Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back to School and Celebrating the Seasons

When we started eating seasonally, I bought a binder for each season. In each one I've included recipes based on ingredients that are available during those seasons as well as any holiday recipes or entertaining ideas that might be appropriate. 

Filling the seasonal binders has been a great way to keep me organized and connected in each season. I'm finding little reasons to celebrate the changing of the when this hot weather finally breaks and I can grow lettuce again. 

When the weather changes, or in my case, the calendar says it is finally fall, I reach for my orange fall binder and feel a little more energized to start celebrating the season with food and family.

I just finished reading The Rhythm of Family, a book by Amanda Blake Soule, and it inspired me to add a few pages to my binders. This family-centered book has seasonal recipes as well as seasonally inspired projects to do with your children. 

In case you are considering a community-wide effort to cook in harmony with the seasons, try hosting a Preservation Party with your friends, neighbors or even as a fundraiser for your child's school. When you see the mason jars lining your pantry it will bring back great memories. Just like our Halloween Pickle last year. There's nothing like opening a jar full of summer produce on a cold winter day.

Here are a few seasonal recipes, just in time for the start of school, to help you connect with the seasons and your family.

These recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free or can easily be made so with a few substitutions.


Apple Cinnamon Blender Waffles (add 1/4-1/2 cup peeled and chopped local apples from Love Creek or Bat Creek Orchards and Pecan Butter from LocalBaby available at Farmhouse Delivery)

For the scones I substituted gluten free oats, Amande almond milk yogurt, maple sugar, almond milk and Earth Balance spread

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal made with local apples

Lunches, Snacks and Treats

Pick up these cute snack bags from SnackTaxi and Rume at Wheatsville

Sliced Cucumber Rounds
 or sticks with Baby Zach's Hummus (available at Wheatsville)

Cucumber Melon "Sushi" - roll up cubed melon with thin strips of cucumber and secure with a toothpick and add fresh squeezed lime

Vanilla Pears (I might substitute some local honey in the recipe)

Pear Almond Cake made with local ripe, hard pears from Lightsey Farm

Baked Acorn Squash with Real Maple Syrup - Johnson's Backyard Garden has acorn squash at Wheatsville and almost all the farmers' markets around town

Peach Date Bars - Try this recipe with dried peaches, dates, local honey and Texas pecans!

Maple Oat n' Apple Dessert Jars made with local apples

Butter Lettuce Cups w/Carrots, Dewberry Hills Farm Chicken & Almondaise ( all available at Wheatsville)

Cucumber Apple Salsa made with farmers' market cucumbers and apples

Eggplant Fries - pick up some za'atar at Savory Spice Shop, a cute and friendly little spice shop at 1201B W. 6th Street in Austin, Texas

Dairy Free Chocolate Pudding - make with dates from the farmers' market


Sausage Stuffed Apples with Mashed Red & Sweet Potatoes from Johnson's Backyard Garden

You can try this recipe with local apples and Wheatville's Tipsy Cow Sausage or Sweet Italian Sausage. 

I made two versions of dressing - one with Annie's Horseradish Mustard for us and one with Annie's regular yellow mustard for our son.

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