CSA 2015: Weeks 3, 4 & 5

It’s been a while, so let’s catch up on veggies, shall we? We’ve had some favorites (woohoo for garlic scapes) and some veggies that are difficult to love. (Seriously. I am open to ideas for the fennel, people. Anything.)

CSA 2015 Week 3

Week 3 was pretty exciting. I had my first experience with Napa cabbage, which I turned into a cucumber cabbage slaw, courtesy of my go-to cookbook. We also enjoyed our first fritters of the season. We received:

  • 1 bunch of garlic scapes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 1 head of Napa cabbage
  • I head of Bibb lettuce
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • Broccoli
  • Sugar snap peasCSA 2015 Week 4

Week 4 was pretty exciting too. More scapes! (I made pesto, which has been great over pasta.) The zuchinni, summer squash and beet greens ended up in our favorite summer pasta.

  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 bunch of garlic scapes
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 bunch of beets
  • sugar snap peas
  • 1 head of romanie lettuce
  • 1 bulb of fennel

CSA 2015 Week 5Week 5 is like a tale of cities: The best of times (SWEET CORN!) and the worst of times (more fennel). For the middle of summer, it felt like a rather light week, so we’ll see what week 6 brings. Here’s the scoop on week 5:

  • 4 ears of sweet corn
  • 1 bunch of garlic scapes
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 1 red onion
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 bunch of kale

 

CSA 2015: Week 2

We may have gotten an extra second on the clock today, but I don’t feel like it added much to my summer. We’re only two weeks into our CSA share, and it’s already taking me almost a week to write about it. Seriously, where do my summers go?

CSA 2015 Week 2This week’s share included: 

  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 1 head of Bib lettuce
  • 1 beautiful, giant head of romaine lettuce
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 2 kohlrabi
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1/2 pound of sugar snap peas

So, what did I do with all of this bounty? I added the radishes to my “stash” from last week. (Still saving them for the brown butter treatment. Thankfully, they keep well in my produce saver bags.) The snap peas went into our lunches the day after they arrived at our house. We munched on the broccoli while we enjoyed one of my favorite seasonal pizzas one night. I’ll probably make chips out of the kale (unless I add it to a pasta dish), and I’m saving the kohlrabi for some fritters.

The lettuce has made its way into some beautiful salads, and we tried using some of the Bib lettuce for lettuce wraps for our tacos tonight. Let’s just say that I’m not skilled enough to actually make that work – most of my taco filling ended up on my plate, rather than wrapped in the lettuce. (Of course, Andy tells me that’s because I overfill my taco… details…) 

Rumor has it that week three’s share will include things like zucchini and summer squash, so it looks like we’re rounding the corner into true “summer” veggies. I can’t wait. 🙂

 

 

CSA 2015: Week 1

Ten years ago, if you had told me that I’d get practically giddy over a bag of fresh veggies, I’d have thought you were nuts. (I probably would have also started seriously questioning where my life was headed. I mean, who writes about food for fun? Hmm. Probably a good thing you can’t see into your future.) But here I am, (older and wiser) geeking out over the season’s first CSA share from the good people at Olden Produce.

CSA 2015 Week 1 Bag

CSA 2015 Week 1

 

Week 1 included: 

  • 1 bunch of radishes
  • 1 bundle of rhubarb
  • 1 bunch of kale
  • 1 head of Bib lettuce
  • 1/2 pound of sugar snap peas
  • 1 bag of popcorn
  • 1 quart of strawberries

So, what am I going to do with all this loot? Well, the snap peas are gone. In fact, we’re lucky they even made it into the pictures, as Andy wanted to eat them from the moment he picked up the produce. They were our vegetable for dinner last night. I’m still trying to decide what to do with the kale, although this salt and vinegar idea is the current front-runner. We had salads with dinner tonight, and we’ll probably do that again tomorrow, so that takes care of the lettuce.

I’m using the strawberries on our pizza tomorrow night, and I can’t decide what to make with the rhubarb. It’ll probably wind up in a pie. (Cook’s Illustrated has an improved strawberry rhubarb pie, and I saw a recipe for a rhubarb meringue pie as well, so now I just need to make up my mind.) 

Remember my brown butter obsession? That pretty much guarantees that I’m going to do this with the radishes.

We love popcorn with movies and game nights, so I’m sure I’ll make some of it the next time we Redbox something. Or, if I’m feeling fancy, I’ll give the popcorn the brown butter treatment as well.

That’s week one! I can’t wait till next Wednesday.

 

 

CSA 2014: Week 18

Is it just me, or did this year go really fast? Like, Chuck-Yeager-in-the-Bell-X-1 fast. Somehow, it’s the beginning of November, and we’re looking at the last regular-season share of our CSA. (No worries, there’s one final last-season delivery coming. I’m hoping for lots of squash and cauliflower.) 

CSA2014 week 18

Week 18 had a lot of good stuff. We had tomatillos, red and purple potatoes, mixed greens, red onions, jalapenos, leeks, radishes, celery, Brussels sprouts, a butternut squash and some of the sweetest, juiciest apples I’ve ever tasted. (The picture only shows three apples. I later learned that we did indeed get four apples, but someone ate one before I came home and took the picture.) 

I roasted the tomatillos for sauce for my favorite green enchiladas. (Although my green sauce always comes out tan, rather than green. Not sure what I’m doing wrong there!) I tried a new recipe for the squash and stuck with a tried-and-true favorite for the Brussels sprouts. I’m not sure what exactly I’ll do with the leeks, although I did see a recipe for a cheesy leek and potato dish. And we all know how much I love potatoes. 😀

In other news: It’s cookie time again!!

 

Yep, I signed up for this year’s Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! I love getting boxes of cookies in the mail, and it’s so much fun for me to send them out to people. I’ve been brainstorming ideas for the last couple of weeks, but, as always, I’m keeping it a secret until the big reveal on December 15. I’m open to suggestions though – what kind of cookie would you like to get in the mail?

CSA 2014: Week 17

The end is near! Week 18 will be our last “regular season” pick up. (We’ll get one final “late season” share a few weeks after that.) I feel like this week’s share was a nice mix of summer and fall produce. We’re still getting green beans, peppers and tomatoes, but we also have sweet potatoes, kale and squash. I guess you could say it’s the best of both worlds. 🙂

CSA2014 week 17

Week 17: 

1 bunch of kale
1 bag of mixed salad greens (I have a funny story about those for you…) 
1 bunch of radishes
2 kohlrabi
1/2 lb. of green beans
1 buttercup squash (Any ideas on this one? I was told that it’s similar to butternut, but drier.) 
2 eggplants
6 sweet peppers
sweet potatoes

I’m not sure what I’ll do with everything. Thankfully, most of it keeps fairly well. I have the green beans earmarked for tomorrow’s dinner, and I’ve been adding pepper slices to my lunch every day. I was able to use the salad greens for a dinner with friends, which brings me to my funny story…

After bringing home our produce last week, I stored it in the fridge and went about my business. Friday night, after work, I rinsed the salad greens, spun them dry, and tossed them into a bowl with some cherry tomatoes and Parmesan cheese, and then headed out the door. We were enjoying our dinner, when I looked down at my plate and noticed a GIANT DADDY LONG LEG spider in my salad. EW. (Side note: I hate spiders. I tell Andy all the time that I got married just so I wouldn’t have to deal with the creatures. Anyway…) The spider wasn’t moving, so I discretely flipped it off my plate, figuring I could pick it up in a napkin after dinner. Well, after 15 minutes or so, the spider gets up and STARTS MOVING across the table, where it was noticed by my friend’s five-year-old son. I grabbed his napkin, and using it AND my water glass, smashed the thing. Which obviously brought attention to the situation, and I had to admit that I brought a salad with a bug in it. I bet they ask me to bring dessert next time. 😉

Such are the risks of getting produce from a farm, rather than the grocery store. Sometimes it comes with wildlife.

 

CSA 2014: Week 15 & 16

Look! Only two weeks worth of veggies this time. I’m practically caught up. Ha!

Week 15: I was pretty pumped – leeks AND sweet corn? I had a hard time deciding what to do with the leeks, but I finally decided on these leek toasts. (In case you’re wondering, they’re ideal football food – portable, not too messy and good fresh out of the oven or at room temperature. We enjoyed them while the Cowboys embarrassed the Saints Sunday night.) We ended up just eating the sweet corn right off the cob, with butter and salt. Why mess with a good thing?

We also receive loads of cherry tomatoes, potatoes, sweet peppers, green beans, celery and a few sprigs of fresh parsley. The puzzling item of the week – the 3/4 of a pound of serrano peppers. I have NO idea what to do with all of them. Any ideas? My current plan is to deseed them, then chop and freeze them for use in chili, etc. over the winter. However… that might be a lifetime supply of hot peppers for me!

CSA2014 week 15

Week 16: Holy huge cabbage, AGAIN. This one clocked in at 7 pounds, 10 ounces. I need cabbage suggestions… we can only eat so much cabbage and noodles and coleslaw. Any ideas?? We also have more tomatillos, fresh greens, zucchini, sweet peppers, banana peppers, green beans, two acorn squash and more cherry tomatoes. I am really looking forward to making stuffed squash with the acorn squash. It’s one of our favorite fall dinners. I will probably pickle the banana peppers, unless I can talk Andy into my favorite pizza combination – pepperoni, pineapple and banana peppers.

CSA2014 week 16

And there you have it! We have a few more weeks left in our CSA, so I plan to enjoy every bit of it before the inevitable (a.k.a. winter) happens.

 

CSA 2014: Weeks 8-14

Oh my, I have been slacking on sharing our CSA goodness. Seven weeks without a CSA update? Yikes. To make matters worse, I don’t even have pictures of weeks nine and 10, since we were out of town, but my friend Laura was kind enough to pick up my veggies and enjoy them.

So, without further delay, here’s a look at our veggies for the last two months:

Week 8: Most of this went on vacation with us – except for the kohlrabi, which keeps exceptionally well in the fridge. Seriously. I think we ate it just last week.

CSA2014 week 8

Week 11: The watermelon and sweet corn were welcome additions to our Labor Day cookout. I stuffed the peppers with a Mexican-flavored risotto (thank you, SK cookbook!) and stored the beets in the fridge. (Thankfully, they keep just as well as kohlrabi!)

CSA2014 week 11

Week 12: The week of the melons. We had a cantaloupe and an Asian melon, which tasted a little like a honeydew. We also had an eggplant, which meant trying a new recipe, and we ended up loving it. (I think it was the feta, more than the eggplant…) More peppers, corn and tomatoes too.

CSA2014 week 12

Week 13: I weighed the cabbage. 6 lbs., 10 oz., in case you were wondering. Sounds like a birth announcement, doesn’t it? I have been making lots of coleslaw, and I’m pretty sure that I’ll make a batch of cabbage and noodles soon too. More peppers, which make an excellent snack in our lunches. More sweet corn and tomatoes. Another zucchini, which found its way into double-chocolate bread. Thank you, King Arthur Flour. Honestly, though, I was most excited about the green beans. It’s the simple things in life, right?

CSA2014 week 13

 

Week 14: LEEKS! Tomatillos! Sweet Potatoes! AND sweet corn! (Seriously… mid-September, and I’m still getting sweet corn? I’ll take it.) As soon as I saw the tomatillos, I knew exactly what I was doing with them. Making these enchiladas. I’ll use the poblano instead of hatch chiles (because I have never seen them here in Wisconsin). I think I’m going to try a new recipe with the kale, and I did something new with the corn tonight.

CSA2014 week 14

 

And there you have it. I’m all caught up… just in time to get more veggies on Wednesday. 🙂

 

 

CSA 2014: Weeks 6 & 7

August? Seriously? When did that happen? Crazy stuff. Let’s not focus on the fact that summer is flying by. Instead, let’s talk about the awesomeness of sweet corn and blueberries. And we should also talk about the new recipe I found for zucchini/summer squash – it’s a little more involved than fritters, but it’s definitely worth it. 🙂

Anyway… here’s the latest from our CSA.

CSA2014 week 6

Week 6 included four ears of sweet corn (YAY!), three cucumbers, red onions, a zucchini and a summer squash, two heads of red lettuce, blueberries and a kohlrabi that weighed 3 1/4 POUNDS. Holy kohlrabi. (It’s still taking up a crazy amount of space in my crisper drawer.)

CSA2014 week 7

Week 7 included six ears of sweet corn, two summer squash, one zucchini, a head of broccoli, a red onion, two cucumbers, a pound of snap peas, and, in keeping with the previous week’s theme of overly large vegetables, a FIVE POUND cabbage. Coleslaw, anyone?

As far as the corn goes, it’s safe to say that I won’t be turning it into ice cream anytime soon. Pass the butter and salt, OK? I may try a batch of refrigerator pickles with the cucumber, and it’s safe to say that we’ll be snacking on snap peas for the next week or so. I need to either start shredding and freezing my zucchini or make a lot more zucchini bread and fritters. 😉 I discovered that summer squash does not keep nearly as well as zucchini (even in my food saver bags!), so I think I will make another batch of this pasta. I made a heavily-altered version of it last week, and Andy rated it as a five. I will do my best to photograph the next batch and share it soon, but in case you’re wondering, these were my tweaks:

Switched spinach for Swiss chard (because of garden availability) 
Switched mushrooms for broccoli (because we aren’t into fungus around here)
Sauteed onions with the squash
Used penne pasta instead of rigatoni
Added three ounces of cooked sausage for extra flavor and bulk

We loved it, and I felt like it used quite a bit of the veggies in the fridge. I may try it with bacon next time. 🙂

One last piece of summer news: Our tomatoes are ALMOST ripe. I am hoping for BLTs in another week or so.

 

Catching Up: CSA 2014 Weeks 4 & 5

Two weeks in one post! That’s a sure sign that my summer is getting busier by the minute, and I don’t see things slowing down anytime soon. After all, we are coming up on the most wonderful time of the year, at least in my world. Plus, things are booming in my garden and with our CSA, and because I’m a glutton for punishment we love our fruit, I ordered massive amounts of blueberries again this year. They’ll probably show up about the same time as the airplanes. Thank goodness blueberries are easy to process.

Here’s a recap of the last two weeks of CSA goodness.

CSA2014 week 4

Week 4 brought us summer squash, zucchini, shelling peas, one bunch of kale, a head of broccoli, a bunch of beets and two cucumbers. The fennel was my “what am I going to do with this?” item of the week. I ended up roasting it with Parmesan cheese, olive oil and salt and pepper. While it was definitely edible, I don’t think it’s in line for our favorite veggie anytime soon. I sauteed the beet greens (still have the beets in the fridge), and I am saving the kale for another batch of chips, I think. (Maybe tomorrow, since it’s cooling down a bit here.) In an attempt to eat more vegetables during the day, I sliced the cucumbers and packed them in our lunches during the week.

The real wins though, were the new recipes for the zucchini and summer squash. I didn’t have a chance to make fritters, and my fridge was dangerously close to being overrun by squash, so I went looking for some new ideas. I made zucchini muffins (complete with chocolate chips, per Andy’s request), and a savory squash bread, loaded with Parmesan cheese. The muffins were good, but the cheese bread was amazing. We ate it all before I could take a picture, but I am sure that I’ll make this bread again, so I’m sure to share it here sooner or later.

CSA2014 week 5

OK, so here’s week five. More lettuce. More kale. More broccoli. More squash and zucchini. (Can you say fritters and bread? Again?) The pickles and beans were the newbies this week. (Yay! I’m going to make this potato and bean salad with the beans!) The kale is headed for chipville, and we have been eating the lettuce on burgers and sandwiches. (I learned that lettuce, while great on a BLT, isn’t really ideal on a grilled cheese. What can I say? I’m just trying to use up the stuff!) I plan on “quick pickling” the pickles with our go-to recipe, although this idea intrigues me.

I also have a giant bag of green beans from our garden, and I can’t decide if we should just keep snacking on them or if I should can them. It’s probably enough to get four quarts… is that worth heating up the kitchen with giant kettles of water? Decisions, decisions….

I can’t wait to see what comes next! I’m hoping for tomatoes and sweet corn! 🙂

CSA 2014: Week 3

Happy July! It’s official; we are moving out of the spring produce and in to summer veggies! Sure, we still received lettuce and peas, and there were our first garlic scapes, but we also had zucchini for the second week in a row AND cucumbers. Hello summer. 🙂 (Maybe tomatoes will be next!)

CSA2014 week 3

Week number three included:

1 head of lettuce
1 + lb. of peas (shelling peas, not sugar snaps)
2 cucumbers
2 kohlrabi
2 garlic scapes
1 zucchini
2 summer squash
1 bag of popcorn

We are working our way through the lettuce, slowly but surely. (It doesn’t help that the lettuce in our garden is growing like a weed as well… lots of salads for us.) I wish there was a way to “put up” lettuce for the winter… any ideas? Lettuce pesto? Does that work?

I made our favorite “quick pickles” with some of the cucumbers, and I have been enjoying the rest of them with hummus for lunch. Speaking of hummus, I may make garlic hummus with this week’s scapes. I’m actually undecided about the zucchini and the summer squash. Do I make my go-to fritters or do I make these unpronounceable-yet-totally-delicious-looking Greek fritters that Elly shared? Decisions, decisions. Maybe week four will bring us more zucchini so I won’t have to take sides.

While I won’t make all of the popcorn at once, I will pop some up for our movie date on Friday. (Our city shows movies outdoors during the summer, so this week, we are going to spend some quality time with everyone’s favorite minions.) Total side note… did you see the World Cup as done by the minions? My favorite thing about soccer, for sure. 😀

No inspiration yet on the kohlrabi. Thankfully, it’s keeping well in the fridge. Still undecided on the peas too… I think I may have left my inspiration at the beach over the 4th of July… 🙂