Happy Halloween, y’all! (Bonus in today’s post – we included a couple of our favorite Halloween recipes below to add a little festive flair to our October coffee date!)
October signifies the beginning to the end of the flowering season here in Ohio. Most of the month has been unseasonably warm which allowed some of our cosmos and zinnias to bloom a tad bit longer, but the cold temps are rolling in now. The low for tonight is 28 degrees!! And there’s a chance some snow may mix in with the rain. Not the best forecast for all those trick or treaters; luckily, we’ll be cuddled up inside with a hot drink. We’ve been testing out a few more coffee recipes lately using one of our favorite local roasters, Back Room Coffee.
Our favorite recipe from the trials has been a brown sugar cardamom latte! (we’re starting with coffee instead of flowers this time. It’s a holiday and there are no rules!)
The exact recipe for this latte is…
- 8 ounces strong coffee
- 1/4 cup milk (steamed or heated in microwave/on stovetop)
- 1 – 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar Cardamom Syrup
The cardamon syrup is made with whole cardamom pods, brown sugar and water. Do y’all have whole cardamom pods at home right now? We didn’t either! So to make the syrup we just used about a teaspoon of ground cardamom (heavy emphasis on the word ‘about’ because it was really just eyeballed since we went ground instead of pod haha), half a cup brown sugar and half a cup water.
If you are using pods, you’ll need to start by roasting them in a small pan over low heat until fragrant and then lightly crush the pods and pour that into a medium sauce pan where you’ll add the water and brown sugar. If you’re like us, you’ll just add the water, brown sugar and ground cardamom to a medium sauce pan over medium to high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Then reduce it to low heat and allow it to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to get nice and syrupy! Also if using pods, be sure to strain your syrup as the final step!
To assemble you’re tasty drink then you add coffee to your mug, stir in 1 to 2 tablespoons of syrup (based on sweetness preference) and finish with frothy steamed milk! So good!!
We took advantage of the warmer days in October to begin clearing out some of the flower beds and prepping for spring flowers. Kryn’s parents let us borrow their tiller for this and it was such a big help! Bit of an upgrade from our manual tillers that did at least give us more of a workout haha We were able to plant nearly 400 tulip bulbs in two of the beds! We planned ahead this time and selected different blooming times for each variety (early, mid and late Spring) so we will have tulips throughout the entire season and a large variety of colors! Here is one of our favorite tulips, Beauty of Spring, ordered from Johnny’s Selected Seeds…
We’re leaving one of the flower beds empty for now that will be saved for direct planting in late Spring. With that being the case, we’ve started laying cardboard down over the many weeds in that bed (that we’ll then top with soil/mulch) in hopes it will help restore the bed and result in less weeds to manage next summer! The fourth flower bed should be planted this weekend so we’ll chat more about that during our November coffee date! And let’s just say, if you want to be in the flower growing business you must get used to working in all weather conditions haha going to be a little chilly in the 40s this weekend!
And we have to share the prettiest dahlia that bloomed for us recently at the end of the season! Kryn had just a few of these planted at her house this year, but we’ll likely be adding them to the farm next year, because they’re kind of irresistible 🙂
What’s most enjoyable is the amount of support and excitement we receive from our friends and family. Tips and tricks of how to keep pesky insects away from Sara’s Grandma and a gardening book that’s been passed through the family with hidden handwritten notes from Kryn’s Mom. There has been so much more support this summer too including our husbands helping us create the flower beds, the borrowed gardening tools we mentioned, cousins connecting us with future partnerships and so much more. The end of the season is a really good reminder to look back and thank everyone for that help! It was our first official growing season and it’s left us only more excited for next year!
Now to the Halloween fun…we wanted to include some really simple recipes you could still pull off for the holiday this evening to make your night a little more festive!
First…the yummiest Dark Chocolate Halloween cookies! If you can’t find the Nestle Halloween Themed baking chips, regular semi-sweet chips will be a perfectly fine substitute! Same flavor, just orange colored chips!
- 2 cups Flour
- 2/3 cup Hershey’s Dark Cocoa Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/4 tsp Salt
- 1 cup Butter, softened
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2/3 cup packed light Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- 1 cup Nestle Halloween Baking chips
- 1/2 cup Peanut Butter Chips
- 1/2 cup White Chocolate Chips
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine the butter and sugars and beat for 3-4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix on low speed, just until combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the Halloween chips, white chocolate chips and peanut butter chips and stir gently to evenly distribute. Fold in 1 3/4 cups of the chips into the cookie batter and set the remaining chips aside.
- Scoop 1- 2 tablespoons of cookie dough for each cookie and roll between the palms of your hands to shape into balls. Once the dough is shaped, place the balls on the prepared baking sheet 2 inches apart and bake for 8-10 minutes, just until set.
- Remove the cookies from the oven and immediately press a few of the reserved chips into the top of each cookie to complete the festive look.
- Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely and store in an air-tight container.
And on the savory side, the cutest Jack o lantern taco stuffed peppers! These can be made with beef or chicken. If you’re looking to keep it vegetarian, we’d suggest increasing the amount of rice and adding some black beans to the mix! You can also use the meat or veggie mix to make the most delicious plate of nachos! What we usually do with leftovers 😉
- 4 – 5 medium to large orange bell peppers
- 1 Ib lean ground beef (or chicken or 1 can black beans, rinsed)
- 2 Tbsp taco seasoning
- 1/2 – 1 cup salsa
- 1 cup cooked rice
- 1-2 cups shredded cheese
- toppings of your choice like lettuce, tomato, cilantro, sour cream
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice tops off peppers and clean out the seeds. (for the Halloween edition, carve jack o lantern faces with a small knife)
Stand the peppers in a roasting pan or casserole dish. If you want really soft peppers, bake for 10 minutes at this point.
In a large skillet, brown the ground beef, drain grease and mix in the taco seasoning with 1/8 cup of water.
Add salsa and cooked rice, mix well and simmer for 5 minutes while stirring occasionally.
Stuff peppers with meat mixture, sprinkle on cheese and place the tops back on. Bake, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the cheese to melt and the peppers to soften to your preference.
Remove from oven and serve with your choice of toppings. We added lettuce, tomato, cilantro and sour cream!
Monthly Chit Chat
- Miss Veronica (another one of Kryn’s foster dogs) found her furever home and was adopted last week! Photo below of course!
- We had our quarterly planning session at Flowers & Bread Co (super cute coffee shop in downtown Columbus) and ordered the seeds we’ll be planting this weekend as well as talked through some high level designs for expanding the farm next year! (More on that next month!)
- Sara and her husband celebrated 6 years of marriage!!
- We strolled through the Worthington Farmers Market on a brisk Saturday morning and our favorite part may have been all the cute pups we saw along the way!
Bloom where you are planted!