CSA 2013 – Week 6

What wacky, wacky weather. Last weekend it felt like fall – thankfully we are back up to perfect summer temperatures; not too hot, not too cold.

This past week was Week 1 of Band Camp – so it was my husband’s job to pick up the CSA (meaning he got to choose our top-off veggies!). I’m glad that the farm is on his route home, so he can take care of things while I am working late – thank you, Hubs 🙂

This week included a nice variety of produce:

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Week 6, with my kitchen ‘helper’, Bandit

  • zucchini
  • beets (top-off)
  • eggplant
  • thyme
  • an onion! (Coveyou grows the best onions)
  • tomatoes (one was a top-off)
  • broccoli
  • cauliflower – it has hues of purple in it
  • green beans
  • a ginormous basil plant, roots and all

Today will be spent playing ‘catch-up’ with making sure our CSA vegetables are processed for canning or the freezer, or ready to go for this week’s meals. This past week we ended up dining out twice – once because our potluck fell through, and the other because it was our 5-year anniversary.

My gift from Hubs

My gift from Hubs

Our tradition for our anniversaries is to stick to the “traditional gift” theme. The traditional gift for the 5-year anniversary (as much of a milestone as it is), is wood. I purchased an oak barrel for my husband – who doesn’t hit at gifts very often, but hinted again and again for a barrel so that he can brew a bourbon beer of some sort.

For me, my husband purchased a beautiful bread & oil board, made out of maple. It’s so pretty! He also purchased some wine, cheese, & crackers so that we could break it in before we went out for the evening. We weren’t sure, though, if it was okay to put cheese on it, so we put it on a plate – I’ll have to do some research between now and the next time we plan to use it (which will probably be soon, as we have some leftover cheese in the fridge! Mmm….:-))

Well, it’s off to the store for some grocery shopping before our productive day commences…if this blog seems a little quiet this week, it’s because I ran out of time to schedule posts – it’s Week 2 of Band Camp! Have a lovely Sunday 😀

Conscious Box #1 – July ’13

As you may have noticed, I haven’t done a Foodie Penpal box in a month or so. Truth be told, I wanted to take a little break from it and try something different. Enter the Conscious Box. Conscious Box’s main ‘shtick’ is to send out samples of produces that are organic, all-natural, and eco-friendly. This is a great find for anyone who is interested in ‘trying before you buy’ – especially when it comes to these ‘better-for-you products’ that you’re not sure you’ll like.

I first heard about Conscious Box from, well, somewhere. I honestly can’t remember, but I do remember that it was several months ago and I was curious to see what it was all about. I figured I’d try it once I got tired of doing FP. I liked them on Facebook, and last month they posted a promo code of some sort. Which, in turn, led me to subscribe to the box for a few months – just to see what would come my way. Since my husband and I are becoming more interested in organic/clean eating, as well as eco-friendly products, I knew that this would be money well-spent. There had to be something in the coming box that I would really enjoy or be excited about.

Let’s be honest here, though – who doesn’t like getting samples in the mail? If you don’t, then I’m sorry. Send them my way! 😛

Made with the PicCollage app :)

Made with the PicCollage app 🙂

This box included a variety of products – food, beauty, health, & household. July’s theme was “Nature’s Fireworks”. It included a lot of new, neat products – here are some that I have tried already and are very pleased with:

  • Equal Exchange Fair Trade & Organic Chocolate – delicious dark chocolate that is actually vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free – and has only 5 ingredients. This was great for an afternoon chocolate craving that I had.
  • Ecover Automatic Dishwasher Tablets – I am all about natural cleaning products so I was excited to receive these! I paired these with a white vinegar rinse in my dishwasher and they worked pretty well.
  • Orgain Healthy Kids Organic Nutritional Shake – I didn’t try this, but my husband put it in his lunch at work. He’s 6’4″ and it kept him pretty full until dinnertime. I think that says a lot!
  • Clean Ethics Bottle Bright Water Bottle Cleaner – This is my favorite product in this box so far. I love my Nalgene bottle, but find it hard to clean – and I hate putting it in the dishwasher. This product is very user-friendly and left no icky residue or odor in the bottle. My water bottle was in desperate need of a good cleaning and this product, just by dropping it into my water bottle (filled with warm water), made it practically sparkle! The website boasts that it’s good for coffee mugs, too – a necessity for the school year.

Granted, there are a lot of products in this box – we haven’t gotten to everything yet!

I’m happy to say that I really enjoyed July’s Conscious Box and I am looking forward to seeing what August has in store. You will be seeing at least two more posts about Conscious Box, as I got a sweet deal on a 3-month subscription. As I said before, it’s a great way to try eco-friendly and organic/natural products, before you buy them in a store and see if they work for you – especially if you are considering changing your lifestyle into  one that uses these types of foods & products.

**In no way am I being compensated for this review of Conscious Box. These thoughts are my own and for the pure interest and enjoyment of my readers!**

 

From My Kitchen to Yours

Santa Claus brought this chef something very exciting for Christmas:

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Needless to say, it’s going to be a wonderful addition to my kitchen! 🙂 What to make with it first…?

I hope that you have had a wonderful holiday season full of love and joy. We’ve been blessed to be with friends yesterday, and each other today; I’ll be heading down to Ohio to visit our loved ones once the blizzard subsides.

Thank you all for supporting & reading my posts – it’s a joy to share the fun I have in the kitchen every week. Thus – “from my kitchen to yours”…happy holidays!

Ginormous Zucchini

Mike emailed me the other day, saying that he was bringing home a zucchini that one of his guys brought in (apparently no one else wanted it). I figure I can always find a use for extra zucchini, right?

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Hilo was very nervous to approach it.

The zucchini is 17 inches long, which is about the same length as our other cat, Bandit, who is too much of a busybody to pose for such things as pictures with courgettes.

I’m thinking on blanching it and freezing it for use this winter. Any other ideas?