? Try my Clickable Collage. More recipes using spinach? Here's the Spinach Recipes Collection. More recipes using Leeks? Try this collection. More recipes using Cranberries, in various permutations? Look here.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Slow Cooker Apple Chai for a Crowd (or Yourself)

Warm apple chai tea, easy to serve from a slow cooker and plenty for a crowd. This DIY Apple Chai recipe keeps in the fridge for single servings too.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2014/10/slow-cooker-apple-chai-for-crowd-or.html

In an online food blogger group we've been discussing recipe testing. From cookbook author/bloggers to 'here's what I ate today' bloggers, everyone has an opinion and we're not afraid to share it! It's been an interesting discussion.

With a recipe posting schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday (12 to 13 posts/month) I've got flexibility in what I choose to post. Let's take the past 24 hours as an example. I hosted a book group in my house yesterday and served Asian Pear Cardamom Cream Muffins, Asian Pear & Pear Butter Soaked Oat Muffins, Sweet Potato, Turkey Sausage & Gouda Breakfast Casserole, Sweet Potato, Hatch Chile, Cornbread & Queso Breakfast Casserole, sliced apples with Apple Cream Cheese Toffee Dip, and Slow Cooker Apple Chai.  Are the recipes on the blog yet? Um, no! I just got the dishes done! The rest will appear when it's seasonal [Hatch chiles in August, and when do Asian pears appear in the stores?].
That's 6 recipes, or 2 weeks worth of blog posts [and about 6-7 hours of food preparation, 81 photos that need to be edited, 3 sinks full of dishes to be hand washed, an additional dishwasher load, 2 extra trips to the grocery store, and plenty of writing and typing as that's part of my process. Though if we're talking hours, I started thinking about what vegetables from our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share I'd have to use up--and what would go over best with my guests--about a week ago and mentally walked though the muffins and casseroles a few times before picking up a knife. I've been hacking at just this post all afternoon/evening, too, in between band fruit fundraiser captain meetings and AFO fittings, and in lieu of reading a book or watching TV. We all make choices on how to spend our 24 hours, and this is how I choose to spend mine]. 
http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2014/10/slow-cooker-apple-chai-for-crowd-or.html

The recipes that I share on this blog are what my family [and my book group, and my coworkers, and the high school marching band] eats each week. If it works and I have good notes on ingredient amounts and cook time, I won't make it again. [I mean, while we enjoyed Beef Tongue Nachos and Caramel Toffee Apple Parfaits I'm not going to serve them 4 times just to make sure the first 3 weren't flukes.] If a recipe doesn't work--it doesn't appear on this blog. Period. Failure photos do make it to my FB page, however. We're all human--except the spambots. Sometimes I'll need to tweak things a bit, like I did with the Double Chocolate Raspberry Muffins. Sometimes the recipe testing can go too far and I just need to stop the madness and put it on the blog already.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bacon, Beef and Beet Chili

A hearty chili of beef, beets, and tomatoes--flavored with bacon.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2014/10/bacon-beef-and-beet-chili.html

Chili is good for hockey season. When I have an afternoon available I'll make a pot of chili on a back burner while processing vegetables or making another dinner. The chili goes into the fridge for later in the week, then on the appointed day hangs out in the crock pot on Warm.  All day.  I just need someone {my sled hockey player} to grate the cheese and set out the fixings, and it's time to eat.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2014/10/bacon-beef-and-beet-chili.html

See the bowl in these photos? I got it at Hot Soups for a Cool Cause, a fundraiser for the Dayton International Peace Museum. My folks and I attend the twice-yearly events since their visits happened to coincide. With my donation I not only got an assortment of delicious soups and excellent conversation--I got to keep the bowl! I was amazed to learn that the potter lives a few blocks away--small world. I did not have this chili at the fundraiser (though I had a tasty borscht last month at the Cool Soups for a Hot Cause event). Instead, I pulled it out of my ear--doing a bit of a riff on my Acorn Squash, Beet and Sweet Potato Chili.

http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com/2014/10/bacon-beef-and-beet-chili.html

Our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers are great at growing beets.  The family is just not that into beets, despite 8 years of exposure to this delicious vegetable. No matter. If we get beets in the farm share, we get beets in our bellies. We eat what is in the fridge. Or else!
This time, bacon was my vehicle to facilitate the beets' acceptance. A little bacon goes a long way, flavor-wise, so I am glad to incorporate some into this chili. I'm gratified that the kids like chili--it's easy to cook, reheats well, and can assimilate a bunch of vegetables.

I've updated my Visual Recipe Index--for more recipes featuring beets, check out my Beet Recipes Collection!