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CSA Week 8: Bring on the Veggies

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I can’t believe I didn’t even post on my blogiversary. Lame, I know. Truthfully I had nothing to say. I sort of had an off night in the kitchen last night and I haven’t been sleeping well so I was pretty grouchy. It’s probably for the best I didn’t bother posting, but I do thank you all for taking the time to read. It’s so much fun sharing my creations with you.

I did get my new batch of CSA veggies yesterday, and they look gorgeous as usual.

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  • 2 bags of lettuce mix
  • bag of parsley
  • pretty eggplant
  • 1 green smoothie’s worth of kale
  • head of cauliflower
  • shallots
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 4 ears of corn

Our CSA stuff has just been getting better every week. I think I might make make some Eggplant Parm this weekend, and the corn will probably be going on the grill because that’s my absolute favorite preparation for it.

I love the lettuce mix we get every week. I always look forward to it. Today for lunch I ate nearly all of one of the bags along with half of one of the cukes on a salad.

HPIM3856See those beautiful red and yellow tomatoes? I grew them!! :) And they are super sweet and delicious!

CSA Week 7

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This week we got such a cute haul from the CSA! I also hit up the farmer’s market and bought some local organic mozzarella and two gorgeous looking tomatoes, but I chopped them up before I took a photo.

HPIM3793Our goods:

  • beets
  • pea shoots
  • basil
  • wax beans
  • baby eggplants
  • jalapeno
  • shallot
  • 3 small green bell peppers
  • lettuce
  • orange mint

I immediately let my friend Tessa know about these adorable eggplants! She loves tiny food, so I wanted to make sure they were featured on the blog. I think they’re adorable, but I’m not sure what to do with them. Brent’s not an eggplant fan, so these babies are all mine. Ideas?

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Tonight’s dinner made me so happy. Like smiling just thinking about it happy. Weird, right? I found this recipe for a zucchini and eggplant casserole and it sounded wonderful. Brent wasn’t super enthused (see the above mentioned eggplant aversion), but I forged ahead. Fresh veggies, bright red, local, organic tomatoes, CSA basil and shallot, and a dash of feta. Obviously it would be delicious.

I’ve realized I really enjoy making dishes that have to be built, like lasagnas and casseroles. Fun to make, fun to eat. :) Here’s a layer shot before baking:

HPIM3798I really enjoyed this. Brent ate it, so I guess it wasn’t too bad. I told him we were eating the leftovers tomorrow and he groaned. Oh well. I thought it was a very pretty dish, as well as tasty.

HPIM3805I’m working early tomorrow, which means I’m off at 11! I think I may spend the afternoon on a baking project, (and some cleaning. :() I have half a bag of cherries ni the fridge that I’d like to incorporate. I was thinking something more desserty than usual, maybe a cake. Let me know if you have any great recipe ideas!

Check out this awesome giveaway Kelly is having at Twirlit!

CSA Week 5 and a Sandwich

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Our CSA is really starting to beef up! We might even get eggplants and peppers next week! :) Here’s this week’s haul:

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  • Lots of Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Chives
  • Parsley
  • Apple Mint
  • Peas
  • Garlic Scapes
  • Turnips
  • Jalapenos

We picked up our share an hour and half ago, and we’ve already made use of the turnips, some chives, and some of the garlic scapes. Our dinner tonight was another sandwich, the BLT. We did not follow Colicchio’s recipe exactly because I thought a quarter pound of bacon per sandwich was crazy. We used these delicious local, organic tomatoes from our local co-op. I also added some avocado to mine because I love it dearly. On the side I made some mashed potatoes and turnips with some sauteed scapes and chives thrown in. Overall, pretty delicious.

HPIM3593Tomorrow is our Friday! I love a three day weekend. I think we’re just going to hang out at home, and maybe grill out for the Fourth. Do you have any fun plans?

CSA Week 3 & Other Local Vegetables

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Last weekend when we were visiting Brent’s family I demanded Brent’s mom offered me some of their asparagus, which Brent’s dad grows in his “garden.” They live on seven acres and his garden is actually bigger than my backyard, so he’s got quite a bit of good stuff growing in there.

HPIM3515Monday night, I used this super fresh, pencil-thin (just how I like it!) asparagus to make a simple shrimp and asparagus pasta with white white sauce.

HPIM3519It was tasty and simple, perfect for a weeknight dinner.

Shrimp and Asparagus Pasta with White Wine Sauce

  • 5oz whole wheat spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ~1/3 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup sliced yellow onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, probably about a pound, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
  • 1/2 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • salt and pepper
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil and butter over medium heat in a large pan.
  3. Sear shrimp in pan, flipping to cook other side when done.
  4. When shrimp have cooked through, remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon.
  5. Put the onion and garlic into the pan and saute until softened.
  6. Add the wine, and scrape up any stuck on brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  7. Add the asparagus and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat and simmer about 5 minutes until sauce has thickened slightly.
  9. Add back in shrimp until heated through.
  10. Toss with pasta and serve.

And now for our CSA haul! This week we got a lot of greens!

HPIM3522Clock-wise from top-left:

  • lettuce mix
  • arugula
  • kale
  • peas!
  • basil
  • chives

I’m planning a green smoothie tomorrow with the kale or spinach, I think. That basil looks amazing and it might get used in a margherita pizza or some pesto. Any other suggestion?

CSA Week 2

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I’m a bit behind on sharing with you all, but I figured it would be easier just to start where I am rather than back track. Yesterday was our pick up day for our CSA and we got some new veggies!

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Clockwise from top left:

  • Greens, swiss chard I think
  • Pea shoots
  • Lettuce mix
  • Oregano
  • Garlic scapes
  • Tomatoes
  • Rosemary

Brent wants BLT’s with the tomatoes and lettuce. I think I might make foccacia with the rosemary. Garlic scapes are completely new to me. Anyone ever used them? I think I may use the greens in smoothies. So what would you guys make?

Unfortunately, I did not get to use the goods for dinner last night because from 5:30-9pm we were returning our phones and canceling our contract with T-Mobile because my blackberry broke! It just stopped working and wouldn’t turn back on. I was already having a few problems with my internet service on it so I just decided to cancel the contract and find a different carrier. This was easier than I was expecting and we were within the 14 day window where we could cancel with no consequences. We then scoped out new phones and carriers and ended up getting 2 iPhones from AT&T because they were the cheapest smartphone around. I guess the price was lowered on this model because Apple just announced the slightly improved version coming in August.

OK, enough about geeky tech things. I do have one meal from earlier in the week to share with you. I made this couscous salad and we had it for lunches for a few days. Brent and I really like the Israeli couscous and I was excited to find a whole wheat version at the grocery store. I enjoyed this recipe and I think I would make it again.

HPIM3496I can’t believe tomorrow is Friday! This week really flew by for me. My summer dosage calculation class started this week. I should probably get started on the assignments for that. Back tomorrow with dinner!

Fresh & Flavorful

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Tonight was like our Friday because I’m going out of town tomorrow to visit my family and attend a bridal shower. Obviously tonight’s dinner need to include the bounty from the CSA, but I also wanted pizza and cocktails! Like I said, it’s like Friday. :)

Our “first course” was a fresh, flavorful CSA salad made with the lettuce mix and the pea shoots (and some English cucumber), along with some homemade red wine vinaigrette.

HPIM3474This was so flavorful. I have no idea which lettuces were included in the mix, but I got so many different flavors from it. I tasted something herbal, and brent claimed he tasted “something oaky, kind of like bourbon.” The salad was tender and absolutely delicious.

Up next, I made personal pizza for each of us. I thought it would be fun for us to each make our own pizza, but all Brent was willing to do was put the toppings on his. My pizza was out of this world good. (I could sense Brent rolling his eyes even as I typed that.) My toppings were homemade tomato sauce, roasted red pepper slices and goat cheese all stacked on a whole wheat crust!

HPIM3479I like to cut my pizza into to tiny slices because it takes longer to eat and extends my delicious enjoyment. :) It was absolutely phenomenal! I’ve become addicted to these roasted red peppers. Love them! Tasty. Tasty. Tasty!

Our dessert course was… mojitos! They made use of the CSA apple mint. Brent makes a great mojito, probably because it’s his favorite drink. :)HPIM3488

Now I’m enjoying my mojito while watching season 4 of Weeds on DVD. Tomorrow is work, animal shelter, 4 hour drive and then Chicago deep dish pizza!!! I’m hoping when I come home I’ll have a wonderful nursing program acceptance letter waiting for me!

CSA: Week 1

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Brent and I joined a CSA this year, although Brent is pretty hesitant about it. I don’t think he enjoys the mystery of not knowing what we’ll be eating week to week as much as I do. I’m very excited about getting fresh, local, 100% organic produce every week! Our first week’s share:

HPIM3468

  • Lettuce
  • Dill
  • Apple Mint
  • Pea Shoots
  • Cookbook

There’s a ton of dill. I’ve never heard of apple mint before, and I’ve never tried pea shoots. :) What would you make?

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