Gettin' fresh … in Northern Nevada

Posts tagged “basil

Just Keep Growing …

I did some maintenance work in the garden boxes this morning.   My new mantra is “just keep growing … just keep growing …”

The basil finally decided to get its groove on:



All of the transplants have been released from their mini greenhouse lids … and look at that happy, full row of kale!



I’m proud of the pepper progress, albeit super slow.



And, there’s even a baby tomato hiding in there!



How’s your garden growing this week?



Great Basin Basket CSA, Week 10 (09/12/13)





Hello out there in the Blogosphere!   For those of you keeping track, no … I did not forget about blogging last week or purposely miss Week 9.   I was on a nicely planned camping vacation.   If you would like to see some of those photos, check out my other blog at Gingerlea Photography.

I gave last week’s box to a friend, who may or may not guest post about her CSA experience sometime in the future.   I heard a rumor that she is big on juicing and actually made a fancy soup with her Vitamix machine.   We’ll see …

For this week, here’s what was in the box:



A Sarah’s Choice Melon, Seedless Watermelon, Globe Eggplant, Romanian Peppers, Cherry Tomatoes, Slicing Tomatoes, Shallots, Green Beans, Basil and Raspberries.

I know I have gone on and on about the raspberries in the past but they are soooooo good.   As in, I’m thinking about making the two hour round trip drive out there to pick some more.   That good.



And, if you were wondering why it’s worth it to get more raspberries, this is what happens to the ones in the CSA box when they get to my house:

The Raspberry Goblin inhales them.   Photo evidence.



Oh, well.   There’s worse things for a kid to get excited about, right??

As for the rest of the haul, I’m thinking there is a basil, tomato, pepper salad in my future with some feta cheese and a vinaigrette.   I love fresh ingredients.   Yum.

On the other hand, I have a serious amount of garlic just sitting on my counter.   I’m feeling a big roasting session coming on this weekend.   It’s easy and the garlic keeps well.   Bonus features:   no vampires at my house and easy spreadable garlic on demand for every piece of french bread that I can find.

Do you like roasted garlic?   Any new ideas for how to use it?   I love garlic in everything.   Share something creative with me!

Great Basin Basket CSA, Week 7 (08/22/13)



It’s another great week of veggies in Nevada.   I am so happy to be back in the CSA.   I get super excited for Thursdays because I know there will be a new veggie box.   Nom nom nom!

What’s this week’s haul?   All organic–I know I say that every week but it’s really that important.   Those peeps out at Lattin Farms work hard to keep their freshies fresh, the old-school way!

  • Sarah’s Choice Cantaloupe
  • Seedless Watermelon
  • Mixed Summer Squash
  • Islander Peppers
  • Slicing Cucumber
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Japanese Eggplant
  • Early Girl Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Garlic
  • Basil from Mewaldt Organics
  • Green Beans from River Bend Farms
  • White Onions from Pioneer Farms




Here’s a close up of the basil — can you smell it?   I was trying to inhale the bag on the way home in the car.   I love fresh basil.



Ya know what goes well with basil?    Tomatoes!  I see a caprese salad in my future …


Great Basin Basket CSA, Week 5 (08/08/13)



This week’s box was so heavy that I could barely carry it out to the car.   Seriously, I’m glad that I’m not paying for produce by the pound here!



What was in the box?   All organic Galia melons, cantaloupe, seedless watermelon, mixed summer squash (crook neck, yellow/green zucchini), islander peppers, cherry tomatoes, Japanese eggplant, cucumbers, early girl tomatoes and basil from Lattin Farms, basil from Mewaldt Organics, green beans from River Bend Farms and red onions from Pioneer Farms.

Just look at these goodies:




Everything smells so good.   The basil is sweet and tangy, the onions are sharp and the fruit is like candy.   I think I might just eat all of it raw.   No cooking required.



Or, maybe you could help … with some fresh ideas … what would you make with these ingredients?

Chicken Wing Showdown Chowdown



I have been wanting to try a recipe that I saw on another blog for a very long time.   A special chicken wing recipe that, in my opinion, deserved a special day.   I gave those chicken wings:   Super Bowl Sunday, the true religious holiday of all chicken wings.   Here’s to Peppermeister’s Sweet and Spicy Asian Wings with Crema de Peppermeister!

I actually followed the recipe as close as I could.   If you’ve been reading me for very long, you understand what a challenge this can be for me.    Click on the links above for the full list of ingredients, it’s not a tough recipe to follow but the processing can be a little time consuming.  Was it worth it?   Ooooh … yaaaa …



The sauce for these wings was a little bit tedious to make  (chop, chop, blend, blend) and VERY GREEN.  It made for a cool macro photo, though.



I do have to say that it looked pretty gross.   But, the smell of the spices and peppers was fantastic even when it was all still raw.   The house smelled incredible while these were cooking in the oven.   INCREDIBLE.



I am so glad that I lined the pan with foil before baking these bad boys.   What a mess!



These are the fixin’s for the Crema de Peppermeister.   I actually doubled the recipe because I wanted extra for salad dressings or something else later in the week.    Yum.




The Peppermeister wings were awesome and a great food experiment for me.   I’m glad I made them.   But, I do have to admit that they did not steal my heart away from my one true chicken wing love.    I’m still loyal to the traditional, buffalo-hot style.    And, I have the heart burn to prove it.


Thai-Spiced Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Chicken Peanut Satay

The force is strong in the spaghetti squash.   When the green beans waged the flavor war on them, it wasn’t really fair.   The green beans had bacon on their side.   And, well, bacon is known for its Jedi mind tricks, especially at my house.  If you have no idea what I am typing about … there was a vegetable war at my house a while back.   Read all about it HERE.

Now, let it be known that if you make the spaghetti squash gods mad by calling it boring, they will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger.   Thai-spiced vengeance and anger.   Tonight, the veggie war was on … on like Donkey Kong!

It all started to come together back at the CSA box pick-up last week.   I have mentioned before that I love the volunteer that is there every week.   She is super friendly and helpful.   This week, she was looking through one of those freebie magazine things that they give out at Whole Foods, Delicious Living.   She pointed out this awesome thai-inspired recipe and pretty much commanded to me that this was right up my alley.   She was right.   Here’s the full recipe and LINK:

3 3 1/2 pounds spaghetti squash
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
2 large cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 medium-large Fresno pepper, seeded and chopped
2 medium-large Thai peppers, chopped (seed for less heat)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
chopped roasted peanuts and lime wedges, for garnish
Recipe Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350˚. Cut squash in half lengthwise, remove membranes and seeds, brush lightly with olive oil, and place cut-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast for 55–60 minutes, until flesh shreds easily with a fork. Cool slightly, remove flesh into strands with a fork, and set aside. In a large, deep sauté pan, heat sesame oil over medium-low heat. Add ginger, garlic, coriander, and peppers; sauté until fragrant and tender, 3 minutes. Stir in salt. Add squash threads and toss; add cilantro and toss until well combined. Serve immediately, garnished with peanuts and a squeeze of lime.
My modifications were to add some purple basil with the fresh cilantro.   I didn’t have any lime so I did a quick splash of lemon juice just to give it that zest of flavor.   OH, I also didn’t do the peanuts.   The side of peanut satay chicken gave the touch of flavor needed here.   And, yup, I also did not have any fresh ginger.   I substituted dried ground ginger from the spice rack.   I’m sure fresh would have been better here but it worked out just fine.   And, the peppers were from the CSA box weeks ago.   They had just enough fire to be hot but not enough to burn your face off or anything.
For the chicken peanut satay, this was a total cheater.   I just happened to have a jar of Trader Joe’s peanut satay sauce in the cabinet.   I just grilled up some chicken and simmered.   Easy.
Wowzers!   This is by far one of the best food experiments that I have managed to not screw up to date.   Really, really good.   As in … game on, BACON.   Those green beans would not have stood a chance next to this spaghetti squash.
If you are in the spirit to have some thai-spiced vengeance and anger in your life, go cook a spaghetti squash.   It’s really tasty.

Salt Preserved Basil

I hate to waste anything.   This isn’t a new quality in my life since I started the CSA subscription.   I was pushing hoarder status a couple of years ago simply because I couldn’t stand to let anyone throw away things I thought were still useful.    No, I don’t mean their garbage.   I just mean you don’t have to buy new stuff when the old stuff you already have is good enough.   I really hate to waste food.

Anyway … I had some basil that was starting to stack up on me from the CSA boxes and I didn’t really have a plan to cook with it.   So, I wanted to find a way to keep it longer.    My good friend, Google, led me to this website and a post about three ways to preserve basil.   Freezing, drying and salt preserving.

Hmmm?   I had not thought about the whole salt routine before now.   Let’s give it a try!    How hard is it?   Not very hard.   Clean, dry jar, big canister of salt, add basil, put the lid on it and store in the refrigerator.   Done.    What to see pictures?

Did you know that ‘regular’ or canning salt just means that it does not have iodine added to it?    Somewhere along the line, the government decided that we don’t get enough iodine in our regular diets so now they sneak it into salt and bread.   I think that’s weird.

I tried to do layers but that salt is just too smart and goes to the bottom no matter what.    Good thing to note here is that you can still use the salt when all of the basil is gone.   They say it doesn’t even take on basil flavor.   Again, weird.

Have you ever tried this?    I was thinking that the freezer method might be a good idea too but I’m not sure what the texture will end up like for the basil.    And, my freezer is starting to fill up with all of the fruit that I have bagged up lately.

Summer CSA, Week Nine

This week’s haul of goodies was so big and heavy that I actually used a cart to carry it to the car.   I don’t know why but I thought it was a little embarrassing.   That’s totally silly.   This was a big load of stuff!   Seriously, look at it:

What’s in that silly cart?   This week’s contents are:

  • Snow leopard melon  (A new one to me.   I wonder what it is going to be like?!)
  • Watermelon
  • Tomatoes
  • Summer squash
  • Eggplant
  • Peppers
  • Armenian Cucumbers
  • Beets
  • Butternut squash
  • Raspberries
  • Basil

AND, the fruit share has pears, peaches, nectarines and plums!    They are beautiful.   I love the rainbow of colors going on in this box.   Is it weird that I almost feel greedy having gotten this much fruit?

Don’t forget about the giveaway.   What??  You missed this POST about pickled purple green beans?   Don’t worry–there’s still time to enter.   CLICK on over and read all about it.

Summer CSA Week 5 and a Yummy Salad

It is the dog days of summer here in Northern Nevada and it just keeps getting hotter.   The forecast last week was 95-100 everyday and it looks like it will continue through next week as well.   I’m sure it’s taking a toll on the farmers out there but this week’s box of goodies still looks wonderful.

What’s in there?   All organic, of course:   ambrosia cantaloupe, yellow crookneck and patty pan summer squash, armenian cucumbers (what’s that?  check here), romanian peppers, white and purple japanese eggplant, lettuce, purple basil (which smells like what I imagine heaven is), carrots, tomatoes (that look like apples!), garlic chives … and … oh thank you fruit gods … another yellow doll watermelon!

And, because I love big salads, this is what we had for dinner:

It is sort of a buffalo chicken mix salad with all kinds of crunchy veggies and even BBQ’d corn off the cob.

And, for those who have been following along, here’s how I get my little dude to try new veggies:

He’s not a super picky eater but it does help to make him a nicely separated buffet.

Pinterest Recipe Time

I freakin’ love Pinterest.   I won’t believe you if you tell me you have never been on there.   But, just in case, wait until after you read this post.   Otherwise, you won’t find your way back here for several days.   It is crazy addictive.   Seriously.

I have found all kinds of crafties, photo inspiration, general words of wisdom, seriously funny junk and, most of all, TONS OF GREAT RECIPES!

Here’s my latest foodie idea from Pinterest.   Baked Garlic Cheesy Cauliflower.   Sounds good, huh?

If you have been reading any of my other posts, you know I usually modify the recipe to fit either what I have available in the cabinet or whatever I think sounds good that day.   Today, I had fresh-from-my-CSA-box cauliflower, roasted garlic and basil.

I decided that adding butter (as called for in the recipe) was just over the top since there is already two kinds of cheese.   For me, this will be cheddar and parmesan.    The roasted garlic was all velvet-y with olive oil so I’m thinking that it will be the right touch for moisture.   Then, I sprinkled the whole thing with a pretty liberal dose of Montreal Steak Seasoning.   This stuff is pretty salty but it is mmmmm, mmmm good.   The basil was just bling.  (As it turns out, though, there are several recipes for basil and cauliflower together on Pinterest.   Expect to see a return of this duo soon.)

Bake in the oven, covered, at 350 degrees for about twenty minutes.

Wow — this was so good!   My husband went literally crazy for it.   And, my three year old even tried it.   Yes.   He ate cauliflower — I’m proud.    Tonight’s dinner also included some pork chops and southern-cornmeal fried squash.   No instructions necessary, milk and egg wash/dip in cornmeal for the squash and then, get your southern on and fry, baby, fry!

We will be having this for dinner again.