Archive for March, 2009


  • one mammoth green onion
  • strawberries
  • Butterhead(?) lettuce
  • Bordeaux spinach
  • red leaf lettuce
  • green leaf lettuce
  • cilantro
  • chocolate raspberry pecan muffins
  • 3 tomatoes(!)
  • half dozen eggs
  • carrots

Wow, so where did the tomatoes come from?! Pretty cool. I know that

cilantro + tomatoes + green onion = salsa,

but these tomatoes make me want to cook Italian again. Maybe I’ll chop them up, cook them just a little with some red pepper flakes, add some shrimp, and serve over pasta. Anybody have ideas for what to do with cilantro if you don’t make salsa?

There’s a great spinach salad to be had here with the green onion and strawberries. Maybe even a strawberry vinaigrette, too. We haven’t had the Bordeaux spinach in a while, so I’m excited about that.

I’m very happy to have all the lettuce and carrots for salads. This lettuce works well on sandwiches, too. I should point out that I’d already eaten a couple of carrots when this picture was taken.

So my plan during the week is to have muffins and yogurt for breakfast and salads for lunch. It’s nice how eating these salads at my desk never feels like deprivation. If I put it all on a real plate and eat it with a real fork, it’s a gourmet lunch.

Having gotten all the baking out of my system for a while, I’m looking forward to scrambled eggs and salad. I was happy to see these eggs came from Red Hott Tomatoes in Bowdon. I got to meet these chickens last weekend along with Nancy and Jacque. Their farm is amazing, and I’m looking forward to returning this weekend to take more pictures.

I hope one day to look as healthy as Nancy and Jacque’s chickens do. They are bright and shiny and fluffy and alert and busy. It was really neat to be there. Here are two pictures I took before my battery died (d’oh!).



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This week we baked cookies and a double batch of biscotti. And we made French toast. So we’ve happily used up most of our egg stash.

The strawberries, apples, and carrots we just ate as the spirit took us. Healthy snack food!

We’re leaning toward making a pecan pie with the pecans plus some of the cane syrup from a few weeks ago. These pecans are nice and big, so cracking them won’t take long.

The sprouts and the lettuce were added to last week’s lettuce and some Asian turnips to make lunchtime salads. I always feel virtuous when I eat sprouts.

The red cabbage became cooked red cabbage with apple. Here’s the recipe. Sorry there aren’t any measurements. It’s pretty easy to taste and correct as you go, though.

Red Cabbage (It should have a more descriptive name, I guess, but that’s what we call it.)

  • Shred the cabbage and place in some cold water.


  • Dice an apple and an onion and sauté them in some olive oil.


  • Scoop the cabbage along with the water that clings to it into the sauté pan. Cook covered for 10 or 15 minutes.


  • Add some bacon pieces, red wine vinegar, and apple juice. Cook 20 minutes more. If it’s too tart, add sugar.


My last batch didn’t turn out so well; I’m thinking it’s because I didn’t have any apple juice and substituted sugar and water. It was better with some more vinegar added afterwards.

The other cabbage recipe I mentioned earlier is my mom’s 7-day coleslaw recipe (’cause it keeps for seven days). Please note that it needs refrigerating for several hours before serving. (I failed to note this the first time I made it, and, boy, was my coleslaw strong.)

7-day Coleslaw

  • Place a head of shredded cabbage, 2 sliced medium onions (sweet is best), and 1 bell pepper cut into strips into a bowl. (We leave out the bell pepper.)
  • Pour 1 cup of sugar (or less) on top.
  • Boil together 1 cup vinegar, ¾ cup oil, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp celery salt, and 1 tsp dry mustard.
  • Pour mixture over slaw and mix.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Both of these recipes come from a recipe binder my mom made me years ago.


It’s one of my favorite things in my kitchen.

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  • baby carrots
  • strawberries
  • red cabbage
  • red leaf lettuce
  • apples
  • pecans
  • blueberry muffins
  • eggs
  • broccoli sprouts

I’m digging our delivery this week. These are things that are so much better fresh. Plus, everything was so pretty – electric red strawberries, slender carrots, and shiny apples.

I’ve already made a couple of killer salads for work with lettuce, carrots, sprouts, and baby turnips and turnip greens leftover from last week. I’ll take my camera to work next week to get a picture.

I love red cabbage, too! I have a great red cabbage recipe to post when I get home. That’s definitely on the menu for this week. Only thing is the recipe also calls for an apple, and I’m loathe to part with a snacking apple.

The muffins are great as usual. I think we’re already down to just two of them. Which is a problem because we’ll be three for breakfast tomorrow. Hopefully, we can avoid armed conflict.

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Last week I had some good success with apple rings and kale crisps.

Apple rings

I finally have a method that works. After I cored and peeled the apples, I halved them before I sliced them. That way, the slices came out much more even. I sprayed a little canola oil on the sheet and sprinkled some cinnamon on the apples. Then I baked them at 250 degrees (like Kim suggested for the kale crisps).


It took a lot longer (maybe half an hour?) but the results were much better. The only problem is it makes the apples go too quickly.


2 and a half apples inhaled in 10 minutes

Kale Crisps

This week’s kale crisps experiment went pretty well. I sliced the leafy parts of the biggest kale leaves away from the stem and tossed them in olive oil, salt, and pepper. (I kept the little leafy bits at the ends to add to fried rice.)

kale leaves, kale bits, and kale stems

Then I baked them at 250 for twenty minutes or so. They didn’t burn and were pretty good, I thought. My husband said they still taste like kale. I mumbled something about pearls and swine.

Fun with cabbage

The cabbage made its way into three recipes this week: fried rice, coleslaw, and corned beef and cabbage.

The coleslaw is one of my mother’s recipes. It’s the vinegary kind and is nice and crunchy. It also lasts a lot longer than the mayo kind. I’ll post the recipe next time. We’ll eat this up with sandwiches and scrambled eggs.


The corned beef and cabbage recipe is really easy. Saute some onion, steam some cabbage with salt and pepper and then place slices of corned beef on top of the cabbage as it finishes steaming. Very easy and delicious.

easy corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day

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I made hoppin’ john according to this recipe with the red peas, rice grits, thyme, and a bay leaf. It turned out really well, but I wouldn’t eat it before a big date or job interview.

early on in the cooking

early on in the cooking

the finished product

the finished product

We’ve been making our way through the lettuce, turnip greens, and turnips via lots of salads. I did learn not to make a salad with both sliced turnips and sliced raw yellow onion. It’s just too much sharp for one plate.

I made some biscotti with two of the eggs and am looking forward to a scrambled egg supper with the others in the near future. The muffins and apples were morning and afternoon treats, respectively. Both are very good and very satisfying. Last Tuesday, Patricia and I talked about how eating better food has evened out the highs and lows we had gotten used to feeling in between meals. No more shakes (Patricia) or getting irritated at the tiniest little thing (me).

I am feeling a little guilty about the full bag of kale in my refrigerator. I just kept making salad instead this week. But I’m going to get on those kale crisps Saturday. If they turn out right this time, maybe that’s what I’ll do with the rest of it. Otherwise, it’ll be kale and pasta or kale with raisins and pine nuts. Or both.

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Here’s what was in my box this week.

3/11 Family pack plus muffins

3/11 Family pack plus muffins

  • cabbage
  • green leaf lettuce
  • red leaf lettuce
  • Asian turnips with greens
  • green onions
  • ½ dozen eggs
  • Rosemary
  • 4 apples
  • ½ dozen chocolate raspberry pecan muffins

I’m excited about the cabbage. (Clearly, I need to get out more.) Part of the cabbage will go into fried rice along with some of the Asian turnips and green onions. The rest will either become cole slaw or corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day. This fresh cabbage is nice even just steamed by itself for a side dish. Who knew cabbage could be so much fun?

More salad will be great, but I’m also going to try to use the lettuce in other ways like on sandwiches or maybe as a wrap for the stir-fry. I’ll still slice the smaller Asian turnips for salad along with the green onions, but I’ll use the larger turnips in the stir-fry. I’ve just been treating these Asian turnip greens like lettuce.  They work great raw in the salad.  And I love these green onions. It’s so handy to have the white parts and green parts to use for different things.

I’m teaching again for a couple of months, and so I’m learning how to pack CSA lunches for the daily grind. So far it’s been salad with sliced turnips and some chicken or lunch meat. I pack the lettuce separate from the turnips, meat, and dressing and then mix it all up at lunch. I’ve also taken apples along with cheese and crackers. I can’t stand brown apples, so I pack a little knife. (And fig newtons! Maybe they’re not a CSA product, but they’re an essential part of my afternoons.) Next week, I plan on taking the fried rice (and more fig newtons).

I’ve still got some eggs from last week, so I hope to do some baking this weekend. Biscotti and cookies, most likely. And scrambled eggs for supper! I tend to hoard the eggs until we’ve got a bunch. Then I go through them all in a weekend, and the cycle continues.

And the muffins! Breakfast is now a muffin and yogurt. Woo-hoo! Chocolate for breakfast is always good idea. And I like the pecans in the muffins; it’s a nice change from walnuts.

Hope you’re having as much fun as I am!

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Last Tuesday, I visited the weekly packing operation at Farmers Fresh. It’s a lot of work! I got to meet Patricia, Janet, Fran, Michele, and Bryan. I even put together some cardboard boxes (although they turned out to be the wrong ones. D’oh!)

Patricia and Fran cracking open the produce.

Patricia and Fran crack open the produce.

Patricia and Michelle amidst the bounty.

Patricia and Michelle bag amidst the bounty.

Janet wrestles with a 25 pound bag of red peas.

Janet repackages 25 lbs of red peas.

Bryan drops off his beautiful spinach, lettuce, and kale.

Bryan drops off his weekly harvest.

43 boxes - just under half of this week's deliveries

43 boxes - just under half of this week's deliveries

Member Dianne Cox seems pleased with her weekly order.

Member Dianne Cox looks pleased with her weekly order.

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A few years ago, I decided to plant a square-foot garden. We built a frame, improved the soil, planned our grid, and bought and planted seeds. We got some herbs and sugar snap peas. Everything else eluded us that first season. Chiggers made it hard for me to tend the plot as much as I needed to, and horn worms took care of the rest.

So over the past couple of years, I’ve only grown sugar snap peas. Their season is early enough that I don’t run into many chiggers, and I love fresh peapods. Everything else I gave up on and decided to invest that money with the Farmers’ Fresh pros instead.

mmm... peapods

mmm... peapods

Still, we’re getting back to gardening this year. I’m hoping that my husband can take over the summer gardening duties, and maybe we can grow more stuff this time It would make a good complement to the CSA subscription. We could grow stuff we really like or stuff we could freeze, like tomato sauce. I’d love to grow tomatoes and basil. After watching a pot of fresh tomatoes cook down to nothing last year, I realized you can never have too many tomatoes.

our 2x8 container garden

our 2'x8' container garden

Chris read about a system for growing potatoes. You start with one frame and keep stacking dirt and frames as the potatoes grow. Then you harvest the frames as you need them from the top. I figure it’s worth a try.

the first potato frame - sans potatoes

the first potato frame - sans potatoes

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Got my box of stuff today – a family pack plus muffins!

3/1 Family pack order

3/1 Family pack order

  • rice grits
  • Asian turnips
  • big head of leaf lettuce
  • kale
  • romaine
  • 1/2 dozen eggs
  • 1/2 dozen blueberry muffins
  • bay leaves
  • lemon thyme
  • 4 apples
  • dried red peas

The muffins are pricey, but they’re so good! My husband and I have been looking forward to them for weeks now. These are little blueberry ones. We each had one as soon as we got the box open, so there are only four in the picture.

There’ll be lots of salad this week with sliced Asian turnips. I’ll also tear up the greens and put them in with the lettuce raw for a nice mix.

Thanks to Kim’s advice, I’m willing to try kale crisps again. Probably only a small batch, though, to be safe. The rest I’ll cook with raisins and pinenuts or pasta.

I had planned to make some chicken today with leftover rosemary. Now I’ll add the lemon thyme, too. The bay leaves will have to wait for beef stew or vegetable soup.

These apples are great snacking apples. But I kind of want to try something else with them, too. Maybe I’ll cut them up and put them in a salad with the turnips. Something fun like that.

The peas and grits come from Anson Mills in South Carolina. I’m waiting for the weekly newsletter to see the suggested recipes. I’m thinking some kind of Hoppin’ John recipe maybe with thyme and a bay leaf. The Anson Mills site lists some recipes for grits and red pea gravy, but the gravy recipe sounds a little complicated for me. It calls for pureeing some of the peas, and I so hate washing my blender.

Yesterday, I visited with the farmers while they were boxing up all the items. What a huge job! I took a bunch of pictures, and I’ll post them soon.

Sadly, after my bragging about not getting a cold this season, I came down with one yesterday. So I’m happy to have all this nice produce again. Enjoy!

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