Gettin' fresh … in Northern Nevada

Posts tagged “garlic

Great Basin Basket Share, Week Five

What’s in the box?

Green Garlic – Lattin Farms
Hakurei Turnips – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Broccoli – Pioneer Farms
Green Cabbage or Napa Cabbage – Pioneer Farms
Darkibor Kale – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Sunflower Shoots – Dayton Valley Aquaponics
Gourmet Lettuce – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Jericho Romaine – Pick’n & Grin’n @ Lattin Farms
Assorted Herbs – Lattin Farms

I have my add on items … bread, teriyaki beef jerky and a salted caramel-pretzel crust brownie.   OH!  And, eggs from Lahontan Farms that are somehow not in the photo.   This is a new thing on the basket share for me.  The weekly add-on items change and you order them in advance.   Fun, local, yummy stuff!

This week includes the beef share.   It was a full cooler load from York’s Meats in Fallon.

The packages range in portion size but included top sirloin (x2), rib steaks, chuck steak, carne asada (x2), ground beef (x5), and chuck roast.

We are pretty excited to try some Nevada beef — especially after a few weeks of heavy greens.

 

 


Great Basin Basket CSA, Week 5 (10/31/13)

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This week’s haul included a couple of fun things and a little bit of sad news.   First things first, what’s in the box? (All organic from Lattin Farms unless otherwise noted)

  • Lettuce
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Arugula
  • Decorative Gourd
  • Sunflower
  • Decorative Indian Corn
  • Potatoes from Workman Farms
  • Butternut Squash from Peri & Sons
  • Onions From Peri & Sons

What do you do with a full sunflower head?   Thankfully, the newsletter came with instructions.   (I love that the farm doesn’t assume that I know this stuff.   Instructions are appreciated!)

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How to Make Your Own Sunflower Seeds

Cover the flower head with a paper bag and secure into place by tying around the bag with a string.

Hang the cut sunflower upside down by the stem in a warm but ventilated area for three weeks to two months while it cures. The seeds will fall out over time, caught in the paper bag.

Place the dried sunflower seeds in an airtight container in the refrigerator for storage. Roast the sunflower seeds by spreading them in a flat layer over a cookie sheet and placing in a 300-degree oven for 20 minutes. Add salt or leave them plain based on your preference.

 

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I love the decorative stuff because they can hang around until Thanksgiving and not be confused with my Halloween decorations.

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Now, the sad news …  the drought was pretty tough on my farm this year.   And, well, drought conditions make it pretty tough on about everything around here.   Here’s the official scoop from my CSA newsletter:

“It has been a challenging year for us – drought, heavy insect and disease pressure, crazy weather (including about three weeks without sunshine due to wildfires).  Despite these difficulties the basket went out every week full of fresh produce. The variety, due to problems noted above, was not up to our usual standards – lots and lots of some things and less of others.  Thanks for putting up with those variables. 

We are changing the basket substantially in 2014 to ensure we can send a full basket of good produce every week, despite the challenges we anticipate due to continued drought. Luckily at Lattin Farms we have storage ponds on the farm and will be able to plant for the new seasons we are implementing for 2014. 

We will have two seasons rather than three, with an Early Season Basket beginning the first week of June and running through the end of July. This season will begin with the usual greens, plus beets, turnips, carrots and in July the first 
of the summer squashes, tomatoes and peppers. Late Season Basket will include August and September and will contain all the crops you got this year. This will allow us to concentrate on our major season as we face the challenges with weather and drought. 

Our sign-up for 2014 will be up on the website within the next couple of weeks and we would appreciate early sign-ups with the $50 deposits as we may be required to limit basket numbers if the drought worsens. 

We are asking some of our cooperating farmers if they want to pick up some of the spring and fall business that we have had. Look to our website later in the year for announcements on other subscription programs for spring and fall baskets. Thanks again for your loyal support.   Rick Lattin”

Well, that’s just how it works here in the desert.   No water, no life.  You have to do the best you can with what you have so we’ll see how it works out next year for crops and Fresh Veggies in the Desert.

Let me know what you think … I was looking forward to the winter break but now it’s a little sad that I’m watching the CSA change at the same time.


Great Basin Basket CSA Autumn Week 4 (10/24/13)

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The winter veggies just keep coming!   I’m happy to see a nice variety in this week’s CSA share.   I am still a little worried, though.   It is really dry out there and I know my farm is struggling for water.   C’est la vie for gardening in the desert, I suppose?

What was in this week’s box?  (All organic from Lattin Farms unless otherwise noted)

  • Stripetti Spaghetti Squash
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Green Tomatoes
  • Shallots
  • Mixed Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Sage
  • Potatoes from Holley Farms
  • Onions from Peri & Sons

And, just in case you wanted to see what autumn looks like from near my house, this is a little fishing hole a few miles from where I live:

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The county stocks the pond with trout and we have managed to catch a couple of them.   My husband is better at catching than I am but I do enjoy the zen of trying.   How about you?


Great Basin Basket CSA, Autumn Week 3 (10/17/13)

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What’s in the box this week?

(all organic from Lattin Farms unless noted otherwise)

  • Cha-Cha Kabocha Squash
  • MIzuna and Mustard Greens
  • Tomatoes
  • Shallots
  • Islander Peppers
  • Garlic
  • Popcorn
  • Spinach
  • Garlic Chives from Mewaldt Organics
  • Potatoes from Holley Farms
  • Yellow Onions from Peri & Sons
  • Cauliflower from Peri & Sons

What the Cha-Cha?   Now, I’m not a rookie to the squash scene at this point but I don’t remember ever seeing a Cha-Cha Kabocha Squash on the menu before now.   Have you ever had one?

To me, it looks like a big speckled green pumpkin or, maybe, a flatter watermelon   But, I was surprised when I picked it up because it was significantly lighter than expected.   According to the instructions/newsletter, it is the best-eating of the mid-size kabocha squashes.   “It has a bright yellow flesh that cooks up dry, flaky, sweet and delicious.”   I’m thinking it will be a lot like a butternut squash … I guess we will find out soon enough, won’t we?

In case you didn’t already know, the pick-up spot for my CSA is at the local Whole Foods store.   Most of the time, I don’t even go inside unless I need some random other item because, after all, I am going home with a huge box of veggies every week.   This week, though, was different.   I was stopped dead in my tracks because I found my holy grail item of fall.   The Honey Crisp Apple.   Oooooh, yaaaaa.    It’s on like Donkey Kong, my friends.

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I bought a whole bag of these beauties and, after I eat myself sick on just plain old apples, I’m going to make a recipe suggested by Rachel’s Table, Seasonal Sangria.   Check her out, she knows how to get it done …


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Great Basin Basket CSA, Week 11 (09/19/13)

I started to name this post “I Love Ugly Tomatoes” and then went back to the format that I have been using this year.   But, the whole post should really  be about just those organic heirloom tomatoes, shouldn’t it?   No?  OK.   Here’s what I got in the box this week:

  • Seedless Watermelon
  • Canary Melon
  • Romanian Peppers
  • Globe Eggplant
  • Juliet Cherry Tomatoes
  • Yellow Onions
  • Garlic
  • Garlic Chives
  • Raspberries (that I am promising myself to not just let the Goblin eat)
  • oh, ya … some awesome heirloom tomatoes!

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I love how they are just ugly.   Makes you wonder what other stuff that looks all weird but would actually be good, doesn’t it?   Makes me think that I was wrong for always picking the “pretty” produce.   Who taught us to do that??

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Roasted Garlic

One of the easiest things on earth to do is roast garlic.   If you are a big fan of its savory flavor, do yourself a favor and buy a ton of garlic to roast at home.   It will make your house smell fantastic and, the next time you cook with it, you will feel like you invented food.   Good stuff.

I tried a new trick this time and put the cloves in a muffin pan in the oven.   It was easy to clean and kept the oil from going all over the place.   Nice time saver-easy to clean.

Just add some olive oil and put it in the oven at 400 degrees for an hour or so (until the cloves are soft).   Then, save it in the fridge until you want to use it.   Or, cover a french baguette of bread with it and enjoy!

 


Great Basin Basket CSA, Week 8 (08/29/13)

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This week’s haul included a couple of late summer surprises (all organic):

  • Sarah’s Choice melons/cantaloupe
  • Seedless watermelon
  • Mixed summer squash
  • Japanese eggplant
  • Mixed peppers
  • Corn
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Early Girl tomatoes
  • Garlic
  • Raspberries  (whaaaaaaaaaaaat??!!)
  • Rhubarb

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The raspberries barely made it home because my little boy loves them.   He had a huge helping with dinner.

And, as weird as rhubarb can be, I really love the smell.   So sweet.

The CSA newsletter included a yummy recipe for desert.

Rhubarb-Raspberry Crunch

1 cup white sugar

1 tbsp instant tapioca

1 tbsp cornstarch

1/8 tsp salt

4 cups rhubarb, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 cup raspberries

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup quick cooking oats

1/2 cup butter, chilled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Great a 9×13 inch baking pan.   In a large bowl, combine sugar, tapioca, cornstarch, and salt.  Place rhubarb and raspberries into bowl making sure to completely coat with dry ingredients.   Pour into baking pan.  IN a medium bowl, mix together brown sugar, flour and oats.  Cut in butter until mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs.  Spread on top of fruit mixture.  Bake for 45 minutes or until rhubarb is tender.

Sounds pretty tasty to me.

I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to try this recipe quick enough, though.   The boy is really loving those raspberries, straight out of the container.   Let me know if you make it!


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

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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.

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

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The Veggie Box is Back!

I have returned from the desert wasteland of fresh options in Northern Nevada to report that I should have just stayed with my tried and true CSA box from last year.   The co-op in town is good but not convenient for me.   The other basket/subscriptions are OK but not always local.   And, the farmer’s markets are less than I had hoped for in my area.

The Great Basin Basket CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) subscription by Lattin Farms is the way to go.   For real.   Boom.   Don’t mess around with anything else.   Know that your farmer is in Fallon and your food is fresh.   Done.

You can expect to see weekly reports from me about what’s in the box through the fall and I will gladly pay whatever the subscription costs because it has always proven to be completely worth it.   I managed to get in on the summer subscription after it had already started and the membership coordinator happily pro-rated my weeks through September.   This costs $29 a week.   Paid in full, in advance with eager anticipation.

Here’s what I received today:

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All organic summer squash, seedless watermelon, sweet peppers, eggplant, early girl tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, garlic and a Galia melon from Lattin Farms.  There is also a bag of green beans from River Bend Farms and two big red torpedo onions from Pioneer Farms.

Aren’t these onions glorious?

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What’s a Galia melon?   According to the handy dandy instruction sheet that comes in every veggie box, a Galia melon looks “like a cantaloupe on the outside and a honeydew melon on the inside and offer a delicious, sweet flavor.”   All I know is that it smells like heaven.   This should be really good this weekend when it’s hot outside and I’m craving something cool and sweet.

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I can’t wait to taste those little yellow cherry tomatoes.   nom nom nom

 

Can you believe that I’m even excited to see the eggplant?  Now, if I could only remember which blog posted an eggplant recipe recently that actually looked good.    Any suggestions on that one?

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For my pepper peeps, these are Antohi Romanian Sweet Peppers and the veggie instructions included an interesting story about them:

“Jan Antohi was a touring acrobat when he defected to the United States.  In late 1991, he visited his family in Romania for the first time in more than 8 years, and came back with seeds of this delicious heirloom.   Romanians fry these in a hot skillet to experience the sweet, full flavor.”   

I remember these peppers from last summer and can attest … THEY ARE TASTY!

I’m excited to try some new recipes and share them with you again.   Tonight’s menu is easy:  grilled chicken and grilled summer squash.   Put ’em on the BBQ and get ‘er done!  Yum.


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 …

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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Good Sammiches

 

 

The hubs here at Fresh Veggies wanted to guest post.   Well, really, he wanted me to take pictures of some pretty awesome sandwiches that he made and then for me to blog about them.   I suggested that he do some typing but … that did not happen.   Anyway, here some bomb-diggity sammiches that my sweetie made for us this weekend.

Go ahead, be jealous.   The Fresh Hubs is pretty handy in the kitchen.

The fixin’s … roast beast, portabellas, roasted peppers and some good cheeeses …

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The master at work.    He didn’t really want to be photographed but obliged.   (Probably because he knew I would be writing this post and he still wanted to be included in it.)   Special note:  Raiders shirt.   It was a football weekend but he is still a Raiders fan.    Go figure.

 

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What’s that magic goodness that he is putting all over that artisan french bread, you ask?   Mmmmm.   This is a custom garlic aiolo that Fresh Hubs created himself.   I will guess that there are some mystery herbs and spices in there as well.   Top secret recipe.

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Grilled mushrooms, peppers with gouda (cuz it’s good-a) on one side and herbed goat cheese on the other side.

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Final presentation.   Nom, nom, nom.    I’m a lucky girl.

 

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Fall CSA, Week Eight–The Season Finale

Can you believe we started this adventure in April and the 2012 season is already done?    Time flies when you are having fun!

The last veggie box is here and I am ready for Thanksgiving.   And, I am thankful for this year’s CSA.   I had no idea what it would be like and I have enjoyed every bit.   I am especially thankful for the awesome little farm that makes this happen, Lattin Farms.   They rule!   I added some links below to the other farms on the veggie list.  Please take the time to give them a click.  Fallon and Yerington, Nevada, don’t look like much on the map but the farms out there seriously know what they are doing.

So, what’s in the veggie box?

  • Butternut Squash
  • Speckled Hound Squash
  • Bull’s Blood Beet Greens
  • Spinach
  • Tango Lettuce
  • Gourmet Lettuce
  • Shallots
  • Garlic
  • Popcorn on the Cob
  • Ornamental Gourds
  • Sunchokes from Mewaldt Organics
  • Onions from Peri & Sons
  • Potatoes from Carroll Farms

HOLY, ORVILLE REDENBACHER!   We have real popcorn!   This going to be so much fun for movie night!   (I have tried 10,000 ways to rotate this photo and failed.  Then, I decided it was just as cute sideways.   Oh, well.  We are silly that way.)

And, what would the veggie box be without a mystery vegetable??   This final box did not disappoint.  At first, I thought these mysterous tubers were part of a seriously generous bag of fresh ginger.   But, whoa, that would be A LOT of ginger!   I was quickly informed that these are sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes.   I will be Googling ideas for what to do with them.   Any suggestions?

I don’t always point it out on the veggie list but almost everything is completely organic, especially the Lattin Farms produce.   That’s a big deal.   The official certification process to call your food “organic” is pretty complicated and Lattin Farms is the real thing.   Here’s some more info and a link if you would like to check it out:

“What is organic food? Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations.  Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.  Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.  Before a product can be labeled ‘organic,’ a Government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards.  Companies that handle or process organic food before it gets to your local supermarket or restaurant must be certified, too.”

Consumer Brochure, USDA National Organic Program, http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/Consumers/brochure.html

The best resource for Nevada grown produce and everything related is:   http://nevadagrown.com/    They have some links on the site for other states but this has quickly become my go-to spot for local goodies.   I hope you can find one like it for where you live.

After all of the Thanksgiving festivities, I will post the season highlights/lowlights with cost information for the CSA.   I have enjoyed this experience and it has made me interested in being a better localvore.    I think there are some good resources in the Reno area to make this happen so … stay tuned.   I’ll still be posting my adventures throughout the winter.   Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


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.

Fall CSA, Week One

Time flies when you are having fun.   Can you believe that this CSA adventure started six months ago?   Wow.    I had no idea how amazing the whole process would be.    Or, that I would enjoy blogging about it this much.

So, what’s in the veggie box this week?    It was another hefty load.   I carried both the fruit and veggies boxes but probably should have opted for a cart again.   Heavy squashes make for quite a workout.

This week’s contents are a nice bag of mixed peppers, garlic, early girl tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, A PUMPKIN! (Winter Luxury), acorn squash, two bags of summer squash, green beans, parsley, purslane (what’s that?  click HERE) and potatoes.

The fruit box was full of all kinds of apples, more peaches and pears and a nice sprinkle of prunes.   I have a cool recipe post for prunes coming up later this week.   Keep an eye out for it.

I just have to add another photo with that pumpkin.   I think it is adorable.

The volunteer at the CSA pickup site said this is a good baking pumpkin.   I don’t know what your weekend plans are but I’m thinking that my oven will be going … roasting pumpkins and squash all weekend.    Any suggestions or tips??

 


Tomatillo Chicken Chili and a Scorpion

Last week, when we went to Lattin Farms, I bought some of those beautiful tomatillos in the pictures.     I knew right away what I wanted to do with them.    Make CHILI!

Tomatillos are easy to deal with … you just peel, rinse and then boil them for a little bit to cook.    After they are sufficiently mushy, blend them up and you have a sauce!    I decided to get all creative and add some garlic as well as a jalapeno pepper to the mix.

Then, I put some leftover chicken (from that baked chicken the other day), a couple of cans of white beans and a little bit of chicken broth in my cute little orange crock pot with my tomatillo sauce.   This hot mess simmered up with a little bit of chili pepper flakes and cumin for a couple of hours into a very nice chili.

To finish, we add grated cheese, a dab of sour cream and some fresh salsa to the top.    OH, and don’t forget some tortilla chips to scoop it all up.    What a yummy lunch!

What about the scorpion?   Ya.   This was gross.   We found TWO different scorpions in the basement yesterday while I was doing laundry.    My husband has big feet–good for squishing scorpions.   YUCK!


Summer CSA, Week Twelve

What’s in the last box of summer?    Loads of great stuff, that’s what!


Cherry tomatoes, cinnamon basil (yes, it totally smells like cinnamon!), garlic, mixed peppers, eggplant (omg-ugh), onions, summer squash, delicata squash, acorn squash, heirloom tomatoes, early girl tomatoes, potatoes and radishes

YUM!

What’s in the fruit share this week?

Peaches, pears, apples and PRUNES!    I have never seen a real, live FRESH prune before today.    Hmmm.   I wonder what they taste like raw-not dehydrated?    Stay tuned.   Later this week, we’ll find out …

But, for tonight, there is a little boy who loves apples!

Look, Mom, NO HANDS!


Summer CSA, Week Eleven

Even though the nights are getting chilly, the days are still warm and the harvest continues …  what’s in this week’s CSA?

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For the veggie share we have lots of tomatoes and even a couple more pretty heirloom ones, lovely purple basil (drool), jalapeno peppers and a big bell pepper, eggplant/ughplant, THREE different kinds of green beans, potatoes, summer squash, garlic and two nice looking yellow onions.

For the fruit share, the big box has peaches, pears and apples.   And, my helper in the photo is eating the raspberries and grapes.   He snatched those up the minute I walked in the door!

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I’m thinking about trying to remember one of my Grammy’s old recipes for green beans with new potatoes in the slow cooker with a nice, salty ham hock.    Yup.   That sounds like a meal plan to me!   What’s on your meal plan for this week?


Summer CSA, Week Ten

The evenings are getting cooler and that autumn feeling is starting to creep in on us here in Northern Nevada.   But, the summer harvest is still happening.   Just check out this week’s haul of CSA goodies:

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This week, the box was full of summer squash, ughplant, peppers, cucumbers, a Tuscan melon (looks like cantaloupe to me), garlic, raspberries, tomatoes, chives, grapes (!!!) and new potatoes.

The fruit share is HUGE.   Apples, plums, peaches, pears and nectarines.   Wow.

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What are these?   I love the colors that you get from different varieties of heirloom tomatoes.   These are more purple in person but I think you can see my point.

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Grapes, grapes, grapes!    They are perfectly cute, tiny little globes of freshness.   Yum.

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Don’t forget about the giveaway.   Today is the last day to enter!  What??  You missed this POST about pickled purple green beans?  CLICK on over and read all about it.


Eggplant Parmesan with Garlic Roasted Tomato Sauce

Oven roasted tomatoes with fresh garlic.   The carmelization that happens with a little bit of olive oil and garlic is a wonderful thing.   The house smelled like heaven when it was cooking.    At the time, I saved this in a cute little jar and didn’t know what I was going to do with it.   I love a good tomato sauce so I knew it wouldn’t last long.

Then, this week’s veggie box had a new load of ughplant in it and I thought I would give it another try.   I decided to make this is an all or nothing effort to test my dislike of this horrible vegetable.   All or nothing — good sauce, good noodles, good cheese, good preparation.    I did a baked eggplant parmesan with panko italian breadcrumbs.   The whole nine yards.

I soaked the eggplant in salt water and attempted to get as many seeds out as possible.   This is supposed to help with the bitterness.   It does not change the texture.

Dipping stations to bread the eggplant.   Fancy panko crumbs with a full load of dried Italian herbs for flavor.   I carefully baked the eggplant to make sure they were crisp on both sides and delicately done.   This was successful.  And, quite beautiful.

Finished plate with my yummy garlicy sauce and my favorite fettuccine noodles that I get from the cool Italian market.   Supposedly, these noodles are handmade.   They taste silky and perfect every time.

Final verdict:   Ughplant sucks.   I hated it.   I picked off the bread crumbs and just ate the noodles.   Bleck.  Pooey.  OMGross.

NO more eggplant for me.   Do you want it?   Free eggplant to anyone (local) that I can give it to!   Come and get it!

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.


Dill Pickles and Some Carrots, Too!

My husband was feeling left out because all of the refrigerator pickles that I have made to this point have been bread and butter style.   So, today was dedicated to DILL.

I tried to follow this recipe HERE but it was in completely different measurements so it’s going to be a crap shoot to see if I did it right.   I’ll wait until they are taste tested by the Dill Connoisseur and let you know later.   Either way, they looked and smelled good.

Then, I totally lost my mind.   I just pickled the biggest jug of carrots I have ever seen.   What was I thinking?   WELL … I was thinking that I have a ton of big carrots that aren’t quite as tasty as the baby carrots that I was loving in the spring CSA subscription and I didn’t want them to go to waste.  And, I love pickled stuff.   Seems like a match made in heaven, right?  I really like the pickled carrots and jalapenos that they always have out on the salsa bar at Mexican restaurants.   And, we are planning another camping trip in a couple of weeks so (worse case scenario) we can snarf these guys up with bloody marys around the campfire one morning.

If you would like the recipe that I started with and (of course) modified:  click THIS.

I peeled and cut the carrots into pretty little sticks.   This requires a lot of patience.   Really.

Then, everything was layered into the huge pickle jar that I kept for no reason until now.

Isn’t this pretty?  Now, all I have to do is let the vinegar do it’s magic.   Patience, patience, patience.   Maybe, I’ll test them in a couple of days just to be sure.

This jug o’ Bugs Bunny treats is gigantic!


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.


Food Processing Adventures with Roasted Garlic and Greens Pesto

I had a brilliant epiphany last week about what to do with all of the greens that are coming with the (is it STILL?) spring CSA subscription here in Northern Nevada.

Make your own pesto!   It hadn’t occurred to me until just recently that pesto isn’t just about our beautiful friend, Mr. Basil.   You can make it with just about any green.   And, BONUS, the garlic was starting to stack up from each week so it was a perfectly good excuse to soak all of them in olive oil and fill the house with the heavenly aroma of fresh, roasted garlic.    Mmmmmm.   No vampires will be near my home anytime soon.

I remember the first time I had roasted garlic at a fancy (overpriced) restaurant.   I thought it was one of the most luxurious things I had ever eaten.   I still think it is amazing but I now know how simple (and cheap) it is to do at home.   It only takes time.

I really think blogs should have smell-o-vision.  You are missing out by not being able to fully experience the goodness that is happening here.

I did a little bit of Google-research and found that pesto is really just some greens and garlic; some people add cheese, some people add pinenuts or sunflower seeds or even walnuts.   And, I made basil pesto several years ago so it was not totally scary territory for me.   Just blend and go.

Well.   There is a bit of a confession in the middle here.   I used FIVE bags of greens so there was some cleaning and cutting.   (Two kinds of chard, mixed greens and two bags of beet greens)   And, my hand blender was really not the right tool for the job.

LIGHTNING BOLT!  I’m so embarrassed to admit this but I forgot/ignored all of the accessories that came with my Braun Professional Food Processor that I had just decided it was only an immersion blender.   OMG-DUH-FACE/PALM.   Here’s a peek at the full box of stuff that I shoved under the counter and just realized that I could use:

Ya … those are the instructions in the background.   Shocking.

At any rate, when utilized properly, this bad boy is pretty darn handy.   I might try that banana ice cream thing again instead of buying a Yonanas! machine that will only collect dust on my counter.

OK.  Back to the pesto!

I chopped and blended and added garlic until it smelled good.   I realize this is not a very scientific recipe but that’s how I cook.   By smell.   I’m in big trouble if the schnooz ever breaks!

I even used all of the olive oil from the pan that I roasted the garlic.   I figured that was the magic sauce to make all things wonderful.

It looks like guacamole here but, trust me, it is good, good, good!

Of course, I had a big jar to keep it safe in the fridge.   (that jar collection is getting more use!)   And, my plans for this masterpiece?   We are going camping in a couple of weeks and I am going to slather the entire jar over a huge hunk of halibut (or other sturdy white fish) and BBQ on the grill.   Then, I think a full dust of chopped tomatoes would be the perfect kiss of fresh to make it sublime.

What do you think?    Are you going to try your own pesto concoction?


What’s in the Box? Week Nine of the CSA Spring Subscription

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Oh sweet lord of the veggies … you heard my prayers.   There is a new mushroom in my CSA box this week!   Can you see it all pretty in its little corsage box?   I can’t wait to get this bad boy home.

Can you believe this is Week Nine already?   Only one more week left of the “Spring Subscription” and then we have a no-box week over the 4th of July.   I’m looking forward to the “Summer” boxes and, of course, THE FRUIT SUBSCRIPTION.   I know a little boy at my house that is pretty excited about that, too.

This week’s box includes:

gourmet lettuce mix, braising mix, carrots, green garlic, swiss chard, beets, basil, zucchini, cucumbers, broccoli, arugula and (aaaa-AAAA-AAAAAHHH!) a box of Hiratake mushrooms from Sierra’s Edibles.   I haven’t been out to the Sierra Edibles Farm but it might be worth the drive to Wellington, NV, to check it out … Google that one.   Wellington is in the boonies!

Cucumbers!  Yum!    Once again, I was ridiculously giddy when I picked up the CSA box and the volunteer indulged me by sharing her veggie stories.   Apparently, she is a big fan of lemon cucumbers, too.   (Seriously, I have found my people here.   I LOVE LEMON CUCUMBERS!)   And, when my eyes lit up, she confirmed that there were lemon cucumbers in the CSA boxes last year.   OHMYCUKES!   I can’t wait.

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Broccoli!  There is a really tasty looking recipe for a chicken broccoli stuffed bread that I am thinking that will suit my family just fine.   Nom.

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Any one love cucumbers and broccoli as much as me?    Any good recipes you are dying to share?   I love all of the comments and feedback that people have posted so let me know!


Week Four and a Salad Spinner

The excitement of Thursday’s CSA box hasn’t worn off yet.   I look forward to this day all week!    (Kind of nice to have something exciting to think about rather than the mundane Thursday drive home.)   Here’s this week’s batch of goodies:

What’s in there?   Organic Ovation (everyone stand please) Greens, Carrots (I actually yelled YIPPEE! at the CSA girl when I saw these.  Awkward.), Tango Lettuce, Chard, Green Garlic, Turnips, Cilantro (YUM), Rhubarb (what am I going to do with that?), Kale and … get ready …  Thyme! (if it were only so easy to get extra time, haha)

OK.   First things first, what the heck is a Organic Ovation Green?   Hmmmm … they look like braising greens or most any other greens to me.   According to the handy dandy newsletter, Ovation Greens are a mix of Red Mustard, Mizuna, Tatsoi, Kale and Arugula.   How about a round of applause for that?

The real treat for tonight was my newly purchased salad spinner.   Let me remind you that I thought these things were dumb and I have thrown them away in the past because I never used them.   Tonight, I learned a new trick.   My three year old son showed me how to use it and we laughed and laughed and laughed.

He even just ate lettuce for no good reason.   He’s THREE!  Do you know any pre-schoolers that say “YUM!  Lettuce!”?   I doubt it.

We played with this ridiculous contraption for about an hour.   Just spinning and stopping and munching and spinning and laughing.

I don’t think I could have ever imagined that a stupid salad spinner could bring this much joy.   And, clean, dry lettuce.