Archive for the reality of it all…

Viruses are VERY bad things

So it has been a few weeks since I posted.  I have been cooking, and I have recipes and experiences to post (as you can see from my bacon wrapped meal just posted) there has just been a minor problem – our computer had a virus.  We went on vacation to FL to see our family a few weeks ago, and while down there our computer contracted a virus and took itself out of the game.  So no posts.  But like always I have been trying to recipes and putting them aside until we could get up and running again.  I have a draft of a turnip puff waiting to be published, I just need to allow the non-profit I work with first dibs at it… then it is all yours (whomever is reading this) to make yourself.  I will also be adding a delish egg dinner done under the broiler – if you are skeptical, it’s ok so was I.

 

For now be patient with me and thank you for reading along.  Any computer purchasing recommendations out there??

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funeral… sick child (again)… and end of the school year – don’t worry though, I’m feeding everyone dinner

So a lot has been happening in my neck of the woods. Our little one still routinely gets sick and did so this past weekend when we drove down to Ohio for a family funeral. 😦 Our oldest is finishing sixth grade, OMG he is going to be a teenager and in seventh grade… where has the time gone? So with the above, my two “independent” home jobs and my part time “go into a physical building” job, I’ve been busy. I’ve been cooking though, and taking pictures.

How things are going to start working on my blog is… I’ll first post on the website of the non-profit I work with (http://oktjustice.org/) then I’ll repost here about a week later. I want to make sure I tailor my meals this season to our growers and market participants. So if I mention a local place or highlight something from my current town, I am sure you’ll understand and go looking for something similar where you are. Keeping it local is my goal. 🙂 Easy Family Burros will be making its way to the blog this weekend.

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Mustard Greens… a new adventure

So it is another year of market cooking. Last year I did not do as good as I’d hoped I would in blogging about our meals. As a family however we did a pretty good job increasing our food consumption of market based meals. This year I am keeping the same challenge of eating from the market (as local as possible) however I am going to one up it and try to blog a bit longer than I did last year, meaning till the end of the market… December 2013.
From now until September I will be mainly focusing on items I can find at a local farmers market that Our Kitchen Table (http://oktjustice.org/) supports – The Southeast Farmer’s Market. In doing this I hope to support Our Kitchen Table in providing recipes for fresh, homemade meals that their participants can make at home. Meals based on the vegetables, fruits and products they can buy at the market and supplement with items they are growing in their own garden, or with ingredients found in their kitchens.
Recently OKT supplied their participants with seedlings to grow at home, some of which were mustard greens. So I will be honest, I have eaten mustard greens, but never cooked with them… a new challenge was taken on.
The other day while watering my own garden, some of which includes mustard greens, I thought I’d try a leaf raw and get a feel for what I was going to be cooking this week. STRONG flavor is just a minor way I’d describe mustard greens. It does have a mustardy flavor, just not one I enjoyed raw. To find a recipe around this leafy green that highlighted its flavor was my job tonight.
Greens from our GardenI went out and harvested my mustard greens, collard greens, bok choy and swiss chard. I put my mustard greens aside with the collards, stored the rest in the fridge and got to work going through my cook books. Needless to say my cookbooks did not give me any recipes I was looking for… so off to the internet my search went. I found a vegan site, http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2009/07/balsamic-glazed-chickpeas-and-mustard.html, that had what I was looking for, but I didn’t have all it was asking for. Time to improvise…
I diced my red onion, removed the stems of my mustard greens and collard greens, I didn’t have that many collard greens so I combined them to reach the full 10ozs required for the recipe – consequences of a smaller garden. I got out my broth, this is a oil free recipe, and my improvised ingredients. I didn’t have garlic or red pepper, so I took out black pepper and some chili powder. I didn’t have balsamic vinegar, but I had apple – good enough for me. Soy sauce, nope… just left it out. I used honey instead of sugar and I had 16 oz of chick peas. Time to cook and make it happen with what I had.

1. chop onion, remove stems from greens and cut/tear into bite size pieces
2. in a 3qt pot (I used a dutch oven – you can even use a wok) place your onion in with broth and sauté until desired softness

diced red onions in 3qt dutch oven

diced red onions in 3qt dutch oven

3. I sprinkled on chili powder and pepper and continued sauteing a few minutes longer
4. I added in my greens and wilted them for about 3 minutes

added greens

added greens

wilted greens

wilted greens

5. I removed the greens and onions with a slotted spoon, leaving as much liquid as possible and placed in the chick peas, vinegar and honey and continued to heat
6. I cooked until the liquid was half of what it began at and then pour on top of the greens and served

final product

final product

Everyone enjoyed the side dish, however they weren’t a fan of the chick peas flavor. Perhaps the soy sauce would have improved the taste or perhaps not. My husband suggested a different bean perhaps the cannellini or a butter bean might be better. My eldest enjoyed the dish and finished it.
If you have your own mustard green recipes please do share them in the comments below with links. Thanks

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Painful cooking… :(

Cooking while injured is not fun.  Yesterday I turned my head at just the right angle I guess and POP went the muscles running down the left side of my neck/shoulder.  So J took me to urgent care last night, and now I am taking some vicodin and motrin to help with pain/inflammation… but still gotta cook right??  UGH!  Just washing the potatoes for tonight’s dinner and slicing them was painful.  Frittatas are usually fast and simple… tonight they are tedious and painful!  Hopefully the frittata will be soft enough for me to chew without too much pain… eating has not been my joy for the past 2 days.

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Steak & Potatoes

So tonight was another grilling night… and we did up some new york strip steaks that were on sale – gotta love local on sale meat!!!  I seasoned the meat with what I had on hand: some garlic onion rub, soy sauce and worchestire sauce.  While those were sitting and marinating I washed some Yukon golds and red potatoes, wrapped them in some foil and threw them on the grill to sit and cook (~30-45mins).  The last 10 mins of the potatoes I threw on the steaks and cooked them @350 5mins both sides.  I served the potatoes however anyone liked them: butter, sour cream, cheese, seasonings… whatever.  We served up and ate dinner.  Local, easy AND kept the heat out of the house!!  WOO HOO

 J was so hungry he forgot to take a picture until he was already munching away.  🙂  This is his plate in the photo!

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it’s electric… well at least the NEW GRILL is!!!!

Ok so we have been going ROUNDS about buying a new grill… when to buy one? What type to buy?  How much to spend? What size? Etc. etc. etc… Well today we FINALLY broke down and bought one!  YAHOO!  We have been hitting the local Sears to find a grill (along with other stores) and today it paid off.  We were searching the clearance isle and there it was… a decent size, rolling electric grill that could fit the pans I wanted to use to avoid cooking inside, it didn’t have a flame to ruin the pans, looked easy to clean, wouldn’t require propane or charcoal… AND it was 60% OFF sticker price!!  J sized it up, gave it a once over and said YUP that’s the one!  So we bought it, along with a grill thermometer; I wanted to make sure it could hold a steady temp so I could “bake” items in the grill rather than the oven inside. 

We gave it a go tonight with scalloped asparagus and grilled steaks… guess what??  It worked BEAUTIFULLY and kept all the heat out of the house!  WOO WOO!!!!!

 

 

Here is to a summer of grilling outside!!!

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Saturday is MARKET DAY

So today was market day and we went as a family, in early afternoon.  I thought later in the morning/early in the afternoon would be a good time to go, but it was PACKED!  It didn’t help that the market itself seemed to be narrowing as you headed north up the promenade.  I heard a lot of shoppers becoming cranky about the single file line you had to wait in and just leaving.  J had a way around it though and we went in the back way and made our way through, it wasn’t fast… but it got the job done.  We ended up buying: ~4-5lbs of potatoes, ~2-3lbs of carrots, 1/2lb spinach, 1lb lean ground beef, 1 block of white cheddar cheese, 1lb tomatoes, 1lb asparagus, bagels and tomato/basil bread… all for $37.50.  Not too bad of a deal I would say.  We left the market and continued on to Ken’s Fruit Market where we filled in the holes of things we needed.  We also picked up some all purpose flour (so we wouldn’t have any more bread “mistakes”), some sugar, etc.  We kept it local as well and spent a bit more money but also purchased a few more items.  Today was a grand shopping day!!

 

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