Monday, December 21, 2015

CSA Kitchen Sink Carrot Ginger Soup

Continuing on the theme of CSA prep and process before going to GA and returning to rotten vegetables in the fridge... Process, prep, and freeze production continues...  Apologies if all these ingredients are random and mainly found in the CSA... But look at your life and look at your choices and invest in farm fresh seasonal goodness.


Canola oil
2 onions
2 buttercup squash - roasted the day before and cooled
1 bunch purple carrots
3 parsnips

A good 3-4 inch nubbin of ginger
2 boxes of chicken broth
Salt to taste
1/8 C honey
1 cup whole milk

Coat bottom of stock pan with canola.

Throw in roughly chopped onion.

As you roughly chop other ingredients add in leek, carrots, parsnip.

Scoop out of skin and add squash flesh to pot.

Add 2 boxes of chicken broth and fresh ginger - peeled and roughly chopped.

Simmer for an hour or until carrots are pierced easily with a fork.

Turn off heat and add milk and honey.  Adjust seasoning.

Using my favorite kitchen toy.  Immersian blend the heck out of the soup.  

Taste, cool, package, and freeze for a rainy day.

Creamed Spinach

...when spinach grows up.

Operation, save the CSA - prep and  freeze - before going home sweet home for Christmas...

With two ginormous bags of CSA spinach in the fridge and the desire to make something that would freeze, I opted for creamed spinach.  A first, but not a last time this will happen.  (And quite a treat to the usual - dash of olive oil to saute spinach)

The CSA: where you learn what happens when baby spinach grows up.

2 giant bags of giant leaves of spinach
yummy creamy step.. 
2 T butter
4 giant shallots
3 T flour
1 C whole milk
1/2 C 1% milk
1 brick cream cheese
healthy pour of garlic powder
2 rinds of Parmesan (leftover from a party)
dash of nutmeg - around 1/4 tsp
salt and pepper to taste

Wash the giant sandy CSA spinach picking off stems and tearing into small pieces.
Melt butter.
Saute shallot in butter until translucent.
Add flour stirring frequently until nutty color.
Add milk.
Add cream cheese melting.  Add nutmeg.

Add all the other things and stir until spinach cooks down.

Noms.  I learned tonight that it goes well with quinoa and salmon.

...and we're ready to nom. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Cantaloupe Sorbet

When the CSA overwhelms you with melon, it's time to dust off the kitchen aid ice cream maker attachment...  With 2 fruit shares - I had 5 cantaloupes sitting on my counter this afternoon - taunting me with their ripeness.  So, my mind obviously went to sorbet.  Inspired by Alton Brown's recipe, I got to work.  I sliced and diced for a small eternity - which in addition to the 4 pounds of melon I turned into sorbet, still yielded 4 freezer quart bags of cut melon to nosh on through the week.

4 pounds cantaloupe chunked
1 cup fresh lemon juice (where I got to use my kitchen aid citrus juice attachment for the first time... Thanks, Tina!)
3 cups sugar
6 T vodka

In batches, since it turns out 4 pounds of melon won't fit in the food processor, blend all ingredients.  Put in fridge for a few hours to chill sorbet liquid.

Then following ice cream maker directions - mix it up in the ice cream maker...  I had enough to make some popsicles, too.

Can't wait to dive into a bowl of this... the spoonful I taste tested was mighty good!

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Pad Kra Pao Ga - My Thai Basil Chicken Adventures

Here are the steps involved to get this deliciousness on the table.

Step 1.  Have an urge to combine the 2 pounds of chicken in the fridge with the abundant spicy Thai basil thriving on the deck.

Step 2.  Find a good looking recipe and realize you need oyster sauce and Thai chilies to make this happen.

Step 3.  After work, drive to a non-existent Asian Food Store.

Step 4.  Curse Google.

Step 5.  So, find another.  Get turned around a few times on the bazillion exit/on ramps involved in getting there, taking about an hour to even begin what you thought would be a 15 minute adventure.

Step 6.  Read the recipe in the store and wonder if the giant bag of chili de arbol could substitute for Thai chilies and if your Thai basil is holy enough.  (I mean they spend a whole paragraph discussing the need for holy basil.)

Step 7.  Go down a rabbit hole of thoughts about the holiness of basil.

Step 8.  Leave store with miraculously only one impulse purchase of mochi ice cream red bean balls.

Step 9. Get home and crank up music and start some brown rice.  Because.

Step 10.  Reread recipe.  Modify it.

  • By throwing in a few giant handfuls of spinach.  Because.  
  • Using only one kind of soy sauce.  Because.  
  • Cook all the chicken at once, not a serving at a time.  Because. 
  • Using 1 T of oil for the 2 packages of chicken.  Not 2 T of oil for one serving.  Because.  
  • And I don't want an egg on the side.  Because.    

Consensus?  I probably could have gotten my two ingredients from Giant.  I could have ordered Thai takeout faster.  But - now I know where to get my international groceries.  And holy basil, it was delicious!  This WILL happen again.  (And not just because of my giant bottle of oyster sauce I only used 1 tablespoon of and my giant bag of dried red peppers of which I only needed about 7.)  Because it was noms and I know what's in it.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

I found this delicious looking recipe.  My thing with 'paleo desserts' (as with most recipes, really) is that the ingredients need to be real and not something I would only buy for one recipe (ie: almond flour.) But this recipe had real  food, so it was a winner.  I made a few changes... After reading comments, I left out the oil.  I also did more coconut in the pb mix... Here's roughly what I did:

Step 1 - order some cute candy molds from (or just use a muffin tin, like an animal.)

1/3 C crunchy Smucker's natural pb
3T shredded unsweetened coconut maybe more
1 T honey

1/2 C dark chocolate chips
1/2 tsp unsalted butter

Melt chocolate in glass bowl in the microwave in 30 second increments stirring in between until melted.  Add dab of butter.  Stir and melt.

Spray molds with spray oil of your choice. Then add a dab of chocolate in each mold that you're using. Drop a few times on the counter to get chocolate to spread out.  Put mold in freezer.

Melt PB in 30 second increments in microwave, until soft.  Add coconut and honey.  Add dollop of pb to each mold.  Smush with a knife to fill.  Put in freezer to harden.  For around 5 minutes.  Add final chocolate layer.  Keep in fridge until you are ready to pop out, present, and enjoy.

They are kind of prone to melting.  I'd keep in fridge until you're going to eat them.
Before you make them, I measured the volume of my mold.  I knew I didn't want a whole tray, so I tested to see how much water would fill, and I altered the recipe so that I didn't have a bunch of candy laying around.  Though, after tasting them, that was a dumb idea.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Beef (No Bean) Chili

I'm being nice and making paleo things.  This was a big hit with the bf.  Pretty simple and quick (for chili standards..)

1 package ground beef/bison/turkey
1 diced onion
2 large garlic cloves - minced
1 green bell pepper - diced
1 jalapeno minced
1 - 28oz diced tomatoes
1/2 T oregano - ish
1/2 T cumin - ish
2T chili powder - ish
salt to taste

Brown meat.  While that's browning, throw in onion and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes.  Drain grease, if there's a lot of fat swimming around... When meat is browned, throw in bell pepper, and spices.  After a few minutes, add can of tomatoes, and simmer.  Simmer for an hour and a half.  I might experiment next time and add a can of pumpkin.  

I served mine over a mini baked potato and topped with some shredded cheese.  Not so paleo.  But very delish.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

My Mom's Famous (Bourbon) Balls

Guest post from my Madre.... Sharon’s Bourbon Balls
These will be the hit of any holiday party.  Give them to your friends and they’ll be expecting/demanding them every year!  I give them away in little holiday tins and have even been known to do refills.  The original recipe from over 30 years ago was Rum Balls.  Over the years as our family’s southern roots have grown deeper we've changed from rum to bourbon.  We have even had taste testing with different types of bourbon and Woodford Reserve has won out.  Every year friends say that these are the best ones, yet!

Ingredients: 1 – 11 oz pkg vanilla wafers crushed
1 cup pecans finely chopped
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
3 tablespoons light corn syrup
½ cup bourbon


Stir ingredients together.
Shape into small balls about 1 inch, any size works though.
Roll in more powdered sugar. Tip – the crushing and chopping is a good job for a food processor.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Save the Chicken; Clean Out the Fridge Rice Dish

I'm in the habit of cooking up a whole chicken on a Sunday to nosh on for dinners and lunches throughout the week.  For whatever reason, this chicken was a bit on the dry side.  I decided to save it by shredding it and adding liquid, and use some butternut squash in need of cooking to boot.

1 C uncooked brown rice
~3.5 C chicken broth
1 small can tomato sauce
shreds of leftover chicken - about 2 cups
1 butternut squash peeled and chopped
~1 T each of cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder.  Basically, a heavy hand of all of them.

Start the rice.  Use 1.5 C chicken broth and 1 C water and 1 C brown rice.  Bring to a boil and then simmer.

While rice is going - peel, dice and chop butternut squash.

In a large skillet, add ~ 1 C chicken broth and diced butternut squash.  Simmer for 10 minutes.  Add tomato sauce and spices - stir, and keep simmering for ~ 10 minutes.  Add chicken.

While there's still time on the clock for rice, go ahead and dump the pot into the skillet to finish cooking and absorb the spiced tomato broth.  Simmer for a bit.  Stirring, and adjusting spices if need be.  Call it done when there's a little bite still in the rice.  Add water if mixture is getting dry.