Chai Tea

Few things say fall more clearly to me than a hot cup of chai tea.

Something about that ginger-y, spicy sweetness seems so perfectly suited to golden leaves, blue skies, and frosty mornings.

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Thai Coconut Lemongrass Chicken Soup (Tom Kha Gai)

We had a frost.

I had plans to get this post out at the beginning of the week, but the first frost of the year, which my weather report told me was coming Friday night, showed up early. Monday night, to be precise.* Thankfully, I had spent Monday morning harvesting all the remaining eggplants and tomatoes, so the most vulnerable (and to me, the most precious) of the vegetables escaped harm. But the rest of the week saw me in full-on triage mode - harvesting the rest of the frost-tender plants, salvaging what I could, and preserving the damaged goods as fast as I could go.

Thus, a bit of a delay on the blogging front. But the harvest has been salvaged, and I'm back at it. And I've (finally) got Thai food!

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Zucchini Bread

Okay, I know I said you were getting some amazing Thai food next. It's coming! I promise!

But I couldn't let the warm weather pass us by completely without sharing one more summer recipe: the humble, but indispensable, zucchini bread.

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Garden Review – Best and Worst Plant Varieties of 2016

As the growing season draws to a close, I wanted to take a few minutes and reflect on the successes and failures of some of the plants we grew this year.

When you move away from the few (usually lackluster) options available at big box stores, there is a staggering amount of diversity in the plant world. I'm always looking for the ideal plant varieties for my growing conditions, intended usage, and taste buds, but it can be really hard to wade through the masses of available cultivars to find the right plants for me. Hopefully, this post will help some people in similar growing conditions to mine (Western NY, zone 5b) to put together a few pieces of the puzzle.

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Hey, everyone!

Are you looking for a way to send out those last beautiful summer tomatoes and cucumbers in style? Do you need more genuinely delicious vegetarian recipes in your life? Do you crave Middle Eastern food?

If you answered "Yes" to any of the above, keep reading. We're going to falafel!

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Vanilla Browned Butter Baked Steel Cut Oats

I feel like I’ve been heavy on the updates and light on the how-to’s lately. I’d like to tip the scales a little, starting with this – a recipe for the best breakfast creation I’ve found in a long while.

Vanilla. Browned butter. Steel cut oats. Throw in the cinnamon and nutmeg that I left out of that already long title, and a pile of fresh summer berries, and you’ve got the most decadent breakfast that makes your body feel as good as your taste buds.

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Garden Failures, and a Winter Sowing Update

I've been thinking about failures a lot lately.

Two weeks ago, I noticed a strange and unpleasant odor coming from our enclosed porch. Since my brother had just come to stay with us and was sleeping in that room, I (unkindly) assumed the odor had something to do with him. I made him wash all his laundry again and check through all his stuff for that container of old, uneaten food I thought I smelled. And for the first two days that week, I scoured the house for the source of The Smell, puzzling as the sickly, rotten food odor grew stronger almost by the hour.

Suddenly, on the afternoon of day 2, I stopped. With nausea worse than that induced by The Smell washing over me, I walked slowly to the big upright freezer that lives in the enclosed porch, and opened the door.

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The Ultimate Farm Girl Skirt (Victory Patterns Madeleine Skirt)

You know those pieces of clothing that you wear as often as (hygienically) possible, and you still find yourself missing them when they're in the laundry? Well, I made one.

Introducing the Madeleine Skirt from Victory Patterns, or, as I've been calling it in my head, the ultimate farm girl skirt! This is my second serious foray into sewing for myself, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

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Asian Steamed Buns (Char Siu Bao)

I'm pretty excited about this post. We're getting into prime vegetable harvest season up here, and these buns, besides being a family favorite, are the perfect companion to a quick stir-fry of fresh garden veggies.

What are char siu bao? Pork or beef, slow-roasted in a sweet-salty Asian marinade, shredded to bits, and wrapped up in a tender steamed bun. In one bite, you get the sweetness of hoisin, the richness of sesame, the saltiness of soy, the pungency of garlic, and the deep caramel taste of well roasted meat. And mellowing the intense flavor of the meat is the bun - fluffy, yet chewy - like the inside of a freshly-baked loaf of bread.

Besides being utterly, addictively delicious, bao are inexpensive, easy to freeze, and quick to reheat. Making them the perfect summer side to whatever veggies are growing in abundance near you.

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