Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Somebody likes me!

I am flattered to have received a blog award from Amber at Nater Tot. Her musings about life as a SAHM with her young son are full of her ridiculously awesome sense of humor, tips on making your baby's world safer, and other fun kid-related stuff. Check it.

So the way this thing works is that I must now bestow it upon my favorite bloggers so here we go:

The rules for accepting this award are:

1. Thank the person who gave this award to you. Thank you, Amber! I love reading about all your adventures with Nate and every time you make a joke, it reminds me of all the times you cracked me up at ACS.

2. Copy the award and put it on your blog.DONE!

3. List three things which you love about yourself.

I love my ability to make things.

I love my determination.

I love my choice in husbands. (Sorry Amber, just had to steal this one!)

4. Post a picture you love:

5. Tag five people you wish to pass this award on to

Cutest Little Babymakers - Okay so the writers of this blog are two of the women I love most in the whole wide world, but their blog is also very cool. It started when they were trying to conceive their first son, and has evolved into the tales of his toddlerhood adventures as well as the conception of the one that is on the way! They are funny, honest, and great parents.

The Shopping Mama - Kate is one of my college classmates and a former colleague, who has made great use of her self-proclaimed online shopping addiction for stuff for her two kids and turned it into a really informative blog. It's like Consumer Reports for toys, clothes, and other child-related items, but even better.

City Share - The writer of this blog actually found me and we have had a blog-comments-friendship ever since. Her story is similar to ours, except it takes place in our old hometown of NYC. She has great recipes and finds amazing ways to use all of her CSA goodies.

Young Fat and Fabulous - I just discovered this blog a couple weeks ago, thanks to my alma mater's Facebook feed. Its writer is an alumna of my undergrad college and has acheived a sort of stardom in the fashion world as she blogs about fashion for the girls who aren't a Size 0. She also just won a contest (by popular vote) to become MTV's first-ever Twitter Jocky. She is the shining example of a strong woman with a powerful voice.

Love and Olive Oil - I don't know the writers of this blog, but I have used a few of the recipes they have posted and they are awesome! Their stuff is creative and homey, but doesn't require any crazy expensive or hard-to-find ingredients. And it's seasonal, which is a plus when you are trying to figure out what to do with your fifth bunch of beets.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Week #13

Whew! What a week. So many projects, so much excitement...but we'll save all that for later...

Let's get down to the list:

Tomatoes (3 lbs of tomatoes! Ideas please!)
Peppers (About as many peppers as tomatoes - perhaps I will be pickling and/or roasting peppers this week.)
Squash (snore)
Cherry tomatoes
Purple string beans (just like in Paris)
Mint (will be perfect in my husband's home-brewed iced tea!)

Not a large variety of stuff, but we got ALOT of everything. I'm determined, this week, to use everything. We lost a couple items from last week's share to spoilage and I felt disappointed. Time to get back on track!

But first, mani/pedi dates, parties, and lunches, with my oldest and dearests in NJ. Later!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Me as a blogger = FAIL

I know, Week #12 is practically over and I haven't posted anything. To tell the truth, I haven't had time to write because I've been spending so much time cooking...honest! This week's share didn't have any huge surprises in it, so there's not much use in recapping it, but here's a summary of the week's greatest food adventures:

  • Last Saturday we went to Mood's Farm, on the advice of one of my favorite blogs, Food in Jars. We picked 2.5 lbs of blackberries and got some peaches and fresh corn, too. I loved this place. It was way cheaper and felt more home-y than the huge, more popular place we've gone to in the past. We'll definitely be back!

  • The blackberries have been savored all week, but a bunch of them have been mashed and frozen and will be made into this jam, except that apricot season is over in PA and I couldn't find a single apricot anywhere. So I'm substituting mangoes. Not exactly local, I know, but the apricots wouldn't have been local at this time of year either, so I figure it's an even trade.

  • The peaches can be seen in the picture above, as I pickled them. That's right, I said pickled. But don't think of it like a dill pickle or anything. There's vinegar in there, but also a ton of sugar, cinammon, ginger, and cloves. (I used the standard recipe from the Ball Blue Book.) I can't wait to open these up this winter and serve them with some vanilla ice cream...maybe homemade!

  • The outdoor canning set up is also worthy of a note. We have two grills outside (gas and charcoal), but neither is big enough to accomodate a canner. Our indoor stove is electric (not our choice!) and has a glass cooktop, so canning inside is an impossibility, although the heat that is generated by the activity is enough of a deterrent. So we purchased a camping burner from LL Bean and it works GREAT! I plan on canning the jam, once it's made, but I am also looking forward to getting bunches of tomato seconds and making a big batch of sauce.

  • The LL Bean burner and the canning pot also came in handy a few nights ago when it was ridiculously hot, but I wanted to cook the tomatillos and Mood's Farm corn to make a salsa. I simply took the canning rack out of the pot, changed the water, brought it to a boil on the burner, and threw in the tomatillos and corn. I even threw in some boil-in-a-bag brown rice! We cooked chicken on the grill and were quite proud of our "cooked entirely outside" meal. The corn and tomatillos were joined by fresh tomatoes (both CSA and home-grown), our very own jalapenos from the backyard, some green/red peppers, onion, olive oil, salt, pepper, and a good dose of lime juice. It went on top of the chicken and rice. So simple, but really delicious.

I'll try to post this week's list before I head off to my hometown in NJ to visit friends. I'm hoping to savor some of my favorite hometown foods while I'm there, which could be worthy of a post or two as well!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hot food

Jeezum crow, it's hot in Philadelphia. I spent a magnificent day attending a work retreat at the Morris Arboretum, today, but even the tour of the grounds was a miserable experience due to the excruciating temperatures that have gone into the 90s for the last four days. Nonetheless, I will go back there when the weather is more cooperative and highly recommend it as a fine way to spend an afternoon.

We've been doing our best to eat up our CSA items while using the stove/oven as little as possible. Almost all of the tomatoes are gone and they have been eaten the way fresh tomatoes should be - raw, sliced, with just the tiniest bit of salt and pepper. But today's meal was the most delectable. We put a bunch of chicken cutlets in a citrus dill marinade and grilled those last night, so I used some of the cold leftovers to top a salad of the arugula, feta cheese, and grill-roasted carrots, beets, and last week's CSA onion. It was a multi-faceted victory for me since it was (and I'm ashamed to admit this), the first time I had actually cooked something on the grill all by myself. But I'm hooked, now. I think I'd like to try to cook a week's worth of dinners wrapped up in tin foil on the grill.

Anyway, moving on...we threw those veggies on the top of the salads and I drizzled them with balsamic and walnut oil and they were perfect.

I have a plan for a cous cous dish for the eggplant. Anyone know how to grill cous cous?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Week #11

Jeez, I'm a bad blogger. I didn't write a single post since last week's list post for Week #10. Admittedly, we've been pretty busy readjusting to post-vacation life and working on some other projects that may or may not be revealed at a later date. We also tried a few recipes last week that were less than successful, so I had very little to brag about. I even lost some vegetables to spoilage because I didn't use them fast enough. Epic fail. But this experience is about the failures just as much as it is about successes, right? I'm considering this a new week and my goal is to keep it simple. It's going to be a scorcher, so I'd like us to eat as much raw or stove-top-cooked stuff as possible. Suggestions are welcome!

I thought I at least owed everyone a picture. Above is a pre-mix shot of the refrigerator dills that are currently marinating on the kitchen counter.

This week's list:

Plum tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes
Heirloom tomatoes
Squash (we have last week's leftover, too!)

We've never had purselane before, but I have an idea for a cold salad with it. Everything else is pretty straight forward....although we're open to ideas for how to use a whole lot of summer squash!