RECAP theme weeks {AND} November Giveaway

We just completed back-to-back weeks of  “theme” focused posts; apples recipes and the theme of indulgence. This was a trial-run. We had thought of the idea at a monthly meeting, put it on the back-burner until recently  and put the concept to the test for two weeks. For this month’s national giveaway, we’ll be asking for your feedback.

In the meantime, I wanted to recap our last two weeks of posts.


Apple week started with our first Guest Contributor/”How You Do It” Series: Erica & her son Dominick made applesauce from farm to table, picking the apples then cooking them down to sauce.

Alexis made fall flavors explode with butternut squash & apples soup paired with black pepper and onions.

Sarah followed up with Adventures in…Apple Butter. A fall canning favorite!

We had a day-o-pancakes. First up, Amanda made apple pancakes her daughter’s Ellie’s Way. Her post is great because she explains how to “bump up” the nutritional bang in boxed mixes. Second up was Alexis’ super-fluffy and protein-packed Bittman’s pancake recipe adapted to be made with apples.

Leslie posted her family-favorite cinnamon apple oatmeal recipe. It’s a quick and nutritious version of the packaged stuff!

I finished out the week with two posts. First up, a photo diary of Sarah & I’s trip to Indian Ladders farm for apple picking. I explained a little about Certified Eco-Apples too! My second post was a round-up of four easy recipes (or applications) for apples; chips, juicing, grating onto tacos/savory stews and Apple/Beet Borscht.


Alexis started us off on the right foot- she contemplated years of indulgent eating, mainly of toasted chocolate and peanut butter sandwiches, and also what’s to come as her daughter gets older.

Leslie shared a secret. She does not eat “all healthy all of the time. She shared her shortlist of favorite store-bought indulgences while also providing an amazing recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip bread. An updated note here: I have successfully made this recipe gluten-free and I will be sharing the changes in the comments section today!

Amanda followed up with a doozie. She needed a recipe for a party and hit the indulgent-jackpot on the Food Network, by Barefoot Contessa, for a peanut butter icing. With this recipe who cares about the cake!

I followed with another two posts. First, I shared a personal struggle. I binge eat due to the stress of my son’s health issues. I will be sharing my ups & downs, monthly, as I start back on the Weight Watchers journey. As an update, I’ll tell you I lost 3 pounds (water weight) the first week- here’s to small successes.

My second post was for ANY parent or caregiver looking for non-food treats and healthier or food-allergic friendly snacks to give the preschool set. All my recipes on this blog are ALL gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, tree nut and peanut free but I would like to fill the gap and give additional information like, snacks, cookbooks and ideas so I will be reporting monthly on the topic!

Sarah finished out our indulgence week with a recipe for peanut butter & chocolate cookies. Do you see a theme here? From Scratch Club members LOVE their chocolate & peanut butter as their indulgent-treat combo! Marathon runner Sarah dusted off her cookie sheet (she hadn’t made a desert in quiet a while) to create these gems with her almost-3 year old son Collin. And yes, this post includes super-cute photos of Collin making magic.


This month’s (national) giveaway prize is brought to you by….US! We are giving away one (1) copy of a favorite in Leslie’s & Alexis’ kitchen, Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites by The Moosewood Collective. The Moosewood Collective are twenty people, restaurant staff and members, associated with the famous restaurant in Ithaca, NY that opened its doors in 1973. This book was the “health” focus winner of The James Beard/Kitchenaid Cookbook Award in 1997. A modern classic.


This giveaway runs from today, November 1, through MIDNIGHT Monday, November 15, 2010. It is open to US residents only (sorry!). We will be picking the winning comment randomly via We will announce the winner by midnight, Friday November 19th.

This is important: Unlike our past giveaways, this one is EASY, only one comment needed. We would like to find out if you enjoyed our theme weeks. Please answer one of the following sets of questions for us, that’s it! ONE comment only please, others will be appreciated but will not count towards the giveaway.

Answer any (or ALL) of these questions in ONE COMMENT.

Did you enjoy our theme weeks? If so, why?


Is there a topic or theme or challenge you’d like us to cover in the future? If so, what is it?


If we asked you to join in on a challenge/theme/topic week, a week before so we could include your submission in a reader-only content post, would you participate?

Thanks & Good Luck!


8 Comments Add yours

  1. Dianna Goodwin says:

    I liked thinking about peanut butter frosting so yes, I enjoyed your theme weeks. Chocolate. Veganism. Grow your own. What to eat when your kids are all at grandma’s, your husband is on a business trip and you are a free woman without all those noisy, whinging dependents. I am always willing to share my opinions, I have so many of them. I am absolutely crippled by point of view. Yes, I would participate.

  2. leslie r says:

    squashes and pumpkins are a good topic at t his time of year, along with stuffing recipes for thanksgiving, regular, and vegetarian or vegan.

    I enjoy all your recipes and stories very much, they are fun to read.

  3. Kris says:

    I enjoyed the theme weeks. My family loved the appple and squash soup and the apple oatmeal. Yum! The week on indulgence made me feel better about my occasional (um … daily) weaknesses). For both, it was fun to get the different takes on the same subject.

    Theme for Thanksgiving and Christmas would certainly be fun. I would also love to see something about continuting to eat food from local source as we get deeper into winter.

    I would love to participate in a reader challenge/theme/topic.

  4. E Zenn says:

    I particularly enjoyed the indulgences. Only problem, I want to try the PB chocolate cookies but don’t want them in the house. Family Holiday treats would be great for an upcoming segment. Perhaps traditional recipes, then a how to make it a little more health conscious.

  5. Emma says:

    I totally enjoyed your theme weeks, I used some of the recipes to finish up y left over apples, however I would like to challenge you all. I am personally trying to get more grains into my family, and I know based on some of your recipes that you all do this too. But I am coming up short on ideas with kid friendly flavors.
    I would love to share a recipe.

  6. Linda says:

    I think theme weeks are great – whether based on a particular item or a holiday the theme weeks give wonderful ideas and recipes.

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