Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dessert. Show all posts

Monday, October 5, 2015

S'mores-filled Peanut Butter Oatmeal Blondies

Layers of thick whole grain oatmeal peanut butter cookie surround plenty of dark chocolate and mini marshmallows in this thick, gooey, and chewy treat.

Layers of whole grain oatmeal peanut butter cookie surround plenty of dark chocolate and marshmallows in this thick, gooey, and chewy treat.

 Follow me | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook

Hey ho! No, your calendar is not off. I've got a rogue Tuesday post because it's #Choctoberfest week! Raise your glass/fork/a little hell/spoon/hand and join in!

Layers of whole grain oatmeal peanut butter cookie surround plenty of dark chocolate and marshmallows in this thick, gooey, and chewy treat.

Let's talk about pans. Over the weekend I incinerated a pan of green beans that I'd merely meant to roast. I posted the photo of my epic fail over on my FB page, where I share all my epic fails. A friend asked if the pan was OK, and I replied 'you can't keep a good pan down'.

Do you have any well-loved kitchen items that you've received?

Layers of whole grain oatmeal peanut butter cookie surround plenty of dark chocolate and marshmallows in this thick, gooey, and chewy treat.

A good pan can last generations. The pan these blondies were baked in was handed down from my mom. [I baked Jujube Butter Oatmeal Bars in it last week, and she emailed 'is that my old pan?'.] Well, mom, here's your old pan again. I like to bake bar cookies in it for a few reasons--first, it's metal so the bars get a nice crisp bottom. Second, the bottom of the pan lifts out--leaving a clean edge to the bar. Third, it's an 8 inch square pan which means I've got less dessert staring me in the face.

Layers of whole grain oatmeal peanut butter cookie surround plenty of dark chocolate and marshmallows in this thick, gooey, and chewy treat.

My kids made a 9x13 pan of Sunny Hello Dolly Bars over the weekend because I am being a Good Mom and teaching them how to pull a dessert out of the pantry when you're craving something sweet and don't want to think too much or head to the store. Except no one wanted to pulverize graham crackers in the food processor, so I did it, and I didn't measure out the amount before transferring it to a bowl. When my son dumped the entire amount onto the melted butter . . . well, like I said, I'm teaching them. Life is a learning process.

Layers of whole grain oatmeal peanut butter cookie surround plenty of dark chocolate and marshmallows in this thick, gooey, and chewy treat.

I've got plenty of hand me down kitchen items. The stainless steel bowls from my mom and my late Grandma-in-law are used near daily, and the baking pans are used several times a month. It makes my heart smile to use a pan that's been loved by someone before me. I don't even have to know them--I get great stuff at thrift stores as well!

Layers of whole grain oatmeal peanut butter cookie surround plenty of dark chocolate and marshmallows in this thick, gooey, and chewy treat.

I'm damn lucky to live within walking distance of an awesome grocery store. They serve Killer Brownies® and we get them--and give them--for special occasions. Salted Caramel flavor is the best!
I decided to try my hand at making my own version of a filled bar cookie--but with s'mores flavors, since I haven't gotten enough s'mores this year. After a couple of attempts [like when testing the recipe for Cheater Margarita Smoothies, repeated testing is necessary] I'm happy to say this recipe is a keeper. Along with the pan.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Jujube Butter Oatmeal Bars

Jujube fruit simmered with apple cider to make a fruit butter, sandwiched between layers of pecan oatmeal bar cookie in a fruit dessert from the farmer to you via Barn2Door.

 Follow me | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook

Have you ever eaten a jujube fruit? There are more than a dozen people in SW Ohio who can now say 'yes, I have, they're yummy' because of these bars. Jujubes taste like a crunchy apple-pear, and they have a pit similar to a date. Disclosure: this recipe and my previous one used jujube fruits grown by Fairview Orchards that I received from Barn2Door in exchange for a post. Because I believe in buying directly from farmers who choose to grow food in sustainable ways, I am glad to spread the word about this platform, and I was delighted to share the last of the fruits and these bars with our Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers to close the circle.

In my last post I marveled over the ability for me, in an area not known for local foodies, to source exotic produce direct from the farmer to concoct my Jujube Fruit and King Oyster Mushroom Sauté.
Today I'm going to tell you a bit more about Barn2Door's mission, and share another recipe I made--Jujube Butter Oatmeal Bars. [Of course you can just eat the fruit out of hand, like we did when I opened the box, but one of the purposes of my blog is to provide recipe inspiration for farm share ingredients, so I wanted to play some more.] Check out Barn2Door and subscribe to the newsletter. You can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest. While it would simplify things to say Barn2Door is an online farmer's market, it's a bit more than that.

Barn2Door is a marketplace where you can buy sustainably grown meat, fish, fruits, vegetables & items like raw honey and real maple syrup right from producers and growers. Farmers, fishers, ranchers and gardeners have their own store - like Etsy for farms - where they showcase the food they have for sale, and manage direct communications, sales and fulfillment (local delivery, national shipping or both!).

I like the idea of giving producers a platform to sell their products to a wider audience than the folks who make it out to the local farmer's market each week. I am a fan of supporting folks who choose to grow food in sustainable ways, so a platform that takes much of the effort out of creating an online presence--enabling the farmers to continue doing what they do best (grow my food) gets my tail wagging like Robert Barker's. [If I had the skillz to make a gif of his tail zooming side to side and then circling to the left and then back to side to side, I would. Dog has talent.] I typed in my zip code and was impressed with the variety of products I could have delivered to me from Fairview Orchards and other producers. While I will continue to source my local Ohio maple syrup and local Ohio honey from my farmer's market, if you don't have access to your local producers you can get Vermont maple syrup delivered to your door. How cool is that?

I thought it was pretty neat to get jujube fruits from Fairview Orchards. The package was on our doorstep, watched over by Robert Barker and Simon, when we arrived from a bike ride. A note telling me the fruit was picked 2 days before I received it gave me a little thrill. Just like when I pick up my Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, the folks who grew the produce put it into the box and I take it out of the box. That's awesome, and 100% why I agreed to do this post. Fairview Orchards is diversified (got to be, with short growing seasons and uncertain water supplies). You can find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, and learn a bit about the Sean on the blog. Their storefront says it best:

"Fairview Orchards is a family owned & operated farm that cultivates a diverse variety of certified organic fruit such as Hass Avocados, Meyer Lemons, Blood Oranges, Figs, Specialty Tangerines, Jujubes & Pomegranates. Hand-picked and delivered or shipped fresh, we practice both traditional and sustainable farming methods while utilizing the latest technologies. Our farm is 100% powered by solar energy and is nestled in Ojai, California surrounded by rolling hills and the Topa Topa mountains. We are fortunate to have naturally rich soil and a great micro-climate that our trees and plants love."

One more thing I want to share before I get to the recipe--Barn2Door has a newsletter where you can sign up to stay in touch. Click here to sign up. You won't miss out on the latest news, promotions(!), new farmers, and of course seasonal food.

For more recipes using Jujube fruits, I'll have to add a category to my Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating direct from the farmer. Check out more on Pinterest and Facebook. Want to know how to use this blog? Click here.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Blueberry Breakfast Cobbler with Grits

Blueberries, fresh or frozen, in a sweetened filling layered under a topping of grits?! Here's a breakfast or brunch treat that is sweet enough for a dessert and hearty enough to start your day.

Make the most of what you've got is my near-daily kitchen mantra.  I was inspired to buy a canister of quick-cooking grits for a side dish, but my family didn't go for the finished product at all, and I was left with an open canister of perfectly good grits.
Aside to grits lovers:  I know grits are good--I like them! My folks now live in a place where breakfast is provided, and when grits are on the menu mom pops back up to their apartment and fetches a package of pepper jack cheese to make her grits cheesy. Apple . . . tree . . . I know!
My family members didn't spend years working across the street from the Museum of the White House of the Confederacy, however, and in addition to not loving grits these family members don't share in my love for collard greens either, so all the more for me.  Except I didn't want to eat most of a canister of grits all by myself, so I started searching for other ways to use them.  This recipe was inspired by combining this blueberry cobbler filling (that my daughter found on the internets) with this coffee cake topping (that I found on the internets). Since dessert teamwork works well in our household, my daughter prepared the filling while I prepared the topping.

The topping ended up kind of heavy for a dessert--if you're looking for a light pillowy dumpling to absorb your blueberry goodness, try the Brown Eyed Baker where we found the filling inspiration.  This was a sturdier, chewier, heartier topping, which is why I let my daughter eat a bowl for breakfast the next morning.  I know there's a ton of sugar in it, and it will never become a staple breakfast or even dessert in my home, but the combination of grits and blueberries really is tasty, so it's worth having as an option for a brunch.

For other recipes using blueberries, please see my Blueberry Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For other dessert ideas, there's a drop down menu on the right sidebar with ideas. For more ideas using fruit, I've got a Fruit Board on Pinterest, and I share some creations on my FB page. Want to know how to Use this Blog? Click here!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Fast and Easy Fruit and Yogurt Crepes

Boughten* crepes stuffed with seasonal fruit, topped with a bit of honey-sweetened yogurt, makes a fast dessert out of what's on hand.

*Yes, still on my "boughten" kick. I've re-read all of the Little House books and will start on Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder (Amazon Affiliate link) next. Seeing a bunch of Little House sites in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota on our recent vacation has me in the mood.

Reading the books is one thing, but actually seeing some of the buildings Laura lived in as a child? Whoa. Her description of the surveyor's house, where she and her family spent their first winter in what would become De Smet, SD made it seem like a pretty big place. I was not prepared for the reality of standing in the same building--thinking of it filled with overnight guests when our small tour group could barely squeeze in! Then again, after seeing claim shanties I can see why she'd think a house positively palatial.

When I was a kid, my mom had the knack for making dessert out of nothing. She'd slice up some bananas into a bowl, add a sprinkle of brown sugar and a splash of milk and boom--something sweet that satisfied.

With these crepes I'm attempting to do the same thing--a quick and easy dessert to satisfy a sweet tooth. I've made them with put up peaches as well as ripe bananas. They'd be great with fresh blueberries as well. It's a simple dessert, but I don't usually think of easy and simple desserts so I'm sharing it in case someone else is like me and needs to make something out of nothing.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Zucchini Lime Cupcakes

Shredded zucchini and fresh lime zest in tender cupcakes topped with a glaze of fresh lime juice.

I'm having a heck of a time getting posts entered into the computer using my spouse's iPad. Until I am reunited with my computer, I'm going to let the pictures do most of  the talking for these treats.
Desserts are not really my thing, and astute bakers will realize this is a muffin recipe in disguise.
It is--but it's so sweet compared to my usual muffin recipe that I'm calling these cupcakes instead.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Strawberry Lemon Bundt Cake

Fresh strawberries and lemon curd inside a jazzed up bundt cake, topped with strawberry jam.

I'll say it straight up in case you're wondering--this dessert is inspired by Cake Mix Doctor recipes and starts with a box of cake mix. [Whew, I'm glad I got that off my chest]. While I routinely whip up muffins, waffles, cookies, pizza dough, bread and spaghetti sauces without opening a box (other than the baking soda box) I'm not there yet with cakes. I may never be. I'm happy with the results I get adding a few things to a box of cake mix, so for now I'll keep on doing it.

Strawberry season is brief, and I want to make the most of the fresh berries while they last. Because I prefer the taste of local berries, I simply don't buy strawberries at the grocery store. I'll stock up like a squirrel at the farmer's market, but when my backyard patch and the markets are empty I'm done for the year. I wish I could spend my days dunking fresh berries in sour cream, then brown sugar, then popping them into my mouth--but sadly, I need to do other things as well. I put up local berries in jam, salsa (my cantina style recipe is here) and in bags in the freezer. We'll enjoy some fresh in treats, like my Strawberry Lemon Snack Cake and Strawberry Sour Cream Brown Sugar Muffins.

This cake is another, more falutin', way to enjoy fresh strawberry flavors. It will work with frozen berries as well. It won't taste as good with a box of berries who have crossed multiple state lines to make their way to you. Have a piece of chocolate instead. 

For other recipes using strawberries, please see my Strawberry Recipes Collection, part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient. For other Cake Mix Doctor-inspired recipes, please see my Triple Chip Zucchini Spice Cake. I pin fruit recipes to my Pinterest Fruit Board. Wanna know how to Use This Blog? Click here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Pecan Brownie Bites for a Cookie Drive #ChristmasWeek

Need/want to make 8 dozen brownie bites for a cookie drive or a whole bunch of cookie plates? Look no further! My second recipe of #ChristmasWeek is well suited to mass production and full of chocolatey goodness as well. I share my 3 lessons learned so you don't have the failures I did.

Welcome to Day Two of Christmas Week. This event is hosted by Kim of Cravings of a Lunatic and Susan of The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen. We hope to inspire you to break out those holiday sprinkles and get your bake on!

Hanging in my house is a poster of Life's Little Instructions. On it are such gems as 'overtip breakfast waitresses' and 'when you borrow a car, return it with the gas tank full', but one of my favorite ones is 'never refuse a plate of homemade brownies'. I don't care if the ingredients for the brownies came out of a single box or from multiple containers in your pantry--to me, if the brownies come out of YOUR oven they are homemade.

What if you want to give homemade brownies to 1,500 single Airmen who are spending Christmas away from their families? Or, more realistically, if you wanted to contribute several dozen brownies to the Airmen's Cookie Drive? You need a few Mass Production Techniques to enable you to churn out tray after tray, and that's why I wrote up this post for #ChristmasWeek.

Making individual sized treats for a cookie drive is a Big Project. Making brownies for a cookie drive [is that even legal? I mean, they're not technically cookies, whatever the technical definition of a cookie is] is another level of hassle. You either need to cut your pan nice and even [no 'you cut and your sister chooses first' here] or you need to make individual brownies and get them safely out of the pan.

Lesson #1:  Use paper liners.
Trust me and the pile of failures I shared with my kids and on my FB page. [Perhaps the kids would prefer we skip this lesson and just have 8 dozen less-than-perfect brownie bites piled up around the kitchen.] To spray or not to spray the paper liners I leave up to you. I didn't spray, nor do I spray my brownie pan normally. There are 3 sticks of butter in there, for crying out loud!

Lesson #2:  If you're using nuts, GO BIG.
I like nuts in my brownies, but I'd never put nut-filled brownies in a cookie tray for my friends who have food allergies. While the Cookie Drive Organizers said that nuts were OK, I didn't want the volunteers to guess if my brownies contained nuts.  Instead, I went big and glued a big ol' pecan half on top of each brownie using a candy melt. You can see through the lid that these treats belong with the other nut-filled goodies.

Lesson #3:  Just do it. It will make you feel good.
Doing for others makes you feel good. If you love to bake, then baking for others is an exceptional way to feel good. You don't need an Airmen's Cookie Drive either--police stations, fire stations, animal shelters and hospitals would be glad to follow the instructions to 'never refuse a plate of homemade brownies'.

Are you trampled by turnips? Collared by kohlrabi? Buried in beets? For recipes using my usual suspects, please refer to my Visual Recipe Index until #ChristmasWeek ends and I return to my local food, mostly savory ways.  If you're tempted by sweets and looking for holiday ideas--yesterday I shared Finnish Pulla {Cardamom Coffee Braid}, tomorrow I'll share Scandinavian Fruit Soup, Thursday brings us Toffee Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, and I'll close out the week with Norwegian Lefse on Friday.

Swing by all the #ChristmasWeek participants to see what they've been whipping up for the holidays:

Turtle Hot Chocolate by  The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen

Rum Raspberry Tart by Cookistry

Chocolate Saltine Toffee (aka Christmas Crack) by Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts

Pecan Brownie Bites by Farm Fresh Feasts (that's me!)
Peppermint Brownie Cookies by Mind Over Batter
Bourbon Brownies by Cooking In Stilettos

Monday, December 15, 2014

Finnish Pulla {Cardamom Coffee Braid}

This is a recipe for Finnish Pulla, a cardamom-spiced lightly sweet braided bread. It is delicious plain or with butter, served alongside tea or coffee, or as an after school snack. The recipe makes three loaves which is terrific for gift giving during the holidays. 

 Follow me | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook

Baking: art or science? Discuss.

When I first saw this bread being made it was all art: building the fire in the wood stove, mixing the ingredients until the dough looked right then braiding, decorating, and finally baking the bread. To my young, fresh-out-of-college eyes Eila Akkanen's ability to create this bread was purely magic. [Looking back on that summer, Eila was doing her weekly baking in the the farmhouse kitchen where she'd raised her family and had probably performed that 'magic' thousands of times.]

I think baking used to be considered an art, or perhaps more accurate, a series of crafts. Building a fire to the proper baking temperature is as much a learned skill as kneading dough or even beading bracelets. Nowadays I don't need to know much about building a baking fire--I use the keypad on the oven to type in the precise temperature I'd like, and double check it with my oven thermometer. I could re-learn the chemical equations which describe the reactions of a pile of ingredients turning into a loaf of bread, but I don't need to know how it works--just that it does.
I braid one side towards the middle, then the other, then finish by pinching the end pieces together.

My approach to this recipe is a mixture of science and art. Because my kitchen temperature averages 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, I use my bread machine to mix the dough [don't worry if you don't have a freezing kitchen and a bread machine, I'll provide directions for mixing the dough]. When the machine is finished, though, my experienced eye takes over and shapes the dough until it looks right.

The inspiring recipe came from Beatrice Ojakangas' book Fantastically Finnish. Instead of starting with whole cardamom pods I use the ground spice, and because I first had this while working on a dairy farm I like to use a richer milk. I have made this bread using all cream--very rich dough, very tender crumb, great way to use up 2 cups of heavy cream--as well as half & half and even 2% milk. Normally I'll say 'use what you have on hand' but if you've only got fat free milk please go grab a pint of half & half before making this. It is the holidays after all. 

Speaking of holidays, I'll be sharing sweet recipes each day during #ChristmasWeek. Tuesday I'll be sharing 3 lessons learned making Pecan Brownie Bites for a Cookie Drive, Wednesday it's back to Scandinavia for Fruit Soup, Thursday we're keeping things simple with Toffee Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookies, and Friday I finish getting my ethnic on with My Mother's Norwegian Lefse
If you're not into sweets, check out my Visual Recipe Index for more savory ideas for what to do with the produce from the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, farmer's market, and garden.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Tasty Pumpkin Treats

Spiced roasted pumpkin sandwiched between layers of oatmeal coconut pecan bar cookie.

When you're in the midst of a big project that requires some hands on but not constant attention, it's easy for you mind to wander. It's easy for your mind to wander to sweets.  With a recent cold snap I decided to get busy roasting all the pumpkin and pumpkin-like squash that had been hanging out on my porch.
Why aren't these squash in the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve? I'm glad you asked. It makes me think you've been paying attention each time I mention the SWSR, and I'm glad of it. I left these squash outside because they came from my garden and the varmints had nibbled them before I harvested. I wasn't sure if they would decay quickly because of the blemishes, so I kept them on the porch. They did fine.
Since I had so many large-ish squash I could only fit one pan in the oven at a time, and this was an all-day affair. Chop the squash in half, scoop out the guts to the compost bucket, place face down on a rimmed baking sheet, add a cup of water, bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour, poke to see if it's tender, take it out if it is/leave in for another 20 minutes if it's not, cool, scoop out the flesh, add the skin to the compost bucket, and repeat. Let the dog out every 30 minutes so he won't pee in the house, and empty the compost bucket while you're out there. Or just refer to this Processing a Pile of Pumpkins post from my first month blogging.

While craving something sweet and scooping endless cups of pumpkin flesh (I ended up with about 12-13 cups) I got a wild hair to replace the jam in my friend Lasar's Tasty Raspberry Treats with a sweetened pumpkin filling. While the last squash was baking I assembled the dough, and as soon as the pumpkin was tender I changed the oven temperature and popped the treats in to bake.  We sampled the first batch but I was already thinking of ways to change them. My second batch, for work, incorporated those changes and I liked them even more.

This recipe uses ¾ cup pumpkin puree and makes a 9 inch square baking pan. I like that size because it makes enough, but not too much, dessert for our family so we're not eating the same thing for days. If you're not blessed with a bunch of pumpkins from your garden or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm share, canned plain pumpkin will jump right in as a good substitute.  If you're serving folks who aren't crazy about pumpkin pie--try this on them for size. It's more like a spiced bar cookie, with subtle pumpkin flavor, than an in-your-face pie.
I debated sharing this so close to Thanksgiving, so close to pumpkin overload, but decided I'd rather share a sweet than more turnip recipes.
Oh, and the other Thanksgiving Leftover Pizza I'd promised? It seems I'd forgotten to jot down the specifics of how I made the stuffing-flavored pizza dough. So I'll be making that again next week, for our Thanksgiving Leftover Remake Pizza, and I'll blog about it next year.

Have a cookie instead.

For more recipes using pumpkin, please see my Pumpkin Recipes Collection.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Patty Pan Squash Crumble (Reflections on Two Years of Blogging)

Patty pan squash, simmered with spices, tucked between a sweet crumble dough then baked. Summer squash for a Fall dessert. Revisited after 2 years of blogging.

Since I've been doing this blogging thing for about two years now, I've decided to revisit a recipe post from my first weeks of blogging. A post that has bothered me. Oh, the recipe is a sound one--though I did tweak it a bit--it's the rest of the elements of blogging that bothered me. I'll list them out for you.

  • The title. Summer Squash = Fall Dessert? Sure, that's a valid description of the post, but it's not really going to come up on many search engines. I may be ridiculously boring and obvious in my recipe titles these days (see my Visual Pizza Recipe Index for proof) but at least you know what you're getting with a Fig Jam, Goat Cheese, and Fresh Pear Pizza, don't you think?
  • The presentation. When I made this before, I observed that it probably would be good with ice cream but I didn't go get some and try it. After my IceCreamWeek experience, it doesn't make sense not to eat ice cream when you can. I'll admit this time I didn't go out and get some ice cream--I sent my son. We're all glad I did.
  • The photo. This one shouldn't be a surprise, but I will point out that at least the original photo was taken in natural light and is in focus, and also not extremely close up. You can see it here.  Not a horrid photo, right? But it doesn't tell a story. I'm continually working to improve my photos by adding elements that tell a story, like I learned in my 30 Days to Better Food Photography course.
The story of this recipe remake can be told through these three photos. After setting up the shot I asked the kids for help--with the promise of snacking once I was finished. I'd say they liked it.

Happy 2 year anniversary to Farm Fresh Feasts.  Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Strawberry Lemon Bisquick Snack Cake and A Peek Into My Process

A light strawberry lemon snack cake, fast and easy to make and delicious warm or chilled

Strawberry Lemon Bisquick Snack Cake and A Peek Into My Process | Farm Fresh Feasts

Warning:  This is a long post.  But there's cake at the end, so I think it's worth it. 
"Cake makes everything worth it." (Meghan McCarthy)

Apparently I'm continuing last week's trend of writing lots and lots and then sticking a recipe at the end.  Instead of teaching you about nurturing your garden soil, this week I'm giving you A Peek Into My Process.  Blame Meghan for all this--she roped me into it by asking me to answer the following questions.  She wanted me to tag other bloggers to keep the chain going but I'm a chain letter breaker.  So--if you'd like to answer these 4 questions, please comment and I'd be delighted to link to your writing process post.  Let's get this over with.
  • What am I working on/what am I writing?
  • How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
  • Why do I write what I do?
  • How does my writing process work?

Strawberry Lemon Bisquick Snack Cake and A Peek Into My Process | Farm Fresh Feasts
Old school--writing on paper, scheduling on paper, losing countless papers.
#1.  Well, I'm working on this, obviously.
 I'm also weeding, putting up strawberries, decluttering the house and clearing through nearly 500 emails that piled up over the past months (so many good blogs to visit) in between handing off my computer to the kids so they can work on summer online classes,  enjoying movies with popcorn (no kids with braces!) and 3 day weekends with my spouse. What am I writing?  See #4.
Strawberry Lemon Bisquick Snack Cake and A Peek Into My Process | Farm Fresh Feasts
Blogging while on vacation--that's dedication, folks.
#2. This one is easy.  More cowbell Pizza! When I first found other CSA bloggers, the primary thing  I noticed was that they shared photos of their farm share boxes (which appeals to the voyeur in me) and talked about how they used the items that week.  That's inspirational, but I was looking to provide more practical support for local eating. Inspiration's great if you've got the skill set to run with it, but some practical support helps you to succeed.
I see this with my kids all the time.  Setting them up for success with appropriate supports results in far better outcomes than just telling them to wing it.  In the kitchen and in life. Once you have a foundation--then wing away, baby, wing away.
I feel what sets my blog ever-so-slightly apart is that while I'm showing you how to use the farm share produce via my recipes, I'm also showing you how I put up the produce we can't consume right away, how I use that in the off season, and I'm helping you find ideas for other produce via my recipe index.  Indexes.
And every once in a while I'll show you what's in my box, too.

Strawberry Lemon Bisquick Snack Cake and A Peek Into My Process | Farm Fresh Feasts
Ah, one of my favorite meals--and one of my favorite posts.
 #3. I believe every dollar you spend is a vote for what matters to you.  I choose to spend money on local small businesses producing food in a way that nourishes the environment. Over the years I've learned that a lot of folks agree with me--but while it's a lovely idea to get a farm share, the reality of eating this way can be very hard to adapt in your kitchen.  This is why I write this blog.  I want to help everyone who desires to eat locally to succeed, so I provide recipes using seasonal ingredients, storage tips for off season eating, and a recipe index to help you figure out what to do with the contents of your crisper.

#4.  This is the long answer. Let's look at that cake to remind us why we're sticking with it.

Strawberry Lemon Bisquick Snack Cake and A Peek Into My Process | Farm Fresh Feasts

Since we eat seasonally, even though I just grilled up the last of the Strategic Winter Squash Reserve [butternut squash are particularly long-storing] I won't post that recipe until Fall.  But the photos have been taken, uploaded, and indexed so I can find them when I need them.
In a perfect world the spouse would edit the photos to make them pretty, but apparently I'll "never learn to do this until [I] just do it" (the whole Worlds Collide thing) so I am painstakingly--with a blunt object instead of a surgical scalpel--doing this myself.  I know I want a horizontal/landscape photo at the top because I think most food looks best this way and for Food Frenzy Digest to pull, plus a square photo for the food porn websites when I remember to submit, plus a vertical/portrait shot that I can add a title to for Pinterest. When I photograph the food I take a variety of images to get all bases covered.  But this post is supposed to be all about writing. Ahem.
I also jot down the recipe notes, hopefully in a notebook but sometimes on a sticky note or on my FB page, so that when I go to write the post I've got the recipe info.  Otherwise it's back to the kitchen, and if it's a seasonal item I sometimes have to wait a year. Best just to jot down as I go.

Often, while I am cooking, I will think about what I want to say in the post.  When I've got ideas flowing it works best to sit down and write them out.  This post just poured out of me while the pizza was baking. If the words don't come, I move on to something else. With 50 posts in some form of the publishing process [they've got at least 1 of the 3: recipe, photos, or headnotes entered in the computer] as well as more in the notebooks, I don't need to force it, I just pick something else.

Strawberry Lemon Bisquick Snack Cake and A Peek Into My Process | Farm Fresh Feasts
where I was writing this post--on the porch, with Vincent as a lap dog desk, Simon and Wee Oliver Picklepants on lookout
Thanks for taking a peek into my process--it was fun reflecting and ruminating on this post.
Let's have some cake, shall we?

Strawberry Lemon Bisquick Snack Cake and A Peek Into My Process | Farm Fresh Feasts