Wednesday, July 25, 2012

CSA Share Week 7

The weather in southern Wisconsin has not been kind this year.  No rain for six plus weeks and temperatures soaring over 100.  We appreciate even more all the hard work that our farmers go through to bring delicious fresh vegetables to our home.  

It has been an interesting week with lots of activities.  We went camping over the weekend, so a number of our dishes have been frozen for use later.  One particular favorite that we first made last year is Healing Cabbage Soup.  I altered the original recipe, adding quinoa and spices.  Last year we froze a lot of this soup.  Every time someone in the family is feeling under the weather we pull this out and it really does work like magic.  This was the first time that I made my own stewed tomatoes.  It was a great recipe - I would love to make more to freeze.

Our only holdovers are summer squash and zucchini that we intend to grill in the next few days.

Week 7 Bounty:
Photo courtesy of Scotch Hill Farm, Broadhead, WI
Summer squash

Long Cucumber
Short cucumber
Green bell peppers
Hot pepper
Tomatoes (Jet Star, Juliet, Sun Gold)

Meal #1: broccoli, carrots

Blueberry and Mushroom Risotto
We cheated - this was a pre-packaged risotto that we bought on our recent trip to Italy.  We love trying new things and odd combinations, so we picked this up to try it before making it from scratch.  It actually was very good, but the overwhelming flavors were the mushrooms.  

Venison Tenderloin Bites
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Italian dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound venison tenderloin, cut into 1 inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
5 cups arugula
1 lemon, cut into quarters
Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack at about 6 inches from the heat source. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Warm the olive oil and garlic in a small saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes to infuse the flavor of the garlic into the olive oil. Place the bread crumbs into a mixing bowl, and pour the oil mixture overtop. Stir the parsley, and Parmesan cheese into the bread crumb mixture until evenly blended. Press the venison cubes into the bread crumb mixture to coat, and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Make sure the venison pieces are not touching. Broil in the oven until the bread crumbs are golden, and the venison has turned from red to pink in the center, or to your desired degree of doneness, about 6 minutes. Turn the cubes occasionally as they cook. Divide the arugula onto 4 dinner plates, and top with the broiled venison. Squeeze a quarter of a lemon over each plate to serve.* Recipe from reneebiscoe at

Broccoli and Carrots
Diced broccoli and carrots with olive oil and soy sauce tossed in a frying pan until cooked through.   It was good, but not very complimentary with our other dishes.

Meal #2: tomatoes, celery, green bell pepper, onion, garlic, cabbage

Stewed Tomatoes
6 to 8 ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons margarine
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
3/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
3 tablespoons sugar (more or less)
1 small bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Core tomatoes; place in boiling water for about 15 to 20 seconds, then into ice water to cool quickly; peel. Cut tomatoes in wedges. In Crock Pot, combine all ingredients. Cover and cook on low 8-9 hours. Remove bay leaf. Sprinkle top with parsley, if desired. Serve as a side dish or freeze in portions for soups or other recipes. *Recipe from Diana Rattray at

Healing Cabbage Soup
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
6 quarts water
8 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 head cabbage, cored and coarsely chopped
2 cup Italian-style stewed tomatoes, drained and diced

2 cups quinoa
In a large stockpot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Stir in onion and garlic; cook until onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Stir in water, bouillon, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, then stir in cabbage. Simmer until cabbage wilts, about 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and quinoa. Return to a boil, then cover and simmer 15 to 30 minutes, stirring often. Done when quinoa is tender but still chewy and white spiral-like threads appear around each grain.  Serves 16.  *Recipe adapted from JGCase at

Other Uses: basil, beets, hot pepper, cucumber

Basil Walnut Pesto - frozen into cubes
2 cups packed basil leaves 
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons softened butter (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Place basil, olive oil, walnuts, garlic and salt (if using) in food processor.  Blend until thoroughly combined. Add Parmesan and butter (if using) and blend 5-10 seconds more. Just before serving, add 2 Tbsp of hot pasta water from cooked pasta. Serve over pasta with bread and salad.* Recipe by dahlia at

Roasted Beet Puree
 - frozen into cubes 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place rack in middle of oven.Wash and scrub the whole beets to clean off any dirt. Leave the beet whole unless you have some extra large ones (if extra large, cut in half). Trim off the stems (leafy tops) and ends of the beets. Reserve beet leaves for a recipe using them.On a large baking sheet, cover with aluminum foil. Place prepared beets, in a single layer, on top. Toss lightly with some olive oil to coat the beets. Place another large sheet of aluminum foil on top of the beets and crunch up the sides of the aluminum foil together to seal.Place in oven and roast approximately 1 to 2 hours (depending on the size of your beets) or until tender and easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife. Remove from oven and take off the top foil. Set aside to cool enough to handle. When cool enough to handle, peel the skin off. They should peel easily by hand, but you can use a paring knife if you want.

Steamed Beet Greens Puree - frozen into cubes

Hot Pepper - diced and frozen

Cucumber - sliced and enjoyed with our lunches

Thursday, July 19, 2012

CSA Share Week 6

This week has been a busy, busy baking week.  We are going camping and I wanted to have plenty of snacks and easy, healthy breakfast foods prepared.  We have yet to try the cupcakes or the final two breads.  I have made the BRANana bread many times before - it is excellent.  When we end up with a few overripe bananas, I throw this recipe together and freeze the bread.  It is perfect to pull out of the freezer the night before having company.  The Double Chocolate Zucchini Bread is fantastic!

Nearly every vegetable has been utilized this week, with the exception of a few Rosa Lunga onions.

Week 6 bounty:
Photos courtesy of Scotch Hill Farm, Broadhead, WI
Lettuce Mix
Bright Lights Chard
Summer Squash - Magda
Rosa Lunga onions
Cucumbers - Shuyo Long and H-19 Little Leaf
Green Beans
Beets - Chioggia and Bulls Blood varieties

Meal #1: chard, cauliflower, garlic, spring onions
This is a good, simple dish that we have made before.  Even the kids eat it!  I really thought they would not like it between the chard and the salmon, but apparently if it is spiced (and salted) just right then they might love it, too.

Swiss Chard Salmon Pasta
4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced 
A few small onions, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil 
8 ounces whole wheat pasta, cooked1 lb swiss chard, sliced thinly, stems sliced and reserved 
2 grilled salmon filets or steaks 1 cup white wine or champagne 
An assortment of frozen pureed cubes from 2011 (I used a few salsa, root vegetable and greens) 
oregano or thyme and salt to taste
Saute garlic and onions and chard stems in oil over medium heat for about 1 minute until slightly cooked (but not browned), then add swiss chard and cook until wilted. Add the white wine to the pan to deglaze it, scraping the bits in the bottom of the pan. Let the alcohol cook off for a few minutes then other optional seasonings and salmon. Break up the salmon a bit in the sauce. 

Baked Cauliflower
1 head of cauliflower
Olive oil
Salt, pepper and seasoning to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F. Cut cauliflower into florets. In a bowl, toss to coat with olive oil and seasonings. Spread in even layer on jelly roll pan. Place in hot oven for about 20 minutes, or until the top is lightly brown. Test with a fork for desired doneness. Fork tines should be able to easily pierce the cauliflower.

Meal #2: green beans, pesto 2011
This recipe was a good find.  It is so easy and very tasty!  

Pesto and Green Bean Quinoa
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
3/4 cup frozen green beans
1/2 cup basil pesto
Cover the quinoa with the water in a small saucepan. Stir in the green beans.  Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat so that the water is just simmering. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the water has been absorbed. Stir in the pesto. * Recipe from

Meal #3: 2011 pureed beets and greens
This is one of the kids favorite meals to have for breakfast or dinner. Fun and healthy is always a wonderful thing!

Pink Buttermilk Flapjacks
1 1/2 cup flour (used half white, half whole wheat)
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4+1/8 tsp salt
1 egg + 1 egg white
1 1/2 c buttermilk (use 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice in 1 1/2 cup and fill with milk)
3 Tbsp melted butter or vegetable oil (sometimes we use a butter/oil/flaxseed combo)
6 cubes of pureed beets, thawed
Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together into a mixing bowl. In a 2-cup glass measure or small bowl, beat the egg lightly. Whisk in the buttermilk, beets and melted butter or oil until well blended. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry, mixing only until the batter is evenly moistened; it will still contain small lumps. Grease your nonstick frying pan lightly with a paper towel moistened with vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat for about 1 minute. Ladle 1/4 cup of the batter into the pan. Spread out to 5 inches. Cook until golden brown on the bottom with tiny bubbles all over the top, 1 to 2 minutes. Shake the pan or slip a spatula underneath the flapjack to loosen it.  Repeat with the remaining batter. Serve the flapjacks hot out of the pan. Makes about 4 pancakes.  * Recipe from A Man And His Pan

Green Eggs
8 eggs
6 cubes of pureed greens
salt and pepper to taste
Thaw the greens and mix them with a fork with eggs, a little milk, a chunk of butter, and salt and pepper.   We scramble the eggs.

Baked Goods: beets, zucchini, squash, bananas
We have yet to try any of these other than the Double Chocolate Bread, which was delicious and devoured in a flash.  I am baking the other three recipes today, wrapping them in aluminum foil and freezing them overnight tonight.  They will be ready for birthday and breakfast on Saturday! 

Red Velvet Beet Cupcakes
Beet varieties(l-r): chioggia, cylindra, 
blankoma, and bull's blood **
3/​4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/​4 teaspoon salt

3/​4 cup beet puree
1/​3 cup canola oil
1 egg, room temperature
1/​4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350° F. Put 12 cupcake liners in muffin tin. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, add in the oil, lemon juice, vanilla and egg to the pureed beets. Pour the beet mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix just enough to combine. Fill each muffin cup 2/​3 full and bake for 18 – 22 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely. * Recipe from
Cream Cheese Frosting (for Red Velvet Cupcakes)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
Beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla in large bowl until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar and beat until frosting is smooth. Put frosting in a pastry bag and pipe onto cupcakes in thick swirls, using an open tip.  * Recipe from

Summer squash varieties (l-r): 
zephyr, raven zucchini, 
magda, and patty pan **

Double Chocolate Zucchini Cake/Bread
After grating this week's zucchinis I had 3 cups, so I made 1.5 times this recipe and I poured it into two bread pans.  I felt bread would be a better snack form for the kids.  I used my zucchini bread settings instead: 325 degrees for 50 minutes.  It is absolutely wonderful!  A great treat!
3/4 cup oil
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup sour milk or buttermilk (or 1 Tbsp lemon juice in 1 cup measuring cup and fill with milk)
3 Tbsp cocoa or carob powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp each cinnamon and cloves
2 1/2 cups flour (used half white and half whole wheat flour)
small bag of chocolate or carob chips (used Ghiradelli dark chocolate)
Heat oven to 350 degrees; grease a 9-by-13-inch pan.  Mix all ingredients and bake 30-35 minutes.  Makes 16 servings.  *Recipe in From Asparagus to Zucchini via Scotch Hill Farm.

BRANana Bread
3/4 c white flour
3/4 c wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/3 c granulated sugar
1/4 c ground flaxseed or flaxmeal
1 tsp each baking soda and baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1.5 c mashed ripe bananas (about 3 regular sized)
3/4 c yogurt
2 eggs
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c finely chopped walnuts
1/3 c dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan lightly with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, combine flour, wheat bran, sugar, ground flax, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together bananas, yogurt, eggs, butter and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and stir just until moistened. Fold in nuts and chocolate chips, being careful not to overmix the batter. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until wooden skewer inserted in center of loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove loaf from pan and cool completely on rack. Slice and serve or wrap tightly with plastic wrap and store at room temperature. Yield: Makes 1 large loaf, 16 slices.Tip: The bananas must be very, very ripe (sweet!) for this banana bread as there’s very little added sugar. Freeze your bananas as they become over ripe and you will always be ready to throw together a banana loaf! * Recipe from Taste of Home February/March 2010

Zucchini(Squash) Flaxseed Bread
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium zucchini)
1 cup vanilla low-fat yogurt
1/2 cup egg substitute
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray
3 tablespoons chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flours, granulated sugar, and next 7 ingredients (through nutmeg) in a large bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Spread zucchini onto several layers of heavy-duty paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Press down firmly to remove excess liquid. Combine yogurt, egg substitute, oil, and vanilla in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Stir in zucchini. Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture, stirring until well combined. Pour batter into a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle batter with 3 tablespoons walnuts. Bake for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan; place on wire rack. * Recipe from Cooking Light 

Other Uses: lettuce mix, greens, cucumbers
Lettuce Mix
The lettuce mix was made into a simple salad to enjoy with leftovers from last week. We just added sesame sticks (which tend to get the kids to eat more salad) and Newman's Own Balsamic Vinegar Oil dressing.

Beet and  Cauliflower Greens
These were steamed, pureed and frozen in ice cube form.  

Sliced Cucumbers for lunch, usually enjoyed with some light dip.  The kids don't really like them very much.  I think they are a wonderful chip alternative, but I need to find something to make them more appealing to the young ones.

**Photos courtesy of Scotch Hill Farm, Broadhead, WI.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

CSA Share Week 5

Sometimes I wonder how dinner ever makes it to the table at our house.  In the middle of making risotto, which requires near constant stirring, I had two crying children that needed comfort/mediation.  Thankfully, my husband, Allen arrived as if on schedule so that I didn't need to decide whether to ruin a wonderful risotto or let them cry it out!  

I can't believe that Week 5 is already complete and I have yet to mention From Asparagus to Zucchini. This has been my constant companion, although less so in our third year, as I am more familiar with the vegetables. It really does give great detail on how to clean and keep vegetables (one of my favorite tips is cutting off root vegetable greens as soon as possible - I preserve the greens, but it keeps the vegetable from becoming mushy). We've gotten vegetables that I was not at all familiar with and From Asparagus to Zucchini was a lifesaver. The following link lists where to find this essential book:

I do love the recipes in From Asparagus to Zucchini and have tried some in years past, but I tend to change them to fit our needs. I like to use what we typically have on hand and try to only go to the store once a week. That is why Google is my best friend when meal planning - I can type in what ingredients I would like to use and something wonderful usually pops up!

We managed to clean out the vegetable supply incredibly well this week.  Our favorite of the week is the Bacon Zucchini Pasta.  I've heard that bacon is cheating, but it is really just a wonderful dish.  There are a lot of leftovers, so hopefully we can keep up with the Week 6 share that we just picked up.  We still have some spring onions, garlic and garlic scapes hanging on...

We are so grateful to those at Scotch Hill Farm who are working overtime trying to get water to our food in this now severe drought we are suffering in southern Wisconsin.  We appreciate every vegetable we receive and truly understand the care that goes into it thanks to the wonderful people at Scotch Hill.

Week 5 Bounty:
Photos courtesy of Scotch Hill Farm, Broadhead, WI

Snow peas
Leaf lettuce mix
Spring onions

Meal #1: radishes, broccoli, garlic scapes, spring onions
Both the risotto and lamb nuggets were delicious, the radishes were a superior addition to the risotto.  But next time I will dip the radishes in the egg first, maybe even skip the flour.  Typically when I bread something I dip in egg or buttermilk first and then breading.  Doing the flour first made it very difficult to work with.  I had one child who adored the lamb nuggets (my meat-eater) and one who adored the pan-fried radishes (my veggie-lover).  So we took that as a win.

Spring Risotto with Pan-Fried Radishes
2 cups diced broccoli (including leaves)
2 cups chicken broth plus 1 cup water
2.5 tablespoons butter or olive oil
Bunch of spring onions, diced
1 cup arborio rice
2 inches chopped garlic scapes
3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 
1 cup thinly sliced radishes
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1.5 teaspoons parmesan cheese
Olive oil as needed to cook broccoli and radishes
In a saucepan, heat the broth and water until warm, but not hot . In a skillet, add a bit of olive oil and broccoli on medium low heat and cover.Be sure to remove from heat once cooked - it only takes about 5 minutes if finely diced, but you can let it cook while you start the risotto. Next, in large skillet or dutch oven, over medium heat, melt 2.5 tablespoons of butter or olive oil. Once melted, add spring onions and garlic scapes and cook until softened. Now add arborio rice and cook until rice is translucent. Then add the warm broth to the rice, 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Keep adding broth mixture 1/2 a cup at a time until rice is al dente. You may not use all your broth mixture. Once you reach desired consistency, stir in broccoli, salt and pepper and then Parmesan cheese. In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup flour and radishes and shake or toss until they're coated. In a separate bowl, beat egg and pour flour-coated slices into the egg and make sure they're coated well. In the bowl, add 1/2 cup whole wheat bread crumbs, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Transfer flour and egg coated radish slices into the bread crumb mixture and toss to coat. In a large skillet over medium to medium-high, heat olive oil until shimmering. Add your coated radish slices and fry until just brown, flipping to get all sides. Serve the risotto with several radish slices as your topping. *Recipe adapted from

Lamb Nuggets
1 lb ground lamb
2 cloves garlic
1 Tbsp fresh thyme

1 egg
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
Coarsely ground salt and fresh cracked
½ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
½ cup sunflower seeds (or walnuts, almonds, etc) finely chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Oil a jelly roll pan and set aside. In a bowl, gently mix the lamb, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper making sure to not overwork as the meat can then become very dense. Roll the meat into even-sized balls, cover with breadcrumbs a seeds/nuts. Bake for 10 minutes, then broil at 400 degrees for 5 additional minutes.  *Recipe adapted from 

Meal #2: snow peas(including leftover from last week), garlic
We shared this dish at a friend's gathering and the comments were very favorable.  We will make it again.

Lemon Butter Snow Peas
1/2 pound fresh snow peas
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
In a microwave-safe dish, combine the snow peas, water and garlic. Cover and microwave on high for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender; drain. Combine the butter, lemon juice and Italian seasoning. Drizzle over peas; toss to coat. *Recipe by Taste of Home Test Kitchen at

Meal #3: zucchini
This dish is based on something we ate at our favorite restaurant in Venice and it is always a favorite at our house.  

Bacon Zucchini Pasta
1 pound pasta (we like whole wheat tagliolini with this dish)
4 ounces bacon, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 pounds zucchini, (about 2 large), diced
1/2 to 1 cup reserved pasta water
3/4 cup very loosely packed, finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Coarse salt and cracked black pepper
Cook the pasta in boiling, salted water to al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and set aside. In a large saute pan, add the bacon and cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crispy. Add the zucchini and cook until it starts to soften. Place the cooked pasta over low heat. Add the reserved pasta water, cooked bacon, zucchini and the grated cheese. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.

Meal #4: cucumbers, spring onions, lettuce mix
The kids adore cous cous and I can hide the veggies in there without them knowing.  They will always devour it!  The cucumber moons are quite good, too, although I don't think the kids were fond of the dill.

Cucumber moons
2 large cucumbers, or 3 medium
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp minced spring onions
2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
Salt and pepper to taste
Peel cucumbers and slice in half lengthwise. Scoop out all the seeds with a spoon. Slice in half-moons, about 1/4 to 1/3-inch thick. Heat butter in large heavy skillet over medium flame. Be careful not to let the butter brown, but it does need to be good and hot. Add the cucumbers and shallots and cook, tossing often, until the cucumbers begin to get tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in dill, plus salt and pepper to taste. Continue to toss and cook until crisp-tender, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Serve immediately. *Recipe from

Cous Cous 
Cooked whole wheat cous cous to directions and added 6 cubes of pureed roasted root vegetables from the 2011 harvest.  Added fresh ginger, turmeric and cumin.  

Pan-fried fillets that had maple syrup and salt and pepper to taste.

Lettuce Mix 
We had simple salads to round out the meal.

Meal #5: pole beans
Sliced Baked Sweet Potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes (evenly-sized)
1 teaspoon salt
2 -3 tablespoons olive oil
2 -3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs or 2 -3 teaspoons dried herbs, of your choice 
(ie parsley, chives, thyme, sage)  
Preheat over 425°F. Peel potatoes, if the skin is too tough, otherwise just scrub and rinse them.
Cut potatoes into thin slices, but NOT all the way through. (Place a handle of a spoon or table knife along-side the potato to prevent the knife from slicing all the way.) Put potatoes in a baking dish; slightly fan out the slices. Mix olive oil, salt and herbs. Sprinkle mixture evenly over potatoes. Bake (425°F) for about 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Check to be sure it is cooked through, cook time depends on size of potatoes.

Pan-seared Pole Beans
Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add pole beans, and stir to coat.  Cook about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.  When they are nearly done, add your favorite seasoning.  We love one we found in Italy, Sale Roma or Sale Rom.  It is supposed to be for potatoes and poultry, but we love it on everything.  We just haven't found it in Wisconsin yet, but heard that Penzey's may create something by request.

We paired these with leftover pasta and meat from a previous meal.

Meal #6: radish greens, other leftover lettuce/greens, oregano
Pureed cubes
Steam and puree any leftover greens (adding water as needed), then I freeze them into ice cube trays for easier storage and future use.

Friday, July 6, 2012

CSA Share Week 4

We are having more trouble this year keeping up with eating the food. Not trouble using the items from our vegetable share, but we have to juggle leftovers and more food than our two and two halves (my two children only count as half - or less!) can eat.

We had a 5th birthday party for Greysen this past weekend and he got to pick the menu. That is why Meal #2 includes things that were not from our share. Brown Butter Sage Pasta is his favorite and it was quite the hit at the party. We had 18 kids and around 30 adults and made 32 servings of pasta. Sage is one of our favorite herbs - we just can't get enough. Kids and adults were asking what was in it, because they want to make it. Guests loved the turnip chips - they didn't know what they were until told them!

My sister and two of her children are on a gluten-free diet so I had some gluten-free pasta for them and made the shortcakes gluten-free as well. The cupcake shortcakes were great - we made them a few hours early and I only wish that we had covered them or put them in a container. They did harden a bit after sitting out. The flavor was really delicious, though.

The frittata was a huge hit at our house! I love to do "garbage" egg dishes. Really any leftover veggies can be thrown into an omelette or frittata. Warning on the fritatta - when you remove the skillet from the oven, please be sure to leave a hot pad on the handle. I used hotpads to remove the skillet from the oven, but then was on auto-pilot and ended up with second-degree burns! I can usually touch the handle of the skillet while cooking on stove, so I didn't even hesitate.

We haven't yet used the snow peas and pole beans, but I'm sure we'll find a way in the next few days. The pesto and greens cubes have gone in the freezer for later use.

Week 4 bounty:

Photo courtesy of Scotch Hill Farm, Broadhead, WI
Snow peas
Pole Beans
Spring Onions
Lettuce Mix
Mizoona Asian Greens (cook or eat raw)

Meal #1: broccoli, radishes, beets, onions
Veggie Frittata
6 slices bacon
About 10 small/medium radishes and beets, shredded
1 cup chopped broccoli
4 spring onions
6 eggs
3 tablespoons milk

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

In a 12-in. ovenproof skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon to paper towel. Reserve drippings in the skillet. To the skillet, add radish/beet shreds, broccoli and onion; cover and cook over low heat until vegetables are golden brown and tender, about 10 minutes. While these cook, with a fork beat eggs, milk, seasoning, salt and pepper; pour over vegetables. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes or until eggs are completely set. Crumble bacon over top.

Meal #2: turnips
Brown Butter Sage Pasta 
(paired with Klements Brats/Oscar Mayer Angus hot dogs as they make nitrate-free) 
I don't have exact measurements, because this always depends on how much we're making.  We brown some butter in a skillet, then add whole sage leaves.  Cook for only 1-2 minutes, then remove leaves onto paper towels.  Add cooked pasta to browned butter and crumble sage leaves.  Mix to coat.  Our family also adores the whole fried sage "chips."  So we usually make a lot more than what goes on the pasta.

Turnip Chips
Slice turnips thinly, toss with olive oil, sea salt and seasonings of choice.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-20 minutes (depends on thickness of slices), flipping halfway through.

Gluten Free Strawberry Shortcake
1/2 cup butter
1 cup icing sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup cornstarch
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 12-muffin pan. In a large bowl cream butter and sugar, using electric mixer. Add the eggs and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy. In a small bowl mix the cornstarch and baking powder together and add slowly to the creamed mixture. (If added too quickly, it will fly about the kitchen.). Mix until well blended. Fill the greased muffin tins half full. Bake for 15 minutes. (Test with a toothpick, after 15 minutes, even if the top looks shiny). Remove from the pan while still warm. (They will look like little cupcakes. But trust me they will taste just like little shortcakes). Serve topped with strawberries, and whipped cream. *Recipe from GlutenFreeGirl at

Meal #3: basil
Basil-Walnut Pesto (I have frozen into cubes)
2 cups packed basil leaves 
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons softened butter (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)

Place basil, olive oil, walnuts, garlic and salt (if using) in food processor.  Blend until thoroughly combined. Add Parmesan and butter (if using) and blend 5-10 seconds more. Just before serving, add 2 Tbsp of hot pasta water from cooked pasta. Serve over pasta with bread and salad.* Recipe by dahlia at

Meal #4: lettuce mix, Mizoona Asian greens
Frozen greens cubes
The greens were washed and I broke off the long rigid stems to toss.  I put the damp greens in a covered pot on a low setting until the cooked down.  Then I put them in the Magic Bullet (added water as needed) and pureed them.  Put spoonfuls into ice cube trays, when frozen I put the cubes in a ziploc bag.  We will use the frozen cubes as needed in sauces, soups or even in scrambled eggs or omelets.