Sunday, May 2, 2010

I still see you!!

There you are, still visiting me here on this old blog... I see you :) Yes I do!! Change is good, I promise. Check me out on the new blog!! I'm doing lots of cooking (including some sausage making adventures!!) - so I hope you'll join me!!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pack your bags!!!

I hope that you all will follow me because IM MOVING!!! I got a wild hair this week that I wanted a more featured website. I really like Wordpress (sorry blogger fans!) and Blogger has really been urking me lately, so I took the plunge. I bought my domain name, did a little programming and we are off!

I have a few tweaks left to make and if there are features you'd like to see, please let me know! But for the most part, all the links should work and the posts should be transferred. I hope you'll follow me!!

New website address: (that's easy, right?!)

And if you don't want to go there now, you can just add me to your blog reader using this link! If you have any issues at all, please either comment on this post or email me using the contact form on the new site!!

Thanks for following me!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

And my poor radishes

Good thing we weren't planning on eating the green tops!! This is their fate.... (click here)

Slowly but surely...

I'm getting there. Slowly but surely, I'm getting there. I need these braces that are on my teeth, I really do. But it is KILLING ME - a girl who loves food, loves cooking, loves tasting, loves experimenting... its KILLING ME not to be able to chew!!! But it's getting better, slowly but surely. SIGH. Patience is a virtue that I do not possess right now!

Anywhoooo... We got farm box #2 today! I was so excited to check it out! There were some repeats:
- Green cabbage
- Micro greens (which I suspect are actually arugula, but I cant chew lettuce, soooooooo)
- The most gorgeous carrots
- Beet greens
- Tatsoi (which I have yet to figure out what to do with this!?)
- Eggs (can I tell you how amazing fresh eggs are?!?)

The new additions are below. I'm forcing my husband to eat a big salad ASAP with that gorgeous red lettuce and the arugula. I'm definitely open for suggestions for this week's veggies - especially the turnips! They're a new food for me, believe it or not!



Red Leaf Lettuce

Red Onions


Saturday, April 10, 2010

(57) Risotto with Chicken and Beet Greens

I have to admit right here and now - my husband and I do not really love beets. So when I saw beet greens in the CSA box this week, I thought 'eh, ok'. But today I got up the nerve to find a good recipe for them and I'm sure glad I did!

This risotto was an excellent way to use the beet greens! I only had about 3/4 lb of greens and they were slim and sometimes short. The final product didn't taste overly 'beet-ish' at all, which was my biggest fear. Not sure if it's because I didn't have a pound, they were small, or that's just the way this recipe works! In any case, it was DELICIOUS and the perfect lunch for us!

As with any risotto, there's an awful lot of stirring and waiting. The recipe says it should take 20 minutes and mine took at least 2x that long. It's quite possible that I was overly cautious, but if yours takes that long too, don't worry! Slow and steady is better than speedy in this case!

For my vegetarian friends out there, you could easily omit the chicken and sub in veggie broth. And if you're vegan (hi Natalie!) if you can find a good vegan substitute for parmesan, you're golden! (I used asiago and parmesan, but any mix of sharp tasting cheeses, vegan or not, would work!)

Risotto with Chicken and Beet Greens

Yield: 6 servings
Source: Gourmet Magazine, March 1996

5 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
1 pound beet stems and greens (from about 6 beets), stems trimmed and leaves washed well
1 small onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 whole skinless boneless chicken breasts (about 1 pound total), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 cups Arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (about 1 1/2 ounces)
freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a saucepan bring broth and water to a simmer and keep at a bare simmer.

Cut beet stems into 1/4-inch pieces and slice leaves thin. In a 4-quart heavy kettle cook beet stems and onion in 2 tablespoons oil over moderate heat until stems are tender, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook until opaque, about 2 minutes. Add remaining tablespoon oil and beet leaves and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring, until leaves are wilted and any liquid is evaporated.

Add rice to chicken mixture and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and cook over moderate heat, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Stir in about 1 cup broth and cook at a bare simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/3 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next, until rice is tender and creamy looking but still al dente, 18 to 20 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and stir in vinegar, grated Parmesan, black pepper, and salt to taste.

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Learning: Sapodilla

Time to review the funky fruits we bought last week in S. Florida!! First will be the sapodilla.

Sapodilla comes from an evergreen tree and is most commonly grown in India, Mexico/Latin America, and the Phillipines/SE Asia. It looks like a russet potato, but when it ripens, it gets really soft and squishy kind of like an avocado. The sapodilla has a couple of black, flat seeds that are about the size of a penny. When it's ripe the brown flesh is soft and squishy - kind of like a ripe pear.

Interesting fact - the seeds have a little hook on them that if swallowed, could get caught in your throat. OUCH. I also discovered that if you eat more than 6 seeds, you might experience abdominal pain and vomiting. So the lesson here is skip the seeds!!

Sapodilla is generally eaten cut in half and scooped out with a spoon. The fruit can also be cut and added to a salad, smoothie, or as a part of a tropical fruit sauce for use in desserts, drinks, pancakes, etc.

The sign at the fruit stand said "Tastes like a pear covered in brown sugar". You could definitely taste hints of brown sugar and it tasted like a pear, apple, and some flavor I couldn't quite place. I can see why people like these fruits. I have a feeling it's a taste you grow up with and love. I wasn't enamored with the flavor, but my husband liked it. I think I expected it to be much sweeter than it was, but it had a mild flavor and was mushy and slightly grainy.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

(56) Gratin Au Chou

One of my favorite memories from elementary school was taking French classes. We went to a private school and we did French every week. It was mostly puppets and flash cards and LOTS of singing. One of the songs we sang was "Savez-vous planter les chous?" (that means "Do you know how to plant the cabbages?") and was meant to help you learn body parts. The French also refer to chou as sweetheart (Ma petite chou literally means "my little cabbage", but figuratively means "my sweetie"). All that to say, I love chou - it has a special place in my heart!! I love cabbage, but chou is even better :)

I was trying to come up with what to do with my cabbages from the CSA box and since I can't really chew much right now, this was the perfect fit! The original recipe kind of stunk and I ended up having to really improvise as I went along, but I wrote it all down and will hopefully not lead you astray!! The flavor of the sauce is what really wins this dish. Mixing it all up after it goes on your plate = HEAVEN! Oh and the original recipe said serves 6, but I can only assume that's as a main dish. I say 8-10 as a side. Great with roasted chicken!

Gratin Au Chou

Yield: 8-10 servings (as a side)
Source: Adapted from an online recipe

1 medium Savoy cabbage (or a small Savoy and a small green cabbage is what I did...)
2 onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 1/2 cups white rice
1 pound very ripe tomatoes, chopped
2 cups water
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk (I used skim, but use whatever pleases you!)
1/2 pound grated cheese (Gruyère or Swiss)
salt and pepper

Cut the cabbage in quarters, wash well, and cut out the hard inner core. Chop the leaves and cook the cabbage for 10 minutes in a large pot of boiling water. You want it to be soft but not dead. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook for five minutes. Add the rice and cook for two minutes, stirring. Add the chopped tomatoes and 1 cup of water. Cook for 10 minutes or until the rice is just tender, adding up to 1 cup more water as needed. You want your rice to be soft but not soupy...

Meanwhile make a bechamel sauce by melting the butter in a saucepan and stirring in the flour. Cook the roux for two minutes and than slowly whisk in milk. Heat on medium heat until nearly boiling and thickened, then gradually add half of the cheese while stirring. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper (I used 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper). Oh and if you're like me and can't read directions properly and you just added ALL of the cheese, no worries. It will still be yummy!

To construct casserole, butter a large baking dish. Beginning with the cabbage, layer the cabbage and the rice mixture. Aim to get three even layers of each. Pour the bechamel sauce evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and bake at 350° F for 30 minutes. Serve the cabbage casserole hot.

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