Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Sunday, September 28

We went to the Monona farmers' market this morning and bought milk from Blue Marble Dairy our favorite milk people. We also got some of the last of the corn on the cob.

Great breakfast today. I made a Fritatta with onions, peppers, Italian sausage, eggs, etc.

(adapted from a Penzey's catalogue recipe)

1/2 lb. Italian sausage
2 lbs. potatoes
1 red, yellow, and green pepper or whatever you have available
1 onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic
olive oil
6 eggs
3 TB milk
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup grated cheese of your choice (I used some jalapeno cheddar & goat cheese)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Slice potatoes into 1/4 inch slices--no need to peel if they're organic. Steam or boil for 10 minutes or until tender. Dice the peppers. Brown the sliced sausage pieces and add peppers, onions & garlic. Saute until the onions are slightly brown and start to caramelize. Beat the eggs with the milk and seasonings. Spray a 8x8 inch glass baking pan with pan spray and layer first the potatoes, then the sausage and sauteed vegetables. Pour the egg mixture over the top and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

Supper was a series of mini courses. First we had corn on the cob. Next I made a tasty appetizer with eggplant.

Eggplant TartSlice eggplant into 1/4 inch slices
Spread goat cheese on top
Top with chopped walnuts & cherry tomato halves
Sprinkle with fresh herbs of your choice and salt & pepper
Bake at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes until the eggplant is tender and the cheese is melted a

Next came Curried Cauliflower and Chickpeas
(adapted from Weight Watchers Turnaround Program Cookbook)

1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons curry powder (or less if you prefer milder curry)
6 cups cauliflower florets
1 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained (1# can)
1 apple peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup plain Greek-style yogurt (if you only have plain yogurt, drain it through a paper towel while you make the rest of the curry which will help to make it thicker)

Spray a large pan with pan spray. Saute onion over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant. Add the curry powder and cook just until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add the cauliflower and apple. Cook until lightly browned. Add the chickpeas. Stir in the broth, reduce heat to simmer. Cook, covered, until the cauliflower is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the yogurt and let stand covered until the yogurt is heated through.

And for dessert I made raspberry shortcakes with raspberries from our farm on homemade biscuits and Devonshire cream. Delicious!!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Supper last night was supposed to be turkey fruit salad. It didn't quite happen. Instead I made Celeriac Soup with Cilantro.

Celeriac Soup
adapted from a recipe on Recipezaar

1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped (I left in all of the seeds in but you can remove them if you prefer a milder soup)
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 1/2 lbs celeriac, peeled,trimmed and cut into cubes
If you don't have enough celeriac substitute some potatoes
4 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped or more if you like
1/3 cup milk

salt & freshly ground black pepper

In a large saucepan, sauté the onion, pepper and garlic in the olive oil for 2-3 minutes over a medium high heat.
Stir in the cumin and season with salt and pepper.
Add the celeriac, along with the chicken broth.
Bring up to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pan and let simmer for 10-15 minutes or just until the celeriac is cooked.
Remove from the heat and use an immersion blender or food processor to puree the soup until it has the consistency you want.
Stir in the chopped cilantro and milk.
Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper, if needed.

If you aren't familiar with Recipezaar its an excellent recipe site: http://www.recipezaar.com/

I used a recipe in The Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon which is one of my favorite new cookbooks.

Dairy Hollow House Skillet Cornbread (this is considered a Southern style cornbread)

Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal (I have a coarse grind; I might suggest a finer grind)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup vegetable oil (such as safflower or canola)
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with the pan spray.
Sift together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl.
In a smaller bowl, stir the baking soda into the buttermilk. Whisk in the sugar, egg and 1/4 cup oil.
Put the prepared skillet over medium heat and melt the butter until it just starts to sizzle. Coat the sides and bottom of the pan with the butter.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and combine them quickly. Scrape the batter into the prepared hot pan and place in the oven immediately. Bake the cornbread for about 20 minutes until it is golden brown. Slice into wedges and serve with butter.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Saturday, September 27

This is a picture of what's in the CSA box that we're picking up today.

I normally go to the farmers' market first and then go and pick up my box of produce. Today there's a change in plans, Arthur and I are going to volunteer at Bike the Barns, a fund raiser for Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition. We're volunteering at Blue Skies Berry Farm in Brooklyn, Wisconsin from 9:00 AM-Noon. We were fortunate to have a beautiful sunny day for the event. We helped serve granola bars made by Underground Catering. They tasted great but a lot of them were very crumbly and hard to serve. Arthur was kept busy refilling the water jugs for the bikers. Next we went to Tipi Produce in Evansville for lunch. Lunch was not great. Arthur and I decided sprouted lentils are not our thing.
Supper on Saturday was Summer Squash Sloppy Joes. This is a great way to hide a few veggies for non-veggie fans.
Summer Squash Sloppy Joes
adapted from a recipe on Epicurious.com
1 pound ground lean beef (I used grass fed ground beef from a local farmer which is very lean)
3/4 cup onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, shredded
1 1/2 cups summer squash or zucchini, shredded
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups water (or more if the mixture seems to thick)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika (I used Smoked Spanish Paprika from Penzey's)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 ounces cheddar cheese, thinly sliced (I used a jalapeno cheddar)
Whole Wheat English muffins or hamburger buns
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, sauté the ground beef until browned, about 7 minutes. Add the onion and sauté 2 minutes. Add the carrot and sauté 2 minutes. Add the squash and sauté 1 minute more.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and 1 1/2 cups water, stirring until the paste has dissolved. Add the garlic, chili powder, paprika, and oregano, and season with the salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • Divide the cheese among the bottom halves of the English muffins. Transfer both halves of the buns to the broiler, open-faced, and toast until the cheese has melted and the top buns are toasted.
  • Remove the buns from the oven and fill each sandwich with the squash-and-meat mixture. Serve immediately.
Tip: The easiest way to shred zucchini is to run it through the shredding disc of your food processor. A box grater will also work, but be sure to use the largest holes.

Friday, September 26

Another somewhat late start on supper. Last night I had a Taste of Chocolate Class at our local community college. We made a few chocolate recipes as well as tasted some chocolate. I actually almost OD on chocolate. When I got home I made Broccoli Goat Cheese Soup because I had a large stalk of broccoli from our farm that I needed to use. The soup was excellent and so easy.

Broccoli Goat Cheese Soup
(based on a recipe from Weight Watcher Turn Around Cookbook)

1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion chopped
3 tablespoons flour
4 cups organic chicken broth (I like the Imagine Organic Free Range Chicken Broth in a box)
4 cups fresh broccoli, cut into chunks
1/4 cup fresh goat cheese ( I used some from a local farmer that is very soft, similar to cream cheese in texture)
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (optional)

Saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in flour. Slowly add chicken broth making sure it combines smoothly with the flour. Add broccoli and simmer covered until tender. I used an immersion blender (great invention) to puree the soup. You can make it as smooth or chunky as you want. Add the goat cheese and whisk in. Add the hot sauce if desired.

I also make Orange Ricotta Pancakes which I served with little sausages.

Orange Ricotta Pancakes

1 3/4 cups or 1# container of part skim ricotta cheese
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated orange zest
2/3 cup flour

Whisk together ricotta, sugar, eggs, and orange zest. Whisk in flour just until combined.
I made the pancakes on my griddle set at 375 degrees. You could also use a frying pan. Grease with either butter, oil or pan spray. Use 1/4 cup for each pancake. Wait until the pancakes look set on top before attempting to turn. Cook until brown. Serve hot with either powdered sugar, jam or Penzey's vanilla sugar. Delicious.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday, September 25

I got home later last night because I went to a jewelry party with my daughter, Victoria. They had a lot of snacks at the party, but I decided I better make some food for Arthur since I didn't cook either Monday or Tuesday nights. I went out to dinner for SLA (Special Libraries Association) functions both evenings. Plus I need to get busy using our veggies.

We also belong to a fruit CSA called Future Fruit. We get delicious organic apples, pears and plums from this farm. I had some ripe pears so I decided to make a salad with celeriac, pears and hazelnuts from a recipe in our HVF newsletter. It was good (not fabulous).

Celeriac Pear Salad

Creamy Dijon Dressing
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon table salt
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons sour cream or more if needed

In medium bowl, whisk together lemon juice, mustard, honey, and salt. Whisk inoil in slow, steady stream. Add sour cream; whisk to combine. Set aside.

1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts
1 medium celeriac
2 small pears firm ripe pears, grated
1/2 small onion, sliced thin
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley leaves
2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon leaves (if available, dry is OK too but use less)
Table salt and ground black pepper

Shred celery root using your food processor. You should have about 3 cups. Add immediately to prepared dressing; toss to coat. Add grated pear. Stir in onions, parsley (and tarragon, if using), and hazelnuts. Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

I also made a tuna salad with dried cranberries on a bed of salad greens based on a recipe from Weight Watchers. This was very good.

Cranberry Tuna Salad

1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
1/4 tsp lemon zest (optional, I didn't have a fresh lemon)
1 tsp fresh lemon juice (or bottled if necessary)
12 oz water-packed tuna fish, drained
8 leaves basil
Bed of salad greens

Combine ingredients through tuna. Spoon onto bed of greens. Sliver basil and put on top of salad.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What's for dinner tonight

This blog is mainly to help me remember what I've done with my CSA food in the past and what I plan to do with it in the future. My husband and I belong to a Community Supported Agriculture farm and get fresh organic produce every Saturday from the beginning of May through January. We're trying a new farm this year, Harmony Valley. We also get cheese twice a month and freshly roasted coffee. Since we get a full share every week it means that I have a substantial amount of produce to deal with. There are just the two of us eating the food except for occasional guests but we think it keeps us eating fresher healthier food and we definitely get our quota of veggies.

My techniques for "what do with all these vegetables" is the following:

1) Pick them at the pick up site

2) Bring them home and find out what's in the box. HVF sends out an e-mail message describing the produce, including pictures, the day before but you're never sure of the quantity. Such as are you getting a large eggplant that you could use for eggplant parmigiana or a little tiny one to include in a stir fry.

3) I weigh or make note of the quantities I have to work with.

4) Next I enter it all onto my spread sheet, ex: broccoli 1#, green beans 1#

5) Then I plan what I'm going to do with all of the food. These vegetables become the backbone of our menus for the week. For instance if I have a lot of lettuce and salad greens, I'll probably plan to incorporate them into a couple of main dish salads. Besides listing the recipe I indicate what cookbook, website, etc. it is from.

6) Next I check to see what additional items I'll need to purchase for my recipes, such as chicken, etc. I try to get as many of the products as possible at our local farmers' markets.

7) I post my weekly recipes on the refrigerator. This planning seems like it might take some time (and it does) but I only have to do it once a week.

This is an example of one of my weekly spreadsheets: