Sunday, October 30, 2011

in the spirit

blueberry jack o'lantern pancakes

hand-made decorations

carving pumpkins

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

apple muffins

Three times we've picked apples this fall, and there's not a decent photo to show for it. How did that happen? But, for our efforts, I do have this tasty muffin recipe to share.

Apple Muffins

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 tsp. baking powder
1 cup plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce
1 apple, peeled and diced


1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. flour
3 Tbsp. oats
pinch of salt
1-2 Tbsp. butter, softened

In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, combine wet ingredients, mixing well. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until just mixed. Fold in diced apple. In a small bowl, make the topping by mixing the dry ingredients and cutting in the butter until the mixture is coarse crumbles. Pour the batter into greased muffin tins. Sprinkle with topping and bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes.

The rest of the apples have been turned into jars of applesauce and have made for perfect snacks for autumn walks in the woods.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

soup's on

One of the things I most enjoy this time of year is the opportunity for soup to take center stage at mealtimes. Oh, soup, usually relegated to a small role, pre-meal. It comes into its own on crisp fall days. This hearty soup makes the meal, served up with some warm bread and a fresh salad.

Barley Lentil Soup

1 Tbsp. Olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 large carrots, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 1/2 tsp. cumin
10 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2/3 cups barley
2 cups fresh diced tomatoes with juice (or one 15 oz. can diced tomatoes)
2/3 cups lentils (yellow or green)
1/2 bunch chopped Swiss chard

Saute onions and carrots in olive oil until onions are golden. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Sprinkle in cumin. Add broth and barley; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20-25 minutes. Add tomatoes and lentils, cover and simmer until barley and lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Add chard to soup, simmering 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Depending how much broth has been absorbed, you may want to add a bit more. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.

A little bit of warmth for these cool, autumn evenings!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

signs of the season

These days, I find myself warming to the thought of autumn more than I expected I would. Summer seemed to fly right by, with so many things done and what seemed a good deal of others fallen by the wayside. I felt a sort of urgency to hold on to what remained of the energy of that season, as if I could steady the slowing down of the season to come. I must have forgotten how fall helps me to find my place, how the quiet and introspection bring me back to where I am most at ease, how in the slowness, we find our rhythm. With the traditions that mark this time of year, it is all falling into place.

pictures from the farm's harvest festival

At the farm, in our garden, in the woods and in our home, the changes of the season are abundant. Slower days, pots of soup, apples and pumpkins and cups of tea... What are the signs of the season in your days?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

indian summer

Here's a fun project for those warm autumn days that call us out among the changing leaves. The kids love these fun streamer toys, especially since they are quick and easy to make and bring hours of enjoyment. They're simple enough for children and beginning sewers to create and small enough to use up scraps of your favorite fabric!

You will need:

  • Fabric

  • Three lengths of ribbon, about 12" each

  • Scissors, needle and thread

  • Pen or pencil

  • Funnel

  • Rice or beans to fill the ball

Begin by selecting and preparing the fabric for cutting.

Fold your fabric in half and trace a circle on the wrong side of the fabric. You can use a jar lid or any other sized circle as a guide (unless you are better than I am at drawing circles freehand!). Cut out your circles.

Stitching by hand or machine, sew the edges of the circles together, right-sides facing, leaving a space large enough to turn your work right-side out.

Turn your work right-side out. Using a funnel, fill your bag with rice or beans.

Cut your ribbons and place them inside the opening in your ball. Fold the fabric of the opening in and pin the ribbons and fabric in place.

Sew the ribbons securely in place, making sure to catch both sides of the fabric to seal the opening. A few extra stitches here will ensure the rice stays inside the ball!

It's done! Swing it by the ribbon tails and watch it fly...