Entries from blogs tagged with “Sarah Henning”
Just how irresistible was the music of the Pied Piper?
It'll be easy to find out Thursday through Sunday, when "The Pied Piper of Hamelin" hits the Lawrence Arts Center. The production is an original, with the play and music written by Lawrence artists Ric Averill and Adrian Rees. It's the tale of a stray cat who leads a litany of other animals in a backstage production of "The Pied Piper of Hamelin."
Shows are at 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Sunday's show will include a free post-show celebration and carnival.
Tickets to the play are $9.50 for adults and $6.50 for children, students and seniors. They can be purchased at the door or online at LawrenceArtsCenter.org.
Are you one of those people who could slay a vampire with a single exhale?
If you are, it might be wise to spend a bit of time outside in the wind tonight planting garlic before the temperature plummets.
Basically, plant a clove and get a whole bulb back in the spring. Pretty economical, right?
Even better, you don't have to buy any specific type of garlic. Just get a few bulbs of local organic or chemical-free garlic, pop them open and plant away the cloves. It'll overwinter, and in the spring, you'll have a fabulous crop to eat with your spring greens.
Last night, I had been planning to clear out one of my garden beds and plant garlic I bought from Barbara Clark of Maggie's Farm at the Lawrence Farmers' Market, but honestly, the kiddo wanted to go for a walk, and what am I going to do, turn him down? I'm hoping I won't lose out on my chance to clear out my pepper plants and plop in some garlic cloves, though I might resort to putting them in pots in the interest of just getting some in before it's too cold.
I just don't want to miss out on the chance to have our own crop. Because though we love cooking with garlic in our house, I have to admit, that as a person who can be sort of nutty about nutrition, what I love the most about garlic is its potential health benefits. Healthy and tasty? Can't beat that combination.
Are you planting garlic this year?
So, last Wednesday, I told you that tonight would kick off The Haskell Indigenous Food Festival, which is affiliated with National Food Day.
The actual date for National Food Day is Monday, but events will be going on around Lawrence and the surrounding area all week. Food Day is being celebrated not only at Haskell, but in one way or another at Baker University, The Raven Book Store, Lawrence Memorial Hospital and the Douglas County Courthouse (with the Douglas County Food Policy Council).
National Food Day was founded to:
Reduce diet-related diseases by promoting safe, healthy foods.
Support sustainable farms and limit subsidies to big agribusiness.
Expand access to food and alleviate hunger.
Protect the environment and animals by reforming factory farms.
Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to children.
Support fair conditions for food and farm workers.
Check out the full event listing here, and for more information, see this story on Sunflower Horizons.
Food Day Activities
Haskell Auditorium, Haskell Indian Nations University
Kicking off Haskell’s Indigenous Food Festival will be a keynote address from Casey Camp-Horineck, a member of the Ponca Nation, longtime native-rights activist, environmentalist and actress.
1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Stidham Union, Haskell
Haskell will host a series of workshop on indigenous foods. Sessions will focus on school garden curricula, tribal food projects, food sovereignty and seed-saving projects.
Stidham Union, Haskell
An indigenous food cooking contest will be held. Categories include chili, stews or soups, side dish and dessert. All dishes should have ingredients commonly found in Native foods or are indigenous to the region. The cooking contest will be followed by the indigenous foods feast at 6 p.m.
Harter Union lobby, Baker University
Baker Servers, a community service organization, will host a Numana SWIPE Out Hunger food packaging event that aims to package 20,000 school meals for Haitian relief.
Harter Union Dining Hall, Baker
An OXFAM Hunger Banquet will feature recent Baker graduate and food activist Blain Snipstal and Marta Chiappe, a sociology faculty member at Universidad de la Republica in Uruguay.
Rice Auditorium, Baker
Cornelia Butler Flora, a professor of agriculture and sociology at Iowa State University, will give a talk on Climate Change, Food Security and Food Sovereignty. She’s the featured speaker at Baker University’s Food Day celebration
Monday, Oct. 24
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Harter Union lobby, Baker
A Real Food Information Fair will feature local organic farmers, diet and disease specialists, food activists, Baker Farm Hands, Baldwin Food Pantry representative and dining services purchaser.
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Multicultural Resource Center, Kansas University
The KU Center for Sustainability will host a talk on the role of higher education in fighting hunger. The discussion will look at what the campuses are doing and what they could be doing from both an academic and service perspective.
Raven Book Store, 6 E. Seventh St., Lawrence
Alison Cain will read excerpts from Girls Got Guts, a booklet of interviews from small-scale, sustainable women farmers in the region. The event will also feature a panel of local community leaders, who will discuss the importance of local foods and how they can be incorporated into the community. And, there will be sampling of local foods.
Owens Audio Visual Room, Baker
“Dirt! The Movie” will be shown. The documentary looks at the relationship between humans and dirt, a resource that helps sustain life.
Tuesday, Oct. 25
Mabee 100, Baker
A workshop on sustainable growing practices will be presented by Steve Pierce and Matt Williams
Wednesday, Oct. 26
Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Mass., Lawrence
The Douglas County Food Policy Council will discuss their recommendations with the Douglas County Commission regarding a report that examines the regional food system.
Thursday, Oct. 27
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Baker University dining room
A virtual farm tour will feature many local growers and producers.
Friday, Oct. 28
Harter Union lobby
Speech Choir performance will focus on real food topics.
Saturday, Oct. 29
9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Lower level of Lawrence Memorial Hospital
Lawrence Memorial Hospital will host a kid-centric nutrition carnival that will include booths and speakers that promote healthy eating for children. Seed packets will be handed out to encourage children to become involved in food production.
The Wild West Film Fest Horror Edition is on deck this weekend to give filmmakers a scary good challenge: write, edit and produce a film in 48 hours.
Teams of filmmakers sign up Friday, Oct. 21.
After signing up, they will be given secret criteria that all films must
The teams must turn in their films by 10 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 23.
The films will be reviewed and the
top 25 films will be screened Sunday, Oct. 30 at Liberty Hall.
The top three films will win prizes for their teams, including $100 and gift certificates.
The Oct. 30 showing begins at 7:30 p.m. at Liberty Hall, with doors opening at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5.
If you want to try using plants to help you during the upcoming cold and flu season, next week provides the perfect opportunity to learn the ins and outs.
Bill Chioffi, an educator and herbalist with Gaia Herbs, is speaking at 7 p.m., Oct. 26, in the cafe at The Merc. Chioffi will give hints and answer questions regarding the use of herbal products in supporting your body's defenses on the front lines against winter illness.
"Bill has studied therapeutic protocols for many common health disorders over the last 15 years and travels throughout the U.S. teaching herbal medicine," says Tyra Kalman Crouch, wellness manager at The Merc. "Bill will be sharing Gaia's growing, harvesting and processing practices as well as tips on using traditional medicines to stay well through the cold and flu season."
The talk is free and open to the public.
Wednesday's low is supposed to be 26 degrees. I feel like that's a pretty cruel way to end the true growing season in Kansas.
I'm sure several local farmers are going to be fine with some row cover and hoop houses, but because I have neither of those things, I decided to pick a good chunk of my green tomatoes Monday night. Plus four little jalapeños. I did have a few bell peppers that were sitting there all hulk-like on their plants, but I decided not to rescue them. I absolutely hate green peppers and I'm pretty sure they'd do nothing but go wrinkly on my window sill. Ick.
But the tomatoes were another deal all together. I wanted to save those. And I picked off about 20, so saving them is probably worth their weight in gold (organic heirloom tomatoes like mine aren't cheap, green or not) and the five minutes in a cool mist I spent doing it.
Now, what to do with them? You know I'm not a girl who reaches for the fryer by nature, so I was happy to see this post from Gayla Trail, who's written a couple of great gardening books, both of which I own (I want the third one when it comes out!). Gayla runs the very informative website YouGrowGirl.com, and knows her stuff. So, I'm totally sure the green tomato chutney she mentions will taste awesome!
What are you doing with your green tomatoes?
Got Friday night plans?
Tonight's Late Night at the Phog, of course, but if you aren't checking out the Jayhawks' first official scrimmage of 2011-2012, how about helping out local school gardens with your Friday night?
The Homegrown Lawrence Festival starts at 5:30 p.m. at Abe and Jakes with a dinner catered by The Merc and then garden presentations and performances by four local bands will follow. Tickets are $10 at the door for the presentations and bands. If you come hungry and early, there may be a few extra dinner tickets for $25 ($5 more than if you bought them early online). Food tickets are not guaranteed, though.
For more information, check out our longer story about it. And if you come by, make sure to say hey at the Lawrence Journal-World/WellCommons/Lawrence.com booth.
Lawrence will get a proper fish ‘n’ chips place Tuesday, Oct. 18.
That’s the day Queen Lizzy’s Fish and Chips will fling open its doors at 125 E. Tenth St. for what owner Matt Poulton is calling a soft opening. The shop’s grand opening will be Saturday, Oct. 29.
A chef for 14 years, Poulton worked in his hometown of Surrey, England, and came to Kansas two years ago with his Lawrence-native wife. Since then, he’s worked in various restaurants, most recently at the Tenth Street Vegetarian Bistro. When the bistro closed a month ago and Poulton was laid off, he asked building owner Nancy Nguyen if she’d be interested in letting him use the place for a British-style eatery. She was intrigued and Poulton went about searching out investors, both in-person and by using the starter website IndieGoGo.com.
Poulton says diners can expect fish and chips, naturally, but he also has high hopes for getting the restaurant open for breakfast — tea, scones and other traditional British items.
Queen Lizzy’s soft opening hours: Tuesday-Wednesday, 11:30 a.m to 10 p.m.; Thursday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 3 a.m.; Sunday, noon to 8 p.m.
National Food Day seems like a fabulous time to get to know our real national food. Not the hamburgers and hot dogs and pizzas that are considered by the culinary world as “American” cuisine. No, something with a bit more of a past.
The City of Lawrence has proclaimed Saturday, Oct. 22, Indigenous Food Day, and with good reason. Haskell Indian Nations University is kick-starting National Food Day (which isn't until Oct. 24) with a two-day festival featuring speakers, activities and a feast of indigenous foods.
The Haskell Indigenous Food Festival will get things going with several events aimed at the day’s core values: reducing diet-related diseases, protecting the environment and the conditions of food and farm workers, supporting sustainable farms and promoting good health.
To start off the festival, Casey Camp-Horineck, a member of the Ponca Nation, longtime native-rights activist, environmentalist and actress, will speak at 7 p.m. Friday in the university’s auditorium. Starting at 1 p.m., Saturday at Stidham Union will be activities for adults and children, speakers and a guided wetlands walk. There will be a community feast at 6 p.m. Saturday featuring indigenous and indigenous-inspired foods. All events are free and open to the public.
The food festival is sponsored by the Haskell Green Campus Initiative, private donors and the Douglas County Community Foundation.
So, last week was our first week of the year without a CSA. Which stinks, but which is also inevitable when living in our neck of the woods (stupid hard winters). That said, one of the questions I consistently get when blogging weekly about what my family eats is this:
"Does your kid REALLY eat that?"
Well, yes and no.
Truth be told, my little guy (who is nearly 3) is just as picky as any other toddler out there. There are days when he would give any college student a run for his or her mono-mealing money. Yes, he'll request cheese morning noon and night. He ate dried cranberries at every single meal last Sunday. Whenever we eat out he'll eat nothing but French fries, no matter where we are.
But, at the same time, he does tend to make pretty good choices (French fries aside). And one of his favorite choices is also a really sneaky way to keep his fruit and veggie intake high, no matter how much cheese he ate in the last 24 hour period: smoothies.
If you've checked out the other smoothies (and juices) on this blog, you may have noticed there's not much to them. They're usually just fruit and water, maybe some spinach thrown in for color or protein powder for an extra kick. I don't like to add a bunch of bells and whistles because then I become accustomed to them and so does my little guy, who will drink nearly anything we give him as long as he gets to "pick his straw" (we use the "decorative dots" from Glass Dharma).
So, generally, anytime I make a smoothie, he'll drink it. And yes, there is photographic evidence of him drinking:
So, Saturday, before a trip to the Lawrence Farmers' Market, I made a double version of one of my favorites, the Cherry Chocolate Bomb Smoothie from my friend Kristen.
And he drank all of his, plus half of mine. Such a hoss (as you can see from the first photo). Try it on your kids and you might just have them thinking they're getting a treat when really they're getting super nutrition.
Cherry Chocolate Bomb Smoothie (Recipe by Kristen Suzanne)
1 cup filtered water
1 frozen banana, chopped
1 cup frozen cherries
1/4 cup hemp protein powder (I rarely use it)
2 tablespoons hemp seeds (Not necessary, but they have a bunch of good fats!)
2 tablespoons raw chocolate powder
Splash vanilla extract
Blend this goodness up, and enjoy it as it helps make your day one of the best days ever!
So long, summer, it was nice knowing you! Last Monday was our final CSA pickup of the season. There were fewer bags from Rolling Prairie than last year because of our unbearably hot summer, which stinks. But hey, we're lucky to have all these vegetable farmers around in the first place. And, it'll be easy to get some very yummy stuff at the Lawrence Farmers' Market for the next few weeks before everyone packs it up and calls it a season until spring.
That said, I promise I won't pack it up until spring. I'm planning to blog weekly on local/healthy/family eats on roughly the same schedule I've been keeping with Bye-Bye Bounty. If there's any topic you specifically want me to cover, let me know by messaging me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, on to this week's goodies.
During our final week with Rolling Prairie, we got sweet potatoes, potatoes, Swiss chard, peppers and two bags of salad mix.
The potatoes went in storage, the Swiss chard became wraps, and the peppers and salad mix contributed to, well, salad.
On Thursday night, we'd planned to have sweet potato medallions, so I was in for a surprise when I came home from my weekly girls' run and not only had my guys made the sweet potatoes, but they'd also made a yummy-looking new salad.
It's from the same book as the butternut squash and apple soup we made a few weeks ago, and it's just about as awesome. And as a bonus, it uses super cheap and super hearty ingredients (quinoa and chickpeas) as well as some things that can be found locally this time of year (basil, onions and romaine). Oh, and it makes a ton, so chances are, you'll have it for lunch the next day.
The combination of the sweet potatoes and the salad was absolutely perfect and hit the spot after running 10 miles at the end of a long workday. I highly recommend you try it (whether you have a long run planned or not).
Everyday Chickpea-Quinoa Salad (By Isa Chandra Moskowitz, “Appetite for Reduction”)
2 cups cooked, cooled quinoa
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Optional add-ins: roasted garlic, baked tofu or tempeh, shredded carrot, sprouts, fresh basil
1 recipe Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
In a large mixing bowl, mix all the salad ingredients together. Add the dressing and toss to coat. Keep chilled in a tightly sealed container for up to three days.
1/4 cup cashew pieces
2 tablespoons chopped shallot (or onion)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon agave nectar
3/4 teaspoon salt
A few pinches of freshly ground black pepper
First place the cashews and shallot in a food processor and pulse to get them chopped up. Then simply add the rest of the ingredients. Blend for at least 5 minutes, using a rubber spatula to scrape down the sides often, until completely smooth.
It’s really important that you blend for the full time, otherwise your dressing may be grainy. Transfer the dressing to a sealable container (a bowl covered with plastic wrap is just fine) and chill until ready to serve.
Well, we're almost to the end of the road. On Monday, I picked up my very last CSA haul of the year from Rolling Prairie. It's so sad to me because it signals the end of the summer. The days are getting cooler and pretty soon the Lawrence Farmers' Market will be a goner too. Sigh. But, I do feel a bit lucky, because I know from talking to friends that other CSAs have ended earlier than ours.
So, next week will be my last CSA blog until next spring, but I'm cooking up a weekly something to keep all of us foodies busy in the in-between.
But, until then, I had a lot of fun whipping up different items this week with last week's goodies.
Including sweet potato medallions...
A salad for work with our lettuce mix (plus local apples and walnuts)...
And Swiss chard wraps based on a recipe by my sweet friend Natalia.
Inside, that's a mixture of Natalia's "eggplant bacon" (made from local eggplant!), avocado, local tomatoes, and a cilantro-lime sauce/dip that made the whole thing have the same salty/sweet level as a BLT.
I highly recommend checking out Natalia's book if those wraps look like something you might want to try.
So, the recipe I'm going to share is the one for the sweet potato medallions. It's a recipe my dad gave us a few years ago and its a total staple for our family. I've blogged about it before, but because of some sort of glitch, that recipe (and a few others) is missing from my past blogs. But it's really too good not to share again.
Now, I do it with the amount of seasoning listed, but my dad — the recipe perfecter, as it were — will sometimes double the amount of seasoning and coat the potatoes a second time after flipping them. If you think that's your cup of tea, go for it.
Sweet Potato Medallions
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into rounds (about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Olive oil/olive oil spray
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray two cookie sheets (lipped ones are best) with olive oil. Place the sweet potato rounds on the cookie sheets.
In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, salt and pepper.
Spray the sweet potatoes with oil, or put a little olive oil in a small bowl and coat each round with oil using a basting brush. Once all the rounds are coated, sprinkle on the sugar and spice mixture.
Place the sweet potatoes in the oven for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, flip the rounds and put them in for another 5 to 10 minutes. Let cool.
What'd we get in our last week from Rolling Prairie? Two bags of salad greens, more chard leaves, potatoes, sweet potatoes and peppers.
If you’ve read this blog since fall last year, you know I’m a total sucker for Nancy O’Connor’s Butternut Squash and Black Bean Burritos. I think they’re the perfect fall dish. And I had them this week, but I’m not going to write about them. Instead, I’m going to write about a dish we made for the first time that we just absolutely loved: Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Butternut-Apple Soup.
Now, I’m a veteran of sorts when it comes to butternut squash soup. I feel like I’ve made every single one out there (including Nancy’s great one from “The Rolling Prairie Cookbook”), but I can tell you this one was absolutely fabulous. And a total surprise, sort of.
First of all, I had no idea I was going to have soup the night we had it. I went for a 10-mile run with my running group and came home to a house that smelled heavenly. My boys had made dinner — which is always awesome to come home to. My hubby had found the recipe in Isa’s newest book, “Appetite for Reduction.”
Now, why was it so awesome? Because, besides the fact that it has just 200 calories per serving, it has quite a different taste than other butternut concoctions. It’s sweet because of the apples, and a bit sour because of lime juice and apple cider. Plus, there’s ginger, red pepper flakes and garlic in there to add quite the latent kick. Really, really excellent. Plus, the six servings are generous, and perfectly proportioned when shared with a crusty Wheatfields' baguette. Heaven.
And it used CSA squash, CSA onion, CSA garlic, local apples and local apples cider. Win/Win.
Butternut-Apple Soup (Recipe by Isa Chandra Moskowitz, “Appetite for Reduction”)
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 medium-sized onion, diced small
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
1 pound red apples, peeled, cored and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
2 cups apple cider
2 cups vegetable broth
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
Preheat a 4-quart pot over medium heat. Sauté the onions in the oil for 5 to 7 minutes, until translucent.
Add the ginger and garlic, red pepper flakes, rosemary and salt, and sauté for a minute more. Add the squash, apples, apple cider and broth. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat just a bit and simmer briskly for about 20 more minutes, or until the squash is tender.
Puree the soup using either an immersion blender or by transferring half the soup at a time to a food processor or blender in batches. If you prefer, you can leave the soup a little chunky by only pureeing half or so. If using a blender, be sure to let the steam escape so that it doesn’t build up in the blender.
Add the lime juice and season to taste. Serves 6.
So, what’d we get this week — our penultimate week of the CSA season?
Apples, basil, greens, salad mix, peppers and sweet potatoes.
The end of the CSA is near.
Normally, we’re able to get our weekly goodies from Rolling Prairie clear through to Halloween. Not the case this year. Because of weeks of high heat and little water, the season is ending early. On Monday, I got an email from my pick-up site coordinator, Bob Lominska, saying that because of “the challenging weather” (he’s being nice) my last CSA pick-up as a regular customer will be Sept. 26.
I'm not sure other CSAs will be ending as soon, but I think pretty much every farmer/home gardener/container gardener had the same problems this year in Northeast Kansas. So, chances are, even if your CSA hasn’t given you an end date, you probably won’t be getting goodies very late this year.
The good news? Even after our CSAs have finished for the year, we should still be able to get local produce at the Lawrence Farmers’ Market for a few weeks. They haven’t announced as to if the season will end earlier than its usual mid-November date, but chances are we can still pick up something through November. So, there’s our silver lining. Plus, the local goods will still be coming through our groceries. The supply might not be the best, but chances won’t be totally out of luck.
And we’re lucky to have anything, honestly. Think about all the crops ruined by flooding, drought, storms and disease this year across the Midwest and we’re doing pretty stinking well.
So, what did we do with the bounty we picked up on Labor Day (above)? Actually, not that much. We stored the squash, ate the tomatoes and basil out of hand and juiced the cucumber. The okra we still have and are hoping to use this week.
And the eggplant, well, the eggplant went into a wonderful eggplant Parmesan that the hubby slaved over. We used Mark Bittman’s recipe, and the hubby loved it. But that’s all I can tell you because, well, I have no photographic evidence.
I took photos with my personal Droid, which I lost this weekend while helping out with the Hawk 100. We’ve searched high and low for it to no avail, which makes me think some goober picked it, wiped it clean and is hoping to sell it, since it’s relatively new.
So, in a word, no pics of the yummy eggplant parm. Very sad, indeed.
This week from Rolling Prairie, we got a true mixed bag of summer/fall treats: More eggplant, melon, basil, garlic, golden potatoes, sweet potatoes. (Notice how different the photos look, this photo was taken with my lovely work-issued iPhone 4).
So, this week I’m not going to do the typical “Here’s what I ate” and one recipe routine. It’s not that I’m feeling lazy after the long weekend, it’s just that we had so many great things with CSA ingredients last week.
Last week’s haul included grapes, basil, tomatoes, peppers, butternut squash, onion and a cucumber.
Lot’s of variety, right? Totally. Lots of possibilities and not enough room in a single blog. So, I’ll describe the week in pictures. Because, honestly, they’re probably more taste bud-satisfying than any words I’d type. If you want specific recipes, shoot me an email at email@example.com and I’ll get them to you ASAP.
So, the second I took that picture of our entire week's haul, a certain little monster stole some grapes so fast he’s a blur.
But he didn’t eat them all, so the next morning the rest went into the blender with strawberries and peaches from Hiawatha that we bought at the Lawrence Farmers’ Market. Smoothie time!
Next, I used some of my tomatoes in a veggie-heavy take on tabbouleh:
... And on a pizza made with the whole-wheat flour we received previously from our CSA. (That’s the kid holding up the peppers and some CSA onions, pre-chopping in the first photo).
The basil and cucumber made it into some more green juice and the squash went in the pantry for later use. All in all, a tasty week, for sure.
This week, we got quite the end-of-summer haul too: eggplant, tomatoes, squash, okra, cucumber, basil and melon.
When I was in high school, I picked up a vintage Dr. Pepper shirt from some random place (Friend’s closet? Garage sale? The drama department at school?) that said “Soy un Pepper” on it. I was taking high school Spanish and thought it was funny, so I wore it around, even though it was more than threadbare and smelled like a mothball-filled basement no matter how much I washed it.
I have no idea what the heck happened to that shirt beyond probably disintegration, but this week it came back to me in a vision. Why? Because of a sudden influx of peppers. You know how I love peppers, but suddenly we had little room in the crisper for anything else.
How’d we come to get such an awesome collection of peppers? Well, we combined leftovers from our CSA, garden and the Lawrence Farmers’ Market, with some peppers gifted to us from our sweet neighbors, Eric and Tracie. Seems their cupboards and fridge were overflowing too, so they brought us a big old haul:
So, you know what we made, those pepper fajitas/quesadillas, of course.
What’d we do with last week’s veggies?
That’s garlic, butternut squash, cucumbers, potatoes, whole-wheat flour, basil and pears — plus the green juice I made with some of the cucumbers, pears and basil from the CSA. I made that juice a few times last week with our CSA ingredients, stored the potatoes, flour, garlic and squash, and we just ate the rest of the pears outright. Yum!
As for the juice, the recipe is super easy ... if you have a juicer. If you don’t, you could cut everything up and blend it with some water and then strain it.
Garden Green Juice
1 pear or apple (optional)
1 handful basil
1/2 head of celery
1 lemon or lime
Run everything through the juicer!
What’d we get this week? Grapes, basil, tomatoes, peppers, butternut squash, onion and a cucumber. A pic:
I’m kind of sad because I know there are only about 10 more weeks to my CSA. Yes, that’s almost three months, but I’m still in mourning. Good thing I’ve got these beautiful fruits and veggies to cheer me up.
So, those are my fruits and veggies from last week: A melon (intact!), pretty bell peppers, tomatoes, an onion, potatoes and cucumbers.
I wish I could tell you I did something new and fantastic with it this week, but, um, no. It was just a summer week. You know, tomatoes washed and eaten as a work snack, melon inhaled by the kid, potatoes and onions in storage for another round of last week’s potato pancakes.
And the peppers? I thought about making my friend Laurie’s lovely fajitas, but instead fell back into making my very favorite kale salad with the pretty peppers, the CSA cucumber and the tomatoes I didn’t plow through at work.
This week we got: Garlic, butternut squash(!), cucumbers, potatoes, whole-wheat flour, basil and pears, as you can see, below. In the pic, there's also a glass of green juice that I made with one of the cucumbers before I took the pic. (We also had more pears, but the kid tore into those.)
When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right?
So, when a certain 2-year-old butterfingers dropped our yellow CSA watermelon this week, we made a smoothie.
Just take a halved small watermelon (above, already prepared, as it stands) and scoop the flesh into a blender, seeds and all. Add a little water (enough to get the blender going) and blend. Once all frothy and juicy, pour into a large glass or mason jar — running it through a metal wire strainer to get rid of the seed gunk — and wallah! Instant smoothie:
So, what else did we do with the beautiful veggies we received from Rolling Prairie last week?
Well, the tomatoes, basil and cucumbers all made it into various forms of salad, while the potatoes went to a dish we’d never tried before from Nancy O’Connor’s fabulous “Rolling Prairie Cookbook.”
It’s kind of amazing we’ve never made this recipe because it seems like we’ve tried nearly everything in this cookbook. (FYI: I won’t treat you to a current pic of the cookbook because it’s got the stains and smells of being VERY well-loved … which is probably slightly disgusting in a cooking blog.) But we did finally try them while having friends over for dinner and they were awesome, even if my photography is not.
Green Onion and Potato Pancakes (From Nancy O’Connor’s “Rolling Prairie Cookbook”)
1 pound potatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
12 green onions, bulbs and greens, chopped
¼ cup minced parsley
½ cup fresh bread crumbs
2 eggs, beaten
½ cup lowfat sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
Lots of freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons oil for frying
Wash potatoes, cut into big chunks, boil, and mash — no need to peel, the skins add nice texture and color to the pancakes. Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add green onions and sauté for 3 minutes, until just tender. Combine potatoes, onions and remaining ingredients, except for frying oil. Stir well. Heat 1 tablespoon of the frying oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop pancake mixture onto hot skillet, approximately 2 heaping tablespoons per pancake. Flatten with a spatula. Fry 2 to 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. Repeat for rest of mixture. Makes 12 to 14 pancakes.
So, what'd we get this week in our CSA bag? Tomatoes, cucumber, onion, potatoes, baby melon and assorted peppers.
So, my friend Laurie has been staying with us for a little while before moving out of Lawrence. I’m super bummed about her leaving, but I must say that while she’s been staying with us, I’ve been eating WELL. (Good thing she’s my running buddy, too.).
Laurie’s great in the kitchen, even if it’s my kitchen. And she was sweet enough to share with us her top-secret fajita quesadilla/taco recipe while staying in our house. She was also nice enough to make it once and then basically make it again so I could “practice” and get it right. That way, after she moves I won’t be calling her in a panic at dinnertime wondering why my fajita seasoning wasn’t thickening right.
And, you know what, that fajita seasoning was just perfect for the mountain of peppers we’ve amassed from our Rolling Prairie CSA and my own impulsiveness at the Lawrence Farmers’ Market. I really can’t turn down a pretty purple pepper or a mellow yellow one or the bright orange ones in my garden.
Seriously. I need to be stopped. I actually posted a Facebook message with just this picture of a pepper because I was so proud:
Yeah. So, thanks to Laurie’s cooking skills and my hoarding, I bring you Fajita Quesadillas/Tacos.
Fajita Quesadillas/Tacos (recipe from Laurie Euler)
4-5 small bell and/or frying peppers
1/2 large onion
1 recipe Fajita Seasoning Mix (below)
Cheese or Cashew Cheese
Fajita-sized flour tortillas
Fajita Seasoning Mix (adapted from Food.com)
1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Mix seasoning ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.
Slice bell peppers and onions into sticks or squares, whichever you prefer. Throw them in a saucepan or large skillet over medium heat with a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Sauté until the peppers are soft.
Next, add all the seasoning mix and add about a 1/4-1/2 cup water to the pan. Continue to sauté until the sauce thickens and coats the peppers and onions (this should take a few minutes).
Set peppers aside to cool. In a separate frying pan, warm two flour tortillas, one on top of the other. Flip them and once they’re warm take the top one off, put peppers and cheese on the bottom and then top with the other tortilla. Flip and heat through — 15 to 20 seconds. Put quesadilla on a plate, cut into four pieces and serve. To make the taco version, warm the tortillas in the pan and then put them on a plate. Stuff full of fajita peppers, cheese and whatever else you might want. Enjoy!.
What’d we get this week — my first without my buddy Laurie around? (Sniff). Tomatoes — both regular and cherry — potatoes, basil, cucumbers and a little yellow watermelon.
First, I apologize for my opening photo. Not the sexiest food photo known to man, I must admit. BUT, the meal depicted in the photo is absolutely lovely.
That, my friends, is the Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte. Why I say “THE” is because if you’re a follower of the blog you know my love affair with this torte began last year.
I love it for several reasons. Firstly, because it uses two of the summer’s most abundant veggies, whether you find them at the market or are a member of a CSA like Rolling Prairie: summer squash and potatoes. I also have it on our family meal rotation because it’s hearty and goes well with when paired with a salad made of our seasonal, local ingredients and some local or homemade bread. It’s also fabulous reheated, which makes for an easy lunch. Bonus: The hubby/executive chef of the household loves it.
In fact, there’s only two real downsides to the torte:
It requires a lot of chopping. Not that that’s a problem when your favorite meal is kale salad.
The recipe is REALLY long. So, if you want to make it, I’ll do what I did last year and send you to the original post.
So, what’d we get this week? Basil, tomatoes, potatoes, honey, peppers and the cutest little yellow watermelon you ever did see: