Tuesday, July 28, 2009

boozy peaches (csa week 4)

i was thrilled to see peaches show up in the csa bounty this week but they weren't quite at their prime. when becky crocker came over for a surprise visit the other night, it was the perfect time to employ the following method for some yummy but underdeveloped peaches.

we were just going to cut up the peaches and throw them in a pan with some butter and brown sugar but then the discussion took a turn towards alcohol. bourbon, to be more specific. so, into the pan it went. what resulted was a deliciously perfect topping for some frozen yogurt (yes, it's in my freezer at all times, in case you were wondering). the butter and sugar caramelized beautifully and the bourbon flavor was slightly there just to add to the butterscotchiness of it all without being too strong.

boozy peaches
  • peaches, sliced
  • a couple of tablespoons of butter (enough to keep the pan moist)
  • some brown sugar
  • splash of bourbon
  • melt butter in pan, add brown sugar and stir
  • let sugar melt and reduce slightly, then add peaches and toss
  • add a splash of bourbon (off the heat!) and allow to cook for a few minutes

Sunday, July 26, 2009

csa week 4

1. the bounty
  • 1.5 lbs cucumbers
  • 1.5 lbs squash
  • 1 head of romaine lettuce
  • 1 napa cabbage
  • 1 bunch beets
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • 5 ears of corn
  • 1 bunch kale
  • cherries
  • 6 small peaches
  • 1 pint blueberries
2. cost analysis (comparison costs courtesy of freshdirect):

  • cucumbers: $8 (organic)
  • yellow squash: $3.50 (used organic zucchini for comparison)
  • romaine lettuce: $3 (organic)
  • napa cabbage: $3.50 (organic not available)
  • beets: $4 (organic)
  • kohlrabi: not available; i'll say $1
  • corn: $6 (organic)
  • kale: $3 (organic)
= $32
actual csa cost per week = $22

  • cherries: $3 (organic not available)
  • peaches: $6 (organic)
  • blueberries: $10 (organic)
actual csa cost per week = $11.67

THIS IS AWESOME! corn, peaches, cherries, AND blueberries?! now are you convinced?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

blueberry crisps, cobblers and crumbles (csa week 3)

as a threw a handful of blueberries on my morning
cereal, i couldn't help but contemplate cobblers, crumbles, and crisps. don't get me wrong, i love my blueberries plain as much as the next person but i was just itching for another fruit dessert. so what's the difference between the three anyways? the crisp was always popular in my house growing up. it's pretty hard to screw up, easy to make without a recipe and naturally wheat-free since the grain/starch involved is oats. according to an online article, a crumble is quite similar but the british version. so the real difference is with the cobbler. a cobbler is more like a pie as the topping is much more dough like. given that i had gone the cobbler-ish route lately, i decided to go for the crisp. ok, the real reason i went for the crisp is that i got frustrated looking up blueberry recipes, researching the difference between various types of fruit desserts and threw my laptop aside in a fit of fury. all so that you, dear reader, would not have to walk down this same road! then, i went to the kitchen to bake. this really is my favorite part about most fruit desserts. you can do just about anything and the thing's still gonna taste good.

go go zoe's fit of fury blueberry crisp no, i will not give you amounts or specific instructions here.
  • fruit (i used blueberries and as always, threw in a nectarine to fill in since i had already consumed most of the blueberries on cereal)
  • cornstarch
  • oats
  • butter, cold and cut into small pieces
  • sugar: brown and regular
  • lemon juice
  • stir together fruit, a bit of sugar (depending on the fruit's sweetness), some lemon juice, and a liiiiittle bit of cornstarch.
  • make the topping: combine butter, oats and brown sugar. mush together with a fork or hands until it's crumbly.
  • put topping on top of fruit.
  • bake until bubbly and slightly browned (20-30 min) on 350.
  • serve with some whipped cream, ice cream, frozen yogurt, heavy cream, or nothing at all.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

weeknight dinner: summer squash ribbons with pasta sauce (csa week 3)

i love love love summer squash so it was a tad difficult for me to imagine eating it any other way than sauteed with garlic. i realize it's a weird thing to not be able to get enough of but i literally could eat a whole giant bowl of it and be completely satisfied with life. thus i needed a dish where the squash was the star. enter squash ribbons. they're great because you still get to enjoy them sauteed with garlic (or whatever else) and in this case, they replaced a starch (pasta). so i really could eat a whole gigantic bowl and not feel the least bit guilty.

again, this is another method recipe. basically, you take the squash and slice them very thinly, or in my case, use a vegetable peeler to make thin slices. for those who are kitchen equipped, a mandolin would do quite nicely. then you sautee the ribbons in a little bit of oil, garlic, and salt and pepper for a few minutes, until they're your desired softness. you could eat them just like that or add some simple herbs. some lemon and parmesan cheese would be quite nice. i had just picked up some fresh DiPaola spicy turkey sausage from the farmer's market, so i added that to a simple tomato sauce with what i had on hand: some plain tomato sauce, a fresh tomato, a shallot, oregano, parsley, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. then i threw the sauce on top of the squash and grated some cheese on top. voila!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

csa week 3

it's not pretty but it's exactly what my fridge looks like these days
(ignore the beer in the background, it isn't mine)

1. the bounty
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 golden zucchini
  • 1 bunch toscano kale
  • 2 bunches broccoli
  • 1 head escarole
  • 1 head of lettuce
  • parsley
  • 1 kohlrabi
  • garlic scapes
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 3 pints blueberries
2. cost analysis (comparison costs courtesy of freshdirect):


  • 2 zucchini: $3 (organic)
  • 2 golden zucchini: not available; i'll assume $3
  • kale: $3 (organic)
  • broccoli: $5 (organic not available)
  • escarole: $3 (organic not available)
  • lettuce: $3 (organic)
  • parsley: $2 (organic)
  • kohlrabi: not available; i'll say $1
  • garlic scapes: not available; i'll say $2 since there were more than last week
  • 2 cucumbers: $4 (organic)
= $29
actual csa cost per week = $22


  • blueberries: over $25 (can this be right?!)
actual csa cost per week = $11.67

and just when the paychecks couldn't come fast enough, the weather picked up, and the csa started to pay off--big time!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

sweet potato hash brunch (csa week 2)

there's something to be said for making brunch at home. you don't have to brush your teeth to go outside or feel obligated to shower...but to really be satisfying, i think if you're going to go to the trouble, it has to be something beyond the ordinary eggs and toast routine, which by the way, seems much easier to do when veggies have taken over your fridge. the two items i was eying and revving to use? spinach and garlic scapes.

garlic scapes are pretty mystical with their long and curvy shape and bright green color. they taste like mild garlic with a firm texture. the taste wasn't quite as mild as i was expecting but was enough so that i wanted to use them in a dish where you could actually taste them. enter my farm fresh eggs! and the spinach and some swiss cheese. i just couldn't help myself. i sauteed the spinach separately, with some garlic and cooked the garlic scapes in the eggs, then threw everything together and added the swiss.

i needed a side. sweet potato hash seemed like it would do quite nicely. but actually i just happened to have some sweet potatoes around that needed to be used. the thing here that usually trips me up when it comes to pan-fried potato dishes is whether to parboil the potatoes beforehand or not. in this situation, it seemed a bit of overkill to have to break out yet another pan, so i decided to cut the sweet potatoes small enough so that they would cook. i also threw in a number of other things i just happened to have around (a leek, some red onion, and a shallot). let the hash cook long enough so that everything browns up nicely. if you're like me, this will take extreme self control. good luck!

sweet potato hash
  • sweet potatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • red onion, chopped
  • shallot, minced
  • garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • some other veggies, if you would like (such as red pepper, leeks, etc.)
  • heat olive oil in pan.
  • add sweet potatoes first, since they will take the longest to cook. after a few minutes, add all other veggies.
  • let cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is browned up nicely.
  • serve with omelette, any other eggs, or eat alone.

Monday, July 6, 2009

superfood salad: kale and quinoa salad (csa week 2)

let's talk about superfoods. here is a yummy dish, perfect for summer that incorporates quinoa (our featured superfood) AND my csa kale. *SIDENOTE: on further inspection, i don't think my dark leafy csa green was kale. swiss chard perhaps? i have labeled my post as such. dark leafy green lovers of the world, help me! (see picture below).**UPDATE: kale!

superfoods are rich in multiple nutrients. in this case, all dark leafy greens are probably pretty close to having super powers but quinoa is an interesting one. quinoa is an ancient grain but is actually a seed. the seed is from a dark leafy green plant (a-ha!) that is closely related to spinach. the special thing about it? it contains all eight essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. when cooked, it has a rather nutty flavor and a chewy texture with a little bit of crunch. so, to summarize, quinoa is low carb, high in protein and fiber, gluten-free, AND DELICIOUS. good, moving on...this recipe is rather tabouli-esque but is of course wheat and gluten-free.

kale and quinoa salad
  • one bunch dark leafy green of your choice, roughly chopped (kale in this case; stems removed)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • large handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cucumber, chopped
  • small handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • sesame oil
  • juice of one lemon
  • rinse the quoina.
  • cook the quinoa: boil 2 cups of water and then add 1 cup of quinoa and some salt. cover and turn temperature to a simmer. cook about 15 minutes, until the water has been absorbed, the quinoa has turned translucent in color. remove from heat, let sit for a few minutes then fluff with a fork. next time i will be using my rice cooker for this.
  • while the quinoa cooks, sautee your green with the garlic and some olive oil.
  • combine quinoa, greens, tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, red pepper, and parsley.
  • add sesame oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  • serve warm, room temperature or cold!