Sunday, June 24, 2012

Candice: Boo-ya! Kale Chips!

Kale chips have long eluded me. Each effort to make my own (and there have been too many to admit) yielded soggy, greasy leaves or blackened carbon bits. After my friends informed me this blog is still active—hello, vast readership!—Lisa's post inspired me to try making kale chips again. So. I bought two bunches of flat kale at the farmers market on Saturday and tonight I tried once more…and thanks to a drastic decrease in cooking time, the results are edible. Perhaps a bit too greasy, but still less scary than past attempts. A success, I have decided. Woo.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tiffanie: Cocoa Applesauce Cake

I made this cake this week, and it is very good. Not too sweet, chocolately but spicy, with an undertone of nuttiness from the ground walnuts, not too dense or fluffy. Just a good eating cake. :-D

Surprisingly, the kids like it!

I meant to take pictures, but I forgot... the picture in the recipe is accurate, however.

I partially veganized the recipe, by using soy yogurt, and a mixture of margarine and canola oil to replace the butter. I did leave the two eggs in, as I had two on hand from our preschool chickens.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Lisa: Father's Day Treats

My husband and I cooked a simple dinner together (for us, his dad, and his family) for Father's Day, and he made his own treats and grilled all the steaks (his idea).

Here's what we enjoyed:
Steak (grilled on the barbecue)
Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes (I love these)
Haricots Verts
Home made chocolate ice cream (Bi-Rite Creamery's Smooth and Mellow Chocolate Cocoa Ice Cream Recipe) topped with whipped cream and fresh raspberries
Banana Bread with Nutty Streusel (Miette cookbook recipe)
Fresh-squeezed lemonade

Miette Recipe:
Banana Bread with Nutty Streusel

Bi-Rite Creamery Recipe:
Smooth and Mellow Chocolate Cocoa Ice Cream
with Freshly Whipped Cream and Fresh Raspberries
Chilled, Freshly-Squeezed Lemonade

Also made banana, strawberry, spinach green smoothie earlier in the day, which the kids drank.

Happy Father's Day!

Lisa: Kale Chips

It has been years leading up to this point, and the day finally arrived. I got some Lacinato (Dinosaur) kale (in my produce box) and made kale chips. I had heard this type of kale is great for chips since it is flatter than the curly varieties. Seasoned with sesame oil and salt, 10 minutes in the oven. The kids and I both loved it and ate most of it right away. Probably, this is because it is actually similar to nori (seaweed sheets).

Note: Do not believe the recipes that say to leave in the oven for 20 minutes. If I had not checked at 10 minutes, I would've ended up with a bunch of burned chips. 

Lacinato (Dinosaur) Kale: Before

Monday, June 18, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

The kids are in an afternoon swim class for two weeks, so I'm not getting home until 5pm. As we usually eat dinner around 5:30 or 6pm, this means my menus need to be extra easy for the last minute or good to do early in the day.

My plans:

  • pasta with marinara sauce and fried Field Roast sausage (vegan), with sesame bagels and butter lettuce and carrot salad.
  • turnip curry, rice, raw kale salad with pine nuts
  • slow cooker beans (my Eye of the Goat Rancho Gordo find), cornbread, roasted sweet potatoes
  • leftover beans, served a new way, perhaps with the other two Field Roast sausages
  • perhaps a breakfast dinner, with hash browns and smoothies and pancakes.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Lisa: What We're Eating: June 2012

Been busy eating and not posting.

I had the chance to get two free weeks of produce/grocery delivery from a new service in our area, so have been enjoying trying it out.

Here's what we've been eating.

-Crock-pot pulled pork on toasted French rolls with barbecue sauce
-Roasted carrots
-Roasted Yukon Gold potatoes
-Grilled Salmon (a weekly standard), cous cous and broccoli
-Pan-fried Pork Chops with Gravy - This comes together in less than 30 minutes with minimal prep, so it's a regular in the meal rotation.
-Sugar snap peas
-Roasted zucchini "coins" sprinkled cheese and broiled (per kids' request)
-Yogurt, fruit and granola "banana split"
-Home made granola with slivered almonds, pepitas, pecans, coconut oil, chia and shredded coconut
-Kale chips - first time making these, did it with sesame oil and salt, and kids loved them (as did I)
-Broccoli-cheese mini-quiches
-Strawberry-banana-spinach and strawberry-banana-kale green smoothies
-Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, peaches, nectarines, pluots, tangerines
-Strawberry agua-fresca
-Fresh guacamole
-Roasted beets with goat cheese
-Baby squash
-French toast, pancakes, crepes, dutch baby

Organic Grocery Delivery Box, Week 1:
Broccoli, avocados, white nectarines, blueberries, carrots,
Yukon Gold potatoes,  green leaf lettuce, cucumbers, Super Rich peaches,
Valencia oranges, Zee Fire nectarines, strawberries

Grocery Delivery Box Part 1, Week 2:
Peaches, carrots, baby golden beets, Valencia oranges,
zucchini, Gold Nugget mandarins, Zee Fire nectarines,
blueberries, strawberries, Lacinato kale, Romaine lettuce

Grocery Delivery Box Part 2, Week 2:
Pastured eggs, Strauss cream top organic milk, spinach

Pastured eggs. Kids loved how they were all different.

Roasted Carrots

Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes

Crock-Pot Pulled Pork Dinner

Brunch: Scrambled Eggs with salsa and fresh guacamole,  Valencia oranges

Lunch: Israeli cous cous salad with mozzarella, tomatoes,
basil, cucumbers and balsamic dressing; broccoli cheese mini quiche,
strawberries and grapes
French toast topped with cottage cheese,
strawberries and blueberries

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tiffanie: working through the CSA box

I bought a flat of strawberries from my CSA today. I didn't really think through how to use them all, so I've been trying out things today. I made a batch of freezer jam, sliced some up with sugar and vanilla and maple syrup to spoon over cake, and started a batch of strawberry shrub (an acidic fruit syrup, to mix with sparkling water or wine). I'll taste the jam in the morning and decide whether to buy more pectin and make a few more batches right off.

My fridge is completely full, to the point that it looks dark when I open it. I need to get some of the bulkier items out! So this post is to brainstorm how to use the box quickly.

In the box this week: blueberries (yay!), turnips, cauliflower (huge!), red butter lettuce, red onions, squash, kale, carrots.

The blueberries will be gone tomorrow, probably sprinkled on cereal and yogurt.

The cauliflower will pair nicely with the tarragon in a pot pie, with mushrooms and an olive biscuit crust. I love that dish! Now that the weather is cooling down it won't seem inappropriate. It may be too big to use entirely, but I can roast what remains.

The CSA newsletter came with an ayurvedic recipe for turnip curry. It sounds pretty good -- it has some onion, a lot of turnips, turmeric, cayenne, cumin, garlic, and salt and maple syrup. It makes a very large amount (it uses 8 cups of cubed turnips!), so I'll halve it to try it out.

The butter lettuce is gorgeous, it would be a crime to not eat it quickly. So I'll just have to make salads every night. I made a batch of balsamic vinaigrette today, so that should be easy. Some grated carrots would go nicely on it.

I'm starting to have so many carrots on hand that I should make a grated carrot salad, and perhaps also a carrot soup.

The kale... I don't really need more salads, but a raw kale salad would be tasty and healthy. I'm eating a tad bit more cake than I should these days, so a balance is welcome.

The squash is also becoming a problem. I still need to make my baked egg nestled in zucchini. I guess it'll have to be for lunch tomorrow. The kids aren't interested in roasted zucchini as much anymore, but I'll keep making it (I like it!). I suppose I could make another cake?

I foolishly bought a bunch of broccoli to make a stir fry with tofu, and that is taking a lot of room. I still have most of a bag of fantastic wild arugula; I marinated mushrooms with balsamic vinaigrette and put that on the arugula with toasted chopped almonds, and it was delicious. Perhaps I should keep doing that...

So, to summarize:

  • Thursday: make a raw kale salad. Process lots of strawberries into jam, assuming it tastes good. Eat the blueberries (assuming the kids let me eat any). For lunch, use some zucchini to make the baked egg dish. For dinner, make a cauliflower mushroom pot pie. Make some salad.
  • Friday: make the turnip curry for lunch. Make the broccoli stir fry for dinner.
  • this weekend: try to consume all the leftovers...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

It's going to be a hot week, plus my husband is going to miss most dinners to get more work done. Ah, the joys of the start-up widow! So I'm going to focus on some basics, and lots of salads. Perhaps I can finally tame all the CSA veggies still in my fridge...

Some ideas/plans for the week:

  • I still haven't made the fava bean salad.
  • Arugula with balsamic marinated mushrooms. Yes, I have a big bag of wild arugula to eat!
  • taco night, of course. I love Sundays. :-)
  • I am starting a pizza night (with homemade dough). I did that yesterday, and it was easy and delicious. I have a good recipe for a tofu ricotta, though the kids still prefer mozzarella. The tempeh crumbles I made this week were really good. I'll likely use the leftovers in tacos or at breakfast.
  • I want to make a big slow cooker pot of beans (one of my Rancho Gordo finds!). I can stretch that out all week, with rice and toppings, with cornbread, in quesadillas, with roasted veggies.
  • I never made a potato frittata, so that's still going to happen. Maybe I can sneak in some garlic and parsley at a low enough threshold that the kids will like it...
  • My strawberry infused vodka is ready for drinks, so I need to mash up some strawberries and sugar and ice and lemonade...
  • We're all in the mood for a curry this week -- one of the Golden Curry boxes. I chop up lots of carrots, potatoes, tofu, onions and whatever else needs eating, and it is so satisfying. Maybe some onion pancakes on the side...
  • I have a big bunch of tarragon from my box this week. I will probably freeze it, but I might put some in a jar with vinegar to infuse it. I have a great recipe for a mushroom cauliflower pot pie that uses lots of tarragon, so it'll eventually go there, once I get a cauliflower.
  • I have so much summer squash, so I will definitely grate and salt a bunch of them, saute them with something, add some cheese, and make a nest for an egg, and bake the whole thing. I really need to find the recipe I used last year, it was so good...
I ran out of fennel making that tempeh sausage crumble, so I should probably go visit Penzeys soon. Perhaps taking the kids will be fun? Heh, the last time I was pretty miserable, but perhaps this time will be easier...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Tiffanie: this week's menu

A bit late this week!

I've made or am planning to make:

  • Baja style tempeh tacos
  • Lentils and basmati rice with caramelized onions and spiced pita crisps, with a green salad
  • collard greens and black eyed peas, with baked tofu and roasted zucchini
  • roasted beet salad
  • fava bean and arugula salad (with more quickles!)
  • lots of green salads -- perhaps adding an assortment of cold cooked veggies (like a salad nicoise). 
  • baked eggs in zucchini (a recipe kind of like this). I can't find the recipe I used last year, but it was ever so good. I think there was a bit of cheese mixed into the grated zucchini.
  • chocolate and zucchini cake! How I adore this cake. And it's a fine way to use up zucchini. I did manage to veganize it last summer, so I'll try that again.
  • perhaps another potato frittata. Not vegan (though I did find a good vegan frittata recipe that uses silken tofu), but the kids will eat it. Reminds me of my childhood; my mom would make a big potato frittata (with loads of garlic and parsley) and salad nearly every week. Looking back, she was probably tired of meal planning. :-)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Lisa: Dinner for Rainy Day in June

It rained and got cool after days if warm summery weather, foiling plans for an outdoor preschool picnic. So, I had to throw together an unplanned dinner for six since grandparents were around today, too.

It was a good opportunity to try a new recipe for cheesy chicken pot pie. Not bad, but I still prefer the Joy of Cooking recipe even though it is not the healthiest. Still, a comforting meal finished with leftover fruit salad from a potluck earlier today.

Happy summer!

Lisa: Last Day of Preschool Treat

4-year-old finished preschool for the year today, and asked to make this treat. A healthier version of a banana split with yogurt, fruit, and granola. She assembled it herself.