A year ago today I pressed “publish” for the first time here on Faring Well. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude, and quite honestly struggling for words. But I will say this, thank you for continually stopping by this space and contributing to my life. It may seem as if its the person pressing “publish” each week is the only one giving a piece of themselves to others, but it isn’t true. Those of you who read, share, comment, and email me are in fact contributing to my life in bigger ways than you know. Thank you. Thank you for visiting this space and contributing to my world. I hope something I have published this past year has enriched your life in some way, and I hope to have the opportunity to do so again during our next trip around the sun together. Thank you!
Now, I’m going to have a minor freak out because today is our first snow day of the year (!!!). On FW’s birthday – coincidence? I like to think not. Thank you, snowflakes, for dusting the ground in a beautiful layer of white, decorating the town, all for my blog birthday! (Joke, joke.) Now, other than blocking out a good two hours of my morning to stare at the delicate, pearly white snowflakes fall outside of my window, I have more exciting news to bring you. Its a perfectly cozy Thanksgiving menu for two, and a very special collaboration with Hanselmann Pottery. The inspiration to do a two person menu came from Scott and I’s first Thanksgiving alone together last year. It was so wonderful to take our time preparing a simple meal that had all of the warm, cozy flavors of Thanksgiving – yet took only a small portion of the time to prepare. We spent most of the day with one another, making new traditions and enjoying each other’s presence. We felt like two kids who had accidentally been left home alone for the holidays and had their parents house to themselves (major Home Alone vibes). We’re hoping to do so again this year, so I decided to put together a little menu for any of you looking to do the same. Of course these recipes can be doubled and shared by many, and don’t have to be enjoyed on Thanksgiving exclusively, but here they are all the same. To make this even more of a special treat, I teamed up with the wonderful makers over at Hanselmann Pottery to bring you this post – and there is a special treat from them to you included, thanks to their sweet generosity. The beauty in Hanselmann’s pieces first caught my eye on Food52’s shop last winter, and I have been dreaming about working with them ever since. To say this opportunity is a “dream come true” is a very cliche, but accurate, way to describe how I feel about bringing them to you today. They are a team of talented stoneware makers down in Corrales, New Mexico, where they run their studio and sell (as well as ship) their stunning pieces. You can learn more about how their pieces are made here, and meet their amazing team here. In this post I’m using two of their place settings, which include a dinner plate, salad plate (or in this case, dessert), and a breakfast bowl. These pieces are some of my favorites I have ever used to both serve, and eat off of – which is why I’m so excited to share with you a special discount code Hanselmann has provided for you to use from now until the end of the year! For any purchase made on their site, use the code “faring-well” for twenty percent off your entire order. And give them a big cyber-hug, because they are the best.
Roasted acorn squash topped with a Thanksgiving chestnut sauté and served with vegan gravy – move over turkey! This meal is packed with all of the yummy, nostalgic holiday flavors I love. Rosemary, chestnuts, squash, leeks, and gravy. Pure comfort food that soothes my soul. And it isn’t a Thanksgiving meal if it doesn’t have a happy pumpkin pie ending. But this time its cuter cause their mini, and topped with a perfect dollop of whipped coconut cream. And did we talk about the drinks yet!? Sparkling pear cider – a.k.a. the best non-alcoholic bubbly drink I’ve ever experienced. Plant based, sans processed sugar, and loaded with all the good things real + whole foods can provide. Going to be making all of these recipes on repeat for many holidays to come, and I hope you find a favorite (if not a few) here too. Now crank up the Michael Bublé and put on your holiday fuzzy socks – tis the season!
This post was done in collaboration with Hanselmann Pottery. All thoughts and opinions are my own, and I truly love this company + their beautiful stoneware.
SPARKLING PEAR CIDER
Makes 2 glasses.
2 cups organic pear juice
2 whole cinnamon sticks
ice cubes to serve
In the morning, bring the pear juice to a boil in a saucepan on the stove. Reduce to a simmer, add the cinnamon sticks, and cover with a lid. Simmer on low for 1 hour. Remove the cinnamon sticks after simmering, and transfer the pear cider to a heat-safe glass jar on the counter. Let cool to room temperature, then seal with a lid and place in the refrigerator to chill. Once chilled and ready to serve, divide the pear cider between two glasses filled with ice cubes, then top off with club soda. Serve right away.
MINI PUMPKIN PIES W/ SPELT CRUST
Serves 3 to 4 (always good to have pie leftovers).
1 1/2 cups whole spelt flour
1 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coconut oil, solid
4 tablespoons cold water
scant 1 1/2 cups organic pumpkin puree (or one 15 ounce can)
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1 teaspoon groung cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
pinch of cloves
Preheat the over to 350F.
Puree all of the pumpkin pie filling ingredients together in a blender (or in a small mixing bowl using an immersion blender) until smooth. Set aside.
For the crust, combine the flour, coconut sugar, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add the coconut oil and mix using a fork (or your fingers) until it has broken up and turned the dry mixture into one full of pea sized crumbles. Now add 1 tablespoon of cold water at a time until the dough just comes together into a formable ball (I used about 4 tablespoons). Turn the dough out onto a well floured work surface. Sprinkle the top with a little flour and roll out using a rolling pin to 1/4 inch thickness. If using the mini cake pan above like I did, find a bowl that is 4 inches in diameter, turn it upside down onto the dough, and trace the outer edge using a sharp knife. (If using a 9 inch pie tin, transfer the rolled out dough to your tin and trim the edges.) Press the individual crusts into the mini cake pan, and pat down any overlap on the sides.
Fill the crusts with the pumpkin filling (about 3 tablespoons per pie) and place in the oven. Bake for 35 minutes. The crusts’ edges should be golden, and pie filling a dark color and properly set (no jiggling when you shake it). Let cool on the counter for 3 to 4 hours before removing and serving. Store leftovers in an airtight container, and eat within 3 days.
*For coconut whipped cream, chill one can of full fat coconut milk in the refrigerator for 2 days prior. Open the day of, scoop out the thick cream that has risen to the top into a small mixing bowl, and whip with a hand beater until fluffy. Optional: add a light drizzle of maple and a splash of vanilla.*
NAVY BEAN GRAVY
Makes around 4 cups of gravy.
1/2 yellow onion
2 cloves of garlic
scant 1 1/2 cups cooked navy beans (or one 15 ounce can)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
salt to taste (I used 1 teaspoon)
Combine the listed ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Let cook for 25 minutes, then remove the bayleaf and puree using an immersion blender (or let cool and blend in batches in a countertop blender). Reheat in the saucepan on the stove if necessary, and serve right away. Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Best if eaten within 4 to 5 days.
ROASTED SQUASH + CHESTNUT SAUTÉ
Makes 2 servings.
1 small acorn squash
a knob of refined coconut oil
salt + pepper
1 tablespoon refined coconut oil
1 small parsnip, diced
1 medium leek, thinly sliced
1 cup cooked chestnuts, halved*
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
a few splashes of vegetable broth
salt + pepper to taste
*You can either purchased the chestnuts precooked, or score/boil/and peal your own as in this tutorial here.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Rinse the acorn squash to remove any dirt and pat dry. Slice an inch off of the top and bottom of the squash, then slice into 4 equal rounds. Remove the seeds, scraping with a spoon, and rub the flesh with the knob of refined coconut oil. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until golden and easily pierced with a fork, about 35 minutes.
While the squash is cooking, warm a large skillet on the stove to medium-low heat. Add the refined coconut oil. Rinse and pat dry your parsnip, and dice into small 1/2 inch pieces. Add to the skillet and cook until tender (about 7 minutes). Next add the leeks and halved chestnuts. Mix around using tongs or a spatula to ensure everything gets coated in a little bit of the oil. Continue stirring every minute or two until the leeks have softened and the chestnuts are browned (about another 5 to 6 minutes). Add a few splashes of vegetable broth to hydrate the pan and loosen any bits sticking to the bottom. Scrape and toss to loosen those bits and coat the ingredients in the broth. Lastly add the rosemary and a few good pinches of salt and pepper. Toss while allowing to cook for another minute.
Place two roasted squash rings on each plate, and divide the chestnut sauté evenly between the two. Serve with gravy on the side, and a glass of sparkling pear cider.
As for dessert, you know what to do with the pie. – xo
SHOP HANSELMANN POTTERY >>
Use code “faring-well” for 20% off your order through the end of the year. With everything made by hand, larger orders may take 3 to 6 weeks – so get your holiday orders in soon!