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What We’re Eating: 7/10 – 7/14

I have really fallen off the meal planning wagon (AGAIN), and the holiday travel certainly didn’t help matters. However, we’re home for a few weeks, and our fridge and garden are full of produce, so I’m trying to get back on track.

Monday 7/10 – Pizza night with friends! Our friends from Florida are in town visiting, so several of us are getting together for dinner. We’re having pizza, and I will most likely bring a salad too.
Tuesday 7/11 – Drunken beans, with rice and mango salsa. I’ve had my eye on this recipe ever since I checked the Best Mexican Recipes cookbook out of the library, and I finally remembered to pick up poblano peppers. I’m pretty pumped about this.
Wednesday 7/12 – Salmon, bread and a TBD CSA vegetable (or salad)
Thursday 7/13 – The “Best Chicken Parmesan,” according to Cook’s Illustrated and a CSA vegetable of some kind
Friday 7/14 – Pasta with vegetables (current front runners are these two recipes, but I reserve the right to change my mind). We have a busy day on Saturday, so I’d like an easy dinner the night before!

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Posted by on July 9, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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CSA 2017: Week 2 & Week 3

Happy July! I hope everyone had a great Independence Day. We had a four-day weekend, so we spent part of it camping and then spent Tuesday doing stuff around home. We did responsible things (like laundry and taking care of the weed problem in the cracks in the driveway) and fun things (like a bike ride for ice cream and dinner with some of our favorite people). All in all, it was a great long weekend, and Andy and I are both counting down the days left until our next vacation. (Only two work weeks left! Wooo!!!) 

CSA2017_Wk2

Week two was had some great things.

  • 12 ounces of sugar snap peas
  • 1 jar of dilly sugar snap peas from Hippie Wayne
  • 1 bunch of Swiss chard
  • Garlic scapes
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 head of green leaf lettuce
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1 bunch of “mini broccoli”

And since July is getting away from me faster than I’d like to admit, I’m going to go ahead and share week three’s goodness with you as well.

CSA2017_Wk3

Week three had a little less than the first two weeks, and I’m sure we can thank the weird weather for that. We received:

  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 bag of popcorn
  • Garlic scapes
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 head of leaf lettuce
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1 bag of shelling peas
  • 1 bunch of kale

I’m sure you’re wondering what two people did with all of those vegetables, right? The sugar snap peas and some of the lettuce went on a road trip to Otsego Lake State Park last weekend. The dilly sugar snap peas went to a picnic on the 4th of July, and the rest of the lettuce is destined for many, many salads. Salads are becoming my default dish for all potlucks this summer.

Half of the Swiss chard, a handful of garlic scapes, the broccoli, the summer squash and the kale from week 1 wound up in this pasta bake on Thursday evening.

We still haven’t learned to love kohlrabi, but we are big fans of dill pickles, so I’m probably going to try this method. I’ll let you know what we think!

I’m not sure what I’ll do with the shelling peas yet. I love fresh peas, so I want to find a recipe that’s worthy of their early-season goodness. I’m pretty sure that I used them in this pasta dish last year. I really liked it, but Andy thought it was so-so (probably because he’s not the biggest fan of dollops of ricotta).  I could go with this one instead.

Our garden is thriving, especially the lettuce and the Swiss chard. We’ll keep eating salads, and I’m going to start sauteing the chard with some bacon grease and garlic scapes. I also need to make another batch of garlic scape pesto before the season is over!

Enjoy your weekend, everyone! I hope it’s as nice there as it is here!

 
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Posted by on July 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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CSA 2017: Week 1

Finally! Summer produce is here again! Last Tuesday (the 20th) was our first pick up for our CSA from Olden Organics. It was one of the highlights of my day, for sure. (Especially since we had to say goodbye to the tree in our yard last week. I was overly emotional about the whole thing, so it was nice to have some fresh veggies to cheer me up.) 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from our first week, since the weather has been all over the place this spring. (It was dry, then crazy hot, then really rainy – complete with hail – and now it’s much cooler than normal for late June, and it’s still raining almost every day.) Welcome to Wisconsin, where you can have all the seasons in one day.

CSA2017_Wk1

In spite of the crazy weather, things are off to a good start, at least in my opinion. We received:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 head of green romaine lettuce
  • 1 head of red romaine lettuce
  • 1 quart of strawberries
  • 1 bunch of garlic scapes
  • 1 bunch of kale tops
  • 1 celeriac
  • 1 pound of asparagus
  • 1 Thai basil plant

We didn’t have a lot of dinner leftovers last week, so both heads of lettuce wound up in our lunches. The lettuce in our garden is going strong too, so we will probably continue to take salads for lunch for the foreseeable future. It’s an easy way to get our greens in.

I made one batch of garlic scape pesto over the weekend, and I still have enough scapes in the fridge to make another batch. I used some of the pesto and half of the kale in a pasta dish for dinner Saturday night.

I’d like to tell you that I did something new and creative with the asparagus, but it’s so good roasted with some garlic that I couldn’t bring myself to make it any other way.

Some of the strawberries made their way into a pie, and some of them wound up on this pizza.

The basil is living happily in our garden (right next to the cucumber plants). I can’t wait to use it!

I’m on the fence about the zucchini. We love fritters, so it seems like that would be the perfect way to use the first zucchini of the season. However, I still have the Best Mexican Recipes cookbook, and there’s a soup recipe in there that calls for a zucchini. And with our unseasonably chilly weather, soup sounds pretty good right now!

I also don’t know what to do with the celeriac. Last fall, Smitten Kitchen came to my rescue with a gratin that uses both celeriac AND fennel, and, much to my surprise, we ended up loving it. The question is, do I love it enough to go buy fennel and sweet potatoes so I can make it? Good thing celeriac keeps well in the fridge so I can ponder that a little more.

I can’t wait to see what week 2 has in store for us!

 
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Posted by on June 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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First Scapes! 

Happy garlic scape Monday, everyone! I just cut the first scapes from our garden. I love harvesting everything that we plant, but I get most excited about the early crops. 

Now I just need to decide what to do with these guys. Besides pesto, of course. That’s a given. 

The rest of our garden is coming along nicely. The tomato plants are blooming, and the peas are ready to start climbing the fence. Now if only the weeds would slow down a bit. 

 
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Posted by on June 12, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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What We’re Eating: 6/5 – 6/9

I have to admit, I feel like a slacker with this week’s menu. Not cooking for two out of five nights? I’ve been feeling uninspired though, so if there’s ever a time to be lazy with the meal plan, I guess this is it. I am trying two recipes from “The Best Mexican Recipes,” so we’ll see how they turn out!

Monday 6/5 – Grilled salmon steaks with lime cilantro sauce, asparagus and roasted potatoes
Tuesday 6/6 – Chickpea cakes with chipotle lime cream and sliced cucumbers.
Wednesday 6/7 – Pizza! One of our favorite pizza places has a half-off deal going on this week, so we’re breaking up the week with takeout. Win-win.
Thursday 6/8 – Apricot chicken pasta and a vegetable. (This was one of Andy’s suggestions as he saw me browsing the internet this afternoon. He’s a smart guy, so I’m taking his advice.) 
Friday 6/9 – Dinner out! Friday is our 10th (!!!) anniversary, so we are going to celebrate and have someone else do the dishes. Location TBD, but Stone Arch and Carmella’s are current front-runners.
Saturday 6/10 – Bonus meal! I don’t know if we’ll be home Saturday, but if we are, I’d like to try a new recipe that America’s Test Kitchen shared on Facebook: Grilled lemon chicken with rosemary. I thought about putting it on the menu earlier in the week, but since it’s a whole chicken (and one that requires a brine), I think it’ll be better suited to the weekend. Maybe I’d even get around to making some bread to go with it.

We are a week or two away from our CSA starting again, and I cannot wait. I think that’s part of my inspiration problem. I don’t want to buy any produce at the store when I know that we are just days away from the real stuff. Lettuce with flavor! Fresh strawberries! I can taste it already… 🙂

 
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Posted by on June 4, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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Summer Reading

Look at what I just picked up from our library!

In line with my “try before you buy” philosophy, I reserved a copy of “The Best Mexican Recipes” from America’s Test Kitchen a few weeks ago. As with most of their cookbooks, there was a waiting list, and I finally got the email saying it was my turn. I’ll have it for four weeks (unless I luck out and get to renew it), so I need to come up with a must try list ASAP. Andy has already requested drunken beans, which appear to be the Mexican version of baked beans, so we will be trying that soon. If I’m organized enough to get some pictures, I will be sharing them here!

In other food-related reading, I also picked up “Never Out of Season” by Rob Dunn. The tagline on the cover says, “How having the food we want when we want it threatens our food supply and our future.” It sounded interesting and timely to me, as our CSA should be starting up soon, and that’s all about seasonal eating! 

Speaking of seasonal eating, our garden is all planted (minus the dill seed, which will wind up in the flower bed since we ran out of room in the garden again), and I have been harvesting rhubarb for a couple of weeks. Yay for seasonal desserts! I  planted two new-to-me types of basil this year, lemon and Thai, along with the regular Italian basil. I cannot wait for the plants to grow a little more so I can start picking leaves. Our garlic is going strong, and I am ready for scapes to appear. Edible plants are the best. 🙂 Happy almost-June, everyone!

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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What We’re Eating: 5/1 – 5/6

Look at this! A meal plan two weeks in a row. We’re making progress, people. 😉 I’m including Saturday again since Andy’s parents will be in town, which means we’ll probably be home for dinner.

Monday 5/1 – Chickpea tomato pasta – starting the week off with Meatless Monday!
Tuesday 5/2 – Carnitas bowls, made possible by this weekend’s instant pot experiment with my friend Kelsey. She sent us some with some of the leftovers, so I’ll make some rice and saute some onions and peppers to go with the pork. (A couple thoughts on the whole instant pot experience: The flavor was incredible, but it took MUCH longer to prep than the recipe said. I bet I could have the same results with my crockpot. I’d just have to put the meat and marinade in before work, rather than after.)
Wednesday 5/3 – Roasted broccoli, squash orzotto and steak – the weather looks decent, so we’ll probably throw them on the grill.
Thursday 5/4 – Breakfast for dinner! We didn’t have the egg sandwiches last Friday, so I’m moving them to this week’s menu. I made a loaf of onion-bacon sourdough bread over the weekend, so we’ll use that for the sandwiches.  (And yes, the bread is about as wonderful as you’d imagine something with three-quarters of a pound of bacon would be.) 
Friday 5/5 – Salmon, corn and carrots.
Saturday 5/6 – Roast chicken, vegetables and bread / biscuits. This is the current front-runner for the bread, and I may try spatchcocking the chicken. I have a few days to make up my mind on that.

Have a great week, everyone!

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

 

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