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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Quick and Easy Halloween Appliqued Shirt

I have been wanting DYING to learn how to make clothes for Little O because I love the look and fabrics of boutique clothing for little girls, but Dr O does not like the prices (I am not a huge fan of the prices, but I usually justify it in some ridiculously brilliant way…). BUT…Hobby Lobby had McCall’s patterns on sale for $1 or $2 (I can’t remember which)….by the way, did you know patterns range in price from like $13 to $16?!? I was blown away. I guess I had never looked at the price before. So, I bought a pattern for ruffle bottomed pants (my fave). Then I made some:

They are in no way perfect…but they look pretty good to the untrained eye (an they didn’t fall apart in the washer or dryer) πŸ™‚

Then, I wanted to make a shirt to go with them. I had seen this one on Pinterest and a friend had made it for her daughter:

So, I grabbed one of Little O’s plain white Garanimals shirts from Wal-mart (it has ruffley edges on the sleeves and bottom) that I got for $3.88, scraps from both of the fabrics I used on the pants, and fusible web. I went ahead and ironed a small piece of fusible web to the underside of each fabric.

I measured a 1 inch by 2 inch rectangle on the orange to use for the socks and cut two out.

Then I free-handed the shoe on the polka dot fabric.

I cut that shoe out and traced one going the opposite direction.

Then I ironed the orange fabric on first, then the shoes, overlapping them just a pinch. (If you’ve never used fusible web before, peel the paper off, then iron….I don’t mean to make you feel like an idiot, but I figured I should type it just in case you are an idiot—JUST KIDDING, I know you aren’t :))

Then I used orange thread and a zigzag stitch to go around the orange socks. I used black thread and a zigzag stitch for the shoes.

Now, up close I realize 2 things (a) This looks pretty rough and in no way boutique quality and (b) it definitely doesn’t look as nice as the satin stitch on the picture I put above fromΒ  a website, but I think it looks good enough and if someone has tips on how to get the satin stitch look without using an embroidery unit and program–I’m all ears πŸ™‚

Then I used white ribbon to tie two small bows. I pinned the sides of the bows down so that I could stitch the middles onto the shirt. I just went forward and reversed several times to stitch them on.

I wanted to monogram it, but my embroidery program only has 5 fonts and none of them are cute. In order to use my 750 cute fonts that I’ve stored up on my computer, I’d have to buy a $200 program that works with my embroidery unit’s software. So…it’ll be a while before I can use my cute fonts :/ Anyway, here is her outfit!

I added a little bit of white ruffle ribbon to the bottom of the pants too πŸ™‚ I think for less than $10 this is a pretty cute outfit!

She loved modeling it for me, Daddy, and the camera πŸ™‚ Whenever I tell her I want to take her picture, she goes and stands on the landing at the bottom of the stairs. I don’t know why she thinks that is the only place in the house to take pictures, but, needless to say, we have a ton of pictures of her in this exact spot–sometimes she sits and sometimes she stands…then she usually ends up on the tile floor doing pirouettes and sometime she falls πŸ™‚

Mrs O

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Simple, Delicious Roasted Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is one of those delicious things that a lot of people don’t usually eat (not to mention it’s not an expensive vegetable to have!) I have a friend that made a chicken casserole with it as well as a bisque. I haven’t tried either recipe yet, but we have had it as a side dish and it is delicious and simple (as stated in the title of this post)! The hardest part of this recipe is cutting up the squash. I originally cut off the ends then cut off the skin, but the last time I did it I just used my veggie peeler and that worked (although it was not as quite easy as peeling a carrot)-so you can choose to do it either way, but make sure you have bright orange squash once you’re done getting the skin off.

Then cut it into cubes, throw some oil, salt, and pepper and mix it all together. Then roast it on 400 for about 25 minutes or so. It is delicious πŸ™‚

Mmmmm πŸ™‚

I also read that some people put syrup or honey on it, but I think it’s delicious just with some salt and pepper! Give it a try! I bought one butternut squash for $3 and it made 8 servings (so 4 meals in the O house because Little O still refuses to try it–even though she ate it as a baby and loved it. I continue to put a couple cubes on her plate, but she ain’t havin’ it yet….give her time though!). It freezes well cut into cubes and if you buy one and don’t use it for a while, it will keep for quite a long time (Dr O said a couple months.).

Mrs O

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Decorative Fall Pumpkins

At the farmer’s market yesterday, Little O talked her way into a free pumpkin (not really, they were giving a free pumpkin to each kid that was there). I also bought several small pie pumpkins since they were $2 each. I knew I wanted to decorate them (I had seen several ideas on Pinterest, using fabric, mod podge, and vinyl), so we brought our pumpkins home and I got to work. I cut a bat and cat out of black vinyl (You could draw it on black fabric, cut it out, and mod podge if you don’t have vinyl OR use puff paint to draw one on).

I just stuck them on (instead of mod podging) because I was hoping to take them off in a couple weeks (if the pumpkins are still good) and continue to use them as decoration in November. Then I cut my “O” out of fabric (using my Silhouette SD, but you could easily sketch a letter onto the fabric, cut it out, and mod podge it on).

First, I put some mod podge on the pumpkin where I would be placing the “O.” Then I stuck the “O” on and mod podged over it…trying to keep it an even layer. I used matte mod podge instead of gloss so it would be less likely to stand out since I wasn’t applying it to the whole pumpkin.

Then, I knew I wanted to use fabric and floral wire to make some decorative leaves for the top. I just freehanded them, but you could download a template or trace a leaf clip art that you’ve printed.

I hot glued floral wire to the underside of the fabric. Then I wrapped ribbon around the floral wire (hot gluing it to the wire at the top and bottom). Then I just wrapped the wire around the stem of the pumpkin. At first, I did it this way:

…fail….I hate the way that looks. It looks like I’m trying to add bat wings to the pumpkin stem, right?!?!? Eww. So, then I did this:

I laid them flat onto the pumpkin and wrapped the floral wire upward around the stem. Then I ruffled up the floral wire so the leaves didn’t lay so flat. It was a pretty easy project and I used all materials that I had on hand, so the only cost was the small pie pumpkins (since I got the huge one for FREE!) πŸ™‚

The pumpkins on the left are some I also got at the market. Little O’s sweet smile convinced the farmer to give them to me for a steal- $6 for both!!! He originally priced them at $10! I definitely think our front door looks more “fall” now and welcoming! We got the mums from a local farm and green house for $6 each. When we went to visit, this is basically what Little O did the entire time

She ran from us….saying, “I runnin’!”

And she spent some time in the fields….far away from Mom and Dad

What a cutie πŸ™‚ I love the way she loves nature! She is such a curious little girl. She’ll grab at anything! Last week at the park, she tried to grab a butterfly by the wings and accidentally rubbed some of it’s pigmentation off :/ Whoops! If you’re wondering about her cute little outfit…I made it! My first outfit ever πŸ™‚ I’ll have a separate post about that soon.

Now, go make some decorative pumpkins!

Mrs O

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Conversations with Little O

For quite a while I’ve been getting excited for Little O to become more verbal. She has had plenty to say for over a year now, I just usually don’t understand what it is :/ However, she’s getting more and more easy to understand and now I’m excited for the conversations she and I will have…in the car, walking in the store, sitting at home, playing outside…you get it. Yesterday we had our first real exchange of conversation! It was short, but oh so sweet πŸ™‚ and it made me pretty happy. So happy in fact that I continued to repeat it to Dr O throughout the rest of the afternoon and evening. He loves when I do that….NOT!

Yesterday, Dr O, Little O and I went to Baskin Robbins for some delicious trick or treat oreo ice cream (if you haven’t had it–you’re missing out: halloween oreo, baby ruth, butterfinger deliciousness). Baskin Robbins is conveniently located in the same shopping center as her dance studio.

On the way home she said, “Hey Mom.” (By the way, I’m “mom” now, not “mommy.” Dr O is also “dad”)

“Yes, Little O?”

“I want to go to dancing class!”

“I know you love dance, but we went to dancing class today and we don’t go back for another week. So we’ll see Ms. Dawn next Friday at dancing class. Ok?”

“I wanna do it again. I want to go to dancing class!”

So, usually our conversations consist of her telling me “No”… regardless of what I have said to her and she never answers my questions. But today she had much more to say πŸ™‚ I don’t know that she’s grasped the idea of how to answer questions yet. So, this conversation made me really excited that maybe we’re to the point that we can have more conversations instead of just me talking to her myself all the time!

Mrs O

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