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Archive for the ‘Garden/Seasonal’ Category

Winter Vegetable Soup

Posted by Jeanne on February 3, 2014

We had a really good soup tonight.  It was not at all what I planned – the menu for the week says “minestrone” but while I was making it, things took a different turn and it ended up very unlike a minestrone.

Curt said to me at dinner tonight, “This soup is really good.  You should write down the recipe.”  And then it dawned on me that I actually have this “blog” where once upon a time I posted things about food, including recipes.  So here I am, blogging!  Look at me!

Unfortunately, since I totally lost the plot on the blogging thing, there is but a single picture of this dish, and it was taken with my phone.

Winter vegetable soup

2 TB olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 C)

3 – 4 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 C)

3 – 4 ribs of celery, chopped (about 1 C)

6 C vegetable or chicken stock (note:  if you are feeding actual vegetarians, use veggie stock.  Vegetarians don’t eat animals.  Stock is made of animals.  I can’t believe I have to note this.)

1 14.5-oz can tomato sauce

1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, drained

2 14.5-oz cans chickpeas (or any beans you like, really)

2 – 3 sprigs fresh thyme, or 0.5 tsp dried

1 C uncooked pearled farro

3 – 4 C chopped kale

3 – 4 C cubed butternut squash

3 – 4 TB prepared pesto (I used pesto from the garden we froze over the summer.  In a jar would be fine too.)

(Perhaps I should use a few more parentheticals?  Perhaps not.)

Salt & pepper

Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a really, really big, heavy pot.  Add onions, carrots and celery and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring often, until the onions are nearly translucent (about 10 minutes).  Add stock, tomatoes, beans and thyme and bring to a boil.

Lower heat to a simmer and add farro, kale and squash.  Cover and simmer until the farro and squash are cooked but not mushy, about 15 – 20 minutes.  Stir in pesto and season with salt & pepper to taste.

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Eat with some sourdough your lovely husband made with starter he got from coworkers.

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Posted in Cooking, Garden/Seasonal, Soups & stews, Vegetarian | 1 Comment »

Happy blogiversary to me!

Posted by Jeanne on September 5, 2013

Today is my fourth blogiversary!  I had no idea so thank you WordPress for reminding me.

I am actually on staycation this week.  My lovely friend Erika and her equally lovely son Dylan came to visit, and we ate fabulously while she was here.  Now she is gone and I’m cooking a whole bunch of stuff in the hopes that the rest of this fall will be less hectic than the summer.

AHAHAHAHA.  Yeah right.  But I can try, right?

Pork and black bean enchiladas – made the enchilada sauce this afternoon, will finish the enchiladas tomorrow

Pasta with tomato sauce, Italian sausage, and kale

Cassoulet with turkey sausage

Broccoli cheddar pinwheels

Maybe a few other things if I get inspired and the freezer will accommodate them.

ALSO!  I tried a chia seed pudding that someone posted on Pinterest and it is delicious.  I have long been suspicious of chia puddings because seriously, they are seeds.  How can you make pudding (or even “pudding”) out of seeds?  But it works.  It pays to try new things sometimes.

Sorry no pictures – have to dash!  We are going out for dinner tonight for my blogiversary our anniversary, which was Tuesday.  Happy Thursday everyone!

Posted in Cooking, Garden/Seasonal, Planning | Leave a Comment »

Mid-August Burnout

Posted by Jeanne on August 11, 2013

I’m pretty much over summer.  It hasn’t been that bad this year, especially compared to last year, but I’m so over being hot.  I’m done going for runs where I feel like maybe I am swimming because of the humidity.

I am also experiencing summer produce ennui.  I no longer want to take pictures of the beautiful produce we get from the garden or the CSA.  I was relieved when Curt told me he had picked his last zucchini because the plant was dying.

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Ok maybe just one more picture.

Never fear though, winter is coming and in February I will be complaining about how I will never be warm again and bitching about how much I hate soup.  It’s the circle of life – like in the Lion King, but grumpier.

This week:

Saturday:  corn and zucchini cakes (recipe below) + eggs

Sunday:  herb and mustard rubbed pork tenderloin + roasted carrots and cabbage

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Monday:  quesadillas + boxed soup

Tuesday:  caldo verde (aka Portuguese green soup)

Wednesday:  chili-lime shrimp bowls (modified from Budget Bytes, again.  I am so addicted to her blog.)

Thursday:  burgers + grilled potatoes

Friday:  pizza

Corn and zucchini cakes

Makes three dozen (can be frozen)

Half a small onion, finely diced

2 small zucchini, grated & drained

2 jalapenos or other hot peppers, finely minced

6 ears of corn, kernels removed (about 2 cups)

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1 TB baking powder

Kosher salt & freshly grated black pepper

1.5 C flour

3 eggs, lightly beaten (I ended up using two whole eggs and two egg whites instead and it worked fine)

1.5 C milk

Olive oil (for cooking onions)
Sautee the diced onions in olive oil until softened and lightly brown.  Combine with zucchini, peppers, corn, baking powder, flour, and salt & pepper and toss to coat the veggies in the dry ingredients.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.  You can use butter or oil if you want/feel like you need to.  Our nonstick seems to function better without so I just left the pan dry.
Add the eggs and milk to the veg and dry ingredients.  Stir to combine but do not overmix.
Drop by spoonfuls (I used a two-ounce disher aka ice cream scoop) into the warmed pan.  Cook until dry around the edges, about 3 minutes.  Flip and cook another 1 – 2 minutes until browned and delicious.
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Serve immediately, or freeze on parchment paper to enjoy later.
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We reheat in the toaster oven for about 8 – 10 minutes, or you can microwave for a minute or two if you don’t mind them being kind of soft.

Posted in Birdies, Cooking, Entrees, Garden/Seasonal, Planning, Vegetarian | Leave a Comment »

Glasford Haus of Zucchini

Posted by Jeanne on July 25, 2013

I have bitched mightily about the garden before.  And lo, here we are again.

Note:  I love that we have freshly grown produce.  I love that Curt has a hobby he enjoys.

I freaking hate the famine-or-feast of it all.  Two weeks ago we had no zucchini.  I think I BOUGHT zucchini last month.

This is what I picked last Thursday:

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I froze 18 cups of shredded zucchini.  EIGHTEEN.  CUPS.  THAT IS A LOT OF FREAKING ZUCCHINI BREAD.  The plant is still going strong – I can already see another 8 zucchini coming up.  Oh, and we got three as a “bonus” from our CSA because they have so many zucchini too.

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DOWN WITH ZUCCHINI.

So this is what we ate this week:

Sunday:  it was my birthday so we had grilled salmon (which Curt nicely cooked for me in a hailstorm) and grilled portobello mushrooms and some grilled zucchini.

Monday:  stuffed zucchini (I made one for us and one for a friend who just had a new baby).

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Tuesday:  cochinita pibil taco bowls, inspired by this recipe.  NO ZUCCHINI YAY!

Wednesday:  tofu, green bean and zucchini Thai curry + rice.

Thursday:  Baked Louisiana red beans & rice.

Friday:  pizza, probably one with zucchini.

This weekend, will be making some zucchini bread.  Whee!

Posted in Birdies, Cooking, Entrees, Garden/Seasonal, Planning | 1 Comment »

Making up salads & new obsessions

Posted by Jeanne on July 9, 2013

So I seem to have unfollowed most of the terrible “recipe” posters from Pinterest, and I found some really great people to follow – my faith in Pinterest is restored. Huzzah!

I combined elements of  this recipe and this recipe because I had a bunch of the stuff in the fridge – zucchini, tomatoes, limes, cucumbers, eggplant – added some shredded chicken, and it turned out to be really good!  Very pleased.

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The child liked it too.

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She is sixteen months old today.  I can hardly believe it.

That’s what we had for dinner tonight – this week has been:

Sunday:  steak fajitas and black beans

Monday:  breakfast for dinner – egg and bacon sandwiches

Tuesday:  made up salad

Wednesday:  pulled pork sandwiches and sauteed zucchini

Thursday:  spaghetti with Italian sausage and kale

Friday:  homemade pizza

Saturday:  paprika rubbed fish with cheddar polenta and veg – we’ll see what we get in the CSA this week

Obsession:  Carla made me some agua fresca de jamaica, and it is AMAZING.

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Also, the jar of hibiscus infusion looks like a jar of blood in the fridge which is nice and creepy.

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I also made some infused waters – this weekend it was lime/rosemary and a cucumber/basil.  Both were delicious.  Tomorrow is lime and berry.

 

Posted in Cooking, Entrees, Feeding the spawn, Garden/Seasonal | Leave a Comment »

Front-yard foraging

Posted by Jeanne on June 26, 2013

So I believe I mentioned once or twice that we moved – moving sucks, eating takeout, blah blah blah.  One of the interesting parts about moving is whole new landscaping to discover.  We have peonies in the backyard, which are pretty but dead now.  And we have a serviceberry, or Amelanchier tree, in our front yard.

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The berries are pretty.  They’re pretty tasty too – kind of like a blueberry.

The tree had a tag that said “serviceberry” on it, so my mom took some of the berries to our local extension office to verify.  It is indeed a serviceberry tree, and the berries are apparently quit nutritious.   Also no poisonous, which I verified by eating some of them myself and waiting 24 hours before feeding them to the child.

I might make some cobbler or something with them tomorrow.  Yard foraging is great because it appeals to both my foodie side and my totally cheap side!

Posted in Garden/Seasonal | Leave a Comment »

Salad in a jar experiment

Posted by Jeanne on May 25, 2012

Why, hello there.  Yes, I am still alive and yes, the child is doing well – she just makes it hard for me to post.

I found this salad in a jar post on Pinterest and was intrigued.  I eat a lot of fruit, but I struggle to eat raw vegetables because I just don’t find salads that interesting most of the time.  Also, who wants to assemble a salad at 7:15 in the morning on a Tuesday?  Not I.

Anyway, I am forever buying “salad stuff” and then leaving it in the fridge to rot.  I thought this might be a good way to pre-make lunch salads and then I would be able to just grab them from the fridge daily during the week.  Winning at salad!  Yay!

On Sunday, May 20th I assembled five salad jars with the following (listed first into the jar to last):

  • Homemade vinaigrette
  • Sliced yellow bell pepper
  • Sliced scallions
  • Slice cremini mushrooms
  • Green peas (from frozen)
  • Crumbled blue cheese
  • Spring mix
  • Baby spinach

Salad in a jar, hanging out in my office.

Then I sealed up my jars, put them in the refrigerator, and went on my merry way.  Note that I do not have a vacuum sealer and when I say “sealed up” I mean “put the lids on and screwed shut.”

Monday:  Looking very good, some of the peas discolored from touching the dressing.  No decline in quality though.  Everything was tasty and the texture was good.

Tuesday:  Looks about the same as Monday.  Mushrooms are starting to get a little soggy which concerns me, but are still fine.

Wednesday:  Mushrooms looking quite weird and have shown a precipitos decline in quality.  Quite soggy and I didn’t eat most of them.  I am afraid for Friday.  The rest of the veg holding strong and the spinach/greens were not soggy at all.

Thursday:  Same as yesterday!  I am less afraid for tomorrow.  The decline in quality of mushrooms soaked in vinaigrette appears to progress in non-linear fashion.

I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence but I kind of love it.

Friday:   A few of the greens were kind of soggy, but I am inclined to believe they would have been soggy anyway because most of them were fine.  Mushrooms the same, everything else was great!

It works!  I didn’t think it was possible but it works!  I am definitely doing this again.

Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone.  Have fun!

Posted in Cooking, Garden/Seasonal, Side dishes | 1 Comment »

Items of note

Posted by Jeanne on November 16, 2011

I’m pregnant.  We’re expecting a baby in March 2012 – I’ve been waiting for some kind of perfect moment to talk about it, but really, that moment may never arrive.  And also that’s a big part of why I haven’t been posting very much, and why I’ve missed several Daring Cook’s challenges in the past few months.

We are very excited, although I can’t say Nettie is very interested at all.

22 weeks.  This is the night of the yoga class when I realized I really should not be in a traditional yoga class any more.  So much bending…

***

Thanksgiving is coming!  I can’t wait.  This is our tentative menu – I think we have 12 people:

Turkey – cider brine

Giblet gravy

Cranberry-orange chutney

Butternut squash & parm bread pudding

Mashed root veg

Roasted brussels sprouts

Carrot soup with roast squash seeds & lemon oil

Also, my sister’s boyfriend Andy has been threatening to make a bacon pig.  I really hope this happens.

***

Until Thanksgiving, we’re eating:

Shrimp & sausage gumbo with brown rice

Oven “fried” fish sandwiches + baked sweet potato fries

Homemade pizza

Butternut squash & parmesan bread pudding

Baked potato soup

Ratatouille (freezer) + mashed potatoes

Butternut squash & greens (kale, mustard, chard) lasagna

Beef & Guinness stew

Green chile chicken enchiladas

Pasta with meatballs & red sauce

Chicken saag + rice and frozen naan

Thai red curry shrimp & veggies + jasmine rice

Soup & sandwiches/quesadillas

***

Happy almost Thanksgiving, everyone!

Posted in Garden/Seasonal, Holiday, Not about food, Planning | 6 Comments »

Fall into fall

Posted by Jeanne on October 29, 2011

I loooooove fall.  Curt does not – it makes him dread winter, which he despises.  But by the time fall comes around I am ready for sweaters again, ready to make soups and stews and squash and things with apples.

Two weekends ago, we canned 11 jars of apple pie filling from apples we got at the orchards in Nebraska City.  I haven’t tried any yet, but we used the same recipe as last year so I’m hoping it’s still a keeper.

Las weekend, Curt killed the garden – so we had parsnips and brussel sprouts to deal with.  I decided to start the day by making the butternut squash bread pudding from this article.  Curt made the carrot & parsnip soup earlier this week as well.

I made some changes to the recipe  – I had a bunch of weird bread that needed to be used (half a baguette, several burger buns, some sandwich bread) so I just chopped all of that up instead of buying or making French bread.

We also had that huge squash and tons of bread, so ended up doubling the recipe.  Other than the quantity, I pretty much followed the recipe as written (amazing!).

Savory Butternut Squash and Parmesan Bread Pudding, originally published in this book (Oxmoor House).

3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups 1 percent low-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano or other hard cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs + 2 large egg whites (I just used 4 whole eggs for each batch)
8 ounces day-old French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 9 cups)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange squash in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

The bottom of the shirt says Tim Gunn, and it was designed by Daniel Vosovic (season 2).  I am done with Project Runway (for real this time!  I swear!  I can’t deal with it anymore) but I will forever love Tim Gunn.  Anyway!  Back to cooking.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until tender (it took about 25 minutes, but I had a lot more than 3 cups of squash). Remove from oven; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

2. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

3. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, milk, 1/2 cup cheese, pepper, nutmeg, eggs and egg whites in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in squash and onion mixture. Add bread, and stir gently to combine. Let stand 10 minutes. Spoon into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until pudding is set and lightly browned.

Yield: 6 servings.

Yum.  We had this for dinner the night we made it, and it’s definitely on the “consider” list for Thanksgiving this year.  Very tasty.

***

We’re in Kansas City this weekend and I think will be in Minneapolis next weekend, so expect the sparse posting to continue.  Hopefully I’ll have some free time to post about our Thanksgiving menu – I can’t believe it’s so soon!

Posted in Cooking, Entrees, Garden/Seasonal, Holiday, Side dishes, Vegetarian | Leave a Comment »

You jerk

Posted by Jeanne on August 19, 2011

I had originally planned to do a Fridge Friday post today, because it’s been way, way too long.  But because of some crazy storms in Omaha last night, we don’t have any power in the house – so the fridge is dark.  And I’m afraid to open it and let in any warm air, because who knows when the lights will go back on?

Anyway, so instead here is a post I’ve been working on for ages –  jerk chicken, rice & peas, and collard greens.

I love how well greens grow in our garden.  Traditionally, collards are boiled (usually with pork) for ages and ages.  I hate them this way – they’re really, really soft and mushy.

I like to sautee them briefly in olive oil and salt & pepper, then add some chicken stock and steam them for a bit.  They’re soft enough to eat but still have some bite to them.

For jerk chicken, I buy jerk marinade at this place (links to UrbanSpoon page for Caribbean Delights Restaurant, they seem not to have a webpage).  If you’re in Omaha, you must go – amazing, amazing stuff.  I like to use boneless, skinless chicken thighs.

Note:  Grill the chicken outside or cook it in the oven.  If you use a stovetop grill, the jerk paste will fill your kitchen with peppery smoke that is much like using pepper spray on yourself.  And your dogs.  Poor pups.

For the rice and peas, I used a recipe that’s similar to this one.  Rice & peas isn’t rice with green peas – it’s rice with beans, and they’re spicy and delicious.

I’m off to Des Moines this weekend, to visit the Iowa State Fair for the first time!  I am looking forward to red velvet funnel cake and lots of foods on a stick.  Don’t think I will be trying deep-fried butter though.

Hopefully I will return on Saturday evening and there will be power in my house.  It’s the little things that count, right?

Happy Friday, everyone!

Posted in Birdies, Cooking, Entrees, Garden/Seasonal, Gluten-free, Side dishes | Leave a Comment »