Market Haul, July 9-12

– Garlic scapes from Pond Hill

strawberries from Guntzviller’s

macarons (not macaroons) from Mackinaw MacaronsĀ – 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 šŸ™‚ 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,Ā 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 šŸ™‚

 

 

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 decidedĀ to go with theĀ ‘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.

AsĀ Step #6 states Ā – 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! šŸ™‚ 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 FarmĀ – 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 andĀ 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 šŸ™‚ 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! šŸ˜‰ But, what about the rhubarb?…any tips?

A Locavorian Summer

“Jenn, how many days of school do you have left?”

“One half.”

Finally…summer is just about here! All i have to do is finish exams on Monday and pack up my room. It was a long school year (and an extremely long winter, let’s be honest here) so I’m, well,Ā ecstatic that it’s June.

Many teachers take summers off, but since I’m one of those people that a) likes to be busy, b) likes to be social, and c) likes to make some extra cash – I’m spending another summer at Breadworks. Seriously, our bread & pastries are amazing – and you can order it online…my neighbor (seriously…she lives two doors down from us) does a great job with packaging and shipping. In all honesty – I love the product and the people, and they’re flexible with me when family comes in town, when I have to do band director things or when I want to help outĀ at the farmers market…

…yep. I’m going to be helping out at the Harbor Springs Farmers Market this summer – they received their equipment this spring for processing SNAP benefits so I am going to be lending a helping hand with that. I think it’s awesome that we’ll be able to process those funds, and that people who use SNAP will be able to purchase locally grown, healthy, and (mostly) organic food from the Farmer’s Market.

Speaking of organic food, our CSA Farm, Coveyou Scenic Farm, recently became a USDA Certified Organic Farm. How cool is that? First pick up is on June 24th and I am counting down the days Ā – literally, look at the app on my phone. I bought a book to go along with my CSA this year so that we have as little waste as possible and really make use of the vegetables we receive this summer. So far I really have loved what I’ve found in there and again,Ā I can’t wait!

If you’ve made it this far through my major brain dump, rest assured that I think that’s about it for today. šŸ˜‰ A new menu plan for the week is in the works, so stay tuned as we really dive into summer vacation!

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Salad

Hi everyone! Long time, no post. Sorry to those of you who read my blog often – it’s been one heck of a month over here. I’ve been relatively busy during the week with concerts and school wrap-up…and then we’ve been go-go-going almost every weekend (minus the one where I stayed home on a Friday with a stomach flu). There hasn’t been a lot of time for culinary inspiration; my Saved folder on Feedly has grown immensely and the Cooking Light magazines have piled up a bit. However, I’m happy to say that I have 12 actual days left until the end of the school year, and 15 until I jump back in at the bakery for the summer šŸ™‚ Things are starting to slow down…and fewer things are better than slowing down for summer šŸ™‚

Last weekend I had the pleasure of flying down to North Carolina to see my brother-in-law (and now my new sister-in-law) get married in Durham. It was a gorgeous wedding and it was great to see so much family and friends (we stopped in Clayton Sunday night to visit some good friends of ours); better yet, we managed to bringĀ Ā spring weather back to Northern Michigan! I had a lot of time in airports and vehicles to catch up on reading blog posts, magazines, and even a book on my Kindle…glorious. On our flight back north, I am came across this recipe, and knew that it would be the perfect dish to make that evening to help us ‘detox’ from our weekend. It was a snap to make, and Mike & I both really enjoyed it.

Asparagus and Goat Cheese Salad

adapted from Cooking Light (May 2014)

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • a sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 1 lb asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 2 cups mixed baby lettuce/spinach greens
  • 2 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tbsp chopped pecans, toasted
  • 1 tsp dried tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley

For the dressing:

  • 1 cup water
  • rind of 1 lemon, julienned
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp white wine
  • juice of 1 lemon (use the one that you skinned)
  • 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • another sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • 5 tspĀ olive oil
  1. CombineĀ the teaspoon of olive oil, the asparagus, and a dash of salt and pepper inĀ large bowlĀ and toss to coat. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add the asparagusĀ and cook until the asparagus is lightly charred.Ā Remove from heat andĀ set aside.
  2. In a measuring cup, pour in the water. Microwave forĀ 2 minutes or until water just boils. Add the lemonĀ rind; let it stand 20 seconds. DrainĀ the water and reserve theĀ rind.Ā 
  3. In a small saucepan, add theĀ rind, orange juice, and sugar. Whisk together, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low; cook until the mixture reduces toĀ about 3 tablespoons.
  4. Combine the wine, lemon juice, mustard,Ā salt & pepperĀ in a smallĀ bowl; stir with a whisk. Gradually add the five teaspoonsĀ of oliveĀ s oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Stir in orange juice mixture.
  5. In a large bowl, layer the lettuces with the asparagus. Top with the cheese, pecans and herbs. Drizzle the dressing over the top; toss if desired.

 

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I’m actually relatively new to the use of cast-iron skillets. I’ve had them in my cupboards for a long time, but wasn’t exactly sure how to use them other than over an open flame when camping. So, shoring up the asparagus in the skillet was a very easy tech week that I can use again and again, especially on nights where I don’t want to fire up the grill. I must note that I also used the cast iron toast the pecans; another technique that I’ve never tried. They were amazing on the salad and if you are not allergic, make sure that you include them when you make this.

If you love asparagus as much as we do, then I highly recommend this salad. The combination of asparagus and goat cheese is not one that I would’ve thought of before, but I really enjoyed the combination of flavors. And of course, homemade dressing beats anything out of the bottle, any day.

I’m really excited to add this to my repertoire of salads!

Foodie Penpals – April ’14

Oh, how the months just seem to fly by! It’s hard to believe we’re officially in to May…I have less than 30 days left of school šŸ˜€

This month’s Foodie Penpal exchange was with Sherry from Tennessee. She sent over quite the variety of items that go really well with some of my favorite tastesĀ šŸ™‚

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  • A hand-written note, with the recipe for “Mac & Cheese popcorn” – isn’t the card cute! Ahh, I love it!
  • Mrs. Campbell’s Chow Chow (the hot version) – I have heard of chow-chow before, but have never tried it.Ā I haven’t had a chance to try it yet – it sounds fantastic for burgers & hot dogs – so I plan on bringing it along to a cookout we have this weekend.
  • Vigo Red Beans & Rice – I love these because they’re so quick and easy to make when you need a quick side dish. Yum!
  • Pirouline ‘cookies’ – These are delicious and great for a quick chocolate fix!
  • Chili Lemon peanuts – I think we all know how much I love chili and lemon/lime together šŸ™‚
  • A bag of unpopped popcorn – Perfect!!!!
  • Popcorn Cheese Spice – To go with the popcorn (and part of the recipe that Sherry gave me)
  • Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans – I love my coffee in the morning…and I love chocolate…so obviously this is a great combination!

Thank you, Sherry, for the wonderful package! I have been enjoying everything…especially the popcorn šŸ™‚

Want more information onĀ Foodie Penpals? Hereā€™s a few details for yaā€¦

  • On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
  • You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
  • The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining whatā€™s in the box, to a fun recipeā€¦use your imagination!
  • You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Donā€™t forget about flat rate boxes!)
  • Foodie PenpalsĀ is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If youā€™re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
  • Foodie PenpalsĀ is open to US, Canadian & European residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. This is because things might get too slow and backed up when trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.

**This post was sharedĀ with several other Foodie Penpals over at The Lean Green Bean!**