Friday, September 28, 2018

Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk

I love my hometown. Really, the only bad thing about it is that we don't have a Trader Joe's.

Trader Joe's is insane because their prices are good AND they come out with crazy seasonal products that tempt me to drive all the way to Kansas City to get my hands on 'em. I've never gone to KC just for Trader Joe's (yet), but I admit it's typically the last of my itinerary before heading home.

TJ's has some crazy autumnal products, including fall harvest salsa and pumpkin pita crisps, but the one that caught my eye the most was the pumpkin spice almond beverage. I dreamed of a perfect world, a world where my coffee was supported with just the right hint of a sweet and spiced nondairy creamer. I thought, oh my. Think of all the savory, seasonal overnight oats I could create!

But then I remembered I'd have to drive 3 hours to get it.

So, I solved my own problem (and potentially yours, too!) with this recipe. And, bonus! Tomorrow is National Coffee Day, so if you don't have plans... Now you do. :)

Pumpkin Spice Almond Milk

- 2 cups almond milk (you can make your own or use store bought)
- 1 tbsp pumpkin purée
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- Sweeten to taste. I added about 1/2 tbsp maple syrup.

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for about 30 seconds. Store in an airtight container in the fridge for 7-10 days.

I'm really happy with how easy and sweet this recipe turned out — I think it'll be a go-to for me each year! Would you add it to coffee or just chug it on its own?

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

We Joined a CSA!

Well, I guess this announcement is a little late, but Austin and I have been part of a CSA this year through some of our local friends who have a farm! Dustin and Lacy Stewart manage a number of things, and somehow, they all turn out to be amazing. Our CSA experience has been no different. Dustin and Lacy call their farm the Stewart Settlement, and they have a beautiful piece of property in Pleasant Hope, MO, where they've even built a wedding/event venue and a couple of AirBnB's. Check out Lacy's blog for more insight into the type of people they are — I think you'll like 'em.

I say this announcement is a little late because we're already halfway through our CSA season! We started back in April, and we'll be receiving farm-fresh goodies through November. If you don't know what a CSA is, let me back up. It stands for community-supported agriculture, and the way it works is that you pay a farmer upfront to receive a share of their crops throughout the season. CSAs are designed to support both the farmer and the consumer — having customers pay upfront for a share of crops often allows farmers to have the capitol they need to buy seeds, meal and anything else they might need to get the heavy-duty growing season started. In exchange, customers receive a crop share (often on a weekly harvest day) and an opportunity to get a closer look at where their food comes from.

Each Tuesday, I love the surprise of going to pick up the goodies and seeing what we'll get to eat that week! This summer we've been getting a lot of yummy tomatoes and cucumbers, kale and green beans. It varies a lot, so we don't get the same exact things every week, and I'm always super excited when we get a big, fresh bunch of basil. I've loved getting to visit the farm and seeing where our food comes from, and it means a lot to us to know we're supporting a small business with our dollar. Honestly, before I started writing for FEAST magazine, I didn't think too much about what I ate or where it came from. Now, I consider where my food is produced. The way the farming and grocery industry works means a lot of veggies I could buy in the store might be organic, but they could have been grown in Mexico or California and come a long way on a truck. The more I think about it, the more it makes sense to get those same foods from friends down the road.

All that to say, joining a CSA has been really good for Austin and me. We've been stretched in the kitchen (in a good way!), but we still have no idea what to do with fennel. Ha!