Friday, May 31, 2013

Jaime's Summer CSA Delivery #1 - May 30, 2013

The summer share started this week and I'm so excited to have something other than leafy greens to inspire my cooking.

Our first delivery of the summer season included the colorful veggies in the picture above. Cucumbers, kohlrabi, turnips, radishes, bok choi, asparagus, kale, snap peas, and the biggest head of romaine lettuce I've every seen!

Green Posole - May 20, 2013

I found this recipe while perusing one of my favorite inspirational food blogs, Yummy Supper. It looked so different from anything I had made recently and actually got me excited to think about cooking again.  Nick helped me with this one since I was at a workshop all weekend, and together we made a great dinner.  I was able to snag a bag of Rancho Gordo hominy at the Co-op and with that, we were off and running.  I followed Erin's directions pretty closely.  We garnished our bowls with avocado, cilantro, chopped black radishes from our CSA, and lots of fresh lime juice.  It had a great, summery flavor, but since it was a bowl of warm soup, it was perfect for this cold and rainy spring weather we've been enjoying here in the Midwest.
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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Jess & Nick's CSA Delivery #2 - May 23, 2012

Here is what Nick and I found in our farm share box last week.  Starting in the top left we have our herb pack.  I always look forward to getting this little pack each spring and I have my basil, rosemary, parsley and thyme planted and sitting out on the deck already.  I shared the sage, oregano, and summer savory with my sister since I have huge shrubs of those planted in the yard from previous herb packs and they come back every year.  Moving clockwise brings us to our second, and probably last, ramp bundle of the season.  We usually pickle these so we can extend the season just a bit longer.  In the bottom right we have green garlic and parsnips, followed by chives, and then our first bunch of asparagus of the year!  Unfortunately we were out of town for Memorial Weekend and didn't get to the asparagus as early as I would have liked.  But, we broiled it up last night and topped with poached eggs, shaved parmesan, chopped ramps, fresh lemon juice, plus salt and pepper to taste.  Delicious!  Not pictured is a big bag of sweet, overwintered spinach, which is always the best of the year in my opinion.

Thank you Harmony Valley Farm!

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

"Here we go round the mulberry bush..." - May 29, 2013

The urban foraging season has begun! With the first 90+ degree day, the mulberry trees in our neighborhood just started ripening and dropping fruit today. I picked these this morning on my walk with Lily and then went back out this evening and picked about a quart from the easily reached branches.

Last year I made some preserves and experimented with a few baked goods. I also froze a few bags when I ran out of ideas and they ended up being delicious in smoothies during the winter when local and organic fruit was scarce, so I plan on doing more of that this year.

I also picked up some rhubarb at the market last weekend am thinking some kind of rhubarb-mulberry crisp might be good... Stay tuned!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Jaime's Spring CSA Share #5

This was the 5th and final share of the spring season. Exciting to think that "summer" begins now!

Obviously the theme of this week is green. A little bit of pink and orange on the stems of the Swiss chard, but otherwise we are a bit starved for color variety! In addition to the chard, we also got more kale, spinach, and what was described as an "Asian braising mix." Spinach will be in my omelets in the coming weeks and the kale and chard will get sautéed with some spices and coconut milk. Not sure what I will do with the mix... 

Rounding out the share were two pounds of asparagus (one already consumed), cucumbers (to become pickles for Richie), green onions, and two dozen eggs (see spinach omelets mentioned above).

Sorry that I forgot to write about the 4th share. Not sure right now what was in it but it was probably green!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Nettle-Phyllo Pie - May 13, 2013

When I was researching recipes for the stinging nettles that arrived in our CSA box last week, I came across the advice to just use nettles in place of other greens in any recipe.  This drastically broadened my cooking options, as you can imagine.  I ended up picking out this recipe from the spinach section of "Asparagus to Zucchini" and it was delicious.

Working with stinging nettles is quite tedious (as is phyllo dough).  I wore gloves to pick the leaves from the stems so I wouldn't get stung.  Once they are cooked, the sting goes away.  I did supplement with a handful of spinach leaves, as well.  For the onions it called for, I used ramps, also from our CSA box.  The only other change I made was using ricotta in place of cottage cheese.

This was a delicious way to use up our nettles, even if it's a bit labor intensive for a weeknight dinner.  It does make a large amount.  I cut the recipe in half and we'll still eat for three nights, so if you average it over three dinners, perhaps it's not such a bad investment of time.
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Friday, May 10, 2013

Sorrel-Lime Cooler - May 9, 2013

I made this delightful concoction from a recipe included in the newsletter from our CSA farm.   It's interesting ingredient list caught my attention.  A soda made from sorrel leaves?  I'm in.

The recipe instructs to blend together sorrel leaves, lime juice, water and maple syrup in a blender and puree until smooth.  I opted not to strain it, but you could if you wanted.  To make up your cooler, simply add a bit of sorrel-lime juice to a glass and top with soda water. 

This was really fresh and bright.  I enjoyed mine straight-up, but it would also be lovely as a mixer for a summery cocktail (have you figured out my coping mechanism over these last few frozen weeks here in Minneapolis?).  Gin would be my first choice, but it would be fun to try other combinations as well.
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Jess & Nick's CSA Delivery #1 - May 9, 2013

Our first farm share of the 2013 season has arrived!  What a very welcome sight this is after an insanely cold and snowy Minnesota spring.  Our first fresh vegetables of the season include nettles; sunchokes; parsnips and black radishes; chives; our beloved ramps; and bright, lemony sorrel. 

Last night we made smorrebrod with a little smoked salmon spread, chopped chives and ramps, and thinly sliced radishes.  Delicious.  This box is nourishing our winter weary souls as much as our bodies.  Thank you Harmony Valley Farm, for being a warm and beautiful light at the end of a long, dark, and very cold tunnel.
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Thursday, May 09, 2013

Hen with Garlic Sage Sauce - May 8, 2013 (and a puppy birthday party)

It's no secret that the Hartmans are pretty big food TV junkies. Richie in particular has become a bit of a Top Chef addict and has even purchased seasons 1-5 on iTunes to watch whenever he needs a fix! Therefore we couldn't help but be drawn in when we saw season 5's Italian star, Fabio Viviani, staring back at us from the book display at Costco. Even though we have a plethora of Italian cookbooks at home, he charmed his way into our cart anyway and I'm glad he did as the first dish we made from it was definitely a winner.

This is his recipe for "hen with garlic sage sauce" and my only quibble is that his directions were a bit imprecise. I'm pretty comfortable in the kitchen, so "cook until done" was OK with me but I would imagine it might not work for less seasoned cooks. The end result was absolutely delicious and a great use of some of our abundant herb garden growth.

I also made a grain free focaccia bread and ate the dish with steamed green beans. Richie had his over angel hair pasta.

In other news, Lily is no longer a puppy! She turned one on May 2 so of course we had a party. I made four kinds of cupcakes (vanilla cake with chocolate frosting, grain free carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, grain free toasted coconut, and peanut butter pumpkin for the dogs) and we invited all her two and four legged friends to a little gathering in the common space next to our house. 

Here is a picture of Lily with two of her four-legged friends. She's the one in the middle.


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