Thanksgiving recovery

Happy December! I feel like the "Holiday Season" has snuck up on me faster than usual this year. While I’m still recovering from my two Thanksgiving feasts, I’m going to make a donation to "Breakfast Boxes for Christmas Break" – and eat a little bit of Asian-inspired food, but I’ll get back to that.

I want to help Conway Schools Food Service make sure that underprivileged students don’t miss out on breakfast over their winter break. Donations of $15 (only accepted through Monday, Dec 5) will go towards boxes of shelf-stable milk, fresh fruit, and other breakfast items kids would normally eat at school – enough for 10 days of breakfast for 1 child!

So while I’m still feeling how amazing a full belly feels, I’m taking advantage online bill pay and sending my $15 to Conway Public Schools Food Service at 1902 Hariston, Conway, AR 72034. There will be more information elsewhere in The Cabin, but if you’re chomping at the bit, you can call the school at (501)450-4855 or email for more info.

Now that my donation’s made (you can pause here and go make yours, I’ll wait!), let’s get on to that Asian-inspired food. I guess I over did myself on the "traditional" American Thanksgiving foods because my cravings have definitely been leaning to-wards other flavors palettes – so now I have two recipes to share with you.

While perusing Instagram on Sunday, I saw some scallion pancakes posted by Cooks Illustrated and immediately went to the kitchen to confirm that the bundle of huge and glorious scallions I got through Conway Locally Grown were still good. They were. Then, as I was reaching for the flour, I was hit by a post-Thanksgiving-I-can’t-do-more-bread feeling, so the experimentation with a gluten-free alternative came about. For the base, I used the gluten-free mix I’ve previously shared with you, as well as a handful of other gluten-free flours. Feel free to experiment, but if you use regular all purpose flour, you’ll not need as much flour when kneading the dough. The pancakes are savory, filling, best enjoyed warm, and even more delicious with the dipping sauces.

While enjoying the pancakes, I realized I should probably eat some lunch and dinner this week, so I made a big batch of Almond Pepper Chicken. It was going to be cashew chicken, but I realized I was out of cashews, so I replaced those with almonds and even threw in some peanuts because I had some on hand and they sounded good. Upon discovering that I had a lovely bag of local & colorful bell peppers ready to be eaten, I sautéed them up and added them to the pot. Then I served all that on top of quinoa that I had previously cooked up and frozen. It was absolutely delicious and hit the spot for my Asian-food cravings.

I hope that you enjoy these recipes and consider providing breakfast for a child during his or her Christmas break. If you’re looking for local ingredients, check out the "market update" for details on our two year-round farmers markets. As always, I hope you’ll eat as much local goodness as you can - and let me know if you try my recipes!