Archive for April, 2009


Here’s what we got this week!


  • carrots
  • baby collards
  • sweet potatoes
  • arugula
  • mixed lettuce
  • Bordeaux spinach
  • banana-nut muffins
  • eggs
  • cherry tomatoes
  • red leaf lettuce (pictured below)

With the weather heating up, we might not have this wonderful lettuce much longer. So I’m grateful for every bit we got this week. The red leaf lettuce was enough for two plus scrambled eggs and carrots for supper. These eggs make plain-old-boring scrambled eggs a delicious treat.

Woo-hoo! Scrambled eggs for supper!

Woo-hoo! Scrambled eggs for supper!

A cautionary tale about washing lettuce

I was in a hurry and didn’t do a good job washing the red leaf lettuce. When I sat down to eat, I noticed an inchworm in my salad. While I agreed with my husband that it wouldn’t have killed me to eat an inchworm, it certainly would have killed the inchworm, and inchworms are too cute to eat or smush, in my opinion. This particular inchworm was relocated to the holly tree just outside our kitchen.

Mixed lettuce

Friday I made a salad with the mixed lettuce. It’s a wonderful mix – like instant gourmet food. Next week, I’m going to add some of the arugula to it, too. This lettuce will make great “tuna salads.” Here’s what we do for a fast meal: Mix together some lettuce, quartered cherry tomatoes, shaved parmesan, pepper, and some nice vinegar. Then mix in a can of tuna in olive oil. The oil from the tuna combines with the vinegar to make the dressing. Chill the plates for a few minutes and serve with bread and carrots.

Spinach and Arugula

I think I’m going to take Janet up on her pizza idea – or make spinach-artichoke dip. I’ve got too much spinach, I think, to get through raw, which is my favorite way to eat it. Instead of red pizza, though, I may try a white one with spinach and arugula and lots of olive oil, salt, pepper, and parmesan. I got some really good Port Salut cheese at Sam’s, but I’m not sure how it would do on pizza, and I don’t want to risk wasting it.

Arugula has lots of uses and is always great with parmesan cheese. I’m also imagining a pasta dish with wilted arugula, cherry tomatoes, and some shrimp or hot sausage. I’ll chop the tomatoes in half and cook them with some olive oil, garlic, wine and crushed red pepper. Then I’ll add the shrimp and let it cook on low until the shrimp’s done. Finally, I’ll add some chopped arugula so it can wilt just a little before serving it over pasta with lots of parmesan cheese. If I use sausage, I’ll brown it and remove it leaving a little of the fat. Then I’ll cook the garlic, tomatoes, and olive oil for a bit along with the fat. Then I’ll add the sausage back before adding the arugula.

Amateur spotlight

This is the best year yet for our garden. We’ve got peas, lettuce, onions, potatoes, and carrot tops.


The carrot tops that my husband planted look very healthy and are growing like mad. I guess at some point we’ll have to pull a carrot top up and see if it’s making more carrot bottom. If that’s the case, we might have to make a whole new garden just for recycling carrot tops!


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This week

Whew! What a week! Sorry it’s taken so long to post this week. Here’s what we got this past Wednesday.


  • eggs
  • rice grits
  • spinach
  • green leaf lettuce
  • red leaf lettuce
  • cherry tomatoes
  • spearmint
  • strawberries
  • Ezekiel muffins…


… but you’ll just have to take my word on that last part.

The Ezekiel muffins are still my favorite muffins. I even like them better than the chocolate-raspberry ones!

The lettuce is great as usual. We’ll make lots of salad with the tomatoes. The spinach we’ll eat after the leaf lettuce is gone since it seems to last longer. I glad I got some grits. I’ll cook them ahead of time with lots of butter and salt and then heat them up for breakfast in the morning. Or in the evening along with scrambled eggs and salad. Maybe I’ll get some Canadian bacon, cut it into chunks, and toss it in the grits, too.

The strawberries don’t look as bright as the ones in the past, but my husband says they taste just as good. In fact, he likes them better because the seeds are smaller. I only eat my strawberries processed in smoothie form. Although the strawberry sauce Janet wrote up in the CSA newsletter sounds great, too.

I’m enjoying the spearmint in my tea. It’s good in hot tea, but I think it’d be great in iced tea. Next week, I’m going to take a couple of sprigs with me and put them in iced tea if I go out for lunch.



What do you call fried rice when you forget to make the rice? I forgot to make rice this week, but it turned into a happy accident. I started with leftover kale and chard, some onion, shrimp, and eggs. I followed my regular shrimp fried rice recipe and added some oyster sauce along with the soy sauce. I chopped up the chard stems to cook with the onions and added the leaves with the kale.

fried rice without rice

fried rice - hold the rice

When it was done, I dumped it over some lo mein noodles hidden in the pantry. It was great. I never imagined myself eating that much kale and chard in one sitting.


Caramel corn!

We finally made the popcorn we got several weeks ago. It was wonderful! And it’s so much fun when you lift the lid and there’s white fluffy popcorn. It’s like a magic trick. We followed this recipe from Zorra on Chowhound: Use 1 tablespoon of oil to ¼ cup of corn. Heat the oil in a sturdy pan with a lid. Add three kernels. Once they’ve all popped, add the rest. The hard part is you have to keep shaking the pot and trying to let some steam out with out letting any corn part out. But it only takes a few minutes. And leave the top on until you only hear a couple of pops. I had to peek, and a bunch of pieces popped right out!

The popcorn's very white in real life. Must be the butter filter.

The popcorn's very white in real life. Must be the butter filter on my camera.

The popcorn was delicious, but that was only act 1. Then we turned to this great recipe from Allrecipes.com. We made ¾ cup of corn, and it came out to close to 5 quarts, so we just followed the recipe with the exception of using our CSA cane syrup instead of corn syrup. The result was terrific – if eating entirely too much caramel corn in one sitting can be considered terrific.


Herbs and more

We roasted a chicken with lots of our rosemary (plus garlic, onion, and lemon).


We ate it for dinner with a nice salad, orzo pasta, and sweet potatoes.


I put salad burnet, rosemary flowers, parsley, and violets in with the lettuce.


I was really surprised by the rosemary flowers (the smallest purple ones). I was worried they’d be strong, but they were very delicate and delicious. I put one stem into some water in the hopes that it would continue to flower.

(No luck yet.)

(No luck yet.)

We baked the sweet potatoes along with the chicken. When they came out of the oven, they just fell out of their skins, and we mashed them up with some butter.

I like butter.

I like butter.

The next day we made some chicken salad with leftover chicken and some of the herbs: salad burnet, chives, and parsley. It made really nice sandwiches.

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Here’s a picture of my Wednesday box. We got

  • carrots,
  • Bordeaux spinach,
  • sweet potatoes,
  • Butterhead lettuce,
  • strawberries,
  • tomatoes,
  • eggs,
  • parsley, and
  • strawberry-banana-walnut muffins.

We plan to make plenty of salads with Bordeaux spinach, Butterhead lettuce, carrots, and tomatoes. The Butterhead lettuce has a definite butter taste. A lot of times, I don’t mix the lettuces because I like the distinct tastes. But the Butterhead is so strong, I think we’ll mix it with the spinach – and possibly some romaine from our garden! The carrots are rich and delicious. Three cheers for stubby carrots! The tomatoes will be good on salad, but we also might make some kind of egg dish with the plum tomatoes and parsley.

I wanted to make a strawberry dressing with the strawberries… but we’ve already eaten them all up. My husband eats them fresh, and I make smoothies. My favorite smoothie is yogurt, three strawberries, a banana, milk, ice, and honey.

This weekend, I’ll bake the sweet potatoes and then peel them and mash them with butter. That’ll make two sweet potatoes work for three people as a side.

So Saturday: muffins for breakfast, and for dinner, I’m thinking sweet potatoes, salad, and maybe a roast chicken. Then we can use the chicken that’s left for putting on top of salads later.


Currently, I still have some red cabbage, green onions, rosemary, kale, and chard. The green onions, chard and kale will probably become fried rice. I looked through the Bittman book, How to Cook Everything, but I didn’t see a chard recipe I was eager to try. Fried rice, on the other hand, is always a hit and makes great lunches, too.

I may not put any red cabbage in the fried rice, though, because it makes blue spots on the eggs. So I may just cook the red cabbage at some point. It’s keeping pretty well in the fridge.

I hope to use the rosemary in roast chicken this weekend. Or maybe in something with the tomatoes and parsley.

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Here’s what came for April Fool’s Day…


  • kale
  • carrots
  • strawberries
  • chard
  • banana nut muffins
  • tomatoes
  • green onions
  • herbs: salad burnet, violets, chives, and rosemary
  • half dozen eggs

Half of the kale already made it into shrimp fried rice. And the other half may wind up in next week’s batch. It’s really a good and easy recipe once you get the steps down.

I’ve started making smoothies with the strawberries along with a banana, some yogurt, and some ice. It’s really good.

I’m not sure what to do with the chard yet, but it’ll be fun to look around for something good to try. I just got the cookbook How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman that Sharon and Joanna recommended. So maybe I’ll see what Mr. Bittman has to say about chard.

We’re having loaded baked potatoes tomorrow with green onions and chives. These onions are so tiny that I won’t have a problem slicing them up and eating them raw on salads or with dip.

I combined these tomatoes with last week’s tomatoes to make a fresh tomato sauce for pasta the other night.

The herbs are a pretty batch including violets and salad burnet. I actually had to buy lettuce at the store today, but I’m sure it will taste good with the leftover tomato slices, green onions, and salad herbs.

And I was happy to see that the carrots weren’t so slender and elegant this time. It seems to me that the stubbier the carrot, the better the taste.

I’ve already used a couple of eggs for fried rice. For the others, we’re planning biscotti and brownies. Biscotti makes a great breakfast or afternoon snack, and brownies are good anytime!

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Finally, I got to have my favorite supper: fresh scrambled eggs with cheese and a salad. With the other eggs, I made shrimp fried rice – which is quickly becoming a staple for us. We use whatever veggies we have left over. This time it was turnips, green onion, kale, red cabbage and sprouts.


Update: If you use red cabbage, some of the color will transfer to the eggs making them a scary blue color. Everything still tastes fine, but it’s still kind of strange.

Some of the tomatoes became part of the salads, but I peeled and chopped the plum tomatoes to make fresh tomato sauce for pasta. That was fun to do. I just sautéed some garlic, added the tomatoes, some wine and herbs and let it all cook until the pasta was done. It was pretty good!

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