Some Extra Holiday Flavor Spunk


As the seasons change, the weather gets colder, and we prepare for the holidays, I break out my old family recipes coupled with my new additions, and am reminded to honor the earlier times. Hardship was the symbol of the season, and many relied on root vegetables such as potatoes, beets and carrots to survive these harsh months. Many of us (tho not all) are fortunate enough to no longer face these challenges, and get to prepare for delightful feasts, warm treats and too much eats. If your family is anything like mine, some holidays you prepare for many kin to come to your home, and some others you bag your treasures and delicious delights and travel to another's kitchen. Either way, here are some fabulous dips and spices that will compliment many dishes, be it the ones you make or the ones already waiting for you, as well as some delicious easy treats that you can make with the littles, or surprise the family with. And of course, a nod to the recipes of old that kept our ancestors thriving during this trying season, a Beet Cake recipe, proving even when restricted to rooted vegetables, you can make a divine treat. Enough sentiments, lets get to it.

SPICE BLENDS FOR THE SEASON

ALL PURPOSE SEASONING:

2 parts oregano

1 part rosemary

1 part fennel

1 part thyme

1/2 part garlic powder (altho I am ridiculously heavy handed with my garlic use, I don't ever measure it, true story)

PUMPKIN SPICE

1/2 part nutmeg powder

1 part cloves

2 parts ginger (or to taste, i have done it with and without, still very yummy)

4 parts cinnamon powder

CELERY SALT

(amazing in potato salads and marinated beans)

2 parts ground celery

1 part sea salt

BUTTERS, DIPS AND HOMEMADE CHIPS

AUTUMN BUTTER

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp pumpkin spice (see above)

1/4 whipping cream (or vegan substitute with proper thickening agent)

1 cup butter (soft)

Directions: mix together and beat the devil out of it!

*note: This is SO GOOD on a slice of warm homemade fresh whole wheat loaf OR cinnamon chips my kids and i love to make, which the quick and dirty way is take a pizza slicer, slice flour tortilla shells into triangles, brush with butter, sprinkle with cinn/sugar and bake at 365 for 4-7 minutes (watch closely they burn and get too

hard fast!)

PESTO:

1 cup basil leaves

1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

2 tsp olive oil

1 tsp chopped almonds (optional, i don't use them, Gram forgive me lol)

1 tsp lemon juice

Pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper (whats a pinch anyway? that could vary depending on the size of your hands Gram, I'm JUST SAYIN!)

Directions: Pulse together in a food processor and enjoy with jicama, wafer crackers or whatever you prefer! Sourdough bread mmmmmmmm..

BLACK BEAN

1 can drained and rinsed low sodium black beans (or fresh cooked even better! , but mom life, make it work right!? No shame here!)

1/2 cup salsa

1 garlic clove (I'm sorry ONE!? hahahaha NOPE *dumps in too many)

1/2 tsp Cumin

Salt and lime juice to taste

Directions: Food processor is your best friend once again..

CHIPS-O-EASY-BAKE

Slice desired amount of Jicama or beets into rounds and layer on a greased non stick pan, spray with nonstick spray and sprinkle with desired seasonings. Bake at 375 about 15-20 min (you want browning edges)

OR

My personal fav...peel and slice red and white potatoes into chips (the big blade on your cheese grater can be a pal if you don't have a produce slicer, they'll be rustic looking tho FOR SURE lol) Grab a large bowl with lid, pour melted coconut oil and some olive oil in with the slices, put in desired seasonings (dear LAWD put the lid on tight) and SHAKE IT OFF SHAKE IT OFF SHAKE SHAKE sorry...

and then spread on greased cookie sheet and bake at 375 for 20-30 min (give or take, the olive oil softens the potatoes for you, the coconut oil crisps them up, its like a delicious war in your oven!) Allow to cool

This next one is NOT mine, however, it is made in this house multiple times a year and is so unbelievably good its ought to be against the law...Thank you Emily Tinsman, The Little Kitchen Witch, for this family fav years running..

OOEY-GOOEY APPLE CARAMEL PULL APART BREAD

Ingredients:

2 cans (17.5oz ea) Cinnamon Rolls (Stay tuned for my Vegan cinn rolls recipe soon, and you can use that as well, so good!)

2 green apples, peeled and chopped

1 cup raisins

Apple juice (to plump raisins, we don't drink juice in this house, I've made it many times without this step and its still AMAZING!)

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1/2 tsp Nutmeg

3/4 cup butter, melted

1 1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup cream

pinch of salt

Heat oven to 350. Grease a bundt can pan LIBERALLY. Put raisins in a bowl with just enough apple juice to cover them and microwave for 30 seconds. (I'm not a fan of microwaves, you can simmer on low for a few min for the same result!)

1. Separate cinn rolls and cut each into quarters. Put pieces into bowl with lid, Cinnamon and sugar and SHAKE SHAKE SHAKE! (the kids love this part...just make sure they put that lid on tight, sugar never sweeps up all the way, you slide for weeks....trust Mama Cass on this one...)

2. Caramel sauce: Mix brown sugar, salt and melted butter in a pan and heat just to boil, then add cream. Stir to mix and heat until JUST bubbling on edges.

3. Pour 1/3 caramel sauce on bottom of bundt pan, put some pieces of cinn rolls on sauce, sprinkle some raisins and apples, add more sauce. Then repeat repeat repeat until all your cinn roll pieces are used up.

BAKE for 35-40 minutes. Cool 5 min. Turn pan upside down on plate and watch the ooey-gooey insanity commence!

*note: If you'd like to go crazy and double that caramel sauce batch, it is really delicious and extra gooey!! Could possibly make myself feel better about my sweet tooth problem as well...just throwing it out there...

BEET CAKE by Diana Rajchel

Preheat oven to 350 (I can neither confirm nor deny the Mama Cass tantrum that ensues when I'm ready to load and I forgot to preheat the oven....domestic annoyance numero uno!!! LOL)

Ingredients:

1/2 pound beets, roasted

3 eggs

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup honey

1 cup almond flour (or wheat or millet or coconut flour or or or etc)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda (make sure its fresh, old BS, no pun intended, tastes AWFUL)

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Ginger (optional to taste)

In a food processor or blender (either is fine seriously don't listen to the hype) puree beets, eggs, and olive oil. Add honey. Add remaining dry ingredients (I move to a bowl before I add the dry, good mixing space makes great mixing results) Mix well. Pour into greased cake pan or lined muffin tins, bake 45 minutes, checking periodically at 20-30 min with toothpick. Done when toothpick comes out clean. (I use a butter knife to check my goods, I find the test more accurate, to each their own)

Well that should definitely make the holiday gathering a fun YUMMY one!

POST YOUR YUMMY MAKES ON INSTAGRAM, AND TAG ME (@namaste_and_skulls) IN THE POST! SO I CAN FEATURE YOU AND YOUR AMAZING CULINARY & HOLIDAY SPIRIT ON MY FEED AND SHOW OFF ALL THE MOUTH WATERING FUN!

I've got lots more, but if I put them all up now, you'll have no further use for me and I'm not ready to go out to the gallows just yet! I'll post some more delicious holidays bibs and bobs before Christmas/Yule, so you can impress guests, inlaws (may the gods be with us all lol) and chow down with the most yummiest of yums all season! I've also got some great soups and stews for those extra cold months of Jan-Feb! So subscribe and stay close! THANK YOU for reading and for being here, have a wonderful Gathering Day (Thanksgiving) and many blessings to you and yours.

-Mama Cass

www.namasteandskulls.com

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