Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Kale Chips, Pumpkin Tortelloni and Hot Dogs

Our weekly "Kid's Meal" was the fastest both of our kids ate all week.  They are so kind that they usually won't tell us when they don't like something.  They just won't eat it.  But not this meal.  Gone in a matter of minutes!
image from doitdelicious.com

Baked Kale Chips

Pumpkin Tortelloni from RP Pasta here in Madison, WI.  I cooked to directions and added browned butter with sage over the top of it.  Yum!

Pan fried turkey hot dogs that the kids will always eat.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Bok Choi Tofu Stir Fry

This was absolutely wonderful!  We hadn't tried tofu with the kids for awhile.  Last time it didn't go so well, but this was a terrific surprise that everyone loved.

Bok Choi Tofu Stir Fry
image from vgourmet.ca
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp ginger root, grated
4 cups bok choi, coarsely chopped
1 cup shiitake mushroom, caps only, sliced
350g low-fat extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp hoisin sauce**
1/4 cup scallions, chopped (I used leeks)
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cup cooked brown rice

Coat a nonstick wok or skillet with cooking spray. Add garlic, ginger, bok choy and mushrooms; stir-fry over medium-high heat until bok choy is wilted, about 3 minutes.
Add tofu cubes and brown for 1 minute. Stir in soy sauce, hoisin sauce, scallions and pepper; heat through, about 1 minute. Spoon 1/2 cup of rice onto each of 4 plates and top each with about 1 cup of tofu mixture. * From grouprecipes.com - I believe originally from Weight Watchers

** We didn't make hoisin sauce, but substitute with 1 Tbsp peanut butter and 1 Tbsp honey.  Perhaps not as full in flavor, but it worked and still tasted great.

Venison Bolognese and Tarragon Vegetables

A great meal for a cool night!  We shared this with my parents, who were visiting.  

Venison Bolognese
image from dinneraloverstory.com
Browned one pound of ground venison in a pan, then added one jar of our spaghetti sauce.  Cooked until warm. While warming we cooked pasta to directions.  Served pasta with warm bolognese over the top.  Everyone loved it - our guests would never have guessed it to be venison!  And the kids ate it, too.   

Tarragon Vegetables
image from www.telegraph.co.uk
Carrots, peeled and chopped
Kohlrabi, peeled and chopped
2 tsp tarragon
salt to taste
Add 3 Tbsp of butter or oil to a pan and heat.  Add carrots and kohlrabi.  Cook until lightly browned.  Add tarragon and salt.  

CSA Winter Share 2

We received the final bounty of 2012 last Thursday.  

Winter Share #2 Bounty: 

image from mybayareagarden.blogspot.com
Russet Potatoes 
Red Norland Potatoes
Brussels Sprouts
Acorn Squash
Bok Choi

We also received wonderful extra gifts of Pickled Tomatoes, Salsa, and Tomato Sauce. 

image from ecolizzie.com

Prepared for Freezer: 

Collard Greens 
Mustard Greens
Spicy Greens

Hung and Dried: 


Broccoli Cous Cous and Chicken Wings

We steamed finely diced broccoli (as that seems to be the best way to get the kids to eat it) with chopped onion and added it to whole wheat cous cous.  Combined with some butter and seasonings this made for a quick and simple dinner.

image from microfarmgardens.com

To serve with the cous cous we baked chicken wings.  We didn't use a sauce, only seasonings.

This was very experimental.  Our kids love cous cous, but the chicken wings were a first.  Once a week I do try to do something that is very quick and easy and this worked quite well.

Potato Bacon Soup

We have made this soup a few times and it is always a wonderful, hearty addition to our freezer.  I made the whole package of bacon, about 16 slices, and then we all got a side of bacon.  This recipe has been adapted over the last few years - I can't remember where I found the original anymore.  A fall favorite at our house!
image from cbsop.com

Potato Bacon Soup
12 bacon strips, diced
2 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2/3 c whole wheat flour
4 tsp salt
3 tsp dried basil, thyme or Italian mix
1/2 tsp pepper
8 c vegetable broth (combined broth and potato boil water to make 8c, added bouillon)
5 lbs potatoes, cubed
3 c milk
dash cayenne pepper
Garnish: cheese and minced fresh parsley
In large pot saucepan, submerge potatoes in water and boil until soft.  Remove  and drain potatoes and mash, being sure to mince skins.  In same saucepan, cook bacon until crisp. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoon drippings. Set bacon aside. Saute onion and garlic in the drippings until tender. Stir in flour, salt, basil and pepper; mix well. Gradually add broth. Bring to boil; boil and stir for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes, milk and cayenne; heat through but do not boil. Garnish with bacon, cheese and parsley.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Pumpkin Walnut Risotto, Sliders, Salad, and Kale Chips

This risotto is one that we have made the past couple years.  We often substitute the canned pumpkin for some fresh roasted pumpkin or squash.  It is absolutely wonderful.  The carmelized walnuts are enough to reel the kids in - it's like dinner with candy on top!

Slider Hamburgers
We just made our normal hamburgers (with venison this time) and made them small patties, about maybe three inches.  The kids, who don't normally like hamburgers, thought these were made for them.  They adored them!

Simple Salad (for adults)

Pumpkin Walnut Risotto
image from recipe.com
6-7 cups chicken stock
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1 15 ounce canned pureed pumpkin
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup caramelized walnuts
Caramelized Walnuts:
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup chopped walnuts
In a large saucepan heat chicken stock and cinnamon stick over low heat for 10-15 minutes. Set aside, discard cinnamon stick and keep warm.  In a medium saucepan combine butter and olive oil and heat. Add onions and saute until soft, about 3 minutes. Add pureed pumpkin, season with salt and pepper and saute for another 3 minutes.  Combine rice with pumpkin mixture; mix well.  Add wine to rice mixture and stir until absorbed. Begin adding hot stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and making sure all liquid is absorbed before next addition.  Finish with 1 tablespoon butter and parmesan-reggiano to give the risotto a nice, creamy texture. Garnish with caramelized walnuts and serve.
Add sugar to a small skillet over medium-high heat.  As sugar starts to melt add salt and walnuts stirring constantly to coat, about 3-5 minutes. Remove nuts and place on a sheet pan to cool and harden. When cool enough to touch break up the clumps of nuts and set aside. 
* Recipe from the foodchannel.com

Carmelized Brussels Sprouts, Hot Dogs and Sage Pasta

This is our children's favorite meal, one we tend to fall back on when they don't eat much else.  The carmelized brussels sprouts are a hit with my whole extended family.  And some have detested brussels sprouts in the past.  This is truly the best way to enjoy them.

Brussels Sprouts
image from bostonist.com
Carmelized Brussels Sprouts
1 pound brussels sprouts
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

A few heavy pinches of sea salt 
Trim your sprouts if they have too much stem. Then steam them in skillet for 6-7 minutes until they are just beginning to turn bright green. Next you need to brown them in a shallow skillet with olive oil over medium/high heat. Lay them in the pan in one layer and just let them cook for 4-5 minutes. You can shake the pan a bit to make sure they don’t stick, but resist the temptation to flip them early. You want to get them slightly crispy, but try not too burn them. Then flip and cook an additional 3 minutes. Drizzle on more olive oil as needed, sprinkle on the sea salt or other seasonings.  We cook until nicely browned.  

Hot Dogs
We use nitrate/nitrite free hot dogs.   Usually turkey or angus or the healthiest we can find. 

Brown Butter Sage Pasta
3 Tbsp butter
6 whole sage leaves
Rest of package of whole sage leaves
Melt butter with sage leaves and a pinch of salt until it foams and begins to brown. Remove whole sage leaves and drain on a paper towel (they will be a crispy, yummy treat). Continue to swirl the butter sauce until it turns a rich chestnut brown. Crumble six of the sage leaves and add to butter.  Add pasta to saucepan and sauté. Serve with fried sage leaves.

Tuscan Salmon Pasta

This was a delicious reminder of our time in Italia!  The kids actually loved this.  I think it helped having the tomatoes pureed and the salmon flaked and not whole. 

Image from italianrecipe.com
Tuscan Salmon Pasta
4 servings uncooked pasta
4 salmon fillet (10 ounces), cut into 1-inch cubes
3 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
3 lbs tomatoes, stemmed, seeded, pureed
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons milk or cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a small skillet, saute salmon and rosemary in 2 tablespoons oil for 5 minutes or until salmon flakes easily with a fork. Break salmon apart into bite-sized pieces.  Add the tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper; heat through.  Drain pasta; and transfer to a large bowl. Add salmon mixture and milk; toss gently. *Recipe from tasteofhome.com

CSA Winter Share 1

I am going to take the blog in a different direction now that the deliveries are almost finished.  I will try and post every meal separately.  

Rainbow Swiss Chard
image from applesandonions.com
Winter Share #1 Bounty:
Brussels Sprouts
Sweet Potatoes

Prepared for freezing:
bok choi
greens mix

We also received in our Winter Share extra gifts of a Jar of Salsa and a Jar of Relish.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

CSA Share Week 21

*Photo courtesy of
Scotch Hill Farm, Broadhead, WI
I LOVE my CSA!  This heart shaped beet picture says it all...

No share delivery this week, so we have begun to use what we have in our freezer.  It was a very slim week, though, as everyone in our family had a cold at some time during the week.  A lot of soup was in order.  This is perfect, because we have a lot!

We used the following from our fully loaded freezer stock: 
Healing Cabbage Soup
Ligurian Fish Stew

We also had a birthday party for our little "princess."  She requested her birthday meals - one with family and the other with friends.  

Party #1: 
Ham Sandwiches
Package of 12 Hawaiian Rolls
3/4 to 1 lb. ham
Swiss cheese
Put the sandwiches in a greased 13x9x2.  Melt one stick of butter with: 
1 Tbsp minced onion
1 Tbsp poppy sees
1/2 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp mustard

Pan-fried Sweet Potatoes
This is only the basement freezer, the other is packed as well!
Dice potatoes and fry in pan with olive oil until crisp.  We add salt and seasonings (sometimes clove, sometimes tarragon or an Italian spice mix).

Baked Kale Chips
1 head kale, washed and thoroughly dried
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt, for sprinkling
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Remove the ribs from the kale and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Lay on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil and salt. Bake until crisp, turning the leaves halfway through, about 20 minutes. Serve as finger food. * Recipe from Melissa d'Arabian at foodnetwork.com

Party #2: 
Brown Butter Sage Pasta and Sage Chips
Cook pasta according to directions. Brown butter in a frying pan.  Add whole sage leaves.  Cook until stiff, remove leaves.  Once pasta is cooked add to browned butter and crumble a few sage leaves over top.  Eat the rest on the side.  Our kids think these are the best treat!

Hot Dogs
Pan-cooked turkey dogs.

And my favorite new photo from friends in Italia:
LOVE the Italian way!
As long as they can share good food and drink with friends,
nothing else really matters :)