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Is there anything better than getting corn from the farm and eating it that night?

Everything on that plate came from the farm. Here's what went into the omelet.

I sautéed garlic, spinach, and beet greens. I mixed fresh dill directly into the eggs.

In The Food Lab, I read that cucumber is good in stir fry.

It's not amazing, but it's not bad. It helped fill out the beef stir fry, which also included peas, fava beans, string beans, and garlic.

I'm enjoying the small zucchini. They're flavorful and a good addition to many dishes.

I made an easy summer pasta. I used store-bought sauce, but added fresh parsley.

What are your favorite summer dishes?


I love fresh produce

Got young tender carrots from the farm. They are nothing like the little nubs sold in supermarkets as "baby carrots".

I also used asparagus, garlic, and chicken to make this.

Not every dish is so obvious with vegetables. I mean, yes, fresh green beans. The potatoes are also from the farm.

But did you spot the carrots, garlic, and peas on this meat loaf?

And for dessert....

Raspberries don't need much ice cream.


Everything in that omelet came from the farm. So did the jam on the toast.

You won't see as many omelets as last year, as I don't need to finish a dozen eggs every 2 weeks. But omelets are still a great way to use random veggies. This time with yellow bell peppers and green onions. What's your favorite omelet filling?

You might not think of pasta as another way to use random veggies. If you like an exact repeatable taste to your pasta, this isn't for you. But I enjoy new flavor combinations.

To this standard pasta with tomato/meat sauce, I added zucchini and peas. They definitely livened the flavor.

OK, maybe I did cook a lot of omelets this week.

This time, paired with roast potatoes and salad. When potatoes are really small I roast them, as peeling lots of small potatoes is slow and annoying.

Sometimes I try different ways of preparing and serving veggies.

Here I served chicken topped with sautéed kale and tomatoes.

What's in this crisp?

Strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. Only the strawberries came from the farm.

Normally, I don't add banana to a berry crisp. But I made this near the end of the week, and I was short 1 cup of fruit. Plus, much of the banana was over-ripe and best for some sort of baked good. The crisp was very sweet and yummy.

Here's a close-up of another salad.

Not sure if you can tell, but that's spinach and not lettuce.

I cook differently in the summer

This year I didn't included eggs in my CSA subscription. Last year it was a challenge to use a dozen eggs every 2 weeks. But I but my eggs from the farm as I need them.

I don't remember what went into that omelet beyond green onions. The pasta is dressed with kale and tomato.

Our first eggplant seems early.

I cooked the eggplant with chicken, basil, green onions, and peas.

And I found another use for the last if the pasta.

It became a pasta salad, mixed with mayo and peas. I love cherry tomatoes.

Fresh cucumber and tomato.

This time, I sliced them for a sandwich.

But I also used them in salad.

No lettuce here, but I added roast beets.


Plenty from the farm

I just finished week 2, in which the CSA basket became more plentiful. Can you guess everything here before you scroll further to see what I cooked?

OK, so you probably identified most of those items.

First up was coconut basil chicken with asparagus. I needed to finish the basil from week 1, as I had a new supply in week 2. I have no trouble keeping up with the asparagus.

Tuna sandwiches are better with basil. That's a kohlrabi carrot slaw in the tiny bowl. No, you didn't see the odd shape of kohlrabi in the basket spread photo, because that's another item from the previous week. I always have to look up recipes for kohlrabi. I remember liking the vegetable, but never remember how it's used.

Lemon basil salmon and chard. I cooked the chard with my single garlic scape. But such a small mild garlic flavor wasn't detectable.

Fresh sautéed veggies are a light and flavorful dressing for pasta. I used kale, tomatoes, and cilantro.

June means farm-fresh veggies

Last week, I picked up the first CSA basket of the season. My local farmer now has a greenhouse, which means that we're getting tomatoes from the start. The first basket is always the lightest, but it did include lettuce, asparagus, peas, radishes, basil, and strawberries. And another vegetable, but I forget what it's called and haven't yet used it.

I ate strawberries plain, in cereal, and with cheesecake. I even used some in a salad.

But not in this salad. That was simply lettuce, tomato, and radish. And, yes, an asparagus omelet.

Tuna sandwich is better with fresh herbs, lettuce, and tomato.

I finished the asparagus and peas in vegetable fried rice.

Cooking in layers

CSA season has not yet started, which means that I'm not drowning in vegetables. Even without all those fresh veggies, I do cook throughout the year.

The other day, I made shepherd's pie. But instead of topping it with mashed potatoes, I topped it with sweet potato casserole.I liked this combination and might repeat it.

And in other cooking news: coconut cake.This cake look and tastes rich and creamy, but is dairy free. It was the first time I made dairy-free frosting instead of dairy-free royal icing. Coconut milk was a helpful addition to the cake, and coconut cream to the frosting. Also, shredded coconut. Because there cannot be too much coconut.


Cooking from The Food Lab

The Food Lab is more than a cookbook. It's a treatise on the best ways to prepare food at home, based on science and experiments. At about 1,000 pages, this is a heavy book for bed-time reading and heavy to lug into the kitchen.

I cooked this stew way back in the winter. Unfortunately, I don't remember much. Except that the book advised to buy a big cut of meat and cut into chunks.... not to buy the meat ready-cut for stewing.

Peas with pine nuts and prosciutto. I learned that frozen peas taste the best, because they are frozen shortly after harvest. Next time I get fresh peas from the farm, I should use them the same day.

Mushroom omelet. The secret to fluffy omelets is to add salt to the eggs, whisk thoroughly, and then let the eggs sit 15 minutes before cooking.

Pan-fried chicken with mushroom sauce. The main secret to cooking any meat or fish is to use an instant read thermometer.

This book has a recipe for risotto that does not require constant stirring.


I'm reading a couple of books about food and cooking:
* Eating on the Wild Side
* The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science

Both books seem interesting. Eating on the Wild Side focuses on vegetables and fruit. It will be most helpful when CSA season starts again in the spring. There are some useful tips on how to store items that I'm already putting into practice. For example, onions last longer stored in the fridge, but should be stored on a shelf - the vegetable bin is too humid and will cause onions to sprout.

The Food Labincludes recipes, and I already tried a few.

Pan-fried salmon with cherry tomato relish was more moist and tender than I usually prepare. However, I didn't manage to get crispy skin and will have to try again.

Pasta with shrimp scampi was a different way to serve pasta. Unfortunately, my shrimp were pre-peeled, so I didn't use the shells to add extra flavor to the oil.

Although The Food Lab includes recipes, it is more about the science of cooking. I'm looking forward to reading, learning, and experimenting.

What are your favorite non-cookbook books about food?


Which came first, the chicken or the egg

Back when I picked up the last basket of the CSA season, a chicken from the farm had wandered to their market.

A little girl kept chasing the chicken, so it jumped out of the way on the table of sauces and pickles.

There are a few last items from the CSA in my fridge, and more in my freezer and pantry.

Soon I'll finish the eggs. I have a modest amount of corn in the freezer. And jars of preserves in the pantry. Pictured above is peach butter. It's not overly sweet and delicious on toast.

It's hard to see way went into this stew.

The potatoes were from the supermarket. I finished the carrots from the CSA. What else came from the farm? Tomatoes and zucchini. I froze both during the summer and fall.

This year we mostly got giant zucchini. The large size is sometimes fun to serve stuffed. However, the flesh is not as flavorful as when small, and the peel becomes incredibly tough and must be tossed. I have too much zucchini in my freezer. The zucchini seemed to work out well in this stew, and next time I might try to use more.



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