Monthly Archives: October 2011

Roasted Radishes and Halloween Fun

HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Little O had a pumpkin-shaped sandwich with chocolate chip jack-o-lantern face for lunch (when she ate all the chocolate chips she said “I want more chocate pwease!” and I said, “No, dear, you’ll get quite enough tonight!”), decorated a pumpkin with Halloween stickers, and will have a sweet bell pepper carved to look like a jack-o-lantern filled with spaghetti before trick or treating tonight! It has been a very festive day πŸ™‚ I just hope she can calm down enough to nap!! Yesterday, we carved our free pumpkin that we got from the market a few weeks ago. Little O and her daddy had LOTS of fun πŸ™‚ I’m planning to cut up the pumpkin the day after Halloween and use it to make pumpkin puree. I didn’t know you could do that, but I’ve found a website (junk mail gems) that really gets full use out of everything she buys! I think it’ll make a yummy pumpkin pie and a few other pumpkin treats during November!

I caught her eating some of the pumpkin….gross, right?! Also, don’t mind her insanely wet shirt. She has had some bad drooling and runny nose so we think she’s cutting ANOTHER 2 year molar. I swear this girl has been cutting teeth nonstop since 3 1/2 months. How many teeth can one little girl have?!?!?!?

It’s a winking hillbilly pumpkin πŸ™‚ And Little O didn’t want to pose, she just wanted to look inside!

On another note, I tried an unconventional recipe for radishes this past weekend and thought they were DELICIOUS, so I thought I’d share. After my beets fail, I was slightly worried about doing this, but they really turned out quite yummy as a side dish. Also, they will go very well with the skirt steak and bok choy stir fry. It’s SUCH a simple recipe! Preheat the oven to 425. Wash radishes and cut up into cubes. Then toss them with olive oil, salt, and pepper (Is it me or do a LOT of the recipes I post on here start this way…?!). Roast for about 25 minutes or until radishes are beginning to brown. Then toss with 1-2 tbsp soy sauce and a few sesame seeds. Roast another 5 minutes and VOILA! I don’t have a picture for you because it was a little crazy in the O house Saturday night. Dr O and I were each trying to cook in our small kitchen and Little O had boycotted her nap that afternoon so she was QUITE the handful. I also realize that there probably aren’t very many of you rushing out to buy radishes and try this recipe BUT if you happen to be a part of a CSA and get some radishes in your next share, give this recipe a try!

As a sidenote, I’m proud to say that we are just a few days away from picking up our second CSA share and have yet to waste a single thing from our first share! And everything has been delicious (except the yucky grated sauteed beets)! I can’t wait until Thursday gets here so I can see what deliciousness we’ll be getting πŸ™‚

Mrs O

 

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Skirt Steak and Bok Choy Stir Fry

I got this recipe from the beloved Martha Stewart πŸ™‚ I mean, she’s a little off her rocker, but the woman can cook and decorate…and plant flowers…she’s got a lot of talents. Anyway, this dish was YUMMMMMMMMMMMY! Here’s your line up

1 lb. skirt steak (cut into 1/2-3/4 inch wide strips)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp corn starch

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 tbsp rice vinegar

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp peanut butter

2 cloves of garlic (minced)

salt and pepper

1 large head bok choy (cut into inch wide pieces…it’s going to cook down A LOT)

carrots (as little or as many as you like, cut into inch long halves or quarters)

chopped peanuts

cooked rice (I use our rice cooker to make brown rice)

First head the olive oil on medium high. Meanwhile, toss the steak, cornstarch, and salt and pepper to taste in a baggie and shake. Get the steak nice and evenly coated. Then cook the steak in the oil until it is browned (just a few minutes). While that’s cooking, mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar, honey, peanut butter, and garlic. Once the steak is browned, set it aside and mix sauce into the oil. Put the sauce into the olive oil on medium heat and mix on heat until peanut butter dissolves. Then add bok choy and carrots. Cover for 5 minutes (stirring a couple times). Then add steak back in and cook (uncovered) for another 5 minutes. Serve over rice. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts for a nice crunch πŸ™‚

This is the yummiest stir fry and the bok choy had a great flavor! It smells SOOOOOO delicious while cooking. I hope you’ll try it soon!Mrs O

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Simple, Fun Ghost Pretzels and Beets Fail

I promised I’d tell you about my great creations…and my not so great ones fails. I made sauteed, grated beets last night…FAIL. :/ I got the recipe from a Garden Fresh cookbook and thought, “Eh, I’ll give it a try.” Maybe I shouldn’t have! I grated the beets (which stained my hands-EWW! For any Office fans out there, I felt like Dwight in the episode where he tries to buy that wizard from the fancy store at the mall, but they don’t letΒ  him in because he had beet-stained hands and it looked like blood…), then sauteed them in melted butter and a bit of orange juice for about 10 minutes. Dr O’s statement concerning the beets, “These taste like the earth.” I took one bite and that was enough…amazing he ate ALL of his even though they were in no way yummy AT ALL. 😦 I guess I’ll try a different recipe next time. Dr O found one online for beet apple soup–maybe it’ll be less “earthy.” The main course last night was a very, very yummy and simple skirt steak and bok choy stir fry (which I’ll post about within the next couple of days) so the whole dinner wasn’t a fail…(that’s my glass half-full side :))

Now, on to my sweet pretzel ghost treats. I saw these on (da, da, da, daaaaaaaaa…) Pinterest. Of course. I really like making treats for Little O’s teachers about once a month and I usually do it towards the end of the month. They are the sweetest women and Little O ADORES them. I can tell that they adore her as well and any person that chooses to spend 4 mornings a week with a room full of toddlers is someone that deserves a treat every now and then! I’ve given them candy-filled jars, Fall mix (chex, m&ms, reese’s pieces, pretzels, cheez-its, candy corn, mellowcreme pumpkins), and now ghost treats. These were so simple and would be fun to do for and with kids (Little O had the extras for snack and proclaimed them “Alicious [delicious]!”). All you need is white bakers chocolate (I used 12 squares), pretzel rods, and mini chocolate chips.

First, melt your chocolate until it’s nice and smooth πŸ™‚

Mmmmmm….

Then dip the rods into the chocolate (I did it as far as I could, but obviously couldn’t get the whole…or even the majority…of the rod in there). Lay them on wax paper and while the chocolate is still in liquid form place 2 eyes and a mouth near the top to create the ghosts’ face (with the chocolate chips).

You’ll end up with all these….

Isn’t that easy?!? Let them set at room temperature or put them in the freezer if your antsy to eat one soon!

I grabbed some cellophane treat bags that I had leftover from…something…and placed 6 in each bag (she has 3 teachers). I still had 5 or 6 left so this made plenty of them! Almost the whole bag of rods!!! Then I secured the end with a twisty tie and tied some ribbon around that. I wanted to make my own tags, but it was getting close to time for Little O to wake up from her nap and I wanted to be finished with these treats, so I cheated and printed some from the internet (I just googled “free printable halloween circle tags”..there were PLENTY of choices).

I cut them out with decorative scissors, punched a hole in the side, tied it onto the ribbon and TA DA!

Aren’t those fun?!?!?!?!? They were cheap, simple, but they are super cute and ALICIOUS πŸ™‚

I hope you can have fun making some of these with someone special this weekend in honor of Halloween!!!

Mrs O

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Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Our tomatoes from our share were getting pretty ripe and it was time to do something with them or lose them….I’m not a fan of wasting money, so I had to suck it up and make some spaghetti sauce. I was also able to use an onion from our share and some fresh basil that I had in the fridge πŸ™‚ I found a cooks.com recipe (and made a few adjustments to it) that made a nice, light sauce that I think will work well for us. I used about 2 lbs of tomatoes. Here’s the rundown of your ingredients:

2 lbs. tomatoes (peeled, cored, quartered)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion chopped

2 cloves minced garlic

1 cp. water

6 oz. tomato paste

1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp beef bouillon granules

1 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp salt

4-5 crushed basil leaves

1/8 tsp pepper

First, I heated up the olive oil in a saucepan (on high heat) and chopped up the onion (this literally made me bawl…Little O was asking Dr O “Why Mommy cwying [that’s how she pronounces it…I thought you needed the real effect of her language skills]?!”) and minced the garlic in my awesome garlic mincer.

I added the onion and garlic to the oil and cooked them both through–until the onions were translucent. Then I added the rest of the ingredients, mixed it up well, and continued to cook on high until boiling (this didn’t take long, maybe 5-10 minutes).

I turned the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 1 1/2 hours. Then I put it all in the food processor (this is, obviously, an optional step, but the texture of tomatoes is just not one that I can eat so I can’t even have chunks of tomato in my sauce) to make it nice and smooth. Dr O and I both taste tested and thought it was pretty yummy and light–just like the O family likes it πŸ™‚ Then I canned it. As you can see, I have a large glass container and about 1/3 of a small glass container. This should last us for quite a while since we like to go light on the sauce!

We’re thinking we won’t get any more tomatoes in our shares since it is getting further into the Fall weather, but if we do…I’ll probably just make more of this sauce to last us through winter πŸ™‚

Mrs O

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CSA Share Menu Plan

So, I’m a bit of an overplanner πŸ™‚ We used to plan our menu for the month so that we wouldn’t eat the same thing more than 3 times and could use items in more than one dish without cooking the same dish twice in a week. BUT, with our exciting, new CSA adventure…we can’t do that! So, we decided to plan once we got our share, but we got our share last Thursday and had visitors Friday-Sunday (didn’t leave a lot of time to sit down with Dr O and the trusty internet looking for recipes)! So, I was *finally* able to sit down and plan our menu through our next share pick up. I wanted to do my best to use the items that would go bad soon and the items that would keep towards the end. This was tricky because I had no clue how long some of these items would stay good since we’ve never bought some of them…EVER (like radishes and beets…).

Today, I sat down with some recipes from a friend (shout out Krystle!), two Garden Fresh Veggie cook books, and my beloved Pinterest and got to work to plan through next Thursday. Our food budget is usually depleted at this point in the month so I wanted to try to find recipes that would use additional ingredients that we already had. I will have to get a few things from the store, but not too much so I think it’ll be okay πŸ™‚ Here’s the run down

Tonight: Leftover Veggie Lasagna, Fresh Salad, Garlic Knots

Wednesday: Skirt Steak and Bok Choy Stir Fry & Sauteed Grated Beets

Thursday: Herb Roasted Chicken & Swiss Chard Chickpea Brown Rice & Roasted Radishes in Soy Sauce

Friday: Spaghetti Squash Monterey & Collards

Saturday: Pasta with Walnuts and Greens (probably kale)

Sunday: Chicken Packets & Sweet Potato Souffle

Monday: Spaghetti (with homemade sauce) served in orange jack-o-lantern sweet bell peppers (festive right?!) & Garlic Knots

Tuesday: Pasta with Walnuts and Greens (mustard greens)

Wednesday: Bacon Cheeseburger Chicken & Roasted Potatoes

Thursday: Shrimp and Egg Noodles in Wine Sauce & Roasted Carnival Squash (This is also the day that we will pick up our next share, so that night Dr O and I are going to have to get to work on some menu planning!)

I will do my best to take pictures and post the recipes I’ve used (even if they’re a fail!) during the next week. If you’re anxious to try one of the recipes before I post it, comment below and I’ll direct you to the recipe!

Mrs O

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Documentary Review: Food, Inc.

In this house we love to watch movies documentaries πŸ™‚ Lately, of course, we are loving anything to do with food, agriculture, etc. There are quite a few that we’ve watched so we’ll consider this a little….mini-series πŸ™‚ DISCLAIMER: You’re going to think I’m a nut when you read these documentaries, but I promise you they are thought-provoking and interesting. We’ll start with Food, Inc.–which is the movie that really made me begin to question the food industry and what is in my food. I think it might have been made to make people vegetarians because there are some horrifying scenes with the way the major meat industries treat cows, pigs, and chickens. It is really sad….like, almost put you in tears, sad. They also talk about the things put into your foods and how the food industries are treating farmers. Did you know farmers can’t take seed from their harvest and clean it to use it again?!?!? At least in the soybean industry. It is INSANE!!! There’s also a very, very sad story about a little boy that ate McDonald’s in the movie, so prep yourself for that one. We rarely eat out and definitely not fast food (unless we’re traveling or something), but after I watched this, Little O was *never, ever* to eat a burger from Mickey D’s again…..did I say EVER?!? It is a really good documentary, that will make you think about where you buy your food and what you’re buying (if you have Netflix, it’s on Instant Streaming, so you should go watch it….now!) Let me know your thoughts!

 

Mrs O

PS- I’m so sorry I have been MIA lately! I’ve been obsessed with making Little O ruffle-bottomed pants and appliquing shirts for her. We also had visitors from out of town this weekend and I have a couple friends that are wanting to buy some pants for their little girls, so I’ve been trying to get together pictures of Little O’s pants and come up with reasonable prices for them. I promise I’m going to do better, but I don’t know that I can post on here every day. I hope you aren’t too disappointed in me!

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First CSA Share!!!

We **finally** picked up our first CSA share from Elmwood Stock Farm here in Kentucky (pardon my super messy counter….no one is perfect, right?!)! We’ve been waiting for weeks with excitement and anticipation πŸ™‚ We got a regular share of vegetables, a share of meat (chicken and beef), and a dozen eggs. The eggs are from free range chickens and they are HUGE! I can’t wait to eat one πŸ™‚ First, I have to finish the eggs we got from the market a couple weeks ago. Anyway, here’s a rundown of what we got and will use over the next two weeks (although I’m not sure what to do with half of it because I’ve never cooked with it before–recipes welcome!)

bok choy (never cooked with it, but it’s got a lot of calcium)

rainbow swiss chard (never cooked with it)

mustard greens (only used it for decoration on a veggie platter :/)

white onions and sweet yellow candy onions

a MASSIVE organic garlic (this might last us a few weeks….the cloves are huge and there are plenty of them!)

eggplant (we’re having eggplant parmesan :))

spaghetti squash (not sure about what to do with that one…)

carnival squash (I’m thinking it might be good as a roasted side dish….)

sweet bell peppers (these I think will be mostly snacks for Dr O, but maybe we’ll roast some as a side dish)

a spicy pepper that we will never use :/

a precious little pie pumpkin (we let Little O play with it for now, but I may make a puree with it in a couple weeks)

a beautiful Cinderella pumpkin (apparently, there are waiting lists….yes, waiting lists for pumpkins…in New York for this breed of pumpkin! Again, I’ll probably use it for decoration, then some kind of yummy pumpkin treat!)

organic lettuce (I’m thinking a salad with one of our pasta dishes for dinner one night….we actually have enough for 2 or 3 salads.)

collard greens (Dr O makes yummy collards!)

radishes (no clue what to do with these!)

beets (see above beside “radishes” :))

tomatoes (If you remember, I was terrified to get these, but I’ve decided I’m going to use most of them to make my own spaghetti sauce and the others for a taco soup that a friend of mine made a couple weeks ago for bible study–it was amazingly yummy :))

sweet potatoes (these are the BIGGEST I’ve ever seen….picture below. I’m going to make at least one sweet potato souffle, but I think just one sweet potato will give me enough for that, so we’ll also have baked sweet potatoes)

gold potatoes (I think we’ll have roasted seasoned potatoes a couple times as a side dish.)

kale (You know, I LOVE kale chips, but I want to try something new with the kale too…any ideas?!)

and tomatillos (what do you do with those…seriously?)

For our meat share, we got a whole organic chicken (I want to use EVERY part of it….make chicken stock and all….who can give me tips on how to use the whole chicken?) and 4 organic beef patties.

Neither Dr O nor I were expecting as much as we got in our share! (I mean we didn’t know what to expect!) This will definitely last us two weeks and we are so, so thrilled about the quality of all the food we’ve received! What I love about Elmwood is that they give you a newsletter listing all your share items, the dietary benefits of most of the items in your share, how to store them, recipes, and news from the farm πŸ™‚

Looking at the pictures again is making me EVEN MORE excited about all these new foods to try!!! Seriously y’all, if you have recipes for any of the above, please post them below for me!!!

Mrs O

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