Thursday, July 18, 2013

CSA Week 4

Slowly but surely I'm starting to get my computer life back together.  Just in time for me to "disappear" for a week!  I know, right?  I miss y'all!!  But summer vacation and time with family beckons.  So off I go, knowing that soon this Summer of Insane Activities will end, Harvest Season will really kick-off, and I'll be throwing myself back into my kitchen with gusto.

But before I head out, of course I have to share what I picked up today!  CSA Week 4 includes:

  • Lettuce
  • Broccoli
  • Summer Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Sweet Onions
  • Green Cabbage
  • Kohlrabi
  • Peas
  • Basil
  • Eggs
At this point, I will probably just work on preserving as much of this as I can.  Shredding/pureeing and freezing the squash to use in baked goods.  Maybe whipping up a quick pesto with the basil.  And freezing the broccoli and peas again, for later use.  There have been a few things that I've had to throw out just because I couldn't get to it fast enough.  I refuse to let that continue!  So it's cook it, or preserve it from here on out!

We are supporting LOTFOTL Farm by purchasing a Seesaw Share, plus a dozen eggs.  This means we will get a box of produce and a dozen eggs every other week. To learn more about CSA's and how to participate, visit 
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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

This, That, and The Other

I swear, between this, that, and the other this week, I'll be a rock star to get a meal plan posted for next week.

My computer fried over the weekend.  And my hubby, in his incredible support for my crazy little hobbies like this food blog, setup his old laptop for me to use until I can get a new one (*gulp* cha-ching).  So now I'm getting used to a new computer, AND trying to find all my pictures.  Especially pics of this chicken wrap I made last month that I sooooooooooooooo want to share with you!

A sane blogger would spend her time getting her computer world back up-to-snuff.  Whoever said I was sane though? ;)  Between keeping my boys entertained, I decided this week would be an excellent one to start jamming and canning.  My life is already insane; what's one more thing?

So yesterday it was a couple batches of basic strawberry jam.  This morning I experimented with a 3-Citrus Marmalade.  And right now I have some Strawberry Honey Jam working on the stove.  And don't worry, another batch of 3-Berry Honey Jam is totally on my agenda this summer!  Just need my raspberries to come in first.

For now, back to the stove...
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Thursday, July 4, 2013

This Week's Menu

Yesterday I learned why it's never a good idea to get groceries the day before a holiday.  There comes a point where you just have to step back and laugh though at how riled up people get over being first to the corn-on-the-cob bins or getting to the checkout lane before someone else.

Deep breath people!  It's just groceries. ;)

  • Thursday: Happy Independence Day!!  We're doing the traditional burger/brat/hot dog cookout with some tasty corn-on-the-cob and some sort of fresh produce from yesterday's CSA haul.  I've still got a few hours to figure out what I'm doing there. ;)
  • Saturday: We're spending the day in Chicago so I have ZERO meal plan for that evening since I don't know when we're getting home exactly.  I would reallyreallyreallyreally like to try one of the zillion tasty restaurants Chi-town has to offer, but that's me.
  • Sunday: New Recipe! Teriyaki Chicken with Warm Ginger-Carrot Slaw
  • Monday: Leftovers
  • Wednesday: New Recipe! Central Illinois Pork Tenderloin Sandwiches, and a CSA veggie side
Happy planning!!
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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

CSA Week 3

Because of Independence Day falling on Thursday this year, I picked up our share a day early.  So that means some of this glorious bounty will make an appearance at our cookout tomorrow night!  Excellent!!

So for our 3rd week of CSA, we have:
I think I need a separate, full-size fridge just for produce.

  • Basil
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Peas
  • Kale
  • Beets
  • Squash
  • Kohlrabi
  • Chard
  • Parsley
  • Eggs
Oh, so many options here...  Where shall I begin?
  • The herbs I'll use here and there throughout the next couple weeks.  I'm totally in love with green-garlic compound butter, which needs a little parsley.  And a Caprese salad might be added to an upcoming menu.
  • When I saw the cabbage, the first thing that popped in my head was Teriyaki Chicken with Warm Ginger-Carrot Slaw.  I haven't made it in years but I LOVE it (the fam, not so much but oh well.  I'm the cook here!). ;)
  • I have a smoothie recipe I want to use the kale in for the boys.  They always need more leafy greens in their diets.
  • My parents swear by roasting beets, which I'll try.  But honestly, I have a certain chocolate cake in mind for these guys!
  • Kohlrabi and chard I need to think about.  These are very new to me so I'll be doing some digging to see what I can come up with.
In case anyone is wondering, so far our CSA experiment this summer is totally WORKING.  Not only are we eating more vegetables, but we're discovering we actually like new ones!  I'm getting closer to loving asparagus (baby steps here... don't rush me), AND Rob and I both discovered we like turnips.  If you're at all considering doing a CSA next year, I would certainly recommend it based on our experience so far.

We are supporting LOTFOTL Farm by purchasing a Seesaw Share, plus a dozen eggs.  This means we will get a box of produce and a dozen eggs every other week. To learn more about CSA's and how to participate, visit 
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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Cole Slaw

It's summertime!!  One of the things I like most about summer is all the picnics and cookouts.  That smoky, crispy char on meats.  The fresh crispness of summer veggies.  It's all so delightful!

In fact, I like crisp veggies so much that it's one of the main reasons I hate cole slaw.  That, and it's often drowning in dressing.  *shudder*  *gag*  

So why am I posting a cole slaw recipe when I claim I don't like it?  Because, once again, my mom has come to the rescue with a variation that I absolutely love!  Even my 2-year-old loves this!!

Cole Slaw
Recipe from my mom
Prep time: 2 minutes (10ish if you shred everything yourself)  Wilt time: 1 hour   Chill time: 30 minutes

1 medium head green cabbage, quatered, cored, and shredded
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
1/2 small onion, shredded
2 tsp salt
1/2 cup mayonnaise [NOTE: feel free to do half Greek yogurt here]
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Toss cabbage, carrot, onion, and salt in a colander set over bowl. Let stand until wilted, about 1 hour. Rinse cabbage mixture under cold water, drain, and dry well with kitchen towel. (At this point, cabbage mixture can be refirgerated in a zipper-lock bag for 24 hours.)
A little onion, shredded, goes a long way in this salad.

2.  Whisk mayo, sour cream, vinegar, sugar, and pepper in a large bowl.

Freshly salted veggies...

3.  Stir in cabbage mixture and refrigerate until chilled, at least 30 minutes. Serve. (Coleslaw can be refrigerated in an airtight container for 2 days.)
Rinsed and dried!  Do these look limp to you?  Thank you Magic Salt!

 This cole slaw is FANTASTIC in it's simplicity.  By taking the time to salt the veggies first, and draw out a lot of the water that's in them, we're making sure that they stay crisper and fresher once coated in the dressing.  Most slaws wilt pretty quickly because the salt in the dressing pulls out that water and then the salad quickly starts to turn into something closer to soup.  Salting is really the crucial step in this recipe; and it's totally worth the extra time!! 
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