Fresh Fork Basket 9/23/15


Told you I was behind. This past week was even crazier! Thankfully the coming week is going to be a bit more low key – but just a bit, mind you. Irregardless we are munching away with another delicious week of Fresh Fork.

  • Beets – again, roasted and awaiting consumption, probably Monday night.
  • fresh pasta – How cool is this!!!??? We received Butternut Sage linguine. The bag includes 3 servings; one of which has been consumed by Hubs on a night where I was fed at conferences and he was left on his own. Tossed with pesto from the freezer and a few tomatoes, it’s a satisfying meal!
  • carrots – To be roasted for dinner…yummy!
  • butternut squash – to the pantry it goes…I have enough for soup now
  • yellow onion
  • a gigantic kohlrabi – probably to be diced and frozen for winter stir fry
  • yellow summer squash – This was sauteed with the cherry tomatoes and some garlic, basil, salt, pepper and olive oil
  • cherry tomatoes – I wonder how much longer we’ll be receiving these…they’re just oh-so-good
  • green peppers – Not my favorite, but always necessary for casseroles and crock pot meals. 
  • potatoes

Fresh Fork Basket 9/16/15


A busy week at our house!

I think that most exciting thing about our new CSA is that we get other foods in addition to just vegetables. We are true omnivores in our house and the Small Omnivore Basket that we receive each week is just perfect! As this post is ridiculously late, here is a recap of our 2nd week, as well as how we prepared these foods:

  • pears – I am not a fan of pears, but Hubs is, so most of these were consumed as breakfast
  • roma tomatoes – These were sliced and roasted with some garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil.
  • red leaf lettuce – Salads. Perfect with those beets
  • golden beets – Roasted for an hour in the oven; holding court in our fridge and used in salads
  • eggplant – One was used in eggplant parmesan. The other is still in the fridge and needs to be used ASAP!
  • zucchini – Shredded and frozen; zucchini fritters TBM.
  • spaghetti squash – Thankfully squash keeps for a little while! Perfect for a weeknight meal.
  • cider – This was gone pretty quickly; a certain Hubs of mine loves cider this time of year
  • turkey patties – These were put in the freezer and thawed when we had family over for lunch. It was a perfect lunch before traveling out of town for the night.

I am loving the variety, and like I said before, really loving having a kitchen of my own again :)

One-Pot Pizza Pasta Bake

I may not be a parent yet, but I am a teacher, so back-to-school in our house is a zero-to-sixty time of year with school days, school nights, and marching season! The concept of the one-pot meal is one that, as a busy teacher and lazy pan washer, I absolutely adore. They’re very user-friendly, especially for the multi-tasker. You fix the meal, cover the pot, and go do something else while dinner cooks…in my case, it’s usually laundry or a cleaning chore of some sort.

I came across a round-up of 15 Best Back-To-School Recipes over at Damn Delicious. If you haven’t come across this blog yet, click to it! It’s full of amazing recipes that are easy to cook and true to the blog title. This pasta bake caught my eye and I knew I had to try it. Including prep time it took about 30 minutes. I adapted it based upon the meat and vegetables that I had on hand.

One-Pot Pizza Pasta Bake

adapted from Damn Delicious

  •  1 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 oz ground turkey
  • 1 medium zucchini; peeled, sliced and quartered
  • 4 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni, divided – slice regular-sized pepperoni into quarters, or use the mini ones
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp oregano, divided
  • 1 tsp dried basil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder, divided
  • 8 oz dry rotini pasta
  • sat & pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the ground turkey and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes; break it up as you go so it gets nice and crumbly. Add the zucchini, mushrooms, and half of the oregano, basil and garlic powder. Cook for two minutes until the zucchini starts to get some color. Add half of pepperoni and cook until heated through.
  3. Preheat the oven to broil.
  4. To the skillet add the tomato sauce, pasta, and the rest of the oregano, basil and garlic powder. Pour in 1 1/2 cups water and season with salt and pepper; stir to combine. Bring the mixture to a boil; then cover, reduce heat and simmer until pasta is cooked, about 15 minutes.
  5. Remove the skillet from the heat. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese, remaining pepperoni, and parsley on top. Place into the heated oven and cook until the cheese has melted and browns a little (about 2 minutes). Serve immediately!


This was a hit in our house and my husband said it was ‘really good’, too – so I call that an absolute win. This may sound kind of weird – but this tasted a lot like Hamburger Helper but without all the weird additives in it. It look about as long to prepare, included vegetables and was, well, real food. This dish was good on it’s own, but can be served with a green salad if you want, too. You can also customize the vegetables you use,  especially if you like several toppings on your pizza. You can also adapt this to be meatless but omitting the pepperoni and turkey, and adding more veggies.

It’s a basic dish that’s packed with flavor – and only uses one pot. What’s not to love? Enjoy :)

Fresh Fork Basket – 9/9/15

Its a good day when it’s CSA Day – or shall I say, Fresh Fork Day. Our CSA bundle arrives Wednesdays up at the church we occasionally go to; I’m slowly learning the ropes of how they do things. Apparently I can also order other local eats to supplement our basket such as meats, pastas, breads, eggs and more. I’m thinking bacon next week :) Anyway, we have subscribed to the Omnivore basket – in addition to vegetables we will also receive fruit, as well as grains and occasional meat. I’ve also signed up for the Winter Share…which will bring us healthy, locally-sourced foods throughout the dreary Cleveland winter. You can imagine how excited I am!

Anyway, let’s get to our basket:


  • green bell peppers
  • ‘longhorn’ peppers – my guess is that they are sweet?
  • leek
  • cherry tomatoes
  • Stanley plums (aka ‘Italian plums’)
  • a GIGANTIC purple carrot
  • two zucchini
  • acorn squash
  • butternut squash

I am in no way, shape or form ready to eat those squash yet. It’s a little too warm now – cooling off this weekend for a bit – so I figure these will be stored for a little while and put to use once the weather ‘officially’ turns. The peppers…I’m thinking either a pepper relish or fajitas next week. Tomatoes and zucchini are always easy to use up; if I don’t I will freeze them to use this winter. The leek should be pretty easy to use as well.

As far as the plums go, I am going to see how many my husband takes for lunch…if any are left I will bake something with them this weekend. The carrot…that huge, purple carrot…I’m thinking roasted, or chopped up for snacking.

It’s great to be blogging again, especially about a CSA share! And it’s good to be back into the swing of things again :)

Epic Return


Remember me? I am happy to report that I am back. Really, really back.

In June we sold our house and moved to Cleveland.

In July we bought our new house and I accepted a full-time teaching position.

In August we moved into our new house, celebrated 7 years of marriage and have unpacked most of our belongings.

In September, actually as of 9:30am this morning, we are members of a CSA again – with our first share available for pick up tomorrow. :)

So, as I said…I am back! New posts headed your way SOON!

Mushroom, Corn and Bacon Chowder

My oh my…it’s been a very hectic six weeks. Exciting, but hectic…

My husband was offered and accepted a new position with a new company, back “home” in our old stomping grounds of northeast Ohio. He started his job last week and I’ve been batching it up here in northern Michigan. It’s very bittersweet; this place has become our home and we’ve made a lot of wonderful friends up here. My last day at the bakery is May 9; my last day of school is June 4. Things are moving very quickly and life has changed very quickly, but I know that the ending result will be absolutely fantastic and I may as well enjoy the ride while I am at it. I’ve begun the process of going through many of our worldly belongings and trying to determine what stays, what goes, and why do we still have this? It’s also time to put the house on the market – which means lots of cleaning, painting, fixing, hiring…I’m tired already. At least, I am enjoying having a cleaner house? ;-)

Needless to say it’s been a challenge learning how to cook for one once again, as I haven’t needed to do that in seven years! At least I know I can pack up my slow cooker for the move and it can go ‘on vacation’ until we buy our new house. The KitchenAid is already in storage…which I miss already!

I first made this chowder about three weeks ago; I had one bowl and the Mister managed to eat all the leftovers in like, one day – which normally I wouldn’t mind, beacuse I’m not a fan of leftovers – but I was actually disappointed. So, once he moved down to CLE, this was the first meal I made for myself. It’s very satisfying, filling, and relatively nutritious. It’s definitely been a great meal to eat on the colder springs days that we’ve had (and are still having…thanks for that half inch of snow today, Mother Nature).

Mushroom, Corn and Bacon Chowder

adapted from Damn Delicious

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms – OP says shiitake, but I have used both cremini and white, and have been happy with the results
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 lb potatoes, diced – I have used red and purple(!!!!!) potatoes!
  • 2 cups baby spinach OR kale leaves (trim off the stems)
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley
  1. Heat a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until it starts to get slightly crispy. Remove from pot; set aside in a bowl lined with a paper towel to drain the excess grease. Drain the excess grease from the pot and return to medium heat.
  2. Melt the butter. Add the mushrooms and onion; cook for two minutes, then add the garlic and stir occasionally until the veggies soften. Stir in the thyme and dill.
  3. Whisk in the flour, little by little, until everything begins to lightly brown. Add the broth and whisk it to combine as you go. The mixture will begin to thicken; keep stirring and add the bay leaf. After about five minutes, add the potatoes.
  4. Bring the soup to a boil; reduce the heat. Simmer until the potatoes are cooked through.
  5. Add the leafy greens and corn. Stir to combine.
  6. Once the greens are wilted, stir in the half-and-half and season with salt and pepper. Taste and seeif you need to add more. Garnish with bacon and parsley; serve hot with crusty bread.

This chowder is so good – damn delicious, in fact! – that I didn’t even get a picture of it. I thought I did…bummer!

I really liked how well the flavors of this chowder worked so well together; it also heated up really well. There is just the right amount of flavor and herbs, and there are plenty of vegetables. It’s very filling – a cup of it is the perfect lunch.

If you’re feeling a little chilled out by this spring weather, try this chowder! You will not be disappointed.

Harissa Ravioli

I have a fun one for you today!

We’re now combining the concept of ‘eating less meat’ and ‘Lent’. I’ve been searching high and low for a few new meatless meals that aren’t all about grains and dairy (which we all know hold the first several spots in my list of favorite foods) and may be relative nice on the waistline.

I came across this one in a cookbook that had been circulating around the bakery; lately we’ve been passing around a cookbook or two to get inspired in our own kitchens. I came across this recipe and was hooked because of its use of harissa.

Harissa is a spicy chili pepper paste that is THE condiment of Tunisia. It has a very rich, spicy flavor and is used for meats, vegetables, dips…you name it. There are several different variations of harissa; all of which vary based upon household preferences and regions. Our version that I found at Spice Merchants (I loooooove this store) includes caraway, cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and dried chiles. It has such a neat flavor profile and after trying this recipe, I cannot wait to use it again (I’m thinking roasted veggies).


Harissa Ravioli

adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day

  • 1 garlic clove, smashed
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp harissa paste/powder
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 12-oz cheese ravioli (fresh or frozen) (tortellini works too)
  • 8 oz broccoli florets, trimmed and cut into bite-sized pieces (broccolini/rapini works too)
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted (almonds or pepitas work, too)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 5 or 6 kalamata olives, sliced
  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. While it’s heating up, prepare the harissa mixture: Take the smashed garlic clove and sprinkle the salt over it. Then, chop into a paste. Transfer this to a small bowl and stir in the lemon juice, harissa, and olive oil. Taste and add more salt if needed.
  2. Once the water is boiling, add the ravioli. Cook until they float to the top of the water (usually 1-2 minutes is all it takes). About 30 seconds before the ravioli has finished cooking, add the broccoli to the pot. Boil for about 30 seconds to a minute, then remove from heat.
  3. Put the ravioli and broccoli in a large mixing bowl. Add the harissa mixutre, nuts, cheese and olives. Toss to combine and serve.

This meal from start to finish took approximately 20 minutes to make and was absolutely perfect for a weeknight meal and a Lenten Friday, at that. I used spinach & cheese ravioli; you can use whatever kind you wish, however. The leftovers heated up very well for my hubby and it really was a nice change from our usual meal line-up as of late. The harissa does have a kick, so if you are a bit wary of the heat, use less sauce when you mix up the ravioli for serving.  It’s simple, flavorful and relatively healthy, too.

If you see harissa at your local store, pick some up and give it a try. It’s a really neat condiment that adds depth, heat and flavor to what are otherwise ordinary ingredients. As I said before, I’m thinking that roasted veggies with harissa will be next :)