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Tyrolean Inn for Thanksgiving Dinner | New Leaf Markets, When You Are Preparing the Dinner
  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz County

November 17, 2010

Suki's Blog: Harvest
Keeping the Magic in the Holidays
This Week
Two Family Adventures on the Water
Potluck!
Click to view our Business Directory
 

(Holidays) Thanksgiving_TurkeyChasingBoy.jpgHow to keep it joyful, keep old traditions and add new ones? Along the same lines as 'less is more",  "keep it simple" works for me and that includes  traveling no further than locally and contributing the stuffing.  I remember one Thanksgiving when I tried to do it all because we were having guests who were new U.S. citizens.  Not to mention that I forgot to make the pies the day before! Exhausting! 

My idea of a traditional Thanksgiving used to be first a relish dish with green olives, black olives and celery, then the magnificently browned turkey spilling over with tasty stuffing crispy on the outside and begging to be snitched, plus mashed potatoes, squash, peas and giblet gravy. My father used to tell his bully turkey story every Thanksgiving.  Now I tell it. We topped it off with pumpkin or apple pie for dessert, homemade of course.  The best part was family at the table, and a good walk (or nap) after a midday dinner.

Nowadays with family spread all over the country and often around the world, there many Thanksgiving celebrations include eclectic gatherings of family and friends -with a great variety of potluck side dishes. These gatherings accommodate vegetarians and carnivores alike and make life a lot leasier for the host who usually provides the turkey. At our current gathering tradition "the senior man" barbecues the turkey.  I'll share some of the side dish recipes with you (below).  Saturday 9am, tune in Michael Olson as he interviews a guest expert on menus from the Colonial era and the Founding Fathers' impact on today's traditions.

Traditions are comforting and I'm thankful for all the additions that add to the festivities.

Have a great weekend getting ready, Parmalee

  Suki's Blog: Harvest

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Lots of schools have harvest festivals, but the best way you can connect your kids to the rhythms of the earth is to take part in the dance.

At our house, this happens in a variety of ways.

We went on a lovely school fieldtrip to Live Earth Farm. We've gone there before, and I can't give a higher recommendation for a free-form, relaxed introduction to a real, working farm. Although there are some enjoyable aspects of the much more popular, highly synchronized UCSC Farm visit, Live Earth beats UCSC Farm hands in the dirt!

Live Earth is a family farm. There's not a student on the place. The people you meet are farmers. One of them might have a toddler strapped to her back.

(Site Photos) Animals_ChickensinBarnyard.jpgLive Earth feeds real people. A number of the kids on our fieldtrip had taken part in their CSA, getting boxes of food delivered weekly.

Live Earth is a farm in the way that they used to be. It grows everything necessary for life, from a large barn full of chickens who supply the eggs (and the cuddles, if you can get to them fast enough) to the orchards, strawberry fields, and seasonal vegetables. You even get to see where the water is stored, and learn how the earth is humped like that to form places to trap water.

We also go weekly to our farmer's market. If there's any better way to get a city kid to understand the rhythm of natural life, I don't know it. One week they love the kumquats. But where are the kumquats this week? Gone. Just like the asparagus and the oranges. Yeah, we live in California, so you do get broccoli, greens, and cucumbers year-round. But still, every week at the farmer's market is a free education in natural eating. You can't always get what you want, and that's OK.  read more>>>>

  Keeping the Magic in the Holidays

(Holidays) Christmas_GirlRollingDough.jpgThere is lots of magic and potential for creating lifetime memories to be experienced during the holidays. But often it all gets lost in the shuffle, stress and cultural and family expectations of the holiday season. A time that is suppose to brighten our hearts during the dark winter months, ends up adding more darkness!

Here are some strategies to help keep the stress levels down:

1.) Take time to decide what aspect of the holiday that is most important to you. (examples: the big family dinner, visiting relatives, the gift sharing,  church services or community services/events, or the baking, etc.)

2.) After picking one or two important activities, prioritize your time to make sure these things take place. Then let go of the other aspects. DO NOT try to do it all!

3.) Create boundaries for your family by:

  • Saying "no" to too many holiday parties, to extended family functions in non-child-friendly homes, to traveling with a baby
  • Choosing only a couple of extra events to go to or hosting events that are
    simple, short, and low key (Remember: children are easily overwhelmed
    with too much noise and activities, and meltdowns are soon to follow.)
  •  Advocating for your family's needs (early bed-times, limited sugar,
  • downtime away from lots of people .)

4.) Keep your expectations realistic. Know your family and what works best for them and yourself.

(Site Photos) ColleenMurphy.jpg5.) Always step up the SELF-CARE during busy, stressful times. Taking care of yourself is the best way to take care of your family.

6.) Make your choices about the holidays from the inside-out, not the outside-in. Ask yourself what you WANT to do instead of what you SHOULD do.

Many of you know local Colleen Murphy from Together in the Park and her work as a certified Positive Discipline teacher. For parents seeking parenting skills tuneups or coaching on ways to handle an immediate crisis, Colleen can be found at FromtheHeadtotheHeart.com.

  This Week

Event CalendarBelow is only a partial list of upcoming events and activities so be sure to click on our EVENT CALENDAR so you do not miss anything >>

Use the PARENT PLANNER to click on events and resources you are interested in and click PRINT MY PLANNER to print or email your list.

HOLIDAY EVENTS  THANKSGIVING & WINTER CAMPS

 

(Icons/Graphics) SchoolHouseRed.jpgSchool Corner

 

 

 

Spring Hill K-5 Open House 11/17


Mount Madonna Pre-K - 12, Campus Tour 12/7


Spring Hill K-8, Middle School Information Day 12/7


Independent Schools Pre-K - 12th, Independent School Fair, 1/19/11

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Camp Flip

Thanksgiving and Winter

Camps

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Visit

Parent Perks

for

Fall Specials

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Thanksgiving Camps

for Kids

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Camp Flip
at Santa Cruz Sports Central

 

Adventure Horses
at Pleasant Valley Horse Club


Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry
at West Performing Arts

 

How To Train Your Dragon
at West Performing Arts

Art Classes

for Children and Adults!

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Advanced K - 8 Education

 

K-5 Open House 11/17, 9-11


Middle School Information Day 12/7, 9-11

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Spring Hill is a private school where the talents of bright, motivated and gifted children are recognized, nurtured and developed to their full potential.

SpringHill.org

250 California St, Santa Cruz

427.2641

(Business Logos) ChildishSantaCruz.jpg

Childish

Santa Cruz

 

*Clothing from local designers
*Natural wood items
*Recycled clothing
A twist on fashion *Hats *Scarfs *Shoes *Leg warmers
* Eclectic items and other fun products

Come shop in a ECO friendly, knowledgeable atmosphere!

 

1718 Brommer St at 17th
454.8208

Fresh Prep Kitchens Dinners Delivered to Your Door!

(Site Photos) TamalePie.jpg
Comfort food at its best!
Just like you would make at home, if you had the time...

Order online!
(Business Logos) FreshPrepLogo.jpg

 429.1390

504 A Front St, SC

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 Two Family Adventures on the Water

(Site Photos) AdventureSportsPescadero.jpgCome on a family kayak excursion! Saturday, 11/20, 8:00am to 2:00pm

Families on the water is a way for you and your family to commune in the calm waterways of the Monterey Bay. Our objective is to use the amazing sit-on-top kayak, in doubles and singles, as your vehicle to explore these aquatic spaces. Excursions include the beautiful inland lake of Loch Lomond Reservoir, Stillwater Cove looking out from Pebble Beach Golf course on the pristine Carmel Bay and the calm water of Pescadero Slough.

We will have a cooperative picnic on an isolated beach to enjoy the day with family and new friends. Our staff will call you in advance of the outing to answer any questions and give you your food assignment. This class requires no previous kayaking experience. An adult must accompany children under 18 years of age. An additional material fee of $15.00 is required at the class to cover the kayaking equipment.

Call Dennis at 458.3648, Adventure Sports, $35/adult, $25/kids up to 17yr

Learn to forage along the coast for tasty food! Sunday, 11/21, 6:00am to 1:00pm

Gathering wild food from the sea is one of life's great pleasures, bringing you closer to nature's bounty and beauty. Walking along the seashore, wading through tide pools and listening to the ocean's rhythm is an exhilarating way to energize your life and refresh your soul. Not only will you gather wonderful delicacies from the seashore, but you will also explore a vibrant-almost paradoxical world of elegant colors and mysterious creatures.

And of course, we will gather wild foods. Wild foods are natural foods-grown without pesticides or human manipulation. Certainly, wild foods are the most organic of foods. Learning to harvest wild food brings a new twist to home cooking, parties and camping. We are going to break the myth of foraging as some kind of a hunter-gatherer survival training and show you how to create delicious gourmet dishes. You will learn that foraging is very satisfying when you become a gourmet forager.

Each class includes an evening session for planning followed by a day of collecting and preparing a gourmet meal from the sea. Finishing touches for the feast will be assigned to students.

Call Dennis at 458.3648, Adventure Sports, 6 years old and up: $60/adult, $40/kids

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  Potluck!

Pumpkin Muffins With Crumble Topping
If you make these muffins around the holidays, stir a handful of dried cranberries or 1/4 cup chopped walnuts into the batter. You can also make pumpkin muffin tops with this recipe - just use a muffin-top pan and bake for about 10 minutes.


Topping:
1/4 cup store-bought gluten-free flour blend
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
4 tablespoons all-vegetable shortening
Confectioners' sugar, for sprinkling

Muffins:
1 3/4 cups store-bought gluten-free flour blend
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup canned pure pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract


Prep
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners.

2. Prepare the crumble topping. Whisk together the flour, brown sugar, granulated sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a medium bowl. Add the shortening and, using your fingers or a fork, blend together until coarse crumbs form.

3. To make the muffins: Whisk together the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large bowl.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, oil and vanilla until smooth. Add to the flour mixture; stir until just combined.

5. Fill each muffin cup almost full; top each with crumble topping. Bake until the muffins are springy to the touch and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan, set on a wire rack. Using a sieve, sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

12 muffins

 

Harvest-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
This hearty Thanksgiving entree is made of savory lentil cashew stuffing baked in juicy portobello mushrooms infused with aromatic herbs. It's topped off with a sliver of sweet tomato and fresh thyme leaves. This dish is packed with protein and fiber and will hold its own on the Thanksgiving table.

Ingredients
1 large yellow onion, small dice
1 cup cashews
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup cooked brown rice (or grain of choice)
1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves plus extra for garnish
6 portobello mushrooms, stems and gills removed
1 tomato, sliced in thin rounds
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper


Prep
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. In large skillet, sauté the onions and cashews with 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and sauté until onions are soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes.

3. In a large bowl combine onion mixture, brown rice, lentils, breadcrumbs, vegetable broth, basil and thyme. Mix together and season to taste with salt and pepper. (The stuffing can be made up to three days in advance and stored covered in the refrigerator.)

4. Brush both sides of mushroom caps lightly with olive oil and place top-side down on an oiled sheet pan. Stuff mushrooms with about 1/2 cup lentil cashew stuffing, then press one tomato slice on top of the stuffing. (The mushrooms can be stuffed and assembled on a baking tray the day before you plan to bake and serve them.)

5. Bake for approximately 30 minutes, or until the stuffing is browned and the mushroom begins releasing juices. Garnish with extra fresh thyme leaves.

Serves 6

Orange-Scented Sweet Potato and Fruit Gratin
The vegetarians and vegans at your Thanksgiving table will love this, but so will the meat eaters. Make sure to stir the mixture every 15 minutes as it bakes, so that the sweet potatoes on the top layer don't dry out.

Ingredients
2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
2 tart apples, such as Pink Lady, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 large ripe but firm pear, peeled, cored and sliced
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons mild honey, such as clover (substitute agave nectar for vegans)
2 tablespoons walnut oil, plus more for greasing the pan
2 teaspoons finely chopped or grated orange zest
2 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

Prep
1. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Oil a 3-quart gratin or baking dish with walnut oil. Toss together the sweet potatoes, apples and pear in a large bowl. Season with salt to taste.

2. In a small saucepan or in a microwave at 50 percent power, heat the honey (or agave nectar) and the walnut oil together just until warm. Add to the sweet potato mixture, add the orange zest and toss together well until the fruit and vegetables are well coated. Scrape into the baking dish, making sure to scrape out all of the honey and oil using a rubber spatula. Pour on the orange juice. Set the baking dish on a sheet pan and place in the oven.

3. Bake 1 hour, setting the timer so that you remember to stir the mixture at 15-minute intervals. Cover the pan with foil and continue to bake for another 1/2 hour, or until the sweet potatoes are thoroughly tender and the liquid in the pan is syrupy. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes (or longer) before serving.

Serves 6 to 8

 

 

 

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Dumplings With Radicchio
The dumplings are super light and pillowy, but if you prefer a firmer texture, add more gluten-free flour, add 1 tablespoon at a time, to the pasta dough.

Ingredients
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin puree
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup store-bought gluten-free flour blend
Salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 small head radicchio, sliced into 1/4-inch strips (about 2 cups)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Prep
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. In a large bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, flour and 1 teaspoon salt to make the dough.

2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and red pepper flakes and cook until softened, about five minutes; remove from the heat and set aside.

3. When the water comes to a boil, use a teaspoon to scoop up the dough and form a dumpling, then carefully slide the dumpling off the spoon and into the boiling water. Continue forming dumplings until half the dough is used. Cook until the dumplings float, then simmer for about two minutes; remove with a slotted spoon and add to the saucepan with the onion. Repeat with the remaining dumpling dough.

4. Return the saucepan with the onion to medium-high heat. Toss in three-quarters of the radicchio and stir gently until just wilted, about two minutes; season with 1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste. To serve, divide the dumplings and sauce among four bowls and top with the remaining radicchio and parsley.

Serves 4

 

 

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