Showing posts with label Fall. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fall. Show all posts

Saturday, November 02, 2013

goop + sk = harvest salad

Gorgeous local beets. Charlie kept saying "Wow, BEAUtiful!"


I picked up Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook It's All Good a while back, and I am as happy with it as I was her first book of her father's recipes. Actually I am happier, considering these days--i.e. the "pre-holiday purge" days--I'm more inclined to make healthy salads than cheeseburgers. Nothing against cheeseburgers, which are completely and engrossingly delicious. In fact, I would stop writing right now to scarf a cheeseburger down if presented in front of me.

What was I saying? Oh right, salads. Haters gonna hate GP, but honey badger don't give a damn. Yes, I too snorted at some of the ridiculous lines in the book. And no, I would not agree that Vegenaise is "out of control" good (not that I've ever tasted it). But laughing at her is part of the fun in following her goings-on, right? I think she's a real person, and people don't like the pretty ones expressing who they really are if who they really are seems holier-than-thou. So she eats vegan food, so what? There are some delicious vegan recipes out there.

Smitten Kitchen, on the other hand, is a breath of humble air. I can't believe I've had her book for a year and haven't written about it yet! (Although, I remember I did mention a word about the wonderful Dutch baby that changed breakfast in our household possibly forever.) Her book is as fantastic, beautiful, and creative as you'd expect if you've followed her blog. Personally, I can't wait to make her apple cider caramels again this season (that is, when my no-sugar cleanse is over) and then unwrap and eat them one by one by myself in a dark, quiet corner of my house.

Truth be told, my style of eating is much more in line with Deb's than GP's. I particularly love that in sk's butternut squash salad recipe, she makes a frank admission that she doesn't eat salads because they're healthy but because she likes them. Ditto, sister.


When I saw GP's arugula salad with roasted veggies, I immediately remembered sk's salad, which I've loved and made several times over the past year. I was intrigued about the idea of adding beets and shallots, but I also liked sk's use of sherry vinegar (tho apple cider vinegar is great in fall too) and farro. Thus, I combined the two recipes. And it was all good.


Monday, October 14, 2013

pumpkin griddle cakes {dairy-free} {gluten-free & vegan variations}


Although we adore the Trader Joe's pumpkin pancake mix, I've always thought it needed more cowbell pumpkin, so I created my own recipe that ramps up the pumpkin flavor. (Note: If you like less pumpkin, just back it off and substitute applesauce).


We love our learning tower!

Side note: This recipe is an adaptation of a blueberry banana pancake recipe I've been making ever since we lived in England. The whipped egg whites, applesauce, and pumpkin provide moisture, eliminating the need for dairy. It's a useful recipe when you have about a half a can of pumpkin needing to be used up (usually I do after making "cheez-it bread"). It's a simple recipe that even the kids can help make; we're making griddle cakes this morning to participate in the Kids Cook Monday movement.




With the addition of buckwheat flour and cornmeal, these cakes are healthy by pancake standards and have a toothy bite to them. I know some people use the terms "griddle cake" and "pancake" synonymously, but in the south, griddle cakes have a cornmeal component. I grew up eating them in the mountains and love that slight crunch, but you can omit the cornmeal in favor of more flour if you prefer.

 photo f6765cae-f7a2-4d0c-b310-25ffa6623eaa_zps9356fc50.jpg


pumpkin griddle cakes {dairy-free} {gluten-free & vegan variations}
serves 4 (10-12 small pancakes)

3/4 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. applesauce or mashed banana (~ 2 bananas)
2 Tbs. unrefined organic sugar
2 tsp. lemon juice
2 eggs, separated*
1/2 c. white whole wheat flour**
1/4 c. buckwheat flour
1/4 c. yellow cornmeal (we like Bob's Red Mill yellow corn grits/polenta)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch of pumpkin pie spice (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice and cloves)
1 Tbs. melted coconut oil
1 c. pecans or chocolate chips (optional)

Whisk together flours, baking powder, salt, and spices in a small bowl. In a medium bowl, mix together pumpkin, applesauce/banana, sugar, juice, egg yolks, and cornmeal. Let it sit a few minutes so the grits soften. Fold flour mixture into pumpkin mixture. This batter can sit in the fridge/freezer until you are ready to use it.

When you are ready to make the griddle cakes, whisk egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff. Fold into pancake batter.
Keep folding



Needs some water.

If the batter is still too thick (like mine was), add a few teaspoons of water until it has a still-thick but pourable consistency.

Heat a griddle over medium heat. Grease with coconut oil. Drop on a heaping tablespoon of batter. Smoosh it down into a pancake shape with the back of a silicon spatula. After one minute, sprinkle in a few pecans if you like, or chocolate chips if you want to gild the lily. They will take longer to cook than a standard silver dollar pancake, and you can't rely on the bubbles to tell when they're done. I treat them like any baked good and give it the old toothpick test after about 5 minutes on each side. I also cook them on lower heat after the initial sizzle to avoid burning the outside before the center is done.

While they are delicious with maple syrup or whipped cream, our preference is to top them with spiced applesauce (recipe from the Food in Jars book).  They're also fabulous drizzled with cranberry syrup (another recipe from the wonderful Food in Jars book). After conducting a quick Google search, I'm seriously considering making cranberry apple brandy syrup or pumpkin syrup. If you're going for dairy-free all the way, you might try whipping some coconut butter.

These griddle cakes are even flavorful enough without a topping; I find that I can make them ahead, then heat them and stash them in a handkerchief for a breakfast-on-the-go, which is great for Sundays when we get up and go quickly, heading straight from church to choir practice. 

*If you need the recipe to be vegan, substitute 2 Tbs. flax seed meal and 1/4 c. + 2 Tbs. water. Add this mixture when egg yolks are called for, and omit the egg white whipping step. Be sure to cook them at a low temperature so they are given a chance to cook through before burning on the outside.

**If you need the recipe to be gluten-free, substitute oat flour for whole wheat flour. Despite its misleading name, "buckwheat" flour is gluten-free.

Author's note: This recipe was shared with the Homestead Barn Hop, Real Food Wednesday, and Fight Back Friday.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

the hunt for red October

Around this time, it seems everyone in the Boston area is headed out of town to peep at leaves in other places...New Hampshire, the Berkshires, Vermont. But this year the leaves in our own backyard are spectacular (note: leaves below are not quite in our backyard but are on conservation land near us). I'm not sure what's different about the weather this year to make the leaves so beautiful, but I can now say I truly understand what all those people meant when they waxed on about fall in New England. When it's good, it's GOOD.


Tuesday, October 08, 2013

{40}: leaf peepers

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013."

On the Range
October 1 - 7, 2013

{On the Range} is my weekly series where I discuss what we're doing, reading, and eating. It's a little bit 52 project and other photo projects, and a little bit {Did you Read?} and {In the Ranger Kitchen}.

Monday, September 16, 2013

reboot family dinner {+ a giveaway of two great books}

{Note: Congratulations to Emily and Jessica, the winners of the giveaway books. I hope you enjoy them, ladies!}

I enjoy our summer lazy routine where we let the girls watch more TV and eat more ice cream, but there's also a quiet bliss to our back-to-school fall routine. We begin spending more hours indoors, whether in school or in our living room, and our busier schedule makes those rarer family trips outdoors to pick apples or play t-ball all the sweeter.

With school fully ramped back up, I am getting back into the swing of family dinner. I admit to struggling a bit at times, continuing to serve the girls summer staples of deviled eggs or tuna salad before Nate and I have our own dinner hours later. And pretty please don't ask me whether they've been eating lots of snacks.


We've had our successes too. On Sunday, for example, we went out to pick apples and filled our bellies to the brim with fruit, so we weren't as interested in a full dinner that night. Instead, the girls played happily in the next room while we chopped and simmered apples close by in the kitchen. They loved to sample a bit of still-cooking, piping hot applesauce, and Daddy whipped them up a quick grilled cheese sandwich and mug of tomato soup while we were still mixing and canning apple creations.

Charlie's favorite part was the bluegrass band playing at the farmstand. Girl after her mama's heart.

We've all heard in recent months about the importance of sitting down to dinner as a family. Lately I've been pondering the definition of "family dinner" and wondering if there's more room to bend the rules a bit. I'm happy to be working with The Family Dinner Project (FDP) to experiment with my neighborhood pals and see if we can make family dinners better together. They have some fantastic ways to fit in food, fun, and conversation with your children into your day.

I'm betting you can guess Vivi's favorite part of the day...

On apple-picking day, we didn't all sit together at one time to share a big spread of food; however, we did connect as a family in picking and putting away a bounty of fall's delicious harvest together. Later on in the evening at bedtime, we played a game FDP calls Rose & Thorn, asking them what their favorite and least favorite parts of the day were and sharing our own.

If you are interested in making family dinner better in your household, I encourage you to check out the FDP website. They have so many wonderful (and free!) resources. I'm also happy to be offering a giveaway today of two books that have helped us keep the kids interested in trying and eating new and different foods, which is one of the important pieces in the family dinner puzzle. Thanks to their generous publishers for making it possible to share these books!

Here are the books you can sign up for a chance to get for free (sign-up is below, and it will be open until Sunday September 22nd, 11:59pm ET):



1. French Kids Eat Everything. I wrote about this book in April, and the post was syndicated on BlogHer. A publicity manager of the publisher, HarperCollins, found what I wrote and offered to share the book with two readers of this blog. I absolutely loved this book; it changed the way we eat dinner forever, and it has made the experience so much more pleasant. See more of what I wrote here.


2. End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad. Here's what I wrote about it in July. The publisher offered to give y'all one of these books as well, so sign up below if you're interested! My kids love this one and still to this day call it the pickle book because of the illustrated pickle who helps make the salad.

WIN THE BOOKS!

Use Rafflecopter below for your chance to win! It's that easy. Just submit a comment or drop me a line by email or Facebook if you're having trouble figuring it out. Good luck!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

pumpkin pasta: a fast fall feast!


I stood at the refrigerator yesterday afternoon wondering what I could make for dinner. I had three requirements: 1) it was the end of the month, so I needed to use up leftovers before making my next grocery trip; 2) I was headed to an appointment after dinner, so it had to be fast; and 3) I had a cup of pumpkin (the rest of the can from making pumpkin cheese bread) and a cup of sausage (the remnants of sausage pizza). Easy decision!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

music man & horsie cuteness

We owe our weekend parenting sanity to man who calls himself "DJ Tiesto." Nate discovered that if you put on his station on Pandora, the kids magically behave themselves...for HOURS at a time. I'm telling you, it can be 30 minutes past starving and tired, and my children will miraculously turn from crazy banshees into perfect angels. It's downright odd. But do we ask questions? No siree Bob, we do not. We have beliefs about gift horses' mouths around these parts.

Friday, October 26, 2012

{this moment}: autumn beauties

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. Photos capturing moments from the week. Simple, special, extraordinary moments. Moments I want to pause, savor and remember.*

Dancing punkin, flowers from hubster

Friday, October 19, 2012

{this moment}: fall vests

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. 

p.s. As usual, I broke the "single photo" rule. Sometimes a moment stretches on, you know?...









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