Monday, August 25, 2008

CSA Bounty

I believe I mentioned that this year Psycling and I decided to join a CSA. I have really enjoyed cooking with so many wonderful fresh, local, and organic ingredients, and we have made some really good stuff! Earlier this summer, I made a wonderful meal out of the fresh patty pan sqush, cucumbers, and tomatoes that came in one of our CSA bags.

When we got such beautiful fresh tomatoes and cucumbers in the same bag, they were crying out to be turned into a tomato and cucumber salad.

Unfortunately, I don't have an actual recipe to pass on, but this was so simple to throw together that you don't really need one. I chopped up some tomatoes and cucumbers, drizzled them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and tossed it all together. Then I topped it with some chopped basil fresh from the garden. It was delicious!

The same week we got all those gorgeous tomatoes and cukes, we got some patty pan squash, so I made Sauted Baby Squash with Basil and Feta.

Psycling isn't a huge fan of feta cheese to I used goat cheese instead...and, really, how can you go wrong with goat cheese? To go with these two wonderful vegetable dishes, I just did a simple lemon and olive oil marinade for some grilled chicken breasts. It was a perfect meal!

P.S. I apologize for the bad photos. During my pregnancy, just getting the meal made was a big accomplishment. Getting nice pictures after just wasn't happening. Hopefully, as I get back into the swing of things, I'll be able to work on my food photography, as well as my cooking!!

Monday, August 18, 2008

I saw this over at Dispensing Happiness, and thought it was neat. What to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:

1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

As you can see, there are very few things that I would NEVER eat. Even though I generally don't eat red meat, it's because I don't like it. But, I'm willing to try *almost* anything at least once. So what about you? Is there anything you'd NEVER eat?

*Also, I have to admit that there are some things on this list that I was unfamiliar with. Wikipedia helped broaden my food knowledge.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Dinner A'Fare

When the Littlest Chef was born, I knew I would need time to recover before jumping back into the kitchen. So my mom went to A Dinner A'Fare and ordered several meals for us. A Dinner A'Fare is one of those meal prep stores, in which you can go in and use pre-prepped ingredients to assemble 12 meals in about two hours. Or, if you're really short on time, you can just order the meals already assembled. This is what my mom did.

I had heard about places like this, but as someone who loves to cook, I've never felt compelled to check them out. But in the couple weeks since LC was born, it has been a wonderful, and Psycling and I have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of the meals. We've had tuna steaks with a roasted red pepper sauce, chicken with mushroom alfredo, Italian shrimp wraps, chicken fingers with honey mustard sauch, hickory chicken with a plum sauce, and more that I can't even remember. And all have been very good.

I'm just now starting to feel the itch to get back into the kitchen, and I'm looking forward to getting back to meal planning based on the loot from our CSA. And while I don't see us using a service like A Dinner A'Fare on a regular basis, I would definitely recommend them if you find yourself in a situation where you need quick, easy, relatively healthy homecooked meals. And several meals pre-made would be a great gift to any new mom just finding her feet upon returning home from the hospital.