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The Year in Review

Supporting Local Farms  Since the inception of our home delivery business in1999, we have always focused on purchasing our fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers first. Every week, I contact my farmer friends to find out what they currently have available that I can add to our boxes. If I need to find more produce, I then source it from farms outside our area. As your personal farmer, I really appreciate your dedication to the local farm community. With your purchases this year, you have blessed several local farm families:
 
Bartella Farm, Beld Family Farm, Blue Heron Farms, Bunny Lane Fruit, Filaree Farms, Fuentes Blueberries, Garden Treasures, Hedlin Farms, Highwater Farm, Horse Drawn Farms, Living Rain Farm, Motherflight Farms, Neff Farm, Okanagan Producers Marketing Association, Paul & Janice Madden Orchards, Ponderosa Orchards, Ralph’s Greenhouse, Rents Due Ranch, Skagit Flats Farm, Viva Farms, and of course, the Klesick Family Farm. 
 
Helping Local People  Another core principle at Klesick Family Farm is to give back to our community. One of the ways we do this is by offering our customers the opportunity to donate a box of good to local area food banks. We currently support food banks in Anacortes, Stanwood, Camano Island, Marysville, Lake Stevens, Everett, Monroe, Snohomish, and Edmonds. For every four boxes donated by our customers, we donate an additional box. This year, with the generous support of our customers, Klesick Family Farm delivered over 834 boxes of good (approximately $20,850 worth of quality organic fruits and vegetables) to local area food banks! This number includes the donation of 127 Thanksgiving Holiday Boxes and 40 Christmas Blessing Boxes. There is no way our farm could meet this need without your help. This is one of the most satisfying aspects of our business. I love meeting local needs with local resources! Thank you for partnering with us. 
If you would like to join us in helping provide quality organic produce to local food banks, either give us a call or order a food bank box under the Boxes category of the Product page of our website.
Thank you for a great 2012! We look forward to next year!
 
 
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Breakfast for dinner: Frittata with veggies and purple potatoes

INGREDIENTS:
 
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3 small purple potatoes, chopped in ½” pieces
½ red bell pepper, diced
½ yellow onion, diced
½ bunch kale, leaves separated from stems and chopped
½ tsp. black pepper
8 eggs, beaten
½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
4 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
 
PREPARATION
Prep everything before you start cooking because it all goes very fast.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat an oven-proof skillet (use cast iron if you have it) over medium-high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy. Remove from pan and drain.
Add olive oil to pan, then add chopped potatoes and cook for 5-6 minutes, until the potatoes start to become tender.
Add chopped onion, red bell pepper and kale, cook 2-3 minutes until kale turns bright green.
Add bacon back to the pan, stir.
Pour eggs into pan. As they cook, use a rubber spatula to lift up the edges and let the uncooked egg run underneath. Continue to do so around the pan. When the egg is no longer runny, slide pan into the oven and cook for 5-7 minutes until the egg is firm to the touch.
Let cool for a few minutes, then cut and serve.
 
Adapted recipe from: http://inspiredrd.com/2012/03/frittata-with-kale-and-purple-potatoes.html
Image: http://inspiredrd.com/2012/03/frittata-with-kale-and-purple-potatoes.html
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Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men

The frantic nature of our society leaves little room for peace, rest and quietness. We are bombarded with advertising to buy this or that, or messaging that makes us feel inferior if we don't dress this way or drive that car.

After this last week's tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut, I am feeling more impressed to hug my children a little longer, tell them I love them a little more often and not let the tug of this world rob my joy, my relationships.  Every night, when our family gathers to pray, our son Stephen prays like clockwork, "Lord, please don't let anyone get hurt tomorrow." Sunday night those words, the same words he prays every night, had a different meaning for me. In my heart, I agreed with him—"Yes, Lord please don't let anyone get hurt tomorrow."
 
And now, the week before Christmas, our country has to reconcile the sadness of these senseless deaths. This tragedy stands in stark contrast to what Christmas should represent. Today Christmas, is not at all about Christmas. It is more about buying happiness, instead of investing in happiness. But really happiness isn't the goal, but rather peace, a deep abiding peace. A peace that says, no matter what is happening all around me, it will be okay. In our communities, in our sphere of influence, in our families there are real needs. Needs like a loss of a loved one, cancer, divorce, deployment, unemployment, medical bills or too many bills that can't be soothed by a gift, but maybe by a hug or true friendship.
 
Ironically, the antidote to the heaviness for many of us, is the reason we are supposed to celebrate Christmas. Some 2000 years ago a gift was given to humanity. A baby whose message was so radical it changed the course of history.  But we have to stop, take a breath and consider what the baby Jesus came to offer—peace (not temporary) and joy (not fleeting). He said to think about how you can please God and love your neighbor as you would like to be loved. Of course, He said more, but can you imagine a society that honored God and also considered others as more important than themselves. There is no room for murder, when we consider pleasing the God who loves us and if we put others comfort, safety and needs before our own.
 
Those families are forever changed—scarred because of what happened. But what is our response? Should we hate this young man or his family? No, there is no hope in that, but we should hate the act of violence and its motives. I believe the response to this tragedy is to pray for those families and that community. And then, take a hard look at our own lives and honor those families, by making sure our loved ones know we love them. I am sure that every one of those families wish that they could redo something from that morning, that week, that year, but they can't and it could haunt them forever. But we can still strengthen, restore or make amends with our family members, no matter how old or young. It doesn't matter if something has placed a wedge in your relationships; work to remove it now, because you still can, because it would be better.
 
Almost always, peace comes when we offer peace, hope comes when offer hope, and forgiveness comes when we forgive. I think the best gifts this Christmas are the ones that money can't secure. I am sure that each of us can plant some "seeds" of peace, hope or forgiveness as gifts and begin to strengthen or rebuild our relationships. It will take work, maybe some humility or actual forgiveness, but the reward of restoring or beginning to restore a relationship is a gift that, sadly, is no longer available to those families in Newtown, but is to us.
 
Can we honor those families by building, restoring or living "I love you" this Christmas?
 
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The Future of American Agriculture: Donuts

I just returned from a farm conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Great Lakes Expo is a huge farm conference with lots of classes on fruit, vegetable, direct farm marketing and greenhouse operations.  I attended a myriad of classes and even a bus tour. 

The bus tour was a day-long trip through southwest Michigan, which included several stops at direct farm markets or farm stands.  Two things became apparent almost immediately: 1) the Midwest has a huge U-pick culture for strawberries, blueberries, tart cherries, peaches, and apples (most of the farmers had farm stands and U-pick operations) and 2) no one on our bus was organic or even toying with becoming organic.
 
The other obvious and extremely profitable venture for these farms was donuts. Most of these farms confessed that 33% of their sales came from donuts. Round little donuts fried in Crisco (yuck) and dipped in a myriad of icings, sugars or glazes. You should have the heard the lively interactions on how to make the perfect donut. I would have never imagined all the nuances of making donuts, the amount of water, temperature of water, and grade of Crisco (super fry C being the white stuff of choice). Even the humidity could affect the quality of donuts. These farmers were giddy with the amount of money they were making off donuts. One farmer was happy to tell us that she at least added canned pumpkin to their, yep you guessed it, pumpkin donuts. All of the farm stand operators did farm; they just also sold lots of donuts. 
 
Needless to say, Joelle and I were feeling a little out of place. After all, our passion is growing food –food with nutrients that will actually feed your body, not offend it.  And all of the grocery items we sell have to be organic and at a minimum GMO free. We are not interested in selling any products that are not a part of the solution to America’s health crisis.
 
I know how hard it is to farm and get a crop from farm to fork, but donuts??? Ironically, one of the reasons Joelle and I travelled to Michigan for a farm conference was because Michigan agriculture is more similar to Western Washington agriculture. And since we are in the market for smaller scale farm equipment, we thought we would be able touch, feel and kick some tires on this type of equipment. We didn’t find a commercial dehydrator, but we did get to look at some postharvest vegetable washing equipment and some amazing harvesting equipment for potatoes, apples and strawberries.
 
But back to donuts, I am also considering building a commercial kitchen. So we can, once again, offer our customers an organic line of pies, muffins and sandwich bread. We have had the hardest time finding a partner that would be willing to bake for us. So as you can imagine, at a conference where DONUTS are the rage, there were a few purveyors of baking equipment. And being the opportunist, or entrepreneur, I got to think through the equipment I would need to start baking bread with people who use and also sell the equipment.  
 
Now, hold on! We are still in the design phase and researching if it makes sense for us to make this investment. I could use your help, though. Would you let me know if you would be interested in having organic whole wheat sandwich style breads delivered to your homes?
 
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Celeriac and Apple Soup

INGREDIENTS

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large celeriac (roughly 700g), peeled and chopped into 1″ cubes
1 large potato (roughly 350g), peeled and chopped into 1″ cubes
1.5 litres vegetable stock
2 large dessert apples, cored, peeled and chopped into 1″ cubes
salt and pepper, to taste
up  to 3 Tbs. lemon juice (optional)
cream, buttermilk or olive oil (to serve)
 
PREPARATION
1. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan and add the onion. Cook for 5-8 minutes over medium heat, until soft and translucent.
 
2. Add the celeriac and potato and stir until well coated; cook for another minute or two. Pour in the stock and bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer the mixture for 20-25 minutes, until both celeriac and potato are tender.
 
3. Add the apple to the soup and cook for a further 5 minutes, until the apple has softened. Remove soup from heat and purée using an immersion blender. Taste, and add salt and pepper as needed. If your apples were very sweet, you may want to add some or all of the lemon juice, as well. Serve hot, drizzled with cream, buttermilk or olive oil.
 
Recipe and image from: http://www.kitchenist.com/cooking/soup/match-made-celeriac-and-apple-soup/2073
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Lets slow down and enjoy the holidays

Did you find enough time to enjoy Thanksgiving? One wouldn't want to slow down and actually talk to someone during a meal, let alone consider swallowing and digesting our Thanksgiving meal before heading out to SHOP Thursday night! Let's be real, what is the big hurry? You would think that Americans couldn't wait to stand in line to support the Chinese economy. Heaven forbid that Americans would have to, well, relax with family and friends for an entire day.

On the other hand, Thanksgiving had been dominated by football for far too long, but now the other half of America can enjoy their favorite sport—shopping. Before long, I am sure that Congress will allow you to "Itemize" shopping as a deductible expense from your income taxes. Why you ask? Because soon the lofty legislators from the hallowed halls of Congress will realize that to actually go out and physically shop requires exercise and when one shops they buy, buy, buy, and that is good for the economy. And voila, the Anti-Obesity Shopping Stimulus Act will be overwhelmingly passed and enacted by Congress.
 
But there will be detractors, like Amazon and other fine online retailers, clamoring for their fair share of stimulus dollars. Feeling left out, they will appeal to Congress to pass the Overeaters Stimulus Bill that would encourage Americans to shop from their pajamas and conserve fossil fuels, since they are no longer able to button their skinny jeans and take advantage of the Anti-Obesity Shopping Stimulus Act.
 
Yes, Americans everywhere can rest assured that Congress will do all it can to pass very little meaningful legislation. So it will be up to us fellow Americans to buy only those gifts that will add value, not to overspend, and not to go into credit card debt this Christmas. And just maybe our congressional legislators will take a nod from main street and not Wall Street, when they see us average Americans making good financial choices—the kind of choices that help our family live within our financial means.
 
My goals for the Christmas season are simple: enjoy family, friends, and good food. My goal for New Years is that my scale will say the same as it did today (give or take a pound).
 
Cheers for a wonderful Christmas season! 
 
 
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Healthy Holiday Eating

Are you rushing around yet? It's the season for holiday plans, schedules, and entertaining friends and family. It's also a time of dietary excess, increased stress, and let's not forget colds and flu. Statistics show that December is the most stressful month of the year. That, and the cold weather alone, can wreak havoc on a person. Rest assured! There are things you can do to prepare yourself for the holidays and prevent certain discomforts that can accompany this season.

 
Growing up in my family, it was considered impolite not to sample food being offered, especially if Grandma made it. We would eat and eat, sometimes having three to four holiday meals in one day! Some of you can no doubt identify with this situation. To help you avoid overeating during the holidays, here are some tips. 
 
First, avoid starving yourself early in the day to "save room" for the holiday meal. The easiest way to overeat is to create maximum hunger this way. Small frequent meals are always better. 
 
Second, remember to drink plenty of water. This will prevent you from serving and eating a huge portion which you will "have to finish," since you "don't want it to go to waste." 
 
Third, decide on a maximum and reasonable portion size for the meal and stick to it. After eating, drink some hot herbal tea to promote relaxation.
 
With too much good food comes heartburn. To decrease your chance of getting the discomfort and pain of heartburn, start the meal with apple cider vinegar. This helps increase digestive enzymes and break down foods faster. Another way to avoid stomach upset is to use deglycyrrhized licorice (DGL). Licorice is an herb that stimulates the cells lining your digestive tract to produce mucus. The mucus, in turn, protects the stomach and esophagus from digestive acid. DGL can help tremendously with heartburn or food-related excess stomach acid or if you have esophageal reflux (backflow of stomach acid). A typical prescription is to chew and swallow two 400mg tablets 10 minutes before each meal to help keep your digestive tract in order. Talk to your ND to find out what's best for you. 
 
by Rebecca Dirks, N.D.
Associate Physician, NW Center for Optimal Health in Marysville
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Butternut Squash, Lentil and Quinoa Salad

INGREDIENTS
1/2 butternut squash, peeled & deseeded
3-4 garlic cloves, skin on
1/2 fresh chili, sliced
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup boiling water
400 grams/14 ounces cooked lentils
1 teaspoon cumin powder
Olive oil
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Salt to taste
Fresh coriander/cilantro leaves for garnish
 
 
PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 356 degrees F. Peel and deseed 1/2 a butternut squash. Dice into 2.5cm (1-inch) cubes and place them on parchment-paper-lined baking tray as well as garlic cloves and chili. Drizzle over some olive oil, cumin powder and salt and toss all the ingredients until well combined. Then bake them in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until the squash feels tender and fluffy when pricked with a fork. 
 
While the squash is roasting in the oven, pour 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1 cup of hot boiling water in a medium-sized pot. Start cooking over medium-high flame until it starts to boil. Then let it simmer by reducing to low-medium flame and cover with a lid. In the meantime, rinse and drain the lentils. Set aside. For the quinoa, cook until the water is ALMOST absorbed. When there’s just a little water left at the bottom of the pot (I’ll say about 2 tablespoons worth of water left), turn off the flame and leave the lid on. This will allow the quinoa to completely absorb the water without sticking to the pot. Fork through the quinoa so that it’s light and fluffy. Set aside.
 
Add lentils to the quinoa and toss gently until well combined. Season lightly with salt. Add roasted butternut squash, garlic (skin-off and thinly chopped) and chili to the lentil-quinoa mixture. Drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice over the salad and toss to mix. Just before serving, garnish with some coriander/cilantro leaves. You can serve this salad warm or cold.
 
Photo and Recipe Courtesy of Fuss Free Cooking
 

 

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KFF Thanksgiving Guide

Add color, flavor, and texture to the holiday feast with these inventive new takes on our favorite fall veggies using the produce from your Box of Good! 

 

Your Holiday Box includes:

Granny Smith Apples, 2 lbs.* 
Cranberries, 8 oz.* 
Satsumas, 2 lbs. 
Garnet Yams, 2 lbs.
Green Beans, 1 lb.
Carrots, 2 lbs
Yellow Potatoes, 3 lbs.*
Celery, 1 bunch 
Yellow Onions, 1 lb.*
Acorn Squash, 1 ea.*
Breadcubes for Stuffing, 1 lb.* 

*Recipes:

Roasted Squash with Mint and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds
{Simple and Amazing} Cranberry Sauce Recipe 
Thyme Roasted Apples and Onions
Spiced Glazed Carrots with Sherry and Citrus
Slow Roasted Green Beans with Sage
Hasselback Yams
Creamy Mashed Yukon Gold Potatoes
Old Fashioned Bread Stuffing
*Most recipes serve 8-10, please adjust accordingly.
 

 

 

Roasted Squash with Mint and Toasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients
2 medium acorn squash or small sugar pumpkins (about 3 lb. total)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1 tablespoon aged balsamic vinegar
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, torn
 
Preparation
Preheat oven to 425°. Cut squash into 1½”-thick wedges, leaving skin on. Scrape off seeds and strings with a large spoon and discard. Coat wedges with 3 Tbsp. oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay wedges cut side down on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast, carefully turning halfway through, until golden brown on both sides, about 30 minutes.
Heat remaining 1 Tbsp. oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add pumpkin seeds to cook, swirling pan often, until seeds are puffed and brown but still have a bit of green, 4–5 minutes. Transfer seeds to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt. DO AHEAD Squash and toasted pumpkin seeds can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand separately at room temperature. Rewarm squash before serving.
Transfer squash to a large platter and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle squash with torn mint leaves and toasted pumpkin seeds.
 
Recipe and image http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/11/roasted-squash-with-mint-and-toasted-pumpkin-seeds#ixzz2CFtIGIii

 

 

 

 

{Simple and Amazing} Cranberry Sauce Recipe

Ingredients
12 oz bag fresh cranberries
3/4 cup orange or satsuma juice
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup white sugar
 
Preparation
Place all the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook on medium-high for 15-20 minutes or until most of the liquid has reduced – stirring occasionally. You’ll hear the cranberries popping – don’t worry, that’s what you want them to do. Remove from heat and serve. Cranberry sauce can be made days ahead and brought to room temperature or slightly heated before serving.

 

 

Thyme Roasted Apples and Onions

Ingredients

4 cups apple cider
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt plus additional for sprinkling
6 7- to 8-ounce onions, halved through root end, each half cut into 6 wedges
6 teaspoons coarsely chopped fresh thyme, divided
6 apples (about 2 3/4 pounds total), peeled, halved, cored, each half cut into 4 wedges
 
Preparation
Boil cider in large saucepan until reduced to 2/3 cup, about 28 minutes. Whisk in butter. Season glaze with 1 teaspoon coarse salt. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 week ahead. Cover; chill. Rewarm; whisk before using.
Position 1 rack in top third and 1 rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 425°F. Butter 2 large rimmed baking sheets. Toss onions in large bowl with 2 teaspoons thyme and 3 tablespoons glaze. Arrange in single layer on 1 sheet. Toss apples in same bowl with 2 teaspoons thyme and 3 tablespoons glaze. Arrange in single layer on second sheet. Sprinkle onions and apples with coarse salt and pepper.
Roast onions on upper oven rack 10 minutes. Place apples on bottom rack. Roast onions and apples 20 minutes. Remove both sheets from oven. Drizzle remaining glaze evenly over onions and apples. Reverse position of sheets. Roast 20 minutes longer.
Increase oven temperature to 475°F. Roast onions and apples until tender and slightly caramelized, watching closely to prevent burning, about 10 minutes longer. Transfer onions and apples to large bowl. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining 2 teaspoons thyme.
 
Recipe and image http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2009/11/thyme_roasted_apples_and_onions#ixzz2CFqUUojl

 

Spiced Glazed Carrots with Citrus

Ingredients
2 bunches of thin carrots (2 lb.), cut into 1" pieces (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more for seasoning
12 whole black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon fresh orange juice
2 pinches ground cloves
1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated satsuma zest or orange zest
 
Preparation
Bring carrots, butter, 1/2 tsp. salt, peppercorns, bay leaf, and 1/2 cup water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 7–8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer carrots to a medium bowl.
Add orange juice and ground cloves to skillet and cook until glaze forms, 7–8 minutes. Stir in carrots. Season carrots to taste with salt. DO AHEAD Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature. Rewarm over medium heat before continuing, adding water by teaspoonfuls if dry.
Transfer to a serving plate. Garnish with tarragon and celementine zest.
 
Image and recipe adapted from http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2011/11/spiced-glazed-carrots-with-sherry-and-citrus#ixzz2CFqrbFSW

Slow Roasted Green Beans with Sage

Ingredients
2 1/2 pounds tender green beans, trimmed
3 bunches scallions, trimmed with 1-inch green tops still attached, halved lengthwise
6 large garlic cloves, each cut lengthwise into 4 slices
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
 
Preparation
Preheat oven to 375°. Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and season with pepper. Toss to evenly incorporate. Transfer beans to a large rimmed baking sheet.
Roast beans, stirring every 10 minutes, until wilted, shrunken, and browned at edges, about 1 hour. (You may need to stir more often toward end for even browning.)
 
Recipe and image http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/11/slow-roasted-green-beans-with-sage#ixzz2CFrHVysY

 

Hasselback Yams

Ingredients
2 yams
2 tablespoons butter (chopped in little pieces)
2 tablespoons applesauce
2 tablespoons maple syrup 
1/4 cup chopped pecans 

 

1/4 cup dried cranberries (optional)
1/4 cup peeled and finely diced apple
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 pinch salt
Olive oil
 
Preparation
Preheat oven to 400. Wash and peel the sweet potatoes 3/4 of the way, leaving some peel on the bottom of the potato. Lay wooden chop sticks on each side of the potato and slice as thinly as you can. Rub them with a little olive oil. Oil a baking dish or line it with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, mix together the rest of the ingredients. Carefully try to push some of the stuffing mixture between the slices. Pile the remaining stuffing on top of each potato. Drizzle any remaining liquid over the potatoes. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 10 – 15 minutes, being careful not to burn the topping. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving.
 
Recipe and image http://www.myrecessionkitchen.com/2011/11/hasselback-sweet-potatoes.html

 

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients
4 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup cottage cheese, pureed
2 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
optional garnish:
chives
melted butter
 
Directions
1. Place potatoes in a large pot and fill with water. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil.
2. Boil potatoes until fork tender, about 25 minutes.
3. While potatoes boil, place cream, butter and garlic in a small saucepan and simmer. Once mixture comes to a simmer, remove from heat.
4. Drain potatoes in a colander and return back to the pot. Lightly mash the potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
5. Pour cream mixture over the potatoes, a little at a time and mash the potatoes until all the cream mixture has been used and potatoes are smooth.
6. Stir in pureed cottage cheese and sliced chives and season with salt and pepper.
7. Top with remaining chives and melted butter, if desired. Serve warm.

Recipe and image http://spoonforkbacon.com/2011/11/heavenly-mashed-potatoes/

Old Fashioned Bread Stuffing

Ingredients
1/2 cup butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onion
1 loaf French bread or baguette, chopped into small pieces
1 tbsp. thyme
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 large eggs, beaten
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth 
 
Preparation
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook celery in butter until almost tender. Add onions, and cook until lightly browned and tender. Set aside. Place the bread into a large bowl and add spices. Add butter mixture and egg, and toss lightly to distribute. Moisten the mixture to your desired consistency with chicken broth. Transfer to a 13 x 9 inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
TIP: For Cranberry Walnut Stuffing, add 1 cup dried cranberries and 1 cup chopped walnuts to the bread mixture. 
 
Recipe and image http://www.thecomfortofcooking.com/2010/02/old-fashioned-bread-stuffing.html
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Planning Thanksgiving side dishes.

 

Cookbooks surround me with pages folded and creased to mark recipes I’m eager to try. While I plan holiday dishes, in the background PBS plays Julia Child confidently laying a pliable dough into a round French pan. It’s no surprise that Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays—it’s a day devoted to cooking, eating, family and thinking about what makes you thankful. I can think of little better.
I’ve had my holiday menu planned for weeks. The turkey is stuffed to maximum capacity with an herby and sausage-laden stuffing. Potatoes, heavy in cream and butter, surrender to a cap of caramelized onion gravy. There are buttery rolls, a tart cranberry relish, sweet potatoes that lean more towards sweet than savory and a bright, raw carrot salad that mightily attempts to break up the holiday heft with lemon and red onion. 
 
Earlier this summer, I praised the wonders of raw vegetables, but these bright, clean and nutritious salads are even more welcomed in the winter when heavy braises, creamy gratins and rich cuts of meat are commonplace. Salads, such as this carrot and red onion one, are a necessary reprieve from the typical holiday fare. 
 
Of all the raw vegetable salads, carrots seem the least non-threatening. My kids crunch on them happily. The other day my oldest son complained that his eye was hurting. He asked, “May I have a carrot?” Not only does he like them, he also knows carrots are good for his eyes. I didn’t have the heart to tell him they don’t quite work that quickly, but hey, he didn’t complain about the pain after that, so what do I know?
 
While fresh salads may not make the popular Thanksgiving menu items, I deem them necessary. Of course I love the potatoes, stuffing and marshmallow topped sweet potatoes, but it’s crisp, fresh dishes like these that help balance the meal and break up the richness. They add vibrant color to the table and plate, mix up quickly and are a welcomed fresh bite. 
We have much for which to be thankful.
by Ashley Rodriguez
 
 
Recipe
CARROT SALAD WITH RED ONION AND LEMON
Serves 4
Ingredients: 
4 carrots, grated or peeled to get long ribbons (about 4 cups)
½ red onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh parsley
Salt & pepper
 
Directions:
Combine everything and mix well. 
Can be made a couple hours in advance then refrigerated.
Serves 6-8 as a side dish Adapted from www.realsimple.com