Showing posts with label Thanksgivukkah. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Thanksgivukkah. Show all posts

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.

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].

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.

Too hot for warm chai?  Can I interest you in my DIY Iced Chai Tea Latte Instead?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Pumpkin Cranberry Maple Kugel

This cross-cultural mash up of fresh pumpkin, cranberries, and maple syrup with noodle kugel makes a lightly sweet (without sugar) dessert--and a terrific post-holiday breakfast!

This post is part of the Thanksgivukkah Food Blogger Potluck hosted by Stefani of  You can read all about it here, and scroll down for links to many more recipes!

Pumpkin Cranberry Maple Kugel | Farm Fresh Feasts
I think it is a natural tendency, when you embark on a new endeavor, to look to those experienced in the field for guidance.
When I became a mother I looked to the women around me who were a few months/years ahead of me on the motherhood journey.  From the practical (my oldest friend took one look at the giant convertible carseat I was lugging in and out every day and loaned me her snap-in infant carrier) to the more intangible (while fretting about the lower percentile my son doggedly stayed in on his growth chart, another friend reminded me that when he gets to college, no one will remember or care where his height/weight fell on the chart at age 6 months). The help I received from those women who have gone before me made a huge difference in my life.

As my children grow into their teens, I continue to look to those ahead of me, and I'm especially interested in the interactions of mothers and their now-adult children.  I avidly observe my friends who have adult children with Spina Bifida, watching and learning the steps of the complicated dance that is supporting yet not directing another adult's life.  It is fun to see photos of a friend enjoying a day at Disney with her daughter who now works there.  It's gratifying to see another friend's daughter drop in to see her mom at work, just for a little Mom time (and not money!).

Pumpkin Cranberry Maple Kugel | Farm Fresh Feasts

Why am I going on about mothers and adult children?  It was Molly, visiting her mom during sled hockey practice recently, who gave me the idea for this recipe.  See, while I was brainstorming Hanukkah/Thanksgiving mashup ideas, all I could think of was latkes.  Over the years I've been over to my oldest friend's house many times to make--and eat--latkes, but they were the star of the meal.  While I was chatting with Molly and her mom about other Hanukkah dishes, like brisket and roast chicken, Molly suggested kugel.
I just happened to have my copy of Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese (Amazon affiliate link) because I was working on this post and wouldn't you know it, there's a recipe in Melt for Sweet Potato Kugel. [Put this book on your holiday wish list, unless you're local to me, then check it out of the library or borrow my copy--I keep finding more recipes I must try, and each one I've made is well-written with delicious results.]  Obviously from the title of this post I didn't make that recipe (I used pumpkin not sweet potato, fresh cranberries not dried, maple syrup in place of sugar and changed up the spices) but since Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord have gone before me into the world of autumnal vegetable kugels I am glad to follow their guidance.

Pumpkin Cranberry Maple Kugel | Farm Fresh Feasts

Just like I follow others who have gone before me.