Friday, July 20, 2007

One Local Summer

One Local Summer Week 4

Grilled Pork Chops---organic---Triple S Farms---50 miles
Roasted Yellow Beans---organic---Triple S Farms---50 miles
Grilled summer squash and zucchini---organic---my backyard
Cucumbers---organic---my backyard

Not local----salt and pepper and olive oil

Normally we don't eat much pork....even tho we really like it. We tend to save it for special occasions and this was well worth the wait. The yellow beans were a new one for us. We usually get the green ones, but these looked so yummy I went for them instead! They were really good, but the kids voted that they like the green ones better. I have seem purple ones out there, too. I will have to try those out in the near future, too!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Seven Strange Things About Me

Okay, so 4 score and seven years ago...Expat tagged me for this meme. I had very good intentions of fulfilling my meme duties. I really did. And then as life always does, it threw me a huge curve ball. Normally, I take most of them in stride. This one, however, really knocked me off my keester.

So, without further delay I will share with you all of my strangeness. Some of these things I am pretty sure I have mentioned before.

1. I despise the sound and feeling of an emery board upon my fingers and toes. The one and only time I went in for a pedicure(because everyone had said how great they were)I wanted to be done before it almost got started. The vibrating chair they put you in was no good either.

2. I have a strong aversion to used water. Like the water that sloshes out of swimming pools and collects on the deck and then you have to walk in it after other people's feet have touched it and the water that you use in the sink to wash your dirty dishes and the water that collects on the outside of glass. Okay, I gotta's grossing me out.

3. I love chocolate, especially dark. I don't love chocolate ice cream. In fact, I don't like it even.

4. The only way I could get my husband to ask me to marry him was if I made him a sandwich....Needless to say he never got the sandwich, but we did have a lovely wedding and almost 12 yrs later we are still very much in love.

5. I love toe socks. They make my toes feel all warm and toasty.

6. I am addicted to Carmex. I carry it on my person at all times. I just have to have it. I don't like dry lips. Just a minute, I gotta go get some. I am still in my jammies and I don't have any pockets to carry it.

7. So, you know how when you buy a set of silverware it comes with big forks and little forks? I am sure they each have a place, right? I am not sure what that is, but for me I always use the little one. The big one is just too big. The little one is just right for me. So, when we go to people's houses that actually use the forks the right husband will give me both of his little ones in exchange for the bigger ones. Now that is true love.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

A slice of summer

Farmer's Market Bounty

I made a haul this week. Basil(for pesto), tomatoes, yellow beans, cabbage, cantaloupes, purple peppers, and not shown...pork chops.

Has anyone had a purple pepper? Is it gonna be sweet like a red one? Or more like a green one? It smells more like a green one. I got them for fajitas and am hoping they will be on the sweeter side. I will have to let you know.

In the background you will see some bags of corn and green beans. I am going to freeze this stuff and hopefully eat off it all winter long! I have a ways to go as far as quantity, but I am working on it!

Which leads me to by next question...when you blanch your corn for freezing do you cut it off the cob before or after blanching? I did mine before. Is it always so messy? I am still finding corn kernels on my kitchen floor!

Friday, July 13, 2007

One Local Summer

One Local Summer Week 3

Grass- fed beef sirloin steak---Flying S Farm---80 miles
Roasted green beans---Kleiss Farm---18 miles
Cucumbers---my backyard
Mashed red potatoes with chives---Triple S farms---60 miles---and my backyard
Milk---hormone free---Oberweis Dairy---180 miles

Salt, pepper, olive oil---not local

This has been our first experience with grass-fed beef and I have to say that it is wonderful. It is so flavorful and lean. You have to cook it differently since it is so lean. I will for sure be getting the beef again when we run out!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I have found a new summer dish to die for

Okay. So, I bought this new cookbook.

Can I just say that every recipe I have tried thus far has been really, really good.

You have got to try this dish. I am telling you, you will love it.

Tomato Pesto Tarts by Andrea Chesman

Serves 4-6

2 lbs tomatoes, cored and sliced 1/4 in thick

1 t salt

2 unbaked 9 in or 10 in homemade or store bought pastry rounds

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/2 C freshly grated Parmesan

1/2 C pesto

1/2 C grated mozzarella

1. Cover a large work surface with a double layer of paper towels. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer on the towels. Sprinkle evenly with the salt. Let stand for 30 min.

2. Preheat oven to 375. Line a large baking sheet with foil.

3. Place the pastry round on the baking sheet.

4. Brush the pastry with the beaten egg, leaving a 2 in. border around the edges. Sprinkle 1/4 C of the Parmesan over each pastry. Spread 1/4 C of the pesto over the Parmesan on each pastry.

5. Place a double layer of paper towels over the tomatoes and press firmly to dry. Arrange the tomatoes on top of the pesto in overlapping circles. Sprinkle the mozzarella over the tomatoes. Fold the dough up to partially cover the filling and crimp to finish the edges.

6. Bake for 25-35 min, or until golden.

7. Let stand for 5 min. Cut into wedges and serve warm.

The only changes that I made aside from halving it and only making one tart was that I used Asiago cheese instead of Parmesan.

It was so good. I mean double dog dare you good. You have got to try it and let me know what you think. I bet you could even make it more like a pizza and replace the pastry dough for a pizza dough and still use all the same toppings....oh my, oh my.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

New things

I made some pasta last night and some vegetable fritters on the side. The vegetable fritters came out of my Simply in Season cookbook that I totally adore.

We are always trying new recipes and new veggies and so forth. So, when I set the fritters on the table the kids weren't surprised at all. My daughter even had a friend staying over and she was okay with it. Cuz you know, we have been referred to as the weird parents who eat weird stuff! I am so okay with that. If it means that my kids are eating healthy, it's all good, right?

The general consensus:
S,K,and J----These taste like chicken noodle soup.
G---He just kept shoving it all in his mouth and couldn't get enuf.(I always take that as a good sign!)
Me---I thought they tasted like summer squash...which is what they had in them.

Chicken noodle soup? It doesn't even have any chicken in it, broth or real meat. (Altho, canned chicken noodle soup prolly doesn't either, right?) Too funny.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Farmers Market Bounty

Made out great at the market...even if I had to walk with a little basket on wheels. I couldn't handle the weight of my normal market bag this week. But, lady, that didn't keep me from going!

I got some sweet corn, red potatoes, garlic scapes, tomatoes, a whole chicken, some green beans, some stone ground whole wheat flour, and some wheat berries.

My fave find...has to be the flour. She has it every week, but I normally pass it up for produce. Not this week. I gave in and decided to go for it. Now, the wheat berries? I, for some reason, think they would make great hot cereal. Am I making that up? Anyone out there really know what they are meant for?

Saturday, July 7, 2007

One Local Summer

One Local Summer Week 2

Had a little bump in the road this week due to my appendectomy. Had a great meal planned for this and it just didn't all come together...for obvious reasons. Needless to say we still were able to make a great local meal. The eggplant however, was not a hit. Not a hit at all. Maybe it was overripe, maybe I need a different way to cook it, maybe it was all the meds I was on and it just tasted odd. I am not sure.

Marinated Grilled Eggplant---Farmers Market 5 miles
Roasted Green Beans---Kleiss Farms 18 miles
Roasted New Potatoes---organic---Triple S Farm 50 miles
Milk---hormone free---Oberweis Dairy---180 miles
Crusty White Bread---not local

Sometimes life likes to throw you curveballs

Krispy Kreme Donut---$1

ER visit---$250

Facing a life long fear(even if it is involuntarily)---Priceless

So here's what happened. I was enjoying a family cookout all evening on Sunday. Had all the great food, family, and fun I could handle. Everyone was gone by about 7:30pm. Sat back, relaxed, and played a board game with the hubby and kids. Watched the 10 pm news, indulged in a totally unnecessary dessert of a donut and then proceeded into my nightly ritual and headed to bed.

Awaken at 1 am to excruciating stomach pain...try to deal with it in my normal tea, change of sleeping position, and so on...was able to doze off and on for about 2 hrs. Awaken again at 5 am, shake husband awake and say that something is just not right...and the whole time I have a deep seeded fear that one of my worst fears is happening.

Get to ER at 6:30 am. Get diagnosis by 8 am...appendicitis.

Wait till 4 pm to have my surgery all the while thinking that my appendix is going to rupture and that I am going to die. Did I say this was one of my worst fears? Yes, ever since I was a young child. Why? I am not really sure. I think maybe just knowing what could happen if it isn't caught in time. The spontaneity of it all. I am a planner. This is one of those things that I can't plan or be in control of. Don't like that.

Had the surgery, stayed in the hospital for a couple nights, having a pretty slow(or what seems like slow) recovery time. Feeling pretty crappy. Hard to cough, sneeze, laugh or just about anything that involves using the stomach muscles. (Note to self...don't let people visit after surgery that are going to make you, not a good idea.) Having to take way too many antibiotics to make sure that the wounds inside or out don't become infected. Did I mention that I am not a good medicine taker? Well, I am not. I have a very weak stomach. Most meds make me wanna hurl.

Slowly, but surely I am improving. Every day things come a little easier. I have yet to be able to pick up the little guy. But I know that, too, will happen. All in good time.

Alas, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.I can now say tho that I no longer have to fear this. I have faced it head on. Even if I wouldn't have chosen to. To top it all off, during my recovery period I received my orange and yellow swap box from my swap buddy. How cool is all this stuff? Who wouldn't feel better after getting all this happy orange and yellow stuff? I can't even decide what my fave thing is. I mean, come on, a handmade bag and a hand-painted dish? A way cool flower charm for a necklace? I love it all! Thanks to my awesome swap buddy.