Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve Dinner

From Hayashi Sushi. It tasted so fresh I think it's worth paying a little more. I love the rolls because they're fun but the sashimi is the way to go to enjoy the pure taste. We got the sashimi starter; nine pieces, chef's choice. We also had the nigiri starter; three a salmon, tuna, and yellowtail, a spicy tuna roll, tuna and cucumber roll, a rainbow roll, edamame, and stuffed mushrooms (homemade). Shara had an eel nigiri, her new favorite, and a sweet potato tempura maki. She also shared the rest, but not the spicy tuna and no mushrooms.
New year's resolution: go to su su sushi.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Last Winter CSA

Today was a little sad - the end of the winter CSA. We did get a double share to get all of our weeks in. Here's what I took home:

2 Acorn Squash
1 Butternut
2 bags Beets (3 lb.)
2 bag Carrots (3 lb)
1 bag Sweet Potatoes (1.5 lb)
1 pint Fingerling Potatoes
1 bunch Kale
1 quart Red Potatoes or 1 pint Fingerling Potatoes
5 ears Popcorn
1 bunch Mustard Greens
1 bag Salad Mix

With my new, favorite and super-easy soup - carrot, ginger, sweet potato, I'm sure I won't have a problem using this up. Not sure what to do with the mustard greens. The girl there said they are a bit spicy but braising them makes them tamer. I just bought a fairly large container of Olivia's spring greens, but the salad mix looks like it has quite a bit of spinach in it, so I'll probably cook that up too. Maybe add it to the carrot soup!

Unreal Cookies

Though I don't think these bake well, the color didn't stay, I will certainly keep these on my list of candies for decorating. They're all natural, taste great and the color is beautiful. Maybe next time I'll stick the candy on 1/2 way through the baking process.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Saturday night we went out to dinner with a couple from church. We had a great time and all enjoyed the Persian food from Chaloos. I tried something different - Kashk O Bademjon - Sautéed eggplant, onion and garlic all finely blended with “Kashk” a yogurt sauce and garnished with hot mint sauce served with basmati rice and saffron. Everyone else had kabobs. Alan and Shara split a big kabob platter. There were no leftover! We won't wait so long to go back again.

Wonderful and super-simple carrot, sweet potato, ginger soup. Looked at a bunch of recipes but they were all basically the same. Cut up a bunch of carrots, onion (I used leeks), a russet potato (I used a med. sweet potato), garlic, ginger, broth. I added some rosemary and thyme (as suggested by Dorie Greenspan), salt and pepper. Boiled it all, didn't even bother to saute the leek, used the emersion blender but left some chunks. It's all gone. Next time I'll double or triple it and try to freeze some.


Big Soft Ginger Cookies w/ Caramel Buttercream

Lebkuchen - so delicious. Hopefully will put a smile on a couple of German ladies I know.

Read a tip that was a real time-saver. Spread the dough in the pan, rather than rolling it out after chilling. Can't imagine it would have worked any differently.

Cranberry Orange Cookies

Cranberry Orange Cookies - I thought these would be very soft but they turned out nice.
Lime Poppyseed Thumbprint Cookies

Other cookies already made, but photos not yet available:
Mocha stars w/ caramel icing
Vanilla Blueberry Shortbread Triangles
Coconut Shortbread Cookie Bites
Fig Walnut Biscotti - Smitten Kitchen
Amaretti Cookies
Big Soft Ginger Cookies
Carrot Cake Cookies - Betty Crocker

And to come:
Caramel Toasted Pecan Fudge
Meringue Swirls - never made
Cocoa-Oat Truffles (Whole Foods)
Some kind of chocolate coconut bars - never made

Highly decorated Sugar cookie

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fishy Dishy

Shrimp and scallops in black current mustard dressing with greens, butternut squash and roast carrots and parsnip. Not bad for a weeknight dinner.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Tofu soup

Tat soy, tofu, carrots, mushrooms, rice noodles, soy sauce, rice wine, chicken stock, eggs, leeks

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Winter CSA Share

1 Acorn Squash
1 Butternut Squash
1 Sugar Pumpkin or 1 bunch Cilantro and 1 bunch Rosemary
1 Red Onion or 1 Yellow Onion
1.5 lb Turnips or 1 Kohlrabi
1 bunch Carrots or 1 bag Carrots
1 bag Sweet Potatoes
1 head Garlic
1 bunch Kale

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dessert for dinner

Cranberry and brie. Earlier I had pears poached in strawberry juice with vanilla ice cream and blackberry Cabernet sorbet.


Cranberry turkey & brie grilled on cranberry pecan bread
Banana Almond Pancakes
I made these today and substituted the whole egg for an egg white. Shara had hers with mini chocolate chips and Alan and I typed ours with the strawberry cassis topping from the other night. They were fantastic and I made them completely in my blender. 

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

First Winter CSA Share

1 Acorn Squash or 1 Butternut Squash
1 bunch Carrots
1 Red Onion
1 stalk Brussels Sprouts or 1 head Broccoli - they only had one stalk of spouts because the weather was so cold and it shouldn't be picked when still frozen. I was happy with the broccoli though. Roasted the florettes and sauteed the stalk with some of the Kale and Turnip greens.
1 bunch Hakurei Turnips or 1 bunch Radishes - sauteed the greens
1 bunch Collard Greens or 1 bunch Kale - Kale chips - our new favorite! Clean & dry the kale. We got the Lacinato variety. I tore up the leaves, sprayed with some oil, sprinkled with kosher salt and garlic powder, then baked for about 10 minutes at 350. Awesome! Shara stood at the counter and ate almost a whole tray.
1 bunch Spinach - sauteed, served with miso glazed cod
1 bunch Tat Soi or 1 head Lettuce

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weekly CSA Share - last for the season

1 Acorn Squash or 1 Butternut Squash
5 spice butternut squash soup w/ shrimp

Monday, October 29, 2012

Enjoying the Autumn Produce

We've been cooking fairly regularly around here. And the nice thing is my daughter has been helping too!
We made these thai tofu lettuce wraps and Shara crumbled the tofu and helped plate.
thai tofu lettuce wraps

We also made scallion pancakes. When I was picking up my CSA order, I was talking to Kelly, my Langwater friend, and she was planning on making them too and didn't even see the PIN I had found to the recipe on Serious Eats. Things are so coincidental, or maybe not... Either way, ours came out great, but we didn't eat until about 7 PM that night!
rolled out - before first fold

all ready to go

pan-fried goodies

shrimp w/ spinach & mushroom soy sauce, 
daikon, carrots & onions, scallion pancakes

I tried to fry these with a bit of oil, not too much. Next time I think I'll try doing these with some spray in my non-stick griddle, all at once. There should be enough flavor from the sesame oil in between the layers.

For a dinner party, I also used my CSA sugar pumpkin to make a version of "Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good" I used a ciabatta roll, about a 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk instead of cream, 4oz. light swiss, garlic, thyme, sage, nutmeg, and a chopped apple. I think that's it. It was very good and only a few Weight Watchers points for the cheese! I've followed the recipe before, just adding the bacon as Dorie suggests. In our house we say everything is better with bacon.

Last night, pre-Sandy, I sauteed chicken breasts, removed them, then added some Port to deglaze. Into the pan went a bunch of mushrooms - baby bellas, White Beech and portobellos. Sauteed a bit, then added some vegetable broth, thyme and Szechuan peppercorn salt, and the chicken. Yum!

Mixed mushrooms & chicken in Port sauce, roasted 
acorn squash, sweet potatoes, white 
potatoes & garlic w/ szechuan salt & pepper

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Weekly CSA Share

1 Sugar Pie Pumpkin - Pumpkin stuffed with everything good - Dare I? Thinking of trying it in the crock pot.
1 head of broccoli - roasted w/ garlic
3 Green Peppers - fried w/ onions & eggs
1.5 lb Sweet Potatoes - Twice-Baked Sweet Potato Cups with Sour Cream, Chipotle, and Lime
1 bunch Red Russian Kale - sauteed w/ garlic & pasta
1 bunch Spinach - braised w/ garlic, chopped acorn squash, ground chourico, and vegetable broth
Also purchased:
3 large beets, 3 onions, lots of apples

I got the beets to try and recreate what we ate at the Empty Bowls Project from Muza's. It was much thicker because I cooked it for the day in the slow cooker with the potatoes and kidney beans. I put a couple of sliced carrots, the chopped beets, a couple chopped cloves of garlic, a chopped onion, and the chopped potatoes and beans in the slow cooker along with (I embarrassingly admin) a couple of cups of frozen, sliced red cabbage from last year! I only had about a cup of vegetable broth left, but put in water until it came about 1/2 way up. I vetted the idea, as I usually do, by finding something similar that's already been tested. My model was this Beet Root Soup with Kidney Beans.
After it cooked for the day, I added sour salt, table salt and white sugar. We sprinkled some dill in our bowls and Alan and I added hot pepper flakes too. Next time I'll use vinegar and a different kind of sugar. Maybe brown sugar to give it a little more depth. It was a little flat, and the beets lost most of their color. However, I'm looking forward to having it for lunch tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Shara's Happenings: More Family Visits & Photo Catch-up

Shara's Happenings: More Family Visits & Photo Catch-up: This weekend we went to Schenectady for my 25th High School reunion. Shara spent a nice evening with Bubbe and papa - they had dinner and ...

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Weekly CSA Share

1 Delicata Squash or 1 Acorn Squash - got both and baked with apple cider & cranberries
4 Sweet Peppers or 1.5 lb. Green Tomatoes - coated w/ egg white & roasted
1 bunch Radishes traded for a head of lettuce - salad & wraps
1 bunch Tat Soi - spicy tofu lettuce wraps, made with Shara
1 bunch Red Russian Kale - sweet & savory kale
1 bag Arugula or 1 bunch Chard - sauteed w/ garlic

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Weekly CSA Share

1 Delicata Squash - roast w/ either italian or indian seasonings
1 Yellow Onion
3 Sweet Peppers or 1 bunch Beets - turkey chili or a Chinese stir-fry
1 bunch Hakurei Turnips
1 bunch Kale - sauteed w/ red onion & garlic, mixed in with a little mushroom soy sauce
1 bag Arugula Spinach - asked to switch the turnips & arugula. - spinach, beet, boiled eggs, & bacon salad w/ garlicy dressing
salad w/ egg

eggplant w/ ricotta cheese & chipotle garlic salsa

I also got lots of Honeycrisp and Macoun apples, a beefsteak tomato, a Japanese eggplant, 2 summer squash, baby bok choy, and a poblano pepper. I'm planning on making a stir-fry with the bok choy, eggplant & squash and a turkey hominy chili with the peppers & onion.

Shara designed chicken burger

corn dogs!

Shara w/ a grilled mushroom wrap

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Weekly CSA Share

1 Butternut Squash - cubed and sauteed with chard
2 lb. Topped Carrots or 2 lb. Topped Beets
1 b. Hakurei Turnips or 1 b. Radishes
1 b. Chard or 1 b. Kale - sauteed with the butternut
1 bag Arugula - salad w/ prosciutto, figs, asiago & strawberry balsamic
tofu & veggies in peanut sauce

Break the Fast

Well it wasn't like going to bubbe's, but we had a modest (very) break the fast last night. We had bagels, lox, cream cheese and pickled herring. I got 4 oz. of lox - Acme brand from Brooklyn? It didn't have any nitrates and used green tea as one of the ingredients. Very mild and good. Shara ate a little more than 1/2 the package and I ate the other 1/2! I also sliced up a tomato from Langwater, some red onions and a cucumber. At first I put the tomato on the bagel sandwich but it was so flavorful it overwhelmed the lox so I ate the tomato separately.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weekly CSA Order

2 lb. Red Tomatoes - sliced in sandwiches, as is
1 Eggplant - eggplant parm (baked, not fried)
1 Green Pepper - ?
1 bunch Beets - roasted, sliced, sprinkled with strawberry balsamic & bleu cheese
2 Hot Peppers - poblanos - will roast & add to quesadillas, with corn & some cheese
1 pint Potatoes - steamed & tossed with beet greens & garlic
1 quart PYO Cherry Tomatoes--bonus! - got those today and have been munching ever since

When we stopped by the farm today we picked up some zucchini & summer squash. 
  1. I used a peeler and made ribbons of the squash. 
  2. Then took a can of chicken broth, but you could use vegetable, added lots of chopped garlic and some black pepper. 
  3. Brought the broth to a boil and simmered for a bit. 
  4. Added the squash and cooked until al dente. 
  5. Added some lemon juice but it turned out to be too much lemon. Will use much less next time.
  6. Took the "noodles" out of the broth, plated and topped with Parmesan cheese, crumbled bacon & shredded basil
Featured in tonight's dinner - Grilled Shrimp, Corn or Broccoli, & Squash Noodles Carbonara
Alan's Dinner

My Dinner

weekly CSA share

1 Acorn Squash (have 2) - baked w/ maple sugar & vanilla; baked w/ Garam Masala, salt & pepper
2 lb. topped Beets or 2 lb. topped Carrots - roasted & tossed w/ balsamic & bleu cheese
1 pint Fingerling Potatoes - roasted w/ prosciutto & rosemary
1 Yellow Onion or 1 bunch Radishes - Summer Radish Salad
1 bag Spinach or 1 bag Arugula - braised w/ garlic, salt, pepper & a touch of butter

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Weekly CSA Share

2 lb. Red Tomatoes - sauce & sandwiches
4 Sweet Peppers - sauteed w/ portobello mushrooms and leeks to top polenta
1 Acorn Squash - baked w/ maple sugar, vanilla & garam masala
1 bunch Turnips or 1 bunch Beets - sliced and baked into chips. Like Giada's recipe for sweet potato & beet chips w/ garlic rosemary salt, but will need to sprinkle prior to baking because she puts on the salt after deep frying.

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Weekly CSA Order

From August 14th!

2 lb. Red Tomatoes - salads
1 Eggplant - ratatouille
1 Green Pepper - ratatouille
1 Musk Melon (Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Galia or Canary) - honeydew and it was delicious. Made for great breakfasts in Quebec.
1 bunch Beets - roasted, then froze
1 Hot Pepper - put in a carrot salad; shredded carrots, lemon juice, chopped dried apricots & craisins, cumin, cinnamon, non-fat Greek yogurt
2 Slicing Cucumbers - salads
5 Patty Pan Summer Squash - stuffed & simmered in tomato sauce

Thursday, August 09, 2012

weekly CSA order

3 Early Girl tomatoes - Jamie Oliver's Evolution Tomato Salad
1 Walla Walla onion - grilled, again!
5 patty pan summer squash - marinated with pickled ginger (with pickling cucumbers)
3 summer squash/zucchini - chocolate zucchini bread
6 ears corn - steamed, but may make into corn chowder
4 pickling cucumbers - marinated with pickled ginger (with patty pan squash)
1 bunch beets - roasted (with beets from last week) & put into salad w/ balsamic & blue cheese

Friday, August 03, 2012

weekly CSA share

1 half pint Cherry Tomatoes - salads, out of hand
3 pieces Summer Squash/Zucchini - grilled summer squash, then brushed with garlic, oregano & sage flavored olive oil
3 pieces Specialty Summer Squash/Zucchini - ???
2 Pickling Cucumbers - Rachel Ray's quick pickles
1 Slicing Cucumber  - Rachel Ray's quick pickles
1 Walla Walla Onion - sliced on pizza
1 bunch Carrots or Beets - roast, toss w/ balsamic & blue cheese
1 pint Mixed New Potatoes - a few steamed & mixed with Frontera chili/taco mix (see below)
+ purchased beefsteak tomato - grilled cheese (see below)
grilled cheese, tomato, bacon & avocado sandwiches

"taco" salads - ww tortilla shell, baked, roasted squash, steamed white & sweet potatoes  w/ corn, black beans & frontera taco sauce
olive & onion pizza

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Last week at AFY

Shara's favorite day at camp today. They had workshop for dancers. I picked her up and she looked ready for a recital, bun and everything. She was glowing.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Finally had yummy corn!

Good dinner this evening - spent the day making jarred peaches, but it went much quicker with the help I had from Shara. She stood by me and we got them peeled in no time. I mashed some up, added chipotle chili powder and topped the roasted salmon. With the weather being a little chilly today, I was able to roast the vegetables - summer squash from the CSA; a pattypan and two eight-balls, mushrooms, garlic, and a few leftover sungold tomatoes, tossed with a bit of oil, crushed cumin & coriander seeds.


Shara and I made pickled peaches Sunday. She made fast work of things by sharing in the peach peeling. We both stood at the counter and worked our way through about 35 peaches from CM Smith. We didn't pick them this time but I don't think that made a difference. They were pretty good and if we have a chance to pick or run into more peaches this summer, I wouldn't hesitate to make more.
We got 5 quarts. I figure we'll easily go through a quart in a week.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Rachel Rays Quick Pickles on the Food Network

Quick Pickles on the Food Network

My friend brought these over to a cookout last week and they were so yummy we finished the whole, big bowl. I can't believe how easy these are. I made them in the morning before work and added in fresh carrots. They were just right for dinner (and we finished the whole, big bowl!).

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

weekly csa share

1 Walla Walla onion - brushed with bacon drippings & grilled
3 pieces specialty zucchini - oven roasted w/ garlic, mushrooms & some sun gold tomatoes from last week
1 pint mixed new potatoes - steamed
2 pickling cucumbers - rachel ray's quick pickles
1 bunch carrots - shredded & mixed w/ lemon juice, craisins, salt & pepper
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes! - eat
1 head garlic - roasted some, a couple for the pickles

Friday, July 20, 2012

Vegan blueberry crisp

Love that we've been getting almond milk and have used it as a substitute for butter and cream. Mixed this with some brown sugar, oats, ginger, vanilla, and cinnamon, poured over lots of fresh blueberries and it's now baking. How bad could it be?

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

weekly CSA share

3 pieces of summer squash/zucchini - sauteed 1, will grill the others. Got a beautiful pattypan - green & yellow.
1 bunch carrots - sauteed a few, nice and sweet
1 pint new potatoes - steam and serve w/ salt & butter
1 sweet Walla Walla onion - ??
1 bunch onions - sauteed with carrots & squash
1 bunch chard or kale - sauteed w/ garlic

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

weekly csa share

1 lb green beans or 3 pieces of summer squash/zucchini - sauteed w/ butter & prosciutto
1 bunch carrots -  butter glazed spiced carrots
1 pint new potatoes - steamed w/ a little salt & butter
1 bunch chard or 1 bunch kale - sauteed w/ garlic & olive oil
1 bunch onions - still have some left from last week! - sauteed/caramelized and served w/ leftovers from last nights dinner at Al Wadi - mostly hummus
1 head garlic

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Fourth of July

Getting ready for the First Parish Bridgewater UU Church's food stand today. Also made Berry Cream Whoopie Pies, but I'm not sure how those are going to hold up in the heat. The rest will do well though. Rain or shine, should be a fun day!

Martha Stewart inspired

Some in honor of Gay Pride Month

Pretty drab looking - royal icing decorations

Look how they pop now!

Cupcakes w/ 7-Minute Frosting
Shara's design