CSA ’14: Week 6

What an exciting week in CSA-land! Temperatures up here are starting to creep up, which means that more variety is on its way. Vegetables are finally starting to grow!

In our own garden, we harvested a gallon-sized Ziploc bag of peas, and a gallon plus a half of green beans. With more to come! Tonight the game plan is to cut up the green beans and throw them in the deep freeze. We also harvested our first tomatoes…now if we can just keep the weeds down, we’ll be in business.

Here’s what arrived in our CSA this week. Mike got to (once again) pick it up, since I had band camp and couldn’t go earlier in the day:

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  • kale – we sautéed it with olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes
  • plenty of Italian parsley (thanks to our market master, I have a plan for how to use it!)
  • beets
  • a tomato! YAY!
  • red cabbage
  • broccoli
  • swiss chard – I chopped this and boiled it with linguine, and served it with homemade pesto
  • red leaf lettuce
  • onions
  • CORN!!!!

My husband and I celebrated our anniversary this past weekend and went out to eat a little too much – so I still have a significant amount of produce to go through before our next box on Tuesday. Thankfully, I have Monday off and Tuesday morning to tackle the bounty and get ready for even more fresh produce!

CSA ’14: Week 5

I started to get a little excited this past weekend since the weather was nice and sunny…and above 70*! And then…today, 65* and overcast. Where, oh where is my summer? This is making everything grow so slowwwwwly…

…though despite the weather, our CSA share this week was plentiful nonetheless!

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– beets
– sweet onions
– romaine lettuce (it was huge!)
– a bag o’ basil
– cucumber
– pattypan squash
– broccoli and cauliflower
– fennel
– green beans
– lacinato kale – We’ve already eaten this…sautéed with olive oil and garlic, yum!

Just like in years past, the challenge will be deciding what to do with the fennel…

What We’ve Been Eating…

This is almost a brain dump of sorts – I’ve been meaning to post but honestly, I’ve been working a lot of evenings at the bakery so kitchen experimentation has been at best, a lull. 😦

HOWEVER! I’ve got several day shifts this week, plus band camp next week (I know…already!?) so I’ll have more time to find cook and share recipes with you all. Trust me, I’m excited.

Here’s what we’ve been doing with our CSA vegetables as of late:

  •  Inspired by a recipe posted by a longtime friend of mine on Facebook, I added swiss chard to enchiladas! In a crockpot, I threw in chicken thighs, a runny can of homemade salsa, and some chopped swiss chard. I let it simmer all day while I was at work, then assembled the enchiladas once I got home and topped them with green enchilada sauce. It was delish and fast.
  • Roasted beets are wonderful. Chop off the greens (save & eat ’em if you want), wash & wrap in foil. Roast at 400* for 1 hour. They’re great sliced in salads, or by themselves – I like them with Catalina dressing (that’s how I ate them growing up).
  • I’m a real canner now. I made dilly beans!
  • I found a recipe in my vegetarian bible for a ‘summer vegetable stew’. It had a Latin flavor to it and was so incredibly filling; it used corn, green beans, tomatoes, pinto beans, and peppers. I froze half of it for a quick meal later.
  • Is sauteed zucchini & summer squash not a summer staple in anyone’s dinner line-up right now?
  • Chicken breast in fridge without a plan + head of lettuce + I got home from work late = yummy quick salad

Have you been having fun with your CSA?

 

Market Haul, July 9-12

– Garlic scapes from Pond Hill

strawberries from Guntzviller’s

macarons (not macaroons) from Mackinaw Macarons – Have you ever had a macaron? Neither had I until Wednesday. Such fun little treats; it will NOT be the last time I purchase these! I bought lime basil, fig, coffee/chocolate, and pistachio

– eggs & breakfast sausage from Gregory Farms

– “wild & spicy” lettuce blend from Wild Youth Farm

– “spring mix” from Coveyou Farm

– goats milk soap from Soapbox Kitchen

– blueberries and jam from Farmer White’s

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CSA ’14: Week 3

This week, we have even more color and variety. Our farmers up here are battling some unseasonably cool temperatures, so I’m especially glad to see everything this week!

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– zucchini and squash
– beets
– turnips – What!!?? I’ve never dealt with those before…
– red leaf lettuce
– green beans
– snap peas
– onions
– Swiss chard
– broccoli
– cauliflower

I’ve already used the chard, with spaghetti and meatballs. Broccoli and cauliflower are on the docket for tonight in a lemon chicken dish. Beets will be in a salad, at least…

…what to do with the turnips?! Any suggestions?

CSA ’14: Week 2

I think it’s safe to say that I am getting back into the swing of things with CSA Tuesdays. Now, if I could just get used to blogging about it all the time 🙂 It being a holiday week didn’t exactly help my blogging habits, but I have to say that it was an amazing weekend spent with my husband, parents, siblings & their significant others. Canoeing, fireworks, shopping, and of course lots of walking, drinking, and eating!

Week 2 of CSA was still mostly green, but I was very happy to see a bit more variety!

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  • garlic scapes – as you’ve guessed, I’m making another round of pesto. Just can’t get enough!
  • snow peas – for stir fry
  • purple kohlrabi – These were slicedand eaten raw. I always struggle to use up kohlrabi, but I knew that my parents like to eat it raw so I didn’t have any trouble this time around!
  • broccoli & cauliflower – blanched & frozen for a future dish
  • red leaf lettuce – for lunches
  • romaine lettuce – used in a salad for dinner on Thursday night
  • zucchini & squash – I will be using two smaller ones for stir fry, and the two larger ones as a side dish this week

I hope you had as wonderful of a 4th of July weekend as I did 🙂

 

 

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

As you saw from the first CSA of the summer, I received a bundle of rhubarb and had no idea what to do with it. After a bit of thinking and a purchase of a quart of strawberries from the market, I decided to go with the ‘strawberry-rhubarb’ route and make a dessert. I know, I know – desserts on this blog are (sadly) few and far between.

I decided to research crumbles and crisps to see what I could come up with, especially with not having a lot of ‘extra’ ingredients on hand in my pantry. All I needed to buy for this recipe was some quick oats – and since I needed to go to the store to get coffee anyways, I could easily get my hands on the exact amount I needed from their bulk ingredient section. We all know I have to have my coffee…so I consider this a win.

ANYWAYS – here’s a dessert for anyone who is holding on to the tail end of strawberry and rhubarb season tightly. I admit, it does have a lot of sugar in it…but it’s well worth it when it’s all done baking.

Old-Fashioned Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

from Food & Wine

For the Filling:

  • 2 lb rhubarb stalks, sliced into small 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 lb strawberries, hulled & quartered
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the Topping:

  • 1 stick (or 4 oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose
  • 1 1/4 cups quick oats
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  1. Make the topping: Combine all of the topping ingredients into a medium bowl. Use the dough hook on your KitchenAid mixer, a pastry blender, or your fingers, to mix everything together until large crumbs form. You CAN make this a day ahead of time and refrigerate overnight; make sure you bring it to room temperature before using.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375*. In a bowl, toss the rhubarb and 3/4 cup of the sugar, and let it stand for 15 minutes (stirring occasionally). In another bowl, toss the strawberries with the remain 1/2 cup sugar and let stand for 10 minutes, also stirring occasionally.
  3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the rhubarb to the strawberries and discard any rhubarb juice. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and stir to combine. Transfer the mixture to a 9×13 glass baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle the crumb topping evenly over the filling and bake for 30 minutes. Then, turn the temperature down to 325* and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. The filling should be nice and bubbly and the topping browned.
  5. Remove from oven and let the crisp rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
  6. SERVE WARM WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM.

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This dessert really hit the spot on a warm, humid summer night. It’s not the most healthy dessert out there, but it’s great for a crowd or cookout. Don’t let the rhubarb scare you, either – there’s enough sugar in this recipe to cut the tartness. If the texture of rhubarb bothers you, make sure you chop it into small enough pieces.

As Step #6 states  – you have to eat it with vanilla ice cream. It just isn’t the same without (trust me, I tried). You’ll be glad you did!

 

 

Market Haul, June 25-28

It finally feels like summer! 🙂 Today it’s a high of 80 and plenty of sunshine to soak up. The best part is that I don’t have to work at the bakery this afternoon, so I can just soak it all in!

Here’s this week’s market haul:
– fresh strawberries from Guntzviller’s
young leeks from Wild Youth Farm
garlic scapes from Coveyou Farm – I honestly cannot get enough of these things!
whole wheat pasta from Two Acre Farm
baby squash, snow peas and red spring onions from Pond Hill Farm
1lb ground beef and smoked pork chops from Dick Gregory’s farm in Harbor Springs

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Brass Quintet at the Market! Geeking out as only a band director can…

Happy Saturday 🙂 Recipes to come soon…

CSA ’14: Week 1

I have to say that CSA days are one of the most exciting days of the week. It’s almost like getting a care package in college – the possibilities in the cardboard box are endless! So of course you can imagine my anticipation when I woke up on Tuesday morning.

Being that we’ve had a late start to spring/summer, nearly everything in our box this week was green. Plenty of old favorites:

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– rhubarb – what?! I’ve never received this in a share before so I’m not quite sure where to start…
– two heads of green butter lettuce (one being a top-off choice)
– spinach
– rainbow Swiss chard
– garlic scapes!!!!!! (I tripled my quantity as a top-off choice)
– 1 head of red butter lettuce
– bok choy
– kale

So, now begins the the challenge of figuring out what to make with it all. The lettuces will be easy; with the kale, we’ll be trying our hand at kale chips. Garlic scapes will (of course) be made into garlic scape pesto. I’m leaning towards a pasta with the spinach, and a stir fry with the bok choy.

The Swiss chard is always fun to try and work with…so I’m open to new ideas if anyone has any out there! 😉 But, what about the rhubarb?…any tips?