CSA Adventures – Week 15

CSA day is one of Monster’s favorite day’s of the week. Between all the fun mowers, tractors, and trucks to look at, a friendly farm dog who eats carrots, the produce to select and weigh, and the very kind farmer and her assistants who know him by name – who wouldn’t love CSA day? Monster cries every time we have to leave.

This week’s share was all about the green, which must be thriving now that the weather is cooler once more. This week’s share contained:

  • 1 lb of arugula
  • 1 lb of baby bok choy
  • 0.5 lbs of spinach
  • 2 lbs of beets
  • 2 lbs of carrots
  • 1 lb of red tomatoes
  • 1 pint of cherry tomatoes
  • 3 peppers
  • 1 garlic stalk
  • 1 qt of beans
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • 1 bunch of basil
  • 1 head of lettuce

Picking out the garlic

I was a little bit stumped about what to do with all the greens! I made the arugula into pesto and froze it. Because I have obviously lost my mind – I let Monster help me. Between imitating the sound of the food processor and eating the fruits of our labor (Monster LOVES pesto) – he had a blast! Now he asks to use the food processor everyday. This little boy is ridiculous!

My little taste-tester

I just love this smile – now if only I could have gotten Monster’s face centered when I took this photo!

The baby bok choy, carrots, and peppers will be used in a stir fry later this week. The red tomatoes, scallion, and some carrots were used in a lentil soup. The head of lettuce, some carrots, cherry tomatoes, and leftover peppers made a nice side salad for the week.

Maybe I’ll use the spinach in a vegetable pizza? Could be a good meal for Friday. 🙂

The remaining carrots were used to make carrot muffins! It seemed a fitting way to celebrate Monster’s 18 month birthday earlier this week.

Now I’m off to relax a bit before the week gets started. Hope you all had a restful weekend!

And I’m linking up to the “What’s in the Box” linky party over at In Her Chucks. When you have a few minutes, stop over and check it out! 🙂

Granola + Toddler = MESS

When Monster was a couple of months old, I “discovered” many, many blogs with bucket lists. I thought they were a great idea and created my own. I’ve been meaning to share it on here, but haven’t yet because I wanted to make it a “35 before 35” list…and, well, I haven’t thought of that many things I want to do yet. Apparently I’m a very lame person though. Once you see my list you will agree, because “make granola” is one of the items on my list.

I’ve been meaning to make granola for a few months now. I purchased all the ingredients then put it off because it was so hot this summer that I tried to avoid turning the oven on at all costs.

Now that our mornings and evenings are quite cool here, it seemed like a good time to make some granola. It’s really easy to make, so I thought it would be a perfect activity for Monster and I to do together.

In general, it was. Monster loved dumping ingredients, mixing them, and taste testing. I was being conservative and used an extra big bowl, which didn’t work as well as I thought it would because it made it hard for Monster to easily dump the ingredients in. (Note to self:  start looking for a Monster sized table so he can more easily help with cooking.)

Mixing is serious business

The Mess

Licking the spoon afterwards – the best part of baking 😉

And in case you’re curious, here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 2 t. cinnamon
  • 2 t. ground cloves
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • 3 T. vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup of raisins
  • A handful of almonds, sliced

Directions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 325°F.
  • Mix oats, cinnamon, and cloves together in a bowl.
  • Whisk honey, oil, brown sugar, and vanilla together in a small bowl.
  • Combine dry and wet mixtures together. Stir until oats are well coated.
  • Place on a baking sheet (a jelly sheet works great if you have one). Cook until slightly browned (about 25 – 30 minutes). Stir every 5 minutes. Turn baking sheet half way through cooking to ensure an “even” bake).
  • Mix in raisins and almonds.

It was pretty good, but I think we can do better. Looks like there will be many more batches of granola in our future this fall and winter. 🙂

What’s your favorite granola recipe?

CSA Adventures – Week 14 – Roasted Radishes

I think fall has officially arrived here in Pennsylvania. We haven’t had our air-conditioner on in over a week and the mornings have been so chilly that we’ve all been wearing long pants and long sleeve shirts while we wait for the sun to burn the chill off the ground.

The un-official arrival of fall also means that soon our CSA will be providing us with fall root vegetables and greens. This week we got a prelude of what’s to come, as we received radishes for the first time since early summer and swiss chard. Can’t wait to see new vegetables we’ll be receiving in the next few weeks!

This weekend was pretty hectic – with all the chaos I completely forgot to take a picture of this week’s share – so you’ll just have to read about it instead. 😉

Week 14’s share included:

·         1 bunch of scallions

·         1 bunch of Swiss chard

·         1 bunch of Easter egg radishes

·         1 stalk of garlic

·         1 quart of beans

·         5 peppers

·         1 salsa packet

·         3 lbs of heirloom tomatoes

·         1 lb of red tomatoes

·         1 pint of cherry tomatoes

·         1 lb of braising greens

Between adjusting to P’s new schedule and attending a wedding this past weekend, we’ve been slacking a bit on our vegetable consumption. So this week I’m freezing the beans and peppers.

After last week’s success, the tomatoes and salsa packet will be made into more salsa.

The Swiss chard is going to be sautéed in garlic and butter and will be a side for tomorrow’s dinner. The braising green will be included in a warm pasta salad and whatever is left over will be made into a salad. The braising greens are somewhat bitter, but taste great with a little bit of sweet dressing on top.

I thought I’d do something a little different with the radishes this week, so I made them into roasted radishes. For fun, I also roasted a pepper, then mixed in some chopped-up scallions and nectarines. It was the perfect side to grilled chicken with a light balsamic dressing and some brown rice. It was super easy and P deemed it edible, so I’m marking this recipe down as a win. 😉 Monster was not really a fan. He took a couple bites and then spit it out. He much preferred to play with them (as he kept calling the radishes “balls” and rolling around the one we gave him on his tray).

Prepping radishes and peppers for roasting

Roasted!

Dinner! Mmm Mmm

 

 

As always, I’m linking up to the “What’s in the Box” party over at In Her Chucks. It’s a wealth of CSA information and recipes, so if you’re looking for a new recipe to try, you should definitely check it out!

Day Date

Yesterday was a rough day. I went to bed late, Monster woke up early and only napped for 45 minutes the whole day. I needed to run a quick errand, so after Monster woke up from his very brief nap, we hopped in the car. Unfortunately, the store I needed to go to was temporarily closed. This was especially frustrating because I had checked online before leaving to make sure they would be there and it takes about 30 minutes to get there. Grr!!

Since I’d basically stuck Monster in the car as soon as he woke up, I felt bad driving straight home, because I knew he was anxious to stretch his legs a bit. Luckily there was a Whole Foods nearby, so we made a pit stop there and had a “day date.” Monster got a muffin and I got some much needed coffee! Of course, after about 3 minutes of sitting still and eating his muffin, Monster got bored and started pushing shopping carts around. Luckily the outside food area was deserted, so I could enjoy my coffee without having to worry about Monster bumping into anyone.

Mmm – muffin!

Mumma – stop taking my picture!

 

After our Whole Foods “date” I decided to take Monster to the library so he could pick out some new books for reading time. In keeping with yesterday’s theme, apparently our library is closed on Mondays (I totally should have checked this out online before going). After hyping it up, Monster was pretty disappointed – he kept pulling on the door handle while yelling “books!” It was actually kind of cute, in a pathetic sort of way. Luckily, there is a playground near the library, so the trip wasn’t a complete waste. Monster had so much fun playing he forgot about the books we originally came to get.

Tomorrow we’re going to run the same errands again. This time I called ahead to make the store will be open and I now have the library hours memorized, so hopefully we’ll have better luck! 🙂

CSA Adventures – Week 13 – Salsa Time!

The end of August brought lucky number 13’s share from our CSA.

This week’s share included:

  • 3 lbs heirloom tomatoes
  • 1.5 lbs red tomatoes
  • 2 pints of cherry tomatoes
  • 0.4 lbs of arugula
  • 1 quart of beans
  • 4 peppers
  • 1 bunch of scallions
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 1 salsa packet (jalapenos, tomatillos, and cilantro)

I had planned to make the salsa Sunday evening so we could enjoy it on Labor Day, but I just didn’t get to it. The Monster household has been busy this past week (more posts to come on that). Which is why I found myself making salsa tonight.

Since I waited until after Monster went to sleep to make the salsa, I opted to make a chuncky version, so I didn’t have to worry about the sound of the food processor waking him up. It was SO easy to make and took much less time than expected.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lbs red tomatoes
  • 2 jalapenos
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tomatillos
  • ½ medium onion
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Directions:

  • Seed and chop tomatoes
  • Seed and chop jalapenos
  • Chop cilantro
  • Mince garlic
  • Chop tomatillos
  • Chop onion
  • Combine all ingredients into a bowl and mix.
  • Enjoy! 🙂

Chopped tomatoes

Spicy jalapenos

Tomatillos

Salsa!

If you prefer a smoother salsa, you can just add all the ingredients into a food process and pulse until you reach the desired consistency.

This week I’m linking up to the “What’s in the Box” party over at In Her Chucks.  Check it out!

Home Improvement Projects

The Monster household has been busy the past couple weeks. P’s dad came to help fix some things around the house – our chimney needed to be recapped and we needed some re-pointing work done too.

Fortunately for P/unfortunately for P’s dad, his visit out also coincided with P renting a chipper to take care of some recently felled trees in our backyard. So he also helped P out with that, which made it go a lot faster!

Monster loved the chipper! This was both a good and a bad thing. Good because he wasn’t scared by the sound of it. Bad because it was quite loud, so I had to keep him indoors to protect his hearing, which he did not appreciate!

As usual, I did a poor job of documenting the “before” – but here are some in-progress pictures for your viewing pleasure. As you can see, there was a lot of improvement made to our house recently!

New cap installed, re-pointing in-progress

Chipper ready to go!

Lots of branches to chip…

 

inside looking out – Monster really wanted to help!

 

With P back in school, I think our major home improvement projects are on-hold for the rest of the year. But there are still plenty of small projects left to work on through-out the fall and winter. We’re grateful that P’s dad was able to come out and help us with such a big project! Thanks, Grandpa!

What projects are you working on right now?