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Archive for July, 2009

7-29 (3)

  • blueberries
  • cabbage
  • Nutty Girl exotic nuts
  • onions
  • cantaloupe
  • Asian eggplant
  • lemongrass, sage, and rosemary
  • tomatoes
  • green beans
  • hyssop and spearmint
  • half-dozen eggs (I forgot to put them on the table, but you know what they look like, right?)

Here’s a close-up of the nuts. They’re really good. We’ve just been snacking on them, but I bet you could add them to some rice for a side dish, too.

7-29nuts

More blueberries was a great surprise. I thought they were all gone. We’ll put these to good use – probably in pancakes. Add a slice of cantaloupe, and we’ll call it brunch.

(more…)

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Today I made apple-walnut pancakes and used up about a third of our cooked apples.

Step 1

Step 1

Step 2

Step 2

Step 3... well, 4, actually

Step 3... well, 4, actually

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This week we’ve had several fun lunches. I mixed up leftover arugula with combinations of herbs: basil, par-cel, and dill. I was afraid to call it salad, but it worked whatever it was. Here are two variations:

Tomatoes and goat cheese

The first lunch was arugula, dill, and parsley topped with tomatoes, red onions, carrots, goat cheese, and strawberry vinaigrette. We also had some cilantro-Leiden cheese.

summerlunch1

Here’s the non-tomato version.

summerlunch (2)

Tuna, black rice, and more

This one’s arugula and basil plus a whole bunch of toppings: tuna in oil, leftover black rice, red onions, cherry tomatoes, Asiago cheese, craisins, and toasted walnuts. For the dressing I used strawberry jam and vinegar and let that mix with the oil from the tuna. Then I chilled the plates for about 15 minutes before serving.

summerlunch

It was really good. The cold black rice was especially delicious in the mix.

I used to be scared of arugula by itself but not anymore. It’s a great way to extend the salad season. And cold lunches are a great way to survive the summer. (Not that this one’s been that hot.)

We had another lunch where we finished up some tasty cabbage.

summerlunch (3)

Lunch buddies

Note all the cherry tomatoes, Leiden cheese, tortillas, and apples. We still have some cherry tomatoes left. They’re easy to eat as snacks, but if they start to look like they’re going bad, I’ll cook ‘em up with some olive oil and herbs.

I was skeptical of the cilantro-Leiden cheese, but it’s really tasty. Even my cilantro-phobic husband likes it. The cheese goes well with the tortillas. These are the best tortillas: whole grain with flax seeds and they taste better than flour tortillas. They’re from Kroger, so not a local food, but a nice thing to have around.

The apples have been wonderful to have around, too. We split at least one a day. Now, I’m getting down to the apples in the bag that aren’t so pretty. So I’ll save a couple more for eating and prepare the rest for apple pancakes. I’m going to core, peel, and chunk the apples and then cook them down a little with some cinnamon. Then I’ll put them in the fridge and mix them in the pancake batter the next time we get the urge for pancakes.

Tomato sauce

With all the tomatoes and the basil, I had to make some spaghetti sauce. I cut up the tomatoes and cooked them down in some olive oil and garlic. I added chopped basil and par-cel towards the end.

tomsauce (1)

At the last minute, I panicked and added a little can of tomato paste. I was worried there wouldn’t be enough sauce. The sauce came out okay, but I wish I hadn’t added the paste. I should have just stretched it with more pasta water or red wine.

tomatosauce

A wacky idea bound to end in a messy, smoky kitchen

I’ve cut up the peaches, and they’re waiting in the fridge hopefully to become fried peach pies. Last weekend, I was supposed to chaperone a student group to the Fox by way of the Varsity. The trip was cancelled, and that was good because I didn’t have to drive into Atlanta. However, I had been dreaming of fried peach pies.

So I dug around to see how one might go about making a fried peach pie. You need some pie crust. (I’m going to use Kitchen Kung Fu’s suggestion here.) Then you roll out the pie crust and cut it into pieces and put the peaches in them and seal them. Then you fry them. Sounds simple enough, right?

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This week’s delivery

7-22

  • tomatoes of varying sizes
  • cilantro Leiden cheese
  • peaches
  • cantaloupe
  • blackberries
  • eggs
  • squash
  • basil
  • onions
  • eggplant

My eggplant didn’t make it into the box. I’ve sent an email to Patricia, and I’m sure she’ll add it next time.

I also ordered five pounds of cooking apples from the store. We’ve been eating them fresh, though. We’d already eaten two when this picture was taken, and I’m munching on another one right now.

7-22 (1)

They’re tart and fresh and crunchy. I think we’ll eat most of them fresh and try making apple pancakes with the rest.

Today we’ll have a salad with leftover arugula, parcel, and goat cheese plus this week’s basil, tomatoes, and onions. We’ll try the new Leiden cheese, too.

I’m storing the basil in a little dish with some water on the counter. So far, so good. It’s nice to have it out in plain sight where you can just grab a leaf. Yesterday, I made a quick summer lunch of chopped basil and tomatoes and leftover herbed squash. I topped both with Italian dressing and goat cheese.

7-24lunch

We liked the steamed squash, but I think we’ll go back to the stir fried method with cornmeal and onions.

With all the tomatoes and basil, I think we’ll have some sort of pasta dish soon. I’ll dig around the recipes to see what’s good.

One of the peaches went bad before I got them out of the box. It was my fault – I didn’t open my box until Friday. The other three I’m going to cut up and add to muffins – maybe with some blackberries and apple pieces thrown in.

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I found my camera!

Here’s the picture I took of last week’s delivery four days after the fact. It’s short some corn, black rice, grape tomatoes, arugula, squash, carrots, and muffins because we were hungry those four days.

7-18

Blackberries

I flash froze the blackberries, and they’re waiting in the freezer with the others. We eat them as part of our frozen berry snacks. I like blackberries best as frozen treats, but you can also make an easy blackberry crumble like described here.

Summertime Suppers (lots of corn and tomatoes)

Here’s Saturday’s supper.

7-18supper

The corn, black rice, grape tomatoes, beets, goat cheese, and dill are from the CSA. We also had a little side salads of arugula. The black rice has a nutty, almost chocolate, taste.

Sunday I blanched what was left of last week’s arugula and put it in a chicken creamy pasta dish.

7-19supper

Here’s tonight’s supper.

7-21supper

The cabbage is the Cabbage for Those who Dislike Cabbage recipe. Next to the cabbage is a folded tortilla and some cheese. The tomatoes and carrots are just cut up, and the corn was microwaved in the husk. It’s very easy: a minute for each ear, turn, one more minute per ear, and you’re done.

The squash is sautéed for a minute with some onion and then steamed and tossed with fresh herbs. I used parcel, tarragon, and some of the dill seeds. The dill seeds are strong, so I added the goat cheese on top at the last minute. (Not that you need an excuse to put goat cheese on top of anything!) We decided we prefer our traditional stir-fried squash, but I was happy to use some herbs and try something different.

I guess we’ve had delicious corn and tomatoes every meal this week. Except for last Friday night. Friday night we had blueberry pancakes for supper. It was soooo much fun! We used the three-grain pancake mix and massive quantities of blueberries. We’ve got some leftovers we’re having for dessert tonight, and I’m going to order more mix for next week!

Herb storage

I’ve followed Fran’s advice for the past couple of weeks: keep your herbs in water. It’s like having a bouquet of flowers. If you’re like me and don’t get out much.

CIMG1600

The herbs are lasting a lot longer than when I left them in the bag in the crisper.

I’ve been keeping my herb bouquet in the fridge rather than on the counter. But then I haven’t had any basil. Basil doesn’t like being in the fridge; I found that out the hard way. I cover the arrangement with a plastic bag and change the water every couple of days. And when I change the water, I turn the bag inside out. It’s always wetter on the inside. Not sure if that helps, but it amuses me to think it does.

Candied pecans on the horizon

My new nutcracker arrived this week.

Somehow, I don't think the melons are scared.

I don't think the melons are scared.

I’m looking forward to cracking the rest of my pecans. Well, not really. But I’m looking forward to making and eating candied pecans. It’s been a long time, and we’ve been very good.

New soap!

I finished up a blue goat milk soap from my Member’s Pack sampler and pulled out a new one. I get really excited about little things like that sometimes. I feel kind of silly, but I’m too old to change now. So…

Hey! Look at my new soap! This one’s green!

newsoap

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Sorry about the lack of visual aids today. I can’t find my camera. I took it to the badminton tournament this weekend, and I know I brought it home. It just got put somewhere strange during the unpacking. I’ll update this post with pics as soon as I can.

In yesterday’s delivery, we got

  • Forbidden black rice
  • grape and slicer tomatoes
  • herbs: par-cel and Mexican tarragon
  • blackberries
  • banana-nut muffins
  • eggs
  • 9 ears of corn
  • arugula
  • yellow squash
  • carrots
  • watermelon
  • another melon (it’s yellow and round, but I’m not sure what it is)

I also ordered

  • garlic
  • plain chevre goat cheese

from the store.

Earlier this week, I brought home some leftover barbecue. It’s wonderfully handy to have because it goes so well with all these summer vegetables. It’s already been a supper, and I expect it’ll make a couple of lunches, too.

Tonight we’re having Fran’s Mexican tarragon-citrus chicken. I don’t have a grill set up, so I’m going to cook the chicken on the stove and serve it with Forbidden black rice. On the side we’ll have sliced tomatoes, arugula-beet salad, stir-fried squash, and corn on the cob.

Nine ears of corn was a bit of a shock after dealing with ten ears last week. But that’s how it happens sometimes. I’m going to microwave three ears tonight and maybe more tomorrow. Whatever’s left, I’ll cut off and cook or freeze Saturday.

Ah, Saturday

I’m looking forward to spending time in the kitchen Saturday. In addition to the corn, I’ve decided to make baba ghanoush with last week’s eggplant. I also think we’ll eat arugula pasta with pine nuts and lots of parmesan cheese. We didn’t quite get through last week’s arugula raw, and I want to use it up. Come to think of it, I’ll go through this week’s arugula and pick up the bigger leaves and cook them, too, saving the babies for salad. If we don’t get around to making this pasta, I’ll blanch and freeze the arugula  for another day.

I’ll freeze the blackberries and the remaining blueberries in our fridge. I’ll get around to baking and pancakes after next week. Definitely pancakes. That three-grain pancake mix was delicious!

Hopefully, I’ll track down my camera Saturday, too.

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Ideas for eggplant

Here are four eggplant ideas that will work for globe or Asian eggplant. Asian eggplants are what I got last week. They’re not as bitter as globe eggplants and don’t even have to be peeled.

1. Eggplant Parmesan: It’s quite a production. But if you’ve got the time, it is delicious. Here’s my recipe.

2. Fried eggplant: Follow the first steps of the Parmesan recipe and serve with marinara dipping sauce. Yum!

3. Baba ghanoush: An eggplant-tahini-garlic-lemon dip that’s great on pita bread or triscuits or carrots or spoons. There are lots of recipes out there; here’s a basic and delicious one.

4. Browse Bon Appetit’s summer vegetable slide show. It’s got a bunch of good-looking eggplant recipes as well as ones with zucchini, tomatoes, and corn.

I’m waffling between fried eggplant and Baba ghanoush. Maybe I’ll get more eggplant tomorrow and make both!

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Look at all the pretty stuff…

7-8

  • carrots
  • Asian eggplant
  • 6 eggs
  • watermelon (how cute is that!)
  • hydroponic lettuce (fresh lettuce in July?! So cool!)
  • arugula
  • dill, sage, and tarragon
  • 8 oz. bag of coffee
  • 6 ears of corn
  • blueberries
  • tomatoes (this picture does not do these tomatoes justice – they are so pretty!)
  • Ezekiel muffins! (Still my absolute favorite!)

I also ordered some corn from the online store – before it was added to the weekly menu. I ended up with 10 ears total. My favorite corn recipe is “corn off the cob” described here. So I shucked and cut off a bunch of corn Thursday evening. I froze 6 ears worth and cooked 4.

stage 1 complete

stage 1 complete

stage 2 complete

stage 2 complete

Here’s Thursday’s supper. I forgot to add the summer sausage slices I’d planned. But we decided we didn’t need them b the time we were half way through with our plates. We did scarf down a couple of Ezekiel muffins, though.

7-7supper

The cabbage recipe was a new one for me from Recipezaar called Cabbage for Those Who Dislike Cabbage. We don’t really fall into that camp, but we still liked the recipe.

Friday’s lunch was reheated spaghetti and salad. The leftovers didn’t have much sauce, so I added some leftover basil pesto.

7-8lunch

The salad consisted of arugula, red leaf lettuce, beets, carrots, bleu cheese crumbles, and strawberry vinaigrette dressing.

I’m off to a badminton tournament in Athens. I’ll be back soon with some ideas for Asian eggplant.

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Carolina Gold Rice

We cooked this heirloom rice from our Member’s Pack according to the recipe from http://www.ansonmills.com.

cgoldrice (1)

You cook it and then dry it in the over for 10 minutes  stirring halfway through.

cgoldrice

It was really good, but I wish I had served it by itself instead of underneath a saucy stir-fry. I think we would have appreciated the flavor and texture more.

Fried rice

In other rice news, we made fried rice from the leftover Carolina Gold plus some Basmati along with…

7-7rice (1)

  • 4 eggs,
  • chopped chard leaves plus a teaspoon of chopped basil,
  • chopped onion, radish, and chard stems, and
  • cabbage.

Turned out great! Nothing beats fried rice for getting all your veggies in and for making your co-workers jealous at lunch!

The leftover basil leaves were a new twist. I didn’t have much, so I wasn’t expecting the basil flavor to show up. But it was there: subtle but definite – and a nice change from plain old fried rice. It lightened up the soy sauce taste just a little.

Arugula beet salad

We finished up the arugula with a couple of nice salads. Mine had arugula, beets, radishes, bleu cheese and strawberry vinaigrette.

arugulabeet

Chris’ salad had cucumbers and cherry tomatoes, too.

The sweetness of the beets and strawberries and the creaminess of the cheese went well with that fresh arugula bite. However, the bigger the arugula the harder the bite.  So we’ve learned to break the biggest ones into tiny pieces or use them in a cooked recipe instead.

Green beans two ways

1. With our arugula salads, we had sautéed green beans with garlic and tomatoes. (And spaghetti and garlic bread.)

7-6supper

2. Tonight, I cooked up some green beans for Chris to eat for lunch tomorrow. He likes them Southern-style:

  • Step 1: put a drizzle of oil and green beans in boiling, salted water
  • Step 2: forget and leave them on the stove for nearly an hour
Perfect!

Perfect!

What’s left

We’ve still got some green beans to sauté or cook to death. I’ll go ahead and wash and trim them, so they’ll be ready to cook either way. The sauteed recipe only takes a few minutes: blanch for 3, then saute for another 2 or 3. Makes for a good last minute vegetable.

And we’ve got some roasted beets left in the fridge. I’m going to wait and see what we get tomorrow. If we get more arugula, we’re making more arugula-beet-bleu cheese salads!

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Here’s a picture of the bruschetta.

CIMG1563

At first, I wasn’t thrilled at the idea of herbed goat cheese. I like goat cheese in lots of different ways, and I thought the herbs made it less versatile. However, after tasting it, it was easy to see the uses. It comes in a pretty circle that could be used for entertaining with crostini on the side. Or you could make bruschetta.

I always thought bruschetta came from some Italian for “brushing” with olive oil. Nope. Bruschetta comes from an Italian verb that means to roast over coals. So official bruschetta requires grilling. I don’t grill mine, so I guess  I have to start calling it something else. Maybe fettunta, like this Tuscan recipe.

In this one you toast the bread first and then top it. Next time, I’m toasting the bread, topping it, and then broiling it enough for the cheese to melt. Can’t wait!

Bruschetta – I mean, fettunta –  for three used up the goat cheese, basil, and all the little Roma tomatoes. Here’s the plan for the rest.

Frozen blueberries

I froze the blueberries to use later or just to eat as a frozen treat. Blueberries are much harder to deal with than blackberries and strawberries. They roll around everywhere!

More salads

We’ll definitely eat more arugula salads. I’m looking forward to having arugula with sliced, chilled, roasted beets. I think the sweetness in the beets will go well with the arugula. Radishes, carrots, and cherry tomatoes will play a part, too.

Cabbage

I’ll cook some of this cabbage to serve with sausage and roasted potatoes. A northern European meal will be a nice contrast to the Italian and East Asian meals that have been our main themes of late. Wish I had some savory left!

The rest of the cabbage will make up next week’s fried rice. I’m teaching again, and fried rice is the best for reheated lunches.  Other candidates for inclusion in this week’s fried rice are chard, radishes, and onion. We’ve got plenty of eggs so I’ll use extra eggs and keep this rice vegetarian.

Pecans

I just ordered this nutcracker. It’s not as cool and rustic as the one in this week’s CSA newsletter, but it looks like it will be good for the quantity I’ve got backed up right now. I’d like to make candied pecans this week. I can use the extra egg yolks in fried rice.

Leftovers

Tomorrow we’re having a beef stir fry I made up yesterday using lots of leftover veggies: cabbage, chard, squash, radish, and onion.

CIMG1549

I hope to serve it over the Carolina Gold Rice cooked the way suggested here.

We still have some green beans left from last week. I’ll serve some of them this weekend with spaghetti and cook the rest Southern-style for Chris.

______________

I’m feeling pretty good about our use of the produce this past couple of weeks. Our crisper should be empty by the time our next box arrives.

I’ve recently been bad about not prepping ahead of time. It’s not been a problem because I’ve had the hour or more to spend in the kitchen. But, boy, it takes a long time to get even the simplest meal on the table when you start from the very beginning with “Hmmm… wonder what’s in the box.”

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