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Enjoy the colors of autumn food

Although the bright yellows and reds of summer corn and tomatoes are long gone, autumn food doesn't have to be  boring.

This year, I got lots of purple potatoes from the CSA program. Here, I enjoyed them roasted with the last of the beets.

Squash is abundant in autumn.

One squash soup looks very much like another. This is butternut squash soup.

I mixed eggplant with shrimp and tomato sauce for this pasta dish.

Leeks and mushrooms accompanied chicken and potato.

The vegetable bins in my fridge are nearly bare, but I have a freezer full of the CSA bounty.

Reading challenge accepted

namastefreund posted a challenge on their FaceBook page:

the first person to complete this challenge (and tag namastefreund on twitter, facebook, or instagram with each book as they are crossed off the list) before this time next year (September 18, 2016) will win a custom designed bookmark and a gift certificate to get a second one to give away as a gift.

  1. a book you own but haven't read

  2. a book that was made into a movie

  3. a book you pick solely because of the cover

  4. a book your friend loves

  5. a book published this year

  6. a book by an author you've never read before

  7. a book by an author you love

  8. a book at the bottom of your "to be read" pile

  9. a book with a colour in the title

  10. a book set somewhere you always wanted to visit

  11. a book you started but never finished

  12. a book with a lion, a witch, or a wardrobe

  13. a book with a female heroine

  14. a book set in the summer

  15. a book of poems

  16. a book you learned about because of this challenge

  17. a book that will make you smarter

  18. a book with a blue cover

  19. a book you were supposed to read in school, but didn't

  20. a book "everyone" but you has read

  21. a book with a great first line

  22. a book with pictures

  23. a book from the library

  24. a book you loved. read it again

  25. a book that is more than 10 years old

  26. a book based on a true story

Books I Read
As I read books in this challenge, I'll update this post. I'll cross items off the list above, and provide details here.

a book by an author you love - Shattered Pillars, by Elizabeth Bear. Finished reading November 14, 2015. I love so much that Elizabeth Bear writes, although she often writes something new and different from what she previously wrote. Shattered Pillars is the middle book in her epic fantasy trilogy, set along a reimagined silk road. I prefer Elizabeth Bear's science fiction, but this story is gripping. I especially enjoy the animal characters - Hrahima, a tiger, and Bansh, a horse.


How many ways can you cook pumpkin?

This fall, I got several pumpkins in the CSA basket. I start all my recipes by roasting the pumpkin.

Pumpkin pie is a favorite. I love using fresh roasted pumpkin. I get a slightly chunky texture that makes clear this is pumpkin.

What became of the pumpkin  behind the pie?

Pumpkin soup! This recipe included coconut milk. Great combination.

I had slightly too much pumpkin. So, I saved the odd amount.

Mashed with apple chutney, it made a great side dish. I was glad to have a sweet side, as the jalapeño parsley cheese omelet was spicy and needed balance.

What are your favorite pumpkin dishes?

The end of the CSA season

Last week, I picked up my last CSA basket of the year. Although I'll miss all the fresh fruit and vegetables, I have a freezer full of frozen veggies. And a few items still in my fridge and squash on my counter.

These food pictures are from over the past couple of months. I tend to make a lot of stir-fry with fresh veggies.

I made a succotash of corn, red pepper, and beans. The chicken is flavored with onion chutney.

This beef teriyaki might have been even better with a poached egg. But I'm having problems with poached egg.... by the time all the white is cooked, the yolk is firm.

Eggplant and other veggies combine in ratatouille. It's one of my favorite autumn dishes.

Shrimp pairs well with so many vegetables.

It's definitely autumn here, and the CSA basket is full of squash.

Pictured above are butternut squash, pie pumpkin, sweet mama squash, and acorn squash.  It's hard to go wrong with winter squash. I roast the squash, and then serve in a variety of ways.

Even for butternut squash soup, I find it easiest to roast the squash and make the soup with roasted squash.

I prefer waiting for the squash to roast than to cut the raw squash from the rind. And after the squash is roasted, it takes only 15-to-30 minutes to turn it into soup.

What's this?

It's a corn, tomato, edame salad! We're still getting a few tomatoes in the CSA basket. Corn stopped only recently, and we got some surprise edame the other week.

Cooking omelets with CSA eggs

As I get eggs in my CSA basket, I've been making lots of omelets.

Not  every egg dish is an omelet. This is a leek mushroom fritata. Eggs, leeks, and potatoes all came from the farm.

Now that it's autumn, I get squash in the basket. I paired this omelet with acorn squash. I drizzled the squash with maple syrup before baking.

Brussel sprouts are another autumn vegetable. I love fresh steamed brussel sprouts. Everything on this plate came from the farm.

3 different meals with shrimp

I often keep a bag of peeled shrimp in the freezer as the starting point for a quick meal.

Here the shrimp were the minor protein in a hearty vegetable stir-fry. Veggies from the farm included eggplant, carrots, onion, and red pepper.

Instead of a heavy meat sauce, I dressed the pasta with shrimp, eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes, and a light tomato sauce.

And a lighter shrimp stir-fry with leeks and tomatoes.

What's your favorite shrimp dish?

The last salads of summer

Summer is over, and I don't expect to get more lettuce in the CSA basket.

With our last lettuce, I made a simple salad mixed with roma tomatoes and radish.

Not all salad includes lettuce. Napa cabbage has a sweet delicate flavor. This salad is filled with all sorts of goodies, including roast beets and the last of the cucumbers.


Shepherd's pie, eggs, and all that jazz

This year, the farm has included red, white, and purple potatoes in the basket. Purple potatoes are purple all the way through. I wondered what would happen if I mashed together purple and white potatoes. Would the mash be lavender?

It turned out a funky purple and white marble effect. I didn't have quite enough to top the shepherd's pie, so (not pictured here) I filled in the gap with roast squash. The beef layer includes onion. Corn, green beans, and zucchini filled the vegetable layer.

I get eggs in the CSA basket, which means I'm making lots of omelets. It's quick and easy, and I can fill with veggies.

Often, I serve the omelet with corn on the cob. This omelet is filled with onion greens and red pepper.

Sometimes the veggies are on the side, like these spicy green beans and tomatoes. The spicy flavor is from diced jalapeño.

These eggs were filled with a mix of rice, onion, tomato, and cheese. Accompanied by pickles and onion chutney.

How many ways can you prepare zucchini?

Even when I don't get zucchini in my CSA basket, I still feel overwhelmed by all the enormous zucchini. I froze a lot, but I'm also trying to find different ways to prepare it.

Ratatouille is a classic. Cooked the zucchini with eggplant, onions, garlic, and tomatoes.

Added to pasta sauce, along with more eggplant. I should have cut the zucchini cubes smaller.

Zucchini rice. I cubed the zucchini very small and sautéed before adding the rice and water.

This soup includes both cubes of zucchini and zucchini rice. I made the broth with onions, celery, carrots, and corn cobs.  I chopped the veggies and added them back to the soup, along with corn, tomatoes, and the aforementioned zucchini stuff.


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