Thursday, July 26, 2012

Back on track, again.

After a long break in blogging due to general laziness and lack of decent internet service, I'm back! Just signed up for 10 more weeks of my Johnson's Backyard Garden CSA subscription so going to try to get back on track here also. I was inspired recently to get back into it by my friend Michelle who is a board member for the Austin Food Bloggers Alliance.  I met a bunch of other great foodie bloggers at one of their events last night.

In this weeks box:

Sweet Potato Greens
Malabar Spinach
Butternut Squash
Summer squashes
Potatoes (subbed in for eggplant)
Sweet and hot peppers

A great variety this week for sure. Eggplant is not my friend so I subbed it out for some great fingerling potatoes when I picked up my box at the Cedar Park Farmers Market .My favorite feature of JBG is the option to easily sub out items that are not my fave. Normally this is a place to plan out my week but since it's Thursday it'll be more of a recap as we're almost at the end.

Saturday night I wanted something super simple so I made my stand by Pasta Carbonara as a base but added in some sauteed summer squash, fresh basil and a bit of cream.

Sunday I was searching around for how to use the malabar spinach and kept finding references to Indian food so I made a kind of hodge podge of chicken tikka masala with okra and malabar spinach- it turned out actually really good. To keep the okra from being slimy cut it crosswise into slices and fried in a bit of coconut oil before adding it to the tikka at the last minute. I also put a few of the sweet peppers in the mix with it. Some good garlic naan and jasmine rice and I was a happy camper.

Then Monday happened, and Tuesday and Wednesday, all three nights being eat out nights. So now I have two days left to use up a ton of this weeks box. This is why I need to start blogging this on Saturday or Sunday as I plan the week. It makes it so much easier to stick to the plan if it's written down somewhere.

My daughters will finish off the melon today I'm sure and so tonight we'll have pork chops with sauteed sweet potato greens and butternut squash. I'll nuke the beets, thank you Barbra Kafka!  and have them on a salad for lunch the next few days. Friday night is our usual steak night- my hubby always wants corn on the cob and asparagus with his steak but I may have to do summer squash and little potatoes with leeks this time, he'll get over it. On Saturday I'm looking forward to putting some carne guisada in the crock pot, going to use this recipe from Jennie at MisoHungry who I met at the event last night. I'll use most of the peppers in that. Saturday is pickup day so look for a new post late Saturday or early Sunday with next weeks bounty.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

September ends

Where has this year gone? I can't believe we're already at the end of September. We're finally getting some relief from the hot summer down here and it's so nice.  We got a big variety this week as you can see. A huge bunch of okra, tons of little round potatoes (those I swapped for the 6 eggplant they had in there- 6!!) a bunch of collard greens, some french breakfast radishes, one lone cucumber, peppers galore, a few onions and a few little tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash and a couple of pattypans, one little butternut and a big bunch of sweet potatoes. Quite a haul.

Last night we used up last weeks sweet potatoes, this weeks red onions and the butternut squash. We had some pork cutlets and to go with it I made a saute of onions, sweet potatoes and an apple. I had saved the bottoms of 3 butternut squashes last week so I added this new one, hollowed them out and added maple syrup and butter and baked them. Delish!

This morning I plan to use the leftover sauteed onions/sw potatoes in a breakfast hash with eggs. For lunch we'll slice up that lone cuke with the radishes and little tomatoes for a fresh veggie plate to go with sandwiches. Tonight we're indulging in some steaks and the little round potatoes. Our favorite thing is to steam them in the rice cooker and season with butter and parmesan. Will saute up the collards too for some extra nutrition.

I'm going to bread and freeze our okra abundance for later.  That's on todays to-do list as well, guess I'm going to be in the kitchen a lot!

I picked up some ground lamb at the market last week so am going to try a new dish on Sunday, lamb & rice stuffed zucchini. We'll have it with pita and curried mashed sweet potatoes. Monday we need a break from all this meat. I'm going to crock pot a big mess of beans and have it with cornbread and sauteed summer squash. Tuesday going to try another new one, crispy polenta with sausage and pepper ragu from the CSA blog. Gotta use up these peppers.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sept Week 3

This week was about the same as last week with the addition of a few extra greens. I swapped out some of the eggplant for tat tsoi, an asian green to go with our bok choi. It's hidden behind it in the picture. Along with that we got arugula, okra, a butternut squash, onions, zucchini, eggplant yellow squash, some small tomatoes, green onions, peppers . sweet potatoes and basil. 

At the market I had also picked up a bunch of squash blossoms. The first night I've learned to use up the veggies that don't hold up very long. We had a veggie meal of eggplant parmesan, sauteed summer squash with tomatoes and red onion and cheese stuffed fried squash blossoms. The eggplant was actually edible fixed this way and the kids love sauteed squash. The fried flowers were interesting but a bit too much work to become regulars. 

Last night we used all the peppers up in our favorite cheese stuffed peppers and I made a big batch of butternut squash penne to go with it. This used up the two butternuts from last week along with this weeks, the tops anyway. I saved the bottoms to hollow out and bake with brown sugar/maple syrup as side dish later this week. Also used most of the basil in these two dishes as well. 

Tonight we're having asian so I'm going to make some teryaki beef to go with the bok choi/tat tsoi sauteed in a little oil and garlic. We'll have this with some steamed rice. 

That leaves just the sweet potatoes and a few onions left. I'll be making some pork chops on Tuesday and will have the sweet potatoes sauteed with apples and onions and the leftover butternut bottoms. Monday we'll eat out as we have Leander's festival of bands to attend. 

Wed has been deemed official Brooke's spaghetti night so that she can cook while I go to the market for next weeks haul. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Finally back on track- September!

I missed a few weeks but am thankful that our CSA allows you to order 4 weeks at a time. Many programs that I have found you have to pay for the whole season up front- usually 350-500 dollars depending on the number of weeks in the season. That just does not jive with my lack of budgeting. But I'm back in the black now and have signed up for four more weeks. Picked it up tonight and am so happy I decided to do it instead of pushing off one more week due to being out of town this weekend.

Wow! Look at all that goodness. This week we got a huge bunch of basil, arugula, garlic scapes. butternut squash, BOK CHOY!!!!, onions, pepers, two itty bitty squash, a few tomatos, okra, sweet potatoes and a pack of cherry tomatoes that we got in trade for the eggplant. 

We're heading out tomorrow night to an out of town wedding and won't be back until Monday so I knew I'd have to use as much of the fragile stuff as possible. So we did spaghetti and caprese salad with Spicy Garlicky Greens.  That used up the basil, bok choy, garlic scapes, both red onions, the little squashes, the arugula, all the regular tomatoes and half the cherry tomatoes. Pretty good veggie content for one meal :)

So now whats left I think should last until Monday with some proper handling. The only thing I'm worried about is the okra but I read that you can bread and freeze it with good success so I've put that on my todo list for tomorrow to throw them in the freezer before we leave. Should only take 30 minutes or so to bread them all up and get them into the freezer on a cookie sheet. Then I can run my errands and when I get back throw them in a freezer bag and be done. Yummy fried okra someday in the future. The few remaining tomatoes will be part of my lunch tomorrow or an after school snack for the girls. The peppers I'm hoping will make it through if I put them in a jar in the fridge.  

When we get back I'm looking forward to some kind of sweet potato casserole on Monday and butternut squash pasta I saw Giada make recently on Tuesday. Then we'll start it all over again.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

August week 4- Oops I missed it

It sucks to be broke. Through a comedy of errors all of which are my fault I missed the pickup this week of my box. Unfortunately for me the "policy" is that since I didn't notify them ahead of time I can't get another box. I understand, they've got a business to run and can't be listening to everyones excuse every week. So this week we'll fend for ourselves from what's lingering from last week and pick up some extras at the grocery. I should have taken the bus down there like I originally planned, will make sure I don't miss it again!

On to next week!

August week 3

Yeah! This week little new potatoes were back. We adore those. Along with butternut squash, a melon, bunches of basil, peppers and onions, mint, purslane, hot peppers and a lone cucumber. It's almost time for back to school here so our schedule has been crazy plus it's been 100 for the last few weeks and that is just too hot to go near the stove!

I did get to most of this weeks offering, using the squash and some onions in a delish thrown together curry dish. I'm learning to love anything with indian flavors. Then I made a big batch of pesto and used it for a Jamie Oliver inspired dish of pasta with sliced potatoes and green beans with pesto sauce. Turned out pretty great. The mint and cuke and purslane were meant for a salad I found but I have yet to make it. Going to raid the fridge this morning and see if they have survived their two weeks in plastic in the crisper. Wish me luck :)

I made a huge batch of sauteed onions and peppers to use them all up at once and have just kept it in a jar in the fridge and used in various meals, on a sandwich for lunch, tucked into an omelette, etc. Nice to have them ready to go whenever I want and they've stayed good in a mason jar in the fridge.

Looking forward to seeing what cooler weather in Sept will bring us.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

August weeks 1 & 2

August has been really busy and I had a week with no internet at home so it's taken me a bit to get it together here. Nonetheless I've had two weeks of the usual bounty. Here's what we got the first week this month: a big bunch of basil, some mint, onions, acorn squash, garlic, okra, bell peppers, hot peppers, zucchini and assorted other summer squashes, some beets (grabbed those in place of the eggplant) and sweet potato greens. I'm hoping that further in the fall we'll be getting actual sweet potatoes :)

I didn't keep track of how it all got used up as it's been a crazy couple of weeks. I've been working on a big project at work that's taken a lot of time and my brain has been drained each night by the time I get home. I've taken to using cukes and mint to make pitchers of "sassy water" to keep in the fridge. It's refreshing and helps me to drink water. Plain water is just so bleh. It's really easy, slice a lemon and cuke, add some mint leaves and sometimes fresh ginger slices to a pitcher, fill with water and leave in the fridge to steep overnight. I have a handy little strainer that I use to just strain it directly into a glass. A little kick of Tito's makes it even better. 

We roasted the beets and made a great salad with spring greens, beets, candied pecans and goat cheese. The family ate it with commercial vinaigrette but I made a simple turmeric dressing for me that I really liked. Olive oil, yogurt, turmeric and a hint of cayenne that I found web surfing one day. 

I made pesto and we did homemade pizza one night inspired by some I had at a friends house in Denver a couple months back, alfredo sauce mixed with pesto as the sauce and topped with provolone and parm.   It was really good. I made homemade crust from How to Cook Everything, my favorite cookbook.

Made those cheese stuffed peppers from a few weeks ago again with all the hot peppers we've been getting. The hubby really likes that recipe.

Before I knew it it was Wed again! Last week we got more acorn squash, a butternut squash, basil and mint, more sweet potato greens, some purslane, garlic, lots of onions, more okra and peppers, cucumbers and zucchini.

That first night I had to use some okra since I had some left from the week before. I knew I had to try this great sounding salad from one of my favorite blogs, The Bitten Word. I picked up some corn on the way home from the market and grabbed a couple of cans of beans. Couldn't find the cranberry beans it called for so I used mayocoba beans because they looked interesting and were on sale. I used spinach and the purslane from the CSA instead of the lambs ear. I used white balsamic vinegar because that's what I had and this salad was awesome. The fried okra was so delicious. I cut them in quarters lengthwise like they say and it was really great. Better than last time when I cut them in disks. This will be our go to okra prep for the rest of the season I believe.  My 13 year old was impressed, stating "I thought this was going to be gross, but it's really really good!"

We made some more sassy water and then ate out the next two nights. Tonight I'm going to make the sweet potato greens and a butternut squash risotto. Tomorrow I think I'm going to make cucumber/onion salad since I have several of both. You know the one, with mayo and vinegar that everyone's had at least once. It goes great with BBQ chicken!  We'll probably end up with pesto fish monday or tuesday since that's a favorite of ours. And I'll bake the acorn squash to have with pork chops or something.