Archive for August, 2009

Yesterday we had a big vegetable plate for supper… because we had plans to go to Five Guys for burgers and fries later.


(I have to confess that this is a picture of Chris’ plate – not mine. I’ve made a lot of progress in the vegetable department, but there are still things I don’t like including fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and green beans. Some green beans are all right but not this kind. Hopefully, next year I’ll come to terms with at least one of these. Fresh tomatoes would be nice.)

The tomatoes and cucumber were good (according to Chris) but would have been even better with a little goat cheese. Unfortunately, ours was all gone by Friday lunch.

The cabbage is from this recipe rather than the sweeter red cabbage recipe I made earlier in the week. No apples, apple juice, or bacon. Sometimes I crave the taste of cabbage and black pepper without all the apple-y sweetness.

We’ll have the rest of this cabbage tonight with sausage, mashed potatoes, and green beans.

This past week, I’ve made two cooked cabbage dishes out of our red cabbage from a couple of deliveries ago. (Cabbage is a patient vegetable and doesn’t seem to mind hanging out in the crisper for a while.) Monday, I plan to finish it off in a stir-fry along with Asian pear, garlic, and onions from Farmers’ Fresh and beef and ginger from my freezer.

For another light meal, we’ll have broiled pita bites with leftover ricotta cheese and topped with spicy tomato salsa. To make the tomato mixture, I’ll chop and saute the tomatoes in olive oil with red pepper flakes and lots of onion and garlic. I’ll also use up the rest of the pesto as an alternative topping.

We haven’t made much progress on the field peas. I guess it’s because I’m leery of serving field peas and cabbage at the same meal, and we’ve had a lot of cabbage recently. But we’ll work those peas in soon!

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Crostini night

Tonight we had Asian pear-goat cheese crostini for an appetizer. I diced and sautéed the pear in olive oil with salt and pepper. It tasted great. The sauteed pear was crunchy, not too sweet, and a little tangy. The chevre was delicious, too. Even in small amounts, it adds a lot of flavor and texture.


You could slice the pear, sauté the slices, and make the crostini much prettier than this.

Chris had tomato and pesto crostini for supper.


I had pesto for lunch so my entree was more pear crostini and red cabbage. Mmmm…


Other Asian pear ideas

Here are three more possibilities:

  • Asian slaw with cabbage, ginger, sesame oil, and rice vinegar; something like this but with shredded cabbage instead of celery.
  • Grilled cheese pear sandwiches (Gouda, Edam, or goat cheese!)
  • beef stir fry with pear, onion, ginger, and garlic

The nice thing about a stir-fry is we won’t need a lot of meat. Hopefully, I can find a little something in the freezer.

Later this week…

Whatever cabbage I don’t use in a slaw, I’ll cook up with some onions and serve it with the potatoes and sausage for a meal this weekend or early next week. We also have more field peas and green beans to cook.

And the happiest news is we’ve got two leftover blueberry ricotta pancakes saved up for Saturday morning. Whee!

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This week’s box


  • chevre (goat cheese)
  • eggs
  • garlic
  • onions
  • green beans
  • coffee
  • basil
  • Asian pear!
  • apples
  • potatoes
  • tomatoes

And from the store this week, I bought


  • more onions,
  • pancake mix,
  • field peas,
  • and sausage.


I’m in danger of developing a $30 a month sausage habit.

So far…

I got a bunch of stuff done this evening. I

  • made pesto,
  • cored, peeled, and cooked some apples,
  • washed and cooked the larger half of the green beans,
  • shelled all the field peas,
  • and cooked field peas and black rice.

And we had leftover cabbage, pizza, and new green beans for supper.


Two kinds of field peas!


The ones on the left are purple-hulled; I’m not sure about the ones on the right. I can tell you that they turn an unappetizing greenish-gray when cooked although they taste delicious.



I’m substitute teaching the next couple of days, so I’m packing lunches. Tomorrow I’m taking pesto pasta and some cooked apples. Friday I’ll have field peas and black rice and probably more cooked apples.


Check back tomorrow for ideas for Asian pears and more.

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Monday night supper

This was Monday night’s supper: field peas, a tomato from our garden, and stir-fried patty pan squash. The “entrée” is some roast beef slices simmered in barbecue sauce and served over a slice of bread.


The patty pan squash is great for stir-frying with butter, cornmeal mix, salt, and pepper. It’s the best we’ve had yet.

Wednesday breakfast

We finally made the blueberry ricotta pancakes. The ricotta makes the pancakes so moist and rich that you don’t even need syrup (but I had some anyway).


I used maple syrup instead of the honey syrup in the recipe. And I used oil instead of butter. Because our pancake pan is small, we have to make a bunch of passes, and the butter always burns by the end.

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Blueberry ricotta pancakes!

I ended up with extra ricotta cheese, and that’s the kind of thing that will sit in my refrigerator until it’s all kinds of crazy colors. To preempt the rainbow of doom, I dug around the internet to find uses for ricotta. Didn’t take long to hit on blueberry ricotta pancakes. We’re making them in the morning. (Ah, the benefits of being under-employed!)

I had the ricotta because of some tomato-basil soup I tried to make last week. I decided it was too strong for soup and too thin for sauce. So I bought some ricotta, and we added it along with some Parmesan and enjoyed the newly forged sauce over some penne pasta and linguine. (I felt really strange mixing pastas. Is there some natural law against it?)


It’s funny the paths you can get led down when you’re cooking. But any path that ends with blueberry ricotta pancakes works for me. I’ve been saving up frozen blueberries for just such an occasion. We snack on frozen strawberries and blackberries after supper but not the blueberries.

Baba ghanoush

I finally got to make some baba ghanoush. It worked out fine with the globe eggplant – much better than with the Asian ones. I used the dry-method from How to Cook Everything to cook the eggplant. But when I went to cut it, I wasn’t sure it was done all over, so I stuck it in the toaster oven for a while longer.


The eggplant wasn’t bitter at all and had that nice smoky flavor. I added garlic, tahini,  and salt and pepper and ground it up.


Then I added the olive oil and lemon juice. I did seed the eggplant before grinding. I wonder if that’s better or if it just wastes eggplant. Before we went to the beach, I blanched and froze some Asian eggplant slices. Maybe I can roast the slices and make more baba ghanoush – that is, if the masochistic urge to make Eggplant Parmesan refuses to strike.

We had the baba ghanoush along with sausage and sliced tomatoes. Sausage and baba ghanoush were an odd pair, but they got along okay.


I saved the sausage drippings in the hope of more field peas next week. And I ordered another pound of sausage. It’s expensive, but so, so good! I may go broke on the Farmers’ Fresh online store. I bought sausage (again), field peas (again), onions, and pancake mix this week.

Amateur spotlight

We’re eating our very own tomatoes and potatoes this week. I made bacon, basil, and tomato sandwiches one day for lunch. Sadly, I was out of mayo and too hungry to stop and make some. The sandwiches were good, but you have to really like fresh basil. I’m not sure Chris does.


Last night we had some yummy mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, it used up our entire potato harvest for the year. (Our potato plants got eaten and died last month.) We also had red cabbage and scrambled eggs.


The first step of the cabbage recipe calls for sautéeing chopped onion and apple in olive oil. Well, I’m out of onions till Wednesday, and I had bacon grease from cooking the bacon for the third step in the recipe. So I left out the onion and sautéed the apple in bacon drippings. It would have been a better with onions, but I liked using up the bacon drippings instead of olive oil. Why waste the flavor (and the olive oil) if something’s going to have bacon in it anyway?

This supper was actually my first time scrambling eggs. Chris is the professional scrambler in our house. The eggs were a last minute addition when the defrosted pork loin smelled terrible and had to be tossed. Thankfully, CSA eggs are always a treat and could replace any entrée as far as I’m concerned.

Squash muffins

I finally made squash muffins after seeing the pictures at Kitchen Kung Fu. The recipe is from the 7/22 CSA newsletter.


* 2 cups all-purpose flour

* 1 tablespoon baking powder

* 1/4 teaspoon salt

* 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

* 2/3 cup grated yellow squash

* 1 egg, beaten

* 3/4 cup milk

* 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and squash in a large bowl; make a well in center of mixture.

2. Combine egg, milk and oil; add to dry ingredients, stirring just until moistened.

3. Spoon batter into lightly greased muffin pans, filling two-thirds full. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 to 25 minutes. Remove muffins from pans immediately.

Yields 1 dozen.


They were tasty (especially with the recommended butter and honey) and went great with leftover vegetable soup. They had zero squash taste as far as I could tell, and I’m not sure whether that’s a plus or a minus. We went through seven of them pretty fast. I’ve got three left that I’m saving to go with the last bit of vegetable soup tomorrow. Either way, I’m glad to have this recipe. I don’t seem to have extra squash much, but it’s good to have an emergency plan.

Tonight, however, we’re having our squash stir-fried. I’ve never stir-fried patty pan squash, so I’m interested to see if there’s a difference. We’re also having leftover field peas, sliced tomatoes, and barbecue roast beef sandwiches. I got a good deal on a pack of deli roast beef, and I’m going to slice it up, simmer it in some barbecue sauce, and serve it on over bread. If we had more field peas left, I’d make the rest of my forbidden black rice and save the roast beef for another time. Now, we’ll wait until next week to have field peas and black rice.

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Last night, we had butter beans, creamed corn, and some terrific sausage from Gum Creek.


The sausage was delicious! It made the house smell good for hours. The butter beans weren’t bad either. The corn was creamed corn from a can – a little too sweet but entirely edible.

The creamed corn was an accident. I made vegetable soup the other day and didn’t want to use my frozen CSA corn for soup. But I grabbed the wrong can from the pantry and didn’t realize it until it was too late.

Field Peas – yay!

I take back my whining about the field peas. We had some for lunch today, and they were really good.


(There was supposed to be some rice grits, too. But I walked away from them before turning them to simmer and burnt them to an incredibly acrid crisp.)

Most recipes call for some salty pork to cook with the field peas. I’ve got some bacon, but I need it for red cabbage and bacon, basil, tomato sandwiches with our very own tomato!

It's a tomato - we're so proud!

It's a tomato - we're so proud!

Instead, I just reheated the sausage drippings from last night’s supper before adding the peas and the water.

A couple of years ago, I wouldn’t have believed it if you told me I’d clean my plate of field peas and butter beans. But I really did!

and I didn't scrape them on to Chris' plate, either!

and I didn't scrape them on to Chris' plate, either!

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  • eggs
  • red cabbage
  • butter beans
  • dried red peas
  • apples
  • watermelon
  • sweet potatoes
  • patty pan squash
  • rice grits
  • globe eggplant
  • tomatoes
  • basil

I also ordered field peas, 2 lbs of apples, and 1 lb of sausage from the store.


Beans and peas

Every CSA season I discover a couple of vegetables that I thought I didn’t like but actually do when they’re fresh and yummy. (I’m going to be the best eater in a few years!) Last year the big winner was field peas. This year it’s sorrel, and I’m hoping to add butter beans. I shelled a few of the butter beans because I wanted to see whether they were the little green kind or the big white kind. Well, they’re both.


I always thought that the green and white beans were different animals that someone had carelessly given the same name. But it seems to be a matter of maturity. The big white ones practically leap out of their shells while the little green ones have to be dug out. I’m going to cook them all together and hope they’re wonderful. I’ll probably cook them tonight and serve them with some sausage and maybe a sweet potato.  (I can’t wait any longer to try the sausage!)

Having fallen in love with field peas last year, I was happy to order them this week. Unfortunately, many of the pods weren’t as fresh. (I think I missed Fresh Field Pea Week while at the beach.) Here are examples of the three types of peas I shelled.


The green ones are the freshest. That’s what they looked like last year. The middle set looks like the majority of our peas. I’m going to cook those with the green ones and hope for the best. The last set are beans that dried in the pod. I’m going to keep these and use them in some soup. Or maybe I can plant them next year and grow my own field peas. Mmmm…

Finally, I’m going to give the dried red peas another shake. The first time I got these peas I made Hoppin’ John. Unfortunately, I made entirely too much Hoppin’ John and got sick of it. So the last time I gave my peas to my mom. She and my dad love them. This bag, though, I’m going to attempt to use in moderation over a longer period of time. But I haven’t decided how just yet.

Flying saucer squash

I’m not sure I’ve ever had patty pan squash before. Here’s one recipe with sausage that’s a possibility.

Baked stuffed pattypan squash (Serves 4)

from http://www.healthy-recipes-for-kids.com/scallop-squash-recipes.html
  • 4 Pattypan Squash, washed
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. lean sausage, chopped
  • 3/4 lb. Parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Cut squash in half (horizonally) and hollow.
    3. Chop onion finely.
    4. Crumble the sausage into a pan and cook until no longer pink.
    5. Remove sausage from pan and set aside.
    6. Add onion to the pan with sausage fat and cook about 2 minutes or until soft.
    7. Mix together in a bowl the sausage, onion, parsley, bread crumbs, pepper and 2 tablespoons water.
    8. Divide mixture among squash halves.
    9. Brush the tops of the stuffed squash with olive oil.
    10. Place squash in single layer in baking dish just large enough to hold all of the squash.
    11. Fill baking dish with 1/2 inch water.
    12. Cover and bake 30 minutes.
    13. Uncover and continue baking about 15 minutes or until stuffing is browned and squash tender.

      Globe eggplant, red cabbage, tomatoes and basil

      Asian eggplant is great, but globe eggplant is easier to make baba ghanoush with. So that’s what I’ll do with this one.

      I’ll cook the red cabbage according to this recipe. I’ll probably use only half of the cabbage for the first batch and then decide whether to make more.

      Maybe I’ll make more cream of tomato soup with lots of basil. I’ll have to add some canned tomatoes to stretch it but that worked fine before. Gotta get some bulk tomatoes soon!

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      I was so excited to go to the beach last week. But of course there’s a lot to do before you go. So I cooked and froze a bunch of produce and shelled pecans (2 shelled pounds worth!). By the end of the day, I had burns from the oven, lacerations from pecan shells on my hands,  and a scratched eye from more pecan shell shrapnel. “Saltwater will fix that.” That’s what we kept saying as we limped our way to Daytona.

      And it worked, more or less. Or at least we had a great time.

      We got a little condo with a kitchen, but I didn’t do any serious cooking. My guys aren’t really into seafood. So I didn’t cook any fresh-caught seafood. We went out a few times, though, and I had some really tasty shrimp.

      I made easy food: tacos, stuffed baked potatoes, spaghetti, and sandwiches. Last year I learned my lesson about buying produce at the store. It really is different.

      Last year, I went to the Daytona Beach Publix and saw all this produce I recognized and had come to love. So I bought some zucchini not even considering that it might taste different from what I was getting at home.

      Same recipe, but the results were bland and kind of mushy. Blech. The guys liked it, but they’re better vegetable eaters than I am. I was really disappointed. And honestly, I wasn’t prejudging it. I was confused at first as why it wasn’t good. Not until the next day did I realize the only difference was the zucchini. So I ended up with the results of a semi-blind taste test that was a nice reminder of why I love my CSA. I wouldn’t be eating all these vegetables if they didn’t taste so good.

      So this time at Publix I just bought tomatoes, onion, and a head of romaine for our vegetables. Lots of salad and nobody was disappointed.

      When we got back Monday night, I made some vegetable soup with some of the stuff in the freezer to catch us up on our veggies.

      For the farmers

      It occurred to me that farmers don’t get to go to the beach. So for all you farmers out there…

      The water was 72 degrees. That’s cold. It may not sound cold, but, when your chest deep in it waiting for a decent wave, it’s cold. Darn cold. And the sand gets everywhere.  And there were jellyfish, and the water tasted foul out of the tap.

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      So here’s the run-down on supper. The broiled shrimp po-boys were pretty good but not super special. It was fun to make the garlic mayonnaise, though. I’ll definitely play around with homemade mayo again. And I loved the fresh sorrel! No one seemed to like it as much as I did, but who cares? That’s great stuff. I’m only sorry I ate it all fresh so I didn’t get a chance to make sorrel sauce.

      The beginning and end of the meal were the best. The cream of tomato soup turned out great. It tasted really fresh even though some of the tomatoes were from a can. The process is conveniently timed, too. I cooked and pureed the tomatoes earlier in the day and then added them to the cream and heated it while preparing the rest of supper. If I get a chance to buy more tomatoes in bulk, I’ll make and freeze some tomato puree with a mind towards making more of this soup later in the year.

      Dessert was my favorite part: frozen berries, sugared pecans, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream.

      berry yummy

      I also loved the fresh sorrel on the

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      So here’s my plan for Saturday’s supper. It’s all new to me, but, if something goes horribly wrong, we can have pasta with pesto or just go straight to dessert.


      Cream of tomato soup

      I’ll use fresh tomatoes if they don’t get eaten before Saturday. My guest is bringing bread that we’ll have with the soup.

      Broiled shrimp po-boys

      Marinated and broiled shrimp, homemade garlic mayo, and sorrel leaves in toasted hot dog buns. Here’s where the idea came from although I’m not going to toss the shrimp in gin and sherry before broiling. Gin and sherry?! It’s probably great, but I’ll just stick to the basic marinade for now.

      Salad and green beans

      Hopefully enough of the lettuce will still be around Saturday evening to serve. I can always stretch it with more sorrel leaves. I’ll toss it with a light vinaigrette and top it with craisins and toasted walnuts.

      I’ll sauté blanched green beans in a little oil and top with salt, pepper, and some fresh lemon juice.

      Frozen berries in whipped cream and candied pecans

      I’ll whip the cream that’s leftover from making the soup. I need to make the pecans because I separated some egg whites yesterday and I’ll separate another to make the mayo. And we can take leftover pecans with us to the beach….


      Off to the beach!

      Next week we’re going to the beach. So this means we have a lot to eating and cooking to do along with the planning and the packing.

      We need to eat a bunch of fried rice, green beans, coleslaw, squash and watermelon. If we run out of time, I’ll blanch and freeze the green beans and squash.

      I’ve already made the basil into pesto that will keep in the freezer until we return. If I have some sorrel left after Saturday, I’ll cook it into green sauce and freeze it, too.

      I’m also going to make and freeze a couple of dishes of eggplant Parmesan with all that gorgeous eggplant. When I cook the eggplant, I know the guys will want to eat it instead of fried rice, green beans, etc. So I’m either going to cook it right after a big meal or just give in to the inevitable and serve it for supper one night and then freeze the leftovers.

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