poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie


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CSA Update 9/30/12 + Highlights from Eat Real 2012

Here’s what we got last week in our Eatwell Farm CSA box:

strawberries
basil
heirloom cherry tomatoes
shady lady tomatoes
heirloom tomatoes
Middle Eastern cucumbers
poblano peppers
bell peppers
onions
sweet potatoes
collard greens
zucchini

In my last post, Tammy mentioned she had never seen a Middle Eastern cucumber before, so I made a point of taking a photo before I ate them. I think they are the same as Persian cucumbers, but I might be wrong. Any cucumber experts out there?

Some of the veggies from our box last week: tomatoes, sweet potatoes, Middle Eastern cucumber, and onions.

We decided to roast the sweet potatoes (~1 hour at 400F). Since the oven was already on, we baked chicken thighs with garlic and onions. To complete the meal, we cooked the collards in the cast iron with some of the chicken juice.

Since we had plenty of tomatoes and cucumbers, I made an impromptu salad featuring those two veggies in homemade balsamic vinaigrette. It was easy and delicious.

quick and easy cucumber tomato salad

This was the last box of our CSA subscription. I know that last time I mentioned that we would be renewing our subscription, and we still are planning on it, but we decided to hold off for now. That’s the bad news. The good news is that TC and I are moving in together in mid-October! So, between packing, moving, and unpacking, neither of us wanted to stress about cooking CSA produce. Honestly, I think the break will be good. This series of posts has gotten a little stagnant, in my opinion. Hopefully, when it returns, it will be full of new and exciting things!

p.s. Can’t get enough of CSA goodies? Check out this week’s link party over at In Her Chucks to check out CSA boxes from all over the country!

***

Rather than writing a separate post on Eat Real, which I’ve blogged about in previous years (2009, 2010, 2011), I thought I’d show you some of the pictures from last weekend’s eat fest.

I had made plans to go to Eat Real on Sunday with LF, but TC and I couldn’t resist the siren call of the hand-made spicy beef corndog from Tante’s. So, we braved the crazy crowds on Saturday to get our hands on them. Unlike last year, we knew better than to try to share this deep-fried perfection. It was totally worth it.

I know, this corndog looks sorta weird, but trust me: it was awesome.

On Sunday, LF and I were sensible enough to make it down to the festival around 11:30, when it was much less crowded. Here’s a sampling of what we ate:

Deep fried daikon cake and beef pho rolls. Both very good, though pricey at $5 each.

A little bowl of shoyu ramen. Broth was too salty, noodles were so-so. LF’s miso ramen was bland.

“Is that a corndog in your purse, or are you just happy to see me?” We were stuffed, so LF got the corndog to go.

We also had Eritrean/Irish food which was very good in both taste and value. For drinks, we enjoyed watermelon basil agua fresca that was delicious and refreshing, as well as a beer each. There was a not-very-serious attempt to wait in the chowder mobile line; we waited for about 10 minutes and jumped ship after realizing the line was not moving. Just as the festival was getting crowded, we grabbed one last corndog for LF, retrieved our bikes from the bike valet, and headed home. Another fantastic experience at Eat Real!


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CSA Update: 8/14/12

Well hello there! I got back from Taiwan last Monday, and was greeted on Wednesday with a fresh box of goodies from Eatwell Farm, which included:

strawberries
basil
heirloom cherry tomatoes
Roma tomatoes
heirloom tomatoes
Middle Eastern cucumbers
mixed lettuce
melon
Italian flat leaf parsley
zucchini
chard
gypsy peppers
potatoes

I looked at the list and immediately thought: SALAD!!! As great as the food was in Taiwan, I just didn’t get enough fresh, raw veggies. (Fruit was another story… we ate so much fresh fruit every day. It was awesome.) I basically threw the following into the salad spinner and called it a day: heirloom cherry tomatoes, mixed lettuce, cucumbers, 1 pepper, and a couple of boiled eggs. It was delicious and nutritious — just what I needed to help me with my post-vacation detox.

This salad looks small because of the giant utensils, but trust me when I say it was a HUGE salad.

That same night (Wednesday), we went over to check out our friends’ sweet new digs around the corner. When we got back, TC said he was hungry, but not for salad. Not wanting to cook (it was almost 11), I scrounged around and found a Trader Joe’s veggie pizza in the freezer. We put some zucchini, fresh basil, and heirloom tomatoes on it and popped it in the oven. It was magical! I’m already a big fan of TJ’s pizza, but this was a whole new ballgame. Highly recommended.

Gourmet frozen pizza anyone? I don’t know why, but I took this picture BEFORE we baked the pizza. Trust me that it looked better AFTER.

I ended up using the rest of the peppers, Roma tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and zucchini to make a quick pasta sauce, but it was just so-so. Not photo worthy either. Despite that, we had a pretty successful CSA week. We still have potatoes and the chard to deal with… not sure what we’ll do with those yet. Any suggestions?

 

p.s. Can’t get enough of CSA goodies? Check out this week’s link party over at In Her Chucks!


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CSA Update: 7/15/12

This will be the last CSA update for almost a month, as I’m leaving tomorrow for a 3 week trip to Taiwan! Not sure how much I’ll be blogging while I’m away… so if, for some reason, you go into willblog4food withdraw, you can always read (or re-read) my Taiwan posts from previous trips. Enjoy!

Here’s what we got in our Eatwell CSA box last Wednesday:

strawberries
basil
cherry tomatoes (!)
Roma, shady lady, or early girl tomatoes
Middle Eastern cucumbers
mixed lettuce
plums
Italian flat leaf parsley
zucchini
Wakefield cabbage
white spring onions
Colorado rose potatoes? (the ones we got were definitely not red-skinned as advertised)

Not sure if you could tell by my exclamation point above, but I was super excited about the tomatoes, and the cherry tomatoes in particular. Our first tomatoes of the season! We made Creamy Orecchiette with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil, and Garlic, a recipe included with the CSA box. It was very easy and tasty!

Mmmm, creamy pasta with sweet cherry tomatoes and loads of basil.

We also made a salad with the mixed lettuce, cucumber, and strawberries, adding some nut for crunch.

colorful summer salad

As much as we love stir-frying zucchini, I opted to make zucchini bread this time. It was good, but I’m not sure this was the best recipe. I felt like it had a little too much spice and not enough zucchini. Once I find the perfect recipe, I’ll be sure to share it with y’all. These loaves sure did look and smell great coming out of the oven, I have to say.

Zucchini bread, fresh from the oven.

I’ve been wanting to make potato salad for a while, and the red potatoes were a perfect candidate. Except that the ones we got weren’t really red… so it’s possible there was a mix up? In any case, we decided to make potato salad (American style = sweet relish, red onion, celery, mayo, and hard-boiled egg) for a BBQ Saturday with TC’s family and my sister’s family. The potato salad was just OK — we left the skins on, but I think for this variety of potato, we probably should have skinned them. We also made a green salad with walnuts, dried cranberries, apple, and homemade vinaigrette. TC’s family provided macaroni salad, grilled chicken, baked beans, corn, a dreamy chocolate pudding dessert concoction, and lemon bars. That’s what I call a BBQ!

The BBQ spread, top left going down: potato salad, green salad, baked beans, macaroni salad, corn, and chicken (on upper right).

Oh, and somewhere in the last week, we made homemade salsa with the other tomatoes and spring onion to put on top of breakfast burritos. We’ve also been dipping cucumbers slices in hummus. Delish!

p.s. Can’t get enough of CSA goodies? Check out this link party over at In Her Chucks!

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