Thursday, July 29, 2010

More Okra

- salad tomatoes

- cherry tomatoes

- watermelon

- okra

- assorted small onions

- summer squash

- zucchini

- sweet peppers

I also bought ground beef from Faith Farm, peaches from Agriberry, and corn from Victory Farms.

CSA Meals - Week 10

Time has gotten away from me this week.  I'm not going to be able to do a proper post, but here are a few highlights from the week:

 beans roasted with garlic and thyme

 homemade pesto

sauteed onions, zucchini, and tomatoes mixed with pesto, feta and ditalini

 salmon in foil packets with squash, parsley, basil, olive oil, and scallions

sherry cherry tomatoes and multi-grain bread

Friday, July 23, 2010

Height of Summer

This week's share is very summery:

- basil

- purplish cherry tomatoes

- red salad tomatoes

- zucchini

- squash

- green onions

- sweet peppers

- flat green beans of some sort - possibly Roma beans

CSA Meals - Week 9

The most interesting food from Week 9 didn't involve any of our share produce, but it was a delicious dinner.  Davy made me crab cakes, roasted asparagus, and steamed corn on the cob on Monday night, and did a fantastic job with all of it.

The sliced cantaloupe was a refreshing, sweet snack that I looked forward to each time I brought it to work, and all of the peaches from Agriberry were juicy and fragrant. 

On Wednesday night I marinated the zucchini, squash, and onion with lemon juice, olive oil and Texas Heat seasoning.  We baked the vegetables, which is a little variation from the normal grilling or roasting, and they were very tender and flavorful.

Over the weekend I was in Harrisburg for my friend Lyndsey's bridal shower.  I made two salads for it (below) and was able to use some CSA items.  The first salad, a tomato salad, had feta, cucumber, red onion, and a sauce consisting of garlic, olive oil, and basil.  The beautiful heirloom tomatoes were a great base for the other ingredients.  My other dish was a repeat from a few weeks ago - the simple potato salad with green and white beans. 

I brought the cherry tomatoes with me and we had some before dinner on Saturday night with hummus.  The bag of okra went to my dad - he knows how to make it much better than I can, and I knew I wouldn't have a chance to use it before the week was over.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Extra Photos

Below are a few pictures, compliments of Shannon, from our home renovation weekend: the "Not-sagna Pasta Toss," the zucchini frittata and cinnamon biscuit, and my trip to Spoonfed

Spoonfed is connected to a catering company, but they also have excellent prepared dishes and other food-related products in the small shop on Grove Ave.  We bought a tray of ham biscuits, which were delicious, and a spinach quiche, which was heavenly.  The products are on the pricey side, but the shop is very convenient and would be a great option for either a last-minute dinner or special occasion.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Pita Pizzas

Thanks to the lovely Sarah for this photo, and for a fantastic quick summer dinner idea!  

She drizzles halved mini pitas with olive oil, tops them with tomato, onion, summer squash, zucchini, fresh mozzarella, and more olive oil, and bakes them for about 10 minutes.  

When the pizzas are finished, she sprinkles some ribbons of basil on top and enjoys a satisfying, healthy meal!

Cherry Tomatoes Everywhere

Darbi, one of our farmers, warned us that this week's share and the next few might be light because of the heat and lack of rain.  I was pleasantly surprised to receive a heavy bag today at the market, filled with:

- okra

- fennel

- an amazing cantaloupe (from the stand next to Fertile Crescent's)

- an abundance of various types of tomatoes, including three crates of cherry tomatoes, which Darbi and Adam wanted to get rid of

- zucchini

- squash

- spring onions

I also purchased pretty peaches from Agriberry, but they're not ripe enough to taste yet.

CSA Meals - Week 8

I've noticed myself making bigger dishes with more than one CSA ingredient in an effort to turn the stove and/or oven on less.  Week 8 was very similar. 

For dinner on Thursday I made tuna salad with leftover corn, chopped tomato, cucumber, feta, sweet peppers, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Unfortunately I forgot to add basil and parsley, but there was enough flavor and texture from the fresh vegetables that we didn't miss them. 

Davy shoveled his with tortilla chips, which turned out to be the superior method and one I copied later.  This salad provided a hearty snack on Saturday afternoon amidst some intense home renovation, and also as a substantial lunch on Monday. 

To kick off the house project weekend (thank you Shannon and John!), I put together Rachael Ray's "Not-sagna Pasta Toss" on Friday night.  I was able to use CSA garlic and onions, and the farm-grown onions definitely made a difference in the end result.  They have a more pronounced texture and sweeter flavor, which paired very well with the pasta, ground meat (I substituted turkey for beef), and tomato sauce.  This recipe says that it will serve four, but I fed it to four healthy eaters with a side of broccoli, and we still had almost half of the dish left. 

I used the last onion and two beautiful zucchinis in a frittata on Saturday morning, and more of the garlic in venison tacos on Monday night.  After two rounds of tacos, there's at least another dinner's worth still in the fridge.  Unfortunately I had to give the fennel bulb up to the compost barrel, but the only other item left is a little bit of garlic, which will probably stick around for awhile as I continue to avoid my stove and oven.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Durable Veggies

This week's share yielded more heat proof crops:

- zucchini

- cucumber

- potatoes

- tomatoes

- onions

- garlic

- sweet peppers

- fennel

CSA Meals - Week 7

Summer days are just flying by, so I'm pleasantly surprised that we used practically all of our veggies last week, minus a few potatoes and a head of garlic.  

I sauteed the onion, zucchini, and squash, and mixed it with pasta, chopped tomato, feta, and pesto to complete the dish for a 4th of July party.  I've used similar combinations in past salads, but the fresh, farm grown produce certainly made this one superior.

The Splendid Table newsletter has really changed my cooking routine.  I look forward to the weekly recipe, and I've tried several of them.  Last week I made "Lynne's Pork Chops," which involved soaking the chops in a brine before pan-grilling them with onions.  Though the meat took longer to cook than the recipe said, it was worth the wait, because the pork was extremely tender and savory, and the onions melted down into a perfect topping.

We also ate tasty corn on the cob from the market, and sauteed carrots and cabbage with ginger, garlic and soy sauce.  The ginger gave the vegetables a warm, spicy flavor that was balanced by the sweet carrots and salty soy sauce.  I ate the leftover cabbage twice as a snack after having it for dinner, and was pleased both times.

Thursday night we had a few friends over for dinner.  We ate hummus with the pretty, orangey cherry tomatoes from our share before the meal.

In addition to grilled salmon and sausage, I made a simple potato salad with basil and green and white beans. We're not big on raw onion, so I omitted it, but I do think the dish could have used capers or something similar to pick up the flavor of the salad.

Stay tuned for next week to find out if I could bear to turn on the stove during a wave of 100+ degree days!

Thursday, July 01, 2010

CSA Meals - Week 6

Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, right?  If that's true, 8 1/2 should feel extremely flattered.  We tried to imitate our favorite of their scrumptious heros not once but twice last week.  As soon as I found out that we had arugula, I couldn't wait to get some nice prosciutto and fresh mozzarella to accompany it. 

We purchased both, along with some small baguettes, from Whole Foods on Wednesday evening.  After washing and spinning the arugula, we tossed it with high quality olive oil (saved for special occasions), salt and pepper.  Davy sliced the mozzarella into thick, round pieces, and painstakingly placed the prosciutto onto the bottom of the bread.  The mozzarella went on next, and then the greens.  We gave the whole thing another drizzle of oil (it still wasn't as oily as the original) and sliced it into three pieces.  Yum!  I came home for lunch on Monday to make another one, because we had a second baguette and I couldn't stop thinking about it.  This version of the hero won't replace the real thing, but I think it will be an option if we have more arugula from the farm.

Davy and I were both out of town for the weekend, and we didn't get to cook with as much of our produce.  We ate raw beans with our hero, I had cucumber slices at the beach for a snack, used cucumber and arugula on a cheese sandwich, and ate more raw beans with leftovers for dinner one night.

On Sunday night I was able to put together a quick meal with sauteed swiss chard, onion, garlic and fennel.  I made pasta and combined everything with some herbed feta from lunch earlier in the week.

The whole dish had an earthy taste to it from the chard, and a little flair from the fennel.  I had enough of the veggies to take some as a snack the next day too.  We still have a couple potatoes, some garlic, and onion left from this week, but all in all it wasn't a bad week.  I think the cooks at 8 1/2 would agree.

Heat Wave Produce

Some of the delicate items we've been getting, such as arugula, doesn't stand up to the heat as well as other vegetables.  The share this week is a direct result of the hot weather we've been enduring:

- potatoes

- cherry tomatoes

- salad tomatoes

- onions

- garlic

- cabbage

- baby carrots

I also bought corn on the cob, and we were offered blackberries from a neighboring farm for a discounted price, so I bought a pint of those.  They're huge, shiny, and sweet.