The house is still divided, folks. I don’t know if you recall the time we talked about how Allison is not a huge fan of potatoes (but, like…how…? amiright?) and in a specific sweet potato french fry post, I shared that I’m doing my best to change her ways and turn her into a potato fan. “How’s that going,” you may ask?
I did an attempt #2, and not with more of those colorful and vitamin packed sweet potatoes, but with some beautiful gemstone potatoes. The results: INCREDIBLY TASTY and…
I, Ash Abbey, the potato-loving-Abbey-sister-for-forever, will be eating them all…just me…for the week. I had to comfort the gemstone potatoes and let them know that it’s certainly not their fault that Allison didn’t enjoy them, I don’t think she’ll get past the starchy-potato texture that seems to throw her off the most. But, their stunning looks and their taste, so warm, garlic-y and with a tang from the dill we received in our Steadfast Farm CSA box, made them so delightful. They make for a delicious buddy to my morning eggs, are a new topping in my lunch salads, and are a hearty side dish to my dinners. Here’s to hoping that the lil’ one will love on potatoes one day, and I simply cannot wait to make this recipe again for the holidays!
Productivity. This has been the word of the week. Allison has wrapped up her finals FOR GOOD. That means she is officially on Winter-Break-Mode. Woooooooooooo! Her productive late nights studying by the light of our Christmas tree have paid off, or so we’re both hoping as we await for her final grades to be posted…*cue scary-uncertain-piano music* (but she’s a smart cookie, her grades are gonna be stellar).
We’ve also been productively maintaining the cleanliness of our little apartment. It’s amazing what two busy girls can do to this place, and mainly what two busy-hungry-always-cooking girls can do to this kitchen (seriously could use two sinks in this place — maybe we drop that in the suggestion box in the apartment office).
And as school is wrapped up and as the apartment is scrubbed and pampered, there’s now another area of our lives where some productivity could be used… Christmas shopping.
Chemistry and nutrition textbooks with worn down spines have been sprawled about the coffee table and the living room floor. Flash cards are sprinkled around our Christmas tree and have lodged themselves in between our couch cushions. It’s the heat of finals season and Allison has been slaving away, and this brutal academic season has caught our attention and we wanted to share a bit more science and research with you all — to share with you why we truly love to share these health-focused recipes that we create in this kitchen of ours.
Harvard’s School of Public Health has done countless research on nutrition and diet, and how our diet can help to prevent numerous health complications:
You ever have one of those days, or maybe even weeks, where you feel like a rain cloud, with all its thunder and all its lightening, all its rain and all its hail, is constantly lingering above you? And there’s not a single umbrella or raincoat that you can use to deflect the storm?
This is one of those weeks for Ash Abbey, and that’s why I’ll be taking the reigns on this post today.
I won’t plug you into the details of my ridiculous speeding ticket and the phone calls from friends of the past, but I will place you into my yesterday and into my kitchen where I was creating this soup to make a warming post for you all — which this is! But not entirely what I had in mind…
There used to be a time in Allison’s life where quesadillas basically equaled life.
We grew up on our momma making us cheese crisps quite regularly, maybe daily. And for those that don’t know, a cheese crisp has many different household nicknames, but it’s basically a big tortilla topped with shredded cheese, popped in the microwave for just one minute and BAM! The best snack/meal for the little Abbey’s. Al would have hers cut with the pizza cutter and would eat ’em plain, slice by slice. I’d have mine uncut with a spoonful of Pace chunky salsa plopped in the middle, tearing off piece after piece for dipping.
And I believe that this easily-crafted, sentimental meal stuck with Allison real strong. I have countless memories of us snug inside a booth in a colorful Mexican restaurant, me dying to eat up a bean burrito that was bigger than both my hands and Allison quickly and confidently announcing she’s getting the cheese crisp — oh, and can we get more of those free chips? Sweet, thanks.
Transitioning into the cooler weather generally means it’s time to transition to warmer drinks, those that steam so gracefully inside a cozy mug. But, what about those delicious cool drinks? Do we just table those until the warm rays come out again in Spring? Like..smoothies…we don’t just forget about those, right?!
Us Abbey girls, may be incapable of transitioning out of smoothies during this cooler season (even if we’re still waiting for our dang apartment complex to switch over to the heaters, but we suppose that our snuggly snowflake socks will keep us warm until then). And if we rid ourselves of smoothies, how else would we consume our hefty greens and blend their flavors with the sweet and tangy frozen fruits shoved deep into our freezer? We simply can’t and we simply can’t enjoy these bad boys warm (ew…could you imagine?).
The mornings are darker these days. The air is crisper when we leave our apartment. As we stumble down our concrete steps to the parking lot, we wish we slipped on a jacket just to get us comfortably to the door, to the car, and to that moment when the car heater finally warms up its chilled interior, us included. And even though the afternoons are still reaching the mid-70’s, our Arizona blood gets a shock during the dusky mornings when we’re popping our cars into Drive before the sun has greeted the day.
These darker mornings are ones where our alarms are snoozing more often, our beauty routines are shortened, we’re daily re-wearing our favorite jeans to minimize outfit frustration, and are lingering in the kitchen longer with eye-watering yawns to cook up some breakfast. We wanted and needed to add some pizzazz to these dark and slow mornings, and believed we could do that best in our lil’ kitchen, the one room where we meet each other in the morning before the two of us have to rush off to our days.
It was an early morning today as we loaded up our kitchen tote bags (that one we snagged from a food festival covered in orange and luminous carrots is just about ready to rip apart, so thank goodness it held together today) with all the cooking gadgets, ingredients, and final recipe products needed for our second news segment on Fox 10 Phoenix News. We were invited to share some healthy Thanksgiving dishes that could serve as alternatives to some of the usual decadent, buttery, and sugary holiday recipes. Thus, we created a three recipes that are packed with color which will just pop on your holiday table spread: honey roasted vegetables, stuffed spaghetti squash, and a healthy pumpkin pie recipe. We were thrilled to showcase these three recipes, and we honestly cannot wait to make these for our family this Thanksgiving (the pumpkin pie! Oh man. We cannot wait to have our momma try this, we think she’s gonna love it!).
In the heart of Gilbert, AZ is an 18 acre Certified Organic farm called Steadfast Farm at Agritopia. With the local farming passion and oversight of Erich and Yvonne Schultz, the farm has been busy with the growing of various fruits and vegetables and the raising of chickens, pigs, ducks, turkeys, and honeybees that combined create a local, and sustaining ecology of its own. Steadfast Farm aims to feed our community with the finest, organic, and quality produce — focusing passionately on providing a fresh bounty to local markets, local restaurants (including some of our most favorite places to eat!), and to their CSA members…which is a new + exiting thing for us Abbey girls!
It seems that the past month we have been begging for the mornings to be crisper, wishing to see the shedding leaves collect outside near our apartment stairs. It’s a wee bit torturous eyeballing our chunky sweaters, those that fall on our bodies like a snuggling blanket, and our cargo jackets, those fashioned to warm us for our adventures in the trees, crammed in the corners of our closet, hibernating for just one more month. When we flip the calendar month to October we immediately envision that the weather genie has changed the temperature of the winds, has called upon the pumpkin and squash gardens to multiply like rabbits, and has matched the outside colors to the warm oranges and reds of the Starbucks’ chalkboard designs, layered in pumpkin-this and cinnamon-that.
However, we live in this land known as Phoenix, Arizona. This desert world that at times kindles daydreaming over the Pinterest and Instagram shots of the “perfect” fall season: the layered knits, the dirt paths disappearing into a forest of yellow and orange, and the warming cups of chai tea.